Will switching between two WordPress page creator/editors cause a huge mess?

Greetings Mac Power Users!

Exciting day yesterday! (All the announcements).

Most of the “which is better” posts can usually be answered by “it depends” and/or “which one are you most comfortable using?”

I have new twist on the question.

I’m torn between WordPress page builders.

Has anyone used one page builder then switched to another?

Will this make a huge mess?

My online searches say one can even use two editors alongside one another without much trouble; but I have challenges when I convert documents/spreadsheets between Microsoft’s formats and either Mac’s native apps or G-Docs. I may be mixing apples (sorry “Apples”) and oranges there though…

I think I’m going with the free version of Elementor first; then when I “graduate” to more complex needs, switching to Divi because one can pay for a lifetime license and not have annual fees.

Here are links to the two editors: Divi and Elementor.

I came across a very nice video comparison of the two.

Both have great features.

Looking forward to your input(s) and my own experimentations (as long as I don’t break too many things!!).

You can use them both on the same site but you can’t edit mix them on one page. If you want to migrate between them, there are some tools available, but you’ll have a challenge and it may be better to just recreate the pages in the new builder.

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Themes or page creators?

Some of the page creators are very proprietary, personally, I’m trying to use only Guttenberg compatible themes and then Guttenberg blocks or basic editing.

I had a site converted to WordPress and the designer used some oddball page editor. It ended up that I really had a proprietary site not a WordPress site as I couldn’t make changes easily and the entire structure wasn’t native WordPress anymore

I threw away all the (paid) work and started over. Better to build a simpler house with a strong foundation than an elegant mansion on a pile of shifting sand.

YMMV

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Referring to page builders. You’re right they may be inextricably tied to a theme. And, yes, I agree about using them in the first place. I really can’t stand any out-of-the-box builder for multiple reasons. If the default editor doesn’t work, it’s always been worth setting up ACF fields and templating (or paying someone to if you’re not able to yourself.) But that’s not what the Wordpress community generally wants to do, often for situational reasons I can’t fault them for.

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I have been running my pro WP site for 11 years and it went through 8 different incarnations. What I can tell you is: you can theoretically transition to one builder to another.

However, doing so is a massive pain. First, builders are heavy extensions: keeping both active will slow your DB, so you should only keep the one you’re actively using. Therefore, if you intend to switch, that means having to rebuild everything from one to the other, which is a giant time waster.

I would recommend against doing so. Devise precisely what your needs are, what you want to build and where you want to go, and then settle in one ecosystem and do your best to stay there for as long as you possibly can. That’s the reason why I recently ditched everything in my install and settled on Avada. I’m done moving.

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Basically, each page builder puts its own “markup language” into your page.

So let’s say you’re using a three-column layout in a theme builder. The code might be something like

[row]
[column1]Content[/column1]
[column2]Content[/column2]
[column2]Content[/column3]
[/row]

All of your pages will have that stuff littered throughout. And then you switch to a different page builder, which doesn’t recognize the first builder’s markup format (or even support some of the options, perhaps)… So now you have to go through and clean up all of the old markup code if you want to be able to completely ditch the previous builder.

To answer your question…yes. It will be a colossal mess. Probably not a big deal for a small site with only a few pages, but if you have a huge site the migration will be a significant project. :slight_smile:

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Thank you all!

I suspected the “potential mess factor” will be high!! … Will look for Gutenberg-compatible themes and keep the number of pages small in my experiments; so it won’t be too hard to re-do.

Heck, I’m short on content anyway(!); so there won’t be a lot to re-work right now, while I learn some different editors.

Thank you all again!!

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In the past year, I started using Elementor instead of Total, which is a nice, but lesser-known page builder I found on Envato before page builders got really popular. (I don’t want to use Elementor for the reasons stated, but it just lets me do some things with templates that I need to do.) Edit: Total is the theme, it comes packaged with the WP Bakery page builder.

Just this past week, I was working on this problem and I found a plugin called “Remove Orphan Shortcodes.” It doesn’t actually REMOVE the shortcode from old plugins or page builders, but it hides them on a post so they don’t appear to the end user. I’m guessing there’s a small performance hit for running something like this, but it’s not noticeable to me.

There are other plugins I found that would allow you to search and replace. I even paid for one called CM On Demand Search And Replace Pro, but it didn’t work right out of the box and I need to contact tech support. In theory, that one should remove the shortcodes entirely, if I know what they are and can search for them and find them all. At that point, I could turn off the “Remove Orphan Shortcodes” plugin, too.

But at this point, I may just leave the shortcode remover active and not worry about it until I have a lot of time on my hands, like maybe during a global pandemic or something.

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