Pros and Cons of Drag-and-Drop WordPress Page Builders

If you’ve spent some time looking for the perfect WordPress theme for your new website — or you’ve considered revamping the appearance of your existing website — you’ve probably encountered one problem that all pre-built themes have in common. No theme can execute your vision as well as you could — if you had the coding knowledge. A drag-and-drop page builder such as Visual Composer solves that problem by allowing you to design your website with a graphical interface. Within the limits of the page builder’s capabilities, you can create anything you can imagine.

So, should you dump the pre-built themes and drag and drop your way to success instead? As with many other design questions, the answer is “maybe.” Drag-and-drop page builders solve some problems, but they can potentially introduce new problems as well. We hope that this list of the pros and cons of drag-and-drop page builders will make your decision easier.

Design Freedom

With a drag-and-drop page builder, you can create almost any website design that you can imagine. Do you want a website with three columns, two sidebars or an extra large footer? You can build it. With a page builder, though, you work with modules that coders have already created for you. Although page builders are often very rich in features, they can’t do anything that their creators didn’t envision.

It is also important to remember that installing a page builder won’t turn you into a designer. WordPress theme creators thoroughly test their themes to confirm their usability and aesthetics. When you design your own website, it’s up to you to create something that resonates with your users. If you can create any design that you can imagine, then it is also possible to create designs that aren’t attractive or usable at all.

Built-In Features

A drag-and-drop page builder usually includes a variety of design elements that are otherwise unavailable in WordPress without plugins. Some of the elements that you may get with a page builder include charts, graphs, price tables, image sliders and call-to-action buttons. Ordinarily, you’d need to install plugins to add all of those elements to your pages.

With the built-in features of a drag-and-drop page builder, you can create any type of page that you can imagine. You can build landing pages with forms for lead generation, map pages to help people find local store locations, interactive pages that show customers how your products work and more.

No Coding Skill Required

The best part of a drag-and-drop page builder is that it allows you to customize every aspect of your website’s design without any coding ability. You’ll create pages using a visual interface that shows you exactly what the page will look like to users.

The downside of a drag-and-drop page builder is that it uses shortcodes to achieve its functionality. If you examine the raw code of a page created with a page builder, you’ll see elements that look like “[two_columns]” or “[fullwidth_slider].” A shortcode is like a bookmark that links to a longer block of code elsewhere on your server. Since your server will have to process many shortcodes to display a page, a drag-and-drop page builder may result in reduced performance compared to a standard website theme.

An additional downside of a drag-and-drop page builder is that you’ll lose your designs if you uninstall the page building plugin or switch to a different plugin. Since the shortcodes from the original page building plugin will no longer be valid, you’ll have to edit every page on your website to remove the shortcodes.