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How to Choose a Page Builder for your Website Project

WordPress page builders make web design easy for everyone. But which is right for you?

Posted 10 Sep 2021
Wordpress Page Builders

You no longer have to be a coder or web designer to create a website – there are lots of platforms out there that make building your website simple. Each one is suited to different strategies, budgets and levels of skills and experience. There are basic, hosting-powered website builders, static website generators, while Startup, for example, is a traditional bootstrap builder. Or you could choose a professional CMS theme from ThemeForest.

However, currently the most popular web development platforms are WordPress page builders. That’s because page builders allow you to launch a website quickly and easily. Creating a new suite of landing pages for marketing campaigns, for example, can take just days to launch, rather than weeks. WordPress page builders are versatile and powerful, and can be used by businesses of all sizes to achieve their marketing goals. 

Benefits of Using a Page Builder for Your Website

The biggest advantage of using page builders is the freedom to create whatever you want – whether that’s a stunning homepage to impress first-time visitors, a persuasive portfolio to demonstrate skills and expertise, a product section to showcase what you sell, or a landing page to drive conversions. 

Page builders work like this: choose what you’d like to use from a library of pre-made page elements, drop them in, then arrange and rearrange them as you wish. It’s as easy as that!

Unlike other solutions, page builders can be entirely flexible to fit your workflow; there’s no commitment to a single theme, plugin or development. And there are other benefits, too:  

1. Ease of Use

You don’t need professional design skills to create pages that look beautiful. Pre-made elements are updated regularly, so you can always stay up to date with the latest web design trends, helping to keep your brand’s visuals looking current and fresh. And you won’t need external support, either; page builders are designed to be intuitive and easy to use, so you can do the whole thing yourself – without the costs of a professional developer or agency.

2. Cost Effectiveness 

Website page builders aren’t a major investment; they’re available with pricing suitable for budgets of all sizes. Some of them come with free plans, and others, like Static.app, offer reliable hosting services at bargain prices. For just $9 per month, you can get trustworthy hosting, a free domain name and sub-domains, 24/7 customer support, free HTTPS, unlimited data, and some other perks.

3. Lead Time

When working with a freelancer or an agency, creating a website from scratch can take up to six months. Keeping the whole thing in-house, though, means you’re in complete control of the timings; you can create a basic, functional page in just a few hours.

4. Pre-made Templates

You can use existing templates to shape your idea within minutes. Testing your campaigns with pre-made layouts and themes can give you a huge advantage.

5. Low maintenance

All websites need ongoing updates to make sure they’re still fit for purpose. Page builders do all the hard work for you. 

WordPress Page Builder: What to Look Out For

Page builders aren’t always perfect. Here are a couple of the issues you might run into, and how to deal with them: 

1. Slow Loading Speeds 

WordPress sites are known to load slower than other sites, and using a page builder can compound the problem. So, it’s essential to use website optimization plug-ins, which speed things up by minimizing the work a browser needs to do to display the page.

2. Limited Support for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)  

Support for Schema and advanced structured data is poor or non-existent. Again, the way out is to use SEO plugins.

3. Limitation of Some Components and Features

Although page builders do offer lots of flexibility, you have to use components from libraries which typically provide only the most popular items, solutions, features, and customization options. So it can sometimes be difficult to stand out from the crowd. In those circumstances, you can still hire a developer or designer, or use shortcodes and third-party plugins if the page builder supports them.

How to Choose the Best Page Builder for Your Website

Like free Bootstrap builders that offer different solutions for business owners to generate a bootstrap theme or create a full website, WordPress page builders come in all shapes and sizes. A good page builder should have the following: 

  • Drag-and-drop interface to help you easily translate your vision onto the page.
  • A flexible grid system to create various layouts.
  • Fully responsive, mobile-friendly, and accessible visual blocks.
  • An extensive library of essential components including widgets to add headings, paragraphs, images, icons, lists, CTA blocks, videos, social media, share buttons, ratings, testimonials, pricing tables, tables, forms, countdowns, posts, breadcrumbs, post navigation, and info. On top of that, it should have carousels, slideshows, tabs, accordions, galleries, toggles, progress bars, sidebar, and menu.
  • Powerful customization options to tune every vital detail of the block. For instance, you should be able to add professional photos or quirky yet impressive illustrations to help the page deliver the charisma of your project.
  • Modern design. Web design is a major driver of purchase intention. Widgets and blocks should have modern features and up-to-date styles.
  • Native integration with third-party themes and plugins, like SEO plugins that drive organic traffic to the website.
  • Native integration with analytics tools. Google Analytics and non-tracking analytics, like Microanalytics, are vital for companies because they provide an in-depth insight into your business’s online performance. They track online traffic, help you understand customer behavior, define your target audience and give hints on improving marketing and SEO strategies.
  • Live preview.
  • Pre-made templates to reduce the time you spend creating layouts and other visual elements.
  • 24/7 customer support for fast and efficient troubleshooting. 
  • A community with helpful tutorials and resources to find solutions to banal issues.
  • Full data ownership to avoid privacy breaches.
  • Regular updates and enhancements to follow the mainstream and ensure the security of the project.

Most well-established WordPress page builders meet these criteria as a rule, though they may differ in contents and customization options. So, how to choose the best page builder for your website? Follow this 8-step process.

1. Decide On Your Goals

Do you need a page builder to create landing pages to A/B test marketing campaigns, or do you need a page builder with WooCommerce features to sell your products?

2. Analyze Your Target Market

How advanced does your website need to be to meet the expectations of your prospects? Should it have carousels with adorable transition effects and extravagant details, or should it win over clients with a serious atmosphere, neutral design, and banal yet comprehensible functionality?

3. Evaluate Your Skills and Experience 

Do you have the skills to create your own code and design, or do you need one of those ready themes to get down to business?

4. Evaluate Your Time

Are you up to fast deployment, or are you willing to wait until you get a satisfactory result by mixing and matching blocks and playing with customization options?

5. Consider Your Budget

It is crucial to assess the final price of the product. Note, some builders may charge an extra fee for additional functionality like WooCommerce or pro widgets.  

6. Check the Platform’s Reputation 

Look into reviews, testimonials, ratings, and the reputation of the company.

7. Choose 2-3 Possible Candidates

Compare and contrast their features, custom support, native integration with third-party plugins and WordPress themes, maintenance, and price. 

8. Go for a Trial Run to Test the Waters

What are you waiting for? Get that website up and going!  

The Best Website Page Builders for Small Businesses

Here are some of the most popular website page builders out there.

1. Elementor 

Elementor

Elementor is ultra-flexible, intuitive, and easy to use. It removes every obstacle between the user and building a content offering where business owners can let their imagination run wild.

Elementor comes with numerous valuable features, such as:

  • 90+ well-crafted widgets with pixel-perfect design and fully responsive behavior;
  • Powerful customization options: you can set positions, padding, margins, colors, backgrounds, typographies, etc. This also includes adding custom CSS styles to each block;
  • Advanced animations and transition effects;
  • Custom template library that offers quick solutions to create online portfolios, creative websites, landing pages, blogs, eCommerce;
  • Extensive developer’s hub with tutorials, documentation, guides, and other resources.

It also offers a flexible pricing plan with 5 different options, so there’s a solution for budgets of all sizes.

2. Divi

Divi

Created by Elegant themes, whose team knows a thing or two about WordPress themes and plugins, this powerful page builder has one of the highest Trustpilot ratings for a page builder, with more than 17,000 reviews. That certainly inspires confidence in the product.

The great thing about Divi is that it’s capable, so there’s no limits on what you can create, but it’s also user-friendly, so even a complete beginner can create something beautiful. 

It comes with features like: 

  • Real-time visual editor;
  • 40+ unique page elements that are responsive and mobile-friendly;
  • 800+ pre-made designs;
  • Customization options to get complete control of the front-end, including fonts and text styling;
  • Dynamic effects, hover states, and transformations;
  • Layout library;
  • Bulk editing;
  • Reusable custom designs;
  • Editing history to undo, redo and travel through your story of changes.

As for pricing, Divi comes as a part of a bundle that includes numerous perks like hundreds of website packs and WordPress themes. Therefore, it is not the cheapest;  yearly access costs $89. Lifetime access costs $249, while both packages come with a free 30-day trial period.

3. Blocksy

Blocksy

Blocksy is an excellent choice for users who need the simplest – but still powerful – solution, so they can get started straight away. It is a supercharged WordPress theme that comes with such features as:

  • Native integration with popular page builders including Gutenberg, Elementor, Beaver, Brizy;
  • Native integration with WooCommerce, including Ajax-powered cart and numerous layouts and styles to showcase your products;
  • Comprehensive customization options, including dark mode;
  • Header builder with pre-made components;
  • Advanced typography options;
  • Schema markup and Google structured data;
  • Starter sites to kick off your project right away. 

Blocksy offers a free version so you can try it out, which has enough functionality to complete smaller projects. For larger ones, you can choose from three affordable pricing plans. 

4. Siter

Siter

With an A+ rating from all its customers, Siter is one of the most recommended brand-new online design tools for several reasons. First, it’s entirely cloud-based, meaning easy access to the project for all users regardless of location – well suited for team projects. Secondly, it’s the most intuitive of the page builders out there; it’s designed with user experience in mind first and foremost. And thirdly, it comes with unmatched customer support – the team is always on hand to help you with whatever you need. 

It comes with features including:

  • Dozens of stylish components;
  • Familiar workflow with shortcuts, groups, and layers;
  • Thousands of visuals, including quick access to royalty‑free photos from Unsplash and a massive library of icons;
  • Support for YouTube videos;
  • Collaboration with team members;
  • Use of your domain or a free one provided by the team.

The pricing is transparent and, most importantly, pocket-friendly: just $9 per month. This includes hosting, domain, unlimited pages and projects, and transfer ownership.

5. WPBakery

WPBakery

While Divi boasts more than 767,000 satisfied customers on board, WPBakery has made a staggering 4,300,000 users happy. It’s the most popular WordPress-powered page builder. It is also one of the most affordable solutions out there. Pricing starts at $45 for a single site with free updates and premium support, including a full refund within 15 days for any reason.

WPBakery offers such features as:

  • Front-end and cack-end visual editor;
  • 50+ built-in content elements;
  • 250+ add-ons to include hundreds of more content elements;
  • Professional template library;
  • Advanced Grid builder;
  • Skin Builder;
  • Responsive design controls;
  • Role manager;
  • Support for popular third-party plugins like Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, Revolution Slider, Layer Slider, etc.

The most significant advantage of WPBakery is that it works with every theme you have, whether it comes from a free section in the WordPress directory or a seller from Themeforest.

6. Visual Composer

Visual Composer

Visual Composer is one of the oldest players in this arena. It has come a long way since its inception; it now offers an intuitive, flexible, user-friendly environment with many features and API for developers to spice things up. 

Visual Composer hits all the essentials, including

  • An extensive library of 500 elements, templates, and add-ons;
  • Native WooCommerce support;
  • Popup builder;
  • Role Manager;
  • Global templates;
  • Insights analytics;
  • Constant updates and 24/7 support.

The great thing about Visual Composer is that it has a free version that comprises 30 elements and 10 templates that can be enough for small-scale projects. However, if you want to unlock its full potential, you need to pay a reasonable $49 a year.

7. Gutenberg

Gutenberg

Created by none other than Matt Mullenweg, a founder of WordPress, Gutenberg is a perfect solution for all those on a shoestring budget. Although it is not as powerful as premium page composers are, it still comes with basic functionality that is enough to give a business a solid start. 

Among its main features are:

  • Popular components and widgets to eliminate the need for using shortcodes. These include blocks to add audio, buttons, columns, categories, galleries, headings, images, separators, spacings, and other sought-after elements;
  • Popular customization options;
  • A Third-Party Block Directory;
  • Block patterns to build and share reusable block layouts;
  • Cover Text block with styles and customization options;
  • Live HTML block;
  • Slash Autocomplete.

Much like WordPress, Gutenberg already has a vast community of loyal fans and professional developers who are eager to share their experiences, findings, and solutions.

To Wrap Up… 

A website is the foundation of any modern business: it builds your brand, drives customer or user engagement, generates traffic, increases conversions, and grows your bottom line. 

But it’s not easy for those without design or coding skills. Luckily, there’s a huge choice of solutions out there: one-click solutions, online design tools, and WordPress page builders that help businesses of all shapes and sizes to achieve their marketing goals.

To choose the best page builder for your own strategy, you need to do your homework: follow our guide, compare which tools have the functionality you need, and try several options to see which one best suits your needs.

Guest Author: Andrian Valeanu

Andrian Valeanu is the founder of Designmodo, which together with his team develop online projects for internet professionals. If you have any questions regarding this article you can contact him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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