When building a WordPress learning management system or course site, one of the common questions asked is whether to use the free in-built page editor (also known as Gutenberg) or leverage third party page editors such as Elementor, Divi or Beaver Builder. There are other page builders but these are curreftly the most common and best supported in the WordPress and LearnDash ecosystem.
Should I use the in-built WordPress editor to develop my site and course content?
It depends on the type of audience your courses and site are built for. Here are some reasons why you would stick to the in-built editor:
- minimal design requirements for the course page content
For the majority of learning audiences, all they want is to get the information quickly. Keeping things simple is sometimes the best way to deliver content. If you do not require fancy page layouts, buttons and icons for your course pages, it is best to just stick to the in-built editor.
- course content mainly made up of videos, downloadable content such as pdfs
similar to the above point, if your content is mainly videos or downloadable pdfs and documents, you are unlikely to require a third-party page editor as all you will be doing is embedding your media or documents into the page
- mobile device focused courses
mobile devices typically do not require fanciful designs and layouts. In fact, you are better off keeping the content layout simple
- WordPress’ in-built editor (Gutenberg) provides free design and layout functionality
Not as advanced and easy to use as some of the 3rd party page-editor plugins but the biggest advantage is that it is free and you are not impacted or dependent on 3rd party plugin changes and upgrades
Using 3rd Party WordPress page editors
There are advantages of using 3rd Party WordPress page editors. You are able to design your pages quicker and get more creative. Listed below are some of the benefits.
- design attractive course pages quickly
Easily create and design attractive page layouts. These editors are drag and drop and make it very simple and easy for anyone to design their pages. They also allow one to add pre-built design elements like hover buttons, call to action buttons, tables, image galleries into the pages.
- page design templates
3rd party page editors allow you to design and create templates. This allows you to have standardised branding and design across your entire site and also saves time.
- create aesthetically pleasing course landing or sales leads pages to generate sales
It is important that you convert leads and visits to sales. 3rd party page editors allow you to create aesthetically pleasing landing pages to increase your chances of converting those visits to sales. You can easily create pricing tables, email collection forms and call to action buttons
- advanced smart features with page-editor add-ons
3rd party page editors offer additional functionality with free or paid add-ons that you can install. These add-ons allow you to access useful additional functionality. For instance, on one of my online learning sites, I use Elementor and have installed the plugin, Visibility Logic for Elementor to show users different page sections based on the type of membership they have subscribed to
Things to look out for when using 3rd party page editors
- dependency on a 3rd party
you are developing your pages and content based on a 3rd party’s software and will be dependent on their updates and continued support for the product. There are many page editors in the market and so choose one that is reliable. The 3 page editors I have listed have a large user base and so are pretty much quite reliable.
- paid annual fee vs free
free versions are offered by the 3 listed providers. Obviously, you will get access to more features with the paid version. Also, note that licenses are charged annually and you will probably want to keep your license up to date to ensure access to regular updates
I am an online learning developer whose primary focus is on creating interactive digital content and solutions to help schoolchildren learn. elearnxp.com is where I share my experience in using technology to help others learn.