One of the great things about using WordPress is that it’s a versatile tool. There’s no one right way to “do WordPress.” However, with so many WordPress page builder plugins available to customize a site, it is also one of its flaws.
WordPress page builder plugins are a popular option for website builders, but as with any tool, they aren’t always the best option depending on your needs.
For less experienced users, having almost unlimited options can often be overwhelming.
In this article, we’ll look at what precisely a WordPress page builder plugin is, the pros and cons of using one, and what to consider when making that choice.
What is a WordPress page builder plugin?
Page builder plugins allow users to create a WordPress website without code experience. They allow for advanced control over styling, layout, and functionality.
Typically, page builders consist of some drag-and-drop features, giving users a more visual way to create content. They provide default elements and modules that can be combined in various ways depending on your content.
Why do WordPress websites use page builder plugins?
For a good reason, page builder plugins are popular for building a WordPress site. Here are some of the top benefits when using a page builder.
Provides a quick, low-cost option to get a site up and running
WordPress page builder plugins are designed to create websites without the help of a developer, so once the plugin is installed on your WordPress site, you can get up and running immediately.
Most page builder plugins have a drag-and-drop interface option, which makes it easier to build custom pages quickly and with limited technical knowledge. This makes it an appealing option for those needing a website with little time or budget.
Gives advanced options with a high level of flexibility
Page builders typically come with a wide array of features and settings, giving users complete control over the look and feel of their websites. You can customize website pages with different combinations of the available page elements.
Allows for future updates without the need for a developer
WordPress page builder plugins are less focused on templates and more on elements and modules that can be combined in different ways to create pages. This means that you can control changes to style and layout at the page level, eliminating the need for additional templates to be made by a developer if new layouts are needed.
How do I know if a page builder plugin is right for my WordPress website?
While the benefits of WordPress page builder plugins seem great on the surface, there are other aspects of building a website to consider that could turn those benefits into drawbacks. Consider the following questions when deciding if a page builder is the right way to go for your website.
What’s my level of technical expertise?
This is probably the most critical question when deciding whether to use a page builder for your WordPress website.
The more flexibility a page builder offers, the more complex it can be to create website content. The number of options in some of the top page builder plugins can be overwhelming for nontechnical users. We often see website owners that are frustrated and looking for help because they lack the technical knowledge needed to navigate all of the features of WordPress page builder plugins and end up needing a developer’s help to configure their site.
Furthermore, it often requires design experience to build professional, consistent content across your website pages. It can be difficult for someone without an eye for design or layout to know what options to use to create visually-appealing pages.
Page builders often work best for users with high technical expertise and experience with digital content creation tools.
What about performance, SEO, and other website optimization?
Other technical considerations exist when adding any plugin to a WordPress website (page builders included). Knowledge of web performance, search engine optimization (SEO), and accessibility help ensure your website is optimized correctly. While some page builders often provide features to minimize issues in these areas, the end user must have some knowledge.
For example, some page builder plugins can cause “bloat” on a website, which essentially means it’s loading in excessive scripts and styles. This can impact page load time as well as SEO.
Or, if content creators are not adequately trained in areas like accessibility, they may be making errors such as not adding alternative text to images.
Overall, it can be difficult to avoid technical mistakes on your website without proper training and the help of a developer.
What are the future needs of my website?
While a WordPress page builder plugin can help you get a website up quickly in the short term, you must also consider your website’s future needs.
For example, some page builder plugins are only compatible with a specific theme or make it challenging to migrate your site away from the page builder if you decide to use it no longer. This can add more time and cost if you want to upgrade your website in the future.
Additionally, page builders are a one-size-fits-all solution, and frequently as a business grows, it will have unique needs for a website to serve its audience better than a page builder can’t provide. Creating a custom website tailored to your company’s goals might be the better option to set you up for future success.
FAQs about WordPress page builder plugins
What is a WordPress page builder?
Page builder plugins allow users to create a WordPress website without coding experience. They allow for advanced control over styling, layout, and functionality.
What are the top reasons to use a page builder plugin?
Here are some of the top three reasons to use a page builder plugin:
- It provides a low-cost option to get a website up and running quickly
- It gives users advanced style and layout options with high flexibility
- It allows users to make future updates to their website without the need for a web designer or developer
What is the best page builder plugin for WordPress?
While the best option depends on the needs of your website, some examples of popular WordPress page builders are:
Do page builders slow down WordPress?
Whether or not a page builder plugin will slow down your WordPress site depends on the level of optimization the plugin provides and the number of modules and functionality utilized across your website.
Using WordPress page builder plugins
Overall, page builder plugins serve a purpose. They have a rightful place in the debate of how to build a WordPress site, but they aren’t often the best solution for nontechnical users or larger, more established websites.
While they can help get a website launched quickly and with little outside help, at some point, you’ll likely want or need the help of experienced web professionals.
It’s worth mentioning that there are also newer WordPress features, such as full-site editing, that provide similar flexibility to page builders and can be a more future-proof solution to WordPress website building.
Working with a team of experienced web professionals will help you to navigate what solutions make the most sense for your website needs.
A better approach to WordPress websites
Not all WordPress websites are created equal. It might be time for a change if you’re struggling to work with a page builder plugin or your website is hard to manage. TBH Creative specializes in custom, professionally designed WordPress websites that are easy to update and work for you. Let’s talk.