Page builders are a great thing! They make it possible for normal WordPress users to create professional layouts without touching the source code. It shows what can be implemented with page builders and what advantages and disadvantages are associated with them. For those who are in a hurry, I will first talk about the best page builders, before the general information below explains the concept of page builders as such.
Elementor Page Builder – perhaps the best page builder for WP
In the short time, it has been on the market; the Elementor has blossomed into one of the best, if not THE best page builders. 500,000 websites that use Elementor can hardly be wrong.
Elementor has recently been fully Gutenberg compatible (many think Gutenberg will make Page builder superfluous, but that is not correct. Page builders will in future be more based on Gutenberg). Layouts are edited directly on the front end.
The free version may be sufficient for simple websites, but some features are missing that make the page builder interesting. A paid license is required for full use. Elementor follows the concept of the classic website construction kit. You click pages together element by element and fill them with content. No knowledge of design or code is required for operation. Nevertheless, prior knowledge is helpful.
The Elementor can be installed and activated directly from the WordPress backend. The intuitive operating concept is easy, and if you are missing your own ideas, there are 60 ready-made layouts. This is helpful for beginners, especially since a template can then be edited. The Page Builder offers standard features such as inserting videos, images or text.
Elementor also offers elements such as sliders, accordions, media integration, tabs or carousels and also supplies elements for WooCommerce shops.
Here are the advantages & features at a glance:
- Different blog views
- Login fields
- Animated headlines
- Price lists
- Price tables
- Call to Action buttons.
- Share buttons
- WooCommerce elements
- Author boxes
- Global widgets!
- Custom CSS code
- Predefined templates
- Theme builder
- PopUp Builder
You can see that there is a lot to do. There should be something for everyone.
The Pro version starts at $49 for 1 website. $99 for 3 websites. Each with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Elementor cannot simply be uninstalled. If a plugin is uninstalled, the shortcodes no longer make sense, although they are retained. After deinstallation, you lose the entire layout, but the content is available as pure HTML. However, this is the case with all Pagebuilder plugins.
Therefore no disadvantage compared to the competition. Due to the wide distribution, that shouldn’t be a problem either. The plugin will certainly be further developed.
In the following video, the Elementor page builder is presented very nicely. I think it’s faster than reading anything.
Conclusion: I can highly recommend Elementor, and I use it myself in various projects of my customers. The developers have done a good job lately and are continuously developing the plugin.
Addendum: In the meantime, Envato has launched a plugin called “Envato Elements” that enables over 350 predefined page templates for easy integration into the WordPress website. You choose the template you want and either import it into the Elementor Template Library or create a page directly, which then only needs to be adjusted in terms of text and can theoretically be published immediately. A great thing, in my opinion, and that, allows everyone to create really simple designs.
By the way: With the help of a starter or basic theme, you can create great designs with Elementor. While the theme normally dictates the look, here the theme only provides the necessary basis on which Elementor builds and brings the look into play. Possible base themes:
The comparison between Free and Pro is also taken up again. And by the way: With Elementor you can now design complete websites in the Pro version. From the header to the footer.
WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress (formerly Visual Composer)
The WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress is currently one of the most widely used page builders for WordPress. One of the reasons for this is that the WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress is already included in the scope of delivery in numerous commercial themes.
But that’s not the only reason why it is so widespread; it is simply a very good page builder. In combination with the “Ultimate Addons for Visual Composer” addon, the VC has a lot of features.
The WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress brings widgets for a wide variety of applications (form integration, images, galleries, fancy buttons, lists, accordions, …), is easy to understand and performs. The WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress uses its own shortcodes to create the layout.
These remain in the content when the plugin is switched off. As a standalone plugin, the WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress (formerly Visual Composer) is chargeable, but more than makes up for the price by saving time compared to working with the normal editor.
The cheapest license is for one website. Half a year of premium support is included. The WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress (formerly Visual Composer) cannot be installed prior to purchase. You can apply for a free test drive on the provider’s website.
This is sent via a link by email, which offers the opportunity to test the WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress (formerly Visual Composer) for twelve hours.
With the WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress (formerly Visual Composer) virtually every layperson can easily create the content of a page appealingly.
The page builder makes work easier and is very easy to use. Previous knowledge is not required. The surface is very clear, and you can simply drag and drop which columns and rows are arranged in which ratio. Each content element can be assigned its own CSS class. This facilitates graphic design options.
Over 40 content elements can be inserted to create your own content. From a simple text block to posts slider to Google Maps or tabs, there are many functionalities that actually require a separate plugin.
Anyone who is annoyed about the limited possibilities with WordPress and is looking for an easy but professional way to design the layout in an appealing way will find an optimal solution in Visual Composer. The plugin is chargeable but worth every penny. Pages arranged with Visual Composer can be saved and saved as a template for other pages, which makes work easier and saves time.
Personally, I not only use the Visual Composer on my own website but also often use it for my customers.
For everyone who wants to get started right away, I recommend the following video for beginners, in which the functioning of the page builder is described in detail.
This page builder is a paid plugin, and the license is valid for any number of websites. The operating concept is very easy and quick to implement.
To try it out, there is a lite version in the browser and, alternatively, a version with limited functionality that can be installed in your own WordPress. You can adapt your own logo, sections, columns, full-surface layouts, colours, backgrounds, menus, sliders, structural elements, media and content elements.
The chargeable Beaver Builder can be influenced via drag & drop, and its design can be customized. Almost every element of the website can be styled individually without having to write any code. Clicking on an element opens the properties with which backgrounds or colours are set.
With the demo version, users can get a good overview and test whether the plugin meets their own requirements. The premium offer is characterized by the clear, simple and appealing operation.
And this is how the Beaver Builder works – beautifully described in this video:
The new Gutenberg Editor is available as a test version. The aim of the new WordPress editor, which is based on content blocks instead of shortcodes, hidden content blocks or TinyMCE buttons, is to simplify content creation in WordPress. This makes creating and editing content faster and more user-friendly. The development takes place on Github, and you can create pull requests and issues there.
The new Gutenberg Editor was published as a beta version and is now available to the general public. The requirement is at least WordPress 4.8. Frequent writers have the option of typing continuously, and there is no need to manually add a block for each paragraph. New blocks can be inserted with one click.
In addition to expected and classic blocks for lists, texts, quotations, headings and media, the beta version contains numerous elements. Gutenberg supports buttons, tables, separators or the insertion of widgets to display the latest posts.
The layout has been improved, it is now clearer, and there is no need to scroll for meta boxes. However, the beta software should not be used in productive operation. This version is still a bit “wobbly” and blocks overlap or buttons overlap. The editor currently only works with core features and plugins are not yet integrated.
The Gutenberg Editor is developing, and the number of voices is increasing as if the editor could become a game-changer. Morten Rand-Hendriksen explains here why the editor is actually much more than an editor. It changes the way websites are built-in WP.
“The current version of Gutenberg replaces the content editor. That’s step one. Once it merges into WordPress proper, the project will expand its scope to encompass the Customizer, and eventually, the way we create and manage content in WordPress will undergo a complete overhaul.
Today we think of creating posts and pages. In the WordPress of Tomorrow, we will be making blocks and placing them in views. As weird as it sounds, the concept of post and pages is going away, and along with it the WordPress theme as we know it will likely fall to the wayside replaced by something altogether different. “Morten Rand-Hendriksen
This statement alone makes you curious and will certainly allow me to continue to follow developments over the next few months. You should do it too.
What is a page builder?
Page builders are primarily used for the creative design of individual pages, but can also be used in articles. Page builders are a kind of content area builder because, strictly speaking, they design the content area of a complete page. Layout areas such as sidebar, footer or header still come from the theme and are designed and edited as usual. The layouts created by Pagebuilder can be divided into three components:
- Row: The basic building block are rows that are one below the other
- Column: One or more columns exist in each line
- Widgets/elements: Are placed in each column individually or several times
The three-level hierarchy “row-column widgets” applies to all page builders, even if the components can have different names. Lines are also referred to as “Section” and “Widgets” (modules or elements), which does not change the basic classification. Working with Pagebuilder is similar to adding modules in the sidebar. A page builder offers the additional possibility of creating a layout structure.
Many functions are provided by Pagebuilder widgets, which can also be created with shortcodes. Pagebuilder offers accordions, tabs, coloured boxes or lists with icons.
Page builders are also suitable for more complex layout structures and are suitable for visual work. In recent years, numerous page builders for WordPress have come onto the market. The wide range of products ranges from free offers to commercial plugins and premium themes. Some well-known page builders are described below.
Page builders for WordPress make work easier, save time and are easy to use. The Visual Composer stands out positively from the multitude of offers because the paid version offers a multitude of options that do not require any prior knowledge.
It is only important to consider that you actually only decide once to work with a page builder, and then you can hardly change or use another page builder. The use of specific shortcodes is restricted to one provider.
The same “problem” is also encountered with premium themes that come with their own page builder. I think with the providers mentioned here you should be on the safe side that the plugin will be developed over the long term, as there is a market here that brings in good money for the developers.