Oxygen is a project with a history of several years. If I remember correctly the first release appeared in 2016. Despite its many advantages, it is not as popular tool as Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder or other analogous add-ons for WordPress enriching it with page builder functionality. Why?
In this article, we will take a look at this builder and try to answer the question of how it can be better than competing tools and whether it is worth switching to it. These considerations will also eventually lead us to the answer to the question: Why is so little heard of it?
Oxygen - plugin or theme?
Oxygen is a plugin whose distinctive feature is that once you install and activate it, it disables the theme support mechanisms. You may wonder how this is possible since WordPress needs one active theme to work. Well, in practice, Oxygen doesn't need a theme, and thus all the features associated with it are redundant. If we wanted to simplify it, we could write that Oxygen is a plugin and a theme in one. It does not matter which theme we install and which one is active. Nothing related to it will work anyway.
As a result, WordPress will have slightly less work to do, so this should reflect positively on the performance of the site. We'll get to performance in more detail.
Oxygen is a plug-in which means that you install it exactly the same way as any other plug-in (see how to install the plug-in). The only difference might be that you won't install this wizard from the free WordPress repository because the plugin only has a paid version available on the creators' website.
Immediately after installation and activation, the plugin will ask if you want to import a sample page or if you prefer to start with a clean backend.
If you decide to import a sample website, which I strongly encourage in order to get to know the possibilities and methodology of working with the tool better, you will have at your disposal a library with a dozen (for the moment) examples of websites:
The library may not be overwhelmingly large, but a dozen or so sample landing pages is still quite a lot, especially as each of them can be freely modified.
Once the importer is up and running, you can start editing content.
What the editor looks like
The editor, although it may resemble Elementor in some areas, is significantly different from it. Yes, on the left side you can find what in Elementor we call widgets, but they don't work the way we are used to in Elementor.
You may be surprised that when you grab a widget you can't drag and drop it anywhere. The working methodology is simply different and if you decide to switch you will probably need a few days to get used to the new tool. If you're not used to Elementor or another builder it will certainly be easier 🙂 .
What is the difference between Oxygen and Elementor
The main difference between Oxygen and Elementor is that this tool is more oriented towards people with more experience, agencies or advanced users. Although Oxygen can also be used by beginners, this is not likely to be the main target of this builder.
What suggests that Oxygen is targeted at advanced users? For example, the fact that it allows you to implement PHP code directly on subpages. You can quickly build complex websites provided that you know PHP.
Oxygen also allows you to enter complex CSS sheets. With this flexibility and functionality you can create amazing websites, but at the same time this task can be difficult or even unachievable if you don't know CSS to the teeth.
In the field of simplicity and speed of creating pages without touching the code, Elementor is the clear winner, but if you look at both builders from the position of a person who knows HTML, CSS, JS, PHP at least to a basic extent, Oxygen may turn out to be a tool that gives much more flexibility.
From the point of view of speed and quality of created pages, Oxygen clearly wins. The code generated by this builder is cleaner, less complex and the pages work surprisingly fast.
When I test the projects that I occasionally do based on Oxygen, these kinds of results are achieved after basic optimisation but without special effort:
If at some stage of development you decide to switch from Elementor to Oxygen I'm sure you will feel a performance boost in your site. Unfortunately it happens that some plugins don't work with Oxygen although the key ones I usually use have no problems with it. What's more, even jetEngine oriented after all on Elementor and Gutenberg works quite well with Oxygen including dynamic content, and in the coming months we can expect even better compatibility of Crocoblock products with Oxygen, which is nice 🙂 .
Two important integrations
Oxygen has two base integrations, provided you subscribe to the agency package of this plugin. One of these allows access to unique WooCommerce components, which allows construct a shop grassroots. Here I will again refer to Elementor but this time to its PRO version shop widgets. Oxygen components allow you to completely style your E-commerce platform the way you want, which Elementor cannot do to such an extent. The second integration is a great cooperation with Gutenberg editor.
How much does the Oxygen creator cost?
We come to another advantage of this tool. I mentioned at the beginning that you will not find this plugin in the free version. Yes, nothing has changed here and in order to use Oxygen creator you have to buy a license, but the terms are crucial.
The licence for this builder is a one-off fee! You invest once and benefit for as long as you want... that's not all though. You benefit as long as you want on any number of pages! Such conditions are especially tempting for agencies and freelancers, because by investing in the tool once they can use it on their sites and clients' sites without any limits.
The basic licence costs $129 and the most expensive version with additional integrations costs $229. For a one-time payment for such a tool, the price is really great, but it is changing. Recently, the Agency version cost $169 and the Basic version cost $99. The prices increase as the builder evolves. It's not out of the question that at some point the LTD offering will be replaced by standard annual subscriptions. Those who make it in time before such a change will gain a lot.
Why is relatively little written about it?
I will simplify the answer to this question to the maximum. The two main factors that influence this are, first of all, the clearly more difficult learning curve compared to Elementor or other builders. Oxygen despite the fact that everyone is able to create something in it, in practice it is not for everyone. It takes much more time to master it and time to get familiar with at least the basics of CSS, which is extremely useful when working with Oxygen. The rather steep learning curve eliminates a huge portion of users who are looking for simpler tools. Fewer users = less hype.
The second reason is the lack of an affiliate programme. If two elements appear next to each other, i.e. high quality of the product and an affiliate programme, one can expect a flood of articles on the web about such a tool. The creators of Oxygen have withdrawn their affiliate programme, so automatically there are far fewer articles about the product today.
Is it worth it?
If you feel like taking on a bit more of a challenge and spending a lot of time on your website, then the benefits will be apparent. However, keep in mind that you will have to devote many times more attention to the website than if you build it using Elementor. This is the main reason why most of my projects use Elementor.
Let's take How to Make a Website as an example. Although JZS is a simple site and using Oxygen wouldn't be particularly time consuming, here I am also working with a classic theme supported by Elementor. Perhaps one day this will change, but for the time being, analysing and weighing the benefits, I remain with the traditional layout.
You should also be aware of the fact that working on Oxygen, you will not have as many extensions and integrations as Elementor can offer, but the website will be lighter and faster, which may have a positive influence on its rankings. Elementor tries to optimise the generated code in its subsequent versions, but it still lacks a lot in this field in comparison to Oxygen.
How do I find out if this builder is for me? Invest in Oxygen and see what it can offer you. You have up to 60 days to think about it and make a decision. During this time if you find the builder too difficult to learn you can request a refund. This is the best way to find out if this add-on is for you or if it's better to stay with the good, easy and friendly Elementor 🙂
Yesterday, in my article on updating the lessons of the Elementor PRO course, I mentioned the upcoming new features in Elementor 3.2.
I have already mentioned it on PoznajWP, but I will also write about it on JZS, because some of my students regularly visit the blog here, which makes me very happy
In the context of Elementor 3.3, I could write about only one of its novelties, which is awaited by the vast majority of web developers using this
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