Alpha, beta, and dev releases

The development process for major updates to the Beaver Builder plugin and theme includes an alpha release, beta release, and the final stable release. If you are interested in trying out the new features for the next release and want to test and provide feedback, we encourage you to try out alpha and beta releases.

If you like to live on the edge and want to try out dev builds on your test site, see the last section of this article. These builds are even rougher than alpha builds and are for purposes of giving users a chance to try out features and provide feedback while they're still in the development stage. They are expected to be buggy and need experienced handlers.

Alpha/beta releases

We strongly recommend that you do not install alpha and beta releases on live sites. Use them in a test environment so you can try out the new features, see what breaks without worrying about the consequences, and give us feedback.

WARNING: No Support is provided for alpha releases. Features may change without notice. Use at your own risk.

Both the alpha and beta releases may contain multiple minor updates (for example 2.0-alpha.3 and 2.0-alpha.4) until we are comfortable moving forward to the next stage in the release cycle.

Before you decide to test out an alpha or beta release, please read the following sections so you know what to expect.

Alpha releases

Alpha releases are very early versions of the next major update. They may be made available months before the beta release. They typically receive minimal testing by our team and have the potential to be unstable or be missing features planned for the first stable release.

When you report bugs and provide feedback on new features during the alpha release, we can catch bugs more quickly and improve features based on user feedback before the final stable release. Look at the change log during the alpha release stage for a list of what is available in each alpha version.

Beta releases

Beta releases are early versions of the next major update. They follow the alpha release and are typically made available 2 to 4 weeks before the final stable release. They have been thoroughly tested by our team, but may still contain bugs that need to be fixed.

During the beta release stage, there is a freeze on any new code, aside from what’s needed to fix remaining bugs. This means that aside from bugs, any feedback on new features during the beta stage will be held until the next major update.

There will typically be a post on our blog announcing the first beta release.

Install an alpha or beta plugin release

Once you have installed an alpha or beta release, the automatic update feature will keep your plugin updated to the latest version of the alpha or beta.

Here's how to install an alpha or beta plugin the first time.

  1. Go to your My Account page.
  2. Download the installer zip file from the Alpha/Beta Testing Downloads section.
    The alpha/beta download version will match the premium package of Beaver Builder for which you have a license.
  3. If you have an existing version of the Beaver Builder plugin on your test site, deactivate and delete it on the Plugins page.
    This won't delete your Beaver Builder layouts and content, but it's always a good idea to have a backup of sensitive data.
  4. Do one of the following to install the zip file you downloaded:
    • Go to Plugins > Add new, then click Upload plugin and select the zip file on your local system.
      If you get an error that the plugin folder already exists, it means that either you didn't delete an existing plugin or that deleting the existing plugin didn't delete the folder in wp-content/plugins/bb-plugin. In this case, FTP to your site or use File Manager from cPanel to delete that folder.
    • FTP to your site and delete the wp-content/plugins/bb-plugin folder. Then unzip the plugin on your local system and upload the bb-plugin folder to the same location.
  5. Activate the plugin.

Tip: This installation procedure works for Beaver Themer alpha/beta releases also. The file location is wp-content/plugins/bb-theme-builder.

Install an alpha or beta theme release

If you have the child theme installed, it will not be touched by either of these procedures. Once you have installed an alpha or beta release of the theme, the automatic update feature will keep your theme updated to the latest version.

If you already have a version of the Beaver Builder Theme installed and active with Customizer settings you want to keep, the easiest and safest way to install a new alpha or beta version is by FTP. If you're installing an alpha or beta version when you don't have any previous version of the Beaver Builder Theme installed, you can use FTP or the second WordPress admin panel procedure.

Using FTP:

  1. Download the installer zip file from the Alpha/Beta Testing Downloads section on the My Account page at wpbeaverbuilder.com.
  2. Extract the files from the zip file.
    This will produce a folder called bb-theme.
  3. FTP to your site.
  4. Go to wp-content/themes.
  5. Delete the bb-theme folder and its contents.
  6. Upload the bb-theme folder that you extracted.
  7. Go to the WordPress admin panel and click Appearance > Themes.
  8. Mouse over the Beaver Builder Theme and verify that the version is correct.
    Also verify that your child theme is still the active theme if you're using it.

Using the WordPress admin panel when Beaver Builder Theme isn't already installed:

Follow these instructions for installing the theme and child theme.

Bug Reports and Feedback for alpha/beta releases

If you run into any bugs or notice something that can be improved during your testing, please submit a Support ticket under the category Alpha/Beta Feedback.

Happy testing and thanks for your participation!

Dev releases (pre-alpha)

Have you wished you could have more input into new Beaver Builder features as they're being developed?

We're issuing a new type of pre-release, using the -dev suffix. The dev releases are earlier and rougher than an alpha release, in that they can contain incomplete features for testing, may introduce breaking changes, and almost certainly contain bugs. It's a great chance for early adopters to try out new features in a dev environment and give us early feedback.

In contrast, the alpha/beta releases are better documented, don’t introduce any breaking changes, and contain most if not all of the features the final release will have.

We do expect you to know your way around WordPress and be able to install Beaver Builder into test environments. Dev releases are available for download in the same location as alpha and beta releases on the  My Account page. Once you manually install a dev release, it will automatically update when new versions are issued.

Since early feedback is what we are after with dev releases, we've tried to make that easy by providing a Dev feedback button in the upper right corner of the editing page in Dev versions. Clicking that automatically opens a contact form with the topic Pre-release Feedback. As an alternative, you can go to the contact form at the Beaver Builder site yourself and choose the topic Pre-Release Feedback.

We're interested in all your feedback: bugs, usability issues, how you like the feature and what you'd like to add or change. Please try to be as detailed as possible about reporting your testing environment (for bugs) or the improvements you'd like to see and for what end result. We don't promise to implement everything you suggest, but we do promise to pay attention to it.

Note: It bears repeating that dev releases are not expected to perform reliably and should only be used in a dev environment. Don't create anything on a dev site that you'd want to preserve or use elsewhere.