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Home Blog WordPress Plugins Elementor Review – A Powerful Page Builder That You Can Use For Free

Elementor Review – A Powerful Page Builder That You Can Use For Free

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Elementor Review – A Powerful Page Builder That You Can Use For Free 7 Comments

If there’s one thing WordPress users love, it’s drag and drop page builders. And when it comes to page builders, Elementor is one of my favorites.

Though Elementor is a relative newcomer to the page builder scene, it’s quickly become a popular option thanks to its smooth front-end builder interface and detailed styling options.

In this Elementor review, I’ll take you in-depth and hands-on with everything this plugin has to offer. For the purposes of the review, I’ll be using the free version of the plugin, but I’ll also hit you with some of the reasons you should consider upgrading to the Pro version.

Elementor Review – at a glance

Elementor Page Builder Review
  • Ease of use
  • Speed
  • Code Quality
  • WordPress Compatibility
  • Support & Documentation
4.9

Summary

This is by far our favourite WordPress Page Builder in 2017. The thing we like most about Elementor right now is the team behind the plugin. While there are now dozens of WordPress page builders to choose from, the team behind Elementor have been rapidly enhancing the plugin to be superior to any other Page Builder in just about every way possible.

What Do I Like About Elementor?

I’ll talk about what I like below. But let me start with what I love:

NO SHORTCODES. Scream it with me. Yell it from the rooftops.

If you ever decide to stop using Elementor, it leaves clean code in your WordPress Editor. There’s absolutely no shortcode lock-in like you’d experience with page builders like Visual Composer or Divi.

For example, after building a simple page with a button and some text, this is all Elementor leaves behind:

Elementor review no code lock in

But I don’t want to make it seem like being able to get away from Elementor is the only good part. It’s also got:

  • A great front-end visual editor
  • A solid element list, even in the free version (and better ones in the Pro version)
  • Tons of premade layouts in both the free and Pro version
  • Detailed control over styling and positioning for each element
  • The ability to create dedicated landing pages (with a free third-party plugin)
  • And lots, lots more.

Hands-on Elementor Review

Ok, enough with the jibber-jabber. Let’s actually dig into the Elementor page builder. When you install and activate it, you’ll get this handy new button on all of your posts and pages:

To start editing with Elementor, all you need to do is give it a click.

Then, you’ll find yourself in the Elementor interface:

As I said, Elementor is a front-end visual builder. So while you’re building your page, you’ll see the final product exactly like your readers will.

To get started, you can either build your page from scratch or use a template.

Building a Page from Scratch with Elementor

Elementor’s interface is a breeze to use. Not only is it smooth and glitch-free, it also lets you go in-depth into how you position your elements.

To get started, you first need to add a Section. Think of a section as a container, while Elements are the actual content that fits inside that container. You can set up different default column widths, though you can always resize these later:

Ok, so you can see I went with a nice three-column layout. Now, to add Elements to that layout, you just need to drag them over from the left-hand side. So to add, say, a button, you just drag it over:

Then, you can configure the basic details for the button like its text, link, alignment, and size in the Content tab:

If you hop over to the Style tab, you can configure colors and borders for your button:

And finally, the Advanced tab lets you go in-depth with your button’s positioning. You can add margins, padding, or custom CSS. Then you can even add animation and some other cool settings!

You don’t need to use the Advanced tab. You’re perfectly capable of building pages without it. But if you want the added control, it’s there for you.

Resizing Columns for Better Page Layouts

Ok, so I added a few more elements to go alongside my button:

But let’s say you don’t like how small the video is – you want its column to be wider. To do that, all you need to do is hover in the middle and drag its column width over:

Saving Created Layouts as Templates

Let’s say you create a layout you’re absolutely in love with. You love it so much that you want to use it on multiple pages. Do you have to re-create it from scratch each time you want to use it? Nope!

You can save any layout as a template:

Which brings me to my next point…

Using Premade Templates to Save Time

Elementor also includes their own premade templates, so you don’t always need to start from a blank canvas. If you opt to go with one of the premade templates (or one of your saved templates), it just takes a few clicks to get started:

Then, you can edit and manipulate all of the content just like you could if you’d built the design yourself:

The templates are a great option because they eliminate the need to build a page’s layout. Instead, you’re free to just focus on content.

Previewing How Your Designs Look on Different Devices

Ok, last thing I’m going to show you for now. Because we live in an increasingly mobile-centric world, it’s important that your designs look great on both desktop AND mobile. Makes sense, right?

To help you make sure your designs are responsive, Elementor lets you easily preview how your pages look on:

  • Desktop
  • Tablet
  • Mobile

You just need to click a button in the bottom-left corner and Elementor will show you a live preview:

It’s a super convenient and nifty feature.

What Elements Does Elementor Have?

Ok, the interface is great. But any page builder is still only as good as its elements. So what elements does Elementor offer?

In the free version, you have all of these:

In addition to those elements, you can also use any of your WordPress widgets in your designs.

While it’s a great list for a free page builder, it’s missing some notable options like:

  • Pricing tables
  • Post grids
  • Countdown timers, etc.

If you upgrade to the Pro version (starting at $49), you can fix that problem. You’ll get all of these new elements:

One really cool addition is the Form element. It lets you easily build forms into your pages using a real-time WYSIWYG editor. Honestly, the form function alone is cool enough to be a standalone plugin in my opinion.

Can You Build Full Landing Pages With Elementor?

One of my previous gripes was that you couldn’t build full-page landing pages with Elementor. That is, you couldn’t remove the header/footer to create a truly dedicated landing page.

Thankfully, that is no longer the case. But only thanks to a third-party plugin. The Elementor Page Templater plugin lets you create a true full-width, header’less page with Elementor:

Elementor Page Builder Review
  • Ease of use
  • Speed
  • Code Quality
  • WordPress Compatibility
  • Support & Documentation
4.9

Summary

This is by far our favourite WordPress Page Builder in 2017. The thing we like most about Elementor right now is the team behind the plugin. While there are now dozens of WordPress page builders to choose from, the team behind Elementor have been rapidly enhancing the plugin to be superior to any other Page Builder in just about every way possible.

Are There Any Downsides to Elementor?

The only thing I don’t like about Elementor is its lack of an in-page text editor. While it is a front-end visual editor, you need to edit your text in the sidebar:

It’s by no means a dealbreaker, but I think it’s much more intuitive to edit text directly in the element like most other page builders let you do.

Wrapping Things Up

With the addition of the full-page extension plugin, I think Elementor is officially one of the best page builders out there.

Though its interface has one or two minor quirks that annoy me, it’s generally fluid and glitch-free. With the free version, you get a solid number of elements, and the Pro version gives you even more helpful tools.

If you don’t want to build pages from scratch, you can use Elementor’s premade templates or your own saved templates.

And, best of all, Elementor doesn’t fill your site with shortcode hell. You’re never locked-in to Elementor and your site will still run clean code.

So, if you’ve been considering a new page builder for your next project, you should absolutely give Elementor a look.

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Summary
Review Date
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Author Rating
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Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer for hire with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about digital marketing and WordPress. You can hire him to write for your website.

7 comments

  1. The idea that a page builder should be able to create a landing page with no header and footer is ridiculous. That IS – and should remain to be – a function of the theme itself.
    And there are a number of themes that do include Page templates for landing pages, or options to hide the header/footer.
    That plugin you mention does just that – adds templates you can use with no calls to a header or footer. However, there’s no guarantee it will work with every theme.
    I don’t want my page builder to muck around with theme functions. Lets keep some things separate, like WP is designed to do.

    1. Hi Karl,
      thanks for sharing your thoughts. While I would agree in an ideal world the theme should control general layout options the fact of the matter is the vast majority of themes don’t come with predefined page templates for landing pages so I think using PageBuilders and plugins for creating landing pages is quite a common use case. We certainly see it a lot. I’ve a ton of clients who create landing pages that aren’t attached to the main site at all and for which they don’t want it to look like their main site look and feel – but they do want it to hang off the main domain like mysite.com/customer-offer-x/

      Best,
      Colm

  2. Hi Colin
    I’ve just started playing with Elementor and like you, I would have liked to add text directly to the page content rather than in the Settings Panel.

    I also noticed that although there are no shortcodes, if you delete the plugin, all the page styling is lost.

  3. Being a novice, does this actually change your installed themes basic layout, thereby you’re basically not using the installed theme anymore? What about load or speed affects? Does this just replace your theme so to speak? I basically wanted to take a theme I’m using and put sidebars on both sides. How does this affect themes functionality?
    Thanks Howard

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