How To Build WordPress Websites Without Code: A Designer’s Secret Weapon
So many designers I speak with often think I’m one of those designer unicorns that can create beautiful designs AND build awesome websites without breaking a sweat. Although I can do those things, I promise you I’m no unicorn, or super-heroine, or technically gifted ninja turtle. I just have a sneaky secret weapon.
Wanna know what it is?
Well one of them (the big one!) is harnessing the power of a WordPress page builder.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ve probably worked out already that I think WordPress is the bee’s knees. You can find out why here.
What is a WordPress Page Builder?
WordPress page builders are either a theme or plugin you add to your WordPress installation to help you more easily design and build your site.
Ever heard people rave about how easy it is to use Wix, Weebly or Squarespace? Page Builders bring this easy-to-use website building experience to the powerful and limitless platform that is WordPress.
The best page builders out there offer a WYSIWYG visual building experience — allowing you to build your site and see your changes in real time right in front of your eyes. This is the biggest time-saver and IMO an absolute must-have!
Why use a WordPress page builder?
WordPress page builders are the secret weapon for us creatives, allowing us to build stunning, high-converting and powerful WordPress websites without writing a single line of code. Or having to hire and pay the big bucks to a techy web developer. Can I get a hell yeah! 💁🏻♀️
What to look for in a WordPress page builder?
With Divi, Oxygen, Elementor, Beaver Builder and many many more… there are A LOT of WordPress page builders to choose from and deciding which is the best can quickly have you reaching for the wine/chocolate, completely overwhelmed, while analysing yet another page builder comparison chart.
Although I love Divi, I’m here to tell you, no one page builder is the best fit for everybody. Each has their pros and cons. Depending on your needs and your personality, the page builder that your designer pals rave about (myself included), might have you scratching your head, confused and frustrated trying to use it.
So what should you look for in a page builder to ensure it’s the best fit for you?
The trick is finding one that offers:
- The ease of drag and drop building
- A seamless WYSIWYG visual building experience
- The convenience of designing as you build
- The beauty of customisable style
- The functionality that drives performance
Page builders like this do exist and they are, hands down, a designer’s dream!
They are also the sole reason it is now easier than ever before for us graphic designers to start building incredible websites for our clients.
What are the best WordPress page builders for designers?
Here are the top ones to look into.
Just a quick side note: It can get a bit confusing, but WordPress page builders can come as either themes or plugins. On top of that, some page builder plugins can do everything without a theme whereas others still require a good theme to customise all parts of your site. If that’s got you scratching your head, you’re not alone. But don’t worry… I’ll break it all down for your below.
My Top Pick: Divi
Offering designer’s like you and me the complete freedom and flexibility to create whatever our hearts desire, makes Divi my weapon of choice.
Say goodbye to technical limitations and hello to ultimate versatility.
By allowing you to build web pages in your browser, Divi offers the ease of use that Wix and Squarespace does with the robust technology that powers over 25% of the internet. Now that’s powerful stuff.
Divi is simple yet robust, intuitive and helps me bend the web to my design vision.
Personally, I now use Divi exclusively. It gives me everything I need to build sites on my own without relying on a web developer and I’m confident you can experience this too!
With Divi you have the option of using the Divi Theme that comes with the Divi Builder built-in to it creating a seamless building experience. However, you also have the option of using the Divi Builder Plugin with any theme of your choosing.
Wanna take Divi for a spin?
You can trial Divi for free for 30 days here
Elementor, Oxygen & Beaver Builder
Elementor is probably the most on-par with Divi in it’s popularity with designers. But unlike Divi, Elementor comes only as a plugin that you then pair with pretty much any theme. Some popular themes to use with Elementor are Astra Pro and Page Builder Framework.
Oxygen is the new kid on the block when it comes to page builders and is quickly gaining popularity with some more experienced and tech-savvy website creators. Like Elementor, Oxygen is a plugin, however it pretty much does everything you need so there is no real need to pair it with a fancy pants theme. Personally, I really like the look and feel of Oxygen however it’s probably better suited to the more experienced website builders in the crowd.
Beaver Builder is very popular among both designers and developers. Commonly referred to as just Beaver, it’s a plugin that is best paired with the Beaver Themer add-on plugin to easily customise every aspect of your site. Although I personally prefer Divi, a very successful fellow designer (and IRL BFF) Haley, has harnessed the power of the Beaver Builder and Beaver Themer combo to create a thriving web dev business.
So what to do now?
Go take some of the page builders for a spin. Divi has a free demo on their website you can try and both Elementor and Beaver Builder have free plugin options as well.
New to WordPress?
Go check out my Graphic Designer’s Guide To Understanding Website Tech here.
And get your hands on my Design Biz Website Roadmap below — to learn the 9 techy and not-so-techy steps I take to create amazing WordPress websites.
Get Your Roadmap 👇
About the author
Hi! I'm Emma. I’m a graphic designer turned web designer on a mission to teach others how to build beautiful & professional websites with WordPress. Through mentoring and my online courses I teach other graphic designers and entrepreneurs how to build their own websites using my 9-step process. In my spare time I love writing about my freelance life, creating pretty things and hanging out with my fur-baby. Find me on Facebook & in my Private FB Group for Designers
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