Bricks Builder Vs Oxygen Builder Vs Breakdance: Which Website Builder Should You Use?

By
Fabrizio Van Marciano

Don’t you just love it when you are spoilt for choice? That applies to almost everything and anything in this world. When it comes to WordPress website builder tools, you have the choice of quite a few. However, in this post, we will cut the list down to just three. And then we will pick a clear winner at the end.

I wish it was as easy as that. However, there are a lot of things to consider.

We can’t say that Bricks Builder is better than Oxygen, or Breakdance is better than Elementor, or both Bricks and Oxygen. There is no clear winner in this category, let’s get that out of the way first. And if anyone tells you one builder is supreme, then they have not tried many.

Some folks will argue that you can pick a winner, but thankfully, you found this post and can take it from a designer with extensive experience and knowledge in building websites with all three of the tools we will look at in this post.

First of all, I’m well aware that there are more than three WordPress website builders out there. The ones that we will not dip into will be the usual suspects like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, and Divi.

I’ll be honest, I’ve not had a great deal of experience with using most of the above builders. I’ve tried them all, of course, but not in great depth.

Today we will look at –

  1. Bricks Builder
  2. Oxygen Builder
  3. Breakdance

Not only do I use all three of these builder tools, but I wholeheartedly believe them to be the best for building clean, bloat-free, fast-loading WordPress sites with ease.

So it begins…

1. Bricks Builder

Let’s start with what a lot of folks in the WordPress community would have you believe, and that is Bricks is the ultimate WordPress builder for WordPress.

Is it?

Well, keep in mind that compared to Elementor or Divi, Bricks is just a tiny ripple in the WordPress ocean. Most people have never even heard of Bricks or Oxygen for that matter.

That said, while I don’t think Bricks is the best, it is by far the most comprehensive builder that I’ve used for WordPress. It has almost everything a ‘freelance designer‘ or ‘agency’ needs to build responsive WordPress sites for their clients.

Bricks Builder is great if you know what you’re doing. With stand-out features like –

  1. Powerful dynamic data
  2. Query loop implementation
  3. Conditions
  4. Interactions
  5. Native form builder
  6. Classes and variables manager
  7. Pop-up builder

However, if you’re not a web designer, for instance, maybe you’re someone who wants to create a website quickly so that you can focus on growing your brand, then Bricks is not something I would recommend using.

Again, that is my opinion.

I say this because the learning curve is quite steep with Bricks and you’ll be spending an enormous amount of time learning how to create even a simple website. If you don’t have the time to invest to learn how to do this, then don’t use Bricks.

I’ve been using Bricks for a while now, I think I have good knowledge and skills with code, yet I still find Bricks quite difficult and confusing to use in places.

That with the fact you need to know some basic CSS, PHP, and a bit of JS to make the most of Bricks is what makes me think this is not the best tool for the average non-technical user.

It is my opinion that Bricks went from being a relatively user-friendly visual website design tool that anyone could use, to something that is now quite complex, quite confusing in places, and ‘not so’ beginner-friendly. This is now a tool that designers and web developers can make sense of.

I know some reading this will probably tell me that I’m wrong and hand me out to dry. However, you can see the direction they have been heading in over the past year or so. Many of the new features are developer-orientated.

There are now a ton of premium add-ons for Bricks designed mainly for developers and agencies, but some for non-techies too. Such plugins include Advanced Themer, ACSS, Frames, and so on.

I’ve installed Bricks on many client websites including a few family members all of whom have previously used pre-made WordPress themes. They were not web designers, simply building their brand, and they were as lost as ever trying to figure out how Bricks worked, which is why I created my Bricks training. That with the fact they just didn’t have the time or interest to learn web design.

Here’s the thing.

Not everyone is interested in becoming a designer or building an agency, period.

If you have a bit of knowledge of front-end web development and understand HTML, CSS, SCSS, PHP, and JavaScript, then Bricks Builder should be in your tool kit.

Whilst using custom code with Bricks is almost essential for making the most of the theme builder tool, Bricks lacks a decent code editor. Instead, it offers a basic text editor sandbox for adding custom code, which in all fairness is a bit of a joke.

Please understand, that all of this is my honest opinion. Bricks is not the most user-friendly website builder tool out there. That title now belongs to Breakdance and perhaps even Oxygen. We’ll come to those builder tools later.

Of course, you can bypass the complexity of using Bricks by buying into add-ons. But by doing that, you’re adding to the cost of managing your website. Add-ons are not cheap, especially with recurring yearly subscriptions.

I build most of my client sites with Bricks because I have web development knowledge and a coding background. Most of the time, they’re happy for me to continue maintaining their websites too. If I didn’t have that knowledge and experience then I wouldn’t use it. I’d use something a lot easier.

Again, all that said, you can still use Bricks to create simple websites using the drag-and-drop design options, without having to dive into the nit-gritty stuff, adding custom code, or spending a small fortune on silly add-on plugins. It can get costly, keep that in mind.

If you are interested in learning more about using Bricks, check out my Bricks Builder Pro tutorials as well as my Bricks Builder Complete Course. In the Bricks Builder course, we cover all of the main features in-depth. There are also multiple design projects to sink your teeth into.

2. Oxygen Builder

Let’s now focus on Oxygen Builder, which is the more mature builder of the three mentioned here.

Oxygen was developed by the same team or lead developer that has recently given us Breakdance. Unlike Bricks, however, Oxygen is a plugin and not a theme. It completely outputs the WordPress theme system.

Like Bricks, Oxygen is a template-based builder featuring qualities like –

  1. Dynamic data
  2. Repeaters and hooks
  3. Header builder
  4. Custom stylesheet manager
  5. The ability to add custom HTML tagging and more

Although Oxygen hasn’t received any new major updates recently, it is still one of the more powerful builders out there.

As you know, this website (Van Marciano Pro) is built on Oxygen, however, I no longer build new client websites with Oxygen unless it is specifically requested.

The reason is that Bricks, despite its steep learning curve, has all the features I need to build modern websites.

Despite that I like using Bricks a little bit more, I’ve probably used Oxygen Builder more than any other builder in my toolkit. I find it a lot simpler than Bricks, and if you’re a beginner, I believe you will find Oxygen a lot more beginner-friendly. Again, that is my opinion.

None of this means Oxygen is the best builder out there. Oxygen still doesn’t have a native form builder element, but it does have a stylesheet manager which Bricks doesn’t. As I mentioned earlier, Bricks notepad style feature for implementing custom code is a bit of a joke.

However, Oxygen is a builder that I mostly recommend for non-techies. There are a few drawbacks with Oxygen. For one, creating and using templates is a little more complex than in Bricks. There are also some other features missing such as CSS variables manager, an offcanvas element, and the WooCommerce design options are all over the place.

Despite its small flaws, Oxygen remains to be a force to be reckoned with and I will continue to create personal websites with it for as long as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about using Oxygen, check out my Oxygen Builder Pro tutorials as well as my Oxygen Builder 5.0 Complete Course.

3. Breakdance Builder

So we get to Breakdance, the fairly new kid on the block here.

Just to warn you, my Breakdance experience is very limited. I’ve used it for less than a dozen or so hours, I would say. I’ve started building a personal website project with it and also created some beginner-friendly tutorials for Van Marciano Pro.

Talking of beginner-friendly, Breakdance wins in this category, hands down. Everything from installing Breakdance, configuring the settings, creating design preferences in the global styles settings, managing classes, to creating grid layouts and styling is by far easier than any other website builder I’ve used. So I’m quite excited about using it more in the future.

Breakdance comes with amazing features like –

  1. Dynamic data
  2. Form Builder
  3. Over 130 customizable elements
  4. Mega menus and sticky headers
  5. Templates
  6. Client mode
  7. Breakdance AI for crafting content
  8. Code implementation
  9. Pop-up creator and more.

If you are interested in learning more about using Breakdance, check out my Breakdance tutorials. In the future, I will be releasing a mini Breakdance introductory course for beginners.

Pricing

Let’s talk about the pricing of these three builder tools. Which is the most affordable solution for individuals and designers?

If like many people, you are not a designer or web developer, the pricing options vary, and it can get quite expensive with some builders.

Oxygen Builder is the clear winner when it comes to affordability.

Currently, at the time of writing this post, Oxygen is available for just a one-time fee of $179. For that, you get access to everything Oxygen has to offer for unlimited sites, forever. This includes the WooCommerce integration plugin and more.

Next up is Bricks Builder. A little more pricey, but this is a builder that has a lot of advanced features ideally for designers and developers.

Bricks have a yearly pricing model, however, you can get a perpetual license for $599 and get access to everything, including updates, for life. But remember, you’ll likely be tempted to buy into the many premium add-ons available for Bricks, most of which have yearly subscription models too.

Lastly, we get to Breakdance, which like Bricks, has a yearly pricing model. However, Breakdance has a free plan that lets you use basic features. There is no LTD available at the time of writing this post. Breakdance will set you back $299 per year for unlimited websites (Agency plan).

Which builder should you use?

So this brings us back to the ultimate question, which WordPress visual website builder should you use?

The answer depends on a few factors –

  1. Are you a web designer or a small business/entrepreneur?
  2. What are your design goals?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. How much time do you have?

Those are the questions I would ask myself if I was thinking about buying into a WordPress website builder.

If you are a web designer or agency owner, then it would make sense to go with something like Bricks as your primary go-to builder, simply because it has everything. And then maybe include Breakdance and Oxygen in your toolkit too in case someone asks.

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner starting a website from scratch, then Oxygen or Breakdance would be a good choice. Simply because these are beginner-friendly, easy to learn and you can have a stunning website designed and deployed quickly.

I’m not saying that Oxygen or Breakdance doesn’t have a learning curve, they do, it is just not as steep as Bricks.

Go straight to the main video