Finally, here is our updated view of WordPress Page builders
WordPress has many great aspects but the page styling is very basic. Your theme is going to dictate what you can and can’t do with the header and the footer but the body content is usually left, right or centre, image wrap or no image wrap – and then there’s the issue of the sidebar. We’ve been creating custom WordPress themes since 2009 and there’s been some changes. Demand for better page design is a big one and so is the question of the sidebar.
We feel the sidebar is quite a liability these days. It is mainly a desktop thing and it can lure people into putting two items of important content across the top of the sidebar and the top of the body. Like a print based publication this gets the ‘above the fold’ content seen first. However, a lot of themes will send the sidebar content to the bottom of the page when viewed on a mobile. Exactly what you don’t want!
Of course the main meat of the content is in the body. Until Gutenberg shakes things up you have the basic and limited styling options of out of the box WordPress. This is where Page builders have really changed things. We haven’t comprehensively tested all of them and that’s not the reason for this post. We have used a few on production sites over a period of over a year and that long term usage is what this post is about. We have certainly cured the sidebar conundrum mentioned above.
We are still very trusting of the industry standard Genesis as our WordPress framework. It has a rock solid reputation and has given us no trouble since we started using it in 2009. It lets us customise the header and footer and do all kinds of things with widgets and much, much more. Just like standard WordPress though, the body part editing is basic. A commission in 2016 allowed us to progress this situation…
We took on a challenging Drupal to WordPress conversion job that required a layout with six columns. Those columns then had to break down into three columns for a tablet/iPad and then a single column for mobile.
We’ve now settled on the only Page builder that could do the job. We’ve had two years of using the product and trying out it’s support. It’s over four years old, bankrolled by a household name and grown well past the tipping point of being a mature product that won’t suddenly disappear. Support is superb and it’s now in our trusted tool set.
All of our clients can now request it at no added cost as we have an unlimited license!