Hyphen Coding | Web & WordPress Developer
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6 reasons to avoid WordPress page-builders

I’m often asked if I have experience working with WordPress page-builders, such as Elementor, Divi or WPBakery, to name a few. The answer is usually yes – I’ve worked on many websites which have utilised one of the main page-builders. I’ve got to know their quirks, their advantages, and of course, their limitations.

Page-builders have their place. They provide a relatively user-friendly and low-cost option for throwing a website together quickly. However, if I’m developing a website for a new client, I’ll always try and avoid page-builders and steer my clients’ towards an alternative, bespoke solution.

Here are 6 reasons to avoid page-builders in favour of a bespoke, custom-coded WordPress theme.

1) Reduction in performance and site speed

Page-builders often generate excessive, unoptimized code leading to bloated web pages that can significantly slow down load times. This impacts user experience and search engine rankings. They often depend heavily on JavaScript too, which can further hinder performance, especially on mobile devices or slower connections.

Bespoke themes are just that, bespoke. They are built specifically for your needs and only contain the necessary code. Keeping your site lightweight and fast.

2) Poor flexibility and control

While they offer plenty of pre-designed elements, page-builders box you in to their designs. Meaning you can’t implement truly unique and innovative designs or designs that perfectly align with your brand and vision.

Often, it takes upgrading to premium versions of or installing premium addons to the original plugin to get closer to the desired outcome. These upgrades can be expensive and unexpected costs are never fun, no matter your budget.

The trouble is that It’s also difficult to move on from the page-builder once you’ve found its limitations. The plugins lock you into their system, making it costly and challenging to migrate away from them – further restricting your ability to customize or adapt your site as needed.

With a bespoke theme, you have full control over the design and layout, enabling you to create a unique and tailored user experience.

3) Low code quality

The code generated by page builders can be incredibly messy and difficult to maintain, potentially causing compatibility issues with other plugins or themes.

Should you choose to modify or customise your theme in the future, you’ve created a much harder and more time-consuming job for whatever developer you’ve hired.

Custom themes are built with clean, optimized code, leading to faster page load times and better performance.

4) Negative SEO impact

I’ve already touched on the fact that page-builders carry a lot of unnecessary code that can slow down your site and that the code generated can be messy. Both of these issues can negatively affect your search engine optimisation.

They can also create structural issues that make it harder for search engines to crawl and index your site effectively. It should go without saying that SEO plays a vital role in building an effective web presence and not taking it seriously is really shooting yourself in the foot!

Custom themes can be structured for optimal search engine visibility from the foundation.

5. Security and maintenance issues

Page-builders can introduce security vulnerabilities if not updated regularly, as they add more code to your site. Keeping page-builders and their add-ons up-to-date can be time-consuming and add to maintenance overhead.

Custom themes often have fewer potential vulnerabilities, as they contain only the necessary code.

6) You depend on it to stay working

If the page-builder plugin is discontinued or encounters compatibility issues, it can negatively impact your entire website.

With a custom or bespoke theme, you’re not reliant on a third-party plugin, reducing maintenance and compatibility concerns.

While page builders offer convenience, they often come with significant trade-offs in terms of performance, flexibility, control, and long-term sustainability. If your priority is a high-performing, unique, and secure website that aligns perfectly with your brand and goals, a bespoke, custom-coded theme is the preferred approach.

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