We all know how popular and used WordPress is. It’s stable, versatile, easy to use, and has tons of themes and plugins. Among these plugins are page builders, a topic frequently debated among WordPress users. But why are they so polarizing?
Before we dive into this, let’s make sure you have a clear understanding of what they are.
What are page builders?
Simply put, page builders are a WordPress plugin that allows you to drag and drop elements into the backend of your WordPress website. You can use any element this way. Images, headers, icons, buttons for any social media account, call to action buttons, grids, text blocks, videos, you name it.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, you know what they say, every rose has its thorn. And page builders are no exception. They have a number of pros and cons, so let’s take a look at those.
Pros of page builders
1. Easy to use
You want to make a website but you don’t know how to code? Page builders are coming to the rescue.
To create a website using the page builder plugin, you don’t have to know a single line of code. You can make it all by just dragging and dropping whatever elements you want wherever you want. You can even rearrange and resize them. Page builders give you full control and all the power over your website.
2. Different page builder plugins
They have different approaches to making websites and unique features, such as box shadows, hover effects, animated elements, sliders, and dozens more. Some even have millions of installations and are used on hundreds of thousands of websites. Granted, some have premium features that you will have to pay money for if you want them on your website.
3. You can save time and money
By enabling you to create a website on your own, page builders can save you a ton of trouble.
You can make your own pages and save the time that takes to find a good web developer and the money to pay them. You won’t have to compromise with anyone, simply, you are your own (and your website’s) boss.
Now that we’ve taken a look at these quite attractive pros, let’s review the cons:
The cons of page builders
1. You have full control over your website
I know this may seem like a great thing at first glance, but doing everything by yourself, and especially building a website, often brings disappointing results.
If you don’t have a clear vision of what you want your website to look like, by having dozens of elements to choose from, it is very likely you will end up using more than you need, overloading your website and making it more complicated than it needs to be.
Sometimes, it is better to hire a developer who is knowledgeable, even though it might take more money and time. With a web developer, you can rest assured that your website, when it is finished, will be fully functional.
2. Site speed
As previously mentioned, using the page builder plugin, you can add as many and whichever elements you like to your website: images, text, headers, buttons. Usually we want to have unlimited freedom, however, there not being an element limit is a serious flaw of page builders.
When you are browsing the internet, when you click a website and it takes forever to load, what do you do? You simply close the page and click the next one. Using page builders, you can easily accidentally make your site one of these websites.
When we are creating something, we usually think at the moment and don’t plan ahead. Same with making websites, we will simply see something that looks good to us and add it. This way, we can add too many elements to a page, thus making it sluggish and sometimes even impossible to load. If you are using a page builder plugin, make sure you’re using it sparingly and with restraint.
3. Bad effect on SEO
Believe it or not, page builders can contain heavy markup or non-semantic code, that can badly impact the SEO ranking of your website.
While semantic code introduces meaning to a page, non-semantic code means and adds nothing to it. If you have a ton of non-semantic code in your website, Google’s bots will find it harder to crawl through it and index your content. Simply put, Google will have a harder time learning about your website and what’s it about. The consequence of this is that Google will rank your website worse than sites with no non-semantic code.
As much as page builders are useful, there is a number of cons and dangers that they can bring. It is easy to make a pretty website, and with a page builder you can achieve this, but keep in mind that you also want your website to be optimized and run well. Web developers can make a unique and stunning website for you from scratch, so you don’t have to worry about SEO, bad code, and poor loading speed.
If you are considering using a page builder plugin, I hope that these pros and cons have helped in some way. If not, well, it’s always good to learn something new.