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The paradox

Elementor has been a game changer in the world of page builders and rightly continues to lead the market.  We know Elementor has over 3 million active installs at the time of writing which probably means there are over 2 million active Elementor-based websites ‘live’ on planet earth, which makes it the most popular page builder for WordPress by some margin, yet there still seems to be a great deal of confusion about what Elementor is and, importantly, what it is not. So, why is that?

Swiss Army Knife or one-trick pony?

In simple terms, Elementor is a just a plugin for WordPress which makes designing website pages a matter of dragging & dropping elements onto pages but, it does nothing that couldn’t be done by a capable person using the cornerstone web technologies of HTML, Javascript and CSS. So, if you learned those languages and gained experience, could you make websites as beautiful and as robust as those made with WordPress and Elementor?  Yes, you could but only because along the road to learning those technologies and becoming competent, you will have had to learn a whole lot more.  You will have had to learn about how the world wide web works, including some knowledge of:-

  • Server-side software and the ‘stack’ including, typically, Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP
  • Server-side languages and PHP in particular
  • What caching is and how caching works at all levels; server-side, ISP and browser
  • How browsers work

Then you’ll have had to pick up along the way, experience of:-

  • FTP/SFTP
  • Code editors
  • Hosting platforms and, if you’re working with WordPress …
  • Some basic understanding of the WordPress Codex and the concept of themes, plugins etc.
  • How to fix and recover WordPress when it breaks (which it will).

Then there’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).  I mention this separately because it’s an art and a science in its own right but in order to build an effective website, you’re going to need to understand basic SEO concepts from the outset but, quite how much of it you need to understand will depend upon your reliance on your website and whether it’s business critical or not.

That’s just a hint at the technical stuff but there’s also a raft of personal traits you’re going to need.

  • The ability to fault find logically
  • The ability to learn new concepts
  • The ability to use search engines effectively and filter out the good stuff from the trash.

Above all, you need to ...

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About Ancient Geekery

Ancient Geekery is a necessarily weird place as it defies any of the usual website-making ‘rules’.  We use this site for live testing Elementor design concepts, we use it for testing things that should never work and testing things that should but, don’t.  We use it for pushing the envelope in terms of navigation, SEO to see what works well and what doesn’t.  We deliberately try to upset Google SERPS in order to understand how it works – and sometimes doesn’t.  All in all, this is a strange place to be.  Sometimes it will work, other times it won’t and frequently it’s just plain broken.

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