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WordPress Gutenberg Editor vs. Page Builders: Which is Best for You?

When WordPress introduced its Gutenberg editor in version 5.0, it changed the way content is created on the platform. The new block editor was a departure from the traditional WYSIWYG editor and was met with mixed reactions. On the other side of the fence, several page builder plugins had already been offering advanced layout and design capabilities for years. This post seeks to compare the Gutenberg block editor with typical WordPress page builder plugins to help you make an informed decision about which is best for your needs.

A Brief Overview

  1. Page Builders: These are tools or plugins that extend the content creation and layout capabilities of WordPress. Examples include Elementor, Divi, WPBakery, and many more. They come with a plethora of features, widgets, and options, allowing users to create highly custom websites without touching a line of code.
  2. Gutenberg Block Editor: This is WordPress’s default content editor since version 5.0. It uses a block-based approach where every piece of content, be it a paragraph, image, or quote, is a block that can be manipulated individually.
A screenshot of WP Bakery backend view
A screenshot of Gutenberg editor (WP Backend)

Comparison Table: Gutenberg vs. Page Builders

Feature/AspectPage BuildersGutenberg Block Editor
Target AudiencePrimarily developersEditors
Options & FeaturesHundreds, suited for any site designStreamlined and focused
PerformanceOften slower, affects SEOOptimized for speed
CompatibilityMay conflict with other pluginsHighly compatible
Underlying TechnologyVaries by builder, often old JS technologyBuilt in React
SEOMight slow down site, affecting SEOSEO-friendly
Ease of EditingCan be complex due to many optionsUses reusable content blocks

Delving Deeper

  1. Audience Fit:
    • Page Builders: Primarily made for developers. With a vast number of options available, they cater to those who have a certain level of technical know-how and want to create unique site designs. It does, however, significantly reduce the costs of website build as it doesn’t require programmers.
    • Gutenberg: Designed by developers but with editors in mind. It aims to make the content creation process as seamless as possible. It requires high technical skills to develop technology compatible with WordPress Core.
  2. Performance & SEO:
    • Page Builders: Given the multitude of options and features they pack, they can be bloated and slow down a website. This in turn can negatively impact SEO.
    • Gutenberg: It’s optimized for speed, allowing sites to get very close to a 100/100 page speed score, which is a boon for SEO.
  3. Compatibility:
    • Page Builders: The vastness of features means they might sometimes conflict with other plugins.
    • Gutenberg: Since it’s built into WordPress core, it ensures compatibility with almost every plugin, reducing the chances of conflicts.
  4. Ease of Editing:
    • Page Builders: They offer immense flexibility but can also be overwhelming for those who just want to edit content.
    • Gutenberg: Uses a reusable content mechanism, making editing consistent and straightforward. It’s trully What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)
  5. Technology:
    • Gutenberg: It stands out for being built in React, one of the latest and most popular JavaScript libraries. This not only makes it robust but also future-proof to a large extent.

Conclusion

Both Gutenberg and page builders have their merits. While page builders offer unmatched flexibility in design, they can be overkill for simple content editing needs. Gutenberg, on the other hand, offers a balanced approach with a focus on ease of use and performance.

If you’re an editor looking for a straightforward way to manage content without getting bogged down by countless options, Gutenberg is a clear choice. But if you’re a developer aiming to build intricate site layouts, a page builder might be worth considering.

Remember, the best tool always depends on the task at hand and the specific needs of the user. Whatever you choose, ensure it aligns with your goals and the experience you want to provide to your website visitors.

WordPress Gutenberg Editor vs. Page Builders: Which is Best for You?

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