Should I Use A WordPress Page Builder?
When creating a website, your main goal is to make it as attractive and as functional as possible. You want visitors to enjoy their stay while getting exactly what they want out of the transaction. You can code a website yourself, or you could use a page builder to usher things along. A page builder literally helps you to create a website with consummate ease. Everything is laid out for you so that you don’t need to worry about the technical ins and outs.
Some of the pros of this kind of extension are that you have a simple set of instructions in front of you – it is nigh-on impossible not to understand how to construct a website with a page builder. The developers will have an assortment of modern transitions, designs, and animations readily available for you to choose, so this array of looks will allow you to easily find something perfect. They also tend to save your changes and your history long after removing the builder.
It’s not all perfect, however. There are slight issues that some take umbrage with. For instance, you won’t receive an inch-perfect design. There will still be some rigidity due to the fact that they’re ready-made templates. The code is exclusive to that particular template, so any slight coding changes could affect things massively. Loading times can be a struggle, too.
What Kind Of Website Do You Want To Build?
This question is important as each website will need to have a different design based on the goal. If you’re an e-commerce website looking to sell lots of products, then you’re going to need to show off a lot of your goods on the best WordPress page builder and let people easily navigate around particular categories. There will need to be special features that are exclusive to that kind of sector. If you’re going to be exclusively text-based like a WordPress blog, then an entirely new kind of layout will be necessary.
You also need to think about how customisable you’ll want it to be and how much autonomy you’ll have when it comes to the changes. Search Engine Optimisation is also a huge part of web design and business in this day and age, page builders have their advantages and disadvantages with SEO, so take the SEO strength into account while you look for a build and begin working.
What Level Of Experience Do You Have?
If you are indeed looking for a page builder to assist you with your web creation, then you’ll need to look at yourself and take your own abilities into account. Some page builders will suit those with very limited knowledge, and some will be for those with at least an intermediate level of skill. That said, you’ll need to find out the easiest website builder for beginners if you aren’t clued in. You’ll need to think about whether you see yourself as more of a coder or a designer.
With all these pointers considered, here are some of the best page builders around. We’ll quickly run through each and discuss the details so that you can make an informed decision before you commit.
Elementor is seen as one of the biggest names when it comes to looking for a custom page builder for WordPress. It’s a very simple extension that allows people with even the most elementary computer skills to operate smoothly. It’s a drag-and-drop method, so you don’t have to worry about too much. It works with all WordPress themes, and no coding skills are required. The pages are mobile-responsive and SEO-friendly.
In terms of the features, there are around one-hundred content elements and modules to choose from with Elementor. You’ll also be given a library of page templates that can be played around with. Specifically, there will be around one-hundred free and three-hundred pro templates. They have a new WooCommerce Builder module. This allows one to redo all the default WooCommerce pages if they so choose.
Pros: It’s free, it has a wide range of features, and it’s very simple to use. There is a lot to do, and you don’t need to be an expert in the field to understand it all. If you’re looking for an easy page builder, then this might be the one for you.
Cons: Some of the third-party add-ons commonly cause minor issues, and adding custom styling to links doesn’t necessarily always work out as you’ll hope. You might end up being stuck with their exclusive typography and colour settings.
Beaver Builder is another simple, drag-and-drop page builder that causes very few problems for the user. The simplicity makes it a very attractive prospect for anyone looking for an extension. It, too, is compatible with WooCommerce and includes WooCommerce content elements. It works with any WordPress theme and has more than fifty ready-made page templates available. It’s mobile-responsive and SEO-friendly.
Pros: Beaver builder is very simple to use. There’s barely any learning curve to do the lack of complexity. It allows you to create aesthetically pleasing designs with a simple drag-and-drop method. You can use WordPress widgets inside Beaver Builder’s content blocks, and the default typography is attractive.
Cons: The price can be seen as a negative. The cheapest plan you’ll be able to find is £75. You can get the Lite version for free, but if you want the whole package, you’ll have to pay the money. You also cannot add custom CSS code, and there will be no undo command using Ctrl/CMD+Z.
By many accounts, Divi Builder is another highly-rated drag-and-drop page builder with a comfortable interface and lots of details to play around with. It boasts a large library of templates that suit all types of websites. The Divi Builder also comes with many, many additional themes and plugins. It can be yours for £67 a year or £188 for lifetime access.
Pros: With Divi Builder, you’ll be getting a powerful page builder with multipurpose themes suitable for any kind of site. It’s regularly updated and improved, and it comes with consistently amended documentation.
Cons: Again, you could argue the price is a put-off for some. It also will take a little time to get used to everything. Some have said to be overwhelmed by all of the autonomy, too. There is no email support channel as of yet.
For £50, Thrive Architect can be yours. A page builder with over 276 templates to play around with gives you a lot of options and a lot of work. Again, its drag-and-drop editing makes everything a lot easier on the mind, and you’ll have the opportunity to create things like landing pages, sales pages, sales pages, and product launch pages – as well as so many other kinds. The simplicity means the learning curve won’t be too significant, although there is a lot of content to get through, so it’s a case of searching through it all.
Pros: Heaps of page templates to work with and advanced marketing features. It also works with any theme you place in front of it. Global colours for easy customisation are also included.
Cons: There are zero third-party plugins, the interface can be quite complex at times, and the support options when one runs into a problem could improve somewhat.
SiteOrigin Page Builder
When looking for a free WordPress site builder plugin, SiteOrigin Page Builder could be a great option. Some of the features include a drag-and-drop interface, of course, as well as the ability to create layout grids with rows and columns. You also are able to add widgets to your custom page layout while viewing everything through a live editor mode. It has mobile responsive page designs and will work with every single WordPress theme.
Pros: As mentioned before, it’s completely free and will not take too long to get used to it. The developers will also provide regular updates that solve the latest issues. The plugin is also mature, meaning it holds all the fundamentals necessary while evolving and adapting over time.
Cons: The user interface isn’t the most attractive, and some have described it as pretty plain. Some of the widgets have WordPressicons rather than custom icons for the builder.
WPBakery Page Builder
WPBakery will allow you to create WordPress pages the way you want with its simple drag-and-drop builder. It works with any theme and comes with front-end and back-end editors. It works well with Yoast SEO and is RTL compatible. It works wonderfully on desktop and mobile devices alike, and is multilingual. For £36.99 per site, this could be the extension for you.
Pros: It comes with a lot of add-ons, and you can save the templates for later use. These plugins work with pretty much all themes and has various content blocks. Multilingualism helps a lot with all kinds of users, too, of course.
Cons: There is somewhat of a learning curve when getting to grips with absolutely everything. It’s a simple concept but needs a few steps first. It can also conflict with other plugins. The speed of the page may take a hit with this one. The price isn’t dear, but it’s still more than the others on this list.
Themify is a simple drag-and-drop builder that also gives you a styling panel, many widgets, and shortcodes. You’re also able to input your own CCS, custom styling, and social icons. It’s carefully coded with SEO practices in mind and compatible with WooCommerce. Starting at £44.50, this page builder is an excellent option – you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied enough in that time. There is also a £67 plan that includes 42 themes.
Pros: You’re given a front-end and back-end builder, lots of support, and many pre-designed layouts to play around with.
Cons: The interface has been described as too basic. The lack of theme builder features has also been spoken about. There is no header or footer builder, either.
Compared to the other page builders around, you could say Brizy is a newer face on the market. With around 50,000 downloads, it is becoming more and more popular and is starting to gain a reputation. Integrating well with WooCommerce and Yoast SEO, Brizy is a smooth operator that has a wonderful interface at a reasonable price. For £35, you can have three sites with one year of support and updates. £75 will give you unlimited sites with the same support. For £225, you’ll receive unlimited use for unlimited sites with lifetime support and plugin updates.
Pros: Full-site editing. You aren’t limited to particular areas and can make changes to the header and footer directly. Copy and paste and import and export are available. It also has an integrated global popup builder.
Cons: Again, if you’re not willing to pay too much of a fee, the money could put you off. When deactivated, code is left behind. There is also no live preview for some dynamic elements.
Visual Composer is a page builder that gives the user the opportunity to create their sites with a clean, modern interface. It has been installed over 1.5 million times, so you know that it’s a significant part of the WordPress world. No coding skills are required, and you’ll review instant content updates when you use this builder. It is optimised for SEO and is compatible with Yoast SEO.
Pros: It has both a front-end and back-end page builder. There are over 200 premium third-party add-ons available.
Cons: The price and the pricing layout has put a lot of people off. Extras that should be built-in are instead sold off individually – this obviously makes it an expensive proposition. It could cost you up to £35 per site with each little feature you install. It’s also very slow as everything loads up – you sit around waiting for a while. The design is quite complex and confusing, and you have no option to undo should you make a mistake.
WP Page Builder
If you’re looking for a page builder that has been built with user-friendliness in mind, then you could do a lot worse than WP Page Builder. The developers have made it so anyone can get to grips with it quickly. This drag-and-drop builder with fast, real-time front-end editing will allow you to create a good-looking, functional site. It lets you create an array of different sites and has over 30 add-ons. You are able to create any website without being worried about responsiveness or writing line after line of code.
Pros: It’s a completely free service and is extremely easy to understand. No coding is required (for those without the knowledge), and it allows real-time editing with an export and import system.
Cons: It’s not as vast and as detailed as perhaps the others on this list are. While it’s simple to use and can produce an eclectic mix of sites, you tend to get what you pay for in this instance.
If you’re looking for the best visual page builder with the best WordPress hosting capabilities, then it really depends on what you’re looking to create and the budget you have at your disposal. All in all, however, it seems the first option, Elementor, might be the way to go – especially if you’re new to it all. Many accounts suggest it’s all you need as it explores so many areas for such little investment.
In terms of what you should probably avoid? Well, Visual Composer doesn’t get rave reviews from many people. For the price and for the reputation it has gathered, it does seem to have an awful lot of negatives and cons thrown its way.
This has been a guest post by Oliver Andrews of OA Design Services