Planning a large website? Start as you mean to go on

When building and managing websites on WordPress, Elementor has emerged as a leading page builder amongst a range of similar page-builders.

Elementor is famed for its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, extensive widget library, and flexible design options.

However, Elementor may not always be the best fit for those embarking on projects requiring a significant amount of customised work.

Page plugins like Elementor are designed to try and do everything you need for your site – from layout to functionality.

Whilst this might seem like a great way to get your site off the ground, you can find yourself getting into problems if your site starts to grow in terms of content and required functionality.

Here are some of the concerns that we have about using Elementor, or any other page builder, for sites that plan to grow and expand.

1. Performance Concerns

One of the primary concerns with using Elementor (or any page builder, for that matter) on a WordPress site is its impact on performance.

Elementor adds extra CSS and JavaScript files to your site, which can increase page loading times.

This plugin chucks out a serious amount of code and CSS to accomplish even the most basic of layouts, and again, this is down to its ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ approach.

There is only so much that can be done to page builder plugins to optimise them without breaking them, and, unfortunately, you only find out you have a donkey of a site when it’s finished and you run Google page speed insights on it for the first time. The trouble is that by then, it’s too late.

This can be a significant drawback for projects where performance and fast loading times are paramount.

A custom-coded solution, though more time-consuming to develop, often results in faster, more streamlined websites.

Bespoke code is built from the ground up to do what you need, not 1000s of things you don’t, so it’s lighter, easier to build upon and optimise.

2. Limited Customisation Beyond the Interface

While Elementor offers many design options and widgets, there can be limitations regarding deeply customised or unique functionality.

The plugin is fantastic for what it’s designed to do—simplify web design—but when projects require specific, tailored functionalities that go beyond the scope of Elementor’s offerings, developers may find themselves wrestling with workarounds or needing to inject custom code, which can defeat the purpose of using a visual builder.

Any code added to a page builder to customise it runs the risk of breaking something else somewhere on the site.

These page builder plugins have such large code bases, that even installing a basic plugin can cause things to break.

3. Dependency and Long-term Flexibility

Building your site with Elementor creates a dependency on the plugin for your site’s design and functionality.

This can be a concern for projects that anticipate significant evolution over time.

If you decide to move away from Elementor in the future, it can be challenging to migrate designs and content without losing styling or facing compatibility issues.

This is one of the other key issues when using a page builder to start and then 18 months later, realising that you should have gone for the bespoke route.

Someone will then try to unpick all your content from the page builder and recreate it properly – this often takes more time than simply throwing it away and starting again.

This potential lack of flexibility in the long term is a critical consideration if you are planning to make serious money from your website.

4. Bloated Code and SEO Implications

Elementor, like many visual builders, tends to produce bloated code, which can negatively impact your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO).

As previously mentioned, this code can be a nightmare to optimize for SEO (if at all), and you will trigger endless LCP errors in the Search console.

It’s important to remember that all this code slows down both humans and search bots, so a page build is not for you if you plan to get a large site consistently crawled.

Clean, concise code is easier for search engines to crawl and index, which can help improve your site’s visibility.

For custom projects with a strong focus on SEO, the additional code and potential slower page speeds with Elementor could be detrimental to achieving optimal search rankings.

5. The Cost of Extensibility

While Elementor Pro offers an extensive range of widgets and features, achieving certain bespoke functionalities will require additional plugins or custom development, which can add to the project’s overall cost.

The necessity to invest in extra plugins for specific features—each with its own potential compatibility and performance issues—can complicate project management and increase costs.


Page builders like Elementor are ok for some websites, but if you are serious about your site, it’s growth, future development and SEO, you need to get your site off a page builder now.

The sooner you go bespoke with your site, the better.

The longer you hack things with endless plugins and page builders, the longer it will take to detangle the whole thing.

Plan ahead.

Whilst the costs of a bespoke site will be more expensive than a DIY section, you can save yourself a lot of time and pain further down the line by investing in a bespoke solution right away.

One of the main reasons that we do not provide bespoke work for sites built with page builders is that we are limited by the functionality of the theme and the plugins used.

Sure, you can add a child theme and develop that, but Elementor (et al.) becomes our problem if things do not work.

In short, large, complex sites built on these page builders are a poison chalice for anyone who inherits them: theme problems become the agency’s problem very quickly, and understandably, clients just want things to work, so stuff can get sticky.