Is a Website Builder Plugin Necessary to create a nice looking website?

Im new to using WordPress and I’m helping redesign my works website but I’m finding it very limited with what is in our WordPress theme. We are using Astra pro for our site. I want to use a plug-in builder like Elementor but my work has concerns that using it will effect our load speed and ultimately our SEO.

I’m wondering is it possible to create a website that isn’t very basic looking without a builder? Do these builders impact load speed by a lot?

All the page starters in the astra theme use these page builder plug ins, which makes me feel like creating something unique is hard with out them.

Would love to hear some thoughts!

  1. Nope, not at all. I’ve built most of my portfolio sites with a custom-coded theme that I built myself. And you don’t even need WordPress. Just hosting and some HTML, CSS, and possibly some JS and you can build a site.

  2. If you are going with WordPress then yes, with how you can customise the website?

  3. I’ve never bothered with builder plugins. In fact, I usually just mock up exactly what I want the site to look like in photoshop, and then build myself a child theme of whatever default theme has the base features I need (usually the most bare-bones theme I can find so I don’t have to override a bunch of stuff).

  4. Elementor adds a bunch of garbage to your pages, honestly shouldn’t be using it today when we have much better builders out there now.

    If you have no HTML/CSS/PHP experience, yes you need a builder. If you want to stay in the Astra family, use Spectra Pro blocks. Otherwise, use WPStackable Pro or Kadence Blocks Pro. And if you want a tool that does it all instead of having a separate theme and builder, Breakdance or Bricks (they absolutely destroy Elementor).

  5. It’s a common myth that your only choices are the Elementor page builder (slow, unstable, insecure) and the built-in Gutenberg page builder (fast but incomplete and therefore difficult for non-programmers to customize.)

    If you’re familiar with the Elementor interface but don’t like their sloppy coding you might want to look at Breakdance. If you’d like a little more control you might look at Bricks. If you like the graphic-design approach instead you might try a competent, capable front-end plugin like Beaver Builder.

    A dirty little secret about most page builders is that the big performance differences flatten out considerably with good caching. The rest comes from authoring competence. Even with Elementor (which is just intrinsically non-performant or reliable), some of the worst problems come because even absolute beginners can hack together decent-looking pages. The problem is that absolute beginners will use 4MB PNGs in thumbnails and stream videos from the media library. This makes Elementor look even worse.

    One way or another, if you don’t want to do most of the work in code you’ll need to use some kind of builder. If you really don’t mind code then you could use Advanced Custom Fields and an IDE to create PHP templates to display them with. Or you could go really old-school, install the Classic Editor plugin, and hand-code HTML in the [text] tab.

    For the record you really don’t need to use a builder with Astra or any other “classic” WordPress theme.

  6. Depends. If you can code you can do whatever you want. If you cant code you either have to find a theme that can be configured the way you want, find someone that can code/build the site the way you want, or you have to use a pagebuilder.

  7. I use Elementor pro for all my site and I dont have any issues with SEO. Maybe a little speed issue when checking the score on Speed Insights. But no real issue with SEO at all. Rank Math plugin does the job great for SEO

    I have a bunch of guides on Elementor Pro and SEO if you need some guidance. Elementor is great because it is compatible with all major plugins and third party software.

    DM me if you need some help 😊

  8. NO!


    Additionally, clients like them because they can make changes themselves easier.

    Divi fanboy here. Can’t wait for 5.0 later this year.


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