It’s really tempting to use page builders.
There are so many ones out there for WordPress. You have Beaver Builder, Visual Composer, Divi, Elementor and the list goes on and on and on. And they seem pretty easy to build, which is usually a plus for the non-developer website owning crowd.
But with great power comes great responsibility. And when you’re using a page builder, things can get out of hand really quickly … and I’ve seen that happen many times before.
So, if you are thinking about using a page builder or are using one right now, here are few items to help you use them correctly.
Know what you’re getting into
Like anything in life, before you start to use a page builder, you need to understand what you’re getting into. And page builders in WordPress can be tricky.
For starters, they extend WordPress in a way that works for what they want to do, but it’s not an ideal set up, and that can lead to problems down the road.
Most, if not all, page builders use shortcodes to insert their layouts and styles. Typically, this isn’t a problem if you stick with one page builder. But if you ever want to move away from that page builder, oh are you in for a surprise.
You now have a bunch of bracketed text inside the body of your posts that’s showing up on the front end because it’s no longer being turned into usable code. And that’s a pain for anyone to clean up.
So just know that, while page builders look absolutely amazing, you still need to understand what they are doing and the risks. It will definitely help you over the long run, even if you have to move away from the builder.
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Don’t go over do it
Once you have your page builder set up and running, it can be a little overwhelming. So many options and so many things that you can do — and so many things you can mess up.
In the 1960s, the U.S. Navy introduced the “Keep It Simple, Stupid” phrase as a design principal. It means that simple solutions tend to be better than more complicated ones.
And that applies to your website with a page builder. You don’t necessarily need to add all of the fancy gadgets that are at your finger tips. And you don’t need to add a whole bunch of columns or create weird layouts.
The simple solution is going to be the best solution for your website and ultimately your visitors.
Keep the focus on the content
Finally, you have to remember why people are coming to your website: because of your content. They’re here to see where you’re located or read what you have to say about a particular topic. Not the fancy layouts or the cool animations.
If they have to fight through a bunch of non-important stuff to find what they are looking for, they’re just going to leave. And that’s a lost potential client and customer. That renders anything “cool” you’ve done worthless. What good is it if it can’t get you customers.
So make sure that you stay focused on the content. Make sure that’s as good and helpful as it can be. And make sure it’s the biggest focus on every single page. That will make sure your site is keeping potential customers around.
Personally, I’m not a fan of page builders. I know that I might be a bit biased as a web developer. And I know that they do serve a purpose. But I do
So if you do choose to use a page builder or are already using one, make sure you’re doing it right. It can be the difference to good business or people running away.