Detailed Review of Cornerstone WordPress Page Builder – Can you Build a Fully Functional site Using Only a Plugin?
Do you know what building a website today involves?
In general, few things to start with. An awesome business idea, hosting provider, WordPress installation, theme, and a couple of plugins.
After you have them all, you will need to roll up your sleeves and start building the site (unless you don’t have a developer).
And this is where a lot of people fail miserably. They spend too much time designing and editing their sites, and not enough time actually working on their businesses. Until now!
Have you heard of WordPress Theme X?
If you did you most probably also heard of Cornerstone page builder plugin. This plugin originates from X theme – read my detailed X Theme Review – which is one of the best selling themes in ThemeForest market.
In this detailed review, I am not only going to walk you through the main settings and options of Cornerstone Page builder plugin. I’ve also put this Plugin to a test. Let me tell you more.
I decided to test this page builder plugin with a free theme. I wanted to see if the plugin itself can be enough for building a fully functional site without the need of purchasing WordPress Theme. Which will potentially save you a little cash and a lot of time trying to understand how both (the theme and the plugin) works.
I’ve tested the plugin with a couple of free themes to see which one will be the most suitable one for the task. Finally, I stopped on GeneratePress.
Let’s see how the page builder plugin performed:
What does this plugin actually do?
Cornerstone WordPress page builder is a plugin from a new generation. It works 100% front-end It will allow you to create beautiful landing pages and posts fast and easy. You are seeing all of your changes happening live, without the need of clicking back and forth between your editor and your front page.
Who is this plugin for? And is it for you?
If you are a novice and you are looking for a simple way to create your own site without the need of reading tons of documentation about using a single theme. Then yes, you can consider purchasing Cornerstone.
The available configuration and the easy to use work area will give you everything needed for developing your site.
Installing Cornerstone WordPress Page Builder
You need two things to start using Cornerstone: WordPress installation and Cornerstone license.
Once you have your own copy of Cornerstone, head towards your WordPress admin area > Go to plugins > Add New > Upload plugin:
Select the .zip file containing the plugin files and click on the Install Now button:
Activate your plugin to start designing your pages using this 100% front-end plugin:
Before we dive into the deep waters of Cornerstone, don’t forget to activate your license. This will give you access to Real people support; Automatic updates; Themeco templates:
Just put your license key code inside the empty field and hit enter:
What Are the Main Benefits of Using Cornerstone Page Builder?
After using this page builder for a while, I must say that the main benefit is the easy customization process. The overall interface is well thought to make the page building experience really straightforward.
You are seeing everything you are doing live, so you don’t have to go front and back to a couple of pages only to see a simple change.
Setting up Cornerstone Page Builder
Before we start building with Cornerstone, let’s take a look at the customization panels.
The page builder has two different places where you can make a couple of adjustments.
Click on the Cornerstone menu inside your WordPress admin area > Settings:
- Allowed Post Types – Enable/Disable the plugin of specific elements of your WordPress.
- Allow Roles – Give permission to other users to use Cornerstone.
- Show WordPress Toolbar – Do you want the WordPress toolbar to be visible while working with Cornerstone? If yes, enable this option.
- Fun Mode – This is something simple that can cheer up your day. Turns on funny messages that appear after saving changes:
You can find the second settings panel by going to Appearance > Customize. The cornerstone section will be listed last. Click to see the available options:
- Base Margin & Extend Base Margin – This basically extends the Cornerstone section in pixels. You can play around with it to see which will be the perfect fit.
- Container Max Width – This set the max width of each element inside a section.
When set to 1200 px:
When set to 500px:
- Text colors and buttons styles – All the other options are related to the default colors of your links, buttons, text and etc. All of these can be changed later. However, I will suggest to change them when you know what colors you are going to use for your site because this will save you a lot of time later on.
A quick note before I dive into details.
Although Cornerstone works best with X Theme, I wanted to test and see if the plugin will be enough for creating an amazing site without the need of purchasing premium theme.
This is why I tested the plugin with some of the most popular Free WordPress themes to find which one best completes this page builder plugin.
The winner and my personal favorite is GeneratePress (the free version). All of the changes are made using these two WordPress products. Let’s continue:
Getting Started With Cornerstone Page Builder
Cornerstone is active and configured, let’s now see what things you can make with it.
One of the reasons I choose GeneratePress is because it allows you to easily remove sidebars on pages and posts. Making your page fullwidth, wich is perfect for landing/sales pages. Create a new page, add a title. Choose Content (no sidebars) > click Cornerstone > edit with Cornerstone to load the page builder on your front-end:
Welcome to Cornerstone page builder workspace. The setup process is really straightforward and everything is explained in details. So don’t worry that you won’t be able to understand what to do.
You will be first prompted to either use a template – one provided by the developers or one that your previously saved – or add your first section:
Using Cornerstone Sections
Add a section and choose how many columns you will want on this row. You can choose between 8 different options:
Before we add elements to the rows we just added, let me show you how to add a background picture to it. Hover with the mouse over the section and click till the menu below appears:
Easily add a background color, picture or a video. Additionally, you can also customize the margin and the padding . Don’t forget to save the changes when you are ready.
Using Cornerstone Elements
The next step after laying down the foundations is adding elements.
Click on the second tap from your work area called Elements. Here you can search for element and drag and drop it to your page:
The library of elements is huge. You can add all kinds of buttons, sliders, blockquote, callouts, alerts, feature lists and more.
Using Cornerstone Inspector
Each of the elements you add to your page helps you reach the desired design of your site. Once you add an element the inspector tool is the one that is helping you further customize it.
For example, add a feature box and click on it with the mouse. This will immediately load the customizer and allow you to modify everything related to that specific element:
Using only these 3 simple but powerful tools you can quickly and easily create amazing pages from scratch.
Using Cornerstone Settings
I am sure you’ve already noticed the fort tool listed inside your workspace called Settings. This is the settings section and it will allow you to make a couple of additional modifications:
- General – Allows you to change your title, status of your post (publish or draft), enable/disable comments, add a parent page.
- Responsive text – Make additional customization to the responsive version of your site.
- Customizer – Basically tells you that you have to go to the customizer section to make additional modifications of the plugin.
This is how a landing page may look on your site with Cornerstone page builder:
As you can see, you can easily create amazing pages with just few clicks. The only thing that is left is to see if we can configure the blog section of our site with Cornerstone.
Configuring Blog Section With Cornerstone
Select a new page and activate the Page builder. Choose the recent posts element to load your posts and use the inspector to customize it.
Unfortunately, the plugin fails to deliver here. You can only choose 4 posts to appear for a specific category and also there is no option for pagination:
Basically, if you would like to show your blog posts appropriately you will have to use the built-in function of WordPress. To do so, go to Settings > Reading > select the page that will load all of your posts:
The problem here is if you need more than one blog page to load posts from different categories. The solution for this will be to purchase a premium theme that will allow you that option. Still, it’s a pity that the plugin can’t be used for showing more than 4 posts on a page.
What Is The Price of This WordPress Page Builder Plugin?
The developers of decided to separate Cornerstone from Theme X, allowing users to purchase the page builder individually. A pretty wise decision, considering the fact that there aren’t many plugins allowing you to create beautiful landing pages dragging and dropping.
The price for the plugin itself is 35 $, which is a standard price for such plugin. Additionally, you can also get your hands on this plugin, with a couple of extra benefits, by purchasing Theme X for 64 $.
Pros and cons of Cornerstone WordPress Page Builder
- 100% Frontend editing
- Incredible building experience
- Rich library of elements
- Skeleton mode allowing you to see the structure of the entire page
- Make edits quickly and easily
- Available for both pages and posts
- The recent posts element only allows you to load 4 posts on a page.
Designing and building beautiful landing, sales, portfolio pages is not enough to grow your online business. These pages will also have to convert visitors into customers.
There are many reasons to get Cornerstone for your site: easy to use, frontend editing, slick design, but also, if you really love the WordPress Theme you are using right now, and you are looking for that extra flavor, that can get you more customers, this page builder plugin will surely deliver.
Check out some of the sites created with Theme X, powered by the Cornerstone page builder, to see what you can achieve using the plugin: sample sites.
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