Elementor is one of the most popular, and probably the easiest drag and drop builder for WordPress. With more than one million active installs, Elementor is revolutionizing the WordPress experience. But what is Elementor and why is it this popular? In a few words, it’s a visual composer for WordPress that provides professional designing capabilities right on your current website editor. It adds an extra widget on your usual WordPress editor that allows near-miracle instant edits on live page loads.
Great page designs and layouts are important for your website if you want to impress your site visitors. Your visitors will get the appeal they want and spend more time on your site. This will make Google (and other search engines) happy and translate to more SEO scores and business conversions.
This in-depth Elementor drag and drop builder for WordPress review will show you what benefits you might get if you decide to get the plugin.
1. Why use Elementor: Drag and Drop Builder for WordPress
As you probably know, WordPress comes by default with its standard editor that you can use to create posts and pages for your website. However, the kind of WordPress theme you choose dictates and limits the design and style of your frontend outlook. To create exciting designs, you may result in tedious coding, hiring developers or even repeated theme changes. With Elementor, all this becomes a thing of the past due to the following features:
- It provides you with a new, separate and original interface that you can use to create pages, posts and other custom post styles and types. When you go to the standard WordPress editor, you will get a new button that lets you enable Elementor. Once enabled, it opens a new whole world of exciting page-editing possibilities.
- You are automatically transformed to PHP, CSS or HTML pro level. This is because none of these skills are needed here. All that you do is drag and drop using an ingenious user interface (creating clean code in the process).
- Instead of working on the backend and speculating how the frontend will look like (or making countless previews), the plugin shows you in real-time how your changes look on the website. This means that as you edit, you also simultaneously see how the page looks on the frontend. This brings the famous WYSIWYG to completely new definitions – What-You-See-(on the backend) Is-(exactly) -What-You-Get (on the frontend).
Finally, many Elementor plugin reviews omit to mention an important fact. The plugin greatly acknowledges that site owners may be operating on tight budgets. For this reason, it comes with more than 100 free WordPress page templates to choose from.
2. How to Install and Configure it
You can download Elementor drag and drop builder for WordPress by elementor.com from the official WordPress plugin repository or from its official website. The plugin is also compatible with WordPress Multisite installation. Once installed (and activated), the plugin introduces a new menu item on your WordPress admin dashboard. However, you really do not necessarily need to go to this menu to use the plugin; you can go directly to the editor and call it from there.
Elementor provides quite a number of features, perks, and elements that may overwhelm a new user. However, these features are arranged in such a way that you do not need a lot of time to understand. Out of the box, the plugin offers the following;
- Main page building or core functionality also called “My Templates”. The plugin provides content blocks or widgets that you can place anywhere on your page (template) and rearrange them as you wish. The plugin currently provides more than 300 blocks and 29 widgets for you to enjoy. Widget examples include heading, icon box, social media icons, image gallery, progress bar, text editor, and video among many others.
- Pre-made page templates. You can choose from hundreds of free WordPress page templates and tweak them to your liking.
- Responsive website toolsets. There are tools to determine different font sizes, reverse column ordering, margin, and padding per device and more. Using these tools, you are able to create (device) mobile responsive pages and posts for your website.
- Elementor Canvas. This is a custom page template that completely disregards your theme limitations. The plugin provides an opportunity to use a blank page without theme-generated elements such as sidebars, headers or footers. This feature is handy for your landing and coming-soon pages.
- Maintenance and Under Construction Modes. If you need to restrict frontend visitors, you do not need to install another plugin. Elementor provides this feature.
With all these features, the free version of Elementor drag and drop builder for WordPress offers just about all that a standard user needs. This version covers about 90% of functionalities making the majority of users just about as comfortable with the free version as with the paid one.
In addition to the previous functionalities and perks, the paid version of Elementor provides the following features:
- Animated headlines
- CRM integrations and marketing automation
- Custom CSS
- Customized fonts.
- Global widgets
- Layout widget for blog posts
- Role management features.
- Video and image sliders
- Visual and intuitive form builder
- WooCommerce features
4. Pros and Cons
- Easy to use with many exciting features.
- The Free version is full of features.
- No HTML, CSS, or PHP skills needed.
- Real-time preview (no guesses as to how the front end will look like).
- Ability to design pages differently for different devices (desktops, mobile etc).
- The ability to undo and/or roll back to previous versions when editing.
- The visual builder obviously doesn’t offer the same flexibility as with coding.
- The plugin sometimes (rarely) fail to load or apply some styles correctly.
- You are unable to style the links the way you would want. The plugin also does not inherit the links styles from the theme properly.
- Time Saved: 10/10
- Performance: 9/10
- Easy to use: 10/10
- Extensibility: 8/10
- Price: 8/10 ($199 Unlimited Sites, $99 3 Sites and $40 1 Site)
Want to read more? Check out our review of Yoast SEO!