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When I first discovered Visual Composer (Now WPBakery Page Builder) and its simplicity I was blown away!
I was creating better and better-looking websites, with amazing effects and out of the box design, that was a challenge even for some designer pros.
Visual Composer changed the way, regular users create websites in WordPress. It comes packed with most of the themes on Theme Forest today and it’s probably the most well-recognized page builder in the game. With the followed add-ons and extensions, you can basically create anything you want.
What’s the deal with the name change?
WP Bakery Page Builder is an exclusive product to the Envato market with a lifetime license. The developers changed the name when they decided to launch a brand new product – the Visual Composer Website Builder. Because of the higher development costs of the new plugin, a lifetime license would not be cost-effective. On the other side, Envato’s rules didn’t allow a product with the same name to be sold outside the marketplace.
So they changed the original Visual Composer, sold on the Envato marketplace to WPBakery Page Builder and called their brand new product – Visual Composer Website Builder.
Today the two have nothing in common, except they come from the same authors (and use very similar logos).
What’s the WPBakery Page Builder downside?
In the last couple of years, everyone’s focus turned from the amazing parallax sections and animations to performance, speed and SEO friendliness. Visual builders are great for providing easy ways for the regular user to create custom pages, but this comes with a price – Speed.
WPBakery Page Builder and other similar page builders increase the page code size, adding lots of shortcodes, scripts, and styles.
It is now a content-driven game, everything is in the words. Мinimalist themes and lightweight code displaced the visual effects and fireworks.
Another big factor for the WPBakery Page Builder (Visual Composer) holdback was the growing numbers of mobile users. Smaller screens and mobile data connection requires another approach to UI, which has no space for fancy sections and animated video backgrounds.
At the end of the day, results are what everyone seeks, not visual pleasure.
What’s the difference between a standard HTML page, and one built with WPBakery Page Builder?
Usually, a page designed with the Page Builder has additional code and requests, which result in slower load time compared to a clean HTML page.
Now Let’s Run Some Comparison Tests
For the purpose of this test, I made two absolutely identical pages – One with the WPBakery Page Builder and one with the classic WordPress text Editor. No caching plugin is enabled and I’ll also deactivate the Page Builder Plugin for the test of the classic page.
The page will contain just an image on top, 3 paragraphs of text and a 3 column section with text.
Looks like the results are very identical the page built with WPBakery Page Builder even loads a little faster.
WPBakery Page Builder vs. Elementor
Elementor is a popular Free drag and drop page builder with some basic features (more with the paid version and add-ons).
For our test, we’ll build two absolutely identical pages (image, few paragraphs of text and 3 columns with text) one with WPBakery and one with Elementor.
Note: While the Elementor page is being tested, the WPBakery Page Builder plugin is deactivated and vice versa.
The test shows that Elementor (right) is slower, adding 9 requests more compared to WPBakery Page Builder.
For such a basic page the difference in speed and load time is huge.
WPBakery Page Builder or also known as Visual Composer is a great plugin. Yes, it slows down the website but that’s the price you pay for all these amazing things you can create with it. You can make the process of building simple pages much faster and easier with WPBakery Page Builder, with no significant difference from the classic editor.
You should know your website’s purpose and style. For some blogs, the use of a page builder might be unnecessary and they will be better only with the themes default layouts. For others, WPBakery Page Builder could be very useful. Combined with some addons this plugin is a powerful weapon and it’s still far ahead of its competitors.