WordPress Page Builders plugins are often loved by users and in-between WordPress developers for their flexibility to allow almost anyone to visually design, or layout, a web page. Programming purists like Pippin Williamson often curse them because their “lack of standardization” which causes incompatibilities with other plugins and deviate away from the core WordPress user experience. I can respect the complexity of building a WordPress plugin that is supposed to be compatible with almost every type of theme. Yet, Page Builder themes don’t follow any type of standardization because they allow the user to have the final say.
From my own findings, page builders do open a host of problems for everyday WordPress users. At a minimum, upon install they all add a huge layer of new features to the core WordPress software. Something often difficult to swallow when you’re just getting started.
While these new challenges do propose problems for the WordPress community, what is important is they fill a need that reaches a larger audiences’ needs by competing against services such as SquareSpace.com and Wix.com.
Williamson’s rant is a reminder the Web was not built as a space for standardization, rather built to accommodate the needs and visions of others. Sir. Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the WorldWideWeb, explains in his book how he couldn’t force HTML or his Web project on any one team at CERN Laboratories. Every scientist group was using their own database structures and they were not interested in learning something new and they felt their system was superior. Lee knew he had to build something that was inter-compatible among all.
Lee also wanted the web to be read-write. Meaning it would be as easy for anyone to contribute to the Web as it was to consume. Therefore, in my opinion, page builder plugins are something necessary to keep the web open. For everyone.
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