The 6 Best WordPress Front End Editing Plugins

A big reason for WordPress’ popularity is its easy-to-use administration interface. However, for some users (especially non-technical people), creating posts and pages using the WordPress dashboard can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are plenty of WordPress front end plugins available, offering those with less technical knowledge a way to create content and customize layouts without ever touching the WordPress back end.

In this post, we’ll look at six plugins – three for layout & content editing, three dealing strictly with content editing – and give you the pros and cons of each. By the end, you’ll have a solid idea on which plugins are right for you. Let’s get started!

Front End Page Layout Plugins

Front end page layout plugins give you full control over your website design. While you can use them to add and edit content, they also enable you to add layout elements such as rows and columns, as well as other content elements, like sliders. Let’s take a look at three of the front runners.

1. Visual Composer ($34 – Included Free with The Total WP Theme)

Visual Composer plugin
Visual Composer from WP Bakery is probably one of the most well known page builder plugins for WordPress. With over 165,000 sales and a 4.72-star rating, it’s very popular indeed. For just $34, you can add this powerful plugin to your website. Or you could consider a premium theme that includes the Visual Composer. Some themes, like the Total WordPress theme, include addition page element modules & customizations as a part of their bundle giving you even more building options.

Switching between Visual Composer’s back end and front end editors is easy – just click to change grid layouts, add rows and columns, then drag content elements on to the page, rearranging them as needed. All elements also have multiple options and variations to customize your page’s look and functionality.

Need help getting started with the Visual Composer? Checkout our ultimate Visual Composer quick start guide that walks you through the entire process of installation, setup and page building.

Key Features

  • Over 45 drag-and-drop content elements
  • Over 150 third-party add-ons available
  • Over 60 prebuilt layouts
  • Pros: Easy to use, Live preview, Compatible with most WordPress themes
  • Cons: Adds shortcodes to pages

2. MotoPress Content Editor (Free)

MotoPress Content Editor

The free MotoPress Content Editor enables you to build websites visually by dragging and dropping content elements. Used on over 10,000 websites, the plugin has a 4.8-star satisfaction rating, making this worthy of your consideration. There’s also a premium version of the plugin available, which adds additional content elements and premium support.

While MotoPress Content Editor is very easy to use, the plugin will only work with newly created pages, rather than your existing content. You can learn even more about this plugin in our MotoPress builder features review guide.

Key Features

  • Over 30 drag-and-drop content elements
  • Extensible through add-ons
  • Prebuilt layouts
  • Pros: Very easy to use, Live previews available, Free
  • Cons: Does not work with existing content

3. Live Composer (Free)

Live Composer Page Builder
Live Composer is a front end page builder with drag-and-drop editing. It is used on over 10,000 websites and has a 4.8-star satisfaction rating, making it well worth checking out.

You enable the editor by clicking the green Activate Editor button on your page, which then lets you drag and drop elements on to the page. All in all, it’s simple to use, and all elements can be fully customized in terms of both styling and functionality.

Key Features

  • Over 30 drag-and-drop content elements
  • Import and export sections or layouts
  • Pros: Easy to use, Live preview, Free, No shortcodes are used to create elements
  • Cons: Cannot be used with existing content, Adds custom post types on installation

Front End Content Editing Plugins

While the previous selection of plugins allow you to edit your content and your layouts, front end content editing plugins are a bit more limited. Simply put, these plugins enable users to update the text, images, and other content of your posts and pages without utilizing the WordPress dashboard. Let’s take a look at three of the best out there.

1. Editus (formerly Lasso) ($99)

Editus plugin

Editus was originally known as Lasso, and comes to us from the folks behind the Aesop Story Engine (ASE). It’s a front end editor that enables you to view your changes in real time. Starting at $99 for use on up to three sites, Editus is a powerful tool.

Using Editus is simple, and is accessed with one click from a small toolbar displayed over your posts and pages. From there, selecting the relevant content displays a formatting toolbar for further editing.

Key Features

  • Real-time editing of text, links, images, and other content
  • Featured image support
  • Works on both posts and pages
  • Multisite compatible
  • Pros: Easy-to-use interface, Can be extended through ASE add-ons, Compatible with most themes
  • Cons: Relatively expensive

2. Front-end Editor (Free)

Front-End Editor

Formatting text is easy with the Front-End Editor plugin.

The Front-end Editor was originally developed as a feature plugin for possible inclusion in WordPress core. While that no longer seems to be the plan, the plugin is still available for use – at last count, there were over 2,000 installations, with a 4.2-star satisfaction rating.

Front-end Editor is simple to use, with zero configuration needed after installation. Once activated, a user with edit permissions visiting any post or page on your website can use both the Edit Page link in the toolbar at the top of the screen, and an Edit link below the content to enable editing.

Key Features

  • Real-time editing of text and links
  • Featured image support
  • Works on both posts and pages
  • Pros: Easy to use interface, Free
  • Cons: Limited functionality (e.g. you can’t edit images), Does not work with all themes

3. Frontier Post (Free)

Frontier Post plugin
Frontier Post is a free plugin designed to enable full post management from the front end of your website. It goes beyond just editing post content, enabling users with the right permissions to also create and delete posts. The plugin is currently being used on over 2,000 active websites and has a 4.9-star satisfaction rating.

Using the plugin, admins can control how and when posts are edited, as well as what options are available to users on the front end. Additionally, you have complete control over Frontier Post’s user permissions. The standard Edit links bring up the Frontier interface, which is a text editor similar to the WordPress TinyMCE editor. You can also preview your post before publishing.

Key Features

  • Ability to edit text, links, images, and more
  • Featured image support
  • Works on posts, pages, and custom post types
  • Ability to add categories and tags
  • Pros: Familiar WordPress editor interface, Configurable, Free
  • Cons: No live preview

Conclusion

While the WordPress administration interface is designed to be simple to use, many non-technical users still find it complicated. Using plugins that enable users to create and edit site content from the front end – rather than the WordPress dashboard – simplifies the process and cuts down the strain for those navigating around an unfamiliar environment.

Let’s recap the plugins featured above:

  1. Visual Composer: A powerful and popular all-in-one page builder.
  2. MotoPress Content Editor: For those wanting a clean page builder for simple layouts.
  3. Live Composer: An easy-to-use yet powerful free page builder.
  4. Editus: A beautiful premium front end editor; great if you use Aesop Story Engine.
  5. Front-end Editor: For those wanting a no-frills editor.
  6. Frontier Post: Ideal if you need to create and delete posts from the front end, as well as edit them.

We would love to hear about your experiences with front end editing WordPress plugins, so share your tips and tricks in the comments section below!

John Hughes
Post Author: John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.

Disclosure: This page contains external affiliate links that may result in us receiving a comission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own. We do not receive payment for positive reviews.
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  1. ynotcreativejason says:
    I would love to know of a way to create posts from forms. Formidable Pro will do it, but ties it to their own db structure. I need to have a way to take form content and script it into various post types. I cannot seem to find anything that can accomplish this, but really need it.
    • AJ Clarke says:
      AJ Clarke
      Have you checked out Gravity Forms I think they have a form to post function as well that can integrate to any post type. I may be wrong, but I thought they did.
      Admin
  2. ynotcreativejason says:
    Funny thing is we have a developer's license of Gravity, too. We moved away from Gravity a year or so ago because of a feature need and because Formidable looked so much better at the time. Just ran across that they can now create posts. I sure wish I could take the best attributes of Gravity and Formidable and put together into a single plug-in. Tired of going back and forth. Thank you again for the confirmation.
  3. Gunnar Gislason says:
    Thanks for all this great information 🙂

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