What is the Best WordPress Page Builder?
When I first started learning how to build a website, there wasn’t a whole lot of choice when it came to page building.
My first sites, and all the content, were assembled using the basic WordPress Editor. For its time, WordPress Editor was the be-all and end-all so far as content editing was concerned. Let’s face it – WordPress is the one platform that’s enabled more mere mortals like myself to build our own websites than any other. WordPress truly is simplicity itself!
Then along came the Wealthy Affiliate Site Content editor. To those of us associated with the WA group, Site Content Editor was a boon indeed. It was a huge jump from what I’d become used to and made page building and content management a breeze by comparison. (Thanks, Kyle and Carson)
Not heard of Wealthy Affiliate? There’s a review you can check out here.
Wealthy Affiliate: The best way to Learn Affiliate Marketing.
Now, Enter the New Kid on the Block:
Elementor Page Builder.
STOP PRESS! Although I initially loved using this product, I’ve since found a major glitch. (Well, major to me, anyway)
When I attempted to insert a “read more” tag to this post I found that due to the way Elementor handles content, this tag is unavailable. I was forced to re-edit the post with WordPress Editor, and therefore lost much of my formatting. (Including many fancy features I was looking forward to showing off with)
I’ll leave the rest of this post intact, as I still believe Elementor has a bright future, once they sort this issue. I’ve raised the matter on their forum and believe the team are looking for a solution.
There have been a few page builders released recently, but none that really stands out like Elementor does.
There’s a paid Pro version of Elementor, which costs just $49.00. Seriously though, unless you really feel that you need all the bells and whistles the free version is probably going to suit many of you just fine. Certainly, I wouldn’t be advising anyone to shell out and buy Elementor Pro without first doing some testing with the free version.
DOWNLOAD ELEMENTOR FREE with this link.
The options and features are likely to dazzle a newcomer, especially if you’ve been using WP Editor. To prove the point, I’m writing this entire post using the free version. I’m also learning as I go, so I may not actually be making the best use of all features. (I’ll try not to go overboard with the aforementioned Bells and Whistles, though)
So let’s see what we get with
Elementor Page Builder
Elementor is a true drag-and-drop interface with heaps of preloaded templates and several ready-made color palettes. You don’t have to use the templates though. I’m just designing this post on the fly, so to speak. With the Pro version, we can save our custom made layouts as templates and use them to standardize the look and feel of our site.
The only negative I’ve encountered so far is that with Elementor Free we have to use one of the supplied color palettes. That’s why the font color showing here is dark gray and not black. I usually prefer black type, though I have to admit I’m warming to the subtlety of this dark gray. With Pro, of course, I’ll be able to change any element I choose with just a click or two.
The first feature I noticed is the blinding speed of Elementor. Some other page builders I’ve tried can take a few seconds before any changes take effect. (Drag, drop, and wait) A second or two doesn’t sound like much but when you’re creating a post and trying to get just that special effect you want it can be incredibly frustrating.
You can use Elementor with ANY theme. In fact, with this little beauty in your corner there’s really no need to fork out for a premium theme at all. You can choose a free, very basic theme, and let Elementor take care of all the advanced features.
One of the best themes that comes to mind is GeneratePress. This free theme is extremely lightweight and boast blinding fast load speeds. Site loading speed is one of the most critical aspects of good SEO. There’s nothing the search engines hate more than sites that take forever to load. (In this context, as little as three seconds is considered forever)
A new concept.
Using Elementor is a whole new experience and takes a little getting used to. With WordPress Editor I became used to adding images, graphs, etc straight into the text area. This works OK but is restrictive. Text tends to either wrap around images in a way that doesn’t suit our concept, or worse still, doesn’t wrap at all. It’s also a bit of a guessing game as to exactly how the completed page will look online. This meant frequently using the preview feature to check the layout and usually tweaking a bit to get the desired look and feel.
Using Elementor we simply drag whatever element we want onto the work area and start creating. What we see in our workspace is exactly what will be seen online. Any updates or additions are there in real time. Again, speed is one of Elementor’s biggest assets.
Made a mistake? Simply use Ctrl or Cmd + Z to instantly undo your last action. There’s also a full list of all earlier saved versions of your project, that you can browse and restore at your will.
Elementor has loads of special designer features that will add that professional look to every article you create. Features like Animations, Hover Effects, Background Overlays, Sliders, Box Shadows, Special Gradient Backgrounds, Adjustable Text and Image Widgets, and heaps more.
As I said above, there are heaps of professionally designed templates provided within Elementor. Over 100 in fact, with more being added over time. Not all are available in the free version but there’s still a great selection.These make building a beautiful and responsive website about as easy as it could possibly be. You can easily adapt these templates to suit your own ideas and preferences, so your site can be totally unique.
Fully Mobile Responsive.
Mobile responsiveness is an absolute necessity for good SEO. With Elementor you can not only rely on your posts or pages being properly optimized for mobile devices, but you can easily set specific fonts or styles to apply to the individual versions. The Elementor toolset allows you to also set custom padding, margins etc so that the mobile versions look just the way you want them.
A Blank Page Template for Landing Pages.
This may sound counter-intuitive, but using Canvas blank page template you can design your complete page within your page builder. No header, no footer, just whatever you choose to have appear. This way you can eliminate your theme’s existing header and start completely from scratch.
The prefect solution to your “Coming Soon” page, or custom landing pages.
Should the occasion ever arise where you need to take your site offline for maintenance, Elementor has you covered.
With the built-in Maintenance Mode feature you can display a Coming Soon or Under Construction page while you work your back-stage magic.
At the time of writing, Elementor has 28 included widgets. These are available directly from the Control Panel.
- Text Editor. A WYSIWYG text editor, much like the WordPress editor.
- Heading. Add and edit eye-catching headlines.
- Image Box. A box that includes image, headline and text.
- Image. Control the size, opacity and other settings of images.
- Video. Add YouTube / Vimeo to your page.
- SoundCloud. Add audio bits from SoundCloud.
- Icon. Place one or more of 600+ icons available.
- Icon Box. Works the same as the image box, only with icons.
- Button. Controls every aspect of button design.
- Image Gallery. Displays your images in an aligned grid.
- Image Carousel. A rotating carousel or slider of chosen images.
- Icon List. A bullet list with any chosen icon and text. (like this one)
- Google Maps. Embed maps into your page.
- Social Icons. Icons to your social pages like Facebook / Twitter.
- Accordion. A collapsible display of content.
- Toggle. Like Accordion, for FAQ pages.
- Alert. A colored alert box to draw the attention of your visitor.
- Counter. Show stats and numbers in an escalating manner.
- Progress Bar. Include an escalating progress bar.
- Tabs. Vertical or horizontal tabs that display different pieces of content.
- Menu Anchor. Link any menu to this anchor.
- Testimonials. Customer testimonials that show social proof.
- HTML. Used to insert code into the page.
- Shortcode. Easily insert shortcodes from any plugin into the page.
- Sidebar. Add any sidebar into the page.
- Divider. A line that divides different elements in the page.
- Spacer. A space that divides the various elements.
- Columns. Create inner columns within an existing column.
It’s these widgets that are at the heart of Elementor’s creative power, and yours, when you are at the controls. This new generation page builder has really taken website creation to a whole new dimension.
Being multi-lingual and RTI supported, this is THE page builder for 2018 and beyond.
Free and open source, Elementor is designed with the developer in mind. Already, there have been some amazing add-ons created.
Update! Elementor Theme Builder now Available!
Elementor have released their latest version, which they’ve chosen to call Theme Builder.
In addition to several minor improvements, Elementor now gives us the ability to completely replace our theme’s existing Header and/or Footer.
How many times have we hoped for this sort of flexibility? It could always be done, of course, if you knew how to write code and weren’t terrified of totally wrecking your website. (like myself)
Now, with just a few clicks and some editing we can override our existing theme’s Header or Footer to achieve exactly the look we always wanted. We can even make either one “sticky”, so it stays in place as the visitor scrolls.
I’m assured this is just one of many, many more improvements in the pipeline.
Ready to give Elementor a go? Trust me, you’ll be amazed at what you can create with this remarkable tool. Click the link below and you’ll be taken to the secure Free Download Page.
Have you already tried this page builder? Do you have any comments to add about Elementor or any other Page Builder?
Don’t be shy, leave a comment below. I’d especially like to hear from you if who’ve had the chance to compare Elementor with another builder.
So that’s it for now. Thanks for dropping by.
Thomas (AKA BusyBee)