WordPress for Expression

Modern platform of expression

It’s been a pleasure to dip into WordPress again by moving this blog back onto it.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Theodore Roosevelt

WordPress has always been a blogging platform. Its weak point always was that you’d build web pages that looked more like blog posts than pages. Just think about an About page, Contact page, or indeed product landing page.

Page Builders

I think the corner WordPress has turned is a subtle one: page builders.

Probably inspired by Wix, Squarespace, and such out-of-the-box web site builders.

A page builder in WordPress is essentially the idea of visually building up your page out of blocks (and this has been basically made possible with modern CSS models including flexbox and grid layouts).

Page BuilderProsConsConclusion
WordPress’s GutenbergGreat for building up a blog post.Doesn’t seem to have the bells and whistles you’d need to build a landing page.With its “blocks” there’s a good chance that the Gutenberg ecosystem will strive. It’s a huge change to WordPress. At the time of writing, use to build good blog posts.
Divi Page BuilderYou visually build a page from scratch.It uses shortcodes, so if you want to delete the plugin your site will break!!To the best of my understanding, don’t use.
Elementor Page BuilderYou visually build a page from scratch. It outputs HTML, so is future-compatible. It has complete page templates, but better yet, blocks that you can use to build up your own custom page.I have used this, not Divi. Elementor has “blocks” like template hero sections, and an ecosystem of plugins for more blocks. Use for marketing pages.

After years of WordPress relying on themes that have developer-coded pages layouts (e.g. “Contact Us” page layout), the page builders have git home. You can build a snazzy site quickly enough, and more importantly not rely on a develop to fix your marketing copy.

Page builders in WordPress have to play along with a base theme all the same. I’ve gone for the Astra theme for Bitesize Irish. Astra plays well with page builders, including Divi and Elementor.

Now go forth and spread your word, whatever that is, page by page and post by post.

All you have to decide now is what to share with the world.