Last week Krista talked about Design Palette Pro and all the ways you can use it to build a professional website without knowing any code at all. Now what if you’d like to learn a little bit of code, and start customizing your website, but aren’t quite comfortable with the idea of file editors or FTP clients or all of the other things that come with full blown web development?
Let’s assume you’ve got WordPress installed and have a few posts. A few images maybe even a few videos of cats talking to each other. You’ve shared it with friends, family and a few co-workers. You have some regular visitors and now are wanting to change the way it looks. So you go and find a theme that’s pretty close to what you want. You just have to make a few modifications, change the colors a little and hide some unwanted things.
Surely you know not to edit the actual theme so you do your research to find there are two solutions. The first one is using a custom CSS plugin. The second is creating a child theme, but you want a simple solution. You don’t want to upload files so you opt for a plugin. Simple.
Enter Reaktiv CSS Builder
Unlike other CSS builders, this plugin creates an actual CSS file
And yes that is true. One of the biggest perks about the Reaktiv CSS Builder is the ability to cache that file; giving a visitor a faster experience when they view your site. Or perhaps backing it up which can be done one of two ways. The first is exporting the file and the second is actually creating a copy for safe-keeping. I like both.
Now before you start asking questions I’m going to be upfront about this. I love to look at the code before I even use a plugin, let alone a theme. There were a few reason I chose to try out this plugin and in no particular order were:
- Reputable developer
- Easy to use
- Follows WordPress coding standards
- Built-in import/export capabilities so you can transfer CSS between websites
- Syntax highlighting so you know when there are mistakes in your CSS
Andrew Norcross has been building, breaking and contributing for years so I knew it would be a stable and reliable plugin. That of course does include support. The ability to just install, activate and use is a huge win in my column. I expect things to work and not have to mess with any settings. Especially when it comes to CSS plugins.
Frankly there isn’t a whole lot to cry about when it comes to this plugin. It does what it says it will do and it does it very well. I cause if I were to get extremely nitpicky, the plugin does have a lot of competition, so maybe that’s a negative? But from my survey and testing of a lot of these solutions, Reaktiv CSS Builder strikes a great balance between getting the job done, without being overly complex. Our favorite type of plugin!
The Final Verdict
Overall, it’s another solid plugin from Reaktiv Studios. So yes, use the plugin, at the very least try it out. Who knows, you may even suggest others to use it down the road.