Yes, always. Keep messing with that DIVI, Elementor, WP Bakery all you want…you’re gonna pay for it later. (I guarantee it.)
I’ve seen more than a few hundred clients crying under the weight of bloated pagebuilders. And I’m here to tell their horror stories to save anybody from the same predicament.
Make no mistake. Pagebuilders are a short-term solution at best but almost always a longterm mistake.
1. Pagebuilders are slow
Bloated as hell, takes forever on frontend and backend. I make a ton of money every year doing speed optimization and can tell pagebuilders are almost always one of the top 3 reasons why a site is slow.
Maybe some of sneaky geniuses think you can get around it by just using caching or a more expensive server plan. Sure, that negates it a bit but still doesn’t make it any easier for the site to breathe. Everyday tasks are still annoyingly slow and some pages can’t be cached.
In case you need real-world benefits:
- A page without pagebuilder will probably load 3 times faster.
- A site without pagebuilder can load faster even from a cheaper/slower server.
- A site without pagebuilder also gets better page scores (even though I don’t care about those).
2. Pagebuilders are buggy
If the slowness doesn’t get to you, I assure you the constant bugs will. New WordPress updates break, other plugins conflict. Having WooCommerce multiples your chance of bugs by a hundred. Something is always going wrong! And more than anything, it’s almost always the pagebuilder’s fault. Do you want to know why?
You can thank the newbie user-base for this. The naive clients chasing and demanding every new gimmicky design trend. Thanks to them, your pagebuilder caters and releases new features every year…..half-baked features that are rarely tested thoroughly. These companies are motivated by profit more than anything else, ya know.
And what happens next? Things break! What else?
3. Pagebuilders are difficult to remove
You might be in love with Elementor/DIVI now but I promise you the fling ends inevitably. Those days of wonderment exploring fancy effects and widgets will soon be replaced by buyers remorse and impatient waiting for things to load. Even simple text changes will feel like half-day errands.
You’ll say to yourself, “Oh no problem. I’ll just talk to a pro!” Then you’ll realize consulting with devs for pagebuilder-removal feels like a bad cancer prognosis. It’s freaken difficult if not impossible. And it’s EXPENSIVE!
I charge clients anywhere from $200-500 per page to convert from a pagebuilder to Gutenberg. Because it’s that much of a PITA. Some clients try to save money by attempting it themselves…and then give up shortly when they realize one page could take them all day!
Half the stress is matching your old design/function. The other half of the stress is stripping out all the pagebuilder junk left behind. And then there’s lingering stress for months afterwards not knowing if you really got everything or if half your site is broken somewhere.
THE BOTTOM LINE – pagebuilders suck over the longterm
Pagebuilders cannot scale, and will cost you money in the long run!
The more successful your business becomes, the more you’ll wish you had gone without them. If you want to use a pagebuilder for a 5-page website, it’s fine. You can convert away from that in a weekend if you change your mind in the future.
But the moment your site gets up to 20-30 pages on the pagebuilder, you need to stop digging that hole. I’ve seen clients with 200-300 pages on the pagebuilder and absolutely in tears. Everything slow. Everything breaks. Everything sucks.
Do you want your site to suck? If not, then stop putting sucky solutions on it. Using a pagebuilder might “save money” on a cheap site. But cost you LOTS of money later down the line if your site ever becomes successful and grows into many pages.
Or you can keep digging that hole and then one day have to pay thousands for someone like me to painstakingly rebuild your site from scratch. And let me tell you, I’m actually good at it but it still takes me freaken FOR-EV-ERRRRRR!!!
The few instances where pagebuilders are OK for me.
Had to write this or else risk people getting bent outta shape and misinterpreting my words. Below are some conditions/scenarios where I think pagebuilders are ok.
- You know what you’re doing.
- You (or your client) don’t know how to accomplish custom designs any other way.
- You only use it on a few pages.
- You’re not going crazy with it.
- You don’t mind the slight performance hit OR have negated it with caching.
Note for the angry mob
I get it, some of you are big mad. You think I’m saying pagebuilders suck and pagebuilder users suck, and pagebuilders are always the inferior choice. I’m not.
I actually like that pagebuilders exist and serve a market who wouldn’t be able to customize pages or customize (as quickly) without them.
But I don’t feel they are the superior longterm solution. That is all.
Just as how I think iPhones are great cameras, but will never be better than DSLR’s. You can argue all day that iPhones are easier and more fun to use or situationally better..but they will never be superior in end result to DSLR.