Joe Fulgham

WordPress, Elementor, & Flexbox

I’ve been making websites professionally for nearly three decades now, starting out with bare-bones HTML in a slightly-better version of notepad, to WYSIWYG page-editors like FrontPage (1.0 was bad, 2.0 was very good and worth another post defending it), to coding custom WordPress themes first in a text editor, then later in a full development environment. From there pre-built themes were so efficient and cheap I started with them and customized, and finally ended up using page-builders to create custom site out of what are basically customizable building-blocks.

My page-builder of choice these days is Elementor. Its interface is clean, its code is a bit large but not unacceptably so, and a few updates ago it added a feature to to create website designs using a nearly-blank theme and Elementor templates for every part of your site. I won’t go into the deep technical stuff here, but trust me that it does it right, with dynamic element options, tons of controls, the ability to set up responsive layout rules for Desktop, Table, and Mobile with ease, and allowance for third-parties to create add-on element packs.

Recently Elementor added support for Flexbox containers, something I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. Flexbox is “the next big thing” in web layout. It’s more efficient, using less nested code, and has simple ways to set layout rules. You can read more about Flexbox here.

Elementor’s Flexbox support is in beta right now, and not ready for production websites, but my little website here is my playground so you’ll probably see a few changes over the next few months as I tinker with this new tool.

If there’s interest I can post importable versions of the layout I’m working on here so you can tinker with them yourself. I’d love to see what you come up with!

As of this posting (mind the dust and cobwebs!) the site has a simple layout, with what I call a “readable” single-post template, including progress bar. It’s quite nice, and I look forward to improving it.

If you’re reading this on my site (rather than a feed reader) you’re reading it using the “Hello Elementor” theme, which is about as bare-bones as it gets, and the rest is define by Elementor’s setup. The code is chunky, but my metrics (thanks to some plugins) are quite good — an A rating from GTMetrix with a tiny 545ms loading time for my front page!