Once Forge is installed, you are ready to go. Simply go to any of your posts, pages, or any public custom post type, and click on Open Forge Page Builder. You can also launch the page builder from the front-end by looking for the Forge Page Builder link in the admin toolbar.
Forge works with any public post type by default. That means you can use it on posts, pages, and any other type of post that has a URL in the front-end of your website. For example, your portfolio items.
How Forge works
When using Forge, the standard content of the post will be replaced by the layout created with the page builder. Instead of displaying the texts created using the visual editor, Forge will let you create a custom layout.
You can still insert the content of the post into this layout by making use of the ‘The Content’ element. This element will display whatever content you have written in the visual editor of the admin area.
You can activate and deactivate the builder in a prticular post at any time. Simply edit the post, and locate the Forge Options metabox. There, you will find a checkbox that you can use to turn off the builder.
If a post doesn’t use the page builder, it will behave normally.
Forge has a minimalist but effective interface to help you build layouts. Once you launch the page builder, you will be presented with the Forge Toolbar at the top. Here you can do most things in the builder, like adding new elements, publishing your content, and more. The toolbar has the following elements:
1. The element collection. Here you can find all the available elements for use in the builder. After clicking on the search box, a panel will show up with a list of design elements. You can then drag any of these into your page. Tip: you can also start typing at any moment to automatically search and filter the collection!
2. The options tab. Hovering over this icon will display all the general options for the current page. Here you can do things like importing/exporting content, or changing the page-level settings. Some extensions might add even more options to this dropdown.
3. The action history. Forge saves every single action you take automatically, so you don’t have to worry about losing your changes. In this dropdown, you can see your last 10 actions and revert them as you need to. Just click on the desired action to revert the page to how it was before taking it.
4. The publishing tools. Your current work will not be published until you need to, so these options will help you do it. Clicking on Publish Changes will make your current page public, whereas clicking onDiscard will restore it to how it was before starting your work.
5. The exit button. Clicking on this button simply coleses the builder and returns you to the same page. Since your changes are saved on the fly, nothing will be lost. It’s the same thing as closing the browser window. If you are editing a template, you will be redirected to the template list in the admin area.
Publishing & staging your content
Forge saves every action you take while working. You don’t need to worry about losing your progress, and you can pretty much close the window instantly and come back later. When you reopen the builder, everything will be the same.
When you launch the builder, your work in progress remain unpublished. If you need to edit a page, working in the builder will not affect your published content. Rather, all changes are saved in a progress file until you click on Publish Changes. If you have made changes and want to dispose of them, you can click on Discard.
The action history is erased once you click Publish Changes. Since publishing or discarding your changes will clean up all the progress data, the action history is also cleared up. Besides this, you can exit the builder at any time and come back to resume working.
All this functionality will help you work on lengthy pieces of content without disturbing your actual content.