Being Freed
Being Freed
Being Freed

WordPress Page Builders

Page builders are software added to a WordPress installation. They include pre-built code to help you design responsive websites.
Page Builders = Responsiveness + No coding necessary + integrations _+ customizable + pre-build modules +

What is a WordPress page builder?

Page builders often come in the form of a plugin, and they allow you to build complex websites without (necessarily) having to write code.  They generally include widgets to add richness to the site so you don’t need tons of other plugins.  They can also include a template library to make building new pages quick and in line with your existing site.

Page builder vs. theme

A theme has structure, which defines how your site looks.  It’s a scaffold that may include menu, header, footer, and pre-built blocks.  A page builder is separate from the theme and helps you customize the theme so it’s unique.  Thousands of sites may use the same theme, but when designers are doing their jobs, they will look different because they’ve used colors, fonts, images, etc. that align with company branding and to make the sites distinctive.  In other words, themes and page builders have complimenting tools.

Page builder vs. Gutenberg

Gutenberg is WordPress’ interface for building a website.  It uses blocks to build a website.  I think of blocks as floors in a building; they stack on top of each other, and each block can have a variety of items; text, images, videos, links, etc.  Within a website build, you can save and reuse block layouts, which saves time.  WordPress.org has a complete list of blocks in its documentation.

Gutenberg has a great variety of blocks and you can customize them somewhat, but with a page builder, you have more options at your fingertips for design and functionality. 

Customizing with a page builder

Most page builders give you the option to tailor things like font size and image size when editing for responsiveness.  You may find you want a different background in desktop mode than on mobile, or different margins.  Page builders also let you see more precisely how your site will look on desktop, tablet, and mobile so you can make informed design choices.  Some even let you set custom breakpoints.

Integrations

You can also integrate other platforms more easily with page builders.  For example: using Gutenberg, you would have a plugin to integrate Adobe Fonts (Typekit).  Elementor has a built-in setting to integrate this, cutting down the number of plugins you need.  You can also customize site-wide global color palettes (very handy for continuity and cutting down build time) without having to add code, as you would with Gutenberg.

There are many, many more ways you can customize with page builders, but you get the idea, and this section is long enough already.

What do I do?

I have used Divi and Beaver Builder, but I prefer Elementor page builder.  I use it with the Hello Theme, which is a blank page.  Let me be clear: there’s nothing wrong with the other two — they’re great tools and plenty of people use them.  My particular brain and eyeballs just prefer the Elementor interface.  Elementor’s tools allow me to build a layout unique to each site I make, and I have less software to consider when keeping my sites updated.  I build header, footer, and post templates which make it quick and simple to add new pages and posts, knowing they’ll match the rest of the site. 

On the rare occasion that I need to add code to my pages, Elementor makes it simple to add it to individual pages or the entire site.  They have a YouTube channel, which has helpful tutorial videos.

Should you use a page builder?

In my mind, it depends on the complexity of your site.  If you’re hiring a designer to build for you (hey – I’m always looking for clients!), let them decide.  If you’re new to WordPress and have a very simple blog or site, it might be more fuss than it’s worth.  Go through WordPress.org’s tutorials and see what you think.  Knowledge is power!

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Like my posts? Toss me a tip!

digital nomad hiker drysuit diver queer woman sober ukulele player scorpio Tough Mudder goofball

Freed scuba diving with her ukulele

All content © by Freed

Want to know more about what I do?  When I have a new post?  Where I’ve been lately?  (I do get around.)  Sign up for my mailing list below.  I promise to not fill your inbox with junk.