Should I Use A Page Builder Plugin For My WordPress Website?
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Should I Use A Page Builder Plugin For My WordPress Website?

Page Builder Plugin is an useful tool to help people without programming knowledge to build a more beautiful and professional-looking website.

Personally, I love this kind of tools a lot because the feeling of being able to build a very beautiful website is rewarding. A more visually-appealing website is also more attractive and better for conversion.

However, there are some common issues regarding page builders.

In this post, I would like to address these issues and evaluate whether page builder is something you should invest in.

More...

What Exactly Is A Page Builder?

​A Page Builder is sometimes known as "Content Builder" or "Visual Editor", depending on how different companies name it.

​Basically, it's a tool (normally in the form of a plugin) to help you create and design your website content in real time so that you can preview how your content looks like while editing it.

Page builders usually have quite a number of special elements for you to add into your content and make it more ​captivating and reader-friendly.

Some of these include star rating, content boxes, testimonials, call to actions, etc...​

Limitations Of The Default WordPress Editor

The default WordPress editor doesn't allow you to build your content on the front end in real time​ so that you won't be able to preview how your content looks like unless you save and hit the preview button.

Below is a screenshot of how a default ​WordPress editor looks like. If you're a WordPress user, you must be very familiar with this:

wordpress default editor

WordPress default editor

Although WordPress editor can add short codes, it's hard to create your content simply by adding short codes without the ability to visualize it directly. 

Also, WordPress editor still​ doesn't allow you to add in special elements to your content like columns, testimonials, call to actions, page sections, etc...

You will need to install additional plugins for these. But what you can do after installing relevant plugins is still adding short codes in WordPress editor which is a very inefficient way.

Benefits Of Using Page Builders​

​Like I've said, page builders allow you to create your content on the front end of your website so you can visualize how your content looks like while editing it.

This solves the problem for not able to preview your content while you're editing it in WordPress editor.​

Seeing from this perspective, I highly recommend using a page builder because how your content looks like plays a big role in your ability to convert visitors to customers and make money.

Having quality content on your site is very important but if your quality content is not visually-appealing, reader-friendly or even not readable, not as much people will be reading it.

So, why waste your hard work on writing your masterpiece when many people don't want to read it?

Issues With Page Builder Plugin

​Having said that, page builders have their issues as well and you need to consider these properly before you invest in any of them, or else you will be wasting a lot of your time and money.

Let's start with the most common concern first...​

The "Content Lock-in"​ Issue

Content Lock-in issue means that when you've started using one of the page builders, you'll be "locked" into it and you need to keep using it if you want your content to show up properly.

This happens because once you start building your content using page builders, there will be short codes being added to be part of your content.

If you decide to deactivate or remove the plugin, the content that you built using the page builder will not be showing up properly.​ There will be a lot of codes within your content and it will no longer be readable.

content lock-in issue for page builders

So, the convenient way to continue​ showing your content properly is to keep the page builder plugin activated and keep using it.

Almost all page builders are a paid service. For most of them, you need to keep paying a recurring fee in order to ​continue using them with updates and support. This means if you're forced to keep using it, you'll also need to keep paying for the service.

That's "Content Lock-in" issue and I'm sure non of you would want this to happen.​

Solutions?

After I've spent some time doing some research, I found out that this "Content Lock-in" issue does not happen to all page builders. So the solution is to choose your page builder plugin wisely.

The next question will then be how to choose the right plugin?

Let's take a look at this following video by Shane Melaugh from Thrive Themes, the company that created the content builder plugin ​I'm using right now. This video tested the "Content Lock-in" issue for the most popular page builders...

Let me summarize the points in the above video for you!

​What Shane did was that he created a page using different page builders then deactivate the plugins to see what happened to the content.

The finding is that "content lock-in" issue does happen for some of the page builders but not for the others. It totally depend on how well the plugin is coded.

Below is the summary result for the page builders tested in the video:

Page Builders That Preserve The Content (No Content Lock-in issue):

recommended page builders

(Clarification: If you've watched the video carefully, you'll see that when you deactivate the plugin,​ some of the format will be different and all the fancy designs supported by the plugins will be gone. Only the content remains readable!)


Page Builders That Don't Preserve The Content and Have A Lot Of Short Codes (Have Content Lock-in issue):

not recommended page builders

There is no affiliate link in this post

Other Potential Page Builder Issues

Other than the "Content Lock-in" issue, the next possible issue will be its compatibility with other plugins, widgets, tools and themes.

Since it's a complicated plugin that requires sophisticated coding​ in order for it to be some powerful, it may cause some conflicts with other tools when use together.

Personally, I've experienced that before and I can fix it by simply deactivating certain plugins. The most commonly affected ones are the caching plugins.​

Another concern is that page builder plugins are usually quite a "heavy" plugin meaning that it has a huge file size and it might slow down your site.​

These are just minor issues that you should consider. They may or may not happen. Again, I believe it totally depends​ on how well the plugin is coded, just like the content lock-in issue.

Some page builders have its own theme created by the same company. It's recommended to use their theme because it will definitely work more smoothly with their own themes despite many companies claim that their page builder plugins are compatible with all WordPress themes.

My Recommendation + Conclusion​

Thrive Content Builder (will become Thrive Architect in late August 2017) Thrive Architect is the only content builder I've used before so I couldn't say much about other content builders.

From my experience, I'm really satisfied with Thrive Themes' products​ and I highly recommend it. I am able to build this beautiful website all because of Thrive Themes. 

So, if you want to build a more beautiful ​website which converts better, do check out Thrive Themes. From this post, the other two page builders you may want to consider are Elementor and Beaver Builder according to the content lock-in test.

It is the most crucial factor to consider when choosing the right page builder for you in my opinion.

I hope you find this post useful to you. If you have any question, feel free to leave them in the comments below :)​

FAQ

Here are some answers to the frequently asked question. But I can only answer for Thrive Themes and not other tools. Following is the Q&A for Thrive Themes. The rest will depend on the individual company's own policy and pricing plans.


1. Is there any Free Trials or Free Versions?

​No. Thrive Themes do not offer Free Trials or Free Versions as of now.

2. ​Can I get a refund if I'm not satisfied with it?

​Yes you can. Thrive Themes has a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. You can get a 100% refund within 30 days of purchase if you're not satisfied with the product.

3. How much does it cost?​

Thrive Themes has a couple of pricing options.

Firstly, there's a membership ​package which costs $19 per month to get access to all their Thrive products (include various themes and plugins).

Secondly, you can purchase the license for individual theme or plugin at $67 one-time payment. But this license is only eligible for one year of support and updates.

You can continue using the tools you purchased for as long as you want. However, you'll need to renew you​r license if you want access to their support and updates after one year.

4. What exactly will happen if I deactivate the plugin afterwards?​

If you've watched the video above, you'll see that the plugins without content lock-in issue will be able to retain most of your content and stay readable but the look of your page/website will be different.

After you deactivate the content builder plugin, all the fancy designs supported by the plugin will be gone and some of the format will be different. Only the content remains readable.

So, this is not something you should invest in if you are planning to remove the plugin to avoid the recurring fees.

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Jerry Huang
 

Jerry is a young aspiring Internet Entrepreneur who started his online business at the age of 18. He is currently an active Affiliate Marketer at Wealthy Affiliate, a community to help anyone start their own online business without prior experience. He is experienced in Affiliate Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Email Marketing. Read more about him at his profile here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 22 comments
Jude - October 26, 2017

Hi Jerry,

Your website is a wealth of useful information. Thanks for sharing.

I have a website and I am having problems with its loading speed due to render-blocking Js and CSS. I am new to all this and don’t even know where these scripts come from. Pagespeed Tools suggested I eliminate these to speed things up and my research tells me I need to install plugins to remove them. With more plugins to remove these problems, I may end up with other problems. 🙁

Can a paid theme and/or page builder help to resolve the speed issue and give me freedom to design a beautiful website?

Hope to get your advice.

Thanks.

Reply
    Jerry Huang - October 28, 2017

    Hi Jude,
    Take it easy. I’m not a programmer as well so I don’t know how to fix the scripts problems. In fact, my PageSpeed Insights said the same thing about some of the Js and CSS as well. I’ll take some time to study and investigate this when I have the time to do so.

    But for now, the one thing that will affect your website loading speed the most is the images on your site. Make sure you optimize all of them before and after uploading. Before you upload an image, you can crop and compress the image manually using tools like Kraken.io and ImageResize.org. At the same time, you can install image optimization plugins to make sure the images are in their optimized status. This is the one thing that can affect your page speed a lot.

    As for the page builder plugin, they are also known as “heavy” plugins because their plugin sizes are usually very huge. Many of this kind of plugins will slow down your page speed. But if you choose higher quality ones like Thrive Architect, your page speed will not really be affected from my experience. The impact is small enough to not be detected.

    As for the design of your website, a good page builder plugin will definitely make it a lot easier to build a beautiful, professional and high-conversion website. In this case, I’ll recommend you to try it out.

    Thanks for your comment. I hope this has answered your questions!

    Jerry

    Reply
Cherry - August 18, 2017

I think it’s not a good idea to use Page Builder because if you use any plugin, it is Definitely made by JavaScript programming. Java script programming will definitely slows your website loading time.

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 18, 2017

    Hey Cherry,
    Yup, it is a valid concern which I’ve mentioned. This kind of plugins especially are a lot heavier than the other mini plugins which can increase the page load time.

    However, it is still recommended for people who want a beautiful website don’t have the coding skills to do so. If you’re using good hosting and other great tools, the impact on the speed is not that significant. Hosting server still plays a more significant role in sitespeed.

    With page builder plugins, your website can be more professional and potentially has a higher conversion rate. This is something more important in my opinion.

    Anyway, thanks for checking out this post and leaving your thought 🙂

    Reply
Cath - August 16, 2017

An interesting article I will return to use for reference thanks

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 16, 2017

    Hi Cath,
    Thanks for reading. Glad you like it 🙂

    Reply
Frankie - August 15, 2017

Thanks! Very useful information, I’m thinking of upgrading my wordpress in the near future and have been considering tools like these.

One of my biggest issues with the wordpress version is that it’s not always accurate with image placement in the copy- which annoys me. Instead of having images align with the text, like wrapping beside it, I tend to centre it otherwise it looks messy!

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 16, 2017

    Hey Frankie,
    Yea, that’s one of the annoying issue and limitation with default WordPress editor – you have little control on how the image aligns with the content.

    Quickly get your own self-hosted domain then! It’s a worthwhile investment. Let me know it you need any help or advice on that 🙂

    Reply
Chloe - August 15, 2017

Hi, thanks for this informative post. It will no doubt be a helpful tool for beginners. It’s no good for me at the moment as I’m not self hosted.

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 16, 2017

    Hi Chloe,
    Quickly get your own self-hosted domain then! If you’re serious about blogging and making money online, it’s a necessary investment.

    Good luck!

    Reply
Stefan Vogt - August 12, 2017

Hi Jerry, Your post really looks quite smart.
I do not have a page builder exactly because I don’t want to depend on programs with constant billing.

You said, thrive content builder can be turned off anytime and all posts and pages you created will stay the same?
If that is so, this seems to be an interesting option to build a website and then leave the program…

I will be happy to learn more, see you!
Stefan

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 12, 2017

    Hi Stefan,
    If you’ve watched the video by Thrive Themes, Thrive Architect (Thrive Content Builder 2.0) will be able to retain most of your content but some of the format will be a bit different. Overall, things are still readable on your site and it doesn’t look very bad. If you deactivate the plugin, most of the fancy design supported by the plugin will be gone so there’s no point to just use it to design your site and remove it. It’s more for the purpose of saving your content when accidents happen, like your site or the plugin breaks down.

    Anyway, if you’ve checked out the content builder and tried it, you’ll love it and do not wish to remove it from your site. The price is very reasonable and affordable after all.

    Reply
Sharon - August 11, 2017

Hi Jerry,

I am very new to affiliate marketing and thus building my own website really takes up a lot of time. Have seen many beautiful websites with visuals, images, text so nicely aligned which lead me to find that a Page Builder Plugin does the trick. I installed the Site Origin Page Builder and am so happy that my website totally transformed. Self-satisfaction is the motivator.

Cheers,
Sharon

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 11, 2017

    Hi Sharon,

    That’s awesome. As long as it does the work and you’re satisfied with it then all is well! All the best for your website and your marketing journey!

    Reply
John Williams - August 11, 2017

Hello Jerry
Very well written article which I took much interest in. I have Thrive and have yet to use it. It is now just another learning curve I will have to undertake and have not been too motivated to go about that yet. However, after looking at how good your site looks, I think I will endeavor to take on that chore and learn it.
Thanks.

John

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 11, 2017

    Hi John,
    It will take some time before you get the hang of it but it’s not that hard. Good luck!

    Reply
Pamela - August 11, 2017

Any tools you can find online should worth something of trying. My two concerns are
1. do they offer free trial or free version for people to try before jump in with purchase?
2. Do they offer buyer remorse in case people find it isn’t what they are expecting?
3. how much does it cost?

Although I do have some basic knowledge in HTML or CSS, however, I personally would prefer to spend more time on articles rather than building the site from scratch…

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 11, 2017

    Hi Pamela,

    Great questions!

    All these will depend on the individual company because they all have different pricing and plans.

    Let me just take Thrive Themes as an example because that’s what I’m familiar with.

    Thrive Themes’ product don’t have free trial but they have a 30 day refund policy so you can get your refund if you’re not satisfied with it.

    Thrive Themes has 2 main types of pricing options. Since Thrive Themes has many other products (themes, plugins), there’s a membership option to get access to all the tools and support. It cost me $19 per month. I feel that it’s pretty worthwhile.

    Another option is to purchase the individual license for the tool you want. The license for one tool cost $67 one-time payment. But you’re only eligible for one year of support and update. If you want to continue using their support and update your tool, you’ll need to purchase again.

    I hope this helps 🙂

    Reply
Norman Richards - August 11, 2017

Hello, great information on page builder! I believe that this would be great for beginners and as they gain more knowledge they can experiment. Even thought page builder may have some draw back, it still offers some help and can get newbies of to a good start. Awesome post.

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 11, 2017

    Hi Norman,
    Thanks for the comment!

    Page Builders are useful tools not only for the beginners but for the majority who have no programming knowledge. Personally, I’m relying heavily on page builders.

    Reply
Tanya6 - August 10, 2017

Oh goodness. Where have you been, I so need this in my life. I have been having so many issues building my site because its all new to me. I will be giving this a try. I think this will be just what I need to make better progress. Thanks so much!

Reply
    Jerry Huang - August 11, 2017

    Hi Tanya,

    Thanks for checking out and I wish you all the best for your website! You’ll slowly get the hang of it 🙂

    Reply

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