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It used to be that you absolutely had to have some coding know-how to put together a website that you’d be proud to show off to your customers/fans/mom. But those days of sitting in front of your screen frustrated, huffing and puffing, and most probably cursing to yourself are definitely less frequent for most than they used to be. Web design has become more accessible to more people, and even for those that do have the coding knowledge, it’s become much faster.
And in large part that’s thanks to page builders. I quite possibly owe my sanity to their development, and millions of people around the world have designed some very attractive websites using a combination of WordPress and a page builder. But as with so many things these days, there are quite a few different options to choose from in the WordPress page builder space and that’s why we put together this article.
We wanted to come up with a list of the best options available, so we reached out to 85 WordPress pros and asked them a simple question: “What do you consider to be the best WordPress page builder at the moment?“
We allowed each expert to name up to 3 WP page builders, asking them to explain each choice, and we’ve published the results of the survey in this article. Keep reading to find out which came top of the pile!
Best WordPress Page Builder: How the Experts Voted
|WordPress Page Builder||# of Votes|
|#1. Elementor||33 Votes|
|#2. Beaver Builder||30 Votes|
|#=3. Divi Builder||26 Votes|
|#=3. Gutenberg||26 Votes|
|#4. WPBakery||13 Votes|
|#=5. Fusion Builder||4 Votes|
|#=5. SiteOrigin Page Builder||4 Votes|
|#=5. Avia Builder||4 Votes|
|#6. Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)||3 Votes|
|#7. Thrive Architect||2 Votes|
|#=8. Visual Composer||1 Vote|
|#=8. Oxygen||1 Vote|
|#=8. Cornerstone||1 Vote|
|#=8. CSS Hero||1 Vote|
And there you have it. Quite a few page builders for WordPress were mentioned, but 4 of them in particular received the lion’s share of the recommendations. Those were Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi Builder and Gutenberg (yes…the year 2018 called and it can’t believe it!). So those are the four we will concentrate on here. Elementor and Beaver Builder were on their own out in front, and either of these builders would appear to be a very solid option if you’re on a quest to find the best page builder for your WordPress site. But ultimately Elementor just nudged ahead and the fact that it’s one of the most downloaded plugins in WordPress history with over 5 million active installs, means that I can’t say I was completely surprised to see it so heavily recommended.
There appears to be a lot to like about Elementor. From its huge selection of widgets and ready-to-use templates, to its user-friendliness (its drag and drop editor is what dreams are made of) and the fact that it integrates with virtually any theme (here are some of the more popular Elementor themes), makes it a great option for most website owners. Whether you want to get in the trenches and do the work yourself or not, the massive community that that has grown with this plugin means it’s neither hard to find quality tutorials nor skilled contractors that specialize in sites that are built using Elementor.
On top of all of that, there’s a free version that should be sufficient for most simple sites, and a pro license is very affordable if you do want to unlock tons of extra functionality (with the pro version you can create pop-ups, headers, footers, forms and much more).
Beaver Builder pretty much offers all of the same conveniences, and while it maybe doesn’t have quite as many out-of-the-box features, there are a vast number of settings and customizations possible. Where this builder really appears to excel is in the quality of its code base. Several experts talked about how streamlined it is, not adding a lot of bloat, which helps to make a website load fast (possibly slightly faster than Elementor-built sites?!). And it won’t break your site if you later decide to deactivate it either, unlike some other page builders.
This plugin also has a large community, and if there’s a functionality that you’re missing, you often find a 3rd party has already created what you need! The free version lets you try before you buy (although is not as feature rich as the free version of Elementor), and people seem to rave about the fantastic customer support they receive from a team that really know their stuff!
Divi Builder pre-dates all of the other top-rated WordPress page builders in our survey, and having stood the test of time, it has grown a passionate following. The Divi Builder comes as standard with the wildly popular Divi WordPress theme, but can also be used as a standalone plugin with other themes. If your skills lean towards design rather than development, you’ll probably love this (it’s user-friendly for non-techy newbies too), and it literally provides you with a TON of templates, widgets and features. So much so that you can likely do without a lot of other plugins on your website. There were a few mentions of the Divi Builder requiring more server resources than other builders, which can slow things down, but the pricing certainly makes it an attractive proposition for anyone building out multiple sites, as they offer a lifetime access license for a one-time fee.
To round out our top 4, we have one that isn’t a full-on page builder like the rest (although it probably will be quite soon), but a content editor that is actually built into WordPress, so no extra plugins required. We are of course talking about Gutenberg. Gutenberg has come a looooong way since it was first released back in 2018, and if you generally create pages or posts with fairly simple layouts, it will likely be all you need. And there are several advantages to using Gutenberg as your page builder. Firstly, it’s the best way to future-proof your site, since it’s actually a part of WordPress and there will never be any compatibility issues. Secondly, the code it generates is well optimized and lightweight, which allows you to create a website that loads fast (it beats the 3 page builders above on this score most of the time). And finally, it’s completely free! And while its feature set is not as vast and it’s not as versatile as the other builders discussed, it is being improved very quickly (the WP community is a powerhouse) and in the meantime the gap can be bridged using 3rd party blocks that are available.
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TL;DR: Quick Rundown of the Top Picks
1) Elementor – A super popular page builder with an intuitive visual editor and tons of out-of-the-box features that can be implemented in seconds. You get lots of impressive functionality with the free plugin, and a lot more with the pro package for a very affordable price.
2) Beaver Builder – Impressive range of features, code base streamlined to ensure fast loading sites and very stable. Beaver Builder is a quality product built by a team that really know what they’re doing, and it shows.
3) Divi Builder – This comes so chock-full of features that you’ll likely never fail to achieve your vision. It’s also very user-friendly and intuitive, even for the non-techy web design beginner, and the lifetime license gives you insane value, especially if you operate multiple sites.
4) Gutenberg – Baked into WordPress itself, you’ll never have to worry about updates and compatibility issues. It comes at no cost, is lightweight and helps maintain your pages fast and lean, and has more than enough functionality to satisfy the simple website owner’s needs.
Other Noteworthy Resources
The following is a quick list of other resources and tools that were mentioned during the course of our survey which may be of help. Many of these extend the functionality of the page builders talked about above.
Read What The Experts Said
At WSTE we are all about transparency, so we always publish exactly what the experts we spoke to said. This is not only so you can understand how we arrived at our top picks for the best WordPress page builder, but also so you can learn from their years of experience and expertise.
If you’re interested in reading what was said about a particular page builder, use the filters below to jump to the relevant content.
Elementor – “We have built hundreds of websites using different page builders and custom fields. Every tool has its pros and cons, however, one of the best page builders we use very often and our dev teams love a lot is Elementor.
It’s very quick, glitch-free and has many flexible styling options. It’s easy to integrate with the theme and build required styles for a custom website. It also offers lots of content elements and modules for images, headings, buttons etc.
If you use it in the right way, this is one of the best tools for WordPress users to easily manage and maintain their website for the long-term.”
Divi Builder – “Divi by Elegant Themes is an amazing page builder. It has over 40 different website elements available, so there’s a module for almost everything. There are almost 800 pre-made designs, and over 100 full website packs in the Divi library. Everything is searchable, filterable, and findable. You can build pages two different ways – with their visual builder which makes everything very easy (right in the page itself) or in the WordPress Admin page editor.
They offer a free version, as well as two purchase options: yearly access, or lifetime access. The lifetime license allows unlimited use on an unlimited number of websites. It includes all their plugins and themes, 24/7 support, all updates, really excellent security and, of course, the builder itself! I’ve used it on quite a number of sites, and my clients have all been very happy with the results.”
Oxygen – “Oxygen completely changes the way sites are built in WordPress, eliminating the need for “themes.” Like other builders, it is a plugin, but for me, had a bit more of a learning curve, mostly because I had gotten so used to tweaking child themes. If you like working with themes, then Oxygen is probably not for you. If, however, you like tweaking every last pixel, then this might just be your dream builder.
Oxygen offers three packages: Basic, WooCommerce, and Agency. All three include lifetime access for unlimited use, lifetime updates, support, and unlimited installations. The WooCommerce package has… well… WooCommerce integration – for those who need a storefront website. Agency, their highest priced package, also includes Gutenberg Block Builder integration as well. All purchases come with a 60 day money back guarantee.”
“I love both of these builders for different reasons. Each one is a winning choice and well worth the price.”
Gutenberg – “Today, the Block Editor is more of a content builder than page builder, but it’s still the right solution for many websites. Often casual website creators don’t need the fine-grained control of a full Page Builder. In WordPress Core, Block Patterns and upcoming Block-Based Themes will begin to put WordPress itself on-par with a third-party page builder. In addition, popular WordPress Plugins including Stackable, Atomic Blocks and CoBlocks can bridge that gap today with their own take on templates and advanced controls. The benefits of learning one tool — the Block Editor — and using a mix of included and third-party blocks storing data in a WordPress-approved data format can’t be underscored enough.”
Beaver Builder – “There are a lot of page builders on the market, but I think Beaver Builder does the best job of addressing the needs of novices, professionals and everyone in-between. As both a developer writing custom modules and a site builder composing pages and content, I find it the fastest route to getting from pixel-perfect mockup to functional website that anyone can maintain. When I’m helping someone with their website and they pull up Beaver Builder, I breathe a sigh of relief because it’s a high-quality tool that sets them up for success and empowers me to put them on a path to success. Plus, its best-in-class integration with the Block Editor means the Block Editor can be the main integration point for everything, and Beaver Builder can be applied to specific layouts and sections as-needed, making it less of an either-or scenario.”
“A WordPress page builder is usually a plugin installed on a WordPress site in addition to a theme, to give the designer a selection of drag and drop options to assist them in creating a more diverse website without having to write any code. It is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. Choosing the best WordPress page builder depends on the designer’s expertise, knowledge and goals. A good page builder is not only easy to use, it has a variety of design options and is pro-active with necessary updates.
As more website owners are learning the importance of Web Accessibility, the best page builder would be one that is fully accessible to persons with disabilities, both for the designer and the visitor. To date, none are fully Accessible, however a couple have more promise than others.”
Divi Builder – “Divi page builder is an easy program for a newbie and is easily customizable for the more experienced developer.
The Divi package includes a theme, a page builder plugin, and a Visual builder which allows you to see your changes live as you make them. The package includes several layouts which can be dropped into a new page or used to create a full site. Purchase options are renewable annually or a one-time lifetime license. The page builder cannot be purchased separately but can be used with numerous other themes and functions well with several other plugins.
Divi is not Accessible, however an Accessibility plugin developed exclusively for Divi can correct a select number of code issues. Other Accessibility issues require manual efforts.”
Elementor – “When a tight budget is a consideration, or you don’t want to learn a new theme, Elementor page builder has a free version with limited widgets. For more advanced editing and design a Pro license with annual renewal includes hundreds of ready-to-use templates and dozens of widgets. It’s also a live page builder plugin. No lifetime option available.
Elementor is not Accessible, however, the free WP Accessibility plugin can help with select Accessibility issues. The majority of Elementor Accessibility issues require manual efforts.”
“NOTE: No single plugin or overlay can render a website builder to be fully Accessible. Both Divi and Elementor integrate well with a limited number of specific Accessible-ready plugins, eg: contact form, gallery, menus.”
Divi Builder – “I recommend the Divi theme from ElegantThemes.com…hands down. Nick Roach and his team are incredibly talented and prolific with updates and feature enhancements that are actually meaningful and HELPFUL, making Divi easier and easier to use and accomplish building a great website without any programming skills whatsoever. That is not to say you don’t need skills…you do. But programming skills aren’t on the list. Our clients run the gamut of tech skills – from total DIY to total DFY – and Divi meets every one of them where they’re at, and we fill the gaps so they can accomplish their goals. Thorough documentation, hundreds of tutorials on the blog, and free page layouts and layout packs make using Divi doable for most anyone.”
Gutenberg – “Gutenberg (or the WordPress Block Editor), has been controversial to say the least, however looking past the lukewarm reception it had amongst developers and into the future, Gutenberg is ripening up to be a replacement to all pages builders out there, with Phase 2 of the project introducing full block based template editing.”
Gutenberg Template Library – “OK, technically it’s Gutenberg again (is that cheating?!), however the lovely folks at Gutenberg Hub make it super easy to build entire page layouts that you can copy and paste into the Block Editor, and there you have it, a full page built without mucking about with a single setting.”
WPBakery – “For those people stuck in a world of the Classic Editor, out of all the page builders I have used, WPBakery is the easiest. It has a powerful block based system, with an API that is as simple as creating a shortcode.”
Fusion Builder – “I absolutely love using Fusion Builder. It comes with the wildly popular Avada WordPress theme. I’ve worked with several other builders (Divi, WPBakery, etc.) but they don’t seem to have the quality support, ease of use, and dynamic customizations that Fusion Builder provides.
Recently, Fusion Builder has taken their custom layout features to a new level. You can now pretty much do anything you want with the footers using their new Footer Builder. In addition, you can completely customize single posts, portfolio posts, and archive layouts. You choose what to display.
I particularly enjoy the Fusion Builder library where you can save templates, containers, columns, and elements for repeated use on the website. It’s very simple to manage and certainly speeds up web development. They also have global elements where you make one change to that element and it updates everywhere it’s used on the website.
The last thing I want to mention about Fusion Builder is its anticipated longevity. It has a massive support team that actively listens to user feedback. Since it is maintained by the same folks that make the Avada theme (the top-selling premium WordPress theme out there), you know that is will be around for many, many years. This is important when choosing a theme builder because you don’t want to build 50+ websites with a builder that all of a sudden goes unsupported. You don’t have to worry about that with Fusion Builder.”
“There’s been a lot of competition in the “Page Builder” space over the past 5 or 6 years, and even more so, over just the last couple of years.
While there are some Page Builders that I would never use personally, there are a couple that are clear standouts from the crowd, and this can be seen through the huge communities that they’ve attracted.
In the end, a lot of it comes down to personal choice. Which UI (User Interface) you prefer, the functionality it provides, and the quality of support that you can receive. I think it’s also important to also look at the communities around each builder as well as they can be valuable resources in the form of YouTube “how-to” vids, blog posts and add-ons/extensions.”
Elementor – “My personal favourite, and one that I always recommend to people, is Elementor. More specifically, I opt for their Pro version. Out of all the Page Builders that I’ve tried and tested over the years (and that’s a lot), Elementor is that one with the nicest user interface, the easiest to use, and more importantly, the most stable.
Elementor is used by a HUGE part of the WordPress community. In fact, they just recently passed 5,000,000+ active installs! The ‘Elementor Community‘ Facebook group also has over 101K people in it. While these huge numbers don’t automatically make it ‘The Best’, it does show that there’s a huge community of people that trust and use this plugin, and contribute to the community in one way or another.
Like a lot of Page Builders, Elementor gives you the tools to make beautiful websites, using a simple drag ‘n drop interface. You can insert rows with a various number of columns, using some default configurations (e.g. 50/50, 75/25, 25/25/25/25 etc..), or by simply add/removing columns, or dragging their width, as you see fit. Once you have your row and columns, you can then drag in a huge range of widgets. Everything from your basic heading and text widgets, to sliders, carousels, social icons, and accordions through to more complex items like Google maps, pricing tables or forms, just to name a few. On top of that, they also provide a large range of professionally designed templates and ‘blocks’ that you can make use of, if your own design skills aren’t the greatest. This makes it super easy and quick to get a site up and running, even for novice users, or those with limited design skills.
As well being able to design/build your main content area within your page, Elementor also enables you create your site header and footer. On top of that, Elementor has a powerful ‘Theme Builder’ built in which enables you to create custom templates for your various types of WordPress content. The Elementor Theme Builder allows you to create templates for your Archive pages, such as your Posts Archive page (i.e. your main blog page), and your Tag & Category archives. You can also create templates for your Single Blog Posts, Search Results, and even your WooCommerce Single Product Pages, among others.
I’ve found Elementor to be very stable whilst using it, and it also provides a large range of styles and customisations for your widgets, sections, rows and columns, making it very flexible.
Like a lot of premium plugins, Elementor provides both a free version, and a Pro version, which makes it really handy to give it a test run if you want to try it out. You definitely won’t be sorry if you do.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder is another hugely popular Page Builder and although not quite as popular nowadays as Elementor, it still has a respectable 15K people in their ‘Beaver Builders‘ Facebook group and over a million active installs.
Like Elementor, Beaver Builder provides you with a drag ‘n drop interface for creating your pages, along with a large assortment of modules such as headings, buttons, Call-to-Actions, forms and the like. Unlike Elementor though, the main Beaver Builder plugin doesn’t provide you with the ability to create Theme type templates such as Archive or Single Post templates. With that said though, they do provide an additional paid plugin that you can purchase, that adds that functionality on.
There’s a few things that let me down with Beaver Builder. First and foremost is the stability. On more than a few occasions, I’ve had the page builder simply freeze when I’ve tried to insert a module into my page. Not only is this frustrating in itself, the only way to get my browser back was to refresh the page, causing me to lose content and waste time. The other thing I find incredibly frustrating with Beaver Builder is that every time you save your page, it automatically exits you from the builder/editor. Even though they argue that what you see in the editor is exactly what you see on the front-end (i.e. in your browser), I still like to review my pages in a separate browser window so that I can see it as the end user would see it, without any builder tools, extra menus or anything like that. I find it extremely frustrating that you can’t simply save your page whilst you’re editing, and at the same time, remain in the editor. This functionality alone was enough to stop me from continuing to use it.
Lastly, whilst Beaver Builder does have quite a few help guides and documentation pages on their site, it’s not quite as well documented, as Elementor. Also, the larger Elementor community means you also have access to a huge number of community created blog posts and YouTube vids that you can also view as well.
Thankfully, like Elementor, BB has a free version of their plugin that you can try as well as their more powerful Pro/Paid version.”
“I don’t think you can talk about Page builders nowadays without talking about (the relatively new) Block Editor, also referred to as Gutenberg. Gutenberg is the official replacement for the familiar TinyMCE editor or Visual editor (now referred to as the ‘Classic Editor’). This new Block Editor was introduced in WordPress 5.0 and while I can definitely see the need for a new editor, as the old ‘Classic Editor’ is sorely lacking in functionality, I’m not a fan the of new Block Editor. The UI is incredibly frustrating to use even to the point of not being able to select some blocks after inserting them into your page. There’s just no way I would be comfortable giving this editor to a client and expect them to be able to use it, when I have so much trouble and frustration, using it myself. The UI is also extremely inconsistent and also constantly changing. Whilst I can see the need to change over time, if more thought had of been put in to the UI and functionality, up front, there wouldn’t be the need to make such significant changes this far down the track.
Gutenberg does have some nice features, when compared to the Classic Editor, but I still consider it to be beta software and it definitely shouldn’t have been added to core in its current state back in WordPress 5.0.
One of the other big issues I have with Gutenberg is that it forces every single paragraph into a separate block, instead of letting the user decide when they want to insert a new block. If you have text heavy content, it’s considerably more time consuming trying to move multiple Paragraph Blocks around the page, or copying text from multiple blocks, into other blocks. Whilst there is a ‘Classic’ Block that allows you to add multiple paragraphs of text into it (rather than just one), the default block that the Block Editor inserts is the (single) Paragraph Block.
Someday, the Block Editor might be a viable alternative. Until then, you’re better off sticking with one of the more reliable, less buggy, and more featured filled Page Builders that are available.”
Elementor – “This is my go-to page builder. It’s easy to set up and install. There’s a free version that can get most of the work done, if you’re just looking to add a Page Builder aspect to your WordPress theme easily. It integrates well with most themes, within the wp-content area. There is a pro module add-on which I highly recommend. With it you can build out your own site templates, site wide blocks of reusable content, pop-ups headers/footers, and more.”
Divi Builder – “Another popular builder. While it has come along way since I first used it, my favorite aspects of it are the live editing and the control on various elements within the page that you can move around easily through drag-and-drop, as well as selecting styles you want to apply to elements within your page. Divi and Elementor do a lot to piggy back off one another and each one tends to add elements in an arms race to the top.”
Gutenberg + CoBlocks – “While not necessarily a full on page builder like Elementor or Divi, CoBlocks is a page builder for your Gutenberg editor. If you’re using Gutenberg you will want to use CoBlocks. I have it installed on any site I build that isn’t running a full-on page builder. CoBlocks gives you the abilities that Gutenberg should have natively, but doesn’t, and helps you quickly layout dynamic page content within your editors backend. CoBlocks has better column and button management, as well as logically creating sections for content. It’s really the best partner for WordPress sites.”
“Having worked mostly with SiteOrigin Page Builder, Divi, and Elementor, here are my recommendations.”
SiteOrigin Page Builder – “SiteOrigin is free, though there are premium add-ons available from the plugin vendor (I’ve not used them). Page Builder is lightweight, mature, and has a large user community. There are plenty of good, free plugins to enhance what this page builder can do. It’s easy to drag-and-drop sections, rows, and columns, and the results display responsively across various screen sizes. It’s also the first page builder that I ever used.
The main drawback is that this is primarily a “back-end” builder; that is, you don’t get an immediate sense of how your page will look unless you preview and refresh in another tab. While there is a “front-end” option, that results in a split screen that allows you to see quick updates of how your page will look as you’re creating. But you are creating in a different pane and seeing the results in another, whereas other page builders allow you to edit most content directly on the page.
It’s also more basic than the other two I work with (Elementor and Divi). The latter two have a lot more features, including pre-designed sections and pages, along with the ability to save your own designs as templates in your personal user library as well as export them to other projects.
Although it’s a tad dated, it’s still a worthwhile option, especially if you don’t want an excess of “whistle and bells”.”
Elementor – “Elementor has a robust free version that provides more than enough features for most users – and more features than does any other free page builder that I know of. While you do edit in a split window, you can edit most content, including text, directly in the visual pane of that split window. Novice users seem to pick Elementor up quite quickly, even people who are new to WordPress in general.
Like SiteOrigin, Elementor is lightweight and relatively mature, considering that it was introduced in 2017. There are many third-party plugins, including quite a few free ones, that add great features. One advantage to Elementor over other free page builders is the ease with which you can add animations and other dynamic elements. It even has its own customizer, replete with color palettes.
Meanwhile, I also own the premium version, which not only adds contact forms and a navigation block, but also allows you to create and edit your entire site through Elementor, including custom headers and footers. Pricing can get expensive if you want to use it on more than a few sites, but you can speed up your workflow with plenty of predesigned sections and pages (many of which are also available in the free version), as well as save your own designs to a custom library.
Drawbacks include stability, which can be an issue if you’ve created anything complex in Elementor. While I haven’t run into any such issues, power users say that the plugin’s frequent updates can cause some designs to break. Another issue is the builder’s increasing feature bloat. Even the free version has, as I mentioned, its own customizer for fonts, colors, and other sitewide settings. If you’re already using a theme with its own customizer or prefer to use your own CSS, you end up with a lot of extraneous stuff.
Nonetheless, I recommend Elementor if you’re considering page builders for the first time. Even if you do upgrade to the Pro version, it’s inexpensive for a single-site license ($49 for the first year, less promotional discounts, with a 50% annual renewal discount).”
Divi Builder – “Loaded with features, the Divi Builder has been around since the beginning of 2014. Since its inception, it’s garnered a massive user base. Originally introduced as part of the Divi theme, the Divi Builder can also be used as a standalone plugin if you ever decide to switch themes. Like Elementor, it’s loaded with a cornucopia of features, including a custom header and footer builder. You can build your whole site with just the Divi Builder, as you can with Elementor Pro.
Divi provides lots of power, including both a WYSIWYG (visual) editor and a wireframe one, which lets you see your page as sections, rows, and columns. That said, the visual editor can be buggy and slow, plus Divi is updated so often that existing pages designed with it can break. And Divi can seem heavy and slow, especially when you want to make only minor updates.
There are plenty of free online Divi resources and tutorials, another good reason to consider it.”
“Even so, I recommend trying the free version of Elementor first, since that may have the features you’ll need – and you’ll get a good idea of how you’ll like it before buying. You may not even have to buy the pro version. With Divi, you either have to pay $89 / year (less promotional discounts) or a $249 one-time fee (again, less promotional discounts). Of course, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee – and excellent tech support – but it’s less risky to try Elementor first.
Regarding page builders in general, it makes sense to go with a free one, since the default WordPress editor is becoming more and more a viable method for page design – especially if it’s augmented with such block plugins as Kadence Blocks (https://wordpress.org/plugins/kadence-blocks/) or GenerateBlocks (https://generateblocks.com/). You may be able to meet most or even all of your design needs without investing in an expensive, third-party product.”
“With page builders, we can currently develop all kinds of complex web pages that were previously only available to web designers and programmers. Page builders do the same function as WordPress in programming, that is, bringing the development of web pages closer to anyone without technical knowledge. Although many professional developers deny these aids, I think they are beneficial to the end-users who can modify certain parts of their website without having a specialist. Other than for development professionals, sometimes, they also make things easier and can speed up times and lower costs. We should keep in mind that you shouldn’t use it in all parts of the web, but it could be instrumental in individual sections, such as our homepage, the contact page, design our general footer, or our header.”
Gutenberg – “The first page builder that I recommend and the one that we should all have in our crosshairs is Gutenberg. There are many reasons to recommend Gutenberg as the first and best page builder. First of all, it’s the native WordPress page builder, which has improved a lot in recent months and will continue to improve daily with a multitude of plugins designed for Gutenberg. The code it generates is fully supported HTML, without the use of shortcodes. At present, it cannot develop headers, footers, or modify widgets, but the team is working on that functionality, and you will be able to see it in a short time. This editor comes built into all WordPress installations since version 5, improving loading performance and an option that has 100% compatibility assured with all future WordPress versions. It is an active development that is growing day by day, and although it still has specific weaknesses, it is a safe bet that every WordPress user should know and gradually use in their designs.”
“These are my two main recommendations. There are many page builders available, some are well-known e.g., Elementor, Beaver Builder, Page Builder by SiteOrigin or Visual Composer; each with its advantages and drawbacks: higher load on the web, incompatibility with different themes or plugins, unoptimized code, etc. So in each case, you have to investigate a little and look for the best options for your development. We can’t download a page builder and say that this works very badly or is the best, there are many variables in each specific development. In my particular case, in 90% of my tasks, the first two and, in some cases, custom code satisfies my clients’ development needs.”
“WordPress 5.0 introduced the new block editor “Gutenberg”, which will replace the WYSIWYG editor TinyMCE soon. Naturally, such a change in the process of creating and maintaining content is never perceived as completely painless.
While it seems that the new user-interface for editing posts seems just difficult in some cases, Pagebuilder users often face a completely different dilemma: the lock-in effect. If a user decides, for example, that they no longer want to use a certain page builder, it is often immediately visible that the content box mainly consists of shortcodes.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder has been around a little longer and its stability is often praised accordingly. Worth mentioning is the fact that the Beaver Builder Editor can convert the content from Gutenberg to Beaver Builder and vice versa. This also applies to the Classic Editor if it is active as a plugin.”
Elementor – “I noticed Elementor mainly because of their open API, which will make an integration probably much easier. Additionally, you will notice a lot of care for mobile content, a feature that is also available in the free version. With Elementor Blocks for Gutenberg you can also save layouts as Gutenberg Blocks.”
“One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a page builder is vendor lock-in. In our case, this occurs when the costs of switching or moving away from your current page builder are greater than just continuing to use that page builder. Most commonly, this happens when you use a shortcode-based page builder. Because the builder outputs shortcodes into your page’s content, when the page builder is disabled or removed, your content now looks like a wall of gobbledygook text. Multiply the number of new pages you create each month times the number of months you’ve been posting and this can add up quickly. Let me tell you, the cost of manually migrating the content of hundreds or thousands of pages isn’t cheap! I’ve encountered a situation where a client was faced with a $50,000 cost to migrate their content.
For this reason, my number one tip on using any page builder is to use it in moderation. Just because you have a page builder installed doesn’t mean you have to use it for every single page on your site. You can decide on a page-by-page basis. Typically, the only time you need to use a page builder is when you can’t achieve your desired layout using the built-in WordPress editor. The less content that is using custom shortcodes or markup, the easier it is to move away in the future. You can’t know when your favorite page builder company will go out of business or when a new builder will come along and make you want to switch.
Also, make sure you only use ONE page builder. Choose one, choose wisely, and use it in moderation. The only exception to this is when you are trying to migrate from one builder to another, in which case you can have two installed. Just make sure you get rid of the old one as soon as you are done migrating.
My second tip is to stay away from shortcode-based page builders. How will you know if they are shortcode-based? Just create a test page using the builder and look at your magnificent page. Then, deactivate the page builder plugin and look at your page again. Of course, it won’t look the same, but if you see a bunch of extra text on the page you weren’t expecting, you have a shortcode-based page builder. Builders like Divi, Visual Composer, and WPBakery are prime examples of what to avoid.
As far as I’m concerned, there are only two non-shortcode-based page builders that are industry leaders at the moment: Elementor and Beaver Builder.”
Elementor – “Perhaps the most popular among your average WordPress users, this page builder has seen significant growth recently. Part of this is probably due to the fact that the free version of Elementor gives you a lot more functionality than the free version of Beaver Builder. There are also a lot of official and third-party addons available if you need something special. Elementor has also done a great job of growing their community, so it is pretty easy to find a local Elementor meetup group or join an official Facebook group. One downside of Elementor is that it uses its own custom CSS framework, so if you disable the plugin things will definitely not look the same.”
Beaver Builder – “This builder seems to be very popular among agencies. Again, there are a large number of official and third-party addons available. Beaver Builder uses the very popular Bootstrap CSS framework, which means that if you want to move away from Beaver Builder you can just add the Bootstrap framework to your site and things will look very similar if not exactly the same. If you are trying to avoid vendor lock-in, this may be your best option. However, the user experience is a bit less user friendly than Elementor in my opinion.”
Gutenberg – “At 10up, we are all-in on the WordPress block editor (Gutenberg).
In terms of page building, we do not necessarily advocate for the open canvas, from scratch approach many page builders take (reminiscent of the FrontPage and Geocities era). That approach forces site owners and content managers to become designers who need to take the time to deal with the cognitive overhead of full page layouts – managing mobile breakpoints, checking cross-browser compatibility, and making design choices rather than focusing on content.
With a stricter component-based approach to page design and layout, the WordPress block editor enables the right balance: flexibility in the order, treatment, and even nesting of customizable components (mapped to blocks) that are curated for each site. The method — less “design a whole page from scratch” and more “stack up these building blocks any way you like” — is closer to a carefully selected set of easy to use and understood stencils.
There’s another reason I steer people away from third-party page builders, even those closer to the “component” / “stencils” philosophy. The new block editor is the default experience in WordPress and is evolving and iterating very quickly, even moving into optional full page layout capabilities. Particularly, as WordPress builds a huge ecosystem of blocks – something the forthcoming native Block Library / installer makes even more inevitable – it’s hard to believe third-party solutions will keep pace and site owners won’t increasingly expect and want the native experience as it becomes more familiar.
I strongly encourage you to embrace the block editor and learn how to build and customize blocks.”
Beaver Builder – “With that said, if you have your heart set on a different direction, my recommendation is Beaver Builder. It features a straightforward front-end editor and drag-and-drop interface, is well engineered, and if you deactivate it, the markup falls back to HTML.”
“I love page editors. You can build a page with different layouts and colored sections. More importantly, you can control how they look on a tablet or mobile device.
No matter which page builder you use, it takes time to master them. They come with a lot of bells and whistles.”
Gutenberg (with Ultimate Gutenberg Addon) – “It’s free and for many of my clients, it is enough. The addon introduces several blocks such as icon lists, advanced columns and post layouts. More importantly, you can control the typography, colors, padding, and margins for each screen size.
It comes with some templates, as well as the ability to save a block or whole page to the template library.”
“I caution clients to stay away from some of the lesser known builders. Beaver Builder and Elementor have a huge following. Therefore, many themes and plugins make the effort to integrate with them. While there are free versions, you will probably want to invest in the paid version of either. You get more cookie cutter templates and page elements.”
Beaver Builder – “The Beaver Builder editor loads faster than Elementor. Most of my clients and I find it is easier to learn. One issue is that it serializes the data which makes it harder to move to a new server or different domain.”
Elementor – “Elementor’s pop-up element is more robust and works flawlessly. I sometimes have trouble with the Beaver Builder one. It is easy to find contractors who have experience with this plugin.”
“If you want additional templates or page elements, I highly recommend Ultimate Add Ons by Brainstorm.”
Shanta R. Nathwani
“Lately, there have been a lot of people asking me which page builder they should install on WordPress. It’s my thinking that you don’t necessarily need a page builder, unless you want to change the template of your existing theme. Most people can get along just fine with a theme and the existing block editor. You don’t have to install one by default because you think you have to have one. You may not need it. Read on…”
Gutenberg – “The first builder that I would recommend is the built-in content builder called Gutenberg. The reason I like this is because it doesn’t require any further installation and it comes with WordPress out of the box in versions 5.0 and above. Most recently you are now able to add things like columns, which was a big piece that was missing when it originally came out and why a lot of people went with page builders other than Gutenberg. Another new addition is the ability to add text over images, such as in hero images. To be clear, this is a content editor as opposed to a full page builder. Eighty percent of what you probably want to accomplish can be achieved with the block editor and is related to the content itself. The only time you will need to more than likely use a page builder is if you need to change things like the header and footer or the way that the widgets appear either right or left and you don’t have those settings within the theme itself. One of the other reasons I like the block editor so much is because it put outputs to straight HTML and if you do want to later change to something else or change your theme, then it is quite easy to do and translates well.”
Beaver Builder – “If you must go to a page builder then I would highly recommend going with the Beaver Builder. Similar to the block editor in WordPress itself, it also outputs directly to HTML and is quite lightweight. With speed being a common issue, the fact it outputs to HTML instead of using shortcodes, means that your site will load faster, which, of course, is a good thing. If you do have to remove it or change to something else afterwards it’s actually quite easy to do because it goes directly to HTML. Many of the other page builders will use shortcodes which causes problems especially if you change to another theme or have to ultimately go to an installation where they do not have that page builder and the content itself is gone. This product, while it is a paid plugin, has great support and is a favorite among many WordPress people.”
“I have used other page builders in the past and found them far too overwhelming and many beginners get very frustrated with these if they jump into it right away without understanding the need for one. That is why I recommend that you don’t use a page builder if you are just starting out and learning how WordPress works. Try just using the block editor within WordPress and see how far you get before you decide to go to a page builder. WordPress can be hard to learn because there is so much to it. Take your time with it and start with the basics and build from there. See what I did there? ;)”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder is my favorite simply because it is the first page and theme builder that I committed to financially. It was also the choice in the first two agencies I worked with. When I realized that many agencies around the country were using page builders, I made Beaver Builder my go-to for page and theme development. My last five WordPress sites I have built for clients have been Beaver Builder. I also own two sites built on Beaver Builder.”
WPBakery – “WPBakery is my second choice for page builders. WP Bakery was the first builder that I worked with. I was floored by the versatility and options available. It’s is also robust enough to handle the largest site I have worked on, a 950-page, 40 multi-site WordPress install for a major university. WP Bakery can also be installed on almost any theme out there.”
Gutenberg – “Gutenberg is quickly becoming one of my favorites. After getting used to the initial shock of Gutenberg blocks, several plugins made the WP Block Editor much more customizable such as Atomic Blocks, Ultimate Blocks and Ultimate add-ons for Gutenberg. They are not as versatile as the drop-and-drag page builders such as Beaver Builder (yet). However, they are getting better and I am experimenting with their possibilities.”
Cornerstone – “Cornerstone is a page builder developed by Themeco that works with both Pages and Posts in WordPress. It’s available as a standalone plugin that’s compatible with any theme, and it also comes packaged with X and Pro themes, Themeco’s flagship products.
What sets Cornerstone apart from the other page builders I’ve tried is the clean interface. The workspace is divided into two panels, one with all the controls you need for the element you’re working on, and a preview panel that lets you see what the page will look like as you build it. Plus, all the elements are drag and drop, and the preview pane even supports inline editing. Simple and effective.
Another great thing about Cornerstone are the templates. You can use one of the pre-designed templates, or you can save your own custom templates to reuse throughout your project.
Like any good tool, there can be a learning curve to get familiar with the full potential of Cornerstone. Thankfully it’s well-documented, and has great support. With a bit of patience and practice, Cornerstone can become an essential part of your WordPress toolkit.”
Divi Builder – “I’ve been building WordPress websites since the early days, when a custom theme meant custom coding from Photoshop files into PHP page templates. These days I rely on Divi, both as a theme and as a page builder when necessary. Elegant Themes has done, in my opinion, the best job at developing a slick and efficient page builder that gives the range of options a site needs to be both customizable and DIY-friendly.
As a web developer, I want my clients to feel like they can take their finished site and run with it – without being tied to me for help with every little iteration. Divi is the puzzle piece that makes that happen. I’m able to train my clients to use the Divi page builder to save layouts to the library, borrow from pre-built layouts, re-arrange rows, set anchor links and more – all without having to fiddle with the code.
The Divi Theme Customizer also makes it super-simple to set theme-wide fonts, layouts, spacing and more. Set it and forget it! And the built-in widgets help keep your WordPress site lean and mean and not bogged down by plugin bloat. Everything from sliders to tabs comes built-in with the Divi Builder.
If you’re a web designer, virtual assistant, or DIY site owner who wants a professional-looking site that you can manage yourself, Divi is the way to go. And you don’t even need to ditch your current theme. It’s easy to use the Divi Builder Plugin to spin up a single Divi page within your existing site to see what it’s like.”
Beaver Builder – “The combination of Astra (or GeneratePress or the Beaver Builder Child Theme), Beaver Builder, and Beaver Themer is killer. You can design pretty much anything you like and the built-in modules are well done.
Beaver Builder makes it extremely easy to extend in the form of custom modules, and the Facebook community is quite active and is always offering free (and useful) help. If you can’t find a module you like, you can build it yourself, or pay for a module suite that makes Beaver Builder even more powerful.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder is the builder we prefer to build with. It is fast to use and has cleaner code that some other builders. We can get good page speed results with Beaver, and it also doesn’t leave content with shortcodes if you switch. Combined with Beaver Themer it is very easy to create templates or frameworks for pages or sections of pages that can be reused to save on development time.”
Elementor – “Elementor is another good builder, really the only reason we don’t use it is personal preference because we have our processes setup to use Beaver and so our team are all more familiar with Beaver.”
WPBakery – “WPBakery is ok, but it is a bit clunky and not as user friendly.”
Gutenberg – “I’d recommend using the block editor in WordPress, also known as Gutenberg. It’s come a long way since it was first added into WordPress at the end of 2018.
For end users, the built-in blocks and layout elements give enough control for most pages and there’s a growing ecosystem of 3rd party blocks available to add any extra elements you may want. You can combine these with reusable blocks to manage consistent elements across pages. Even better, is the new “patterns” functionality which allows you to add pre-built groups of blocks to a page. At the time of writing, patterns is still under development, but you can try it out by installing the Gutenberg plugin which gives you access to the latest features – do try this on a test site before putting it on your live site.
For developers, the ability to build custom blocks is great. It’s also possible to build restricted templates for certain types of content so you can be sure that end users will build consistent pages. We’ve been really impressed by the content some of our customers have built with the toolkit of blocks we’ve given them. Lots of our customers rely on their sites for lead generation and the marketing teams love that they can build out new pages fast, while keeping true to the site’s design.
If you are going to develop custom blocks, I’d recommend looking at the Blocks functionality in ACF Pro. It makes it possible to build simple blocks in minutes, not hours.”
Divi Builder – “I use the Divi theme on lots of websites, and also the Divi builder plugin on a few other sites. Can be really tricky to get used to, and also requires more server resources than other builders. However, it has an absolutely huge range of features, with a module for just about everything, and is being constantly developed. Its use is widespread, so there are always developers, forums, social media groups willing to help out for the more complex stuff.”
Elementor – “Easy to use, and fairly lightweight plugin. It’s quicker than the Divi builder, but has fewer features.”
SiteOrigin Page Builder – “I haven’t used this a lot, but one of my client sites uses it, and whenever I have to make small edits to the site it seems to be really easy to use (especially visually), and with no external training.”
“One of the most common WordPress support questions I get asked the most is, “What’s the easiest Page Builder plugin to update without breaking my site?” And that’s a really tough question to answer. Technically speaking they’re all easy to update inside of WordPress. You can set your plugins to autoupdate if you really, really wanted to go that route. And if you’re using the page builder at face value, nothing should break just because you updated the plugin.
The issue of Page Builders breaking a website usually stems from a lack of testing the updated software in a staging environment. This way your production site remains fully operational while you tackle any complications you might have. Please make a back up your WordPress site before you take any WordPress advice.”
Beaver Builder – “The page builder we see installed the most is Beaver Builder. They provide many useful tools like Premium Modules & Templates. The plugin provides our pickiest users the opportunity to finely-tune every part of their WordPress site. It’s also the plugin I see demonstrated the most during meetup groups. Beaver Builder allows you to create your own templates or sections to reuse over and over again. They make it very easy to update one template across your entire website.”
Elementor – “The free version of Elementor won the Torque 2020 Plugin Madness tournament. That’s pretty impressive. There were plenty of vital WordPress plugins in the competition. Elementor is a widely popular page builder plugin with a great presence on YouTube. Elementor Pro works well with WooCommerce and the lowest payment plan comes with all of the available features at the time of this article. Usually you have to upgrade to a medium tier plan in order to unlock every feature. I commend them on that. Elementor Pro is a marketing experts favorite tool. The marketing and conversion widgets make it really easy to convert users passing by into repeat guests.”
WPBakery – “My team and I love WPBakery. We’ve used it to build over 1,000 WordPress websites for our clients in the last four years—and we have no plans of switching to another tool anytime soon.
We take pride in our lightning fast development times, and WPBakery’s powerful drag-and-drop editor and ready-to-use integrations and rich content elements definitely help speed things up. Couple this with the fact that the tool also works with virtually any ready-made WordPress theme in the market today, and you’ve got everything you need to build websites at truly ridiculous speeds.
But we’re also a big fan of the WPBakery API because it allows us to build custom elements for projects that require special features.
Long story short, if you’re looking for a builder to use, I highly recommend WPBakery. I promise you’d be surprised too at how much faster you’ll be able to roll websites out using this tool.”
“Page builders can be a useful tool to quickly iterate your marketing ideas and start driving traffic, much faster than if you were employing a professional website developer. Despite being a developer myself, even I use page builders in certain situations. For landing page creation, I have been using Thrive Architect for the last 2 years.”
Thrive Architect – “Thrive knows what it’s for. It’s not trying to be your entire website (though it probably could do that) – instead I’ve found that Thrive knows it’s made mainly for landing pages, to iterate quickly across different viewports, and keep bloated functionality separate to it’s main goal, quickly creating landing pages.
It works on custom post types, in your existing themes, and even lets you completely ignore your theme to build a unique layout for your landing pages.
Any extra functionality comes from other plugins in the Thrive family, and while this can be a hindrance in some cases, for the casual user, you’ll find it’s fast, snappy, responsive, and truly is a “What you see is what you get” platform.
I would recommend Thrive Architect to any marketers who are looking to build landing pages fast, or anyone building a smaller scale website. Couple this page builder with Astra, a free WordPress theme, and you’re in for a very powerful, visual treat.”
WPBakery – “The page builder I use the most is WPBakery. Many of the clients I work with don’t want to pay extra for plugins and since many themes come bundled with WPBakery, it’s an easy choice to make. In terms of performance and advance coding, it’s probably not the best builder. However, it’s easy to learn and use, even for people who are not tech-savvy, so for these reasons, it’s been my go-to page builder for a long time.”
Elementor – “Recently I’ve been using Elementor page builder and so far I like what I see. I’m not at the point where I’m ready to switch, but the more I use it, the more I like it. It’s great to view the changes right away without having to switch back and forth from the preview to editing mode.”
Divi Builder – “The only other page builder I’ve worked with and can recommend is Divi. Learning the ins and outs of Divi will take some time, but once you figure out all the settings, you’ll be able to control every aspect of each element. It also has a nice user-friendly, visual interface that’s a pleasure to use. Unfortunately, because Divi is part of Elegant Themes and requires an annual subscription, it’s unlikely I’ll be using it as often as I like. Which is a shame since it’s an excellent builder and would be my first choice, if it came bundled with other themes.”
“Page builders have become pretty indispensable when creating a WordPress site. They are huge time savers. Some are better than others. I have my two favourites for quite different reasons.”
Gutenberg – “I surprise even myself by starting with Gutenberg. This is now the standard WordPress editor, and received a huge ‘WTF’ when first released. It pushed aside the old familiar editor that we have been using for over a decade. It was a real culture shock. It’s a block editor, which is essentially what a page builder is. Why use Gutenberg when there are better commercial options available? One word. SPEED! I created the same website with Elementor and Gutenberg. I ran them through Google PageSpeed Insights and got a score of 97 for the desktop and 87 for the mobile using Gutenberg. Elementor had both versions in the amber zone with a 73/51 score. Speed is not the full SEO story, but it’s one the biggest factors aside from the content. This made me look at Gutenberg in a new light and I’ve learned to live with it and start creating brochure websites using it.”
Elementor – “If I ignore the speed advantage then Elementor would be my choice. Everything from the huge selection of templates and widgets to the help and community support is excellent. It’s easy to test responsiveness and have different elements on different devices. The drag and drop editor is a huge time saver. It’s faster and easier that other builders I’ve used such as WP Bakery.”
“Before deciding on a page builder, you need to decide if you are likely to use a page builder on every page of a small website or just on a few pages.”
Divi Builder – “If you are intending to create every page with a page builder, then I recommend using Divi. You will get a much deeper integration across the site between the page builder and the theme.
Divi used to have a bad reputation, but it’s a lot better now. It’s a simple interface, so it has an easy learning curve. It will be able to handle most run of the mill projects.
I love the ease of cloning a page from a template or an existing site. Some of the other page builders just don’t handle this side as well, as I found out the other day.
The downside of Divi is that it’s heavier on the database across the site. I wouldn’t typically use it for sites with more than 50 pages, or ones where the focus was on the blog. Don’t use it on an eCommerce site either. I’m still dealing with the fallout of a previous designer’s decision to do that.”
Elementor – “If you really want to go to town, I recommend Elementor. It has a fully functional free version, which I find is usually all that you need. The pro version adds a lot of very useful features. You can further extend it with Ultimate Addons or Powerpack, both of which are fantastic value for money. They both do largely the same things, so just pick the one that does it the way you like.
I find Elementor to be more intuitive than Divi. It has a steeper learning curve, because it has more modules and features, particularly if you go with Elementor Pro with one of the addons. With those added features comes a lot of powerful modules that would otherwise require custom coding.
Elementor is better than Divi on some projects because the Elementor styling and scripts are only loaded on pages which you decide to build with Elementor.”
“Many times, you’ll only want to use a page builder on a few pages and do the rest in Gutenberg. That’s the perfect way to build sites for speed and usability, in my opinion. It allows you to use a fast, lightweight theme without compromising your designs.”
Beaver Builder – “I recommend working with Beaver Builder as my primary builder. I love using Beaver Builder for a few reasons, however the primary reason is ease of use. Whether it is for me working on a client’s page layout or the client adjusting content after website launch. With a simple drag and drop interface and front end editing capability, it feels comfortable and intuitive. With additional functionality purchasable with the pro version of the plugin, or extensions from 3rd party providers the creative options are endless.
As a one stop shop for website design and page layout, Beaver Builder will really open your options. As a plugin you can simply drag in the columns and layout elements. Once you have your layout in place, you simply drag in a picture, text module, testimonial or even a contact form.
In the past I had utilised other page builders but found they were often heavy on the code, increasing load times and requiring additional optimisation and server resources. Beaver Builder, whilst still a little code heavy, is much easier to optimise and the performance out of the box is commendable. I have found that from experience a typical Beaver Builder powered website can easily provide sub 2 second load time with minimal work.
If you’re looking for a great all rounder when it comes to page builders that is easy to use whether you’re technically minded or not, then Beaver Builder is for you.”
“I find a lot of page builders produce quite bloated markup – they tend to be over-engineered to adapt to every situation, and as a web designer I like deeper control over how the page in WordPress is built. As such, I find the Advanced Custom Fields plugin invaluable in building highly editable pages for client projects.”
Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) – “Advanced Custom Fields is a WordPress plugin that allows you to manage custom fields – images, text, links, and much more – through the WordPress dashboard.
You can manage these custom fields on a per post type (Post, Page and your own custom post types), per page, or on the basis of which template is assigned to the page, making ACF incredibly flexible and an ideal, lightweight starting point as a WordPress page builder.
Whilst you need a little knowledge of WordPress theming to implement, ACF gives you great control over your website’s content and I’ve found it interacts well with other common WordPress plugins, too. The plugin is very well documented, too – and it’s popular usage means there are easy examples to follow for almost every requirement for a page layout, from image galleries and portfolios, to testimonials and landing pages. (For help getting started with a flexible page builder, see this documentation on the plugin website: https://support.advancedcustomfields.com/forums/topic/use-acf-to-make-drag-drop-page-builder-bootstrap/).
It’s worth paying for the Pro license, as this gives you the “repeater” field type which is incredibly useful for page types such as “team members”, product / service lists, custom carousels and image sliders, and much more.”
Gutenberg – “It is the future, it’s built in, it’s a no brainer! It provides a nice middle ground for editors and developers offering customisable flexibility on both sides. Gutenberg makes other page builders virtually redundant and it keep getting better with fast ongoing development.”
“I have never had a pleasant experience with other page builders in WordPress. If I had to use one I might try Elementor. Beaver Builder and Divi to me feel like bloatware.”
“Ah, page builders! Beautiful page builders! When page builders came along they were a godsend for me. They were simple, straightforward, and gave me a “the world is your oyster” feel. Page builders opened up a whole new world with the ease of laying out pages very efficiently and relieved the headaches I would run into frequently.
My approach to selecting the right page builder is…try them all! Each page builder has its own unique flow and I believe it is important to find the one that fits your style and personality.”
WPBakery – “For me, WP Bakery Page Builder is king! It comes with a frontend editor and backend editor, and I love the backend editor. It is very intuitive and visually makes sense. It has a large selection of elements that you can add to your page, which is very useful. Each element has a number of flexible options that you can use for customization, along with the ability to add class names or ids to any element for further customization with CSS. The page builder also has the ability to edit headers and footers. This is fantastic as it gives you expanded design flexibility. Another cool features is the ability to make a template out of an entire page or even a single element. You can then apply these templates on other pages to make the building process very efficient. There are also a number of nice responsive options to make sure your website looks awesome on mobile. Overall, WP Bakery Page Builder has a wealth of elements and functionality that will make your website design process easy and efficient. There is only a premium version available, but you can simply purchase a theme like Impreza, for a one-time fee, and WP Bakery Page Builder is included. Impreza also has an incredible Theme Options section, so building a website couldn’t be easier.”
Beaver Builder – “My 2nd favorite page builder is Beaver Builder. It only has a frontend builder, but it is intuitive and efficient, so it works for me. It also has a large assortment of elements with good customization options. It has some good keyboard shortcuts for preview, save template, responsive editing, and publish, which make editing more efficient. The Preview is on the same page, so you don’t have to toggle between edit and preview tabs like usual. Beaver Builder also comes with some powerful theming options, where you can build a custom theme based on any of the default themes that come preinstalled with WordPress. This eliminates the need to purchase a theme. There is a free version and premium version available.”
Avia Builder – “This is my honorable mention. I have used the Enfold theme on a handful of websites and really like the Avia Layout Builder that is built into the theme. There is only a backend editor, but like WP Bakery Page Builder, it is visually very intuitive and efficient. It has the standard features of most page builders with a wide array of elements, element options, and responsive options. One aspect I really like is when you are editing an element you don’t have to hunt for a little gear or wrench icon. You simply click anywhere on the element and it opens. Very efficient! Enfold also has very good Theme Options to help customize your site.”
This is my 2nd WordPress product review for WSTE. My first one was for the best caching plugin. Like that review, this one will be the same in 2 regards… First, our team has built near 1,000 websites, so we’ve had the chance to experiment with a LOT of plugins and page builders. And second, I only have a single recommendation and I am not going to bother with the others!
Another drumroll, please…
Divi Builder – “Boom done. Just go buy it.
To expand a little here are 21 reason I love Divi.
- It just works, we have never had compatibility issues
- The creators of Divi, Elegant Themes, have awesome support
- The interface is beautiful
- The licensing is amazing, as of writing this it’s a $249 one time fee for lifetime access. How is that even possible!? I would gladly pay double that. They do have a yearly option but the value for the one time fee is well worth it.
- It has awesome prebuilt layouts
- There is a live website builder as well as a module builder
- They have awesome tutorials, walkthroughs, and videos
- Divi pushes updates weekly along with new features in most updates
- They have great developer documentation for hooking into Divi and building custom modules or extensions
- You have the ability to create global elements
- You have the ability to build custom header & footers inside the Divi builder and apply it to any template
- You can build on custom post types
- Importing & exporting theme config options is very easy and always works
- Every element has a hover state and anything can be animated
- Adjusting for desktop, tablet, and mobile is a breeze
- Undoing changes is very easy, there is a “History” window similar to Photoshop to undo changes
- It has a pretty solid ACF integration. Although the only thing lacking, as of writing this, is repeater fields. However, I have talked to the support team and they have said repeater field integration is in the works.
- Awesome integration with WooCommerce
- There are lots of 3rd party modules & extensions built by the Divi community
- It works very well with every WP Rocket option turned on
- Lastly, I know I briefly touched on this before, most premium WordPress plugins/themes out there have per-site or per-year licensing fee. Divi is one time. Unlimited use. Unlimited sites. For agencies rolling out new sites every week you can’t pass that up.”
Thanks for reading!
Avia Builder – “My favorite page builder by far is Advanced Layout Builder (ALB) that is built-in to my favorite WordPress theme, Enfold. We use and customize it a lot, and the page builder is very balanced, not too complicated, but powerful enough to handle almost any need. I’ve used others include Cornerstone and WPBakery, and they are often overkill, especially for clients to use. I keep my clients in mind with everything we do, because in the end, with a CMS, they become the user at some point, and we do not turn over hard-coded sites to any client.”
Beaver Builder – “I also like Beaver Builder a lot, we have a few client sites we do maintenance for, and making page edits is a breeze using the front-end editor. There are no surprises as to what an edit will look like on the page, and it’s very easy to use for my team and client alike.”
CSS Hero – “My 3rd page builder is more of a page customizer…CSS Hero! Does it count as a page builder? I think it does, because you can customize any element on the page, click Save, and it’s done. I still do a ton of custom CSS by hand, but CSS Hero is perfect for my team to make desired edits without needing dev skills, and for clients wanting the power and control over everything on their site, because it’s very easy to use.”
Fusion Builder – “Avada Theme & Fusion Builder. It’s the highest rated, most purchased theme on Themeforest with over 23,000 reviews an avg star rating of 4.77, raking up over half a million purchases! It loads fast, ability to brand it as your own, ability to remove features (helpful for handing-off to your end client), has the ability to make global elements, elements that can be saved and used for various pages, and overall the page builder is robust and more advanced than DIVI, Beaver Builder, Elementor, etc. On top of that its also developer friendly, it works well with Advanced Custom Fields. It includes other premium plugins with the purchase such as ACF mentioned, Slider Revolution, Convert Plus and three others.
The page builder has a front-end intuitive visual editor and back-end editing capabilities along with Gutenberg optimized. Has cool features where you can select a specific demo page off their growing list of 65+ demo sites and with one click implement that layout. This is great because you don’t have to load the entire demo site; you can pick and choose different pages from different demos and do it super quick.
They also have amazing support. If I submit a ticket, I get a response within 1-2 days. How many page builders have support like that?”
“As a web developer that evolved into an agency owner I found the transition to working with page builders a tricky one. I remember using Divi for the first time in 2013, being amazed at the functionality and how easy it was to create a simple sites. However, I always felt something was lacking, anything outside the plugin’s core features would require hacking & I would come away feeling like I had short changed my clients.
As time moved on we again experimented with Cornerstone & Visual composer, using each respective plugin for select sites as trials, but again being a bespoke agency the need to hack dynamic elements into the design seemed to deter my agency from further usage.”
Elementor – “In came Elementor which we started using at the end of 2018 – what a breath of fresh air. Finally a page builder with an easy to use, frontend user experience. What impressed my agency most about Elementor is its ability to produce clean code & the sheer amount of customisation for each module. Elementor is extremely easy to use for a beginner, but also more than holds its own as a serious development tool. It has increased our productivity ten fold & we now use Elementor for our smaller development projects.
What’s unique about Elementor is the fact it caters for those dynamic elements / pages on your website, such as: Header, Footer, News, Single, Archive, WooCommerce. You really can’t argue with what the guys have managed to produce at Elementor & it should be part of your toolkit as a designer.”
“My prediction is that Gutenberg is the tool we can use today that will be one of the standards of the future.”
Gutenberg – “This is the built-in page builder in WordPress. Unlike other page builders it is widely supported and developed by the WordPress community. It has a fast growth, it is easy to use, extensible and accessible.
The interface of this page builder is simple and efficient, you can insert a series of blocks that provide different functionalities and possibilities to display your content.
You can install plugins to add new blocks, or any developer can build a custom one for your project. It’s becoming a standard and performs well, that’s why this is my only recommendation today.”
“Page builders certainly have a source of contention among designers and developers. For a long time we actively avoided them due to code bloat and poor integration with the core of WordPress. But as customers have asked for more and more rich, complex layouts, the benefits become clear. In the hands of a skilled designer, a page builder can help create the rich content that customers demand – in an quick, efficient manner that keeps us on budget.
In terms of which is the best page builder? We’ve worked with many if not all of them over the years (I also run a WordPress support service), and while most have become incrementally better in terms of code bloat, there’s only one we use and recommend for our customers: Beaver Builder.”
Beaver Builder – “We use Beaver Builder for a few reasons: First and foremost is the code output and overhead is among the best among all page builders. It doesn’t completely break the site when deactivated and it’s very easy for our customers to understand and use. The front end editor is quick and reliable, and makes it very clear that What You See Is What You Get. (I can’t believe I just wrote that).”
Gutenberg – “The new Block Editor built into WordPress is here to stay, and we are very much embracing it. We use Beaver Builder in conjunction with Gutenberg: BB is only used for the pages that need a rich content or a complex layout. Pages that are more informational or function well with a standard layout are created with Gutenberg. Blog posts as well are created with the built in editor. Beaver Builder has a feature where you can set which post types can use it. We disable it for posts and encourage our customers to learn how to use the new editor.
If Gutenberg continues at its active development pace, I can certainly see a day when it supplants page builders all together. It’s currently miles away but we continue to gain features that step into what page builders do. Until then however, we’ll continue to use Beaver Builder along side Gutenberg, incorporating new features along the way.”
Keryn van der Dijken
“I have always been a custom coder when it comes to websites, trying a page builder here or there but always reverting back to building everything out myself … that is until I found Beaver Builder.”
Beaver Builder – “When I first tried this page builder I found it very intuitive to use. It’s fast to load and easy to drag and drop elements and change settings. Over the years they have added more and more features which makes it really easy to change sizes and settings for tablet and mobile screens, making it an all around dream for responsive websites.
If you don’t know where to start it comes with a number of pre-built templates you can drag and drop onto your page and customize away. There are a number of different add ons for Beaver Builder to extend the functionality even more – namely Ultimate Add Ons and PowerPack. A heads up that these are paid and not part of Beaver Builder by default, but I’ve used them on a number of sites and they work flawlessly together.
Don’t want to pay for a license to use the Pro features? No problem, Beaver Builder offers a free lite version of its page builder so you can use it on any live site or even try it out before making the jump to a paid version.
Honestly, I really can’t say enough good things about Beaver Builder, not only does this page builder give me nearly everything I could ask for, the brand also appeals to my Canadian roots!”
“I have worked with a number of other page builders over the years and all of the ones I’ve used in the past are clunky, slow and hard to figure out. Worst of all, most of them inject a bunch of weird shortcodes onto the page, so if you ever want to stop using it, you’d have a bunch of broken code instead of page content.
While I’d really like to praise some of the other page builders out there, I’m all about building sites that are easy to use for my clients, and if I have trouble figuring something out as a developer, there’s no way I’m going to suggest it to someone else. That is why I recommend Beaver Builder and only Beaver Builder.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder is a great drag-n-drop page builder for WordPress. You set up your rows and columns, drag in your elements and it just works. You can also dig down into advanced settings to get the layout just right. There are also lots of premium BB plugins that can really take BB to another level.”
Elementor – “Elementor is also very easy to use, provides professional results and is a rock-solid page builder.”
“With regards to page builders I have used a lot of them, but the two that stand out to me as being good options are WPBakery and the builder which is native to the Avada framework, the Fusion Builder.”
“So, why do I think they are good?
When it comes to builders I think a key factor to consider is longevity and future proofing. If we’re going to hitch your cart to something you want to ensure that it’ll be be able to go the distance. Smaller, lesser used builders have an inherently greater risk of not being future proofed. The Avada framework is one of the most widely used frameworks for WordPress and the WPBakery builder has about 4.3 million users which, all things considered, should ensure that these builders will still be around for years to come.
Another factor is support. With Avada and WPBakery, and their large userbase, there is an abundance of documentation, guides and tutorials available to help you figure out whatever may not seem instantly easy. On top of that, they also have their dedicated support teams which is another option if needed to help troubleshoot something. Compare this to a smaller or lesser used builders and it’s another reason why I’d opt for Avada or WPBakery.
With regards to functionality, both of the builders are jammed with the elements that you’d need to create any sort of site design (pretty much). Sure there is a learning curve to them to understand the nuance or to be able to fully bend the builder to your will, but with time it becomes 2nd nature.
Regardless of whatever builder tickles your fancy, I think it’s absolutely key to consider future proofing. With Gutenberg, a new builder on the block (if you pardon the pun), some lesser used builders may stop being supported as the Gutenberg builder may eat into some of their userbase. Whilst this risk also exists with Avada and WPBakery, I think it’s as low as it could be and so, they would be my recommended builders of choice.”
“In my opinion, by far the two leading WordPress page builders for 2020 are Beaver Builder and Elementor. I’ve used both extensively over the last couple of years.”
Elementor – “In the last year, Elementor has included an enormous number of additional features including popups and animation controls, and it’s on its way to becoming a whole-site builder; page builder doesn’t do Elementor justice.
From a value point of view, Elementor will give users the biggest bang for their buck.
However, the fast pace of development means that features frequently change, causing stability issues.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver may not have as many out-of-the-box goodies, but it makes up for it in the vast number of settings it has to customize all elements on a page.
Feature development may seem slow; however, you won’t find a more stable page-builder on the market. I’ve never had any issues when updating Beaver to another version.
With Beaver Themer installed, you can change part of the site outside the page content.”
Which One Do I Prefer?
“I prefer Beaver Builder Pro for its stability, the more substantial number of element options and better support for styling off-page content such as headers, footers, archives and custom post types.”
Gutenberg – “I know, I know, that’s a really dull choice, isn’t it? So I need to back this up.
First of all, most of the page builders out there are pretty good. But it’s rather like the early days of widgets when there were a few options available. But as soon as something is rolled into WordPress, it’s better to stick to that option. Not necessarily because it’s the best option, but often because it’s the one that will become the de-facto approach in the future. And that happens because migration and ongoing support is easier with a core feature than an add-on.
However, all page-builders come with problems. So do things like shortcodes. They are not ‘standard’ ways of storing or presenting information, so they will always result in migration headaches. Where a client had used page builders in the past and wanted to migrate content we ended up with a deadlock problem – we either had to support the page builder on their new site and accept the complexities of that, or we had to somehow migrate away from it. They didn’t want to migrate, but their page builder had performance issues.
So if possible, we don’t necessarily build pages in this manner. Instead we tend to use form based options on a page template that limit the client a little more tightly and prevent them going wild!”
Divi Builder – “Having used Divi from the beginning of its release, it’s my go to builder these days. For me, its Visual Builder is much cleaner and easier to customize in than WP Bakery or Elementor. For my clients, it’s easier to use to edit content with than those and far easier than Gutenburg as well.
The Divi Visual Builder is the closest I’ve found to a representation of the live site and the way it lets you edit for Desktop/Tablet/Mobile is outstanding. I’ve probably built over 500 sites on Divi (but who’s counting) and can’t see switching to another builder any time soon.
In addition to the Visual builder, their classic editor makes it easy for simple edits for my clients. The way I can label sections, rows, columns, and modules (more on this below) makes it super quick for them to find and edit whatever they need to. If you have clients that need to edit their own sites, then I highly recommend Divi for them.
Divi’s new Theme Builder is a welcome addition as well. One can set up headers and footers (Global or for individual pages) and templates for everything from a single page, to blog posts, category pages, a 404 page, or even custom post types! It’s super organized in the way it let’s you customize a site without any editing of PHP template files!
Speaking of Divi’s modules, this is where the builder really shines. In addition to their 38 regular modules (every thing from basic text to an Accordion to Video Slider), more modules are added when you activiate WooCommerce on your site. There are also a ton of third-party modules (free and paid) to most anything else you can think of.
All of that to say, I love using Divi and will continue to do so for all of the sites I build in the forseeable future. Take it for a test drive yourself and I’m sure you’ll love it as well. One last thing – search google for Divi tutorials. You’ll be amazed at how big the Divi community is, and much everyone is willing to help!”
WPBakery – “WPBakery Page Builder is our go to page builder at Cornell Design Group. Why? It’s easy! Drag and drop. But that’s not the only reason. Each element has many customizable options like padding, margin, background colors, text align, nesting and, if you want to use your own code instead of its predetermined settings options, you can. Sometimes it’s just easier to code the damn thing yourself! A huge time saver with using WPBakery Page Builder is the ‘duplicate’ option. This allows you to duplicate an element you’ve already configured with the click of a button so you don’t have to start from scratch again and again. And finally, it’s easy to lean how to use, which, is important for our clients who want to update their own website. It’s pretty hard to break anything and has revisions so they can revert to their previous revision if they make a mistake. We’ve had continued success with WPBakery Page Builder.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder rocks! It is my choice for its many designer friendly drag and drop modules that can be highly visually styled.
Designers will appreciate the ability to create custom templates that can be saved and used for consistent site building throughout your process. You can start with a number of homepage or secondary page templates to get your process going and shape them to your own purpose. Beaver Themer, a Beaver Builder add on plugin, lets you style posts, archive pages, custom headers and more. Beaver Builder skews slightly toward a development savvy creative and conversely toward a design savvy developer with a high degree of code customization possibilities. Use the Beaver Builder plugin with the Beaver Builder theme or use it with your favorite starter theme. I have not nearly exhausted the possibilities of the Beaver Builder theme in the years I have been using it.
The support team at Beaver Builder is top-notch. Everyone I have interacted with has a high degree of development and CSS skill for times when you can’t come up with a fix on your own. The development team behind the builder often release an update before a core software release. I get the sense the team is watching WordPress carefully.
In short, the Beaver Builder plugin has brought the fun of being a designer back to website creation. It is the best product I have found that is low-code and offers results as sophisticated as custom PHP websites. Frankly, it’s the best of artificial intelligence for the website creation world I have found. And did I mention… clients love it for its WYSYG editing environment making the native Gutenberg blocks look clumsy by comparison.”
Elementor – “Admittedly, there are many page builders for WordPress, and even WordPress core is developing its own Gutenberg block editor. Since I want to give only the best to my clients, I build websites using Elementor. Here’s what makes it so great.
For starters, it is incredibly fast and responsive, and you can you see exactly what the final result will be while you are editing the page. The user interface is extremely intuitive despite the amount of features they packed in, which are impressive. Unlike many of the competing options, with Elementor, you can basically design almost anything that a professional developer could code. From creating multi-layered responsive layouts with intelligent backgrounds, to picking any font you want from a drop down and even setting up animations, I am amazed at everything Elementor can do.
To speed things up, Elementor includes a large library of “elements” that you can insert directly into the page. The free selection is already helpful, and if you want more, you can install the pro-version and even plugins by third-party authors.
As if that weren’t good enough, Elementor gives you access to an extensive library of pre-designed sections, pages and entire websites that you can insert in a matter of seconds. Some are free, and if you want access to more, you can buy them from the ecosystem that is growing around this trend-setting page-builder. It’s no surprise that this page builder is one of the most downloaded plugins of all time.”
Beaver Builder – “The page builder we use for almost every site developed is the Beaver Builder plugin. We love its ease of use and versatility, along with how light and streamlined the code base is. Another big consideration is that our clients find when we hand them over the website, the learning curve is little, so they can jump right in and use the site as it was intended. We’ve worked with every page builder out there but find that Beaver builder is the best of the bunch. In addition to the core, several developers have created add-ons to extend the many included features, and Beaver Builder plays nice with other plugins that we add to client sites.”
Elementor – “Our second choice is Elementor which also has an easy to use interface. Like Beaver Builder, it is a drag and drop page builder that allows you to preview the page parts immediately. Also, like Beaver Builder, many third-party add-ons extend the functionality, but it seems that Elementor is a little heavier in its codebase, which can add some load time to your website.”
“Both Beaver Builder and Elementor have a “lite” or free version that can be found in the repository. Both page builders have premium plans that include additional features, with Elementor Pro costing a little less. Beaver Builder, a favorite among developers, seems to be a tad more stable since it releases features less often than the other page builders. But that thoughtful release of features doesn’t mean it lacks in any way.
I’ve not used Elementor support much but have read it could use some improvements while the Beaver Builder folks have always been quick to respond and top-notch in their follow-through.”
“I have worked with a quite few page builders like WPBakery Page Builder, Visual Composer, Elementor, Beaver Builder, SiteOrigin, Revolution Slider and many more. But the ones I use are Divi, Gutenberg and ACF (Advanced Custom Fields).”
Divi Builder – “Divi is a builder developed by Elegant Themes. It is the most advanced page builder I have had the pleasure to use. It has so many options that some people are overwhelmed by this, but I like it. It comes with a vast and growing selection of page templates, powerful Drag-and-Drop Content Editor, split testing tool, and some other useful WordPress plugins to download. Some of my favourite features are:
- Ability to change default styles for the modules.
- History option that allows to undo and redo your actions.
- Powerful theme builder that you can build templates for different content types. You can target pages, posts, custom post types and taxonomies.
- Module and layout and library and portability feature that can save you a ton of time.
… and many more
Divi also has a great community where people will help you in no time with your issues. My favourite is Divi Web Designers Facebook group.
The pricing is attractive. They sell it for $89/year or $249 one-time. The lifetime access plan worried me a bit, but Elegant Themes is on the market for many years, so I think it is a good investment.”
Gutenberg – “Gutenberg is a new page editor that comes with WordPress. For the content like blog posts or other custom post types where Divi or another page builder would be an overkill. I create custom blocks that my clients can use to create elegant blog posts. Also, both Gutenberg and Divi use React JS for front-end.”
Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) – “ACF is not a page builder, but rather a plugin that allows you to add additional options to pages, posts or any other post types and taxonomies or even create your custom theme options page. Also, ACF has a great feature that is called Flexible Content. You can use it to build page templates with cleaner code and still give your clients ways to update their content easily. You can also use ACF as a powerful PHP-based framework for developing custom block types for Gutenberg.”
“Yep, so these are my favourite tools for building pages in WordPress. All I’ll ever need.”
Divi Builder – “By far the most designer-centric page builder I’ve ever used, Divi ships with over 100 beautiful out-of-the-box pre-built page templates that can be generated with a few clicks. Or if you prefer, you can start from scratch using Divi’s beautiful modules to build your site from the ground up – sliders, calls to action, WooCommerce, you name it! Additionally, Divi has a familiar gui interface for building site-wide templates for things like products, archives, blog posts, and more!”
Gutenberg – “Gutenberg! If you want the fastest, easiest, long-term solution, using the default WordPress editor is the way to go. The speed of new features and improvements to the Gutenberg plugin outpaces any other page builder, and we’re seeing more and more blocks and block libraries released over time. Soon, we’ll even have pre-designed “patterns”, sections that you can combine together to build beautiful posts and pages.
It’s true – other page builders have some features that Gutenberg is still catching up on, but if accessibility, performance, and long-term reliability is your jam, WordPress can do great things right out of the gate.
Oh, and by the way, it’s free.”
Gutenberg – “At this point my only recommendation can really be Gutenberg. I definitely don’t mean to trash talk any of the other page builders out there but Gutenberg is now an established part of WordPress core so it’s the de facto standard. I’d say it’s already as good as any other page builder out there (WordPress or not) and with the weight of the WordPress community now behind it, it’s going to start edging ahead of others.
Further, there’s a public roadmap that shows the plan to make ever more of the WordPress configuration and build process become powered by Gutenberg, so it’s going to become a design pattern that we see everywhere.
From a user’s perspective, the power of the blocks that Gutenberg has – both as core and via some of the top block libraries – are mind-blowingly powerful and allow the creation of incredibly rich content directly in-CMS.
It’s not without its challenges – block management, accessibility and performance are still all work in progress – but in terms of recommending a plugin for folks to build with – there’s only Gutenberg.”
“When I first started with WordPress, anything that resembled a ‘page builder’ was so limiting and restrictive, it caused me to swear I would never use one — that was until Elementor came onto the scene.”
Elementor – “Elementor continues to deliver a beautiful balance between simplicity and flexibility. Its simple, clean user interface allows users to easily create stunning layouts in minutes, while delivering customisable widgets and integrations that allow you to achieve results that were once only possible by custom code.
There are a number of Page Builders out there these days that have definitely improved in their flexibility and how much of your WordPress website you can customise, however, of the ones I’ve tried, none come close to how Elementor continues to take advanced tasks and make them simple.”
Divi Builder – “I’ve worked with a number of page builders over the years but I now work almost exclusively with Divi, by ElegantThemes.
My Clients Appreciate It – I offer to spend up to 2 hours training clients on how to manage updates on their sites during the off-boarding process. I typically spend about 20 minutes and they are capable of doing everything they usually need to do from changing images to adding text. Regardless of builders, most of my clients would prefer to hire me to make more substantial changes but the small ones are quite easy to learn in just a few minutes.
Tech Support is Phenomenal – If you need help, the Divi support staff is on point. While it may take a few hours to get it, you will get the help you need to sort out your issue.
The Divi Community is Amazing – From experts to novices, you can easily find others in the community willing to help you sort out issues. The Divi community is quite vibrant and is very supportive. And if you are into podcasts, divi.chat is awesome.
Impressive Extendability – The builder has continual improvements. Some are driven by innovative staff ideas and some are driven by users. In addition, they actually encourage developers to take their ideas and offer extensibility products.
The Library is a Game Changer – I can save pages, sections, rows, modules and use them on a variety of sites. You really like the way you styled and laid out that footer? You can use it again very easily!
And finally, Divi has significantly increased my overall efficiency. Whether I’m sketching out my ideas and starting from scratch or if I’m starting with a base idea from the built in layouts, I can start implementing my ideas much more quickly.”
Divi Builder – “My favorite WordPress builder is Divi. I’ve been using Divi since it was first released in 2013 and through the years it has made significant improvements to meet the needs of web designers. Like most page builders, Divi has the ability to directly edit and preview a page in real-time. You no longer have to save the page via the dashboard and then preview your changes in a new window. Some of my favorite features are the ability to:
- Save sections and modules to the Library, making it easier to add to other pages.
- Copy and paste styles for sections and modules. Helpful for when you have many small changes and need to apply it elsewhere on the site.
- Create a new theme builder template that can be assigned to specific parts of your website. Useful for blog, archive, search and 404 pages. No need to create a child theme to customize these pages.
- Apply tablet and phone styles easily while using Divi’s viewport tools. Useful for working on designs so you can see how your layout is coming together and address any issues ahead of time.
- Only have to purchase the license once for lifetime access.”
“First and foremost, there’s no one page builder that bests all of the others. In a sense, the discussion of “the best page builder’ is exactly the same one as those of the preferred operating system or text editor. The best one out there is the one that works best for you and your use-case. So as with all tools, because a page builder is but a tool, it comes down to testing them and finding the one where the logic works for you.
That said, here are my personal favorites:”
Gutenberg – “Despite being the new kid on the block and while some might even argue that Gutenberg is not a Page Builder per sé, this is the one to watch and start implementing. The major advantage over any other page builder is the absence of the use of shortcodes, which means there’s no vendor lock-in. Furthermore, this also improves page loading speed, as shortcodes require extra actions/queries to display the intended content. So this is, in my most humble opinion, the future.”
Divi Builder – “I’ve been using Divi since version 1.0 and used it up to version 4.4 so far. While no page builder is perfect, I’ve always praised Divi for its user-friendly workflow. It’s also a page builder that allows you to speed the pages up quite a lot.”
Elementor – “My third choice is Elementor. It has been an industry standard for years now, with an immense userbase. It’s also very popular with developers as Elementor is especially developer-friendly. From a hosting standpoint we also seldom see issues with Elementor or Elementor Pro, which is a testament to the work of their development team”
“Having used four different page builders over the years I certainly have a top recommendation.
I tried Elegant Themes (ET) in its early days, then I moved to my first page builder which was Headway. It seemed really good at the time, but then it folded and left all its customers with outdated software and potential security risks. I also tried the Oxygen plugin but found it too complicated.
Luckily, by now ET had released the Divi theme and that, at the time anyway, was a dream come true. You could only build layout templates not a whole theme style with it though. The move from Divi 2 to 3 was a disaster. When moving to Divi 4 I made the, incorrect, assumption that they had got their act together this time. Another disaster.
Not to mention that their page/theme builder now only wants to work with their front-end editor. Something that throws errors and is painfully slow. Several support attempts with ET about my server settings etc. fixed nothing. The fact is the theme slows things down. Clients noticed their sites being slower too.
By now people were talking about Elementor. Initially I thought it would be too big a job to move so many websites into a new system and face the dreaded learning curve. But the endless “Divi Builder failed to load so let’s blame your plugins” errors were too much. We took the plunge and can now only really recommend…”
Elementor – “If you have looked at Elementor you will know it is a plugin not a theme itself. It can be used with any theme if you choose to. However, I recommend using it with their own theme ‘Hello Elementor’. The theme is virtually empty, which means no unnecessary ‘bulk’. And the likelihood of the Elementor plugin and the Hello theme conflicting is nil. I personally would not attempt to use it with any other theme.
EP has a true theme builder built in, is easy to use and creating a new site from scratch is so much easier and quicker too. The learning curve is there of course, but I found it not too painful. Helped by the fact that their support is great, and they have very good tutorial videos and documentation.
Moreover, the ‘widgets’ that can be added within the builder are so varied you can end up not needing some other plugins. In particular some of the expensive WooCommerce ones. We have invested in PowerPack and Crocobloc to bring an enormous range of functionality.
With any page/theme builder a community of developers springs up offering design layouts, plugins and all kinds of extra functionality. The EP community is strong and growing. Even some of the Divi crowd are now building things for EP.
Moving Divi sites to EP is time consuming. The amount of shortcodes that need to be stripped out is mind boggling. But the move is completely worth it.”
Elementor (Free) – “There is a free version of Elementor and would be the best option for someone with only a few simple websites and little budget.”
Divi Builder – “Divi is much cheaper and can still be a useful theme for anyone with just their own website to look after. The learning curve is there of course, but they also have tutorials and a huge community.
If you are a professional looking after client sites I would definitely not use it though.”
Jenn de la Fuente
Gutenberg – “Honestly, I had a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship when Gutenberg first came out, but now that it’s gone through several iterations, it’s actually pretty great and what I’ll use if clients don’t need anything crazy. The addition of the Group block is nice, the ability to have full-width and wide-width blocks is also great (especially now that there’s documentation about how to enable it in your own themes), and the ability to add classes to blocks has saved my bacon many times. The developer documentation is great, so customizing things, adding new colors, and creating new blocks is relatively easy for developers. (I am a frequent user of Advanced Custom Fields and I’ve been able to create some custom reusable blocks that are fed by ACF.) My only wish is that column support was better in blocks, and that moving around column blocks wasn’t so … blocky and weird. Other than that, if you used Gutenberg at the outset and hated it, come back and give it a try. The best part? It’s free, unlike a lot of other builders out there!”
WPBakery – “I didn’t usually use page builders, but if I had to use one, this was my go-to. I loved the variety of blocks and combinations you could use, I found customizing pretty easy, and it handled almost everything I could throw at it. There are sometimes problems when it’s bundled with themes — make sure you update it properly or consult your theme maker! — but otherwise, it worked like a charm whenever I used it and it’s great for some complex content layouts.”
Divi Builder – “I worked with someone who used Divi extensively and thus began to make a few simple sites with it. If you can’t get WP Bakery, this is a pretty close analog to it. Nice layouts and great column support. Sometimes there are *too* many options to choose from, but customizing is pretty easy, and it is flexible in terms of handling whatever your layout dreams desire. I do love its background support and how it makes handling background images and video pretty simple.”
Elementor – “I could try to recommend 3 builders but I’m going to focus on the one I always use, which is Elementor (Pro version). When I created my website business I had very little (OK, pretty much none) coding skills and was used to designing with InDesign. I investigated a number of builders, such as Divi and Beaver but I thought Elementor looked more intuitive. I started out with the free version and quickly found there was much more I wanted to have complete control over so when Elementor Pro included forms, I quickly bought a Pro license.
I don’t like using other people’s styling for my sites (ego, much?) so I use GeneratePress Premium – in my opinion, one of the best themes and theme designers around – and that allows me to work with a completely blank canvas. I can then design all parts of the site with full control of colours, fonts, image size and placement, etc etc. The inbuilt Elementor templates can be helpful if there’s a particular structure you’d like to use, but mostly I design everything from scratch so all my websites are unique to the needs of the client.
When Elementor included header and footer design capabilities, that was a game changer (what a nerd!) for me. Pop-ups were also added with full design capabilities.
One of my favourite things about using a builder is the ability to duplicate styling, sections of a page, or the whole page. This is a real time saver and has reduced my build time massively.
Lastly, Elementor also integrates with loads of plugins, such as Mailchimp and WooCommerce with is helpful. Plus, you can now style nearly all aspects of Woo with Elementor so again, your shop will retain your full branding.
Although you wouldn’t know it, I’m not sponsored by Elementor, I’m just a massive fan. Although it’s not perfect, designers like me with little or no coding skills will find it a lifesaver. And, the Elementor team are constantly updating it so new features are constantly added.”
Beaver Builder – “I’m a backend developer and generally I prefer to work with template files or code to make things do what I want. I recently started working with Beaver Builder at work and have been impressed with it. Out of all the page builder’s I’ve used I’d have to say this one is my favorite. There are a lot of features and there’s a learning curve, but there are also tons of excellent videos and tutorials due to the popularity of Beaver Builder. You can create slick sites with hero blocks, accordions, galleries, carousels, pop ups, CTA’s and more. And one of my favorite things about it is that it’s really fast. I’ve had to do performance audits for sites running Beaver Builder and they usually do very well. There are also some great addons as well as a strong community of people working with and supporting Beaver Builder.”
Elementor – “Another great choice that I’ve run into quite a bit is Elementor Pro. Elementor has a slick user interface making it easy to use and gets out the way and lets you start creating good looking sites. I really like how Elementor handles pop ups for things like forms, modals, images and that kind of thing. All the top page builders these days offer a lot of the same features but Elementor just feels super polished and is easy to use and that’s a big selling point for me. They also have a really strong selection of themes in their theme library. As a backend engineer I mostly write code and I like having a nice template as a good starting point. And you don’t need to know any code to use a page builder like these.”
SiteOrigin Page Builder – “I wanted to include this one as a more budget friendly option because there’s really no reason to not use a page builder if you are not a developer or designer. And SiteOrigin won’t break the bank while giving you a lot of common features in most of the Page Builders. You can create custom post types, hero blocks, embed maps, social widgets, lightboxes, testimonials, use custom fonts, customize WooCommerce and tons more. There are some things the pricier apps do a little better but for the price I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I’m trying to get my dad to use it for his sites so I won’t have to do so much tech support after hours!”
Divi Builder – “The Divi Theme is developed by Elegant Themes. I absolutely love this theme and its built-in builder. I especially think the front-end Visual Builder offers a super intuitive set of tools to create Sections, Rows and Modules. They offer a wide variety of customizable Modules for the traditional post, pages and projects, and have recently released new capabilities that include WooCommerce and Custom Post Type support. With their community of designers, developers and fans I can usually find an answer to my questions with just a few searches. The Divi Theme Builder is my go-to and highly recommend it to anyone who is building WordPress sites.”
Avia Builder – “The Enfold Theme comes with a builder that has a wide array of useful tools that any WordPress designer can appreciate. Enfold comes with a sizable list of draggable page Elements to build your page. I particular like how the Column Layout Elements can easily be increased or decreased across the page. And in a fashion that allows the columns to scale into a grid which becomes very useful. Each element is customizable and can be identified for further CSS styling. All in all, the Avia Builder is very impressive, easy and intuitive to work with.”
Gutenberg – “The best page builder is None! That’s right – the best page builder is no page builder. Leverage WordPress’s built-in editor with a mix of additional blocks from other providers, as well as custom-built blocks that are unique to your needs.
By leveraging this system, you are as future-proofed as possible and you’ll tend to have fewer problems with site speed and technical debt.”
Beaver Builder – “If you have to pick another option, and it needs to scale to high traffic levels, we have found Beaver Builder to outlast all others in stress tests in our lab. We’ve seen it stand up to thousands of visits per minute in a production e-commerce environment without exposing unusual bottlenecks in the code.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder has been our Page Builder of choice for situations where it doesn’t make sense to use the WordPress block editor.
We use Beaver Builder for a number of reasons, including its mix of flexibility and ability to build custom blocks and modules for specific functionality.
Another highly appealing reason for us to use Beaver Builder is the markup and general performance was the best at the time when we made the choice.
Finally, Beaver Builder’s “Themer” functionality, allowing you to use the page builder to compose things like Archive templates is highly advantageous, and means you can use the page builder for all aspects of the sites creation.”
Gutenberg – “Inpsyde has always supported the WordPress core and will continue to do so. That is why we work very successfully with the Gutenberg block editor in our projects and look forward to when phase 2 of Gutenberg is completed and every page builder has a common basis on which to build. This will strengthen the entire ecosystem.
The good thing with Gutenberg is you won’t depend on a third party plugin and the development of Gutenberg is much faster than any other solutions, thanks to the strong community. It’s the future solution to go with.”
“The first thing I would ask you to consider is if a WordPress Page Builder is really the right option. Page Builders can be an absolute fantastic addition, and in fact the foundation of many a WordPress website, but they’re not (as some would hope) a cure-all for every content problem you encounter.
The Page Builders I’m recommending below are very good at many things within a tight focus. So if you have a specific layout in mind or fantastic design concept you want to create, try to kick the tyres of the Page Builder beforehand, ask some pre-sales questions of the plugin author or ask a seasoned WordPress developer who may be able to help give the inside scoop.
Ok, enough preamble, onto the recommendations.”
Elementor – “Elementor seems to be going from strength to strength. Unlike other Page Builders, Elementor doesn’t try to give you all of your design options “inline.” Instead, it keeps its options panel to the left of the screen, allowing you to make changes and see those changes instantly. It’s sturdy, allows for easy control of many, many page layout options and seems to be coming into its own of-late.”
Divi Builder – “Divi is a well respected Page Builder with a slew of options. Their community is very active meaning that new tools & tricks are released frequently. It’s a good choice and, unlike other Page Builders, can be accessed via both a theme and a plugin that can be added to other WordPress themes.”
WPBakery – “Arguably the grandaddy of them all, WPBakery (formerly Visual Composer) kick started this Page Builder revolution and is still a solid option. Perhaps not quite as slick as its modern contemporaries, what it lacks in pizazz it more than makes up for in reliability and experience; it’s been around the block a few times, and as such there are many, many, many add-ons and how-to guides to get the most out of this veteran Page Builder.”
“The question of page builders is something that comes up time and time again in the WordPress community. The first question to ask is “what do you want to achieve?”.
Do you want a page builder so that you can create new page layouts without the help of a developer, do you want unlimited freedom in content presentation, do you want a simpler editing experience or to ensure brand consistency? The answers to these questions can lead to very different outcomes.
Gutenberg – “My first recommendation is Gutenberg. I am sure, or at least I hope, that I won’t be the only person here to recommend Gutenberg as a page builder tool. Gutenberg is the official editor inside WordPress and is a huge leap forward in terms of flexible editing compared to the classic WordPress editor.
The beauty of it is that it gives you a lot of freedom over presentation out of the box. It costs you nothing in its default form, and you don’t need to worry about whether it will be supported long term, or whether it will create problems in future if you need to migrate content. Gutenberg is also well optimised so that it doesn’t negatively impact the speed of your website. It is the safe bet, and you can be sure that it will keep getting better and better over the next few years.
What’s more, there are loads of third party block libraries available to help you add even more formatting options into Gutenberg. So if maximum flexibility is what you want, then you should think long and hard before using anything other than Gutenberg.”
Advanced Custom Fields – “My second recommendation is Advanced Custom Fields(ACF). ACF – Before Gutenberg, ACF was widely accepted as one of the best ways to add extra flexibility to the WordPress editing experience in a way that is reliable and scalable, and therefore suitable for enterprise grade website builds.
ACF provides the option to configure flexible and repeatable content fields inside of WordPress, with a defined structure. So it might not be as flexible as some page builders, but if you want some flexibility in how you present content, with the guarantee that your brand guidelines will always be followed and that your website editors cannot break the site or make content look terrible, ACF is a perfect solution. It is also great for managing structured content that has relationships with other parts of the website.
ACF can also be combined with Gutenberg as a way of introducing custom blocks and structured data into the Gutenberg editor.
The downside is that ACF is not really a plug and play solution. Most people would need help from a developer to set it up and configure all of the options that they want. That’s fine for custom website projects but not really suitable for a lot of smaller projects.”
To wrap up, I strongly recommend thinking long term about your page builder tool. I’ve seen so many cases of websites that used the latest, trendy page builder, only to find that it wasn’t supported later or that it was a nightmare to migrate content to another system a few years down the line. ACF has stood the test of time and remains a solid, dependable choice, and as the official editor in WordPress, Gutenberg is set to be the safe bet looking to the future.
“Using Page Builders for mobile-first WordPress websites is easier than ever, but the right tool is paramount. My Page Builder top choice for web design is Divi; however, my choice for more complex sites that use many Custom Fields and WooCommerce is Elementor. Let me explain why.”
Divi Builder – “From a design standpoint, no Page Builder competes with Divi. It offers the most options for creative control, the best workflow, near-endless plugins to expand its abilities, and broad support. Divi caters to web designers, which is a good thing.
Divi’s responsive design abilities are outstanding. Furthermore, Elegant Themes, the maker of Divi, offers an immense number of beautiful templates to fast track projects. Divi also offers the best user interface and overall experience of any Page Builder.
However, nothing is perfect, and Divi’s weakness is its Theme Builder. If your needs lay in designing category and archive page templates, Divi offers excellent options. However, once you journey into Custom Fields and WooCommerce, Divi’s limits become clear.”
Elementor – “For projects which require extensive use of Advanced Custom Fields, Elementor offers superior integration and a better Theme Builder experience. Similarly, for WooCommerce, Elementor works better for creating product templates, product category and archive pages, and product integration for landing pages and marketing campaigns.”
“Using Divi is always my preference, and I believe it’s the best Page Builder on the market. However, for projects which require more sophisticated Theme Builder support, Elementor is the best option.
A final thought is to consider using Divi for the page designs and using Elementor for WooCommerce products and templates which require Custom Fields. Yes, these two Page Builder rivals play nicely together on the same site!”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder is usually my top pick. I love the flexibility of the layouts you can make and how quickly it can be done. Additionally, I really love what is offered to me as a developer from the plugin. They make it really easy to adjust modules or even add your new custom modules.”
Elementor – “Elementor is a hot pick for me right now. I love what it offers right out of the box and you don’t really absolutely need any additional add-ons to get started. Also the speed of this plugin is super fast in my experience, and I can never complain about that. Oh, and it’s free so that is a nice perk too.”
Elementor – “Choose Elementor – We’ve used Visual Composer, WP Bakery Builder and DIVI however, Elementor is the clear winner for me for the front end builder option alone.
It is fast to use from an editing experience and also easy to understand. Many builders use a backend experience which looks complicated and for clients; very difficult to learn.
If performance is a concern we achieve GT Metrix pagespeed scores of B and above – it’s not going to slow the site down (obviously there’s optimisation you can do to improve this anyway).
Elementor is great for designers and great for developers. Designers will love it because they can with minimal coding skills build the sites they design and control the level of detail across all devices and even create custom headers and footers! Developers will love it because it can speed up their workflow.
We use it for creating customisable element / blocks within Elementor and developers can style these accordingly and save as templates. The mytemplates feature gives clients the ability to build further marketing pages using their own branded blocks – something that we are finding is highly desirable.
Apart from other features such as creating popups and exit intent banners which is native in Elementor (no further plugin needed) the transitional effects are also something that you can impress clients with easily.
I’m hoping they don’t change their pricing structure i.e. the agency plan, as from a developers perspective you have one license for up to 1000 websites. Compared to WPBakery which we have many legacy websites that require their own individual licenses, which can add up.
Lastly – Elementor feels like they’re going to be around for a while. Like investing time and resources into learning any software, I feel that with the recent $15 million investment they received, they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon and new features and improvements will keep on coming.”
Beaver Builder – “I feel that the Beaver Builder team has done an amazing job of building a high end page builder as well as fostering an ecosystem that addon developers can build from. When I find a small limitation in the stock modules in Beaver Builder, some plugin developer has made an addon to pickup where Beaver Builder left off. I find that when I am in a situation where I need to do a “design by committee” which tends to happen at the church I work at during the day, I can screen share and drag and drop in the pieces I need to build out the website while my stakeholders watch in amazement. With very little code editing needed I can do 99.999% of the changes to a website without touching any CSS or PHP for that matter.”
Divi Builder – “My go to page builder. I use this for virtually all my web builds just because it is so flexible. I use the Divi theme which has the page builder included, but they do a standalone builder plugin that works with other themes too. Some of the stand-out features are the visual builder, (so no more designing pages using blocks with no idea of what the finished result is), their amazing support, and recently the ability to totally redesign Woocommerce product pages, rather than having them in the same limited layout like every other Woocommerce website. What I love about Divi is that they are constantly evolving and developing it, saving you having to add extra code or additional plugins; the builder does it for you all built in.”
Elementor – “This is my other recommendation, just because they have a visual builder now too, and it’s nice and user friendly, and fairly lightweight. It’s certainly less code to run on your website than Divi, so if speed is absolutely critical (it should be high up on your list of requirements anyway), this is a great option. The downside is that is has fewer design options than Divi, but it should satisfy most general website builds.”
Gutenburg – “A little controversial, I know, but hear me out. Gutenburg’s core functionality is getting better over time and, for ease of use, it really is hard to beat. It’s so much better than when it first came into the WordPress core.
There’s plenty of add on plugins for it too now, so you can get towards the functionality of some of the more established page builders.
The lack of a front-end editor is a little bit of a bugbear but, that said, the preview is a good trade off for me when you take into account the ease of use.
With sites like this that allow you to copy and paste new layouts in, things are just getting better with Gutenburg.”
WPBakery – “WPBakery’s been a favourite for a long time and has loads of built-in functionality. Some people find it a little overwhelming, but once you’ve got the hang of it it’s very powerful.
The front end editor always seems to show too much space between elements for me, but generally it’s a solid option.
There’s loads of free and paid for plugins to extend it, and the built in integrations with other plugins (like Gravity Forms) are really easy to use.”
“We have worked with Divi, because a client came to us with Divi, and Elementor because we like to build sites with Elementor when we are not coding them by hand.
Elementor was founded in 2016 and as of Jan 2020 has over four million users. Six months earlier they reached 3 million users. By contrast, Divi has over half a million users. Elementor has over 4.5 thousand five-star ratings in the WordPress Repository.”
Elementor – “Here are some of the reasons we think the no-code website design tool Elementor has been rapidly adopted by WordPress users.
Elementor is free. Elementor Pro is currently $49 to $199 depending on the number sites and features you want. In addition there are Add-Ons available to provide specialty functionality.
Elementor uses a drag-and-drop front-end page builder instead of the traditional back-end editor. This is better because it allows you to instantly see the effect of your changes. And the Elementor side-bar menu gives you rapid access to everything you need.
With Elementor Pro you can create unique header and footer designs for use on different pages throughout your website. This is great for landing pages and other special use pages. The header can also be “sticky” so it never disappears from view as the visitor scrolls to the bottom of the page.
Elementor Pro gives you access to even more Elements like counters, Icon boxes, Google Maps, Image carousels and many other features that save you time while providing additional functionality.
Although we typically use OceanWP, Elementor Pro works well with most WordPress themes. It also plays well with the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin.
We had one client upgrade to Elementor Pro just because of the powerful pop-up builder that is included.
Elementor Pro provides support for any questions you may have. Like WordPress, Elementor has a large user community. This means that it is possible to hire developers all around the world that are happy to help you if you need it.
So, if you want to create fast loading, highly responsive, easy to manage WordPress websites with a page builder, we recommend Elementor Pro.”
Fusion Builder – “I pretty much now work exclusively with Fusion Builder which ships with the Avada Theme. It is an extremely powerful feature rich drag and drop website building tool. Fusion Builder is constantly evolving adding tons of new features and functionality. You can customise every part of your site including 404 pages and search results pages.
I work with graphic designers who often design the site then I build it. Fusion Builder is the only tool I’ve used that is flexible enough to build virtually any type of website.
You can build on the front or back end, making it easy to work with if you’re new. There are also several video tutorials available to help you get your website looking just the way you want it.
Top notch support as well. Always have got back to me within 36 hours.”
“I’m not personally a fan of page builders, especially since the introduction of Gutenberg. However if there are any page builders to use then they must be compatible and use Gutenberg’s core features. As such, if we HAD to choose a page builder, we’d go with Avia and Beaver Builder for those reasons. Good code, not too much bloat, and enhances Gutenberg functionality.”
Gutenberg – “Despite a few visual quirks that need ironing out, the built-in block editor (launched in December 2018) is by far the best way to layout content without reaching for any HTML or CSS.
It’s faster than other page builders such as WPBakery, my previous go-to for WordPress layout. And it represents more accurately what the final content will look like, especially compared with the layout plugin Divi.
But most importantly, it’s built directly into WordPress, so you know it will be supported for years to come, and with hundreds of contributors, it’s going to get a lot of attention.
On the downside, the built-in editor doesn’t yet include all the features you might want, such as fancy sectional divides or masonry style image galleries but with additional plugins the editor can be extended to do more, much more. My favourites are Stackable which has feature grids and popup videos that look great, and also Coblocks that has a collection of image galleries, layout containers and dividers that I use in most of my web sites.
I highly recommend testing it out for your next website build.”
Thrive Architect – “For a long time I’ve been a fan of Thrive Architect.
It has always offered true visual editing of the page content. You can see exactly what the page looks like as you’re editing it, and resize things on the page itself. For more fine-grained control, there is also a settings panel, but even changing things here instantly updates the page representation. No more guessing what your page will look like, or constantly flicking back and forth between editing and previewing.
It can be used to edit just the content section within a normal page or post, using your theme layout. But its true power shines when building landing pages (sales pages, opt-in pages, thank-you pages, etc). There are literally hundreds of pre-built templates to choose from. Or you can start with a blank template and build up your own page layout from the library of template parts.
Thrive Architect is incredibly easy to use and has a wide range of components that can be added to your page – from the standard headings, text and images, to layout elements like columns and content boxes, through to more complex elements like opt-in forms.
Some of the features I particularly love about Thrive Architect are:
- Smart colours, which mean you can set your brand colours and it will automatically change all elements to match (no more individually changing colours on each element when you change your mind)
- The in-built templates are incredibly beautiful and conversion focused
- A large library of pre-built conversion elements like countdown timers, testimonials and lead generation forms
- Able to style absolutely everything without a single line of code
- Easily rearrange elements for tablet and phone views (without affecting bigger screen sizes) to ensure the best responsive experience possible
And the code it generates is efficient, so your site is not only beautiful and responsive, but also quick loading. Best of all, if you do decide to uninstall Thrive Architect, all of your content is still readable – no shortcodes or other extraneous text sprinkled through your content (although it obviously won’t look as good).
Until recently, Thrive Architect has only been able to do landing pages and content within your pages. But with the March 2020 release of Thrive Theme Builder, you now have control of all elements on your site, including headers, footers, menus, sidebars and page layouts.
Thrive Architect has been the quiet achiever compared to the other loud and flashy page builders.
If you haven’t looked at Thrive Theme Builder/Thrive Architect, now is the time to check it out before you make your final decision – I guarantee you’ll be impressed too.”
“My team adopted WordPress to build entire websites back in 2009. First we custom coded each site, then we eventually utilized a combination of a home grown blank theme as a starting point, combining that with a series of plugins.
In 2017, we decided it was time to switch to a page builder. We had already worked with a couple that we knew we didn’t like. We considered a few of the popular options at the time, and ended up settling on Beaver Builder.”
Beaver Builder – “Beaver Builder was our choice for a couple reasons.
Relatively Lightweight Code – Any page builder will create more HTML code than a hand coded theme will. Looking at the code generated by the popular page builders at that time, Beaver Builder’s code seemed to be the most lightweight.
Keeping the HTML code lightweight is an important part of technical SEO. It also makes it easier to debug issues during development and later while maintaining the site.
Ease of Use – This area is subjective, but it was important to us. Our experience with some other page builders had been a bit of a nightmare in this area. So we looked at plenty of tutorials, screenshots, and even live demos to get a good idea of how the various interfaces worked.
We were relatively sure that Beaver Builder’s interface would be a good choice. Nearly three years later, my team continues to find Beaver Builder to be fairly easy to use.
We still need to work with other page builders from time to time, but that just makes us appreciate Beaver Builder even more.”
“Page builders are not new to the market. They have been around for several years, which in digital terms means a lot of time. During this time, page builders in the form of plugins or themes have evolved to be the leading standard approach to building web pages that convert your users to paying customers. In the following list, I will discuss my top 3 picks for this category and explain some of their notable features.”
Elementor – “This is a choice that you can’t go wrong with. Elementor is my number one pick when choosing a page builder. It is definitely a plugin that extends the possibilities of what a page builder can do. It is a rich and powerful plugin that has everything you’d expect from a page builder. With a comprehensive template and block library, Elementor’s focus is on ease of use and a user-friendly experience. In general, the Elementor Pro version provides a vast array of tools for developers or digital marketers to build pixel-perfect websites and showcase their product/service in the best light possible. This is possible even using the free version of Elementor. Another notable aspect of the page builder is that it hosts a vibrant community of open source developers. This means that it supports third-party extensions giving you even more functionality to additionally customize your WordPress website. The only drawback when it comes to how you use Elementor is that the creators don’t offer a white-label version.
To recap, Elementor Pro can be your best choice when you are looking to on-board as quickly as possible. It works with every WordPress theme out there and is super easy to use, plus it has the ability to natively extend your project with your own customizations. Whether you are starting out with WordPress or you have been around for some time, Elementor Pro has the tool-set you need in order to build your next WordPress project. It is something I’ve used in multiple projects before and it will probably be the page builder I’d choose again for the next project.”
WPBakery – “If you base your search on the number of templates the page builder offers, then WPBakery is definitely for you. The most notable thing to mention about the WPBakery page builder is that it hosts the largest library of reusable blocks. It really has everything you could think of, and probably more. I’d also say that if you are coming from a technical background then this might be the choice for you. It offers a lot of customization in a way that is programmable and editable down to minor details.
The only real drawback when using WPBakery is that it locks you into your theme. It outputs all of the content from shortcodes, which, in turn, produces a lot of code and sometimes this may result in more time for you to clean up if you decide you want to use another theme. Also, there is no free version of the plugin, and if you decide to use it you will have to buy a regular license.”
Beaver Builder – “If you are looking for a smooth and highly rated page builder, then Beaver builder may be for you. It has an amazing looking interface that works seamlessly with any WordPress theme. Beaver Builder offers some one-of-a-kind features like the option to save live elements as drafts or program-specific elements to have the desired output whether the user is logged in or not. You could start with the free version, but if you really want to build a full-featured website, then you should probably consider purchasing the premium version. If you choose to use this page builder, then you should consider using the Ultimate Addons extension which, in turn, will give you more tools to work with and build the website you want.
The drawback of using Beaver Builder is that when you compare it with the two-page builders I mentioned above, it holds less ready-made elements for you to use. But at the same time, the team behind Beaver Builder has amazing support, and they are willing to help you out if you are experiencing any issues with the plugin.”
“All of the page builders mentioned above are fully compatible with WooCommerce and are translation ready. Also, they all support a global settings panel and have a default styling included which means that you can use these page builders with any WordPress theme out there. Ultimately choosing the right page builder for you might depend more upon your professional habits, your technical skills, and the project requirements you are working on. I hope my thoughts have helped you arrive at the best decision possible when it comes to choosing the right page builder for your next WordPress project.”
Divi Builder – “As long as you’re on a decent host (which is really the case for all builders) Divi really does deliver. The features and functionality are endless. The modules available, design possibilities, and flexibility to style and display elements for mobile, tablet and desktop are second to none. Plus they have a wealth of articles explaining how to get the best out of the builder. I do prefer to use it with the Divi theme itself. But you can use the standalone builder with any theme out there. And, being old school, I still prefer to use it in the backend, but the frontend is super powerful. It’s $89 a year for the theme, builder, and two premium plugins for email lead gen and social sharing. It’s a bargain!”
Beaver Builder – “I’ve only used Beaver Builder once but I was really impressed. It produces clean code, there are some great templates, and it seems really fast. It’s not cheap. You really need the paid version which is $99 a year. The version that includes the theme is $199 a year. But it’s easy to produce great, modern looking sites without much design experience.”
Visual Composer – “In my mind Visual Composer is the daddy. It’s the first page builder I ever used, mainly because it’s bundled with so many themes. It has improved a lot over the years, probably due to competition from elsewhere. And although it probably wouldn’t be my first choice, it is still a very good visual page builder. It’s also the cheapest at $59 a year.”
Elementor – “My favorite page builder by far is Elementor, though Beaver Builder also has a nice reputation. I’m using Elementor because it’s a flexible tool and has a fantastic community around extending it with your own custom code and custom widgets. Many of my friends in the WP space built premium extensions for Elementor which I’m happy to pay for, as they make my life easier.
If I had to highlight the features of Elementor that I appreciate the most, it would be the ability to leverage templates (and even share them across domains with pagebuildercloud.com), easily adjust the responsive layouts with built-in tools, as well as being able to make Elementor-based websites load fast.”
Beaver Builder – “My go to page builder. Extremely versatile, fast front end and back end and a very intuitive WYSIWYG interface. I’ve worked with at least a dozen other page builders and they always seem to come up short one way or another. Tasks that should be simple and obvious often turn out to be overly complicated. This is not the case with Beaver Builder. Tasks like cloning modules, columns and rows or editing column widths is as simple as drag and drop. Page elements can easily be displayed or not displayed using various conditionals. For the few times I’ve reached out to Beaver Builder support, I’ve found their team to be prompt, professional and top-notch problem solvers. I would also recommend Beaver Themer (a sister product) which let’s you create custom headers, footers, product pages and posts types.”
Divi Builder – “I love the Divi page builder because it’s a drag and drop builder, really easy to use with a lot of options within each module (or element) to style. Such as; changing the font size, font family and color. You also get a lot of options to add all sorts of crazy effects to images. Like animation, filters, transitions, scroll effects and more! It also has more advanced sections for web developers. You can build your page from the back end of the website. Or see your progress by designing from the front end.
Divi builder also gives you the option to style all devices separately if required. Which makes life easier for people you don’t know how to code.
Divi builder is a paid plugin which comes free with the Divi theme. But you can buy it separately if you already have your site built but want the ability to create more interesting layouts.”
WPBakery – “This plugin is also great for creating different page layouts. It usually comes with a premium theme. Like Divi, it does have lots of elements for building amazing content. But in my experience I’ve found it doesn’t have any many options to style like Divi.
For example; You can’t control the font within the text element. You would need to know some CSS code. Which is a real pain if you don’t know how to code. I’ve also found you need to fiddle quite a lot to get some elements to look good on mobile devices. Whereas with Divi it’s a lot easier.
WP Bakery also doesn’t have as many effects that you can add to your images. I’ve also found it to be more clunkier when trying to design from the front end. And for someone with little experience with building websites, might find it a bit cumbersome.”
“To sum up – I would definitely recommend Divi builder as my page builder of choice.”
“Page builders are supposed to make it easier to build a site. However, before I give any recommendations, I will say, like any technology, you do need to read documentation or tutorials before using. Once you do, don’t be afraid to whip up a test site and play around with your page builder plugin, before applying it to your site.”
SiteOrigin Page Builder – “My go to page builder for clients, is SiteOrigin page builder, mostly because it’s the first page builder that I tried and liked right off the bat. Honestly, while I get clients that are new to WordPress, I get a lot more that enjoy using the Classic editor, rather than Gutenberg. SiteOrigin provides a simple straightforward design that is congruent with WordPress. I like that they have a lot of great little add-on widgets, their Pro version is very affordable, and this is the only page builder I’ve not had any run-ins on theme or plugin conflicts.”
Elementor – “If I’m going to pick another page builder plugin, then Elementor is it. This plugin is sleek and when using, in my opinion, the design is really user-friendly. I’ve seen a lot of page builders and worked with them, in various types of theme and plugin configurations, and I think Elementor is by far a lot easier to use.”
Gutenberg – “Even though Gutenberg had a rocky start, with a less than perfect release strategy, it’s evolving into an amazing way to create and update content. After solely using ‘ACF Flexible Content’ to handle our page building, our clients have loved the editing experience Gutenberg has brought them.
The real selling point for us is the fact it is baked into WordPress. We try not to lock our clients into using ultra bespoke plugins for base functionality. We reassure them that if they would ever like to close the relationship with the studio, they will be able to find a similar outfit that will be able to take on the project with ease.
This ‘out-the-box’ approach falls completely in line with this methodology of how we build enterprise websites. They aren’t just static documents you put online, they should be constantly adapting platforms that should grow over time.
When there are flourishes required, being able to create a bespoke block or even source something from the ever-growing Gutenberg marketplace feels far more future proof than relying on the third-party page builders.”
Gutenberg – “Hands down. It works very intuitive and is build in with WP Core. Pro of that is that you are NOT bound by any theme editor or in need of a lot of extra plugins. No lock in! If you need some new building blocks, there are neat plugins to extend the functionality. Additionally, if you are able to do some PHP programming, it is not hard to create your own custom blocks. Pro tip: Check out ACF blocks!”
Divi Builder – “Of all the others I have seen (Elementor, Divi, Visual Composer) I would choose Divi builder. User friendly and robust. I do not like the coding and documentation (lack thereof) of Visual composer. Elementor (-Pro) on the other hand tends to slow sites down.”
“Yes: all page builders have a lock-in in the sense that you cannot just switch to another one.”