page builders

Not too long ago visual page builders didn’t exist. It meant that anyone without coding knowledge was out of luck if they wanted to launch a simple sales page for their business or a landing page to get the word out about a new invention.

You had to rely solely on web developers and designers–and those came with significant costs. Furthermore, those developers and designers had to work with CSS and HTML to make even the slightest style change on a website–a task that took far longer than anyone would care to admit.

Eventually, shortcodes came along, speeding up the development process for those who wanted to skip the whole HTML thing.

But the real revolution started with the WordPress page builder–an impressive addition to WordPress that turned designing into a more visual procedure.

Web developers can now manufacture more sites in a fraction of the time (making way for more customers and money). In addition, the beginners and startups out there don’t have to rely on a pricey developer, because they can construct a website with drag and drop elements for items like carousels, images, videos, columns, product galleries, portfolios, and more.

What’s the Point of a WordPress Page Builder?

Have you ever tried to create something as simple as a Contact Us page? You might include a form with fields for a user’s name, website, email address, and the message. Then you may want to insert a map that leads to your offices, along with some links to your support pages and information about your company. Don’t forget your phone number!

Even though the Contact Us page is one of the more rudimentary pages to construct, it takes a decent amount of formatting, coding, and headaches to complete the process without a visual builder. Yet, when you install a WordPress page builder, all of that changes. Not only can experienced developers speed up the development process, but beginners no longer have to worry about that messy code.

In addition, much of the content is shown on the screen as it’ll display on your website. No tweaking and hitting the Preview button anymore! As we suggested, the Contact Us page is just about the easiest webpage you can make, but a WordPress page builder offers even more advantages when you have rows upon rows of content.

Take an eCommerce homepage, for example. A page like this might require some of the following:

  • A slider to feature the most recent promotions.
  • WooCommerce product gallery with the most popular items in the shop.
  • An Add To Cart button for the most recent release.
  • A list of testimonials from past customers.
  • A countdown timer announcing the most recent product launch.
  • A navigational menu at the top, guiding customers to the best categories.
  • Social sharing buttons.
  • Animated headlines to explain your company and the products it sells.

Arranging all of that takes quite a bit of time, but a WordPress page builder could potentially cut that time down to 20 minutes if you get used to the builder’s interface. After that, the best page builders allow for column and content repositioning, resizing, column configuration, padding, colors, and much more. The best part? These tasks are typically completed by using your mouse.

A Quick List of the Best WordPress Page Builder Options

We’ll talk about each of the WordPress page builders in-depth, but if you’d like to try them out right away, feel free to click through the list below.

  1. Elementor
  2. GeneratePress with Sections
  3. Beaver Builder
  4. Divi
  5. Themify Builder
  6. Page Builder by SiteOrigin
  7. Visual Composer
  8. Page Builder Sandwich
  9. Oxygen
  10. Live Composer
  11. Visual Page Builder from MotoPress

Find the Best WordPress Page Builder for Your Website

Quite a few WordPress page builders exist on the internet, and this makes it rather tricky when it comes to choosing one. The good news is that we’ve whittled down your choices to ones that have excellent ratings and incredible features based on our tests.

It’s also important to us that the page builders are compatible with most WordPress themes. So, we’ll outline the best of the best and talk about some of the situations in which you might consider one WordPress page builder over another.

1. Elementor

Elementor is available as a free plugin download, but you also have the option to pay for the Pro version. The Pro version starts at$49 for one site and goes up to $199 for unlimited sites. As you’ll discover with the features listed below, and with Elementor’s ease of use, this is quite the steal.

The free Elementor download offers a simple yet powerful WordPress page builder, with one of the fastest interfaces you can find. Everything is instant, from live edits to the instant page loads. The standard page builder features include animations, shape dividers, gradient backgrounds, and headline effects. There’s even a template library with stunning WordPress templates, all of which you can pick and choose from. The free version of Elementor is also mobile-friendly, with some handy tools for maintenance mode, under construction pages, landing pages, and more.

Elementor WordPress page builder

Elementor WordPress page builder

As for the overall performance and feature-set, it doesn’t really matter whether you go with the pro or free version. It mainly depends on what you need for your particular site. That said, the Pro version of Elementor is a thing of beauty.

To start, Elementor Pro includes over 26 widgets for formulating the perfect pages, whether it be for eCommerce, portfolio work, or a regular business website. For instance, you can insert Facebook buttons, pages, and comments throughout your website, while also taking advantage of WooCommerce widgets, such as categories, products, or element modules. The live form editor means that you no longer have to spend time in the backend working with forms. Not to mention, you can save your widgets to be pasted over into other pages or websites.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • The free version has templates, a speedy design area, and a truly live design experience.
  • The paid version only starts at $49 for one site.
  • You won’t have to install other plugins for maintenance, coming soon, and landing pages.
  • Save edited widgets to be used all over your website.
  • Choose from over 26 widgets, some of which include videos, buttons, icons, social icons, image galleries, and counters.
  • You can translate your website to dozens of other languages.
  • The developer API is open for the Elementor plugin to be extended and integrated into other systems.

Don’t forget to also check out our interview with Ben Pines, the developer behind Elementor.

2. GeneratePress with Sections

GeneratePress is a free WordPress theme, but we like to consider it as a simplistic page builder solution, perfect for beginner webmasters, bloggers, and developers who want an uncomplicated, rapid visual builder. In addition, you can add the handy premium Sections add-on to incorporate drag and drop functionality to your GeneratePress interface.

Let’s start with the theme itself. GeneratePress is a simple, lightweight, and free WordPress theme with rave reviews and a beautiful layout for landing pages, blogs, business websites, and sales pages. It’s hard to figure out a market where you couldn’t utilize the GeneratePress theme since it’s so modern and clean. Needless to say, if you’re tired of clunky, slow themes, it’s worth checking out GeneratePress. Most of the editing is done through the WordPress live editor when working with the free theme, but you gain access to all modules (add-ons) including Sections, when you opt for the premium version of the theme.

GeneratePress (sections)

GeneratePress (sections)

Without Sections, GeneratePress presents an insanely quick way to construct a beautiful website. Yet, once you add the Sections module it opens up many doors for design. In short, the module lets you add a section, then add content to that section such as media, text, headers, colors, and background colors. So, you might design a list of your product features with bold text, images, and links.

As we mentioned, the combination of GeneratePress and Sections is all about speed. Once you have all of your sections created, you can move them around with the drag and drop interface. The sections are stacked on top of each other, so most of the movement happens on a vertical basis.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • GeneratePress delivers the potential to create and manage a professional website within minutes.
  • There’s a free theme that works wonders, but you do have the option to pay around $40 for the premium theme with over 14 modules (including Sections).
  • The Sections module adds that much-wanted drag and drop functionality, so all you have to do is move around your bits of content to organize them.
  • You can place the premium version of GeneratePress on an unlimited number of sites. In other words, a developer or agency would only have to pay $40 to have a theme for all clients.
  • You get some other awesome modules for things like colors, WooCommerce, typography, menus, page headers, blogs, backgrounds, spacing, and hooks.
  • You get carefully and well developed performance optimizations, such as dynamic CSS caching, a default option of a system font stack (no font files), no jQuery, and smaller Font Awesome essentials.

3. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder offers a robust WordPress page builder for the creative types who still crave something more than the simplicity of the previous builders. There’s both a free lite version and a premium version. The pricing is a little bit higher than most builders. However, you can use Beaver Builder on an unlimited number of sites, starting at $99.

Whitelabeling is offered in the Agency plan ($399,) so it’s clear that the folks at Beaver Builder are also thinking about development houses with clients.

As for the WordPress page builder, it allows you to gain full control over your design elements, all by starting with modern and beautiful templates and cleaning your site up with a drag and drop system. Beaver Builder boasts precision with the visual builder, which puts it ahead of other options that have finicky controls.

Beaver Builder WordPress page builder

Beaver Builder WordPress page builder

The live, frontend editing is where Beaver Builder flexes its muscles, since you don’t have to keep clicking the Preview button or guessing when making adjustments. It’s a mobile-friendly builder, and the WooCommerce support is useful for those online stores out there. You can save and reuse rows and modules for later use, while also utilizing shortcodes and widgets when third-party plugins don’t integrate with Beaver Builder.

Along with reusable templates, an open API, and an import/export feature, it’s hard to find a WordPress page builder that has as many features as Beaver Builder.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • The live, frontend editing works in real-time so there’s no guesswork, and you don’t have to wait around for changes to be reflected on your screen.
  • The page builder works nicely with WooCommerce.
  • Some of the premium plans come with a Beaver Builder theme, which features a simple, yet powerful design, and some wonderful presets for making dozens of different styles with the click of a button.
  • You get dozens of drag and drop modules including (but not limited to) photos, text editors, separators, accordions, calls to action, number counters, subscribe forms, and pricing tables.
  • The Agency Plan provides white-labeling, network-wide settings, and a DIY web publishing platform for the ultimate environment to serve your clients.
  • All of your layouts can be saved and reused elsewhere on your website. You might even try transferring over some of these layouts to other websites.

4. Divi

Divi has made a name for itself since it comes from the impressive developers over at Elegant Themes. As with all Elegant Themes products, you must join as a member to unlock all of the plugins, themes, and other cool features Elegant Themes has to offer. It’s a hub for developers and agencies that require a library full of WordPress plugins and themes. That said, a membership starts at only $89 per year, so it’s tough to argue against it.

When it comes to the Divi Builder, this is a gem that presents an endless number of layout possibilities. You can use it on any theme you want by taking advantage of the 46 content modules. For instance, a few of the modules include:

  • Accordion
  • Audio player
  • Bar counter
  • Comments
  • Divider
  • Email opt-in
  • Portfolio
  • Slider
  • Testimonial

Divi WordPress page builder

Divi WordPress page builder

Divi Builder permits multiple columns, but some of the more intriguing designs on the Elegant themes website show long-form content for blogs and landing pages. In fact, Elegant Themes states that Divi is perfect for telling an enticing story with a vertical display of imagery and interactive elements.

The simple configuration options ensure that you don’t need to know anything about coding. However, you can add your own custom CSS if you can’t find something in Divi or if you’d like to incorporate a completely unique element. As with many of the WordPress page builders on this list, Divi also has a feature for duplicating and copying any element with a single click. You can even hide or lock a certain module on the backend if you’d like to save it for later or keep others from editing.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • With 46 content modules, Divi has one of the largest libraries of website elements to choose from.
  • You even get some beautiful templates to get the ball rolling.
  • Duplicate, disable, and lock items.
  • Divi provides a unique “collapse” feature for consolidating your view and clearing out the area for a less cluttered design experience.
  • Divi also offers unlimited redos and undos. Therefore, you can go back to a revision made far into the past and still jump back to that revision.

5. Themify Builder

Themify Builder has the distinct advantage of being built into all Themify themes, so if you stumble upon a Themify theme from the collection that fits your needs, you don’t have to worry about integrating a third-party WordPress page builder or paying for anything extra. The Themify Builder sells for $39, yet that only gets you the builder and none of the interesting Themify builder add-ons. In my opinion, you’re better off paying the $59 to receive all the add-ons with the builder.

Themify Builder

Themify Builder

There’s also a Builder Lite version, which you can download for free.

Let’s begin with the free builder features. To start, the page builder has responsive elements across all resolutions. The frontend live preview editing removes the need to mess around in the backend much, while the default drag and drop module includes the following: Text, audio, accordion, gallery, post, widget, and more. Some premium tools are included in the free version, such as the import/export feature, copy and paste modules, draggable column widths, and an undo/redo feature.

The premium Themify Page Builder offers more for advanced developers, since it has an area to type in your own custom CSS. This opens up all sorts of customization possibilities, while also combining well with the reusable parts feature for making custom CSS modules and reusing them elsewhere. The primary advantage of the premium version is the over 60 predesigned builder layouts. You also get over 60 animation effects and responsive styling for the most realistic design center.

The revision control is expanded in this version as well, seeing as how it allows you to save your layouts with an unlimited number of versions. Finally, the add-ons help turn your WordPress page builder into one of the only plugins you need. Some of the add-ons allow for:

  • Slideshows
  • Infinite posts
  • A typewriter effect
  • A background video slider
  • Maps Pro
  • Progress bars
  • Timelines
  • Counters
  • A/B image display

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • The free version includes features that you often have to pay for with other WordPress page builders. The main reason you would go with the paid version is if you wanted certain builder layouts, animation effects, or the dozens of Themify add-ons.
  • The paid version is affordable, and you can make a small upgrade to gain access to dozens of unique add-ons.
  • The Themify Builder has over 60 predesigned builder layouts and 60 animation effects.
  • It provides an unusual tool where you can hide some website elements depending on the device being used.
  • You also have the option for custom CSS, just in case you’d like to revert back to more traditional design methods.

6. Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Page Builder by SiteOrigin has both a free version and a premium version for $29. You can download the SiteOrigin widget bundle without giving an email address or paying an additional rate. The widgets offered include modules for Google Maps, headlines, image grids, price tables, post carousels, and much more. Combine this with the responsive WordPress page builder and you’ve found yourself a simple content creation interface for all experience levels.

This is a simple drag and drop system, using grid-based technology and the integration with SiteOrigin and third-party widgets. Therefore, you can construct your website using some of the more familiar widgets that come with your theme. The page builder has live frontend editing, but you also have the option to move around elements in the backend page builder. This provides a simple toolbar towards the top of your content, with buttons to add widgets, add rows, use prebuilt modules, or look at your history.

SiteOrigin Page Builder

SiteOrigin Page Builder

As we talked about above, Page Builder by SiteOrigin is given away for free without the need to upgrade for support or updates. However, you can upgrade to the premium version if you want additional addons, such as the SiteOrigin Custom Post Type Builder, which can help further enhance your site.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • If you’re interested in a smooth WordPress page builder without the price tag. This includes a large collection of widgets for free.
  • You don’t mind solving your own customer support issues in the forums or documentation.
  • You’d like a backend and frontend live page builder.
  • The SiteOrigin Page Builder provides a sleek, simple toolbar that’s easy to understand. You can add the most important elements like rows and widgets.
  • SiteOrigin integrates perfectly with its own widgets and whatever other third-party widgets you might be used to having on your site.

7. Visual Composer

Visual Composer (also known as WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress,) is the most popular page builder sold on CodeCanyon. You’ll often find it included with some themes when you buy them on ThemeForest. Also, you can bet that all respectable themes integrate with the powerful tool. Visual Composer isn’t the cleanest or easiest page builder in the world, but it’s packed with features that intermediate and advanced web developers will enjoy.

For instance, you get over 50 premium content elements and 100 predefined layouts. The over 40 grid design templates get you started on the right foot, and you can’t go wrong with the over 200 exclusive third-party add-ons. Visual Composer provides both front and backend visual editors. The frontend solution shows you real-time results as you adjust your website, while the backend editor is more of a grid-based interface with modules to drag and drop.

Visual Composer WordPress page builder

Visual Composer WordPress page builder

As you may have assumed by now, no coding is required when working with the Visual Composer plugin. In fact, the developers have added something called “tree view,” which turns your builder into a layered interface, much like Photoshop or Sketch Layers.

If there comes a time where you can’t make a design element look right, or you’d like to get creative and make part of your site completely unique, you can tap into the custom CSS or custom Javascript sections. This can be done globally or locally for when you might need to add a certain style to your entire website.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • Sometimes you get Visual Composer for free if you buy the right theme.
  • Buying it separately only costs you $45.
  • You technically receive a 3-1 editor, with the backend, live frontend editor, and the tree view.
  • Visual composer allows you to hide elements and save them for later, cleaning up your design area and reminding you about the module.
  • The WordPress page builder requires zero knowledge of code, but those experienced enough have full control of the custom CSS and Javascript areas.

8. Page Builder Sandwich

Page Builder Sandwich mainly works as a free plugin, but there is the option to upgrade to Page Builder Premium, which gets you over 1,700 more vector icons, a customized version of Google Maps, hundreds of shortcodes and plugins, along with the ability to add your own CSS.

We like Page Builder sandwich for beginners since it relies primarily on a frontend visual page builder. Therefore, you don’t have to think about any backend designing, removing the need to know anything about code. The drag and drop elements are pretty basic, with simple text boxes and images. You can customize colors and sizes with your mouse and see all of your changes rendered in real-time.

Page Builder Sandwich

Page Builder Sandwich

Although there isn’t a backend drag and drop editor, Page Builder Sandwich integrates nicely with the default WordPress content editor. Therefore, you can jump back to that editor to adjust images or text, yet the code from the visual editor won’t get messed up.

This WordPress page builder is a somewhat watered down version of options like Divi and Elementor, but it works wonders if you’d like to clear out the clutter. For example, the 10 full page templates are nice as a starting point, but other page builders have larger libraries.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • The free version is basic enough for the average webmaster to jump in and start designing without training.
  • The premium version has hundreds of plugins and shortcodes, along with thousands of vector icons.
  • 10 page templates come along with the plugin so you don’t have to build your site from scratch.
  • The WordPress page builder presents a beautiful frontend live editor, and this doesn’t conflict with any edits made to the backend WordPress editor.

9. Oxygen

The Oxygen app is a little different than your average WordPress page builder since it works through a separate sandbox module–that’s still connected to WordPress–but it’s actually what I would consider separate. One aspect I really enjoy about Oxygen is that it cuts out most of the main tabs and toolbars you would typically see from WordPress and focuses only on the page builder options like buttons for making containers, paragraphs, and text blocks.

Oxygen goes for a set price of $99. This includes a 30-day money back guarantee and lifetime updates for an unlimited number of websites. Therefore, you don’t have to keep paying a yearly fee for simple support and updates.

Oxygen WordPress page builder

Oxygen WordPress page builder

The point of Oxygen is to make sites within minutes, and the prebuilt components allow you to generate your own designs in a rapid fashion. HTML elements are also included in case you’d like to build your site in a more traditional manner. Oxygen has an import/export feature to quickly move designs from one site to another. In addition, you can use Oxygen alongside other page builders like Visual Composer, Beaver Builder, and Elementor. This is a strong advantage if you find certain features in each WordPress page builder that you like.

To me, Oxygen’s interface looks similar to that of Photoshop. It’s easy to understand once you’ve had some practice, and it has an overwhelming amount of tools if you learn how to use them. However, I’d consider it rather intimidating for a first-time user. That said, more experienced developers should find it useful, especially with the support for Javascript, HTML, PHP, and CSS.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • Oxygen provides full coding ability (with Java, HTML, PHP, and CSS,) along with a solid visual frontend builder.
  • You can combine Oxygen with other page builders like Elementor, just in case you like features from both.
  • This WordPress page builder provides you a lifetime of updates and support, and you can use it on as many client sites as you want.

10. Live Composer

Live Composer is another free, open-source WordPress page builder, so you can navigate to the site and download the plugin by typing in your email address and name. It offers a frontend drag and drop interface so you don’t need to know anything about coding. The editor makes a responsive design and it comes with over 40 content modules for quick and easy development.

Live Composer has two themes for you to get started with your design, and it provides a specific WooCommerce integration that you can buy for $69. This delivers full customization for everything from product pages to cart pages.

Live Composer WordPress page builder

Live Composer WordPress page builder

The only part you would have to pay for is if you needed that WooCommerce support or one of the many extensions. The extensions are sold in a package for $49.

Other than that, the Live Composer plugin is a basic, yet intuitive, builder for all skill levels. I would like to see a more comprehensive list of modules with the free version, but you can take advantage of the extensions if needed.

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • You don’t have to pay a dime for the page builder.
  • You can opt to pay for a full drag and drop WooCommerce editor.
  • The company also sells premium extensions for things like Google Maps, video embedding, gallery images, and animations.

11. Visual Page Builder from MotoPress

Visual Page Builder from MotoPress doesn’t have the same exposure as some of the more popular page builders on this list, but it’s an affordable solution ($29,) with support for all themes, pages, posts, and custom post types. It combines with the WordPress editor to create a fully visual frontend editing experience. Not to mention, the plugin is WordPress multisite compatible if you have a network of sites.

The standard plugin offers several premade themes and a multilingual interface to change your site text for everyone to understand. Even if you’re only interested in the full Woocommerce support or the included Google Web Fonts, the Visual Page Builder from MotoPress is worth a look.

Visual Page Builder

Visual Page Builder

Furthermore, you can choose the personal or developer bundles to gain access to a collection of premium add-ons. Some of the add-ons include:

  • Whitelabeling support
  • Video sliders and video lightboxes
  • Google Maps Pro
  • Pricing tables
  • A simple contact form
  • Image hotspots
  • A countdown module
  • An extended WooCommerce add-on

Here’s Why You Might Consider This WordPress Page Builder:

  • It’s one of the cheaper premium page builders.
  • The plugin focuses more on the real-time visual page builder, so it’s great if you have no interest in the backend.
  • You receive a little WooCommerce support in the standard plugin.
  • The WordPress page builder includes a handful of premade page templates and themes.

Gutenberg (Coming Soon)

We also can’t let you leave without at least mentioning Gutenberg, which is a take on a new editor for WordPress.

Gutenberg

Gutenberg

Their goal is to editing and creation of content easier, especially for those just starting with WordPress. They are embracing “little blocks” and hope to add more advanced layout options. This is similiar to what some might call a page builder. However, it is still in beta, so we’re all waiting to see how it turns out. It’s estimated to ship with WordPress 5.

Additional Page Builders and Multipurpose Themes

There are so many page builders on the market that we can’t cover all of them, but here are a few additional ones that deserve a mention.

And of course, we can’t forget popular themes such as Avada and the X WordPress Theme. Avada has it’s own Fusion Builder built in, and the X theme has both Visual Composer bundled with it as well as its own, Cornerstone. Cornerstone is also available separately. But we’ll be covering multipurpose themes more in-depth in another post. 😉

Now It’s Your Turn to Choose the Best WordPress Page Builder

You’re bound to find all sorts of results when you search for WordPress page builders in Google. Hopefully, this guide allows you to minimize your options and make an informed decision based on your budget, experience level, and the kind of features you desire.

To make it a little easier for you, here are some final conclusions:

  • If you want the most bang for your buck (lots of features for a good price): Consider Elementor, Divi, or Beaver Builder.
  • If you’re interested in a rapid, simple page builder: Try GeneratePress with Sections or Page Builder by SiteOrigin.
  • If you’d like a free WordPress page builder:  Check out Elementor, Page Builder Sandwich, Live Composer, or Page Builder by SiteOrigin.
  • If you’re looking for a more powerful page builder with support for advanced coding: Look into Divi, Themify, Visual Composer, or Oxygen.

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