Back in the old days, the process of building website pages hosted on WordPress was such a hard task to behold. You would not only have to create whatever you wish in the editor’s very limited interface, but you’d also need to know HTML and code to create sophisticated layouts and styles.
Drag-and-drop page builders plugins have made page editing much more simple. This makes it even easier for newbies, even those with no coding experience.
You might think of Elementor as one of the new page builders. There are so many options, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. This article will help you find your ultimate page builder that works better for your needs.
For those of you who prefer a more visual experience, here is a video review from Daniel on his YouTube channel Design Break. To get a comprehensive overview of Elementor, you may still want to check out our article below.
Elementor in Nutshell Elementor vs Custom Theme
Before we dive into the meat of this story, let’s first take a look at Elementor.
Elementor is one of the most popular free page builder plugins for WordPress. It is well-known for its intuitive user interface and rich features. Users have unlimited access to many customization and design options. It was created to simplify page building for both experienced web designers and beginners.
One of Elementor’s highlights has to be its convenient drag-and-drop editor, which allows users to drag whatever object they like onto a canvas or workspace that’s big enough to fit most of the screen. The workspace lets you view your page as potential customers see it. Another of its highlights is the vast range of design element options, with a total of over 200 templates, widgets, and blocks built into Elementor’s storied library.
The Key Features
The basic Elementor version includes all the tools you need to create eye-catching pages. You can adjust the settings to make your pages as pixel perfect as possible, and even add custom code to them.
Elementor knows that convenience is king – that’s why there are plenty of helpful features that reflect that statement. Want to retrieve previous versions of your page without having to click ‘undo’ multiple times? Revision History is your friend. Struggling with searching for something that may be difficult to find? The Finder feature can help you with that. You want to make changes to your mobile page? Switch View allows you to make changes right away.
It doesn’t stop there, as Elementor has more tricks up its sleeve with Elementor Pro. This gives you more handy features, such as the Theme Builder that lets you create full-page templates for WordPress, the pop-up builder, and e-commerce widgets in collaboration with WooCommerce.
Elementor has many benefits for people of all skill levels. However, it is not without its drawbacks. Firstly, most of the Elementor Pro features are obviously, not accessible to those who use the plugin for free. Second, the dashboard may need to be more responsive sometimes. And lastly, some editing refinements may not go exactly as you expect them to.
The core version of Elementor gives you enough page design tools to use for free. You may have to sign up for one of the five annual plans if you wish to access additional features not available to Elementor Pro users.
These prices range from $49 per year for the Essential plan to $999 for the Agency plan. The best thing about these subscriptions is that you can access any upgraded tool without limitations – the only limitation is the number of activations and website licenses.
Now that we have an idea of what Elementor is and how much it can offer, let’s compare it to the other page builder platforms on this list, eight of which with an equally massive following and critical acclaim.
These are Divi, WPBakery, Beaver Builder, WordPress’s newest editor Gutenberg, Webflow, the Thrive Architect plugin, Brizy, and Oxygen. Let’s begin with Divi!
Elementor vs Divi
Elegant Themes’ Divi builder is a popular page-builder plugin. It’s been placed at the same level as Elementor regarding how much it offers to various users.
Both interfaces are easy to use, yet powerful and feature a variety of design tools. The only differences that set Divi apart from Elementor are that 1) it’s both a WordPress theme and a plugin, 2) it doesn’t offer a free plan, and 3) it has more useful features, such as split testing.
Divi’s editing dashboard has a drag-and drop interface. However, if you look at it alongside Elementor, you will notice some differences. While the latter has all the options along the sidebar, Divi has a collapsible floating menu on the bottom of the screen, giving off a more minimalistic appeal.
Customization and Page-Building
Divi, on the other hand, allows you to use complete-website packages. Elementor only offers single-page templates. It is also known as Layouts and has a much larger collection than Elementor.
Both plugins offer the same styling options and don’t require you to code. Both plugins have similar features for theme-building. Divi may have it added in 2019, but Elementor had it available long before that.
Divi is not just a WordPress plugin. It also comes with the Divi theme. This theme has been called the “most popular WordPress theme” over the years.
One noticeable thing Divi has that sets it apart from Elementor and a few others is the split-testing feature. This feature is especially useful for marketing professionals as they can identify which pages’ elements are most effective in driving higher conversion rates.
Divi is not like Elementor which offers powerful features for a free version. Divi does not offer a free plan, except for a 30-day trial. Despite this, its two pricing plans are seen as cost-effective and more valuable than the other.
Individuals may either opt for a yearly access plan at $89 or a lifetime access tier at a one-time fee of $249. Regardless, not only will you be able to use Divi on unlimited websites, but you will also get access to all of the Elegant Themes products, including the Divi theme.
Elementor vs WPBakery
Another one of the widely-used page-building plugins, WPBakery, is also among the first to be released. WPBakery, which was previously known as Visual Composer before the introduction of the website-builder under the same name is now called WPBakery. It offers page creators nearly the same user-friendly and convenient features as Elementor.
Among its stand-outs is the ability to choose between a front-end interface for live site editing and more advanced back-end design editing. While Elementor may be packed with a wide range of widgets, WPBakery has twice the size of its offerings.
Some page builders let you view your page as your customers see it while editing. Some offer a more detailed experience. If one WordPress plugin can accommodate both simultaneously, then WPBakery lives up to the challenge. This makes it ideal for not just average web designers but experts as well.
However, there have been concerns over how slow the front-end editor can be compared to the rest. You’ll still have the tools you need to make a beautiful page.
Page-Building and Customization
WPBakery has a pre-made template library of over 100 choices, although the number pales compared to Elementor’s 300+ selections. Although the former is less extensive, it has a much larger selection of design elements in the form widgets and add-ons that gives it an advantage over the latter.
Both WPBakery (and Elementor) have the same level and variety of customization tools. However, one may prove too overwhelming for others.
The Key Features
Among WPBakery’s distinctive assets is its support for multiple languages which makes this plugin more accessible to non-English users. The Role Manager function lets you manage who has access to certain sections of the interface.
Although the plugin’s integrations list is not that important for many, we find it to be unique enough to make it stand out from the rest.
Much like the previously-mentioned Divi, WPBakery does not have a free version, but it does offer two pricing plans. Both tiers, however, use a one-time payment system that gives you continuous updates, regardless of which plan you choose.
The $56 regular version is for single-site use, while the $299 extended plan is for one SaaS application.
Elementor vs Beaver Builder
Beaver Builder plugin offers visually fluid drag-and drop page-building capabilities, similar to Elementor or Divi. Beaver Builder, unlike the other plugins, is designed for developers who are skilled in website stability.
With the inclusion of clean coding capabilities, well-documented PHP, CSS, and JS options, and more handy features to help make your page run as smoothly as possible, it’s no wonder why Beaver Builder has amassed a large following among WordPress developers.
Beaver Builder’s editing interface is similar to Divi’s: Your workspace occupies almost the entire screen with only a generously-sized horizontal bar on top. Elementor vs Custom Theme
If you wish to add any column, row, or module/widget to your page, you just need to click the + button along the bar. The dashboard of the plugin has been highly praised because it is fast, easy to use, and customizable. Don’t like pop-up windows while you edit? Simply drag it to create a sidebar. Simple!
Page-Building and Customization
Beaver Builder offers a variety of core design tools. Its advanced settings, however, don’t have the same energy as Elementor – for one, the former lacks motion effects options and custom CSS for individual page elements as the latter is readily equipped with.
Beaver Builder manages to make each page responsive on all devices, despite this. As for templates, the plugin offers two types that are closely similar to Elementor: pages (full templates) and rows (Beaver Builder’s take on blocks).
As we mentioned earlier, one of Beaver Builder’s strongest suits is its ability to conveniently let developers add custom coding. White-labeling is another key feature. This is great for people who create pages or websites for multiple clients.
As for theme-building, Beaver Builder requires you to purchase and integrate with a separate Beaver Themer extension. Although it may seem cumbersome, this extension is still able to integrate with Elementor’s built in theme builder. Elementor vs Custom Theme
Beaver Builder’s pricing structure is very similar to Elementor’s. It includes yearly subscription plans starting at $99 for the Standard tier and ending at $546 for Ultimate. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee. The plugin can also be downloaded for free, although it is less flexible than Elementor.
Elementor vs Gutenberg
Gutenberg is the codename for WordPress’s latest standard block editor, effectively replacing its predecessor, the Classic Editor. Gutenberg’s new standard block editor is much easier than the old version. It requires you to complete tedious and complex processes. Gutenberg was designed with beginners in mind, using drag-and-drop interfaces.
WordPress is relaunching its flagship editor to reflect the popularity of Elementor and other user-friendly page builders. Gutenberg still offers block-building capabilities that make it easy to blog and write.
The previous editor for WordPress required that you write all the information you needed on a page within a large rectangular text box. Many people find this difficult as they might need to know shortcodes to create different shapes, fonts and layouts. Elementor vs Custom Theme
Gutenberg makes editing easy for anyone with no coding skills. You will see that the interface borrows many of the same features found in most page builders plugins such as the large preview screen and collapsible sidebar widgets.
Customization and Page-Building
Gutenberg is packed with essential design tools, from columns and block patterns to text headings and paragraphs. Still, the range fares less than popular page builders like Elementor, where there are additional choices to explore.
Gutenberg may not have theme-building capabilities, but its block-based traits make it compatible with multiple WordPress themes – it does not fully override your theme styles and settings. Additionally, you can incorporate custom CSS elements for a more personalized feel.
Unlike Elementor, which happens to be a page builder with a front-end interface, Gutenberg is primarily a back-end block editor. You won’t be able to create a fully unique site with an equally unique theme, but you can still rearrange design elements within any themed page, given that it’s compatible across multiple WordPress themes.
Gutenberg allows you to embed files and posts from multiple sources onto your page. This includes social media sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and media-sharing sites like YouTube and Soundcloud.
Since Gutenberg is WordPress’s default editor, you can explore and use all of its features completely free of charge! Unlike all other editors in this list, not a single paid plan is included. Elementor vs Custom Theme
Elementor vs Webflow
Unlike Elementor and the rest of our page builder plugins in this list, Webflow is a standalone website-building service that lets you create full-scale designs that work across multiple devices. It offers the same capabilities as Squarespace and other popular website builders.
Webflow is designed to be a one-stop solution, and a time-saver as its team does most website administration duties on your behalf, like web hosting. While WordPress itself may rely on plugins to create eye-catching sites, Webflow has everything rolled into one platform.
Webflow is fun and flexible, but it’s not for everyone. This is especially true for those new to web design. Webflow’s editing interface should be richer with essential tools for website building.
It may be a turn-off for most individuals with entry-level skills, but any average professional will most likely enjoy what it can offer. The platform’s interface can also be as straightforward as it gets.
Page-Building and Customization
You have two options with Webflow: you can start from scratch or choose from over 500 templates. About 100 of these templates are free. You can use it for portfolios or full-on blog themes. Unlike Elementor, which lets you change a page’s entire template in one sitting, Webflow will require you to create a new website to accommodate those changes.
You have many options for web design and can integrate with third-party platforms.
Webflow is poised to compete with WordPress in the CMS field. Despite being on a lower level than WordPress, Webflow’s SEO and blogging capabilities are impressive enough to be worth considering.
Webflow’s extensive database of knowledge through Webflow University and the blog, as well as its excellent customer assistance team, is a testament that proves how much it deeply cares for its users. Elementor vs Custom Theme
For those who want to learn how to create a website, Webflow offers a free starter package. From there, you’ll find a versatile range of subscriptions. You can choose from the basic Site plan starting at $12/month, team-based Workspace plans starting at $19/month and e-commerce plans starting at $29/month. There is also a custom Enterprise plan.
Elementor vs Thrive Architect
Some WordPress page builders cater to designers (as in Elementor), web professionals (like Beaver Builder), and both, but there are a few that cater more towards marketing professionals, such as Thrive Architect.
This plugin provides them with top-notch features that are guaranteed to make impressive sales turnouts on top of the essential page-building tools they should already be familiar with. While both platforms offer the same level of design and customization capabilities, Thrive Architect makes it a more suitable choice for creating high-converting landing pages and other similar market-optimized websites.
Like Elementor, Thrive’s editing dashboard involves a front-end interface, letting you see what your potential customers will get. The former does this by having a large workspace and one feature-rich sidebar. The latter has two.
In addition, two taskbars similarly surround the space, with one for the page structure and the other for multi-device previews. While Thrive tried its best to fit all the basic tools in one dashboard, it has been criticized for being slightly clunky.
Page-Building and Customization
Both Thrive and Elementor offer the same caliber of excellent widgets and template selections. Still, considering the latter’s concentration on the marketing niche, the range may not be as flexible as the former. Regardless, its library of landing page templates surely looks more deserving for marketers and businesses alike.
With customization, Thrive is relatively at a similar level as well. The apparent silver lining is Thrive’s top-performing inline text editor, as well as a wider range of global elements.
The Key Features
Elementor’s marketing-focused features fall far short of what Thrive has to offer. It comes with a list Smart Landing Pages that are optimized for higher conversion rates. Elementor vs Custom Theme
Thrive Architect believes that higher conversion rates are a key to sales growth. That’s why it can seamlessly integrate with other specialty applications that belong in what’s called the Thrive Suite, including ones for split testing, testimonial collections, and even automation.
If you work in marketing and are looking for more efficient ways to convert leads into sales, you may get the entire Thrive Suite alongside Thrive Architect for only $299/year. Otherwise, the plugin itself is priced at $97 annually.
Elementor vs Brizy
Though two years younger than Elementor (2016), Brizy has been slowly climbing to the top and gaining critical acclaim for its simple and intuitive functions. The interface is comparable to Elementor. The only thing that separates them is the ecosystem.
While Elementor allows you to import third-party add-ons, in Brizy, you can only make use of its default content elements. The cloud service allows you to sync your work across all domains, WordPress and not, despite this limitation.
While Brizy has the all-familiar drag-and-drop features, its editing dashboard is praised by many for having one of the most user-friendly interfaces, even beating out all other page builders on this list. Elementor vs Custom Theme
Its super light design is one of the main reasons it is so popular with web designers of all levels. It’s lighter than other dashboards, such as those from Thrive Architect and Divi, but it feels more welcoming than others.
Page-Building and Customization
As with most WordPress page builders, Brizy supplies its users with plenty of design and customization options. Given its limits, it doesn’t have as many widgets as Elementor has, but it still manages to offer a handful of e-commerce web elements powered by WooCommerce.
Template-wise, Brizy’s packed with tons of individual blocks and full-page layouts that are a bit more diverse than Elementor, most of which you can use for free.
The Key Features
Elementor’s integrated mega menu creator is one of the most notable features Brizy offers that Elementor does not. Although Brizy does not support third-party addons, it is still a great feature to be able to create large-scale web menus.
Brizy also offers the BrizyCloud service which includes hosting and other helpful website tools. However, remember that it is a completely different platform, which means you won’t be able to use WordPress – you are immediately given a custom domain.
You can also download the WordPress plugin version Brizy free of charge, similar to Elementor. For those who are specialized in website and page-building, pricing subscriptions are available. These include Agency, Personal, and Freelancer plans.
You may opt to either pay yearly ($49 to $199) or purchase a one-time fee ($149 to $399). Brizy Cloud also offers a wide range of time-based subscriptions. Elementor vs Custom Theme
Elementor vs Oxygen
Similar to the aforementioned Divi builder, Oxygen is a WordPress theme and a drag-and-drop plugin rolled into one. It gives you full control of how you design your pages with whatever element you want to incorporate, as it’s one of the few page builders that can override any of your saved themes.
Filled with elite marketing tools and splendid professional-looking template options to take advantage of, Oxygen is geared toward pro freelancers, expert developers, and web agencies, small or large. Although it might seem ideal for newbies in web design, it could be a weak suit.
Oxygen’s user interface has a lot of tools and features that you can use immediately. The number may be concerningly overwhelming, especially for beginners. For those who know the basics of web development, there are many functions that can be used.
Elementor’s dashboard is suitable for both designers and average users. Oxygen’s version focuses primarily on making page building easier, more powerful, and more worthwhile for those who have firsthand experience.
Page-Building and Customization
We appreciate the ease of Oxygen’s customization capabilities. The plugin’s simple-to-use CSS editing capabilities are a big plus for coders. They wouldn’t need to spend too much time looking at the style sheets of any theme. Elementor vs Custom Theme
Each set is made up of all Oxygen’s templates. Its widget library may not be as large and spectacular as Elementor’s, but luckily, its public API tool makes integrations with third-party apps simpler.
The loading speed of most pages that are built using Oxygen is significantly faster than the ones made through Elementor and similar WordPress page builders by a slightly improved margin.
Apart from the API, Oxygen can also seamlessly integrate with a diverse range of industries and platforms, including specialty apps like Airbnb, social media, SEO plugins, payment gateways, and more.
Oxygen doesn’t offer a free plan due to its professional and advanced nature. It charges one-time fees for two of its current pricing plans. You will pay $129 for the Basic plan, and $349 for the Ultimate plan.
Our Last Thoughts Elementor vs Custom Theme
If you’re a web development expert, whether you work in the field for a living or you’re a power user for leisure, we recommend that you choose between Oxygen, Beaver Builder, and WPBakery, as each of those comes prepared with more accommodating coding capabilities.
If you specialize in website design, either as a freelancer or as part of a team, both Brizy, and Webflow have all the right tools you would need. Brizy is a great platform with a user-friendly interface. However, if you need third-party support, it may be advisable to look elsewhere.
If you’re not too invested in web design or don’t mind using your current theme, Gutenberg may be your best bet, although most page builders on this list offer the same feature. It’s also the only completely free plugin here, so that may be a solid choice as well if you’re on a tight budget.
Some page builders here offer special template sets for landing pages, but none can compare to how many Thrive Architect has. It also integrates with many marketing tools, including sales funnels and split testing. If another builder can compete similarly in any capacity, it has to be Divi.
Oxygen or Divi are the best options if you want to get both a WordPress plugin and a WordPress template simultaneously. If you are a web designer who is looking for more templates and themes, the latter might be the best option.
Elementor and Divi are trusted and easy-to use page builders for WordPress. Elementor can provide you with a plugin that is completely feature-free if you are interested.