What-is-a-Page-Builder-and-Why-Front-End-MattersIf you are a hardcore blogger where all the content creation that you do revolves around writing full-length articles which contain the occasional complimentary image, then perhaps the existing TinyMCE content editor is enough for your needs. The current toolset already contains the necessary tools for writing articles, you have your basic text formatting tools such as bold, italic, headings, etc. But that’s about it.

No friendly layouting capabilities

While you can write articles with the current TinyMCE content editor, there is no decent way for you to layout your content other than having a single flowing column of text. Out of the box, you can’t line your text in two or more columns, nor can you create content sectioned off with a different background color. If you want your other sections of your website such as landing pages and contact pages to be unique, you would need some form of basic layouting capabilities.

Others have tried to go around this issue by utilizing WordPress’ shortcode feature. In a nutshell, shortcodes allow snippets of code to be inserted by using special tags. There are WordPress plugins that introduce different shortcodes which you can use to create columned content. For example, you would be able to wrap your content with multiple column tags if you want to place them in a two-column layout. While this method “works”, it’s not visually friendly since eventually, as place more content, everything would look like a huge pile of mess.

To fill this layouting void, page builders were created.

Page building blocks

Page Builders make creating layouted content easy

Page builders give you additional tools that make arranging your content into unique layouts easy. Page builders usually remove the back end TinyMCE content editor and replace it (or add) a new one that would help you visualize your content. If you haven’t used a back end page builder before, imagine a set of blocks where each block would represent a type of content: an image, text, or a shortcode. It would then allow you to drag and drop those into different layouts and columns.

Aside from layouting, page builders also make the creation and placement of shortcodes easier. Before, you would be able to see shortcodes in all it’s raw form glory. You’ll see the square brackets along with all the attributes and values mixed into your content. Page builders commonly put in shortcode creators – popup dialogs that make choosing shortcode attributes more user friendly than just typing them in.

Front end page builders are the future

While all of this is a better experience for designers and content creators, a back end page builder has a huge problem inherent to them. While you can see a visual representation of what your content would look like, what you are seeing is not your actual content. This leads to people constantly checking the preview of their pages to see whether what they’re doing is correct. When using back end page builders, I personally click on the preview button at least 20 times easily just to check if my content is aligned correctly or that my margins are evenly spaced out. This is huge time consuming annoyance.

In order to solve this inconvenience, page builders should be brought to the front end. If this is done, then this would eliminate the guessing part of page layouting since you’ll be able to see your results right away.

As of the moment there are a lot of back end page builders and only a handful of front end page builders. Among those handful is Page Builder Sandwich. If you want to learn more about what makes Page Builder Sandwich unique and why it’s the right tool for you, read the article How Page Builder Sandwich Is Different from the Rest.

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