What is Elementor?
Elementor is a plugin on WordPress that’s aimed at helping users build a website. It was launched in 2016 by a group of professionals who were super tired and frustrated with the super slow process of designing sites through WordPress. Since then, Elementor has satisfied millions of users globally, including marketers, content writers, businesses, and developers. It currently has been installed over 3 million times and has an overall rating of 4.9 on the WordPress repository. Amazing, right! Well, this goes to show you how popular Elementor is, and it’s all due to its ease of use.
It is a visual drag-and-drop page builder that makes the process of page building seem like playing a strategy video game or arranging items on a canvas. By ‘visual,’ we mean that every time you design your content, you are able to see what your readers see, which eliminates the doubts of how your site will look like once you publish it. And by ‘drag and drop’ we mean that you are able to move various design elements such as images, forms, or buttons around by just dragging and dropping. Due to their ease of use, it has helped many users to craft their sites in an easy and relaxing manner without having to write a single line of code.
Elementor has a paid and free version. The thing is though when you compare the Elementor free version against versions of other page builders, you would see that the Elementor version packs powerful features that enable the site owner to transform a boring site into a professional-looking one. So, if you are just a beginner, and don’t have the resources to spice up your site, then the Elementor free version is ideal for you. But if you are looking for more advanced features, you can go for the pro version, which is much more advanced and sophisticated than the free version.
Features of Elementor that makes it great
Now that we know what Elementor page builder really is, how about we take this review a little bit more hands-on and look at some of the specific features that have helped Elementor to stand out from the competition and made it so successful. They include:
Convenient editing features for faster design – the page builder comes with several convenient features that enable one to build designs more quickly. For instance, Elementor has a right-click support, which we have to state that you won’t find on other page builders. With this feature, you will be able to right-click on any element to copy and paste it or duplicate it. You also find a navigator view, which provides you with an ordered list of your content, this time separated into smaller sections and columns. With this, you will be able to access any element’s settings on your page, quickly and effectively. For easier retrieval, you are able to rename the elements every time you wish to. The Elementor also includes a finder tool that helps you search for anything on the page without having to waste too much browsing throughout the entire page.
Huge widget selection for design flexibility – the Elementor page builder does have an enormous selection of widgets that guarantees a ton of flexibility when coming up with your designs. Apart from the 60+ widgets that are already available on Elementor and Elementor Pro, there is a huge selection of widgets from other developers. For instance, Ultimate Addons for Elementor offers another 36+ new widgets that help you design your site, covering elements like the stylers, hotspots, videos, content toggles, and many more. With all these options, the chances of finding the widget that can do exactly what you want are extremely high.
Detailed positioning and style rules for pixel-perfect designs – the design options for Elementor are unmatched and have made the page builder stand out from the competition. Basically, the site builder not only allows you to perform all the basics like switching up the colors, fonts and spacing, but it also adds advanced options such as shape dividers, custom CSS for individual widgets, custom positioning, and animations which includes 3D tilt, mouse tracking, and parallax scrolling. In other words, the Elementor page builder enables you to come up with a unique and effective design.
Flexible form widget and integrations – we did mention the widget selection for Elementor above, but let’s single out a specific widget, shall we?
So, let’s talk about the Form Widget. Basically, this widget allows you to create a custom form, completing as many fields as you need. But that’s not all, the one aspect where this widget gets super powerful is its inbuilt integrations, especially in its marketing implementations. This particular aspect allows you to connect to email marketing services such as GetResponse or ActiveCampaign, and you can also connect to Zapier through a Webhook option.
Theme builder that comes with dynamic content for custom WordPress sites – if you have Elementor pro, you are not only able to design your posts and pages but your entire WordPress theme as well. This means that you will be able to design the headers, footers, archive templates, and single templates. For instance, you might decide to come up with a custom post type and then utilizing the Elementor page builder, you can then design the template for that type of post, instead of tampering with the theme templates directly. With this feature, you are able to bring in dynamic content from plugins like Toolset, ACF, and Pods. What’s more, you can create custom sites and then harness the power of WordPress as an effective content management system.
Popup Builder for usability, marketing, and more – not only can you just create posts, pages, and theme designs, but you can also utilize its Popup Builder to build popups. With the Popup Builder, you are able to access the same Elementor interface including all the widgets, which opens up quite a number of possibilities. For instance, you may decide to utilize the form widget to come up with opt-in popups and integrate them with your email marketing service directly. Or maybe the login widget so as to have a popup login form on your site.
Pros and Cons of Elementor?
- Customization options – this is one of the factors that have largely contributed to Elementor’s amazing success. When you look at each widget individually, you will find that they have tons of styling options and that the section as well as the columns are customizable too. With these options, you are able to manage the width and height sections; set padding and margins for columns, sections, and widgets; set the position of your content either at the center, top, or bottom of a column; set the column gaps; etc.
- What’s more, there are many great-looking blocks and pages just a click away. All these features, of course, are tailored to reflect your brand perfectly.
- Visual editor – if you are an inexperienced user, then this feature should cheer you up, as you will be able to see how each setting affects the site in real-time. With this feature, you eliminate all the unnecessary work and hence no time wastage, not to mention the kind of satisfaction you get from it.
- You are able to design and integrate forms seamlessly – you may know of these, but contact forms are, without a doubt, a critical part of any website, as they play a major role in generating leads, which later results in conversions. Elementor Forms widget is revolutionary given that the process of managing them is entirely visual. All you need to do is to carefully design your forms and then link them to any automation marketing platform of your choosing.
- User-friendly interface – not only do Elementor brings a plethora of options to the table, but it’s also user-friendly. To understand how the page builder works, you just need to watch the introductory seven-minute video – easy, right? Well, that’s how it is; you even don’t need to know how CSS and HTML work for you to be able to come up with a fantastic and functional website. This is what Elementor sought to achieve and to be honest, it already has.
- No price tag – even though its features are of premium quality, Elementor is absolutely free. The page builder has an open-source code, and as a result, there are quite a number of premium third-party add-ons. One of the premium add-on released by Elementor is Elementor Pro, which pretty much makes the plugin better. This one might cost you, but considering what you will get from it, it would be totally worth it.
- Crucial professional widgets and features – as we mentioned before, Elementor includes some key widgets and features that a user needs to come up with a professional website. They include WooCommerce widgets, animated headlines, posts widgets for an exceptional blog posts display, slides, media carousel as well as custom fonts.
- Clean code after deactivation – if you decide to deactivate your Elementor, rest assured that you won’t have any problems with the code. Yes, the styling will be affected, but the thing is, the code that remains is functional. Other Page Builders leave behind messy codes after deactivation, which makes Elementor stand out. Look, the “never or forever” idea behind some of these page builders is tiring and honestly irritating. It is our belief that deactivating a page builder shouldn’t be challenging or troublesome, in fact, it should be as easy as activating it, and Elementor gives you exactly that.
- Extensive set of elements & templates – Elementor does have quite a number of custom-made widgets or elements. You can find a widget for any type of content you want like buttons, headlines, forms, carousels, or Google maps. Apart from the Elementor widgets, there are others such as WordPress widgets and other theme-based widgets or plugin widgets all found within the editor. The thing about Elementor is that it integrates with every plugin and theme you have and it also adds any compatible plugin widgets and your activated theme to the Elementor page editor.
- Responsive design controls – not only does Elementor helps you to customize your website, but it also helps you design it in a manner that your readers are able to access it in any device they might be using at a particular time. This ensures that your site is 100% responsive in all the devices. Yes, the plugin has a desktop view by default, but you can change it to the mobile version for those readers who use mobile devices to browse the internet. What’s more, under the ‘advanced’ menu, you will find another responsive option, which is an additional feature that ensures responsiveness offered by Elementor. This feature helps you hide a widget for a specific device, which is quite crucial when you want to have different pieces of content on various devices.
- Full revision history – undo/redo the changes – this feature allows you to revert to a previous version, any point in time. All your inputs are saved by the plugin, just in case, you may need to check something.
- A little bit buggy – as you know, nothing man-made without faults and Elementor is no exception. For instance, after you start using it, you will notice that from time to time, its loading speed is a little bit slower than other times. When this happens, all you need to do is to refresh your page, and it will solve the problem. Now the main problem with this is that there are users who would tolerate this problem, and others would find it super annoying.
- Worsen site performance – there are users who claim that Elementor slowed their websites down. And after a few tests on the page builder, it was found out that it indeed worsens the site’s performance. You see, Elementor stores all your revisions, which is great and all as you are able to refer to them at any given time, but the downside of this is that this feature hogs all your site resources, which consequently, slows the loading speed down.
- Elementor customer support test – quite a number of professional reviews have pointed out that the support on Elementor isn’t responsive or it took a long time to get a reply from them. Quite a number of the reviews that we sampled pointed out this issue, which is why included in our cons list.
Designing WordPress sites beautifully with Elementor
First and foremost, before we look at how you design a site with elementor, let’s take a tour of the interface so as to understand how the page builder works. Now, the core aspect of Elementor is its visual, drag-and-drop interface. Doesn’t matter what you are designing, be it a blog post, a popup, a page, a theme template, or anything else, just know that you will be using the same core interface. Now, let’s try to understand how the Elementor interface really works;
So, the basic Elementor editor is classified into two;
- A visual preview of your design, where you drag-and-drop widgets on the right.
- A side panel where you add and configure widgets on the left.
If you want to add a widget, you just need to drag it to the side panel on the left. And if you are looking to rearrange a widget on your visual preview, just utilize the drag-and-drop feature. To edit your content, click and type on the visual preview.
Moreover, you can use columns and sections to create the layouts for your widgets;
Section – this is essentially a row, in which you are able to change its sizing and add background etc. widgets and columns go inside a section.
Column – it divides the sections into different columns, allowing to control or manage each column individually.
Just click on a widget to customize it. Doing this will open the widget’s settings on the side panel and then you change whatever you want. You will use the same approach to customize your columns and sections.
So, how can you use this page builder to design your website?
The plugin offers a plethora of elements that allow you to simply organize your content on your site by utilizing the drag and drop tools. On your WordPress account, where you add your new page, you will be able to see the ‘Edit with Elementor’ button, which is above the WordPress editor. You just have to click on that button to launch the Elementor editor. You will be directed to the Elementor editor interface. Now, on the left side of the screen, there are a number of widgets or elements ready for you to drag and drop. To add new content, there is an ‘add new section’ or ‘add template’ button in the content area, just click on any of them. Upon tapping the ‘add new section’ button, you will be required to select a content structure for your page. There are quite a number of types of structures to choose from.
Once you do that, you can now choose a section layout and then drag widgets or elements into your section’s columns. And if you plan to utilize pre-made templates, then just click on the ‘Add Template’ button. There are over 300 pre-designed templates, blocks, and names pages in the Elementary library just for you. There are easily customizable, so you won’t much take much of your time.
Who can use Elementor?
For starters, Elementor is a really impressive tool – we have to admit this. The majority of the users trust the plugin as their number one choice for website designing solutions. Even for beginners, Elementor is pretty easy to grasp, and it delivers quite a number of crucial features for free. So, in essence, the page builder can be used by just anyone looking to make their site look professional. It is the perfect do-it-yourself solution for site owners who are looking to create exceptional page designs on their own, without necessarily having HTML or CSS knowledge or any other coding skills.
What’s more, if you are one user who feels limited by the block editor on WordPress, then the Elementor plugin will for sure come in handy. If you are struggling when it comes to the alignment of the columns and sections, then Elementor should become your ‘best friend.’ At the end of the day, if you know that you are not a designer, but you want your pages to come out looking super professional, then Elementor is for you.
Is Elementor hard to learn?
Compared to other page builders, Elementor is quite easy to grasp. But let’s be honest here, see no matter the page builder you are using or are planning to use, there will always be a learning curve before you are able to master it and be able to create truly gorgeous pages.
Elementor free VS Elementor PRO: which one is best for you?
If you’ve made this far in this article, chances are that you think Elementor page builder might be a solution to your web designing needs. Now, this leads to the next question – should you use the free version or should you just buy the pro version. This is a critical decision to make which is why we are here to help you make it. So here it is;
If you just want to design some basic landing pages or just some posts/pages, then the free version will be alright with you.
Now, that being said, let’s take a look at how the pro version actually is;
- 30+ new widgets which include the form widget, which is particularly powerful when it comes to marketing pages.
- Theme builder allows you to design the entire theme and WooCommerce using the plugin.
- Popup builder which lets you create a popup with the plugin.
- More templates – yes, the free version offers you a few templates, but with the pro version, you will have the full access.
- More design options, which, for instance, gives you access to custom positioning.
After reading this, we are sure you have an idea of the one you want, based on your needs.