WordPress is incredible.
Apart from the editor.
Which is quite fundamental considering that WordPress is a content management system.
If you’re writing simple blog posts that are mostly text with the occasional image, then you’ll probably be OK.
Having said that, have you tried positioning text and images in the WordPress editor?
You get my point. The editor can be a pain to use.
Improvements are in the pipeline, but meanwhile, you need something more.
You need a plugin that lets you create impressive content for pages and posts without the stress.
In this post, I’ll walk you through some of the most powerful and feature-packed page builder plugins available for WordPress.
So, whether you want to create a homepage, a landing page or just make all of your WordPress content shine, you’ll find a premium or free plugin that’s right for you.
And at the end of this post, I’ll give you my thoughts on the best page builder for you.
But first, let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Thrive Architect is a visual page builder plugin for WordPress that works with any theme. It’s a true WYSIWYG front-end editor where you can review changes rapidly to create great-looking, conversion-focused pages.
The plugin works with any theme and lets you build beautiful posts and pages using a growing list of elements. As well as the standard items like Heading, Text, and Image, you get conversion-focused elements that include Call to Action Buttons, Testimonial Boxes, Countdown Timers, and Lead Generation Forms.
Thrive Architect lets you create full-width pages with your choice of background. You can add as many layers as you like to create the background effect you want; for example, you could use an image with a high-opacity color overlay. Other options include a gradient color, a pattern, and a video background.
Thrive Architect also includes hundreds of pre-designed landing page templates, grouped into themed sets, so you get a consistent look-and-feel throughout your sales funnel. For example, each set includes an opt-in page, a confirmation page, and a download page.
Every page you build with Thrive Architect, whether you start from scratch or use a template, is mobile responsive. But the additional mobile responsive features help you tailor your pages further.
- Easy to use visual editor
- Create full-width pages on any WordPress theme
- Comes with 100+ landing page templates organized into sets
- Conversion-focused elements to add to any page
- Additional mobile responsive features
- $69 for a single-site license
Beaver Builder is a visual page builder plugin for WordPress that lets you create a wide variety of pages with its intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
The front-end editor allows you to get your pages looking exactly how you want them. You start building your page with Rows and Columns, before dragging-and-dropping modules – like maps, buttons, icons, forms, and more – into position.
The advanced module settings let you configure when the content is visible. For example, you can decide if a particular element is responsive on all devices or only selected sizes.
Beaver Builder works well with any theme. But it’s even better when you use the Beaver Builder Theme (included with the Pro and Agency plans), as you can create distraction-free landing pages without header and footer menus.
Beaver Builder includes templates for both Landing Pages and Content Pages, i.e., the inner pages of your site like a Contact Page. Pick a template you like, edit the text and images for your business, and you’re ready to go.
- Intuitive front-end editor
- Advanced module design options
- Includes 30 stunning templates
- Create distraction-free landing pages with the Beaver Builder theme
- Super Knowledge Base and Support
- $99/year for unlimited sites
Note: There is also a lite version of Beaver Builder available on WordPress.org. The free version gives you a good taste of what the premium version has to offer, and for some, it may be enough to do what you need, but the editing options are quite restricted.
Elementor is a live visual page builder plugin for WordPress that works with any theme.
Live editing in Elementor means there’s no need to press update or go to preview mode because everything is instant:
- instant drag-and-drop
- instant live edit
- instant page load
The plugin lets you design and create pages using its built-in elements – called widgets – without any coding. Widgets include Image Carousel, Progress Bar, Icon List, and much more.
Elementor pages are built in sections – like a row. Each section divides into one or more columns. And then you place widgets inside each column to create the overall design of your page.
Elementor allows you to create full-width pages with any WordPress theme. Most page builder plugins require you to use the vendor’s theme to create full-width pages. For instance, the Beaver Builder plugin requires the Beaver Builder theme.
If you don’t want to build a page from scratch, you can use one of the pre-designed page templates, available in both the free and pro versions.
Elementor Pro also includes a visual form builder. Using the Form widget, you can create a new contact form or opt-in form without leaving the page you’re designing. Then use Zapier to connect your email marketing service.
- Free and premium versions
- Easy to use Live editor with instant results
- Responsive mobile design options
- Includes 100+ pre-designed templates
- Create full-width pages with any WordPress theme
- $49 for a single-site license
Elegant Themes is best known for its flagship theme – Divi.
The only problem with Divi is that if you want to switch to a different theme, you’ll lose all of your custom page layouts.
That’s why they made Divi Builder. It gives you the flexibility to create eye-catching layouts, without being locked into their Divi theme.
The Divi Builder comes in two forms: the original “Back-end Builder” and the new front-end “Visual Builder.”
The Back-end Builder resides in the WordPress dashboard. It’s best used for making quick changes rather than creating new pages.
The all new Visual Builder lets you build your pages on the front-end of your website so you can see precisely how they’ll look when published.
With Divi, you have three basic building blocks: 3 Sections, 20 Rows, and over 40 Content Modules, which allow you to add testimonials, portfolios, pricing tables, and lots more. You can also customize each element using the Divi Builder’s advanced design settings.
Divi Builder also includes Divi Leads, so you can split-test unlimited rows, columns, or modules and optimize every aspect of your page.
- Drag-and-Drop visual builder for any WordPress theme
- Back-end and front-end page builder options
- Includes Divi Leads for split-testing your pages
- 20+ Pre-made layouts
- 40+ Content modules
- $89/year or $249/one-time Elegant Themes package (includes 87 themes and 3 plugins)
SiteOrigin Page Builder
Page Builder from SiteOrigin is a grid-based responsive page builder plugin that works with any WordPress theme.
It’s a drag-and-drop builder that uses rows and widgets rather than elements to create all types of pages. You can use your favorite WordPress widgets, and there’s also a free Widget Bundle from SiteOrigin so that you can add buttons, images, maps, sliders, and more.
SiteOrigin gives you the option of building pages in the back-end WordPress dashboard area or switching to a front-end live visual editor where you can see your changes immediately.
You can customize the look and feel of your pages by changing paddings, spacings, and borders with simple input fields. Or get more advanced with custom CSS and Class fields.
The History Browser lets you roll forward and back through your changes so you can make any customization, safe in the knowledge that you can undo it if it’s not right.
- Drag-and-Drop grid-based builder for any WordPress theme
- Front-end and back-end editing
- Undo/Redo changes with the History Browser
- Customize styles for rows/widgets
- Regular updates
- Free Plugin + Free Widget Bundle
- SiteOrigin Premium $29 is a collection of premium addons for the whole product range including the Page Builder. For example, you can build custom post types, add block animations and more.
Which page builder plugin is right for you?
It’s the 64 million dollar question.
Well, perhaps not quite that much, but you know what I mean…
With so many page builder plugins on the market, how do you choose the right one?
Let’s take a look at a few scenarios…
I want a free page builder
Let’s start with the free options – Elementor and SiteOrigin.
There’s only one winner here, and it’s Elementor. The amount of functionality packaged into this free plugin outweighs some premium plugins.
So, choose Elementor – you won’t be disappointed.
I want pre-designed landing pages
There’s no doubt that pre-designed landing pages can save you time. Once you find a design that you like, you only have to tweak a few pieces here and there.
Thrive Architect, Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Divi Builder all have pre-designed templates, so which is best?
I’d go for Thrive Architect because their pages are conversion-focused and ultimately that’s your goal with a landing page. They also have themed sets so you can create a professional look as your customers pass through your lead generation sequence.
I want front-end and back-end editing
If you like the option of building pages in the back-end of WordPress as well as a front-end visual editor, then you have a couple of choices: Divi Builder and SiteOrigin.
I’d recommend Divi Builder because it has more templates and design options than SiteOrigin.
I want a page builder/theme combination
All the page builders above work with any WordPress theme. However, sometimes it makes sense to use the same vendor for both plugin and theme. The primary consideration is the cost.
If you want to use the Beaver Builder theme and plugin, you’ll need to purchase their $199 Pro License.
If you want to use the Divi Builder with any Elegant Theme, then you’re already covered as their membership scheme includes all plugins and themes for $89/year or a one-time fee of $249.
The third option is Thrive Themes membership, which is $19/month ($228/year) and includes all plugins and themes.
I want the best combination of price and functionality
This boils down to two options: Thrive Architect or Elementor Pro.
There’s not much to differentiate the two plugins. Both editors are quick and easy to use, plus you can create lots of different page layouts, including the device-specific options.
Both come with hundreds of pre-designed templates, although the Thrive Architect themed sets are a bonus.
Thrive Architect just shades the functionality, especially as it has the built-in lead generation options.
With Elementor Pro, you have the Form Builder, but then need Zapier to connect your email service. You can build Contact Forms though, and that’s something on the Thrive Architect roadmap.
Thrive Architect costs $67 with unlimited free updates and one full year of support. After that, you can renew support coverage for a small fee, in the region of $40/year.
Elementor Pro costs $49 with one year of free updates and support. To receive updates and support afterward, you must renew your license each year at a 50% discount.
It’s a tight call, but I’d opt for Thrive Architect in the long-run.
Over to you
Decision time. Break free from the WordPress editor, pick a plugin, and start building some scintillating pages on your site.