Page Builders or Code By Hand?

What comes first when designing a new website? The chicken or the egg? Sometimes we find we do not have a concept in mind until we’ve delved in and started laying out a web page. Spontaneity often produces exciting results. I find myself with an initial idea: the so-called light bulb moment and I jump right in with little to no preparation.

Website Design Concept Drawing

On the other hand, as the image above shows, being a former architect I am prone to sketching. Its a good idea to always do so. At least a little bit. From that initial sketch the rest of the design should flow naturally. Its like putting seeds in the ground which must be watered or they will not sprout. The world is full of ideas that go nowhere without germination. To a website designer, sketching is germination.

That said, it is really great to have “Website Page Builder” software to help us design and lay out web pages quickly. Doing so often let’s us avoid having to do a lot of sketching. Page builders are so fast and easy to use these days it is no longer timely or efficient to write code manually for an entire website. One discovers however that writing code manually remains a dilemma from which none can escape..

I use a plethora of tools to design and code websites. Take a look at this page where I have an image collage of the tools I am currently using to build –this– and other websites.

As I say on the homepage of –this– website I am a Design-Builder. An old one. I am a Day One website designer and developer. Having tried most of the website page builders I currently use Elementor Pro . When all is said and done Elementor Pro remains the best of the worst so to speak. New page builders are constantly emerging. Each time a new page builder will emerge I as well as others will flock to it like hungry pidgeons being fed popcorn thrown to us by children visiting the park. 

However that is not to say each new page builder is worth the time and effort to adopt as one’s mainstay. Is it worth the time and effort because a new page builder has improved the way to make a button on a web page? None of the page builders generate code that can be used with other page builders so a website developer cannot expeditiously maintain the body of their works. Furthermore, the new page builder is still going to require manually coding at some point in the development of a website.

ALL page builders poop out. As all people who use software have discovered there has NEVER been a software program that does not fall short of our ideals. This is why every COMPETENT web developer –must– have the ability to write code: HTML, CSS, Javascript (for any and all websites) and PHP (when using WordPress that has become a ubiquitous Content Management System.)

If you are working with somebody that is ONLY using a page builder you are not working with a competent web developer. Period.

Even those that market themselves as “Deisgners” are fundamentally frauds. Page Builders perpetuate fraud. That has become the cold hard reality of the nature of web design and development. This is irrefutably true because web design and development is fundamentally SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT the art and science of which constantly changes never to be generated by pushing buttons or dragging and dropping pre-developed components onto a page without conflict or without shortcomings of some type both of with are paid by the customer:

A.) The so-called Designer/Developer has to go to Facebook or some other resource to beg for help that often comes in the form of somebody providing copy and paste code. The poser gets away with their incompetence: for the time being.

B.) The poser has to pay somebody to save their ass and eats the cost.

C.) The poser has to pay somebody to save their ass and passes it on to their customer.

D.) If the poser is not a typical Facebook parasite he or she will use Google to find copy and paste code.

The reality being even those of us with competency still stand in the shadow of others and to some extent we all copy and paste code found by consulting with Professor Google. That being the basis of what we refer to as “Imposter Syndrome.” However, the greatest imposters of all are those than can sell to ignorant customers while only having the ability to push page builder buttons to generate pages and assets that comprise a website so I am going to repeat myself:

If you are working with somebody that is ONLY using a page builder you are not working with a competent web developer. Period.