January 14 2023

What are the top WordPress Page Builders and what pros and cons do they offer?

A brief overview of the use and abuse of Page Builders for building WordPress sites.

Page-Builder-for-WordPress

WordPress Page Builders are a very useful tool for developers who want to create dynamic and eye-catching web pages quickly and easily. Using the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) philosophy, these builders allow you to change page content in real time, displaying changes immediately.

One of the main advantages of Page Builders for WordPress is their ease of use, which allows even those without programming knowledge to create professional-quality web pages. Additionally, these tools offer a wide range of design and layout options, allowing you to easily customize the look of the page.

There are many in use and on a monthly basis new ones are always proposed, of which only a small part will find fertile ground and adoptability by their users. We have therefore decided in this post to list only the main and most relevant ones in terms of their diffusion.

Here are some of the top WordPress Page Builders:

  • Elementor (https://elementor.com/): One of the most popular WordPress builders, it offers a wide range of design options and integrations with other plugins. For example, our website that you are currently reading is built entirely in Elementor Pro and Astra Pro.
  • Divi (https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/divi-builder): another very popular builder, offering an intuitive interface and many pre-built design elements.
  • Beaver Builder (https://www.wpbeaverbuilder.com/): a lightweight and easy-to-use builder that offers a wide range of design options and integrations with other plugins.
  • WP Bakery Page Builder (https://wpbakery.com/): one of the older WordPress builders, but still very popular due to its intuitive interface and wide range of design options.
  • Thrive Architect (https://thrivethemes.com/architect/): a powerful and easy-to-use builder, offering a wide range of design options and integrations with other plugins.

We can say that WordPress Page Builders are a very useful tool for those who want to create dynamic and captivating web pages quickly and easily. They offer a wide variety of design and layout options, and are easy to use even for those with no programming knowledge.

Elementor Page Builder.

Elementor Pro

Elementor Page Builder is a WordPress plugin that allows users to build pages and websites using a drag-and-drop interface. It was launched in 2016 and has since become one of the most popular page builders for WordPress.

The plugin has more than 5 million active users with 4,8 user ratings.

What's cool about this plugin?

Elementor is the best free WordPress page builder that you can use to customize elements. You can also call Elementor a live page builder because you can see your changes in real time.

Also, the plugin comes with many ready-made templates which you can use immediately.

The free edition of Elementor is mobile-friendly and comes with some handy tools for maintenance mode, under construction pages, landing pages, and more.

The free edition of Elementor is optimized for mobile devices.

It has some handy tools for maintenance mode, landing pages, under construction pages, and much more.

However, Elementor also has its own Pro version .

There is a lot you can achieve with Elementor Pro.

It contains over 25 widgets for designing the ideal sites, whether for e-commerce, portfolio work or a standard corporate website.

Moreover, the PRO version comes with two important features, Theme Builder e Popup Builder.

These two features greatly increase the value of Elementor and distinguish it from others.

elementer-free-and-premium-features

Elementor offers a wide variety of design options, including layout elements, widgets, templates, and advanced CSS customization. It also includes a visual editor for creating page layouts, a template editor for creating custom page and post templates, and a form editor for creating contact forms and subscription forms.

The plugin is open source, which means developers can create extensions and add-on modules to extend its functionality. There is also an active community of users sharing templates and advice on how to best use the plugin.

Elementor also includes search engine optimization features, such as support for page title and meta description, as well as the ability to create custom URLs for pages. It also offers the ability to create conversion-optimized landing pages.

Features:

  • Drag-and-drop interface: Elementor offers an intuitive interface that allows users to drag and drop layout elements onto the page. This makes it very easy to create complex layouts without the need for coding knowledge.
  • Pre-built templates: Elementor offers a variety of pre-built templates, including homepages, contact pages, landing pages, and more. These templates can be used as the basis for your own custom layouts, saving you time and effort.
  • Custom Widgets: Elementor offers a variety of custom widgets, including contact forms, image galleries, videos, and more. These widgets can be used to build advanced functionality without the need for coding.
  • Advanced Design Options: Elementor offers a wealth of advanced design options, including animations, hover effects, and responsive design options. These options allow you to create professional looking pages without the need for coding knowledge.

Pro:

  • Intuitive interface: Elementor is very easy to use, even for users without coding knowledge.
  • Pre-built templates: Elementor offers a wide range of pre-built templates that can be used as the basis for your own custom layouts.
  • Custom Widgets: Elementor offers a wide variety of custom widgets that can be used to build advanced functionality without the need for coding.
  • Advanced Design Options: Elementor offers a wealth of advanced design options that allow you to create professional looking pages without the need for coding knowledge.

Against:

  • External resource weight: Using Elementor can increase the weight of external resources, slowing down the loading of site pages. It is important to use plugins like Autoptimize or Async JavaScript to optimize and combine your CSS and JavaScript files.
  • Cost of advanced features: Some advanced features, such as custom widgets, are only available with the paid version of Elementor.
  • Plugin Dependency: Once a site has been built using Elementor, it may be difficult to modify or delete the plugin without causing site layout issues.
  • Customization Limitations: Even though Elementor offers many design options, there are still some limitations on customizing the site layout.
  • Performance: If not optimized properly, the use of Elementor can have a negative impact on site performance, slowing down the loading of pages.
  • Limited Support: The Elementor support community is active but there may not be the ability to get support directly from the developer on specific issues with your site.

Divi Builder

DIVI Builder

Divi Builder is a WordPress Page Builder developed by Elegant Themes. The plugin was launched in 2013 and quickly established itself as one of the premier web design tools for WordPress.

Divi Builder was designed to make it easy to create custom layouts in WordPress. With an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, users can drag and drop layout elements onto the page, creating complex layouts without the need for coding knowledge.

Divi Builder comes with a variety of pre-built templates, including homepages, contact pages, landing pages, and more. These templates can be used as the basis for your own custom layouts, saving you time and effort. It also includes a variety of custom widgets, including contact forms, image galleries, videos, and more.

divi-builder-features

Features:

  • Drag-and-Drop Interface: Divi Builder offers an intuitive interface that allows users to drag and drop layout elements onto the page. This makes it very easy to create complex layouts without the need for coding knowledge.
  • Pre-Built Templates: Divi Builder offers a variety of pre-built templates, including homepages, contact pages, landing pages, and more. These templates can be used as the basis for your own custom layouts, saving you time and effort.
  • Custom Widgets: Divi Builder offers a variety of custom widgets, including contact forms, image galleries, videos, and more. These widgets can be used to build advanced functionality without the need for coding.
  • Advanced Design Options: Divi Builder offers a wealth of advanced design options, including animations, hover effects, and responsive design options. These options allow you to create professional looking pages without the need for coding knowledge.
  • Includes a theme: Divi also comes with a wordpress theme that fits perfectly with the page builder, this allows for greater compatibility and customization of your site.

Pro:

  • Intuitive Interface: Divi Builder has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, even for users with no coding knowledge.
  • Pre-Built Templates: Divi Builder offers a variety of pre-built templates that can be used as the basis for your own custom layouts, saving you time and effort.
  • Custom Widgets: Divi Builder offers a variety of custom widgets that can be used to build advanced features without the need for coding.
  • Advanced Design Options: Divi Builder offers a wealth of advanced design options, including animations, hover effects, and responsive design options, allowing you to create professional looking pages without the need for coding knowledge.
  • Theme Integration: Divi Builder includes a wordpress theme that fits perfectly with the page builder, this allows for greater compatibility and customization of your site.
  • Ease of Customization: Divi Builder allows you to easily customize your site layout without the need for coding knowledge.
  • Support and Documentation: Divi Builder offers an active community of support and detailed documentation to help users get the most out of the tool.
  • Regular Updates: Divi Builder regularly receives updates to improve functionality and compatibility with the latest WordPress versions.

Against:

  • External Resource Weight: Using the Divi Builder can increase the weight of external resources, slowing down site page loading. It is important to use plugins like Autoptimize or Async JavaScript to optimize and combine your CSS and JavaScript files.
  • Plugin Dependency: Once a site has been built using the Divi Builder, it may be difficult to modify or delete the plugin without causing site layout issues.
  • Customization Limitations: While Divi Builder offers many design options, there are still some limitations on customizing the site layout.
  • Cost: Divi Builder is a paid plugin, so you need to pay for a license to use it.
  • Performance: If not optimized properly, using the Divi Builder can have a negative impact on site performance, causing pages to load slower.
  • Possible Compatibility Issues: On rare occasions, there may be compatibility issues with some WordPress plugins or themes used on the site.
  • Need for training: Although Divi Builder is quite easy to use, to get the most out of its features it may be necessary to undergo training to learn how to use all its options and possibilities.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is a page builder for WordPress that allows users to build pages and websites using a drag-and-drop interface. It was launched in 2014 and has since become one of the most popular page builders for WordPress.

Beaver Builder offers a wide range of design options, including layout modules, widgets, templates, and advanced CSS customization. It also includes a visual editor for creating page layouts, a template editor for creating custom page and post templates, and a form editor for creating contact forms and subscription forms.

The plugin is available in both free and paid versions, with the paid version offering additional features such as the ability to use third-party themes and access to a library of premium templates.

The builder has robust features that are sure to convert your visitors into repeat customers.

The visual builder of Beaver Builder is incredibly accurate, putting it ahead of other choices with difficult controls.

It is a mobile-friendly builder with WooCommerce integration for online stores.

It also comes with over 30 beautifully designed landing page templates that make it super easy and fast to create beautiful website layouts.

Beaver Builder is also optimized for search engines, allowing users to create page titles and meta descriptions for each page and create custom URLs for pages. It also offers the ability to create conversion-optimized landing pages.

beaver-builder-feature

Overall, Beaver Builder is a great choice for someone who wants to build a professional website using WordPress without needing to know coding. With its intuitive interface and numerous design options, you can create a custom website in no time. In addition, its modular licensing system allows you to choose the plan that best suits your needs.

Pro:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create pages and websites without needing to know coding
  • Wide range of design options including layout modules, widgets, templates and advanced CSS customization
  • Visual editor for creating page layouts, template editor for creating custom page and post templates, and form editor for creating contact forms and subscription forms
  • Available in both free and paid versions with additional features like the ability to use third-party themes and access to a library of premium templates
  • Optimized for search engines, allows you to create page titles and meta descriptions for each page and create custom URLs for pages
  • The ability to create conversion-optimized landing pages
  • Modular licensing system allows you to choose the plan that best suits your needs
  • Active community of users sharing templates and tips on how to best use the plugin
  • Compatible with WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world.

Against:

  • Beaver Builder is a premium plugin, so to use all its advanced features, you need to purchase a paid license.
  • The free version of Beaver Builder offers fewer options than the paid versions, so it may not be enough for all needs.
  • Beaver Builder has a slightly steeper learning curve than other page builders, so it may take you longer to learn how to use it to its fullest.
  • Beaver Builder does not include built-in ecommerce options, so users looking to create an online store will need to use a separate ecommerce plugin.
  • Beaver Builder doesn't have a built-in content review system, so users who want to use this feature will need to use a separate plugin.
  • Beaver Builder doesn't offer built-in translation options, so users who want to build a multilingual website will need to use a separate translation plugin.
  • Beaver Builder doesn't have options for building native mobile applications, so users who want to build applications will need to use a separate app building plugin.

Page Builder Pagers

Page Builder Pagers

 

WPBakery Page Builder (formerly known as Visual Composer) is a WordPress plugin that allows users to build pages and websites using a drag-and-drop interface. It was launched in 2011 and has since become one of the most popular page builders for WordPress.

WPBakery Page Builder offers a wide range of design options, including layout elements, widgets, templates, and advanced CSS customization. It also includes a visual editor for creating page layouts, a template editor for creating custom page and post templates, and a form editor for creating contact forms and subscription forms.

The plugin is available in both free and paid versions, with the paid version offering additional features such as the ability to use third-party themes and access to a library of premium templates.

WPBakery Page Builder is also optimized for search engines, allowing users to create page titles and meta descriptions for each page and create custom URLs for pages. It also offers the ability to create conversion-optimized landing pages.

visual-composer-features

Pro:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create pages and websites without needing to know coding
  • Wide range of design options including layout elements, widgets, templates and advanced CSS customization
  • Visual editor for creating page layouts, template editor for creating custom page and post templates, and form editor for creating contact forms and subscription forms
  • Available in both free and paid versions with additional features like the ability to use third-party themes and access to a library of premium templates
  • Optimized for search engines, allows you to create page titles and meta descriptions for each page and create custom URLs for pages
  • The ability to create conversion-optimized landing pages
  • Long history of support and updates, hence a reliable and stable plugin
  • Compatible with WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world
  • Ability to create preview versions of changes before publishing them.
  • Integration with external fonts and icons
  • Ability to create custom modules
  • Ability to create animated content
  • Support for creating Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
  • Ability to use external shortcodes and widgets
  • Ability to create responsive content
  • Integration with security and backup plugins
  • Ability to create multilingual versions.

Against:

  • WPBakery Page Builder is a premium plugin, so to use all its advanced features, you need to purchase a paid license.
  • The free version of WPBakery Page Builder offers fewer options than the paid versions, so it may not be enough for all needs.
  • WPBakery Page Builder has a slightly steeper learning curve than other page builders, so it may take you longer to learn how to use it to its full potential.
  • WPBakery Page Builder does not include built-in ecommerce options, so users who want to create an online store will need to use a separate ecommerce plugin.
  • WPBakery Page Builder does not have a built-in content review system, so users who want to use this feature will need to use a separate plugin.
  • WPBakery Page Builder does not offer built-in translation options, so users who want to create a multilingual website will need to use a separate translation plugin.
  • WPBakery Page Builder lacks options for building native mobile apps, so users who want to build apps will need to use a separate app builder plugin.
  • Some users have reported speed and performance issues when using the plugin with complex websites with many pages.
  • Some users have reported compatibility issues with some third-party themes and plugins
  • The code generated by WPBakery Page Builder can be complex and difficult to edit manually.

Thrive Architect

Thrive-Architect

Thrive Architect is a landing page builder and marketing funnel plugin for WordPress. Launched in 2016, Thrive Architect has become one of the most popular marketing plugins for WordPress, mostly used by marketers and affiliate marketers.

Thrive Architect offers a variety of design options, including layout elements, widgets, templates, and advanced CSS customization. It also includes a visual editor for creating page layouts, a template editor for creating custom page and post templates, and a form editor for creating contact forms and subscription forms.

But what makes Thrive Architect unique is its marketing funnel creation feature. Users can create complete funnels using the different design options and use A/B testing tools to optimize their funnels. Additionally, Thrive Architect includes a number of conversion tools such as call-to-action buttons, signup forms, and lead generation tools.

Unlike most other WordPress page builder plugins, Thrive Architect has a strong focus on marketing, optimization and goal conversions. Therefore, if your website is going to be used to sell or promote offers to your audience, features like custom buttons, testimonials, countdown timers, and lead generation forms should be appealing.

Thrive Architect is available as a paid version only and offers a number of advanced features such as access to the library of premium templates, the ability to use third-party themes, and search engine optimization tools.

In general, Thrive Architect is the ideal solution for those who want to create a landing page with an attached marketing funnel using WordPress. With its intuitive interface and numerous marketing and design options, users can create effective conversion funnels in no time.

Pro:

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop interface to create marketing pages and funnels
  • Wide range of design options including layout elements, widgets, templates and advanced CSS customization
  • Visual editor for creating page layouts, template editor for creating custom page and post templates, and form editor for creating contact forms and subscription forms
  • Marketing funnel builder tools for building complete funnels, A/B testing and optimizing funnels
  • Conversion tools like call to action buttons, sign up forms and lead generation
  • Access to the library of premium templates, the ability to use third-party themes and search engine optimization tools (only for the paid version)
  • Compatible with WordPress, the most popular CMS in the world.
  • Ability to create preview versions of changes before publishing them.
  • Integration with external fonts and icons
  • Ability to create custom modules
  • Ability to create animated content
  • Support for creating Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
  • Ability to use external shortcodes and widgets
  • Ability to create responsive content
  • Integration with security and backup plugins
  • Ability to create multilingual versions
  • Analysis and conversion tracking tools to optimize funnels.

Against:

  • Thrive Architect is a premium plugin, so you need to purchase a paid license to use all its advanced features.
  • The free version of Thrive Architect is not available, so users need to purchase a license to use the plugin.
  • Thrive Architect has a slightly steeper learning curve than other page builders; therefore, it may take longer to learn how to use it to the fullest.
  • Thrive Architect does not include built-in ecommerce options, so users looking to create an online store will need to use a separate ecommerce plugin.
  • Thrive Architect does not have a built-in content review system; therefore, users who want to use this feature will need to use a separate plugin.
  • Thrive Architect doesn't offer built-in translation options, so users looking to build a multilingual website will need to use a separate translation plugin.

The Disadvantages and Cons of Page Builders for WordPress.

WordPress Page Builders are very powerful tools that allow users to create custom pages and layouts without having to write HTML or CSS code. However, there are some disadvantages and cons that are important to be aware of before using these tools.

One major drawback is the weight of the page. Page builders often use a lot of scripts and CSS files to provide all their functionality and customization options. This can significantly increase page weight, making the site slower to load.

Another problem is the number of elements present in the DOM (Document Object Model). The DOM is an in-memory representation of a page's HTML code, and each element in the DOM takes time to be processed by the browser. More elements in the DOM mean that it takes longer for the browser to process the page, thus slowing down the execution speed of the site.

Finally, using Page Builder can also negatively affect pagespeed, which is the time it takes for a page to fully load. Again, the increased number of files and scripts required to provide Page Builder functionality can increase page load time.

The weight of external resources like CSS and JavaScript files is an important factor to consider when using Page Builders for WordPress. Page builders, such as Elementor, Divi and Beaver Builder, allow you to easily create custom pages and layouts using a drag-and-drop interface. However, the use of these tools can increase the weight of external resources, slowing down the loading of site pages.

To reduce the burden of external resources, you can use plugins such as Autoptimize or Async JavaScript, which allow you to optimize and combine CSS and JavaScript files. Additionally, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can be used to distribute files to different servers around the world, reducing loading times for users.

Some page builders, such as Elementor, also offer options to reduce the weight of external resources, such as the ability to disable unused modules.

In general, it is important to keep an eye on the weight of external resources when using WordPress Page Builders and use the options available to optimize the loading of the site's pages.

Some areas of ideal and intelligent use of Page Builders.

WordPress page builders like Elementor or Divi can be used smartly to build websites quickly and without technical skills. One of the most common ways that Page Builders are used is for building demos or proofs of concepts that will then be manually rewritten at a later time.

This approach allows you to quickly create a prototype of the site that can be shown to the client to get the necessary feedback and approvals. Once approvals are obtained, the site can be developed manually using HTML and CSS code, thus eliminating the dependency on Page Builders and improving site performance.

Conclusion

In general, page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, WPBakery Page Builder and Thrive Architect are very similar in their feature offering and their pros and cons. All of these solutions offer an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that allows users to create pages and websites without needing to know coding. This makes it easy for anyone to create a professional looking website in no time.

However, there are some disadvantages to consider when using these page builders. The generated code can be unoptimized and this can lead to an increase in page weight and resources, negatively impacting site speed and user experience. Also, these page builders may not be able to meet all user needs, especially if they are advanced features.

However, these page builders can be a great starting point for building a professional website quickly. And they can later be expanded and optimized to meet your performance and speed needs. Overall, it's important to weigh your needs and compare the options available before choosing a page builder. This way you can choose the best solution for your project.

 

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