One of the most wonderful things about using WordPress is how frequently new plugins are popping up, giving users more access than ever before to being able to build effective and complex pages. This is a testament to the thriving communities that are making the best of the open-source service, constantly improving the quality of plugins that are on the market.
However, when a new page builder appears on the plugin circuit, it is given extra scrutiny than other types of plugins. This is because the idea of a decent page builder is such a basic part of WordPress functionality that it can sometimes feel like there's nothing really to improve upon.
Elementor seeks to change this hesitation. Since it originated in 2016, the plugin has made its goal of becoming the most intuitive and accessible page building plugin. Just based on its consistent rise in popularity over the past 2 years (over 800,000 sites now use the service), there might be something to it.
To help you make your decision over whether Elementor is a plugin that is worth your money and time, we've spent some time with the product and are here with a review. In this review we'll be talking about the price, features, our experience, and support available for Elementor to give you the true pros and cons of the plugin.
So, without further ado, let's get right into it.
It should be noted that Elementor is a free plugin. The free version gives you pretty good access to the website builder portion and allowing you to access 30 of the basic widgets.
However, the free version of Elementor isn't much unlike other website builders that let you drag and drop elements. Because this is a review of value, we're going to focus on the Pro versions of Elementor so you can get an idea of what is included with the full product and if it's worth it.
There are three different price tiers for Elementor:
- Personal ($49): Use Elementor with 1 site
- Business ($99): Use Elementor with 3 sites
- Unlimited ($199): Use Elementor with an unlimited amount of sites
Seeing the price tiers not affect the capability of the plugin is a refreshing change, as many similar products will have different tiers that restrict your use of the product itself. This also makes it easier for users to determine which tier is right for them: instead of having to worry about which features they will actually use, they choose their tier based on how many websites they plan to use the plugin for. Though we haven't even gone into our review of the product itself yet, we appreciate the flexibility this pricing offers.
The biggest appeal of Elementor you'll notice upon looking at the product is that it is built for those who don't know or want to familiarize themselves with coding. This is so people who want to use the plugin won't have to know exactly how websites are built, but rather customize solely according to what they want their website to look like.
There are too many features to list everything in this review, but here is a list of some of the most essential (and our favorite) features:
- Drag & Drop Editor: Customize your websites simply by dragging and dropping what you want, where you want it
- No Coding: You don't have to know any coding to either design your site
- Completely Compatible: There is no configuration required to make sure your site is compatible with phones or other operating systems
- Mobile Editing: Edit your website on your phone with ease
- Template Library: There are over 300 templates to choose from and edit, giving you more variety than other website builder plugins available
- Background Gradients: Easily add gradients to any page on your website with this plugin
- Background Videos: Add videos to the backgrounds of your pages and also adjust their size and positioning
- Background Overlay: Mix any of your favorite background elements with ease
- Custom Fonts: Be able to import and use your own custom fonts in any part of your website
- 404 Pages: Build your own 404 pages that will be displayed to visitors who happen upon an error
The features in Elementor are pretty robust and give you a great idea as to just how versatile the plugin is. These highlights only scratch the surface of what it means to use the plugin, as there is a large handful of other plugins and compatibility options that make it a truly remarkable product to use.
Using Elementor was like being able to customize any part of an incredibly complex and detailed machine. The amount of features you can use with this plugin is incredible, offering anything from being able to simply drag and drop elements of your website to creating hidden fields within forms.
It wouldn't make sense to use all of the features in a single website unless you were running some sort of robust online commerce destination that needed price tables just as much as subscription forms and even video backgrounds. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing—the fact that Elementor is such a versatile product is a great example of why we love it so much, as it truly allows you to customize fully your website from top to bottom and inside out.
Something that Elementor has that other website builder plugins don't is the ability to integrate many other services into your website (if you have the Pro version). For example, Elementor has an impressive roster of integration possibilities such as:
- Campaign Monitor
- Adobe Typekit
- Facebook SDK
We don't even use half of these services, but it is an impressive list for any plugin to be included with its features. The ones we did try, though, worked like a charm, with little calibration errors or other bugs to get in our way. For example, MailChimp was able to be integrated almost instantly, while connecting our website to our Discord server also being incredibly simple. Both integrations also continued to operate seamlessly, something that we appreciated.
The embedding options of Elementor are also very robust. You can embed videos and photos like any website builder, but what makes Elementor unique is the inclusion of social media embedding being a built-in function. This is different than the codes that can be simply copy+pasted from social media websites, such as Twitter and YouTube links. Instead, Elementor goes beyond that to even let you incorporate entire Facebook pages and posts into your website! What's even better than this is that the presentation of the embedded media never appears to be obnoxious or taking up too much space, as the design of the embedded features is very sleek.
Something else that Elementor has that other website design plugins don't have is the ability to specifically design what your site looks like on mobile, tablet, and desktop views separately. This is a really cool feature that lets you get the optimal design for your website without having to find one single design that works for all different operating systems. Being able to design your site based on the device that is viewing it is a great way for you to customize exactly how users will interact with it, thus giving your website an overall better compatibility rate with consumers.
Though there are plenty of themes included, the Blank Canvas Mode is also a stand-out feature that gives you some range with your experience. Basically, using Blank Canvas Mode means that your current template will be thrown away and you'll be able to design your website from scratch with just the boxes that make up Elementor's design. You can also use this feature to edit themes you're using more closely, opting to take out or move around certain elements that would be intrinsic to the theme in other website building plugins.
Though our experience with Elementor was largely positive, there were some small errors that are important to take note of. For example, when switching themes there was sometimes a “loading period” of sorts for the website to catch up with the new theme. At its best, the website just needed a few minutes to calibrate to the new style. However, at its worst, we had trouble getting a theme to entirely change over fonts and sometimes had to switch out of the theme and then back into it to get the plugin to fully acknowledge the change.
Something that we especially love about Elementor's easy interface is how simple it is to categorize a page. Want to create multiple pages under a single page group? Done. What about creating differing columns within rows of a page? Perfectly possible. In fact, while using the product we didn't hit any roadblocks in terms of what we could or couldn't design. It was an incredibly intuitive process from start to finish, making it easier to get our website live and running quickly.
We also want to state that—while there were many features we enjoyed that were for Pro accounts only (such as the Facebook widgets)—a vast majority of features we've mentioned in this article are all available with the free version of Elementor. This reason alone is perhaps the best motivator you should need to try out the plugin, as there are enough unique features that it is certainly worth checking out.
If you have the Pro version of Elementor, the largest benefit you receive is access to the wonderful customer service tools that are available to you 24/7. Any questions or bugs that you might have are often answered quickly by the support staff at any time of day, something that can't be said for similar services that often have long wait times and less flexible business hours.
When in the market for a website building plugin, it doesn't seem like such an easy task to find something that really innovates on previous practices. Many website builders focus instead on speed, making it easier to do the things that have always been done before. Elementor seeks to disrupt this trend by offering a website builder plugin that not only does what is expected of website builders with efficient speed but also brings a handful of features to the table that makes the experience even more enticing.
The fact that the basic and free version of Elementor gives you so many different features to use is a great example of why we believe it to be such an effective plugin. It is incredibly accessible to use and (as per its stated goals) allows you to design websites without extensive knowledge of coding or website construction. What especially separates Elementor from its competition, though, is the fact that you can get pretty complex with specifics without having to know any code as well. Typically other website builders that pride themselves on simplicity and visual organization only let you design your site up to a certain point, so it is certainly welcome with Elementor's innovative interface.
If you happen to be using Elementor and decide to move to another plugin or service for whatever reason, the ability to import and export templates to other sites is a great tool that shows the true flexibility of the plugin. And, while we're at it, we should mention this feature is for the free accounts as well!
As far as website builder plugins go, Elementor is truly the most unique we've seen on the market. It doesn't only make things easier but makes them more efficient, something that makes it clearly worth it. If you're hesitant about trying something new, start off on the free version and work your way to the Pro version—you won't be disappointed.