If you want to create a website, but don’t know how and don’t have the money to spend on a developer, then there are two main solutions: using a website builder, and using WordPress. Website builders are popular for being an easy way to create a website, simply by dragging and dropping elements on the layout of your website. The idea is pretty simple, and most of the website builders are oriented towards people who have never developed before.
With WordPress it’s the same thing – it’s oriented towards people who don’t have the technical knowledge, or the resources to create a website from scratch. At its core, the idea is a bit different, but the end result is pretty similar to that of a website builder. The basic building blocks of WordPress are not modules, but pages and posts (even widgets) instead. However, in the past year or two a plugin has emerged, which is taking over the WordPress plugin market by storm.
Evolution of WordPress
Plugins have always been very crucial for the success of a WordPress website. These are often little pieces of code that add a certain functionality to your website. At least that was how it was when the platform first came out. Nowadays WordPress plugins are very flexible, complex, and they are like little programs that add a lot of value to your WordPress installation. With plugins you can create online slideshows, add lazy loading ability, create online stores, and many many more.
Nowadays there are a few plugins which feel like they are coming with almost every new theme that comes out. One of these plugins is Visual Composer. Even though not the only of its kind, it’s certainly the most popular one. Put in simple words, Visual Composer allows you to create custom pages by dragging and dropping modules onto a canvas. Sounds familiar, right?
WordPress is Overtaking Another Market
It sounds familiar, because it’s the same idea as website builders. Even though, at the moment at least, drag and drop builders aren’t a part of the base WordPress installation, they are bound to become soon. Creating pages by dragging and dropping elements is essentially a much more intuitive way of creating web pages just the way that you have envisioned them.
This is perhaps one of the best things that could have happened to WordPress – incidentally or not, they are entering another market. Website builders used to be those that allowed you to create a website by dragging and dropping modules, seeing the result immediately. Now, you can do that with WordPress as well – which also happens to be responsible for the creation of every 5th new website.
However, the plugins that allow dragging and dropping for WordPress are not that powerful yet. Whereas you see the result of your change immediately in website builders, you don’t do so in WordPress. You will have to at least click the preview button. Even though that might not seem as a burden, if you make lots of small changes to one module, you will feel like that’s too much unnecessary clicking and loading of web pages.
Another problem is that WordPress still hasn’t perfected that. Most of the Visual Composer type plugins still work with columns and rows. They do not allow entire independence of the modules. For instance, if you want to have a row with a module which only takes half of the row, and the module standing in the middle – you will have a lot of trouble doing that with WordPress. Whereas in website builders – just drag and drop and that’s it.
WordPress, or at least the plugins that are giving you this possibility, still have a long way to go. The first thing to do is to figure out a way of actually showing how your website will look with the new module within the plugin. Even though it looks trivial, it still a bit annoying to have to press the Preview button every minute, to see the small changes.
Another thing that has to be done is to remove the row and column limitations. This way you will be able to drag and drop elements wherever you want. If you want to create a blank row now, for instance, you will have to either add blank rows, or use special modules that emulate that.
However, if those plugins do continue evolving in the same direction, they are surely going to help WordPress take a large portion of website builders’ clients away. That will be great news for WordPress developers and designers.