Unless you’re brand new to web design/development, you’ve probably heard of WordPress page builders. For those that haven’t, a page builder is a built-in theme feature that allows users to create the layout of a WordPress page by selecting visual elements and placing them anywhere they want on the page.
Say good-bye to the old days of short-codes!
Most WordPress users are familiar with the many themes available online, but when it comes to page builders, you should search for templates, not themes. The reason is page builder templates can encompass an entire page or merely a single section. Individual section templates can be easily placed anywhere on your website, and usually, templates are sold in a pack of matching designs.
Native WordPress Page Builders
As a web designer or webmaster, you might have felt the frustration of dealing with WordPress classic editor. It’s a little bit hard to manage content and attracts low efficiency. A professional blog page builder is essential to help you create a modern blog. As is known to all, to build your own template in the WordPress classic builder, you need more skills. On the other hand, you also need to pay more time to edit the code. That’s the reason why you should have the support of a professional blog page builder.
The new WordPress editor named Gutenberg is getting more and more popular. This builder looks promising. However, there are two sides in the WordPress community. On the one hand, Gutenberg promises to make WordPress more user-friendly. On the other hand, its current state looks like an experiment that was launched on a live website.
It is a new way to build a page, instead of using shortcodes and widgets. It is being developed by Automattic which is a company that also owns WordPress. The main aim of this is to make WordPress more user friendly to the users.
Free page builders like those from WordPress and WIX make it easy to create a good-looking website without having to learn any code. However, if you’re looking to build a really special landing page, or to customize it in a way that the free tools don’t allow, you’ll need to turn to a premium builder.
So how do you go about choosing the best builder? Well, considering there are well over a dozen well-known WordPress page builders, you must find the one that works best for you. Sometimes all it takes is to test a page builder out to see if you like it. I used Themify Builder Pro for years until I tried Elementor. Elementor just made more sense to me. I was able to intuit how to use it, versus the clunkiness (to me) of Themify.
Here’s a list of the most popular page builders:
Elementor Page Builder is a complete drag and drop WordPress page builder that allows you to create complex layouts and design beautiful WordPress websites. It’s so easy to use that requires no coding knowledge and it’s packed full of features to help you create stunning WordPress websites.
Just like the Elementor website explains, “With Elementor, you can build powerful, industry-standard websites in a way that’s easy for beginners and powerful for professionals,” and “Experience the power of 100% visual design.” (elementor.com)
Elementor is known as the first of the front-end WordPress page builders and offers limitless design possibilities. It’s the only builder I’ve used that never requires custom coding to tweak even the smallest change on your pages or posts.
It comes in both a free and premium version. The free version is quite powerful, allowing users to take their basic layout and theme of their site to the next level. The premium version unleashes an assortment of additional pre-built widgets, plus Elementor’s Theme Builder, which lets you save and export your customized theme.
Divi Builder is another popular builder, albeit a premium one. This plugin is a drag-and-drop builder that allows you to build your own custom layouts without touching a line of code. You can easily rearrange elements, edit their content, and even add in new elements that can resize or adjust automatically to the layout of the page.
The Divi theme builder allows for live previews, so you can see exactly what a change will look like on your site. It’s also one of the most customizable theme builders available, similar to Elementor. Whether you want to add hover effects or transform effects, Divi makes it easy to do so. There’s no need for advanced code editing and you can even add animations.
Divi has a long run as being not only a popular builder, but it’s also one of the most popular WordPress themes (Divi comes bundled with the theme and builder). Another benefit of using Divi is that they offer over 800 pre-made designs and over 100 website packs.
Unfortunately, you’ll run into problems if you decide to stop using Divi for another option because Divi relies heavily on shortcodes. If you stop using the Divi Builder, your theme customizations will break. Besides that, there is no free version of Divi. You’ll have to dish out $89 a year to Elegant Themes (Divi’s maker), or $249 for lifetime access.
The third of the “big three” builders, Beaver Builder is also one of the originals. As with most, there’s a full drag-and-drop feature that lets you arrange text and images on your pages with ease. You can fully edit the front-end of your website allowing you to see the changes you make in real-time.
Like Elementor and Divi, users don’t have to know coding. Plus, Beaver Builder works with any theme. You can create custom posts and pages manually or use any of their 50 pre-made page templates and 30 modules to choose from. As with any good builder, Beaver Builder formats your design to be mobile- and SEO-friendly.
It works with WooCommerce and offers an assortment of WooCommerce content elements. You can also import and export templates and designs, so you can save yours or upload someone else’s.
Like Elementor, there is a free version of Beaver Builder, however, it’s quite limited. A 1-year license starts at $99 but renews at 40% off, so there’s an incentive to continue using it long-term. The good thing is you can use the builder on unlimited sites instead of just one (as is the case with many premium themes and builders).
WP Bakery claims to be the most popular page builder, but that’s like every restaurant in NYC claiming to have the world’s best coffee, right? I mean, even their above-the-fold section on their site makes the bold claim.
So what makes WP Bakery so special? Well, damn near 99% of all themes on Theme Isle are built with WP Bakery. If you prefer to pay for premium themes, WP Bakery is the way to go. Plus they have an API, which allows for web developers to work some magic.
This builder offers the same features as the rest: drag-and-drop, pre-built templates, responsive pages (mobile-friendly), etc. Like I said – the main difference with WP Bakery is that it’s made for theme developers and web designers. If you want to open an agency, I recommend WP Bakery.
Otherwise, stick with Elementor or Divi.
The only way to understand how powerful WordPress page builders are is to try one out. Pick one – any one – and jump in feet-first. I recommend starting with Elementor (the free version). Don’t start out with a premium builder, either. If you don’t like it then you’ll just throw money down the drain.
There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and each builder has an entire community built around it. Familiarize yourself with the best YouTube channels and feel free to ask questions in the comments. Join the communities by subscribing to forums and participate frequently.
Once you get familiar with your preferred builder, show off your work by leaving a comment below with a link to your site.