Page builder plugins have become popular among WordPress users due to their ability to make site customization easier and more accessible. While WordPress is known for its user-friendliness, making significant changes often requires coding skills or professional assistance. This has led to the rise of page builders, which allow users to make sweeping modifications directly from the back end. The primary advantage of using a page builder is that it simplifies site customization without requiring advanced technical knowledge. However, there are also disadvantages associated with these tools, and they may not be suitable for every situation. If you’re considering whether or not to use a page builder plugin on your WordPress site, this article will help you weigh the pros and cons. We’ll explore what page builders are, review some popular options available today, and discuss their benefits and drawbacks. By the end of this post, you should have a better idea of whether a page builder is right for your needs.
WordPress Page Builder Plugins – Pros and Cons
Let’s delve into the topic of whether or not you should use a WordPress page builder. First, we’ll explore the reasons in favor of using one.
Pro #1: Power to the People
One of the primary reasons why people opt for page builder plugins is that it empowers them to create and personalize designs that would otherwise be beyond their skillset or require hiring professionals. With these plugins, you can easily craft landing pages, modify layouts, add headers, incorporate widgets in various sections of your website without having to write a single line of code. This means you no longer have to settle for what your theme offers but instead can bring your unique vision to life by adding elements and customizing their appearance and functionality on the page.
Moreover, many page builder plugins come with front-end editing features that enable you to preview how your work will look in real-time on your site. By using these tools, you save yourself time (by avoiding extensive research or communication with developers), money (by not having to pay someone else for help), and frustration (when things don’t go as planned). Additionally, creatives who typically only offer design services can now implement their ideas themselves and provide more comprehensive solutions to clients. Furthermore, most page builders also provide pre-designed templates that serve as starting points for building out new pages. This feature eliminates the need even further so that you don’t have always start from scratch.
Pro #2: So. Many. Features.
Page builder plugins are a great way to create a WordPress website without any coding knowledge. In addition to this, they offer a wide range of features that would otherwise require the installation of multiple plugins. These features include image carousels, testimonials, social sharing buttons, and pricing tables. Using page builders can save space in your plugin section and also reduce costs if you opt for premium versions.
Instead of paying for several specialized plugins, you only need to invest in one and still get all the necessary functionality. Furthermore, these plugins receive regular updates which bring new and improved features over time. This means that you don’t have to spend time researching or learning how to use different programs since everything is available within the familiar interface of your page builder plugin.
Con #1: Changing Systems Can Be Hard
Although page builder plugins offer many benefits, they also come with a major drawback. The biggest issue arises when you decide to stop using them. Depending on the plugin you chose, disabling it may leave your website with broken page design and messy code. Shortcodes are often used by these plugins to create designs, but they can cause problems when deactivated because they are specific to each plugin. As a result, shortcodes will no longer function once the plugin is disabled and will appear as text on your pages.
It can be frustrating to see your entire site’s design collapse after stopping or switching page builders. You may need to start from scratch and clean up everything if you’re heavily reliant on one piece of software. This problem is more common in older page builders than newer ones that try not to disrupt your site’s appearance when deactivated. Therefore, before committing to any solution, research what happens when you decide to quit since it’s a long-term investment that needs careful consideration.
Con #2: Possible Performance Issues
Although page builder plugins offer a plethora of features to cater to a wider audience, they often come at the cost of performance. The additional code can negatively impact your website’s speed and efficiency. To illustrate, many page builders generate nested HTML and non-semantic code to achieve their layouts. This approach results in pages that are not as optimized or lightweight as those created by professional front-end designers for specific purposes.
Consequently, loading and executing such pages takes more time and processing power, which can also affect search engine optimization (SEO). Furthermore, since there are numerous options available for page elements with these plugins, you may end up using them excessively. As a result, incorporating a page builder plugin into your website can significantly slow down its speed; however, different builders have varying effects on this issue.
Con #3: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
WordPress page builder plugins offer the advantage of allowing anyone to make significant changes to their websites. However, just because you have this capability doesn’t mean it’s always wise to use it. Many developers and site implementers find it frustrating when clients take matters into their own hands by installing plugins or making design alterations. This is especially true with page builder plugins, which can potentially cause even more damage than a standard WordPress setup.
While these tools are designed for ease of use, few people possess the expertise required for professional web design. Even if they utilize all the features provided by page builders, the results may still fall short in terms of quality and effectiveness. In summary, sometimes it’s better to entrust website modifications to qualified professionals instead of attempting them yourself.
When to Use a Page Builder
For those with limited coding knowledge, a page builder can provide an excellent way to customize and refine the layout of their website. In particular, small business owners and bloggers may find using a page builder beneficial in achieving unique designs and increased customization options.
Small Businesses Seeking Unique Designs
For small businesses, the website can be a first impression to customers and it is necessary that your site appears different from others with attractive visuals and convenient navigation. Therefore, it’s crucial that your site stands out from the competition with eye-catching visuals and user-friendly navigation. A WordPress page builder allows you to create custom layouts easily by offering various building blocks and ready-made templates that cater to different industries.
Bloggers Wanting Increased Customization
In today’s competitive blogging landscape, standing out from the crowd is essential for success. Utilizing powerful WordPress plugins such as Beaver Builder or Themify Builder enables bloggers not only to create visually appealing landing pages but also customize content elements according to their preferences quickly. This level of personalization ensures each blog post is tailored to the target audience, resulting in better engagement and improved user experience.
When Not To Use a Page Builder
If you prioritize fast-loading times and high search engine rankings above all else, it’s best to avoid using a page builder since they may impact these factors negatively. Additionally, if you already possess strong coding skills or are working with developers who do, relying on custom-coded solutions tailored specifically for your needs might be more beneficial.
Prioritizing Site Performance & SEO
Page builders often include extra code that can slow down your website’s loading speed and negatively affect its search engine ranking. If your primary goal is to optimize your WordPress site for maximum performance and visibility in search results, consider other options such as well-coded themes or hiring professional web developers instead of using a page builder plugin.
Accessing Skilled Developers & Coders
If you have access to skilled web developers or possess advanced coding knowledge yourself, utilizing custom-coded solutions can provide better control over the design process while ensuring optimal site performance. Custom development allows for greater flexibility in creating unique layouts without adding unnecessary bloat from pre-built templates and content elements found in many popular WordPress page builders.
Tips for Successfully Using a Page Builder
If you decide to employ a page builder for your project, ensure success by taking the necessary steps such as selecting an appropriate one and optimizing media files for consistent design. From selecting the right builder to maintaining consistent design throughout and optimizing media files, taking these steps will help you create an engaging and user-friendly website.
Selecting the Right Page Builder
Choose a reputable and widely-used WordPress page builder such as Visual Composer, Divi Builder, or Beaver Builder. These powerful WordPress tools have been tried and tested by many in the community, ensuring their reliability and effectiveness. Look for features like ready-made templates, content elements, compatibility with popular WordPress themes, front-end editing capabilities, and responsive designs when evaluating potential builders.
Maintaining Consistent Design Throughout
To create a cohesive look across your entire site, it’s essential to maintain consistency in design elements on all pages built using your chosen tool. This includes color schemes, font styles, layout structures, and navigation menus. Ensure that any customizations made within individual pages align with overall branding guidelines to avoid confusing visitors and detracting from the professional appearance of your website.
Optimizing Media Files & Testing Compatibility
To ensure your website loads quickly and performs well on search engines, it’s crucial to optimize images and other media files used within pages built using a page builder. This can be done by compressing image sizes without losing quality, utilizing caching plugins or Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and implementing lazy loading techniques.
In addition to optimizing media files, regularly test your site on various devices and browsers to ensure compatibility and a seamless user experience across platforms. Use tools like BrowserStack or Google Lighthouse to identify potential issues and fix them before they impact visitor satisfaction and conversions.
By following these tips for successfully using a WordPress page builder, you’ll be well-equipped to create an engaging and informative website that effectively showcases your business offerings and attracts new customers.
FAQs in Relation to WordPress Page Builder
In conclusion, using a WordPress page builder can be beneficial for non-developers seeking to create unique designs with ease. However, it’s important to consider the potential impact on site performance and consistency in design before choosing a page builder.
Alternatives such as well-coded themes or hiring professional web developers may be better suited for those prioritizing site performance and SEO. When using a page builder, selecting the right one, maintaining consistent design throughout, and optimizing media files are key to success.
If you’re looking for help with your WordPress Page Builder project, contact Amadeus Consulting today. Our specialists can give you direction and back up as you go along your journey.