Wordpress Themes vs. Page Builders vs. Custom Websites

Wordpress Themes vs. Page Builders vs. Custom Websites

One question we get asked a lot is what do we use to build our websites, do you use themes, or Wordpress, do you code from scratch or use a website page builder? Let's explore the three main website options and how each have their pros and cons, and which may be right for you.

What is a Wordpress Theme?

A theme in WordPress refers to a template designed by a WordPress developer that is installed onto a Wordpress Server. By loading a theme onto your website, you can easily modify your content, images, and other elements. Themes offer various customization options, although the extent of customization depends on the specific theme you choose. Typically, you can customize colors, fonts, and utilize pre-defined layouts for different pages such as your home page, gallery, services, or blog.

Wordpress Themes
Wordpress Themes

WordPress offers a vast selection of themes, numbering in the thousands. Some themes are available for free and can be found in the WordPress repository, while others may require a purchase from platforms like Envato or ThemeForest. The availability of both free and paid themes ensures a wide range of options to suit different preferences and requirements.

Wordpress Themes Pros & Cons

For many of the major themes, like Divi, Hello Elementor, and Astra, there are many developers that can develop and build a website. If you want to grow your website in the future, there are many options, therefore, to working with third parties to grow and develop your website, negating the need to stick with one website developer. One of the major issues with Wordpress Themes is speed. Many of the themes include many external javascript, external style sheets, other assets, and extra code that slows down the loading and rendering of your website, affecting visitor satisfaction, and possibly affecting search engine rankings. Every second counts when a visitor visits your website, and balancing the need for ease of updates, cool features, design, and information is extremely important to running a successful website. With a website designer that understands utilizing Content Delivery Networks, efficient hosting, and caching, some of those negatives can be reduced.

What are Page Builders?

In contrast, page builders provide you with the ability to create your own custom theme. Instead of relying on pre-designed layouts offered by themes, page builders empower you with complete control over your website's design. You can customize every aspect, including individual pages, headers, footers, blog layouts, and even e-commerce pages.

Wordpress Page Builders
Wordpress Page Builders

It's worth noting that WordPress requires the presence of a theme on your website for page builders to function. However, the theme you choose can be minimalist in nature. For example, we utilize Elementor as our preferred page builder and pair it with their Hello theme, which is lightweight and optimized for fast loading. Unlike other feature-rich themes, the Hello theme focuses on simplicity because you can achieve all your customization needs using Elementor. This means you don't have to spend time customizing the theme's settings since you have the freedom to customize everything directly within Elementor.

By utilizing page builders like Elementor, you can create a unique and fully customized website experience without being restricted by the limitations of traditional themes.

Wordpress Page Builder Pros & Cons

Pros of using a Page Builder

Utilizing a page builder offers significant advantages for many individuals. They are generally user-friendly and allow you to create a unique and visually appealing website for your visitors. Here are five key pros of choosing a page builder:

  1. No Coding Skills Required: Page builders handle the complex coding behind the scenes, eliminating the need for you to have coding expertise. Instead, you can use intuitive page blocks and elements to modify the functionality and appearance of your web pages.
  2. Access to Custom Templates: Most page builders provide a wide range of customizable templates. You can browse through these templates to find the style that suits your needs and then create web pages based on them. It's like selecting a canvas to paint on, but for websites.
  3. User-Friendly Interface: Many page builders are designed with user-friendliness in mind, making them accessible to even the least experienced website owners. You can get started without a degree or prior knowledge in web design.
  4. Comprehensive Website Creation Tools: Page builders offer a comprehensive set of elements and forms within their menu, allowing you to customize your templates further. This enables your website to have a unique appearance and distinct features, differentiating it from other pages on the internet.
  5. Variety of Options: There are numerous page builders available, giving you the freedom to choose the one that best fits your needs. If a particular page builder doesn't meet your expectations, you can explore other options to create the ultimate experience for your business or personal blog.

Cons of Using a Page Builder

While page builders have numerous advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  1. Potential Impact on Website Speed: If you overload your website with excessive elements, forms, or memory-intensive templates provided by the page builder, it can significantly slow down your website's speed. It's important to carefully manage the content to maintain optimal performance. However, page builders usually offer editing capabilities to make necessary adjustments.
  2. Loading Errors with Customized Fonts: Some page builders may encounter issues with loading custom fonts, which can affect website speed and cause problems with other plugins and widgets. Ensuring font compatibility and optimizing font usage can help mitigate these issues.
  3. Limited Free Options: While there are free page builders available, they often come with limitations in terms of features and performance. Investing in a premium page builder typically provides a more comprehensive set of tools and better results. Price ranges for page builders can vary from $30 to $150, depending on the chosen features and functionality.

It's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons when considering a page builder, ensuring that it aligns with your specific needs and budget while balancing performance considerations for your website.

Custom Websites

Our specialism are custom websites - we use our expertise and experience to integrate Wordpress in the back-end to beautiful front-ends that are completely unique, and perform exactly as you want & need - with no compromises.

Unlike website builders, or page themes, custom websites offer more personalization options, allowing your brand to stand out from the competition. In the long run, they tend to be more cost-effective, offering better analytics insights, customized marketing capabilities, and a higher return on investment - albeit with a higher initial outlay.

Custom websites PHP, Javascript, CSS, Databases

Custom websites operate at maximum efficiency, only loading what is needed to make the page, and the website as a whole, work. This "lean code" allows for maximum optimization for caching, the use of Content Delivery Networks, and databases to provide the best for a professional and fast experience for your visitors, and ultimately, customers.

Custom websites not only convey a more professional image but also enable you to differentiate your brand, provide an enhanced user experience, and accurately represent your business. Here are a few reasons to consider a custom website:

  1. Seeking quality: If you require a sophisticated and professional online presence that reflects your brand accurately, a custom website is the optimal choice. It ensures a unique design tailored specifically to your brand.
  2. Need for special features: Custom websites are more likely to accommodate e-commerce functionality, integration with advanced applications, and specialized programming. We are well-versed in the latest technologies and can incorporate specific features into your design.
  3. Strategic considerations: Web designers do more than create visually appealing websites. They approach the process strategically, taking into account user experience (UX), conducting research to enhance your online success, and implementing tools to improve SEO and conversion rates.

What is right for you?

Primarily, the choice between Wordpress Themes, Page Builders, or a fully customized website comes down to time, choice, and financials.

Our preference is always the customized website option, it provides maximum speed and efficiency, resulting in an enhanced customer experience, with the option to add other website functionality at a later date without having to rewrite the entire website, or jigsaw functionality in that isn't cohesive with your overall design - whether it's account login tools, e-commerce, calculators or other functionality.

Want to chat with us more about this, and about how we can build the website you need, or enhance your existing website and online presence?

Contact Us