Most people who turn to drag-and-drop website builders like Elementor typically fall into one of two categories:
First we have the beginners, the folks that are new to website design and coding. They can’t afford or don’t want to hire a professional web developer, so they use drag-and-drop builders to create great websites without any coding or design expertise. I fell into this category when I started out with Elementor.
Then we have the experienced folks. Even though they already know website design like the back of their hand, professional web developers and designers might still use drag-and-drop website builders for efficiency.
For example, if a freelance website developer wanted to create multiple websites for different clients, it’d be quicker and easier to build and manage these websites with a drag-and-drop website builder. Less custom coding, less hassle.
The result is increased productivity for the developer in the long run. Everybody wins.
Even if you don’t fit neatly into any of these two categories, chances are, you’re considering a drag-and-drop builder for one of the following reasons:
- Real-time, visual editing
- No coding skills required
- User-friendly interface
- Time efficiency
Most drag-and-drop builders tick these boxes.
But a common issue a lot of website builders have is their limited customisation capabilities – where they excel in simplicity, they often lack in customisation options and flexibility.
For instance, you may have noticed that some website builders like Wix and Squarespace have a smaller selection of third-party plugins and integrations when you compare them to WordPress builders like Elementor.
The bottom line is this:
You can find a simple website builder anywhere. That’s not the challenge.
The real challenge is to find a website builder that balances simplicity and robust customisation.
Elementor is one of the few website builders that does this well, delivering an easy-to-use interface while remaining powerful in its customisation capabilities.
Let me trace my history with Elementor back to the beginning: I built my aggeewrites.com website using Elementor.
I started out by using the free version of Elementor (Elementor Core), exploring the free templates and widgets that were available. But when my website goals became more complex, I upgraded to Elementor Pro for those advanced features.
Now, having been through it all, I can share what building a website with Elementor is really like.
In this review, I’ll explore every aspect of Elementor’s website builder, drawing from my personal experience to help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
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Frequently asked questions about Elementor (FAQs)
We’ll start this review with a quick summary where I give you brief answers to the most frequently asked questions about Elementor.
Like most website builders, Elementor adds more weight to your website compared to WordPress’ native Gutenberg editor.
But you can still create fast-loading websites with Elementor as long as you follow WordPress performance best practices – e.g. choose a fast and reliable hosting provider, optimise your images, and limit the number of plugins you use.
Let me start off by making one thing crystal clear:
Yes, Elementor is a good website builder for beginners, but it’s not the most beginner-friendly option.
The drag-and-drop editor is simple and easy to use. You can build, edit, and preview your web pages without a single line of code. It hits the sweet spot – straightforward and user-friendly while still allowing you to create highly customised layouts.
But Elementor has a learning curve when you compare it to less powerful and less flexible website builders like Wix and Squarespace.
I’d put it this way:
If your main concern is simplifying the website design process, Elementor is certainly not the easiest website builder to use.
Other website builders out there provide a simpler and quicker setup, e.g. Wix and Squarespace.
But if you want more creative freedom, a more powerful set of tools, and are prepared to put a little bit of effort into your design process, Elementor is your best bet.
Even though Elementor has a learning curve, it makes up for it by being better for customisation and integration with its third-party plugins, competitive set of tools, and themes. Simply put, Elementor gives you a lot more control over your site’s functionality and appearance.
So in short, yes. Elementor is good for beginners so long as you’re prepared to invest time learning its features.
You just need to weigh your options – are you more concerned with simplifying the website build or building your website exactly the way you want it. If you’re the latter, then Elementor is definitely the option for you.
I’d recommend the Astra theme for Elementor. It’s super lightweight and faster than most WordPress themes out there
It’s a multipurpose theme, suitable for any type of website, including:
- Blogs (any niche)
- eCommerce sites
- Business brochure websites
- eCommerce stores (with dedicated integrations for Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce)
- Membership sites
- Online courses (with dedicated integrations for LearnDash and LifterLMS, two of the most popular LMS plugins)
As an SEO content writer and strategist, the SEO-friendliness of a a website builder is one of the first areas I look. And I can certainly vouch for Elementor in this department.
Elementor is as SEO-friendly as any other website builder you could use. Just ensure you use a WordPress SEO plugin.
Three popular options are Yoast SEO, Rank Math, and All in One SEO, which all offer dedicated Elementor integrations. But any SEO plugin should work fine.
Yes, Elementor is a good option, but I’d definitely look into dedicated e-commerce website builders like Shopify first.
Dedicated e-commerce website builders like Shopify provide an all-in-one solution without the need for additional plugins, simplifying the setup process for your online store. So if you’re looking for a simpler set-up process, native e-commerce features, and dedicated support, Shopify would be the better option.
On the other hand, if you want to build an e-commerce website on Elementor, you’ll need to rely on a plugin like WooCommerce.
Being a WordPress-based solution, Elementor would be a better option if you prefer the flexibility of WordPress, have very specific design and customisation preferences, and are comfortable managing multiple plugins.
Overall, Elementor is hands down the best WordPress website builder for most people.
Of course, no website builder is universally perfect for everyone. But if I had to recommend a default website builder for all WordPress users, Elementor would be one of them.
Whether you’re a beginner searching for a straightforward website builder or an experienced designer looking for more advanced customisation options, Elementor strikes a good balance, making a sweet option ofr most WordPress users.
Plenty of features
Elementor is more than just another simple drag-and-drop website builder.
It caters to users who seek a balance between simplicity and a deeper level of customisation. The sweet spot.
And it does this well by keeping its interface simple and user-friendly whilst still delivering an impressive range of advanced features and capabilities.
Elementor covers everything you’ll need to build an excellent website. From customisable themes and advanced integrations to sleek popups and form widgets, you get a complete toolbox that covers all aspects of website creation.
Top-notch design options
With the drag-and-drop interface, it’s easier than ever to personalise mobile responsiveness, layouts, typography, spacing, and colour schemes.
So you can customise your website exactly the way you want, down to the last detail..
Elementor has a big and helpful community.
Since it’s one of the most popular WordPress builder, you’ll find lots of learning resources, forums, and extra tools from other users.
This community support makes it easier to get help and learn more about using Elementor for your website.
Elementor isn’t the only good builder plugin out there.
At the end of the day, the best option for you would depend on your specific needs and preferences.
For example, web developers might prefer more code-centric website builders like Oxygen or Beaver Builder.
But Elementor is the best choice for most WordPress users because it at least scores pretty well in every department.
Was that all the info you needed? If the answer’s yes, you can find out more about Elementor’s pricing plans below:
Read on for the rest of my Elementor review if you haven’t made up your mind yet. Thank you!
What is Elementor?
Elementor is a WordPress website builder, one of the best for building custom websites without the hassle of code.
It uses a visual drag-and-drop editor. That means exactly what it sounds like – you’ll see what your design looks like as you build, and you can edit your pages by dragging and dropping widgets onto the page.
With a range of widgets, you can add extra functionality like Google Maps, sliders, and contact forms with minimal effort.
The interface is straightforward, letting you easily arrange elements, edit text and images, and add new sections.
Let’s take a closer look at Elementor’s features.
Is Elementor easy to use? That’s the million-dollar question.
Let’s find out.
Similar to other plugins on WordPress, you can install Elementor through your WordPress Dashboard.
The interface is simple and user-friendly.
When you start a new page, you’ll see the option to “Edit with Elementor”, swapping out the usual WordPress tools with Elementor’s:
Once you press the Edit with Elementor button, you open up Elementor’s page builder:
On the left sidebar of the page builder, there is the Elements Panel.
This Elements Panel allows you to drag and drop different widgets (like text, headings, buttons, etc.) onto your page.
At the centre of the page builder, there are two main buttons.
The left one is the Add New Section button, and the right one is the Add New Template button
Let’s go through both of these features.
Adding new sections
A section is a basic building block in Elementor.
It allows you to organise and structure your content.
You can build a section in three steps:
Step 1: Click on the “+” button to add a new section.
Step 2: Choose the structure you prefer. This sets up the basic layout for your content.
For example, you could use the three-column layout:
Step 3: Add widgets
After choosing the layout you want, you can then add widgets to your blocks.
Populate your section with content by dragging and dropping widgets from the left-side Elements panel into your columns.
Voila. It’s as easy as that.
The drag-and-drop feature in Elementor makes structuring your webpage simple.
On the free version of Elementor, you can only use Basic widgets – as the name suggests, these widgets cover most of what you need for a basic website build, e.g. text editor, image, and button widgets.
You’d need to upgrade to Elementor Pro for more advanced widgets like share buttons, loop carousels, pricing tables, testimonials and animated headlines.
Typically, Elementor Pro offers 60+ additional widgets compared to the free version, giving you more flexibility and customisation options.
I’ll do a more thorough Elementor vs. Elementor Pro comparison later on in the review.
Side note: Elementor supports a lot of third-party addons that extend its functionality.
These addons often come with their own set of widgets and features.
For example, these widgets below are not from Elementor, but from a third-party plugin called Premium Addons:
Moving things around, like sections or columns, is a breeze. You can even adjust column widths by dragging them.
For context, I’m a self-taught website designer, having learnt mostly from tutorials, documentations, and Google.
Before Elementor, I already had a little experience using WordPress’ drag-and-drop builder Gutenberg. Switching to Elementor was a fairly smooth transition.
So if you have experience using WordPress Gutenberg (or any other drag-and-drop builder for that matter), learning Elementor will be easier for you.
But Elementor’s visual editor interface is so simple you can pick up the basics even without that experience (and it certainly helps that there are so many resources on Elementor out there).
The learning curve only becomes steep when you start diving into the more advanced features, e.g. creating dynamic templates on Theme Builder or applying the use of Global Widgets.
Adding new templates
Now you might not want to build all your pages from scratch, section by section. No worries.
If you want a shortcut, Elementor also gives you the option to use pre-designed templates. So whether you want a quick setup or a fully customised page, you have that flexibility. Smooth.
Let’s take a closer look at Elementor’s template features.
The Template Library is one of my favourite features from Elementor.
It was a big help when I was starting out with Elementor as a beginner.
When I was wrestling with designer’s block, Elementor’s Template Library provided plenty of ideas for customising my pages, so I could make them unique while still maintaining that professional feel.
This made the design process more fun, and saved me a lot of time and effort in creating designs from scratch. So I could allocate more time to other tasks for my website, like writing content or building backlinks.
The Template Library features a collection of 150+ pre-designed SEO-friendly pages, perfect for those looking for a professional style that’s already put together.
The free version of Elementor provides access to only 40 of these templates.
You can’t really miss the ones that need to be paid for – they’ll be clearly marked with a ‘Pro’ label.
I like that with Elementor, you’re not limited to using their native page templates – you can easily upload third-party templates to add more variety and customisation to your designs.
Just download a good template plugin from WordPress, and the sky’s the limit.
Once you activate your template plugin, you’ll find the option to use it when you open up the editor.
You can essentially add third-party templates to your page the same way you would add a normal Elementor template from the Template Library.
For example, I often use page and block templates from Starter Templates and Premium Addons in my page builds.
All the designs you make with Elementor automatically adjust to different devices like desktops, tablets, and phones.
But sometimes, you might want to tweak sizes for specific devices.
For example, you might want to change text size or hide an image for mobile users.
Elementor accounts for this with a few helpful functionalities:
- You can access a responsive preview in the left side bar. The response preview option lets you switch between different device views – i.e. Desktop, Tablet and Mobile.
- Many settings feature a responsive control icon, allowing you to add changes that only apply to specific devices.
- Under the Advanced tab, there’s an option to hide content for specific devices.
For example, on the desktop version of my aggeewrites.com website, I display the table of contents on all my blog posts.
But I adjusted the settings, so the table of contents never shows on the mobile and table versions.
Global colours and typography
Elementor global colours and typography features are handy for keeping your design consistent.
Let’s take a closer look:
With Global Colours, you can set a colour palette for your entire website.
This means that when you decide to change the default colour of, say, your main body text it updates across all instances automatically.
I liked this feature because it helps you maintain a consistent look across your entire website without manually updating each element. And this was a lifesaver when I wanted to play around with the colour scheme on my website while still keeping that brand consistency.
This feature is perfect for quickly switching your site’s colour scheme or rebranding.
Global Typography makes it easy to tweak font styles across your site, saving time when adjusting typography.
You can decide on default fonts, sizes, and styles for headings, text, and more, ensuring a neat and professional look.
For example, I set all of the body font on my website to the Figtree font and my headings as Urbanist by default. So every time I write new content, these fonts appear automatically.
That’s one less factor to worry about when I’m creating new content for the website.
Both of these features offer a simple way to manage and keep your design consistent throughout your website, saving you that extra effort when it comes to updates and styling changes.
Next on our list is Theme Builder.
Elementor’s Theme Builder allows you to design different parts of your WordPress website from one place – e.g. headers, footers, single post pages, and archive pages.
So it’s easier than ever to keep a professional, consistent look across your entire site.
Let me give you an example:
I created a Single Post Template for all of the blog posts on my website.
So every time I write a blog post, I can pull up the same layout without having to redo it.
In other words, with the Theme Builder, you can make changes globally and apply them to all posts using the template.
And Elementor’s Theme Builder allows me to set conditions for my templates, giving me precise control over where and when they are applied on my website.
So, for instance, I could specify which post I want my Single Post template to apply to. Pretty neat.
You can set conditions based on post format, categories, authors, and more.
If I didn’t have this Single Post template, I’d have to go into each blog post one by one and change the layout every time there’s an update.
That’s a lot of time down the drain.
Time that I simply don’t have. And I’m sure you feel the same way.
Elementor’s Theme Builder allows effortless global design changes, saving time and giving you a consistent look across the entire site.
Another great tool was the form builder which allowed me to collect user data easily using customisable forms like polls, surveys, and contact forms, all without having to write any code.
Of course, no-code contact forms have been around for a long time with the likes of JotForm, but having that functionality in your website builder removes the extra step of having to connect to another platform.
One less thing to worry about.
With Elementor Popup Builder, you can create unique popups effortlessly, using Elementor’s widgets and interface for complete customisation.
These versatile popups can serve various purposes, from email opt-ins to announcements, contact forms, and more.
You have full control over the popup canvas, allowing you to create different styles, including lightbox popups, notification bars, slide-ins, and full-screen fillers.
What sets this builder apart is its inclusion of advanced targeting and trigger rules, making it a comprehensive solution for most users.
When you’re designing a website, you want the freedom to make changes without the risk of disrupting your live site.
This is probably even more true when you’re working on client websites.
Elementor’s staging site makes that easier.
The staging site in Elementor provides a dedicated space where you can safely create and test new designs without impacting your live site (public-facing site).
This feature was especially helpful when I was new to Elementor, providing a safety net against any mistakes.
It allows you to experiment with different designs, ensuring everything looks as intended before publishing it to your live site. So you can have a more confident and stress-free website build.
If you’re an Elementor Pro user, you get 24/7 premium support through forms and tickets, with a team of experts ready to assist with any questions you may have.
Based on my experiences, the support team responded quickly and provided genuinely helpful assistance.
It’s a reassuring feature knowing there’s reliable support available whenever needed.
The Elementor help centre has a lot of useful info on navigating the website builder.
I’d recommend taking a look if you haven’t already.
You’ll find extensive documentation covering design basics, beginner tips, how-to articles, and tutorials, which I found handy when I was starting out with Elementor.
On top of that, Elementor has a large community of web creators where you can find inspiration, ask questions, and get answers from experienced professionals.
Just about every Elementor-related topic I’ve searched about had a YouTube tutorial or a quick blog post explaining the solution.
Elementor free vs pro. Is Elementor Pro worth it?
Choosing between Elementor Pro and the free version depends on your project’s complexity.
If you’re building a straightforward website with basic design needs, you could get away with building on the free version.
The free version has a lot of pre-designed templates and widgets for basic design requirements.
However, the free version also has its limitations.
While you can replicate some of Elementor Pro’s features with free third-party WordPress plugins, doing so can lead to compatibility issues, slower page loading, and potential errors.
On the other hand, you can avoid all that added headache with Elementor Pro.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg, because Elementor also opens the door to a lot more benefits.
Essential - $59/year
- For basic websites
- Features: 1 site, Premium Support, 50 Pro Widgets, Theme Builder, Dynamic Content, Form Builder
- Additional features not included
Advanced - $99/year
- For professional and E-commerce websites
- Features: Up to 3 sites, Premium Support, 82 Pro Widgets, Theme Builder, Dynamic Content, Form Builder, Popup Builder, Custom Code & CSS, E-commerce Features, Collaborative Notes
Expert - $199/year
- For freelancers with multiple sites
- Features: Up to 25 sites, Premium Support, 82 Pro Widgets, Theme Builder, Dynamic Content, Form Builder, Popup Builder, Custom Code & CSS, E-commerce Features, Collaborative Notes
Agency - $399/year
- For high-growth agencies
- Features: Up to 1000 sites, Premium Support, 82 Pro Widgets, Theme Builder, Dynamic Content, Form Builder, Popup Builder, Custom Code & CSS, E-commerce Features, Collaborative Notes