WordPress Page Builder vs Theme: What Are the Differences?

WordPress Page Builder vs Theme

In the world of WordPress web design, there are two popular ways to create a website: using a page builder or theme. 

While both options have their advantages, it’s important to understand the differences between the two so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. 

This blog post aims to examine the merits and drawbacks associated with utilizing a WordPress page builder vs theme. It will delve into the contrasting aspects of design flexibility, ease of use, customizability, and performance.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of which option is right for your website. 

So, let’s dive in!


SimilaritiesUnique to Page BuilderUnique to Theme
Responsive designIn-depth customization optionsBasic customization options
SEO optimizationDrag-and-drop interfaceConsistent design throughout the website
Compatible with pluginsDynamic data integrationEasy to set up and install
Visual designA/B testing templates 
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What is a WordPress page builder?

A WordPress page builder is a plugin that allows you to create custom layouts for your website’s pages without needing to know how to code.

Elementor User-Friendly-Interface

With a page builder, you can drag and drop various elements, such as text, images, buttons, and more, onto your page to create a unique design.

Page builders typically work by using a visual interface that lets you see the changes you make in real-time.

This allows you to experiment with different layouts and styles until you find the perfect look for your website.

Some popular WordPress page builders include:

Each page builder has its own set of features and options, but they all provide an easy way to design and customize your website without needing to write any code.

Pros of using the WordPress page builder

  • Ease of use: One of the biggest advantages of using a page builder is that it’s easy to use. You don’t need any coding knowledge or experience to create a custom website design. The visual interface of a page builder allows you to simply drag and drop elements to create a unique layout.
  • Add-on functionality: Many page builders offer additional functionality in the form of add-ons or widgets. This can allow you to add features to your website that may not be available in your theme or WordPress core. For example, you can add a contact form or social media icons to your website with just a few clicks.
  • A/B Test Templates: Some page builders offer A/B test templates that allow you to test different designs and layouts to see which one performs better. This can be especially useful for businesses that want to optimize their website for conversions. This feature is available in Divi Builder
  • Dynamic Data Integration: Dynamic data integration is a feature that allows you to pull data from a database into your WordPress site. This data can be anything from product listings, customer information, or blog posts. Dynamic data integration is commonly used with page builders to create dynamic and data-driven web pages.
  • Design flexibility: Page builders offer a high level of design flexibility. You can create custom layouts that are not possible with a standard WordPress theme. This allows you to create a unique look for your website that stands out from the crowd.
  • Less Bloat: When using a page builder, you only use the elements and templates that you need for your website. This means that your website is not bloated with unnecessary code and functionality. This can improve your website’s performance and speed, making it faster for your visitors to load and navigate.

Cons of Using the WordPress Page Builder

  • Learning curve: Learning how to use a page builder can take time and effort. While most page builders are designed to be user-friendly, there can still be a learning curve, especially if you are not familiar with website design and development.
  • Dependency: Using a page builder can create a dependency on the page builder and the specific theme you are using. If you decide to switch to a different page builder or theme in the future, you may have to rebuild your website from scratch.
  • Cost: While many page builders offer free versions, some of the more advanced features may be behind a paywall. Additionally, some page builders may require you to pay for add-ons or templates to achieve the design you want. This can add up and increase the overall cost of building and maintaining your website.

What is a WordPress theme?


A WordPress theme is a collection of files that control the design and functionality of your WordPress website. It includes templates, stylesheets, and JavaScript files that determine how your website looks and behaves.

When you install a WordPress theme, it applies to your entire website, giving it a cohesive look and feel. 

Themes can be customized in various ways, such as by changing the colors, fonts, layouts, and other design elements.

Here are some examples of popular WordPress themes:

  • Astra
  • Blocksy: 
  • GeneratePress
  • Divi

There are thousands of WordPress themes available, both free and paid.

Pros of using a WordPress theme

  • Ease of setup: Installing a WordPress theme is a straightforward process that typically involves a few clicks on the WordPress dashboard. This means you can quickly get your website up and running without needing technical expertise.
  • Responsive design: Most modern WordPress themes are designed to be responsive, meaning they adjust to different screen sizes and devices. This is important for providing a positive user experience and ensuring your website is accessible to all visitors.
  • Functionality: Many WordPress themes come with built-in functionality, such as social media integration, search engine optimization, and e-commerce features. This can save you time and money compared to building these features from scratch.
  • Affordability: Many WordPress themes are free, and even premium themes are often more affordable than hiring a web designer to create a custom design from scratch.

Cons of using a WordPress theme

  • Limited customization: While many themes offer some level of customization, you may be limited in the design choices or features available to you. This can be frustrating if you have a specific vision for your website that isn’t possible with the theme you’ve chosen.
  • Code bloat: Some themes come with a lot of extra code and features that you may not need, which can slow down your website’s performance. This is known as “code bloat” and can be a problem if you’re looking for a fast-loading website.
  • Your website may look like other websites. If you choose a common theme, your website may look similar to other websites using the same theme. This can make it more difficult to stand out and create a unique brand identity.

WordPress Page Builder vs. Theme: What Are the Differences?

Here are some of the key differences between the two:

Design flexibility

Page builders generally offer more design flexibility than themes, as they allow you to create custom layouts and designs without needing to know code. 


Themes, on the other hand, typically have a more fixed layout that may be more difficult to customize.

Ease of use

Both WordPress page builders and themes are designed to be user-friendly, but page builders tend to have a steeper learning curve due to their high level of customization. 

Astra theme interface

While page builders can be very intuitive and user-friendly, mastering all of their features and capabilities can take some time. 

On the other hand, WordPress themes are generally easy to install and customize, making them a good option for beginners or those who prefer a simpler website-building experience.


While both page builders and themes can be customized, page builders tend to offer more flexibility when it comes to creating unique designs and layouts. 

With WordPress themes, customization options are limited to basic settings such as color, font, layout, blog post, footer, and header. 

On the other hand, WordPress page builders offer an in-depth customization option, giving you the ability to customize every aspect of your website to suit your brand. 

This includes the ability to create custom templates, add unique elements to your pages, and easily adjust the layout of your content.


Both WordPress page builders and themes have the potential to add additional code and slow down website performance. 

However, modern page builder plugins are increasingly optimized for performance and take measures to minimize their impact on loading speed. 

Many page builder plugins have been designed with performance in mind, and they come with features like lazy loading, code optimization, and caching to ensure that website pages load quickly and efficiently. 

WordPress Page Builder vs Theme: Which one should you choose?

Technically speaking, every WordPress site needs a theme installed, but you can choose not to use the theme’s customization options and instead use a page builder to design your website.

Ultimately, the choice between using a page builder or a theme will depend on your specific needs and preferences. 

If you’re looking for a highly customizable website with a unique design, a page builder may be the way to go.

If you’re looking for a more straightforward approach that requires less technical expertise, a pre-built theme may be the better option. 

Conclusion: WordPress Page Builder vs Theme

The choice between a WordPress page builder and a theme comes down to your specific needs and preferences. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to carefully consider your options before making a decision.

If you’re looking for more design flexibility and customization options, a page builder may be the way to go. They offer a wide range of features and functionality that can help you create a unique and personalized website.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to set up a website, a pre-designed theme may be a better option. Themes are generally easier to set up and require less technical knowledge than page builders.

Additional Resources

Samuel Blay

Samuel Blay

I'm a WordPress and business software enthusiast with years of experience in the industry. As a blogger, I share my knowledge and expertise to help others make the most out of their online presence. I love to shop online and believe in the power of WordPress and cutting-edge software to help entrepreneurs succeed.

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