In the past, building websites hosted on WordPress was a difficult task. Not only would you have to write whatever you want to add into its very limiting in-house editor, but you’d be required extra knowledge of HTML and coding to incorporate sophisticated and impressive layouts and styles.
Nowadays, all the arduous page editing tasks have been dramatically simplified as the rise of drag-and-drop page builder plugins has come to take over, making it much easier for everyone – even newbies with zero coding experience.
Elementor may be one thing that pops up in your mind regarding those new types of page builders. But with so many of them around, it can be hard to choose which one suits you best. This article will help you find your ultimate page builder that works better for your needs.
Daniel has posted a video review on Design Break that will give you a visual experience. You can still read our article to get an overview of Elementor.
Elementor in Nutshell How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
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. Best known for its highly intuitive and feature-rich user interface, it gives users unparalleled access to a wide range of design and customization options to explore. It’s designed to make the process of page building easier and more enjoyable for web design professionals and newbies alike.
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. You can view your page in the same way potential customers see it with the workspace. 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
Elementor’s basic version has more than enough tools that you will need to build 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? The Revision History button has got your back. Are you having trouble finding something difficult to find? You can use the Finder feature to help you. You want to make changes to your mobile page? You can do so right away with Switch View.
Elementor Pro has even more features. 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. The dashboard might need to be responsive at times. Lastly, editing refinements might not work exactly as you expected.
Elementor’s core version gives you an adequate number of page design tools you can use free of charge. However, if you want to gain access to additional features that are otherwise limited to Elementor Pro users, you may need to subscribe first to any of its five annual plans.
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 include WPBakery and Divi, Beaver Builder, WordPress’s newest editor Gutenberg as well Webflow, Brizy, the Thrive Architect plugin and Oxygen. Let’s start with Divi!
Elementor vs Divi
The Divi builder from Elegant Themes is also a very 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 is equipped with a drag-and-drop interface, but if you compare it to Elementor’s version, you’ll notice a few differences immediately. Divi’s editing dashboard has all the options in the sidebar. However, Divi has a collapsible floating screen menu at the bottom that gives off a minimalistic look.
Page-Building and Customization
Divi, on the other hand, allows you to use complete-website packages. Elementor only offers single-page templates. Named by the latter as Layouts, its collection size is much bigger than the former.
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.
Divi’s split-testing feature is one thing that makes it stand out from Elementor. 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. Formerly known under the name Visual Composer until the inauguration of the website builder under the same name, WPBakery provides page creators with nearly the same convenient and user-friendly features as Elementor.
Its standout feature is the option to choose between a front end interface for site editing or 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 allow you to view your page exactly as your customers do 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. Regardless, you’ll have enough tools to create a good-looking 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. While the former may lack in abundance, it catches up with an otherwise larger scale of design element offerings in the form of widgets and add-ons, giving it a huge boost ahead of the latter.
When it comes to customization, both WPBakery and Elementor are packed with the same level of optimized and diverse tools, though one of them may be too overwhelming for some people than the other.
WPBakery is known for its multilingual support, which makes it 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.
WPBakery is similar to Divi but does not offer a free version. However, it does offer two pricing options. Unlike the former, though, both tiers use a one-time payment system, giving you uninterrupted updates regardless of your choice.
The regular version intended for single-site use costs $56, while the extended plan at $299 is intended for one SaaS application.
Elementor vs Beaver Builder
The Beaver Builder plugin has visually fluid drag-and-drop page-building properties as with similar platforms such as Elementor and 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 shares the same traits as Divi’s version: your workspace takes up nearly the entirety of your screen, with only a generously-sized horizontal toolbar placed on top of it. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
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 plugin’s dashboard has been highly praised for its fast, glitch-free, and very customizable capabilities. Don’t like pop-up windows while you edit? Drag it to create sidebars. Simple!
Page-Building and Customization
Beaver Builder provides users with a range of core design tools. However, its advanced settings don’t have as much energy as Elementor. For one, it doesn’t offer motion effects options or custom CSS for individual pages elements, which Elementor is equipped with.
Despite this, Beaver Builder still manages to make every page highly responsive across all devices. The Beaver Builder offers two types of templates: full templates (pages) and rows (rows).
Beaver Builder allows developers to add custom code, as we have mentioned. Another of its key features is white-labeling, which is ideal for those who build pages or websites for multiple clients for a living.
Beaver Builder is required to be purchased and integrated with a Beaver Themer extension for theme-building. Although it may seem cumbersome, this extension is still able to integrate with Elementor’s built in theme builder. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
The pricing structure for Beaver Builder is similar to Elementor’s as it includes yearly subscription plans ranging from $99 with the Standard tier to $546 with Ultimate, plus 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.
With the rising popularity of user-friendly page builders like Elementor, it’s no wonder that WordPress has decided to keep up with the changes by giving its flagship editor a much-needed facelift. Nonetheless, Gutenberg offers users swift block-building capabilities and additional features to make blogging and post-writing much easier.
WordPress’s previous editor required you to write everything you need on a page inside a big, rectangular text field. This process has proven difficult for many as they may need to learn shortcodes to create various shapes, fonts, and layouts. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
With Gutenberg, editing has been significantly simplified to accommodate even those with zero coding knowledge. From the interface alone, you will notice that it borrows the common features usually found in most page builder plugins, such as the huge preview screen and the collapsible widgets sidebar.
Page-Building and Customization
Gutenberg comes with all the essential design tools you need, including blocks and columns as well as 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. You can also add custom CSS elements to give your site a personal touch.
Gutenberg, unlike Elementor which is a page builder that has a front-end interface and Gutenberg, is primarily a backend 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.
With Gutenberg, you get to embed uploaded files and posts from many sources to your page, from social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr to media-sharing sites such as YouTube and Soundcloud.
Gutenberg is WordPress’ default editor. This means that you can use all its features absolutely free! There is not one paid plan included in this list like all the other editors. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
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 has the same level of capabilities as other popular website builders like Squarespace.
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.
We must tell you firsthand that, as Webflow offers a wide range of users a fun and flexible way to build a website, it is not for the faint of heart, especially those who are new to web design. With that being said, its editing interface needs to be more saturated with many essential website-building tools.
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. It can be as simple as possible to use the platform’s interface.
Page-Building and Customization
With Webflow, you can either opt to start from the ground up or choose from its collection of 500+ website templates, with about 100 of them offered for free. It spans multiple categories ranging from portfolios to full-on blog themes. Webflow is different from Elementor which allows you to change the entire page’s template in one go. Instead, you will need to create a new website for those changes.
You have many options for web design and can integrate with third-party platforms.
Webflow has the potential to be a competitor to WordPress in the CMS market. With that being said, while one is not yet on the same level as the other, its blogging and SEO capabilities are still impressive enough that they may be worth trying.
Webflow’s vast knowledge base through Webflow University, the blog, and its exceptional customer service team are testaments to how deeply it cares about its users. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
Webflow offers a free starter plan for those who wish to learn how to design a website. There are many subscription options available. 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. Both platforms have the same design and customization capabilities. However, Thrive Architect is better suited for creating high-converting landing page and similar market-optimized sites.
Like Elementor, Thrive’s editing dashboard involves a front-end interface, letting you see what your potential customers will get. As the former accomplishes this with a huge workspace and a single feature-rich sidebar, the latter approaches it with two, each on either side of the screen.
Two taskbars also surround the space. One is for page structure, the other for previews of multi-devices. 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
Elementor and Thrive both offer excellent templates and widgets. Still, considering the latter’s concentration on the marketing niche, the range may not be as flexible as the former. Its library of landing page templates is certainly more valuable for both marketers and businesses.
With customization, Thrive is relatively at a similar level as well. An apparent silver lining, though, has to be its top-performing in-line text editor and a more diverse range of global elements.
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. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
Thrive Architect believes better conversion rates lead to the flourishing of sales. 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.
You can get the whole Thrive Suite and Thrive Architect for $299/year if you are a marketer looking for better ways to convert leads into customers. The plugin is available at $97 per year.
Elementor vs Brizy
Brizy is two years older than Elementor (2016) and has steadily climbed to the top, gaining critical acclaim because of its intuitive and simple functions. The interface itself is on the same par as Elementor – the only key difference that sets each other apart 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. Despite the limitation, the latter does have a cloud service that not only gives you access to premium designs and integrations but also lets you sync your works across any domain, WordPress or otherwise.
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. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
One of the primary reasons why it attracts web designers of all skill levels so easily is its super lightweight design. 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.
Brizy is packed with templates, including tons of blocks and full-page layouts. These are more varied than Elementor and can be used 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.
Similar to Elementor, you can download the WordPress plugin version of Brizy for free. Pricing subscriptions are also available for those who specialize in websites and page-building for a living: these include Personal, Freelancer, and Agency plans.
You can choose to pay annually ($49 to $199), or to pay a one-time fee ($149 – $399). Brizy Cloud also offers a wide range of time-based subscriptions. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
Elementor vs Oxygen
Oxygen, a WordPress theme that can be used with drag-and-drop plugins like the Divi builder, is similar to the Divi builder. 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. While it seems ideal for those who are new to web design, you’ll soon find out that it may not be their strongest suit.
Right away, Oxygen’s user interface is jam-packed with a huge load of features and tools surrounding the workspace. 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.
As Elementor’s dashboard looks suitable for designers and average users, Oxygen’s version is mainly driven by the purpose of making page building more convenient, powerful, and worthwhile for those with firsthand experience.
Page-Building and Customization
In terms of customization, we appreciate how inviting Oxygen can be to a wide range of experts. 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. How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
All of Oxygen’s templates are compiled into over 15 sets, each designed for various purposes. 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. Instead, it offers one-time fees on two of its current pricing plan offerings. You will pay $129 for the Basic plan, and $349 for the Ultimate plan.
Our Final Thoughts How To Use Elementor Theme Builder
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.
Brizy and Webflow both offer all the tools you need to specialize in website design as a freelancer, or as part of an established team. 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.
While there are some page builders that offer templates for landing pages, none compares to the number of templates Thrive Architect offers. It also integrates with many marketing tools, including sales funnels and split testing. Divi is the only builder that can compete in a similar capacity to Divi.
Oxygen or Divi are the best options if you want to get both a WordPress plugin and a WordPress template simultaneously. The latter could be ideal if you’re a web designer looking for more template and theme options.
Lastly, if you want to stay sure with some of the most trusted, easy-to-use, and leading WordPress page builders, look no further than Divi and Elementor. If a feature-laden free version of the plugin is what you’re more interested in, then Elementor is ready to supply you with that.