36 Comments

  1. Luke Cavanagh

    Big fan of Elementor, very solid with a really clean UI.

    Report

  2. Guido

    I often come across so called web agencies which are building the most beautiful websites using premium templates and page builders. But those websites are almost impossible to maintain by an average customer: too complex because of the page builder that has been used. It’s too easy!

    Report

    • Kevin T

      I’ve found this too as we spend a lot of time repairing sites built by agencies. The worst are those using themes from themeforest, that include the evil visual composer, plus revolution slider plugins. They’re a nightmare in terms of site performance, SEO, ongoing support and updates. Divi from elegant themes I also hate. If these three developers could just disappear forever, the WordPress world would be a better place.

      Report

  3. Jordan

    I really enjoyed his review. Finally one that takes strong consideration of what WordPress is – an enormous open-source project that allows the use of plugins to efficiently bring functionality to a site (unless a page builder decides it isn’t).

    Report

  4. Tony

    Maybe this could be the beginning of some standards for page builders being hammered out. That would definitely be a positive.

    Tony

    Report

  5. Gary Bairead

    Dual license might be a more accurate description than split license – https://ma.tt/2015/07/licenses-going-dutch/

    Report

    • Andreas Nurbo

      No dual license is that the same code has two different licenses. Like GPL and a proprietary license for those that can’t use GPL software in their projects. Split license is when some parts of the code have one license and other parts have another.

      Report

  6. Peter Knight

    Pippin’s post was enjoyable to read. There aren’t a lot of resources that break down the different page builders. These kinds of products are really hard to get right, it’s good to see developers tune in to see what’s working across the board and what isn’t.

    I will say that in terms of lock-in it’s almost impossible to avoid that. Especially without some common standards in place it’s an unrealistic expectation almost. That’s the cost of using a page builder in general that users should accept in advance.

    Report

  7. Andre

    Many of the plugin authors whose page builders were included in the review were quick to respond and are already working on changes based on Williamson’s feedback.

    Now there’s respect towards Pippin.

    I personally hate page builders because I feel they are more of a problem (even though most users do not see or realize this) on many levels. Sure, they can easily help create layouts and content, but there are sacrifices in doing that–especially when it comes with the “lock-in” effect.

    Report

    • Omar

      Yeah but they not tailored for people who can actually code and do the same things without them, they are suited for people who are good at designing (layouts, colors, etc) but have no intention/interest/time of getting into coding. If you can code and somehow you still using those then I do understand your “hate”, but I think is better than not having some degree of freedom when it comes to your layout.

      Report

  8. Roby

    What about Divi by ElegantThemes ?

    Report

  9. Doroan

    I am amazed that no one is mentioning the best WP builder that exists- Divi Builder by Elegant themes, which comes as a plugin and integrated in themes Divi 3 and Extra.

    Report

    • Ben

      From Pippin’s review, “Divi Builder is definitely not my least favorite of the builders but it’s far from my favorite as well.” It’s there.

      Report

    • Kevin Trye

      I’ve found Divi poor. The coding overhead is immense and tends to lock you into the private Divi world, making it harder to change site themes later to another framework or new design. They also break too many coding, Google and WordPress ‘best practices’, too often tending to be slower speed than most sites. Part of this is due to the people that tend to use Divi and page builders, who know little of coding or website optimization, only what ‘looks nice’.

      Report

  10. Ryan Hellyer

    Pippins review is an excellent analysis of the practical in your face issues experienced with these plugins.

    Another aspect would be to look at the code vomit spewed forth by pretty much all of them. Some of them have horrendous complex PHP, which makes it nigh on impossible to work out how to extend them or work around them, and others include gob smacks of CSS and JS which look like nothing more than code diarrhea.

    And another aspect would be to look at what features they offer.

    Report

  11. Derek

    Never used a page builder before and never will. I am glad this review was done because it will shake things up and hopefully make all these page builder plugins a lot better for the end user and for plugin developers who have to do support on there plugins.

    Who will be the first to release a huge release now? I am sure a few plugins will stand out even more after a few months or less because of this excellent review post.

    I am not a developer but the end user who likes things just simple and easy to understand without having to read a book to understand what 2 features do.

    Report

    • Laura Brown

      Me too. I’ve been disappointed by a lot of premium plugins and themes/ frameworks because they seem to require a developer to configure and use them. I really think something I’m paying for could be (even more) user friendly than a free plugin/ theme.

      Report

  12. paul

    It would have been interesting to also add a performance review of each plugin. How they affect the page load.

    Report

  13. Rick

    Pippin’s review is great but I find is a sad comment on several of the developers that they are only fixing fairly obvious issues after being called out on them.

    Report

  14. Donald

    We have had good success with Pootle Page Builder and Jamie Marsland has provided great service from across the pond. Currently, we are reviewing the Divi Builder and find it remarkably vibrant with a longer learning curve. There does not seem to be any SEO or performance issues with either. We are hosted at WPEngine and the load times are superior with both builders I have mentioned. By way of experience… getting good with one or two builders is advisable and jumping around will create additional labor costs. Plugin conflicts can also be an issue.

    Report

  15. Luke

    Hello Everyone,

    Our team has been rebuilding Fusion Builder from the ground up for the entire year, and it will be agnostic and work with any theme. It will first only release for Avada customers, with plans to release it later on for any theme.

    We agree with parts of Pippin’s review and have for awhile. Our development team has been planning this for over a year because we know it can be better and we ourselves are not satisfied with it, even though the vast majority of our customer base enjoys using it. Our team and customer base is very excited about the new one we have created.

    We work on improvements constantly, never being satisfied with keeping things the way they are. We do not make improvements simply because a critical review comes out. We do it because we know it needs done and is the right thing to do to help improve our product and make it better for our customers. We focus on our customers 100% and they know how hard we work to always improve the product through updates.

    Sarah did reach out to me but unfortunately it was hours before the post was going live. As mentioned, I did not have time to answer the questions she proposed, especially since a lot of them involved talking to our development team to get complete answers because I am
    not a developer myself.

    I feel the comment made about me being “hesitant to answer the licensing question” is taken out of context.

    To clarify, I was not hesitant to talk about licensing. I simply mentioned that question was not the only answer I wanted to be quoted on because I wanted to answer them all at once.

    It was not a reluctantance to answer the question, it was a reluctance for that to be the only question I answered because many questions we’re asked and I wanted to be thorough and take time to answer them all.

    Yes Fusion Builder is packaged with Avada and is Split-GPL as you can see when purchasing on Themeforest, which is where we currently sell exclusively.

    We also reached out to Pippin about the new builder that has been in development all year, which he did mention in his post.

    It is still in beta form at the moment but is being released soon at which time you will be able to see more details about it :)

    Thank you for reading.

    Cheers,
    Luke

    Report

  16. Joan

    Pippin’s review is great. He’s a great WP developer, and I really enjoyed his free-of-affiliates post. I’ll give a try to those 3 builders. Thanks Pippin, that was a huge effort!

    Report

  17. Mike

    Whoa? I like the SiteOrigin Page Builder. It is so flexible, extensible and you can write new Widgets within seconds.

    I brings a whole framework but you need to understand it first. Maybe the same for all the others.

    Report

    • johnrom

      I agree with this! I’ve been using SiteOrigin for a few clients and it’s the best of both worlds. I have the flexibility of programming specific widgets using whatever technologies I need, and they can drag and drop it wherever they want. Combined with custom sidebars it makes the whole content area a piece of cake.

      The interface could be a little cleaner though.

      Report

    • Pat

      I agree too. Though I can’t say I have actually written new widgets (how?) but the existing ones give me so much power over page layout. I can even save page templates for other sites! It has saved me hours of manual CSS and given me design options I would never have considered. As for content lockin? Unreasonable to expect this to be perfect. If you deactivate then you’re in for a lot of work to re-layout anyway, so cut and paste your content to new pages beforehand. Better still stick with it, you won’t regret it.

      Report

  18. Shri Sinha

    Have been trying and using Elementor and with new templates it looks really promising. Tried to use tailor but it causes conflicts in most cases

    Live Composer hate the UI. Rest are theme bundled and VC is bloated and causes slow down

    My 2 cents. Nice review though.

    Report

  19. Subharanjan

    Really nice review done by Pippin !! I like the Tailor page builder out of his three recommendations.

    Report

  20. V K Rajagopalan

    Pippin’s review of page builders is eye opening and quite exhaustive.

    I use Divi and Extra with the built-in builder to design websites for my clients. I do ensure that the sites are easily maintainable by the clients after they are handed over to them.

    I am definitely going to try out the 3 page builders which have been highly recommended by him.

    Report

  21. Matt

    There was some talk in the comments regarding building with Genesis being a better choice than a page builder.

    Genesis can actually be worse than the reviewed page builders or at least just as bad. I do get why people use one or both together though.

    Let’s start though by calling Genesis what it is IMO. A parent theme, not a starter theme or a framework. It’s disingenuous at best and a bold faced marketing lie.

    Genesis is a remarkable software not unlike Headway or Pagelines. However as we have already witnessed the financial woes Headway has had, using Genesis could have similar dire consequences for it’s user base. Divi at least offers a standalone plugin option these days but before wasn’t much better.

    http://www.polesapartdesign.com/from-the-ground-up/building-wordpress-themes/wordpress-starter-theme-vs-theme-framework/

    A framework typically doesn’t lock you into using a particular theme. If it were a real framework, it would install like a plugin or be distributed as an inclusive library.

    A framework would not care what theme you are had activated thus not taking away your freedom(s) / ability to choose. Genesis requires you to install it like a theme and makes switching away from it more difficult than with some of the page builders mentioned here.

    Contrary to certain myths about page builder SEO, they do less to inhibit SEO than themes that integrate it and don’t offer an off switch do.

    If you use a theme and page builder that both don’t specifically offer SEO functionality that’s probably a good thing. It should be left up to a dedicated SEO or custom plugin just for that. It’s too important to be an afterthought.

    https://www.wpsitecare.com/genesis-seo/

    It might even turn out to be that those who choose to use a Page Builder plugin (not part of a theme) instead of having a Genesis site created for them would be better off if they ever needed to switch solutions.

    Ultimately use what works for you. Having to pick between recommending / using Genesis or a Page Builder though, I would feel less awful steering people away from Genesis and toward a page builder. It seems like the lesser of the evils in the current WP climate.

    Report

  22. Tada Burke

    I only like page builders when I’m not using them. P.S. Pippin is not human!

    Report

  23. Benjamin Intal

    Regarding Page Builder Sandwich, I’d just like to point out that we have been busy revamping our UI for the past couple of weeks. Pippin’s feedback on PBS was great, but our revamp started because of feedback from our users and from brainstorming on how to make things easier, and not from his article. Too bad the article came out prior to us finishing the update (it’s still not finished).

    Report

  24. Laura Brown

    I haven’t read the review yet. I tried a page builder (don’t remember which one) but uninstalled it because it had errors before I even started doing much with it. Since then I dared not try another because it was a big mess to clean up after the plugin was gone.

    I don’t know if this was included in the review but it’s of major importance to me. More than any fancy feature I’d like to know my posts won’t be a mess of code and missing parts if the plugin is gone/ uninstalled or buggy.

    Report

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: