WordPress Drag-and-Drop Page Builders. Why You Need One
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Table of Contents
WordPress drag-and-drop page builders have been a major force in how the platform has grown in the last few years. Since its inception, WordPress was a hit, providing easy website creation to even those who didn’t know the ABC of web design and development via coding languages.
Soon enough, however, it met stellar competition from Flash-powered website creation tools, both offline and online, that helped everyone create a website using a drag-and-drop style interface. The ease of just dragging a content element, say a text box, and placing it anywhere on the screen, was even better than the WYSIWYG editor that WordPress presented (and still does).
Thankfully, drag-and-drop page builder plugins saved WordPress, keeping it relevant, and delivering the best of web design ease to users. These plugins make it equally easy for veterans as well as newbies from the world of website creation. These plugins handle the complete design control in the user’s hands, enabling him/her to create visually stunning web pages instantly.
Today, there are dozens of drag-and-drop page builder plugins for WordPress on offer. Now, before you pick one of them and embark on your website design adventures, read on, and understand more about these plugins, their core elements, their indisputable benefits, and their criticisms.
What are WordPress Drag-and-Drop Page Builders?
A WordPress drag-and-drop page builder plugin is exactly what it sounds like. Let’s break the terminology down.
Plugin: Well, it’s a plugin that you can install and integrate with your WordPress account.
Page Builder: These plugins help you build web pages on WordPress.
Drag-and-Drop: To enable web page building, these plugins offer you a drag-and-drop styled editor, where you can pick up preset content elements (such as text boxes, shapes, image boxes, videos, image slideshows, etc.), drag them, and drop them at the point on the screen where you want them to appear in the design.
WordPress: You guessed it; these are made specifically for WordPress.
More clearly, these plugins are advanced page builders that are very different from the default post creation editor window of WordPress. Now, with your basic WordPress, you have the ‘text’ mode (where you need to write HTML code) or the ‘visual’ mode where you can see your web design’s preview and use basic on-screen content editing using clickable content element buttons. A drag-and-drop page builder provides you with a third option, that’s an editor with pre-made widgets, design components, and content blocks.
Take your mind back to the widgetized sidebar of a WP theme. Remember how you could drag-and-drop widgets and easily reshape the sidebars? Similarly, these drag-and-drop free builder plugins let you use widgets representing design and content elements, and you can drag and drop them to build sophisticated and visually impressive web pages. Advanced page builder plugins allow you to create your own widgets, add additional widgets, and integrate default WordPress widgets to create your web pages.
The Need for Drag-and-Drop Page Builder Plugins for WordPress
Some visually stunning websites don’t use any plugins, but only WordPress’s default post creation editor interface. Still, most contemporary WordPress websites are relying on drag-and-drop page builders to pull off something spectacular. The big question is – why do we need these page builder plugins? Here are the core reasons that make these plugins almost necessary for modern WP websites:
- Your WordPress website is a lot more than the initial design you go live with. There will always be rework, additional pages, and more content being added. A drag-and-drop page builder makes this subsequent work easier, quicker, and better.
- You may be comfortable with HTML5, CSS, and default WordPress editor. But there will be more people who will need to work on creating more web pages. For their sake, a drag-and-drop builder will make things much easier.
- Alternatives to WordPress, online website builders such as Wix, Weebly, and Shopify, heavily market themselves for their drag-and-drop styled editors. WordPress page builder plugins make it competitive in the context of the market dynamics of today.
The Biggest Benefits of WordPress Drag and Drop Page Builder Plugins
Even if we ignore the 3 reasons described above, there are inherent advantages associated with these plugins that make them a great asset for a WordPress setup. Here are some of them:
All In One Design Solution
A contemporary WordPress website needs a lot more than basic design elements. There are image carousels, social sharing widgets, content grids, sophisticated columnar data, animations, tables, call-to-action buttons, pie charts, and video loop boxes. Now, you might not require these advanced content formats for all posts, but whenever you do, you wouldn’t want to install a dedicated plugin to manage your requirement. By having a page builder plugin in place, you can solve all these advanced design and content requirements once and for all.
Custom Layouts for Brand Identity
You’d recognize your favorite websites even if all the content on them disappeared; that’s because of the unique design (headers, content structure, backgrounds, navigation menu, etc.). Even if you choose a premium WordPress theme, the chances are that it will not perfectly fit your design imagination. As a result, there will be some sort of design compromise involved. Then, other websites will use the same theme, which makes it challenging to garner brand recognition from web design. These drag-and-drop page builders solve the problem; you can add significant design tweaks to a chosen theme. Moreover, some high-quality WordPress themes have a drag-and-drop plugin built-in, making your website customization easy and pleasant.
Code-free Corrections and Creations
You can’t ignore the value of such plugins for those who are not entirely comfortable with HTML coding. Correcting minor design flaws such as disproportionate space between multiple columns, for instance, could take hours of effort in trial and error via HTML code correction. However, with a drag-and-drop styled page builder, you can do it within 5 minutes and publish the changes.
Other Value Adding Features
Apart from the above, these plugins bring in other advantages to the table; for instance, you can import and export design elements, execute live editing, and make mobile-only changes in your website designs. Here is a list of these benefits:
- You can see the history of the changes you made and can roll back the design to a previous stage with a single click.
- Adding rows, columns, and manipulating layouts for complicated content presentations is easy with these plugins.
- Make specific changes for mobile and tablet versions of your websites.
- Options to create reusable templates that can be saved and used anytime later.
- With custom modules and developer tools, these plugins extend additional capabilities to HTML experts.
- Many of these plugins are compatible with WooCommerce, which extends the design aplomb to your WP e-stores.
- Live editing, to help you implement changes on live website version in real time.
- Options to export specific portions of designs to other pages, resulting in a super quick creation of consistently designed web pages.
Criticism of Drag-and-Drop Page Builders
These plugins, despite their massive benefits, are sometimes criticized by purists. See if you agree with these opinions:
- These page builders inspire non-designers into taking up the design part of website creation, which brings quick but messy results.
- The code left behind by these plugins when you deactivate them is too complicated and not clean.
- The website owners are locked into the plugin and have to bear the risks of the plugin developers abandoning support and upgrades.
- Uninstalling the plugin could result in the website losing all the content created using the plugin.
- In some cases, installing plugins from unreliable sources brings security risks to the WordPress account.
- It’s possible that such a plugin could impact the loading speed of your web pages.
In some instances, these concerns can be deemed justifiable. However, considering how thousands of WordPress websites have successfully created stunning designs using the top-rated drag-and-drop page builder plugins, these opinions seem rather harsh.
The two pillars of a modern WordPress website are – content and design. The reality is that your WP website needs to make an impact in terms of design. It’s important to do so quickly, without major costs and hassles. WordPress drag-and-drop page builder plugins make it possible. To make the most of all the terrific functionalities, settings, customizations, and features of these plugins, search for top-rated page builder plugins from reliable developers and reinvent the design of your website.