What is Elementor and why do you need a page builder to create a website with WordPress?
What is Elementor:
Elementor is a popular 3rd party WordPress add-on originally developed to design and develop web pages with a simple drag and drop builder. In 2023, most of the other components included in a website can be created with Elementor as well (header, footer, e-commerce product templates, pop-ups, etc…)
Elementor Ltd was founded in 2016. Seven years later, almost 9 million WordPress websites are made with Elementor. These exceptional results demonstrate how this new page builder was welcomed in the WordPress community (Source: Builtwith).
Are there any other good 3rd party page builders available for WordPress?
DIVI was the first reliable WordPress page builder that lets you create a website with a simple drag and drop builder (DIVI was introduced by Elegant Themes in 2013). Elegant Themes keep updating DIVI on a regular basis, so it is a lot more powerful now than it was 10 years ago.
DIVI doesn’t have a free version but the premium licences are more affordable than Elementor, especially if you plan to build several websites. Another important pricing difference is that you can buy a DIVI lifetime licence (with Elementor, you need to renew and pay each year).
Both come with a lot of impressive features out of the box and if there is something you can’t do with the core features, many add-ons created by independent developers are available to give even more power to both Elementor and Divi.
A lot of stunning free and premium templates are available on the internet for these two page builders. You can have a look to Envato, this is the best place to find some high-quality Elementor pre-made templates.
We have built hundreds of web pages with both of these page builders over the past 5 years. DIVI was originally our first choice as it was more reliable and had better features out of the box. Then Elementor has been catching up really quickly, and became our favourite page builder for WordPress.
In our opinion, DIVI is impressive and extremely good value for money. You can’t really go wrong with this page builder. However, in 2023, Elementor is even better. If you are ok to spend a bit more each year to get the best page builder for WordPress, Elementor is the tool we recommend you go for.
Is it really necessary to use a 3rd party page builder for WordPress?
You don’t have to use a 3rd party page builder to create a website with WordPress. The other alternatives are:
- Use HTML and CSS to develop your pages (you will need development skills).
- Use the basic drag and drop page builder available as a core feature of WordPress.
- Start from a pre-made template (some are built with a page builder like Elementor, others are not).
In 2023, the most popular way to build a website is with a 3rd party page builder. Here are some of the advantages of using a page builder:
- The learning curve is a lot shorter than any other way to build a website with WordPress
- No coding skills are required
- Visualise the outcome while you build your pages
- It is quicker to build a website
- Website customisation is endless
- Easier to make changes and improvements to the website later
- Last but not least, it is super fun to create a website with a page builder and pretty much anyone can learn how to do it
Should I get started with the free or the pro version of Elementor?
Yes, you can start with the free version, and that’s a great way to discover how Elementor works. But if you decide to create your first website, you should buy a licence straight away as it will save you a lot of precious time. Here is what we think you will really miss if you start with the free version:
1- You will only be able to create pages; the pro version lets you build all the other parts of your website, like the header, the footer or your post page template.
2- You can’t create forms with the free version. You can use another plugin to create your forms but if you just get started with WordPress, the Elementor form builder included in the pro version is a lot easier than any other plugins available to create forms.
3- Elementor pro includes a popup builder. Popups are essential to build a high-performing website with great user experience. If you know how to build a page with Elementor, you will know how to build a popup with the pro version as it is the exact same process. The only extra step will be to select the trigger (on click, exit intent, after a specific time spent on the site, etc).
4- The pro version has a lot more prebuilt elements that you can add to your website and customise in minutes. Portfolio, pricing tables, e-commerce products and Facebook widgets just to name a few.
The free version was created to give you a taste of what you could actually do with the pro version. If you decide to get started with the free version, you will miss out on plenty of essential features that you could unlock for $59 USD per year only. Elementor has a 30-day “no questions asked” refund policy so if you find better (unlikely) or decide to not use it, you can easily get your money back.