Why We Moved Away From 3rd Party Page Builders to Gutenberg
By David | June 9, 2021
TL;DR, Performance. One of the biggest factors to websites is their performance. A big factor to our switch was Google’s May Update. It really emphasized the need for speed of the site even more so. Also, with WordPress pushing for their own builder, we find it more strategic to start learning and building on this rather than wait.
People outside the world of web development and IT imagine websites made through a series of complex codes. Then after a grueling session, these numbers translate into images and colors and what we know as the websites today. This is correct. But what most people don’t know is that the world of web development is slowly changing its production into something that’s more beginner-friendly.
Creating websites is not solely based on programming anymore. It can now be done through drag and drop elements known as page builders. These have a similar feel to editing images/posters in many user-friendly online editing applications. They are easy to use and understand, with minimal coding involved. However, many of these plug-ins vary through function limitations and performance –especially on how fast or slow they take loading your site.
You may find many articles that provide a comprehensive list where functions are compared and such. But in this write-up, we will talk about a specific page builder plug-in that we think would be best to use for your website needs.
Why Use Page Builders?
WordPress page builders have streamlined website creation. Using their simple drag and drop method, they’ve made what we thought would be a grueling session of coding, a flick of the wrist. From making mock-ups to website style variations, developers get customizable templates and various style selections. These options make life easier for them and the website owners who can now easily understand the process and see the changes better.
It appears that even individuals and business owners have also tried and decided to tackle website creation with their own hands, and many have succeeded because of these simple features. With the pre-built elements and functions that can easily be moved around and inserted on the page, websites can be put together in record time. And effects can be seen immediately as well. But of course, no matter how many options they can provide, manual coding will still be a needed skill in website development for complex features and troubleshooting when bugs occur.
With many of these already in the market, most developers choose their players through their website’s needs. For example, if the user wants an easy-to-use front-end visual editor, they would opt for either WP Bakery or Beaver Builder. Both also support CSS customization for their elements. The former is compatible with translation plug-ins, while the latter is optimized for mobile devices. Usually, web agencies such as ourselves utilize one page-builder, which we think is the best offer in the market. But as technology shifts and changes, so do page-builders. This is why we constantly look for the best in the market to offer to our clients.
With this, good page builders are characterized by two things. (1)They should cater to individuals of all skill levels, even those with no background in web development. (2)And they should also have a broad selection of elements and templates so that the user can customize the website to their liking. Later on, however, a third factor will be a game-changer for all page builders and separate one from the rest.
What is Beaver Builder?
Beaver Builder is one of the many page builders in the market and is known to be one of the best in terms of customization, user-friendliness, speed, and being lightweight –to name a few. However, it is known for how flexible it is in terms of being fully customizable and compatible with a vast majority of WordPress themes. This takes out the limits that most page-builders have in terms of making unique websites.
This builder also has other features that differentiate it from the others, such as being SEO-ready and translation-ready. Beaver Builder uses the best SEO standards like code compression and schema.org. It also supports the WMPL plug-in that allows your site to be a multilingual site while also being compatible with the other WP multilingual plugin, Weglot.
In an article by Freddy Muriuki of WPKUBE on the best WordPress Plug-ins, he even mentions that Beaver Builder should be considered a framework with its complete toolset that builds beautiful websites in minutes. This is why we chose to stick with this builder to make sure that our customers can get the website fit for their brand. However, with the promising technology of Gutenberg, we decided to make the shift.
What is Gutenberg?
Gutenberg had made its announcement back in 2018 when it was released simultaneously with WordPress 5.0. With the many page builders at the time, WordPress developers decided to create their own, renaming it as a block editor rather than a page builder. This is because it uses blocks instead of the known drag and drop in making content.
Its most significant advantage and its main differentiator from the other page builders is the mere fact that WordPress made it while third-party developers supported/created all the others. But although this was the case, developers were quick to spot its shortcomings in its debut. From the minimal customization of its blocks (not being able to adjust size and layouts) to its minimal styling options, templates, widgets, and such, it was less flexible than its counterparts. But of course, with much feedback received, Gutenberg was able to update itself and tackle the flaws in its debut.
Fast forward to 2020, and many have started to notice the improvements of this block editor. Some have even considered the plug-in flexible, scalable, and swift when it comes to building websites. There are reasons to believe that this would be the better option in the market, and let us list it down for you.
Reasons for Liking the Improved Gutenberg
- Additional installation not necessary.
- Simple interface.
- Reusable and custom blocks.
- Fast site performance.
Limitations for Now
- No frontend mode.
- Other WordPress page builders offer more possibilities.
Gutenberg versus Beaver Builder: Why the shift?
Although Beaver Builder has all the elements needed to make a fantastic website, we moved to Gutenberg because of its performance. One of the positive reasons stated above for liking Gutenberg is its fast site performance because it is less bloated. Many page builders generate heavy HTML markup that affects page speed, but Gutenberg provides clean and simple codes.
Although page speed will always be a concern and a big factor in customer satisfaction and journey, it has recently become a critical consideration as well. Google plans to measure sites through Core Web Vital metrics and have a new ranking system where loading speed is a big factor in ranking high. As website owners, we want to rank high in this assessment because this helps Google choose which sites are the most helpful pages to rank on top for the users. This affects the search for your site which would also affect traffic. And we all want our sites to have good traffic.
With this, we are actually offering a 50% discount on rebuilding your websites to Gutenberg. Same design and functions but with a faster site. It will not just help your profile in the future but with Gutenberg under WordPress, it can provide a lot of good possibilities and updates for the site. What are you waiting for? Call us now!
- Image 1: Dudharejia, M. (2018, August 14). Adding a new post in Gutenberg [GIF]. Smashing Magazine.
- Baig, T. (2020, October 21). Gutenberg vs. WordPress Page Builder: How Did the Editor Develop? RAIDBOXES.
- Editorial Staff & About the Editorial Staff. (2020, January 2). Gutenberg vs WordPress Page Builders – What’s the Real Difference? WPBeginner.
- Gutenberg’s Faster Performance Is Eroding Page Builders’ Dominance. (2021, January 12). WordPress Tavern.
- Hicks, B. (2020, April 21). Gutenberg vs. WordPress Page Builders. Pilot Digital.
- Hughes, J. (2021, May 11). 5 of the Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders Compared. ThemeIsle Blog.
- Muriuki, F. (2021, January 5). Beaver Builder Review 2021: Is it Really Worth it? WPKube.
- Osman, M. (2021, March 16). The 15 Most Popular WordPress Page Builders Compared. RAIDBOXES.