When it comes to creating a WordPress site, selecting the right page builder is crucial. However, too often the decision is swayed by a developer’s preference for familiar tools, rather than by what’s truly best for the client’s project. This article aims to guide you through a comprehensive approach that considers both developer-focused and customer-focused factors in choosing the most suitable WordPress page builder.
The Tool Itself
Functional Capabilities: Before anything else, it’s essential to evaluate if the page builder can perform the tasks needed for the project. Does it offer a responsive design? Is there room for custom post types? How well does it handle multimedia content? A developer’s deep dive into the tool’s capabilities will prevent future roadblocks.
Global Styles: Developers should assess whether a page builder allows for global styles – a set of design standards that can be applied consistently throughout a site. This feature is crucial for maintaining a coherent look and feel without editing each element individually.
Performance: A well-optimized page builder should not weigh down the site. Page builders with clean code and efficient loading times are preferable. The less “bloated” a tool is, the better it will perform, which affects not just user experience but also SEO rankings.
Support and Community: The quality of a tool’s support and its community can be a lifeline for developers. Extensive documentation, active user forums, and responsive customer support can make or break the development process, especially when facing tight deadlines or complex issues.
Alignment: A page builder must align with a client’s business objectives. For example, if a client prioritizes speed and SEO, a lightweight page builder would be more appropriate than one with extensive animation features.
Design Flexibility: The ability to change designs without starting from scratch is vital for clients who need to pivot quickly. A page builder that allows for template switching and design overhauls without affecting the content is invaluable.
Deactivation Consequences: It’s important to communicate to clients what happens if they deactivate the page builder. Will their content be held hostage by shortcodes, or will it revert to basic HTML that’s easy to work with?
Content Editing and Management
Workflow: Can the client easily update their site? Is the editor backend user-friendly? A complex page builder might overwhelm clients who lack technical skills, leading to frustration and increased support requests.
Training: The training required for a client to use the page builder effectively must be realistic. Overly complex tools can escalate training costs and time, potentially straining the client’s resources.
Updates and Maintenance: How often does the page builder require updates, and how do these updates impact the site? A page builder with a stable update path is less likely to disrupt a live site and cause issues for the client.
Migration Risks: Developers should consider the potential risks involved in migrating to or from the page builder. How easy is it to transfer content? Are there proprietary elements that will not play well with other tools?
Company Risk Profile: Analyzing the stability and prospects of the company behind the page builder is critical. A stable company with a robust team and clear ownership is less likely to vanish overnight or make sudden, detrimental changes.
Design, Content, and Structure Flexibility: Clients often need the freedom to change design, content, and site structure. A page builder that offers this flexibility, without the need for extensive developer intervention, empowers clients to take control of their site.
Budget for Training: Not all clients can afford extensive training. A page builder that is intuitive and easy-to-learn can significantly reduce the need for a large training budget.
Bridging Developer Expertise and Client Needs
Finding Common Ground
A developer’s expertise paired with a client’s understanding of their own business can lead to a selection that is robust, user-friendly, and goal-oriented.
Recommendations for Developers
Developers should adopt a client-centric approach when choosing a page builder. Explaining the technical aspects in layman’s terms and training clients on the selected tool will ensure they are comfortable and confident in managing their website.
Building for the future also means choosing a page builder that is likely to grow, adapt to new web standards, and continue to receive support and updates over time. This long-term perspective is crucial for the client’s ongoing success.
Choosing a WordPress page builder is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It requires a balance between developer know-how and client needs.
In the end, the goal is a WordPress page builder that leads to a successful, manageable, and future-proof website.