I see more and more WP themes with all kinds of features like page builders, template builders and layout drag and drops. Some offer shortcodes generate systems. To my understanding builders are more for layout control and easy to use, and on the other side shortcodes make easy content editing/development. Perhaps these builders eliminate even the use of shortcodes?
I am a n00b WP user, I am working on my first WP theme and I wonder how does this work best for you?
I think that mostly it depends on users, more advanced users are probably more comfortable using shortcodes since in my opinion trough code view is a faster method of editing stuff, on the other side for users that do not have experience with code, page builder with cool graphic interface should be easier.
Thanks. I also need some opinion from experienced developers.
To rephrase the question, in terms of what you develop and what your users need, what works best for you? Shortcodes systems or page builders or both?
1. Page builders:
Advantage: easier to understand and use than shortcodes by the user, if they are well explain in the HELP file, or video tutorials.
Disadvantage: takes more time to build one, and will load the theme with some extra files
Definitely NOT the ones without some editor buttons to automatically load the shortcode framework. Do not let the user to add also the frame of the shortcode manually, let him add just the content of the shortcode.
Advantage: Easier to build and edit/add new ones. Faster because of the less files added to the theme.
Disadvantage: Not very user friendly by the beginer users, that will have to arange manually the codes in the editor. But if they are well explain in the HELP file will do the job.
As a conclusion, from my point of view, either of them will work fine as long as you will create a simple logical system to add the units (shortcodes or sections of the page builder) and explain it well in the HELP files.
Also as you can see in the “forest” a simple theme with basic no custom admin options can stay in front of the ones with hundred of options