With a WordPress page builder, you don't need any special programming skills to customize your posts and pages. A page builder can replace or complement the standard editor and comes with many adjustable components. These components include galleries, buttons, and text areas that can be assembled using drag & drop. But there's more than just one WordPress page builder out there. We'll take a look at eight WordPress page builder plugins today to help you get even further with your WordPress site.
Although the WordPress page builder Elementor is one of the youngest, it already runs on more than half a million websites. This rapid success probably has a lot to do with how easy it is to use and its well-designed interface.
You can easily edit posts, pages, custom content and even category pages - in the frontend and backend. That means you don't need to design your content in the administration area, you can see it directly from the visitor's perspective and change it in the WordPress page builder via drag & drop.
Elementor offers you many elements to use for your layout including buttons, headlines, animations, galleries, and many more. By installing particular Elementor plugins, the possibilities are almost limitless. You can integrate WooCommerce and many other extensions and themes that come with the individual Elementor blocks.
The free version of Elementor has more than 30 elements and 60 preset layouts for a quick start. The Pro version includes a further 26 modules including menus, tables, and price lists. These are especially useful if you want to integrate social media or display WooCommerce products.
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Elementor's excellent theme builder is worth mentioning here. It gives you a framework to quickly build your theme layout for the different post and page types entirely from Elementor components without knowing how to code. Any layouts you create in this WordPress page builder can be reused on the same website or even elsewhere.
The free version of Elementor can be installed via the official WordPress plugin library. The Pro version costs 49 USD for one website.
Advantages of Elementor:
- The free version includes many features and templates
- Layouts can be set flexibly and precisely
- Fast, fluid editing mode including front-end editing in real time
- Many high-quality elements that can be quickly adjusted and used
- Elementor users are additionally provided with fresh elements and templates by many third-party providers.
- Deactivation doesn't leave behind any shortcode remnants
- The Pro version comes with a pop-up builder, a visual form generator, animations, and special effects for attractive content.
- Elementor supports translations with plugins like WPML
- Development interfaces for comprehensive integration are available
Disadvantages of Elementor:
- There's no view during editing without the Elementor control panels
2. Beaver Builder
The Beaver Builder is reliable, simple and generates clear HTML and CSS code instead of shortcodes. Compared to the competition, Beaver Builder focuses much more on performance and stability than endless features. You'll still receive the same design results as with the competition but you'll have to do without a huge element library and need to invest some time getting familiar with the tool.
Once you get familiar with the user interface, you'll find Beaver Builder is a powerful and reliable tool. Unlike most WordPress page builder competitors, Beaver Builder doesn't generate shortcode but sets layouts directly via HTML and CSS.
One advantage of this is being able to keep the layouts even after you've uninstalled the plugin. Later you can edit layouts without Beaver Builder and easily combine them with different themes.
A free version of Beaver Builder is available. If you need more features, you can purchase a license for unlimited websites from 99 USD.
Advantages of Beaver Builder:
- Free version offers important basic features
- Excellent front-end editing with fast switching to real-time preview mode
- Generates pure HTML and CSS code instead of shortcodes
- Changes are kept even after deactivating the plugin
- Top performance
Disadvantages of Beaver Builder:
- Comparatively few content components
3. Divi Builder
The Divi Builder is modern, user-friendly, comes with many features and about 50 ready-to-use elements for the website. As with some other WordPress page builders, there's frontend and backend editing - whereby the former stands out with its direct text editing.
If you're logged in as an administrator, you can open a subpage in the frontend and edit the text there as if you were using Word, without the need for an additional window. Because you drag and drop elements in a page builder, which isn't always precise, Divi offers wireframe mode. It's much easier to position modules in this mode.
The large CSS file is a disadvantage of this WordPress page builder as it makes manual changes more difficult. You'll also notice that the handling in edit mode is much slower in complex layouts with many elements.
Like most other WordPress page builders, Divi Builder uses shortcodes so your layouts will disappear as soon as you disable the plugin. And they will only come back when you reactivate it. Nevertheless, Divi is worth testing for its solid features and user-friendly interface.
As the Divi Builder comes from ElegantThemes - you will also get access to more than 110 themes when you purchase this page builder. You can either pay 89 USD per year or 249 USD for lifetime access.
Advantages of Divi Builder:
- Divi Builder comes in a package with more than 110 themes
- Wireframe mode
Disadvantages of Divi Builder:
- Large Divi CSS file
- Based on shortcodes
4. WPBakery Page Builder
WPBakery is one of the pioneers in the field of WordPress page builders. The former Visual Composer became WPBakery Page Builder after a revamp. This new WordPress page builder focuses on the visual editing of content such as articles or sites.
WPBakery has been around for a long time so you'll find many integrated layouts and building blocks to design your content including boxes, icons, text blocks and diagrams. In addition, many third-party vendors offer thousands of useful elements for a distinctive appearance and over 250 integrations with other important plugins like WooCommerce.
The WordPress page builder should work with all themes. This compatibility is likely due to all elements being integrated via shortcodes. If you disable the plugin, the shortcodes remain in your content.
The interface is intuitive but no longer up to date. It requires manual saving and is much slower than the competition. Nevertheless, depending on how you want to use it, the advantages of this WordPress page builder could outweigh the disadvantages.
The WPBakery Page Builder costs 45 USD for one domain or 245 USD if it is to be used in a product intended for resale.
Advantages of WPBakery Page Builder:
- Huge number of content elements available, also from third-party providers
- Integration with more than 250 plugins possible
- Many design templates
Disadvantages of WPBakery Page Builder:
- Slow, somewhat cluttered interface
- Some interface elements are not up to date, e.g. the image size has to be typed in manually with "large", "thumbnail" or "small".
- No automatic save function
After the developers launched the WPBakery Page Builder, it seemed to be the end of Visual Composer. In fact, they worked hard on it and turned it into not just a WordPress page builder, but a complete site builder. This means a visual editor that allows you to change not only the content without programming skills but also other layout areas of the WordPress site such as footers or headers.
With Visual Composer, you can edit content and layout directly in the frontend and work with many adjustable elements. The user interface is modern, either docked or floating and allows for quick results after training.
You'll also get access to the Visual Composer hub with 100 content elements and 100+ page layouts that you can download and use. WordPress page builder competitors usually have such elements already integrated and don't require an additional download.
Visual Composer is available in a subscription model from 59 USD per year. Users receive a 40 percent discount from the second year onwards.
Advantages of Visual Composer:
- Text and layout can be edited directly on the page
- Attractive layouts can be achieved after just a short learning period
- Visual Composer Hub with many extensions
- 3-in-1 solution: backend, frontend, and tree view editors
- Developer interface
- Elements can be hidden and displayed again later
Disadvantages of Visual Composer:
- The undo and redo functions do not work as they should
- Parts of the interface are outdated, e.g. the image size must be entered as a word.
My tip: you can find a detailed comparison between the WPBakery Page Builder and Visual Composer here.
Brizy is a fairly new WordPress page builder. The developers have focused on a modern interface and many high-quality designs and templates. You can edit your websites directly in the frontend without complicated menus. Click on the text and change it like in Word. Similarly, you can easily create new page elements and column layouts in no time. Working with Brizly is extremely smooth and reliable.
If you want to do more than just customize the content of your posts and web design, you'll need Brizy Pro. Similar to Visual Composer, editing of other areas such as footers or headers only takes a few clicks. If a group is working on your website, role management is a good idea. With role management you decide who can edit what. Fortunately, Brizy works without shortcodes and thus offers way more independence. After deactivating Brizy, you don't have to deal with swathes of missing code.
An interesting feature is the global blocks. These are elements you can set centrally and then make available to your other websites via the cloud. You could announce an event in a Global Block and this announcement will then automatically be visible on your other websites containing that Global Block. Another plus for Brizy is the automatic saving, which works better than with other competitors.
Brizy is available as a functionally limited free version or as a Pro version. The Pro version can be purchased from 49 USD. If you want to work without WordPress and don't want to use Brizy as a plugin, you can also use the Brizy Cloud service.
Advantages of Brizy:
- Wonderfully easy and smooth editing in real time, directly in the frontend.
- Over 150 ready-to-use content blocks
- Many professional layouts for numerous uses
- Fast creation of column layouts
- Extended user administration with role assignment
- Brizy Pro can also edit headers and footers
- Global Blocks for cross-website content distribution
- Fast automatic save function
- Updates for Brizy arrive quickly
Disadvantages of Brizy:
- Basic features are limited and could be upgraded
The makers of WP All Import created Oxygen and made a WordPress page builder as attractive and powerful as Brizy. It works in a different way to comparable WordPress page builders. Oxygen connects with WordPress as a plugin and creates a separate sandbox module, replacing the WordPress interface and lets the whole design take place there.
Oxygen has been fighting to take the lead in WordPress page builders for a long time. The editor is mature and comes with a smooth and intuitive user interface. Similar to Brizy, you get a very wide range of high-quality designs and templates to use for your site.
Although Oxygen isn't free, the developers offer an attractive pricing model. Users pay a one-time fee of 99 USD to use Oxygen with lifetime updates for an unlimited number of projects.
Advantages of Oxygen:
- Intuitive user interface
- Complex layouts can be put together very quickly
- Many content elements and templates
- Customer-friendly pricing
Disadvantages of Oxygen:
- Shortcodes are generated
- Focus is on developers, which can also be an advantage depending on your point of view
7. MotoPress Content Editor
The MotoPress Content Editor is an inexpensive, multilingual WordPress page builder that merges with the WordPress editor and offers very comfortable frontend editing in real-time. It works with all themes and is suitable for customization of websites, posts, and other custom content.
There are various ready-made design templates and elements. If you need more, you can buy additional layouts and blocks. Developers can purchase an additional white label plugin to customize the editor branding and provide customers with a consistend and professional look.
MotoPress Content Editor is available from 29 USD per year. A developer license for unlimited websites costs 139 USD. If you want to order the available add-ons right away, you should choose one of the bundles starting at 69 USD.
Advantages of MotoPress Content Editor:
- User-friendly front-end editing.
- Cheap premium version (29 USD).
- WooCommerce support is included as standard.
- Supports WPML
Disadvantages of MotoPress Content Editor:
- Relatively few ready-to-use elements available
After the first page builders were on the market, the WordPress developers started to create their own version called Gutenberg Gutenberg has been integrated in the CMS as standard since WordPress 5.0. You can use it to edit the content of your posts and pages in the backend using various elements. It's currently not possible to edit the whole site's layout with this page builder but this functionality is planned.
How is Gutenberg developing?
Will Gutenberg replace WordPress page builders in the long run? Where is the development of Gutenberg heading? Found out the answers to these questions and more in our article Gutenberg vs. WordPress page builders.
As Gutenberg was developed by WordPress developers, the question arises whether it will eventually replace the other page builders. I believe it will lead to stronger integration instead. Elementor shows already how this could work. The plugin Elementor Blocks for Gutenberg integrates templates into the Gutenberg editor.
WPBakery Page Builder takes a similar approach where you can use Gutenberg blocks together with other elements. The situation is therefore going more in the direction of fusion than competition. This is good for users as you can enjoy advantages from both WordPress page builders at the same time.
Gutenberg is free and included in the current WordPress versions so you don't need to download and install the WordPress page builder separately. Additional third-party elements are available as plugins in the WordPress library. These include Gutenberg Blocks and Stackable.
Advantages of Gutenberg:
- No extra installation required
- Simple interface
- Good for easy content design
Disadvantages of Gutenberg:
- No frontend mode
- Other WordPress page builders offer more features
The WordPress page builders mentioned above are among the best solutions for fast and solid design. In addition to the features, the user experience also counts. That's why it's worth trying out the individual page builders yourself first before coming to any conclusions.
If you'd like to delve further into the future and development of WordPress page builders, please take a look at these external articles:
- CodeinWP shares 12 things we need to see from WordPress page builders - and which WordPress page builders are already doing it right.
- WordPress Tavern's experts tackle the question whether WordPress page builders will stay competitive in the block era.