Modern approaches to CSS make it super easy to edit the look and feel of your site. But usually you still need to go back and forth between the editor and your site’s front-end, tweaking and testing changes. What if you could edit your CSS live with a real time preview?
It’s easy enough to find a custom CSS plugin in WordPress plugin repository, but the options narrow down quickly when you’re looking for one that features a live preview option.
In this article, we present our picks for custom WordPress CSS editors that featuring a live preview….
CSS Hero is a premium WordPress CSS editor that enables users to customize every property of their site’s theme, live. The plugin features an intuitive point and click user interface through which users can mess around with typography, experiment with live color changes, and even resize page elements instantly.
Unlike traditional live CSS editors, CSS Hero also lets users add special effects to their site’s theme with hover, shadows, and transitions. Another standout feature users get with this plugin is that it outputs clean and minified CSS code based on the modifications you made to the theme during the live editing process. Users can then implement the portable CSS code to any other platform to make similar modifications to other themes.
The CSS Hero plugin’s Starter Plan comes with a $29/year price tag and is good for use on one site. If you want to use the plugin on multiple websites then you can go for the $59/year Personal Plan that can be used on up to 5 sites or the $199/year Pro Plan which you’ll be able to use on up to 999 sites. Compare plans here.
Visual CSS Style Editor
If you find yourself changing your site’s theme frequently then you’re going to love the Visual CSS Style Editor. This powerful plugin enables users to modify everything from Google Fonts and background styles to animations and color palettes live. In just a few clicks, you’ll finally be able to change that pesky design element while previewing the modifications as they transpire. There is also an extended premium version available here.
The Visual CSS Style Editor’s standout feature is its built-in, smart inspector that lets users create CSS selectors and styles just like professional web developers. As soon you click on an element, the inspector will automatically create the most suitable selector to target it.
One of the best features about this plugin is that it offers a drag and drop editor and live resizer which are great for webmasters who shy away from coding. The free version of the plugin is great to get started with and when you’re ready to take things further, you can upgrade to the Pro version.
TJ Custom CSS
Theme Junkie’s TJ Custom CSS enables a custom CSS editor to your WordPress site’s administration page and automatically overrides the default styles instigated by any of your themes and plugins. The plugin features two options to access the CSS editor – the traditional text area or a live preview.
By opting for the live preview option, you will be able to edit your website front-end in real-time and view your changes live as you make them. The plugin also works as a child theme alternative to adding custom CSS code to your site’s theme.
This plugin is great for web developers who desire finer control over their site’s customization packed in a lightweight solution. Its text editor features a syntax highlighter that helps you find and correct any CSS syntax errors in your code.
SiteOrigin’s CSS editor is perhaps the most popular plugin on this list – and for good reason! This advanced, live WordPress CSS editor is packed to the top with amazing functionality and designed to be used by both beginners and advanced users.
If you’ve ever messed around with CSS then you know quite well that the hardest part is finding a suitable selector for your target element. The plugin’s inspector helps you in this regard by identifying the best selector for you when you click on any page element. Pretty neat, right?
SiteOrigin’s CSS is a dream come true for non-coders who can leverage the plugin’s simple control system that lets them choose colors, styles, and measurements without having to get their hands dirty with code.
Microthemer Lite is a simple yet powerful visual theme editor that enables users to responsively modify their site’s look and feel without having to get into its code. With this plugin, you can live edit just about everything on your site including plugin content.
Those of you who are technically minded will find that this plugin dramatically speeds up the customization process by featuring an ACE code editor with syntax highlighting and firebug-like computed CSS reporting.
The plugin’s intuitive user interface works great for non-technical users by allowing them to edit their site’s page elements in real-time. Best of all, it ships with a handful of useful tutorials to help first-time webmasters get started. If you get stuck along the way, you can check out the plugin’s comprehensive documentation or contact the support team for help.
You can also check out the premium versions of the plugin here.
Advanced CSS Editor
The Advanced CSS Editor plugin is truly advanced in every sense of the word. For starters, it lets you write custom CSS code for each device (mobiles, tablets, and desktops) from within the live customizer. With this plugin not only can you customize the appearance for desktop devices but also for mobile devices – and you can see the changes while you go about editing.
Once you’ve picked your device, all you have to do is add a CSS selector and some rules for it in the text box editor. The live preview keeps changing as you continue adding rules to the CSS selectors. The plugin’s device targeting functionality sets it apart from its competitors. However, if there are some changes you’d like to implement on all devices, you can set them to be applied globally.
Wrapping It Up
Each of the five plugins on our list has a unique set of features that appeal to different user personas and one of them is bound to fit your CSS customization needs depending upon your technical expertise and skillset. We highlighted the standout features in each CSS editor and encourage you to try them out on your own to find the one that’s best for you.
Which live WordPress CSS editor plugins have you tried out on your WordPress site? We’d love to hear all about your experience with them so let us know by commenting below!