What is a WordPress website builder?
You may think this could be someone who develops websites using WordPress, good guess. However, in the WordPress world, a website builder is a commonly used term for a software suite which allows you (the website admin) to take full control over how your website looks.
This sounds great, right! No need for a professional web designer here if all that is needed is a drag-and-drop, click click and a sweet publish button. But one moment, not all WordPress builders are created the same and let’s face it; web design has always been so much more than just the mechanical process of using a tool. Web designers provide strategy, recommend optimum use of colour, typography, photography and style. Not something which comes from using a click & play WordPress plugin.
Like many good web designers, I create custom websites to fulfil the demands of my clients and their unique projects. Each design is different; this is something that makes being a creative web designer exciting, allows room for lots of innovation and ultimately provides my clients with more meaningful results.
So WordPress builders sound grand, right! Not quite, as with all technology, these systems have their ideal place. If you are the type of character who loves to tweak settings deciding on margins and border widths, you will like builders. However, if you want to present your content in a way which you know will always look stunning every time you press the publish button with minimal tweaking needed builders may not be quite your cup of cocoa.
Whichever view you feel matches your desire to manage your new website. I have studied many of the leading WordPress builders and regularly offer clients the following solutions.
Of all the many WordPress builders, I have found Oxygen Builder to deliver highly optimised code. Unlike so many builder suites where the underlining website code seems to suffer at the easy of the build, Oxygen has managed to create a tool which offers a perfect balance.
The user interface will seem complicated at first; this is common with WordPress builders and is inherently part of the tweak-able toolkit. Oxygen Builder offers lots of room for customisation while retaining much of the original look and feel initially presented to you by the web designer.
The WordPress Gutenberg editor is not strictly a WordPress builder plugin as it forms part of the default editor functionality of any WordPress website. This is, however, an underestimation of what is achievable with this new editor once you begin to add custom blocks.
Unlike Oxygen Builder and it’s like where you will be offered a wide selection of block types, Gutenberg has a core set of block types which provide a basis for layout and other commonly featured content types.
By analysing your project scope and identifying which additional block types may also be required, it is possible to develop custom blocks. This means that you have a genuinely bespoke website and a WordPress editor that is tested to match your design brand and present your information in an organised way. This personalised, customised approach means that when you’ve created your new webpage or edited an existing page, you can feel confident knowing that the site was crafted to meet your exacting needs.
Using custom Gutenberg blocks also allows us to create easily repeatable content blocks which would be either too time-consuming for the website admin to create using a generic WordPress builder block or not possible without some advanced technical support.
Whichever approach matches your project objectives and your personal preferences, I feel it is always good to consider the options available and be open-minded to the ever-changing technologies accessible to deliver custom WordPress websites.