How I changed my mind on page builders

Mike Maier
Mike Maier VP of Solutions & User Experience

For many years, I scoffed at the idea of using a page builder to build a site. Maybe I’m just old school, but I thought you couldn’t do better than a site coded by an experienced developer. And that is still the case…


As with everything, times change, technology adapts, and we must do the same to stay with the times. So, lately my thinking has changed from being totally against page builders to seeing them as a potentially useful tool when in the hands of the right user.

When a Page Builder might be a good idea

Every project comes with its own set of requirements. They also come with their own set of end users who will ultimately work in the backend to update and create new content. Some users don’t want to worry about anything but adding in their content, knowing it will display just as the design they approved. Others, want the flexibility to get creative and modify their site to fit their ever changing needs.

For these types of users, a page builder could be a great solution to give them the power they want without needing to develop an overly complex customization solution from scratch. Page builders can give these users the freedom to express their visions without the need to be overtly technical. They can provide the user advanced features and flexibility to take ownership of their site design and functionality.


Although this sounds great on the surface, it’s not always that easy. While the intent of pages builders is to make it easy for non-developers, the access to so many features come with the caveat of a learning curve. There are many, many features packed into the best page builders and learning how to make them translate your vision to the screen can be overwhelming for new users. It’s easy to get frustrated when things aren’t working as intended, features break, or settings can’t be found.

How Arc uses Page Builders

When appropriate, Arc Intermedia builds sites in page builders, but we do so while sticking to our proven process for creating custom websites that fit our clients needs. We don’t rely on the page builder, but rather use is as we would any other tool.

Our process for developing a site with a page builder looks something like this:

  • Gather user requirements and feature needs
  • Develop template-level wireframes to ensure content is accounted for and organized in a way that serves the site’s goals
  • Visual design based on approved wireframes
  • Build full, reusable and customizable page templates in the page builder
  • Create modules from defined template parts to be used as building blocks for custom, user created pages

By creating full templates, we enable users to to start with a full, prebuilt and styled page that they can then edit content to their needs without having to start from scratch. This makes page create quick and easy but also allows the user to customize each page using the available features. Our module approach, gives users the power to create custom pages from a library of prebuilt pieces designed to look and behave like they belong to their site. This provides freedom to be creative while also ensure that the site remains cohesive.

Advances in page builder technology even enables our developers the expand of the page builder functionality to create custom solutions that integrate into CMS giving even more power to the end user while keeping the visual editing style of administration.

The user always has the option to get as custom as they want, but our approach mixes the best of a fully custom site design with the flexibility and features of page builder.

Sound Interesting?

The advancements and expanded functionality of pages builders have made them hard to ignore as a possible solution for web projects. They are far from perfect, and not the best solution for every project. But, in the hands of a capable professional they can be a powerful tool to create great looking sites, full of functionality, with user friendly administration. If this sounds like a solution that could work for your next web development project, contact us to discuss your needs and let us help find a solution that meets your goals.