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Using a page builder in WordPress or manually coding to customize a client's website?

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Hey everyone,


First off, let me just give some background information. My dream is to travel the world as a freelancer and I would like to start this venture by designing WordPress sites for small businesses. I was hoping someone with any experience in the industry could help me out with a decision.


Should I be using a page builder to design a clients website after choosing a fitting theme or would I best off learning all the useful languages involved in making wordpress sites? (I plan on using the genesis framework so I don't start from scratch each time.)

I love to learn, so I don't mind grinding it out to become more knowledgeable in these languages. However, I can't help but wonder if it would be more wise to use a page builder. I've done some research, but haven't really found much advice for a professional WordPress designer. Below, I'll lay out my hopes and concerns. I would be very grateful for any helpful input.


  1. It might increase my efficiency. (Time is money, right?)
  2. It might be easier to make customizations.
  3. It would shorten my learning curve and get me freelancing sooner.


  1. It might slow down the website.
  2. It might negatively impact SEO and user experience.
  3. It would be unprofessional.
  4. I'm leaving something important out right now.

What do you think?

Edited by kyleshamblin

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If you wish to build a decent professional product, learn how to develop yourself.


Even though from a development point of view Wordpress is awful, it's much better than a page builder. Your list of things to learn:

  • HTML / CSS - investigate front frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap
  • Basic PHP (Wordpress really doesn't assume a lot of PHP knowledge)
  • Learn how to create a basic theme in Wordpress, from scratch (please don;t turn into of the self appointed "Wordpress Developers" who downloads a theme from theme forest, changes the text color and calls it bespoke

I freelance full time myself and have shifted to 95% of what I do to bespoke development. Personally I think anyone focusing solely on Wordpress is insane. The market is completely saturated, has a very low entry to developers, the margins are low and you're up against people who will work for a couple of pound per hour.

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Avoid page builders and avoid Genesis.


Learn how to build your own themes - gives you more control and it's just as fast as using genesis and a page builder

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