November 15th, 2017 WordPress

Page builders represent a huge market in the WordPress ecosystem. Here is the most important thing to consider before choosing one.

The WordPress page builder market is quite competitive. There are many options to choose from, all boasting some pretty impressive capabilities. I personally have used quite a number of them. In fact, I have probably have seen every one of them in use over the years given that many LearnDash customers opt to use page builders to design their online course sites.

While I certainly have my own preferences, this article isn’t an opinion piece. And quite frankly that’s not a can of worms that I feel like opening. Opinions on page builders are never-ending.

If you are in the market for a page builder then I want to offer up a piece of advice to consider before making your selection. It has nothing to do with things like ease of use, speed, or feature-sets. These things are pretty subjective. What I think is “easy” may not be the same for you, and vice versa.

My advice to anyone in the market for a page builder is this: choose the one based on what life is like after you’re done using it.

This means that when you decide to stop using your page builder you should have an understanding about what your content look like when it’s disabled. Not all page builders are created equal in this area. Some have been known to leave a bunch of random shortcodes and text on your page rendering your content useless while others won’t do this.

If you choose one that leaves a mess when disabled then you’re essentially locked into that builder. You can’t move, at least not without hours upon hours of work transitioning your content.

The good news for you is that there are many page builders that will not leave any kind of mess when disabled. Your content stays the same and sometimes even the formatting is minimally impacted. Go with those options. You’ll save yourself major headaches.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Justin's Homepage | Twitter

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Thanks for the article!
I’m in the process of choosing one myself and I know exactly what you mean about the shortcodes once you disable it. While you aren’t going into the weeds as far as naming names, I’ll get the ball rolling with Visual Composer.

I have used it for all my websites so far (Civil Engineering background, not a web developer) and I would say VC is worth 10 rimes what they charge for how accessible they have made making a website for me. I’m not kidding! It was the difference between feeling like I could do the work myself vs. having to pay someone to do the work for us (I feel the cringes coming from actual web people).

Is there a resource that makes this distinction when comparing page builders? Before reading this, I didn’t know it was possible to build a web page without a hodgepodge collection of shortcodes later on! In my googling, all I see is other articles also not naming names.

Update! I have discovered beaver builder which claims to do what the author is describing.

Thank you for your comment Brad and for sharing your experience. Here is a popular comparison article, though it’s a year old so some of the information might not be current.

Thanks for sharing that comparison and it seems that Beaver Builder is also reviewed favorably in that article.

Hi.

When you use a Page builder like Beaver Builder and Elementor, the Shortcode generator wizard that LearnDash adds to the TinyMCE editor can’t be used.

Do you have any suggestions on how to actually layout a lesson / course page with a page builder?

Avatar Henrik

That has to do with how they generate the WP text editor. You can try inserting and copying the shortcodes from another page.

Hi,

I have the same issue with Elementor, if I put the shortcode [ld_course_list orderby=”date” num=”6″ col=”3″ progress_bar=”true” course_categoryselector=”true”] in Elementor’s shortcode widget, then Elementor preview display course corectly. But on actual site, those course list just stretch to 1 column.

If I put the same shortcode in the Text Editor, then they displayed correctly.

I did disable all plugins except LD, LD Grid and Elementor but the problem still persist. I don’t think there’s plugin conflict in this case.

I have WP 4.9.5 + Astra WP Pro + Elementor Pro

Avatar Roni

Did you ever find a solution or did a newer version of Elementor fix this problem?

Avatar David Mabelle

Speaking of page builders. Any plans to have any Beaver Builder/Themer and Elementor modules made for LD?

Avatar Amber

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