In the past, building websites hosted on WordPress was a difficult task. 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.
Elementor may be one thing that pops up in your mind regarding those new types of 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.
Daniel has posted a video review on Design Break that will give you a visual experience. To get a comprehensive overview of Elementor, you may still want to check out our article below.
Elementor in Nutshell WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
Before we get into the meat of the story, let’s take a short look first at what Elementor is.
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 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. 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
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 understands that convenience is key. That’s why it offers many helpful features. You can retrieve older versions of your page by clicking ‘undo’ once and then again. The Revision History button has got your back. Struggling with searching for something that may be difficult to find? The Finder feature can help you with that. Want to make some adjustments to the mobile version of your 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.
While Elementor may have lots to offer to individuals of all skill levels, we must not fully ignore a few of its disadvantages. First, the majority of Elementor Pro features cannot be accessed by those who have the plugin free. Second, the dashboard may need to be more responsive sometimes. Lastly, editing refinements might not work exactly as you expected.
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 range from $49 a year with the Essential plan to $999 with the Agency plan. A good thing about those subscriptions is you can explore any of the upgraded tools without limits – the only difference is the allotted number of website licenses and activations.
We now have a better understanding of Elementor and the potential benefits it offers. Let’s then compare it with other page-builder platforms in this list. There are eight of them, all of which enjoy a huge following and high critical esteem.
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. In terms of the amount it offers, it’s on par with Elementor.
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. 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 have the same styling options that don’t always require you to code unless necessary. 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 more than just a WordPress plugin – it also comes bundled with the Divi theme, which has been dubbed over the years as the “most popular WordPress theme in the world.”
Divi’s split-testing feature is one thing that makes it stand out from Elementor. Marketing professionals, in particular, may find this one very useful as they can determine which of the pages’ elements work best in generating better conversion rates.
Unlike Elementor, which gives you plenty of powerful features at just the free version, Divi has no free plan unless it’s a limited 30-day demo trial. However, the two pricing plans offered by Divi are more cost-effective and valuable than each 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
WPBakery is another popular page-building plugin, and it was also one of 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.
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 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 offers over 100 pre-made templates, but this is a far cry from Elementor’s 300+ choices. 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.
Both WPBakery (and Elementor) have the same level and variety of customization tools. However, one may prove too overwhelming for others.
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. 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
The Beaver Builder plugin has visually fluid drag-and-drop page-building properties as with similar platforms such as Elementor and Divi. As the other two plugins are made to be suitable for web designers, Beaver Builder is more geared toward developers with a sharp eye for 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. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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).
Beaver Builder allows developers to add custom code, as we have mentioned. 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. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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 WordPress’s newest standard block editor. It has replaced its predecessor, The Classic Editor. Compared to the previous version, which required you to go through tedious and complicated processes, Gutenberg is intentionally designed to make it a breeze for many of its users as beginner-friendly editors with drag-and-drop interfaces take center stage.
WordPress is relaunching its flagship editor to reflect the popularity of Elementor and other user-friendly page builders. Nonetheless, Gutenberg offers users swift block-building capabilities and additional features to make blogging and post-writing much easier.
The previous editor for WordPress required that you write all the information you needed on a page within a large rectangular text box. This process has proven difficult for many as they may need to learn shortcodes to create various shapes, fonts, and layouts. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
Gutenberg makes editing easy for anyone with no coding skills. 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 is packed with essential design tools, from columns and block patterns to text headings and paragraphs. The range is still less than Elementor’s page builders, which offer more options.
Gutenberg does not have the ability to build themes, but its block-based characteristics make it compatible with many WordPress themes. However, it doesn’t completely override your theme settings and styles. You can also add custom CSS elements to give your site a personal touch.
The Key Features
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.
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. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
Elementor vs Webflow
Webflow, unlike Elementor or the other page builders in this list is a standalone service that allows you to create large-scale designs across multiple devices. It offers the same capabilities as Squarespace and other popular website builders.
Webflow was created to be a one-stop shop and save you time. Its team handles all website administration tasks, including 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. With that being said, its editing interface needs to be more saturated with many essential website-building tools.
Although it may seem a bit daunting for those with basic skills, professionals will likely find the platform useful. The platform’s interface can also be as straightforward as it gets.
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. 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. 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 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. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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. These include the basic Site plans from $12/month, team-based Workspace plans from $19/month, e-commerce plans from $29/month, and 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.
The plugin offers them top-notch features, which will ensure impressive sales results. It also includes the necessary page-building tools that they already know. 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.
Thrive’s editing dashboard is similar to Elementor. It has a front-end interface that allows you to see what your 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
Both Thrive and Elementor offer the same caliber of excellent widgets and template selections. The latter’s focus on marketing niche may mean that the selections are not as wide 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. To begin, it comes with a list of Smart Landing Pages designed for a more optimized conversion turnout. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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 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. 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.
Brizy offers the familiar drag-and-drop functionality, but its editing dashboard is highly regarded for its user-friendly interface. It even beats all other page builders in this list. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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
Brizy, like most WordPress page builders offers a wide range of customization and design options. It doesn’t offer as many widgets than Elementor, but it does have a few WooCommerce e-commerce elements.
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.
One standout feature Brizy has that Elementor doesn’t is its integrated mega menu builder. Although Brizy does not support third-party addons, it is still a great feature to be able to create large-scale web menus.
Besides the WordPress plugin, Brizy offers the Brizy Cloud service, which provides hosting and other useful 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 offers many time-based subscriptions. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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.
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.
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
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. WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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.
Oxygen, in addition to the API, can seamlessly integrate with a wide range of industries, platforms, and apps, including social media, SEO plugins and payment gateways.
Considering the advanced and more professional nature, Oxygen does not offer any free plan for the time being. It charges one-time fees for two of its current pricing plans. The Basic plan will cost you $129, while the Ultimate plan lets you use everything it has in store for $349.
Our Last Thoughts WordPress Using Templates vs Building From Scratch Using Elementor
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.
Gutenberg is a good choice if you don’t have a lot of experience with web design and are comfortable using your existing theme. However, most page builders in this list provide the same feature. Gutenberg is also the only plugin that’s completely free, which may make it a good choice if you have a limited budget.
Some page builders here offer special template sets for landing pages, but none can compare to how many Thrive Architect has. It integrates with many marketing tools including split testing and sales funnels. Divi is the only builder that can compete in a similar capacity to Divi.
If you’re planning on getting a plugin and a WordPress theme simultaneously, look no further than Oxygen and Divi. The latter could be ideal if you’re a web designer looking for more template and theme options.
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.