21 BEST WordPress Page Builders in 2021: Top Drag & Drop Site Buiders

The best WordPress page 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 page builder is the best, we’ll examine every WordPress page builder on the market and break down which ones are best for different user types.

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 WordPress page builders, with over 5 million active installs as of 2020. 

The page builder is so widely used in fact, that over 7% of all websites are using the plugin, 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 builder 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 WordPress page builder 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 Builder is the compatibility with many popular plugins such as Link Whisper that make using WordPress easier. 

Pros of Using Oxygen Builder:

Cons of Using Oxygen Builder:

3. Divi Page Builder

Divi is another of the most popular page builders, with over 800,000 users as of 2021. Like Oxygen, Divi is a paid page builder with no free option. 

It is considered to be one of the more powerful builders with a robust theme builder giving you complete control of your website design. Everything from WordPress user roles to global website styles can be controlled through the plugin.

Another benefit to using the Divi theme builder is the marketplace which allows third-party developers to create modules, themes, and layouts, helping to extend the functionality of the builder.

Pros of Using Divi:

Cons of Using Divi:

You can check out a more complete review of Divi here discussing both the theme and WordPress builder.

Beaver Builder 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 page builder with that number expected to grow.

The page builder is branded as an easy-to-use option for WordPress users with little to no coding experience. It is a drag and drop style page builder good for everything from landing pages to content and general website builds.  

Pros of Using Beaver Builder:

Cons of Using Beaver Builder:

Check out the complete Beaver Builder review to help you make a more informed decision before purchasing.

Visual Composer is a live front-end drag and drop page builder suitable for both beginner WordPress users and experienced designers alike.

The page builder 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 plugin 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:

6. SeedProd Page Builder

SeedProd is a page builder co-owned by Syed Balkhi, the founder of the free resource WPBeginner and OptinMonster.

This page builder is a bit different from the others on this list in that it is primarily a landing page builder. Aside from sales-focused landing pages, you can easily create other common pages you would need for a website.

One thing that makes SeedProd convenient is the robust template 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:

7. Themify Builder

Themify isn’t simply a page builder, but a framework of themes, extensions, and plugins as well.

Themify Builder benefits from the many integrations with common plugins such as WooCommerce, allowing for more functionality than some other page builders. 

The builder allows you to work on both the front and back ends using an intuitive drag and drop system. Styling options include everything from colors to fonts and animations giving you complete control.

All Themify themes come with the builder or you can use it standalone with a theme such as WP Astra

Pros of Using Themify Builder:

Cons of Using Themify Builder:

8. Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect is one of the many plugins from Thrive Themes.

On top of the page builder, the company has plugins for quiz creation, lead page building, landing page builder, testimonials, A/B Testing, popup builder, and more.

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 WordPress plugin and theme development company in business since 2011.

The builder is regularly praised for being simple and easy to use for both experienced WordPress designers and developers as well as beginners. The page builder works with any WordPress theme giving you complete control over your website.

In terms of widgets, you have plenty to choose from including both the normal WordPress widgets as well as the widgets bundle plugin from Site Origin. Overall, there is plenty of functionality packed in an intuitive drag and drop builder.

Pros of Using SiteOrigin Page Builder:

Cons of Using SiteOrigin Page Builder:

10. WPBakery Page Builder

WP Bakery is a drag and drop style page builder that allows for front and back end development. The plugin has over 4 million installations according to the WP Bakery website.

The WP Bakery page builder gives users a lot of customizability over how their website will look. There are numerous content elements and professional templates for beginners to create quality-looking websites.

There are also many drawbacks to the page builder including code lockin and the price of the plugin. 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:

11. Brizy Page Builder

Brizy Builder is one of the newer page builders from some of the team behind Theme Forest. The builder has a small but growing customer base due to its easy no-code advertising.

You can download the individual builder 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 Builder:

Cons of Using Brizy Builder:

12. WP Page Builder

WP Page Builder is a front-end-based design plugin released by Themium. The builder is free for the basic version with a premium add-on bundle extension to increase functionality.

The builder 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 builder comes with pre-designed templates to make it easier for beginners to design their websites.

One of the main drawbacks to using WP Page Builder is massive code bloat. During testing, the WP Page Builder performed poorly on mobile.

Pros of Using WP Page Builder:

Cons of Using WP Page Builder

13. GenerateBlocks From GeneratePress

GenerateBlocks is not quite a page builder in the same way that plugins like Elementor are. Instead, this is a blocks builder that allows you to create custom blocks to expand the functionality of Gutenberg.

It’s important to note that this builder can only be used with the GeneratePress theme. It comes bundled when you purchase the theme along with a premium site library to make design easier.

The GeneratePress theme is free to use but you must pay for the premium version to get the builder.

Pros of Using GeneratePress:

Cons of Using GeneratePress:

You can check out a more complete review of GeneratePress here to better understand the plugin and theme.

Page Builder 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 Page Builder Sandwich is the advanced shortcode mapping system. This allows you to select shortcodes within the builder from over 600 plugins to make design faster.

The primary drawback to using Page Builder Sandwich is its newness. Plugin 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 Page Builder Sandwich:

Cons of Using Page Builder Sandwich:

15. Live Composer Page Builder

Live Composer is a front-end drag and drop visual page builder designed for both experienced and beginner WordPress users.

The builder comes with all of the features you would expect including easy-to-use content modules, 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 plugin is free with premium add ons to enhance functionality.

Pros of Using Live Composer:

Cons of Using Live Composer:

16. Visual Page Builder By Motopress

Visual Page Builder by Motopress is a no-coding required basic front-end page editor. The builder has a free version with the option to pay for premium add-ons to enhance the functionality.

Aside from just the builder, Motopress offers everything from themes to plugins for enhancing Gutenberg or even Elementor. 

In all, the page builder is quite similar to many others on this list and lacking in the same functionality that more advanced builders have.

Pros of Using Visual Page Builder:

Cons of Using Visual Page Builder:

17. King Composer Page Builder

King Composer is marketed as a high-performance WordPress page builder plugin for both experts and beginner users. This is a front and back-end visual editor allowing for complete customizability.

The builder 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 custom CSS editing. One downside is that the plugin hasn’t been updated as regularly as other builders on this list.

Pros of Using King Composer:

Cons of Using King Composer:

18. Pootle Page Builder

Pootle page builder is a basic visual page builder from Pootle Press. The builder 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 builder with options for WooCommerce editing and other addons using their premium version. You can start with basic websites using the free builder

Aside from just the builder, Pootle Press also offers other plugins such as Gutenberg addon blocks, WooCommerce addon blocks, a notification and countdown timer, and more. 

Pros of Using Pootle Page Builder:

Cons of Using Pootle Builder:

19. Optimize Press Page Builder

Optimize Press page builder is similar to Thrive Architect in that it is focused on building a website that converts rather than just looking nice. 

The website builder is a total solution with extensive features such as payments integrations, marketing funnels builder, split testing capabilities, and more. It’s designed with marketers, salespeople, and business professionals in mind.

This is a premium WordPress website builder 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 Page Builder

Genesis Pro is a powerful page builder from Studio Press giving you complete control of your website. The builder is designed for both new WordPress users and experienced developers and designers.

The builder 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 page builder 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 page builder altogether, there is room for improvement. Page builders such as Elementor still have an edge due to greater capabilities and widget options.

Pros of Using Kadence Blocks:

Cons of Using Kadence Blocks:

Why Use A Drag and Drop Page Builder For WordPress?

There are many reasons why someone would want to use a drag and drop builder and they often differ based on the experience level of each individual.

No Coding Skills Needed

For beginner WordPress users or designers without a background in custom CSS 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 and layout of 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 layout 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 WordPress website.

Many page builders also provide global styling options 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.

Design Flexibility

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 your theme the 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 content elements 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 custom CSS 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 page builder. 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 page builder.

Code Bloat

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 WordPress page 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 WordPress page 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 page builder the styling on your web pages will break leaving unstyled content.

If you ever want to change out of the page builder, you will need to completely rebuild the pages using either a different page builder or manually styling each page.

Features To Look For In A WordPress Page Builder

Most website builders share a common set of features. There are, however, some must-haves to take into consideration when selecting the right page builder 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 theme, 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 page builder, it’s important to do your research. 

Before deciding on a specific page builder and theme combination, do your due diligence checking on the compatibility of one with the other.

Included Widgets/Elements

Widgets, sometimes called elements, are the backbone of any page builder. 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.

Included Templates

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 addon.

If you’re on a budget, look out for a builder that includes at least some premade templates to make building your website quicker and easier.

Custom Styling Options

It’s essential to check what specific styling options you have before potentially locking yourself into a page builder.

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 builder 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 Builder

You want to avoid if possible code lock-in. As discussed above, you don’t want your website to break if you deactivate the page builder.

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 a page builder uses a lot of shortcodes such as Visual Composer or Oxygen (and many more), you will need to restyle everything upon deactivation of the builder. Try finding a page builder with minimal code lockin.

Mobile Responsiveness

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 page builder 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. 

SEO Friendliness

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 page builder that has been built with SEO best practices in mind.

This includes a page builder 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 page builder 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 theme 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 WordPress page builder 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 builder 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 page builder is set up.

With most WordPress page builders, 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 and unlimited website licenses 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 Best WordPress Page Builder?

The answer to which is the best WordPress page builder plugin 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 builder they can customize more easily may prefer Oxygen builder. 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 website builder, affiliate marketer, or eCommerce website owner, and you want a conversion-focused website, Thrive Architect might be the best WordPress page builder plugin. 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.