I’ve been waiting for the Kadence theme builder for a long time and was excited to hear that it was now available. In this post I share some of the main steps in using the Kadence theme builder for creating the single and archive templates for Custom Post Types. The full step-by-step walk-through is available in the video version. This is a pro option. You will need the pro version of the theme and blocks plugin.
The Template Element Type
I used a local development site with sample data for posts and a Custom Post Type called Books. The Custom Post Type was created using CPT-UI and Advanced Custom Fields. Check the post that walk-through the process of creating a Custom Post Type if you are unfamiliar with the steps.
You access the theme builder through the Kadence Elements menu. There is a new element type called Templates.
After you click Add New you pick that you want to create a template. Then you go to the element settings and there are two that you will need to set. First, You want to pick what type of template it is for by selected the place where you want it to show. You can replace the single content, the archive loop item, header, footer, sidebar, and more.
Then you also need to attach it to a content type using the Display Settings. Here I picked Single Books.
Next you will want to pick a record to use for preview. You will need to do this also when creating the archive because, remember, you create a loop item. First you select the preview post type.
Then you pick a post to preview.
WordPress core has some placeholder blocks for Full Site Editing. You can use those, but I found the Kadence blocks had more options, gave more control, and the final result was nicer.
You use the dynamic data options on the Kadence blocks to set the dynamic tag.
Note: Kadence added an Advanced Image Blocks, so it is not necessary to use the Info Box block.
Kadence doesn’t have its own image block yet. I found I could use the Info Box block. It was a little clunky, but worked. You access the dynamic data options for it in the right block settings area.
This is what the book single looks like on the frontend.
For the archive you just design a loop item.
This is what the archive looks like using that loop item.
Discussion and Conclusions
I found the Kadence Theme Builder to be very easy to create the content templates. This was one of the easiest theme builders I’ve used.
The only draw back that jumped out at me was the lack of an image block. Using the Info Block worked, but was tedious. My understanding is that they have a dedicated image block in the works and it should be released soon.
Many plugin and theme authors have been waiting for Full Site Editing to be released before they release their theme builder. Kudos to the Kadence team for not waiting and getting this out now. Some sites use premium page builders just for the theme template features. For these sites, they could use Kadence instead.
What about Full Site Editing? It has been delayed, still has rough edges, and block-based themes are just starting out. It will be a while before FSE is a realistic alternative to solutions like the Kadence Theme Builder or premium page builders. I like and am interested in what the core team is doing, but I don’t see using Full Site Editing on a site of any complexity.
Kadence just released their theme builder which is part of the Pro offering. It is one of the easiest theme builders available. Kadence is at the top of the game. There are regular releases, with lots of useful innovations.-The Kadence membership package has been one of the best WordPress investments I’ve made.