Website Design

Why We Used Blocks for the New AWD Website Redesign

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by Adam Wright

In the world of WordPress, there’s dozens of what we call “page builders” — certain plugins/software many use to build their WordPress websites.

From Elementor, to Divi, Beaver Builder, WP Bakery, Oxygen, Kadence Blocks….I could go on.

It’s a saturated area of WordPress that can be difficult to navigate. What is easy to use? What’s going to last? What’s being constantly developed? What’s the most flexible?

There’s several factors that play into what page builder any WordPress designer might use, and for our newly redesigned website we just launched, we opted for the native Gutenberg Blocks with the addition of GenerateBlocks.

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To some, this may sound crazy — why would you use Blocks?! It’s so clunky and not user-friendly…

That’s what I use to think, too.

But there’s several factors that pushed me in this direction, that I’ll outline below.

Speed, speed, speed

At AWD, we’re constantly keeping up with trends and latest technology in order to provide the most up-to-date solutions for the web. One of those is website performance.

In 2022, Google cares a lot about your website performance speed in how it ranks your site. So, if your site takes forever to load, Google will not be happy. As a result of long loading times anyways, your visitors are more likely to leave and visit another competitors site that’s faster and more pleasing to navigate.

Blocks are a native builder within WordPress, and therefore is built with optimal speed and performance within the WordPress system. It’s extremely lightweight, and you can visually see the fast performance out of the box without doing any optimization whatsoever.

Because of the importance of speed, not only to Google, but to the value of our site visitors, this is one of the main factors of why we used Blocks to build the new AWD site. Additionally, since late 2021, we’ve begun building all new websites with Blocks in order for our clients to see the same results.

Incredibly Flexible

Quite shockingly to myself, using GenerateBlocks creates an incredibly flexible amount of options when designing a website.

When I first jumped into Blocks, I wanted to run away as fast as possible. I couldn’t STAND it, and thought it was the most un-user-friendly builder I could ever touch.

But with time, and patience (keyword: patience), I began to unlock the potential in GenerateBlocks and understand how powerful it really is.

Coming from a background in Divi and Elementor, it’s a whole new direction, but there’s something about the plain simplicity of it with the ability to do more if needed. There’s not a bunch of extra fluff and gadgets and shiny animations — which is fine with me anyways, because those kinds of features only slow your performance.

Because, Tom

As mentioned prior, there’s dozens of page builders out there to choose from. Many great ones, and many very poor. What’s important to consider when choosing a page builder is the developer(s) behind the builder.

With GenerateBlocks, the developer (Tom) has been around for quite some time and is known for his WordPress theme GeneratePress (which we also have used for years). Tom is a consistent figure in the community, and is striving to continue to improve his products and is dedicated to his user base.

It’s more important to note this because there are so many poorly supported builders that are in it just for the money, and not for their users. As a developer, knowing you are supporting a fellow developer that is committed and has a great track record helps you sleep better at night.

Blocks are the future

Being closely tied to the WordPress community, it’s clear to see that Blocks are the future (well, at least from what we can tell). The big, clunky page builders are not optimized for performance, and realizing the potential for using Blocks, it’s not a hard decision for AWD.

It’s no easy feat to always stay up with current trends and technology, but we’re always striving to learn the best techniques and deliver the best possible online experience we can.

The combination of flexibility in design and development, plus performance and reliability, makes Blocks a top choice for building sites for AWD.

Do you have questions about Blocks, or would love your site to be built with Blocks? Reach out to us!

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Adam Wright

Adam is a California native, now living in Middle Tennessee. A long-time creative at heart, his passion for design and growing his small business, AWD, is always evident. When he's not writing code or sketching logos, he enjoys spending time with family, playing basketball, or watching just about any motorsports. Find him on LinkedIn.

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