Why you should avoid drag and drop editors

If you are new to web development you might encounter tools that allows you to create websites by dragging and dropping elements to their desired location and then style them so that they look exactly as you want them to look. This might seem like a good solution that makes it easy to build your dream website. I am here to tell you that they are not and that you should avoid using them as they might stand in the way of your success on the web.

drag and dropExamples of this types if editors include WPBakery, Visual composer and Square space.

  • It is true that these scripts are very easy to use. Anyone can build a website using them.
  • It is also true that they allow you to build a beautiful website.

You should however despite this avoid using them if you can. If you are able to build a website without them or if you can afford to pay someone to build one for you then you should do so. The problem is that the code that these scripts produce are very poorly optimized. The scripts need to be able to do everything. It will therefore add a lot of unnecessary code to your website or code that could be optimized a lot better. The result is a website that contains more CSS rules and larger CSS files than necessary. A website that takes longer to load than necessary.

Small price to pay?

This might sound like a small price to pay for the ease of use but search engines prefer well optimized web pages that loads quickly making it harder for you to get the exposure you need than it would be if you used a website with a cleaner layout, a cleaner CSS file.

You also risk that some users turn back rather then waiting for your website to load. Studies have shown that you lose nearly 50% of your visitors if your website take longer than 3 seconds to load.

Not always a problem

There are some instances when an editor such as this can be a good choice and when the drawbacks of using one does not matter. Examples of this include when you are building a website for a predetermined audience that does not need to find the website in the search engines. Lets say that you are building a website for you local Peewee football team. In this case the audience will be the parents of the children on the team (and perhaps other teams). All of them will know about the website and will be willing to wait an extra second for it to load. In this situation you can use a drag and drop editor to quickly and easily build the website. There is no downside to doing so.

The same is true for almost any website where the visitors have a genuine interest of visiting the site and where they find out about the website in a way other then the search engines.

Most website that are not looking to attract visitors  through the search engines, who are not trying to attract customer that do not already know about them can use these editors.

Never use them if you sell something

If you sell something on your website (directly or as an affiliate) then you should put the user experience above everything else. This means that you should do everything you can to streamline the website. Everything you can to make the website load and render as quickly as possible while still giving the visitors the tools they need. To do this you need to build the website manually and you can not “cheat” by using one of these editors. Doing so will decrease your earnings potential. One single spot difference in the search engines can be the  difference between a lucrative business and bankruptcy.