Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Avoid WordPress Page Builders

Over the last few years, we've seen a bunch of “WYSIWYG” and drag-and-drop page editors for WordPress posts. As a group, they're called Page Builders. They come along, and claim to do a better job than the default WordPress editor. But I'm here to say it's a siren song.

(In the ultimate irony, WordPress' new editor “Gutenberg” refuses to let me hyperlink “siren's song” in the paragraph above with the official Wikipedia entry for that. WordPress, I'm trying to help you here! Help me help you!)

One of my blogs use Thrive. I actually pay $75 every three months for Thrive plugins, have paid that for years, and it's safe to say I'll be cancelling that as soon as I can. I used to recommend Thrive to people, and I can no longer suggest Thrive Architect as a good plug-in.

Recently, I realized that content created with Thrive Architect no longer displays once you deactivate the plugin. It's a form of “lock in”, forcing me to pay to continue showing my own content to my users. Making it impossible or prohibitive to get that content into another form. 

It's something you don't think about. Do you expect that using a page builder will stop displaying your content when you deactivate that page builder plugin? I don't expect that.

Yes, filed a support ticket. And yes, they denied responsibility. I wish I had time to debug this myself and show them where the error in their code is. But I don't. As a consumer, I can choose to just walk away and stop paying for the service.

Thrive is not the only one. If you've purchased a WordPress theme from ThemeForest lately, then it may have come with something called WPBakery Visual Composer

This plugin is particularly bad, because you can't get updates to it if you don't sign up with them. So you buy a theme (paying $49, $59, or more for it), and then have to pay a membership to a third-party company to get updates to the page builder.

If you don't, WordPress constantly reminds you that you have out-of-date plugins. It's like a constant ad for this plugin. If you don't upgrade today for this page builder, we'll remind you every day for the rest of your life that your website has potential security vulnerabilities because you're not getting patches and fixes.

That's a great business model. Great for them, not so great for consumers.

Theme creators – please stop bundling in “page builders” with your themes that require registration or payment for upgrades. Respect that I paid you $49 or $59 for your theme as a fair payment for that.

And Thrive, your Architect plugin has a bug. Would you mind looking into this for your customers and fix any potential problem?

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