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Why WordPress Page Builders Sucks

Page builders are primarily aimed at DIYers who want to build their own websites but don’t have the HTML and CSS coding skills to create web page layouts with raw code. When drag-and-drop page builders started to appear, it seemed like anyone could become a web designer overnight, but page builders aren’t all rainbows and unicorns.

Page builders purport to be to be intuitive, easy to use, 'drag and drop' interfaces for creating web pages. From my experience, this is far from the truth. They come loaded with a myriad of different elements, often multiple elements for creating the same or similar types of output.

These days popular page builders include:

  • Visual Composer
  • WPBakery
  • Elementor
  • Divi Builder
  • Beaver Builder
  • WP Page Builder
  • SiteOrigin Page Builder
  • Themify Builder
  • Cornerstone
  • and many more

The page builder ecosystem is in a gold rush. A lot of different players are building their own versions and many are reaping good rewards for their efforts. I am all for teams building solid products and being rewarded for their efforts. But what the page builder industry is severely lacking is standardization. There is zero standard to how page builders should work. Once you build a page with a page builder you are stuck with it. You cannot revert to editing the page natively in WordPress.

The page builders take additional time to load and to save changes. And there are often multiple clicks, extra page loads or dialogue box opens, tab switches, etc to get to what you need to change. In addition to slowing down the back-end of the website and the content editing process, page builders also slow down the front end of the website. They add numerous files such as stylesheets, scripts, font files, etc., that can add significantly to the load time for a web page. Most of these additional resources are not even used. They are there to support all the possible widgets and options that the page builder provides.

As a web designer and a front-end developer, the easiest way to build stunning webpages for me is creating a default full-width page and then styling the page with Bootstrap components from the front end for specific pages like a landing page or product page. Of course, you'll need to learn Bootsrap that is easy as ABC to do that.

Page builders are amazing tools, as the say, that have developed into complex yet simple-to-use solutions for building WordPress sites. If you decide to create your website this way, be sure to pick one that will meet you needs and cause the least amount of problems for your future.

I would be thrilled if this post was entirely obsolete in the near future. What is your opinion on the matter? Do you use a page builder on your site? If yes, what sort of site are you managing? Let us know in the comments below.

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