What’s the difference between a theme and a page builder?
Hi, I’m Barbara, and welcome back to Wicky Design.
One question that we get asked a lot is, “What theme do you use to build your websites?”
and the answer is, we don’t actually use themes.
We use something called a page builder and make 100% customized designs for your business. We don’t customize themes, we don’t use templates or anything like that.
So what is the difference between using a theme and using a page builder? We are going to get into that in today’s video.
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What is a theme?
A theme is basically a template created by a WordPress developer. You can load that template onto your website and change out your content, your images, and stuff like that. There are also a few other things that you can customize with themes and it really depends on the theme that you are using, but usually you can customize your colors, your fonts, and sometimes there is a predetermined layout you can use to load onto your pages. So you can have a home page layout, a gallery layout, a layout for your services page, or even a layout for your blog. There are a couple of different things that you can do with themes and as I said before, it really depends on the theme that you are using how much or how little you can customize.
There are thousands of themes available for WordPress. Some themes are free and you can get those in the WordPress repository, and sometimes you have to pay for themes at places like Envato or ThemeForest.
What are page builders?
Page builders on the other hand allow you to create your own custom theme. Instead of using predetermined layouts from a theme, you have full control over your design. You can customize every page of your website, your header, your footer, your blog layouts, even e-commerce pages. Page builders really allow you to have complete creative control.
Now because of the way WordPress works, you do have to have a theme installed on your website in order for a page builder to work. WordPress requires a theme, but that theme that you use can be really bare bones. We use Elementor as our page builder and we use their Hello theme, which is a really lightweight, fast loading theme. It doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles of other themes because you don’t really need them. If you’re building everything with Elementor, you can customize whatever you want and don’t need to customize those theme settings.
Why we prefer using page builders over themes
Page builders make updates easy
We prefer using page builders over themes because it allows us to create completely customized designs for our clients that they can actually update themselves. Our clients don’t know how to code. They are not developers, but they still do want to make content updates every now and then. If we created them a completely custom site for scratch, they would have no idea how to update it, but using a page builder allows them to make those updates easily.
Lots of integrations
Elementor, in particular, has a ton of integrations built in, which is another reason why we like to use this page builder. It works with so many different platforms. Just to name a few, you can use it with:
- Adobe Fonts
and it seems like they’re adding new ones all the time.
They are also constantly adding new features to Elementor. They have popup functionality, so you don’t have to use a separate plugin in order to do that. They have recaptcha, so again, you don’t have to use another plugin to get that to work on your forms. And most recently, they just added Yoast SEO integration into their platform. So that makes things really easy to manage because you don’t have to manage all of these different plugins. If it’s in Elementor, you just have to manage that one plugin.
Backed by a strong community
Another reason that we use page builders is that there is a really strong community behind them. Over 5 million use Elementor. That’s a huge amount of people and their community every day. It’s really well supported and there are tons of new features being added by contributors all the time.
This isn’t really something that you get with themes. Often, developers will abandon their old themes to work on a new project and if you have that theme installed on your website, you might be out of luck when it comes to support or updates because they just don’t support it anymore.
WordPress is changing
Another reason we decided to use page builders to build our websites is because WordPress is really changing. Over the year, they’ve made so many different changes to the platform, including the Gutenberg editor and the block editor system, so we really think that themes are going to be something of the past. Themes are kind of dying and it seems to be that more and more people are using page builders and even WordPress itself is going towards the page builder or theme builder route vs. using themes or templates.
I hope this video cleared up any confusion you might have had about the difference between WordPress themes vs. page builders. If you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up, subscribe to this channel, and ring the bell to receive notifications whenever we post a new video. See you next time!