I used to hate visual builders!
They looked great on the demo page, but as soon as you would like to do something somewhat different and custom, you would end up fighting with all the constraints put in place.
Because of this issue, I would almost always design my pages from scratch in HTML code and CSS style. Oh, the power and flexibility!
In recent projects, I have been forced to use visual builders because the end client wanted to be able to update the design themselves later on. They insisted that it had to be easy, so I had to go the visual builder way.
What I have learned is that the builders have come a long way since I have first looked at them, and they offer great flexibility within the constraints of their design.
And the constraints are a good thing. It keeps your look consistent and makes it a breeze to create layouts for various screen sizes. That is always a big challenge when writing code from scratch without any design system in place that limits your choices but maximizes compatibility.
The Builder I like the most so far is the one that comes with DIVI, the WordPress theme. Once you get to know it, you can build exciting layouts pretty fast.
There is a problem I have with it, though. That is performance. And sometimes, the output code seems to be unnecessarily complicated, making the size of your page bigger than it needs to be.
So there is always a trade-off.
How do I choose between one or another?
For large projects, I prefer to create my custom template and design systems for the performance and flexibility benefits.
And for smaller projects, I will use DIVI or something similar to create the design faster and visually.
We go back to the saying: use the right tool for the job 🙂