WordPress Page Builders have a controversial history. Early visual design tools for WordPress were clunky and, behind the scenes, outputted code that was slow-loading and poor in quality. Not only that, Page Builders were often bundled together with WordPress themes, which made it very difficult to change themes or reuse any of a page’s copy and imagery without rebuilding. It’s no surprise that many developers and WordPress veterans avoided Page Builders and opted to hand-code pages using HTML and CSS.
These days, things are very different. Page Builders have matured and instead of slowing down content creation workflows, they speed them up and enable more people to be involved in the website building process. This might sound like a “too many cooks in the kitchen” situation, but as companies and teams grow, individuals that make up those teams tend to specialize.
With a visual design tool, like a Page Builder, your copywriter can work on writing while a designer imagines the aesthetics, branding, and visual direction. A marketing team can A/B test and optimize funnels while a translation team works on localization. Anyone that’s involved with the website creation process can make changes to a live page or save a draft to hand off to the next team. There’s no more waiting on IT to code and publish your changes!
Page Builders Prevent Development Bottlenecks
Before creating Beaver Builder, our team at FastLine Media ran a small web development shop. We were fortunate to work with both small and large businesses alongside some very creative designers and marketers. Predominantly being a development shop, we were often the last stop before a website went live.
Designers, marketers, and copywriters would work their magic and send projects our way to build and launch. This process worked pretty well, but like most developers, we had a tendency to underestimate how much time things would take. We were the bottleneck for companies hoping to launch their websites. Page Builders remove this bottleneck and allow anyone to publish changes to a site.
Should We Fire Our Web Developer?
If you’re the web person at your company, you might be thinking some not-so-nice thoughts about Page Builders right now. Don’t worry! We certainly wouldn’t recommend removing web developers from the equation altogether. Just because the rest of the company is getting involved with the web creation process doesn’t mean they’re left without a role. One of the beauties of modern Page Builders is their extensibility.
Beaver Builder was designed to be bolted on to and it’s very developer-friendly. It has extensive developer documentation and a boilerplate code for creating custom modules. This allows developers to create bespoke components and/or build custom modules for specific integrations.
Developers can also create guardrails and constraints to prevent anyone from over-manipulating their website. Beaver Builder has hooks that enable creating specific color libraries and disabling certain features based on user role. Also, while Page Builders can be used to visually style pages, most still support using classes and IDs on a variety of elements so styling can be handled with CSS or CSS preprocessors like Sass.
Mix Match Experiment
It’s possible to take the idea of building constraints a step further with a modular approach to building pages. Your product marketing team likely runs extensive A/B tests throughout your website’s sales funnel. Page Builders like Beaver Builder enable building reusable rows and modules that can be tweaked and customized for a variety of different products or test scenarios.
Most product and sales pages follow a relatively standard formula. They’ll contain some combination of a hero bar with a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), an explainer video, a live demo, customer testimonials, comparison tables, use case examples, highly noticeable calls-to-action, and/or some frequently asked questions.
With Beaver Builder, each of these proven elements of a good sales page can be built independently from the others; then they can be easily duplicated, mixed, matched, swapped, and tweaked to see which combination yields the highest conversion rates. The copy and design can change and evolve, but the foundation and structure of these marketing must-haves can be reused over and over again.
Faster Workflow with Page Builders
Page Builders now power millions of WordPress websites. This wouldn’t be the case if they didn’t genuinely provide a better and faster experience than building pages by hand. A faster workflow means your team will be able to output more content in less time. Ideas can be more quickly brought to market and marketing teams can run tests and experiments more efficiently. With a modular and reusable approach to site development, time invested in building landing and sales pages will have a far greater ROI.
Don’t just take our word for it. Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more household name brands adopting Page Builders for their websites. WebDevStudios has some fantastic examples of professional websites using a page builder that prove this solution works for companies in the consumer packaged goods industry, tourism boards, studios, author websites and more. Take a look at what the agency completed for Pace Foods, Southern California’s Inland Empire Tourism Council, Arthur Murray Dance Centers, and WordPress For Dummies author (and WebDevStudios co-owner) Lisa Sabin-Wilson.
If your IT team isn’t using a visual design tool like Beaver Builder for your website today, it’s time to ask them why not.
About the Author
Robby McCullough is a Bay Area native and a co-founder of Beaver Builder, a drag-and-drop design framework for WordPress. Robby enjoys travel, hiking, and a good cup of coffee. You can find him in-person on the mountain bike trails or virtually on Twitter or Instagram.