Last year I have visited several WordCamps to talk about Visual Composer. Mostly to become transparent about what we do and become closer to the community.
There, many people pointed out that there are plenty of false assumptions when it comes to Visual Composer. So, I did my best to clarify things.
At that point, we started to think that we should address those questions on a different scale. So, I created my personal FAQ about what is Visual Composer Website Builder and what it is not.
Before we begin, I want to thank every one of you for sharing your thoughts and taking your time to read it. 🍻
Is Visual Composer the same as WPBakery?
Visual Composer Website Builder is not WPBakery Page Builder. Visual Composer Website Builder is an independent website builder that is designed using the latest generation technology thus providing users with a fast and easy-to-use interface.
It comes with over a hundred features, ready-made templates, elements, and add-ons that can be downloaded from the Visual Composer Hub - a free online marketplace for Premium users. In addition, Visual Composer Theme Builder allows you to take control of your whole website, not just a content part. This allows you to select page layouts, design custom headers, footers, and sidebars.
The claim above and similar type of questions like the following ones is nothing more than just confusion caused by rebranding:
- Is Visual Composer part of WPBakery Page Builder (false);
- Visual Composer is an old version of WPBakery Page Builder (false);
- Is Visual Composer the same as WPBakery Page Builder (false).
What once was known as Visual Composer Page Builder by WPBakery is one of the original WordPress page builders. Ever since WPBakery Page Builder was released, it’s been the most popular page builder plugin for WordPress.
However, a couple of years ago, the original Visual Composer Page Builder was rebranded to WPBakery Page Builder. And the Visual Composer trademark has since been used for a completely different project: a full-fledged website builder – Visual Composer Website Builder.
If you want to know exact differences, this comparison table Visual Composer vs WPBakery may help you out.
Is Visual Composer shortcode based?
No, Visual Composer Website Builder is React-based product. It is not shortcode based, however, it has a shortcode element that allows you to add any WordPress shortcode to your layout.
The claim above and similar ones you can read below or find in search results is again, confusion caused by rebranding, plus a little flawed verdict:
- Visual Composer Website Builder is very slow to use (false);
- Visual Composer Website Builder handles everything with shortcodes (false);
- Visual Composer Website Builder shortcodes will break a lot of other pieces of software (false);
- If you ever try to uninstall Visual Composer Website Builder after using it, it will break your site (false).
Relating to the rebranding issues, people are still confusing Visual Composer Website Builder and WPBakery Page Builder. From now on, you should know that these are two different WordPress plugins. And instead of Visual Composer Website Builder, WPBakery Page Builder is shortcode based.
Visual Composer Website Builder generates static HTML which ensures high performance and clean code. Also, if you deactivate the website builder, it will not leave shortcodes behind (as there are no shortcodes). We do have Cossa plugin that supports handling of CSS files in case of deactivation.
Why Visual Composer Backend editor is not working?
Visual Composer Website Builder is not showing back-end editor because it doesn’t have one. In contrast, it has a user-friendly frontend editor and a Tree view that allows overviewing your layout in layers (just like in Sketch or Photoshop).
In such a case, people may refer to the WPBakery Page Builder which has Backend editor.
Note: if your WPBakery Page Builder backend editor is not working, make sure to update the plugin or contact support.wpbakery.com
Is Visual Composer bundled in my WordPress theme?
We see that more and more authors start to adopt Visual Composer Website Builder in their WordPress themes. With the API at the forefront, Visual Composer enables authors to integrate the website builder into their WordPress themes.
If you are one of the early adopters who's included the Visual Composer Website Builder in your themes, let us know to be able to spread a word about you!
However, the builder that's bundled within most of the WordPress themes, is WPBakery Page Builder.
The reason you keep seeing ‘Visual Composer’ bundled in the themes is that the theme marketplaces or theme authors simply haven’t updated their information. So, when you purchase a theme that has bundled with ‘Visual Composer’, know that it could be WPBakery Page Builder (the shortcode based plugin).
Yet, there are new and promising themes on the market that take advantage of Visual Composer Website Builder. Whenever you see Visual Composer bundled - it is worth asking the theme author if he/she is referring to the Visual Composer Website Builder.
Is Visual Composer outdated and very limited?
Visual Composer Website Builder is up-to-date offering you ever new features and compatibility. It comes with 100+ features, elements, templates, and extensions you’ll need to create a beautiful and professional website. You can customize your page layout, adjust mobile editing options, and apply multiple page layouts.
We make sure that Visual Composer Website Builder stays compatible with every WordPress update, Gutenberg editor, WooCommerce, Gravity Forms, Yoast, Advanced Custom Fields, and many other popular plugins.
Does Visual Composer leave shortcode mess?
Visual Composer Website Builder is not shortcode based. People often confuse Visual Composer Website Builder with WPBakery Page Builder which is shortcode based plugin.
Visual Composer Website Builder is built on React and generates static HTML on the output (public side of the site). If you decide to deactivate the website builder, you can set up a CoSSa plugin which ensures that proper CSS files are applied to the layout and content will not be corrupted.
Visual Composer Website Builder doesn't lock your content. Even most of the editors on the market do so (even WordPress default editor - Gutenberg).
Is Visual Composer bad for SEO?
Visual Composer is optimized for SEO. All elements and templates are following best SEO practices in order to rank your site higher. In addition to SEO optimization, the website builder is fully compatible with Yoast - the most popular SEO plugin for WordPress.
And, with the static HTML that is generated on the output of the plugin, the site will load faster. This, essentially, means better SEO as Google takes site speed into account.
Is Visual Composer free?
Visual Composer Website Builder has a free version, which is enough to give you a great first impression and even build a simple site.
However, to get unlimited access to all of the core features, along with constant updates and dedicated customer support, Visual Composer Premium is the way to go.
Is Visual Composer GPL?
Visual Composer Website Builder is GPL-compatible. We fully respect WordPress standards and freedom.
Visual Composer Website Builder is using our cloud service - Visual Composer Hub which is licensed under cloud service license (same as Automattic JetPack cloud service). Nevertheless, the plugin is fully functional without access to the Visual Composer Hub.
Does Visual Composer slow down my site?
Visual Composer Website Builder is made with performance in mind. To be on the front line of the website builder market, Visual Composer generates clean and static HTML. It allows loading your page faster and leaves a positive effect on your site performance and SEO.
Of course, the speed of your site can be affected by the amount of content. So, if you compare a page made with Visual Composer that has lots of content against the page with less content - the results will be in favor of a simple page. But the same rule applies also to the pages that are not made with Visual Composer.
First of all, thanks for taking the time to read the article.
I hope that I have answered your questions and maybe get rid of some confusion along the way. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you feel that there are unanswered questions to be addressed, feel free to ask them in the comments and I will do my best to provide you with the answer.
Head of Product at Visual Composer