Should I use a Drag and Drop theme with WordPress

Most companies now realize that it is essential to have a website if they are to grow and maintain their business. That website should also be mobile friendly so that the increasingly large audience who do everything on their smartphone phones can see what you are offering. You might very well decide to use WordPress since this is a very popular website software.

wordpress home pageIn setting up such a website there are some important questions. Perhaps one of the most important is whether you (or perhaps your website developer) want an easy way to develop the design, or whether you accept that you must have some coding knowledge to create your own display. The easy way to create a display is to use Drag and Drop software. This allows you to move images or videos around on your screen and fine-tune what visitors will see. It all sounds too easy but as we will show in this article there are some important factors to consider in making this choice.

Would a cloud-based website work better for you?

Another fundamental question is whether you wish to build your website on some hosting service that you pay for or whether you wish to build a website in some “cloud” that may be either free or low cost. Perhaps the most obvious choice is to use the “cloud” service provided by WordPress at WordPress Dot Com.

wordpress com promise

That still leaves you with no possibility of using Drag and Drop technology.  If you believe that could be important to you, then you might wish to consider some other “cloud” service such as Wix, which has some very satisfied users.

wix home page

You will find the arguments for and against Wix in an article, WordPress Vs. Wix: Which One Is The Best?

Here are some other popular choices. All provide Drag and Drop technology to help you in building your website.

WordPress Drag and Drop Page Builders

If you would prefer to stick with the WordPress choice, then you still have that fundamental question, Drag and Drop or coding.

The article, WordPress Hot Topic: Drag and Drop Page Builders, gets into details on this.

Page builders, also known as Drag and Drop theme builders, are an interesting topic within the WordPress community (as well as in others) because you either love them or hate them. There’s no room left in between; users and professionals, like web developers or web designers, don’t even agree whether these tools are more useful or a threat to them.

It summarizes the issue with the following lists of Pros and Cons.

WordPress page builders: The Pros

  • Great for people without programming knowledge
  • Easy to use
  • Simplify running and managing a website
  • Lots of different options and choices

WordPress page builder: The Cons

  • Create the potential for inexperienced users to mess up their website
  • Slower to work with than programming
  • SEO could be hindered
  • Sluggish loading
  • Create a “locked-in” feeling for users/developers

Another article you may find useful is “A Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builder – Good or Bad?

One word of caution is that with all these Drag and Drop processes, short code is included within the code of the page that requires long-term use of the same Drag and Drop plugins.  It is very difficult if not impossible to switch to another theme if you might wish to switch.

Some of the best Drag and Drop themes for WordPress

To help in your choice a good article is “30+ Best Drag-and-Drop WordPress Theme Builders in 2017

It quickly summarizes the arguments:

Some of us, quite frankly, don’t know how to code and don’t have the time or resources to learn the skill. But we still want the ability to create a quality website from start to finish, without the need to hire a sub-contractor web developer, don’t we?

Luckily for us, there are WordPress Theme Builders out there that can make our lives a lot easier. And as you can see in the headline, I’m talking about the best drag-and-drop theme builders. Of course, those tools are not always applicable to every project you’re building. But when they are, they will make your work a lot faster.

The top three in this long list are the following:

Divi 3.0

Divi 3.0 is one of the best drag-and-drop theme builders, and one of those themes that can be used for almost anything. It comes with what’s called the Divi builder, a drag-and-drop site designer.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is a theme/plugin combo that’s very easy to use for everyone. When you’re going through it, it seems like you’re using photo and text editors combined. You can modify and add everything you want directly from the front-end.

Total WordPress Theme

Total WordPress Theme is a multipurpose theme with a front-end drag-and-drop theme builder. It comes with the Visual Composer by WPBakery. This page builder gives you complete control over the layout of your pages and posts.

Ronneby Theme

ronneby theme

Another very popular choice that is not included in the top 30 is the Ronneby Theme with Drag and Drop Visual Composer included. They explained that Visual Composer is a page builder with front end and back end editors and Drag and Drop interface. They say that it’s absolutely coding free so you may achieve stunning designs effortlessly.

WordPress without Drag and Drop software

To set the record straight, it must be mentioned that WordPress comes with a Visual Editor which offers a WYSIWIG approach. You can see more details on this in What is: Visual Editor

wordpress visual editor

Visual Editor is a rich text editor in the WordPress post edit screen. The WordPress post edit screen has two editors, Visual and Text.

The visual editor is a WYSIWG editor. WYSIWIG stands for “what you see is what you get” which means that however the content shows up on your display is exactly the way it will be when it is published.

So, instead of writing HTML, users can write posts and format them using the buttons in the toolbar. Since it is a visual text editor when a user adds images TinyMCE can show them right inside the editor. Users can then easily align the images with their text using the editor’s text align buttons.

Another feature that can be used in the Visual Editor is the use of Shortcodes. These provide the same functionalities as you can develop with using Drop and Drag plugins. The advantage is that they operate within the basic WordPress and thus will continue to work as you switch themes.

A good example of this is the versatility available with the shortcode for gallery.  You can see an example of its application in an article on Some favourite SMMbc images.

Some Other Key factors to consider for a professional website

Building a website that will stand the test of time and will perform well in online visibility and in delivering good visitor experiences is a major undertaking. It involves a good deal of time and some money however you do it. Some choice elements are very obvious. Here below I cover some of the less obvious but still very important considerations.

  • Creating a website building process that is secure, works well on all devices whatever size of the screen they may have, and gives a good visitor experience involves a great deal of technical skill and knowledge. Only by checking online for other users and seeing how satisfied they are with the process can you be sure you’re making a good choice.
  • Some choices lock you into a design that cannot be easily changed. Creating a new look for the website may well mean you must start essentially from scratch.
  • You will probably run into problems whichever approach you take. Having a sizable community of other website owners gives you a forum to explore solutions when problems arise.

Based on this type of assessment, my own judgment is to stick with WordPress and not to use Drag and Drop approaches. However, clearly that is very much a personal choice. Whatever choice you make, may luck go with you.

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