Oxygen Builder Review

By Alec Gall on September 29, 2020
Updated on October 23, 2020

Hey everyone! I have been heavily using Oxygen Builder for over a month now and I think it's time to share my opinions.

The Basics

Oxygen builder is forever tied in with other names like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi, etc. but it really isn't the same thing. Oxygen feels a lot more like coding with a GUI than using a conventional page builder. The amount of control you have over everything is so much better than with any other builder. Other builders give you a lot of drag and drop components to create the content you want. These components are usually filled with lots of baked-in features and options, but it can be a bit tricky to change them in a way that the builder developers didn't intend. Oxygen is a bit different in that it gives you all the tools you need to make that component instead. Using the tools they give you, you can build it exactly the way you want it. This allows you to make the perfect design rather than one that's just close enough.

How It Works

Oxygen gives you some very basic drag and drop components such as sections, divs, columns, text, images, etc. They also provide a few of what they call "helpers". These are a little bit more like what you see in a lot of page builders, but they are less feature-filled and much more flexible. These include things like a header-builder, slider, tabs, and a repeater.

The way you create your pages (and templates) is much more similar to the way that you would do so manually with code. Rather than inserting made-up builder lingo modules, we use divs. Just like we would if we were coding from scratch, we start by building a sort of framework out of divs then add our content inside. From there you can adjust every little thing about each element easily from the interface. If there's something less typical that you want to do, you can easily add custom CSS to the element as well.

Continuing with the more realistic development practices, Oxygen allows you to very easily create CSS classes and then assign them to various elements. You can even edit the properties of a class in different states such as :hover: which you'll find yourself using a lot.

One of the most unique things about Oxygen is that it actually disables and replaces the default WordPress theme system entirely. Oxygen essentially is your theme. In Oxygen, you can create templates for everything that you'd normally make a template PHP file for in a theme such as a header/footer, archives, singles, special page types, etc. This aspect of Oxygen is similar to what Beaver Builder's Beaver Themer plugin adds.

This video is a showcase for a plugin called OxyNinja Core Framework which is basically a CSS framework you can import into Oxygen, but I think it's a great example of what a good workflow in Oxygen looks like if you are using CSS classes right. With or without OxyNinja, this is what building a page should look like once you've established some of your common CSS utility classes and such.

Pros and Cons


  • Stylish and intuitive interface
  • No made-up builder lingo
    • Uses real terminology instead (ex: div, class)
  • The way things are built using divs and classes is much closer to a real developer workflow than other builders
  • Creates clean code with no divception
  • Doesn't add a bunch bloat that slows down the site
    • Oxygen only imports what is absolutely necessary on every page
  • Structure panel makes it easy to find the correct elements to edit
  • Freedom to do virtually anything
    • Unlike other builders, using Oxygen doesn't make me feel limited or constricted to the capabilities of the builder.
  • Can easily make a page editable in Gutenberg for clients to edit content without breaking formatting
    • There is also an "Edit Mode" coming soon in 3.6 that will allow clients to do the same in the Oxygen editor.


  • Drag and drop is very clunky
    • Both in the main editor window and the structure panel
  • I think the header-builder could be fleshed out a bit more. I would like to see more options
    • For example, there is no way to make the typical standard accordion-like menu for mobile
  • Since Oxygen disables the theme system, I think they should have some sort of native interface for enqueueing resources
  • Steep learning curve for people unfamiliar with more traditional web development practices


Oxygen's current price model is, in my opinion, an insanely good value. I expect they will change to a yearly subscription model at some point when they own a larger percentage of the page builder market share, but for right now they only offer lifetime licenses and those lifetime licenses are a similar price to the yearly cost for other builders. $99 gets you a lifetime license, $149 gets you a lifetime license plus including the WooCommerce Integration, and $169 gets you a lifetime license plus the Gutenberg Block Builder and all future additions.

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Is Oxygen Builder For Me?

If you are a developer who is comfortable writing HTML and CSS and perhaps a bit of JavaScript and PHP, absolutely yes! Equipped with the knowledge of the above languages there is virtually nothing you can't do with Oxygen. If you are looking to speed up your design process but don't want to fight with typical page builders to make more unique functionality or slow down your site with extra files you don't need, Oxygen is probably the choice for you. In my opinion, Oxygen is the perfect middle-ground between coding from scratch and using a builder.

If you don't really know how HTML and CSS work you might have some trouble getting started with Oxygen Builder. With that said, I think with the right attitude and effort anyone can learn to build with Oxygen. There will be a steep learning curve, but you will become a much better and more versatile developer/designer for it.

If you have no desire to learn the more intricate parts of web development/design and just want to click and drag to make decent designs I don't recommend Oxygen for you. For this group of people, I recommend something like Beaver Builder (Disclaimer: THIS IS AN AFFILIATE LINK) instead. Beaver Builder offers decent performance in terms of page speed, tons of features, and an easy to use drag and drop interface.


I love Oxygen Builder and I plan to use it for a long time. I think it's the perfect middle-ground between coding from scratch and using a typical page builder. Using Oxygen doesn't make me feel limited in what I can do at all. Workflows in Oxygen closely mirror that of a coding from scratch approach and promotes doing things the right way, rather than throwing something together with a bunch of drag and drop modules and bloating your site with random garbage you don't need. Creating a site takes a bit longer in Oxygen than with other builders, but that's mostly because, if you're anything like me, you end up spending an inordinate amount of time nitpicking every little thing until it's perfect, which other builders just don't really let you do.

Article written by Alec Gall
Web Developer / Designer aspiring to learn new things every day!

6 comments on “Oxygen Builder Review”

  1. Hey Alec, I'm looking forward to your review of Hydrogen and Oxyninja Core...I'm really interested to see how it affects your site performance and if they introduce any sort of blowback in the way that Oxygen's native tools currently work.

  2. Hi Jason, I'm glad you're finding my content useful! As a little teaser I can tell you that I enjoyed both Hydrogen and OxyNinja Core very much and will be giving them a positive review. 🙂

    Also, it's worth noting that this website was designed using both OxyNinja Core and Hydrogen.

  3. I just started with oxygen and have built my new site on it - I came from Thrive - and while the learning curve is a little steep - I really love Oxygen now!

  4. Great review Alec. I found your site when you posted it on the FB group as an example of Oxygen-built sites.

    You are spot on with the pros and cons. I was not convinced of the need for third-party plugins, some costing as much as Oxygen, like the one you used OxyNinja Core. It was not easy to know which plugin, if any, was most beneficial. So I worked without any for the first few months and it was not easy.

    After much research I invested in Hydrogen Pack, and it was the right choice. I copy/pasted an entire site in 2 minutes. That paid for itself.

    Oxygen has a learning curve after coming from Divi and Elementor, but the community is there for you. Now I see you have become one of those useful contributors.

    Nice clean site, btw.

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