The best builders can help speed up the design process, improve workflows for professionals, and bridge the skills gap for less experienced users.
To help you decide which on the market and break down which ones are best for different user types. is the best, we’ll examine every
There are many positive points that can be made for page builders, as well as a few negatives. We’ll get into all the pros and cons of WordPress page builders after our round-up.
Elementor is one of the top builders, with over 5 million active installs as of 2020.
The is so widely used in fact, that over 7% of all websites are using the , including major businesses such as Grubhub, TripAdvisor, Vogue, and The New Yorker.
The benefits of using Elementor are many, but some of the top reasons users cite for favoring the app include ease of use, intuitive design, and a robust free version for getting started.
Pros of Using Elementor:
Cons of Using Elementor:
You can find an in-depth review of Elementor here for more information about the features as well as the upside and downside to using Elementor.
Oxygen is also drag and drop but designed to be more bare-bones leaving room for developers to fill in the gaps. While this makes Oxygen more versatile for designers and developers, it means there is a higher learning curve.
At one point, Oxygen was considered to be the fastest on the market, preferred over Elementor by skilled users. However, Elementor and some other page builders have been closing this gap.
One other benefit to using Oxygen is the compatibility with many popular plugins such as Link Whisper that make using easier.
Pros of Using Oxygen :
Cons of Using Oxygen :
Divi is another of the most popular page builders, with over 800,000 users as of 2021. Like Oxygen, Divi is a paid with no free option.
It is considered to be one of the more powerful builders with a robust giving you complete control of your website design. Everything from roles to global website styles can be controlled through the .
Another benefit to using the is the marketplace which allows third-party developers to create modules, themes, and layouts, helping to extend the functionality of the .
Pros of Using Divi:
Cons of Using Divi:
You can check out a more complete review of Divi here discussing both the and .
has been around since 2014 and has become one of the top page builders on the market. As of 2021, over 1 million websites are using the with that number expected to grow.
The is branded as an easy-to-use option for users with little to no coding experience. It is a drag and drop style good for everything from landing pages to content and general website builds.
Pros of Using :
Cons of Using :
Check out the complete review to help you make a more informed decision before purchasing.
Visual Composer is a live front-end drag and drop suitable for both beginner users and experienced designers alike.
The has become a popular option for many due to the Visual Composer marketplace. This allows users to download different elements, themes, and extensions to expand the functionality of the and make designing your website easier.
Compared with many page builders, Visual Composer is relatively fast and continues to improve its code to use fewer resources and improve overall efficiency.
Pros of Using Visual Composer:
Cons of Using Visual Composer:
SeedProd is a co-owned by Syed Balkhi, the founder of the free resource WPBeginner and OptinMonster.
This a . Aside from sales-focused landing pages, you can easily create other common pages you would need for a website. is a bit different from the others on this list in that it is primarily
One thing that makes SeedProd convenient is the robust library making it simple to set up proven high-converting landing pages without a lot of hassle.
Pros of Using SeedProd:
Cons of Using SeedProd:
Themify isn’t simply a , but a framework of themes, extensions, and plugins as well.
benefits from the many integrations with common plugins such as WooCommerce, allowing for more functionality than some other page builders.
The allows you to work on both the front and back ends using an intuitive drag and drop system. include everything from colors to fonts and animations giving you complete control.
All Themify themes come with the or you can use it standalone with a such as WP Astra.
Pros of Using :
Cons of Using :
8. Thrive Architect
Thrive Architect is one of the many plugins from Thrive Themes.
On top of the , testimonials, A/B Testing, , and more., the company has plugins for quiz creation, lead page building,
The primary benefit that Thrive Architect has over builders like Elementor is the focus on high converting pages and ROI. However, with no free option and migration difficulty to other page builders, there are some drawbacks.
Pros of Using Thrive Architect:
Cons of Using Thrive Architect:
You can find a more complete review of Thrive Architect vs Elementer.
Site Origin is a and development company in business since 2011.
The is regularly praised for being simple and easy to use for both experienced designers and developers as well as beginners. The works with any giving you complete control over your website.
In terms of widgets, you have plenty to choose from including both the normal as well as the widgets bundle from Site Origin. Overall, there is plenty of functionality packed in an intuitive drag and drop .
Pros of Using :
Cons of Using :
WP Bakery is a drag and drop style that allows for front and back end development. The has over 4 million installations according to the WP Bakery website.
The WP Bakery gives users a lot of customizability over how their website will look. There are numerous and professional templates for beginners to create quality-looking websites.
There are also many drawbacks to the including code lockin and the price of the . You can only purchase a single license at a time, making it one of the most expensive page builders for building more than one website.
Pros of Using WP Bakery:
Cons of Using WP Bakery:
Brizy is one of the newer page builders from some of the team behind Forest. The has a small but growing customer base due to its easy no-code advertising.
You can download the individual for use on your servers and website or use the Brizy cloud hosting solution. The cloud solution comes with everything you need to host and manage your website.
The main drawback of Brizy is the limited elements when compared to more mature builders and may need some cleanup for optimal speeds.
Pros of Using Brizy :
Cons of Using Brizy :
is a front-end-based design released by Themium. The is free for the basic version with a premium add-on bundle extension to increase functionality.
The is drag and drop like most of the other builders on this list, making it easier for non-designers and developers to use the tool. Like many other tools, the comes with pre-designed templates to make it easier for beginners to design their websites.
One of the main drawbacks to using is massive code bloat. During testing, the performed poorly on mobile.
Pros of Using :
Cons of Using
13. GenerateBlocks From GeneratePress
GenerateBlocks is not quite a in the same way that plugins like Elementor are. Instead, this is a blocks that allows you to create custom blocks to expand the functionality of Gutenberg.
It’s important to note that this can only be used with the GeneratePress . It comes bundled when you purchase the along with a premium site library to make design easier.
The GeneratePress is free to use but you must pay for the premium version to get the .
Pros of Using GeneratePress:
Cons of Using GeneratePress:
You can check out a more complete review of GeneratePress here to better understand the and .
Sandwich is a front-end drag and drop editor with features similar to many of the other builders on this list. It was developed by the team behind the Titan Framework and other plugins.
One advantage of using Sandwich is the advanced mapping system. This allows you to select shortcodes within the from over 600 plugins to make design faster.
The primary drawback to using Sandwich is its newness. success isn’t guaranteed and the possibility of the developer shutting down the project or discontinuing support is greater with new plugins. The free version is also very basic.
Pros of Using Sandwich:
Cons of Using Sandwich:
15. Live Composer
Live Composer is a front-end drag and drop visual designed for both experienced and beginner users.
The comes with all of the features you would expect including easy-to-use , buttons, icons, and other styling choices. It also has premium extensions such as contact forms, video elements, Advanced Custom Fields support, and more.
With the Live Composer WooCommerce editor, you can further customize your eCommerce store to your liking. The is free with premium add ons to enhance functionality.
Pros of Using Live Composer:
Cons of Using Live Composer:
16. Visual By Motopress
Visual by Motopress is a no-coding required basic front-end page editor. The has a free version with the option to pay for premium add-ons to enhance the functionality.
Aside from just the , Motopress offers everything from themes to plugins for enhancing Gutenberg or even Elementor.
In all, the is quite similar to many others on this list and lacking in the same functionality that more advanced builders have.
Pros of Using Visual :
Cons of Using Visual :
17. King Composer
King Composer is marketed as a high-performance for both experts and beginner users. This is a front and back-end allowing for complete customizability.
The has a free basic option with premium addons available to improve functionality. For agency users, the pro version comes with the option for white label support.
Overall, it has many of the same options as other builders with a few advanced options geared more for developers such as live editing. One downside is that the hasn’t been updated as regularly as other builders on this list.
Pros of Using King Composer:
Cons of Using King Composer:
Pootle is a basic visual from Pootle Press. The shares many of the basic features as other page builders on this list but also lacks a lot of advanced functionality.
This is a front-end visual with options for WooCommerce editing and other addons using their premium version. You can start with basic websites using the free .
Aside from just the , Pootle Press also offers other plugins such as Gutenberg blocks, WooCommerce blocks, a notification and countdown timer, and more.
Pros of Using Pootle :
Cons of Using Pootle :
19. Optimize Press
Optimize Press is similar to Thrive Architect in that it is focused on building a website that converts rather than just looking nice.
The is a total solution with extensive features such as payments integrations, marketing funnels , split testing capabilities, and more. It’s designed with marketers, salespeople, and business professionals in mind.
This is a premium with no free option. The pricing is for yearly licenses with no lifetime options. Overall, this can be a good alternative to Thrive Architect.
Pros of Using Optimize Press:
Cons of Using Optimize Press:
20. Genesis Pro
Genesis Pro is a powerful from Studio Press giving you complete control of your website. The is designed for both new users and experienced developers and designers.
The has many benefits including a custom block editor improving functionality for developers. For non-developers, an extensive library of pre-made blocks and templates can help you speed up designs.
While there are several upsides, one of the main drawbacks to using Genesis Pro is the price, which comes in almost double compared to more popular options such as Elementor.
Pros of Using Genesis Pro:
Cons of Using Genesis Pro:
21. Kadence Blocks
Kadence blocks isn’t a but instead adds functionality and custom block options to Gutenberg.
Plugins such as Kadence Blocks allow for greatly enhanced functionality allowing you to avoid traditional page builders which can add bloat to your website.
While Kadence Blocks is an incredibly powerful tool and can help you to potentially avoid using a traditional altogether, there is room for improvement. Page builders such as Elementor still have an edge due to greater capabilities and options.
Pros of Using Kadence Blocks:
Cons of Using Kadence Blocks:
Why Use A Drag and Drop For ?
There are many reasons why someone would want to use a drag and drop and they often differ based on the experience level of each individual.
No Coding Skills Needed
For beginner users or designers without a background in and HTML, page builders allow you to create websites without needing an extensive coding background.
Builders provide an interface for making adjustments to the design andof precoded elements. This makes laying out and styling your pages a straightforward process compared to coding everything from scratch.
As noted previously, this won’t make up for lacking design skills or an understanding of basic UX. Page builders simplify the process of building a website but are just tools and not a one size fits all solution.
Quicker To Get Started
As noted above, page builders . the foundation for your website and each of your pages and posts. This cuts down on almost half the work normally required to create a nice
Many page builders also provide global allowing you to cut down on the time it takes to style each page. Combined with a simple element styling interface, you can dramatically cut down on turnaround time.
Along with the simplified design options, beginners have greater design flexibility when creating a website.
No longer do you need to know HTML and CSS to properly style yourthe way you want. Because of this, it’s easier to make changes that at one point would have required extensive coding.
Builders allow you to change everything from the typography to the site colors and other visual with ease.
Faster Website Edits
All of the above benefits lead to it being much faster and easier for you to make changes to your website. This leads to faster turnaround times when building a website.
For professional website designers and developers, it also means you can cut down the time it takes to complete websites for clients. Making small edits that used to require spinning up some now only need the push of a button to change.
Disadvantages Of Page Builders
As with other online tools, there are downsides that you need to understand before diving into using a . Most of these can be mitigated as long as you have a basic understanding of design and web development standards.
The last downside on this list you need to pay particular attention to, however, because it can seriously affect your website if you ever decide to move away from your chosen .
Code bloat is a term used to describe poorly designed or heavy coding. The reason this is bad is it slows down your website as it takes longer to render everything.
Depending on how bad the code bloat is, and how much of an impact it has on your website, you can potentially increase your bounce rate and lose rankings in Google.
Page speed and website load times are increasingly important factors in website rankings as these things can diminish user experience. The slower your website loads, the higher your bounce rate will be.
You can check your page speed using tools such as Google Page Speed Insights. To check your user bounce rate and Core Web Vitals, you can use Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Easy To Over Use
Because drag and drop builders are so easy to use, it can be tempting for beginners to over-design their website.
Less is normally better when it comes to web design. Not only is it easy to make your website overly cluttered leading to poor user experience, but it can also create code bloat.
Overusing widgets, especially when they do not contribute to the actual function and purpose of your website, will slow down your site and make it less useful to your users.
Potential To Be Locked In
Many builders utilize shortcodes to build the website which can lead to what’s known as code lock-in.
What this means is that when you deactivate the the styling on your web pages will break leaving unstyled content.
If you ever want to change out of the, you will need to completely rebuild the pages using either a different or manually styling each page.
Features To Look For In A
Most website builders share a common set of features. There are, however, some must-haves to take into consideration when selecting the right for your needs.
Not all page builders are compatible with all themes. While it’s generally accepted that most builders are made to be used with any , that doesn’t always work out in practice.
While there is no way to create an exhaustive list of themes that are compatible with each , it’s important to do your research.
Before deciding on a specific and combination, do your due diligence checking on the compatibility of one with the other.
Widgets, sometimes called elements, are the backbone of any . These let you style and build your website exactly how you want it. Look for a robust library of elements or widgets to make it easier to get the website you want.
Along with making design easier through prebuilt drag and drop widgets, page builders often come with premade page templates that can make setting up your website a breeze.
Most of the page builders we looked at on this list have templates included with them. The primary difference will be whether these templates are included for free or need to be purchased as an .
If you’re on a budget, look out for athat includes at least some premade templates to make building your website quicker and easier.
It’s essential to check what specific you have before potentially locking yourself into a .
Look at how easy it is to change and edit typography. Also, what options do you have for changing colors and other styling features in areas such as the header and footer and specific widgets and elements.
It can be a good idea to look out for a that gives you global style settings. You can apply the styling of a specific page to the entire website to make everything consistent.
Ease of Transfer To a New
You want to avoid if possible code lock-in. As discussed above, you don’t want your website to break if you deactivate the .
You will probably change builders at some point if your website is around long enough.
There are various reasons you would want this including:
When auses a lot of shortcodes such as Visual Composer or Oxygen (and many more), you will need to restyle everything upon deactivation of the . Try finding a with minimal code lockin.
Mobile responsiveness is the ability of your website to adapt to different screen sizes including mobile devices and tablets. This is important for all website owners as over 50% of web traffic originates from mobile devices.
All of the page builders covered above are mobile responsive. However, not all of the widgets or content elements may be responsive.
When looking at a for your website, try and plan out what kind of features you will need and whether or not the specific widgets and elements that provide those features are mobile responsive.
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the optimization of your website so that search engine web crawlers can more easily move through it and index specific pages of your website.
Higher ranked web pages drive more web traffic and can lead to you making more money. So, you want a that has been built with SEO best practices in mind.
This includes a that is cleanly coded to minimize load times, that hierarchically structures content, and is responsive.
Speed is one of the most important aspects of a properly functioning website, especially with mobile devices being so ubiquitous.
The slower your website is the more data it will consume and the more likely your users will leave your website and go to a competitor.
Selecting a well-coded is a good step towards ensuring your website speed isn’t affected.
Addons To Extend Functionality
The best page builders will generally provide add-ons to enhance the functionality of their builders. This can include editors, WooCommerce editors, additional elements or widgets, and more.
Generally speaking, addons will be a premium option with most page builders. Always check what extra features you will get with the pro version of a and make sure they will satisfy your website design and development needs.
Ability To Customize Blocks and Templates For Later
Most of the top page builders will provide some kind of way to build and save custom-built blocks and page templates. Generally, this will be through a cloud service that you can connect to every website you are using that on.
The ability to save page templates and custom blocks can save you significant time down the road if you want to use them for other pages or websites.
Though it may seem straightforward, there are a few factors you need to consider in terms of price. The first will be how the licensing of the is set up.
With mostbuilders, you pay a monthly or yearly rate and get a certain number of licenses.
Many will have a basic tier for single website use followed by two more tiers for multiple websites andlicenses respectively.
You will also find many newer page builders, and sometimes more mature builders, that offer a lifetime unlimited license for a higher price.
It’s best to understand what your needs are, whether you are building a single website or many, and how much it will cost per website. Look at what features you get if you pay and compare that to other similarly ranked page builders to make sure you are getting the best deal possible.
What Is The ?
The answer to which is the depends on what your specific needs and desired outcomes are.
Generally speaking, Elementor is a solid option for most beginner users and those building basic websites. While code bloat can be an issue, the team behind Elementor is minimizing this problem. You can also build evergreen pages (homepage, contact page, etc.) using Elementor and posts using Gutenberg to cut down on bloat.
Experienced designers and developers looking for a lean they can customize more easily may prefer Oxygen . Oxygen allows developers and designers to more easily code individual widgets and elements. The interface is also structured in a way more intuitive to developers.
Finally, if you are a niche , affiliate marketer, or eCommerce website owner, and you want a conversion-focused website, Thrive Architect might be the . The Thrive Themes suite of plugins can also provide additional functionality of benefit to these types of website owners.
This content was originally published here.