Is Gutenberg a Page Builder?

Is Gutenberg a Page Builder?

There’s been lots of discussion around whether the WordPress community should use Gutenberg when tools like page builders exist. This begs the question, “Is Gutenberg even a page builder?” In this video, I answer that question.


I’ve been seeing a lot of folks lately comparing Beaver Builder and Gutenberg, implying that you should use one or the other. Or that Gutenberg is something that can replace Beaver Builder. The root of that question is based on the understanding that Gutenberg is, in-fact, a page builder. So I’m going to answer that question today: is Gutenberg a page builder?

Is Gutenberg a page builder? Click To Tweet

What is a Page Builder?

First, let’s talk about what exactly a page builder is. My favorite is Beaver Builder, but there are other ones like Elementor and Divi, and what those do is take over the editing experience. They allow you to create complex layouts of rows and columns. So in most cases, you are not really in the WordPress Dashboard anymore. You are looking at your website and then you have a big editable area.

Page Builders allow you to create complex layouts of rows and columns. Click To Tweet

If you’re using the right theme, like Astra or the Beaver Builder theme, that entire area besides the header and footer is editable. You can do things like make full with rows, have video backgrounds, and create these very complex layouts of rows and columns.

If we base our definition of a page builder on that, I would say a page builder is something that takes over the entire layout of a website &  gives you a lot of control of where content goes. It’s something that allows you to apply different styles to each of those blocks, and it’s highly flexible.

What can Gutenberg do?

In Gutenberg, you’re still basically in the WordPress admin. It’s been redesigned, but what you’re looking at is still the backend. You have a limited set of features, so you can’t add a video background or anything like that. And in most cases it’s not even taking over the full width of the content.

With Beaver Builder you can say, “I want this row to be full width,” or, “I want these columns to be 70% for the left column and 30% for the right column.” with Gutenberg blocks you  don’t have that same flexibility.

So NO. Gutenberg is not a page builder, and it shouldn’t be treated as one. When people say, I can’t do the same things in Gutenberg that I can in Beaver Builder or Elementor, that’s true and it was never meant to be the case. Gutenberg is meant to give us richer content, but it’s not designed to be a layout editor…at least not yet.

Gutenberg is meant to give us richer content; it's not designed to be a layout editor. Click To Tweet

Should you use Both?

So now you’re probably wondering, “Well why should I even use both if Beaver Builder or Elementor do everything Gutenberg can and more. Here’s the answer to that: if you think about your usage of a page builder, you’re probably not using it on every page, every post, or for every piece of content you’re creating.

Page builders are not designed for writing. Click To Tweet

Page builders are not designed for writing, so you’re probably not writing blog posts in Beaver Builder. and If you are I’m going to go ahead and say that’s overkill.

So Gutenberg is still designed for a long-form writing, and you have Beaver Builder installed to create those beautiful landing pages or that very well-designed service page for your website. But you use Gutenberg to give yourself just a little bit more flexibility when you’re writing that blog post, so you can drop a table block in to post without having to use shortcodes.

I think the main difference between Gutenberg and Beaver Builder is where you use them. Beaver Builder is definitely designed to create beautiful pages but not for writing; Gutenberg is not a page layout tool (at least not yet). It’s there to help us create better richer content. So you can definitely use both you should use both.

And next time somebody asks you what’s the point of Gutenberg – it seem like a very powerful page builder – you let them know it’s not a page builder at all.

2 thoughts on “Is Gutenberg a Page Builder?”

  1. Better read tweet of photomatt, he says Gutenberg IS a pagebuilder very soon.

  2. Joe, that was absolutely superb thank you. I was really struggling to understand the relationship between Gutenberg and Beaver Builder. I have a large number of clients where I have installed Beaver Builder to design what I call ‘feature’ pages where the design input is high (eg. Landing Page, ‘What We Do’ and so forth), but then the client uses the regular editor for contributing Posts and more ‘mundane’/regular Pages.

    So it looks as though WordPress 5 works for me exactly as you suggest. I continue to use Beaver Builder for feature pages (which I tend to discourage the Client from editing !) but the client could then be free to utilise the power of the Gutenberg editor to better control the layout of their own content.

    Thank you sincerely for helping me to get this clear in my own mind.

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