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9 Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins Compared (Based on Real Experience)
Looking for the best WordPress page builder plugin so that you can start creating content with a visual, drag-and-drop interface?
Page builders have taken the WordPress world by storm and most people find them to be a much more intuitive way of creating styled content in WordPress.
That popularity has led to an explosion in choices, though, which can make it hard to choose the right plugin for your needs.
To help, I’ve collected nine of the best WordPress page builder plugins – keep reading to learn which one is best for you!
9 Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins in 2021
Below, I’ve collected my thoughts on the best WordPress page builder plugins based on years of using and testing all of these tools. I’ve personally used every single one of these page builder plugins, so this post is, in part, based on my own experience.
All of these tools have lengthy feature lists, so I won’t try to share every single feature. Instead, I’ll share the high points and try to highlight some of the things that I think are most notable about each plugin.
Then, if one of them piques your interest, you can go look at the full feature list and give it a test.
Back in 2016, we were one of the first WordPress blogs to review this brand new page builder plugin called Elementor.
Since then, Elementor has grown…and grown…and grown. Now, Elementor is active on over three million WordPress sites according to WordPress.org, making it one of the most popular page builder plugins.
Elementor is also what we use here at WPLift – if you check out our homepage and other core pages, all of them are built using Elementor, which is why we’re generally pretty big fans of Elementor.
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So what’s the deal with Elementor and its growth?
Well, first off, Elementor is a visual, drag-and-drop page builder plugin, which means that you’re able to design your content using the exact same view that your visitors will see. It also boasts inline editing, which means you can just click and type on the page to edit content.
Then, here are some of the reasons why I think Elementor has been so successful…
A Super Generous Free Version
While several of the page builder plugins on this list offer free versions at WordPress.org, Elementor’s free version is by far the most generous in terms of functionality.
Without spending a dime, you’ll still be able to build some pretty complex, great-looking pages.
In fact, the generosity of the free version has led a lot of developers to build their themes around demo content built with Elementor, which has definitely played a role in Elementor’s growth.
You can also purchase pre-made Elementor templates from sites like EasyThemePacks that are built on Elementor.
Lots of Design Options
Elementor is especially popular with designers because of its detailed style options. You’ll get pinpoint control over every single element, including neat goodies like absolute positioning.
So if you like having design flexibility, I think Elementor might be the best tool for you (though there are some other good options, too – like Divi Builder).
A Super Powerful Pro Version…That’s Also Affordable
Elementor Pro, the premium add-on for the free version at WordPress.org, started out as just a set of extra widgets along with some helpful new features like the ability to add custom CSS directly to individual widgets.
Since then, though, the Elementor team has packed in a ton of value…without really changing the price.
The two biggest additions are:
- Theme Builder
- Popup Builder
With Elementor Theme Builder, you can take the same visual Elementor interface and use it to design your entire website – including your site’s header, footer, blog single pages, blog archive page, etc. You can even use it to design your WooCommerce product pages.
Basically, you can completely eliminate the need for a theme if you want. And you’ll also get other powerful features like the ability to design templates for custom post types and an option to include dynamic custom fields data from ACF, Toolset, or Pods.
Then, Elementor Popup Builder lets you design popups using the Elementor interface, including lots of targeting/trigger rules, as well as the ability to set up email opt-in forms.
Overall, the value that Elementor Pro offers is tough to beat in my opinion. You can learn more in our full Elementor review.
Price: Free version at WordPress.org. Pro version starts at $49
Visit Elementor Read Elementor Review
The importance of Elementor’s impact on the world of WordPress web design can not be understated.
When it first came out, it introduced people to a whole new visual way of creating websites and prompted WordPress themselves to up their game.
How did they do that? By rolling out Gutenberg, a brand visual editor that is now the default way of adding content to your posts and pages.
The reason behind this change -the biggest alteration to the WordPress editor ever- was simple:
Make WordPress more accessible by ensuring that users didn’t need to know any HTML, CSS, or complicated processes to create great-looking, functional sites.
To that end, Gutenberg has mostly been successful.
Say Goodbye to Shortcodes and Embeds
Taking a similar drag-and-drop approach to other page builders, this one uses content blocks to display anything and everything from standard text paragraphs to images, video, and other dynamic content.
Ultimately, this means that you no longer have to spend any time dealing with shortcodes, widgets, custom theme options, or embeds. Instead, you simply add a new block, choose what type of content to add, and drop it into place.
Effortless Site Building
On its own, this merely helps you to create media-rich blog posts and pages similar to those used by the likes of Medium, but as we discussed in our complete guide to creating a custom WordPress using Gutenberg, extensions such as Toolset Blocks can be used to turn this WordPress editor into a full-scale site-builder.
Admittedly, as a long-time WordPress user, the switch from the classic TinyMCE editor did take some getting used to, but now I definitely appreciate how easy it makes the whole process of building and running a WordPress site.
That’s especially true as the editor has evolved since it was first introduced two years ago, meaning you can now automatically do things that you previously couldn’t do with WordPress unless you had an expensive plugin or extensive CSS knowledge.
One feature we love is that you can create reusable content blocks that can be shared across multiple posts. If you regularly use the same information tables or calls to action, for example, you can create them once and automatically add them in as a block wherever you need to.
Need to make a change to that block? Change it once and it updates across all pages.
If you’re running the latest version of WordPress (and you really should be) then you’ll already automatically have Gutenberg up and running. Otherwise, it’s available as a free download from the WordPress plugins directory.
Gutenberg Tutorial Get Gutenberg
3. Divi Builder
Divi Builder is the WordPress page builder plugin from the eponymous Divi theme. While Divi Builder does come bundled as part of the Divi theme, you can also purchase a standalone plugin version to use with any WordPress theme.
Divi Builder is another tool that designers love because of all the design options it offers, and I’d put it up there with Elementor in that respect.
Divi Builder gets ragged on by some WordPress folks for its performance, but, having tested this stuff multiple times, I think that’s unfair.
In performance tests that I’ve run, Divi Builder fares fine. It’s not the absolute fastest, but it’s certainly in the same range as many other popular page builders. I’ve found my Divi Builder pages usually have a slightly larger file size, but do a better job at keeping HTTP requests to a minimum.
Lots of Design Options
Like Elementor, Divi Builder comes packed with tons of design options, so if you like being able to tinker with elements, you’ll probably be a fan of Divi Builder.
A Huge Community
Over its many years of popularity, the Divi Builder has developed a huge community of users and extensions.
It’s definitely not the only page builder with a big community (Elementor and Beaver Builder have large communities, as do some other tools). However, Divi Builder definitely seems to have one of the most passionate communities, which makes it easy to find resources.
Additionally, Elegant Themes, the developer, does a great job of publishing Divi tutorials and resources on the Elegant Themes blog.
You can learn more about Divi in our full Divi theme review. And we’ve also compared Divi vs Elementor if you want to see how they stack up.
Price: Available as part of the $89 Elegant Themes membership, which gets you access to every single Elegant Themes product.
Get Divi Builder Read Divi Review
4. Beaver Builder
Beaver Builder is another great option in the WordPress page builder space. It doesn’t have quite as “flashy” a feature list as some of the other page builders, but it’s just a really solid tool.
I know that doesn’t sound super exciting, but Beaver Builder is definitely one of the best page builders.
I think the Beaver Builder team prioritizes stability rather than adding new features as quickly as possible, which is something a lot of folks appreciate.
It does indeed have a stable interface that’s never crashed on me. And I also find its interface to be quite speedy, which is nice when you’re working with a lot of content.
Beaver Themer Offers Theme Building
With the Beaver Themer add-on, you can use the visual Beaver Builder interface to design your theme (much like Elementor Pro).
The only downside is that Beaver Themer is a separate purchase, costing $147 for use on unlimited sites.
If you purchase the Agency package, you can white label the Beaver Builder interface to match your branding. Not many other page builders offer this feature, at least not in the core plugin.
Price: Limited free version at WordPress.org. Pro starts at $99.
5. Thrive Architect
Thrive Architect is the page builder offering from Thrive Themes, a developer with a number of conversion-focused WordPress products.
I previously used Thrive Architect on my personal sites (before moving to Elementor), and I still think it’s one of the better page builders out there, especially if you’re focused on marketing products or growing an email list.
In terms of the interface, it offers a really slick, snappy interface. It’s visual with inline editing, and they do a great job of letting you design your content in true WYSIWYG function.
As for the actual interface design, it’s a pretty close copy of Elementor (Elementor’s design came first, in case you’re wondering).
Deep Integration With Other Thrive Themes Products
As I mentioned above, Thrive Themes, the developer, has a whole suite of plugins to help you better market your site. Most notably, Thrive Leads, which helps you grow your email marketing list.
One of my favorite things about Thrive Architect is how well it integrates with all these other Thrive Themes products. You can easily incorporate content from those other tools into your designs.
Great Inline Editing Experience
Thrive Architect was one of the first page builders to create a great inline editing experience, and I think it still has one of the better inline experiences that you’ll find.
By “inline”, I mean that you can edit all of the text on a page by just clicking and typing, rather than using sidebars or popups. Other page builders definitely offer inline editing, but Thrive Architect’s approach feels more native to me.
Price: Starts at $67 or available as part of the $19/month Thrive Themes membership, which gets you access to all Thrive Themes products.
Oxygen has a slightly different approach than all the other page builders on this list, and it might actually be better classified as a WordPress theme builder than a page builder.
So what’s the different approach? Oxygen actually completely eliminates the need for a WordPress theme. Unlike Elementor and Beaver Builder’s theme builders, Oxygen doesn’t even load your WordPress theme, so it’s going one step further than those tools.
Oxygen also does a great job of outputting clean code, and it’s definitely a little bit more focused towards developers because it gives you access to all the underlying code if you want it.
If you’re a developer, I think you might really like Oxygen. But if you’re a casual user, or if you want to keep your existing theme, you might be better off with a different page builder plugin, especially because Oxygen has a higher learning curve than most of the other page builders.
True Website Building
With Oxygen, you’ll build your entire website using a visual editor, rather than just your page content.
So that means your header, footer, content templates, etc.
Again, Oxygen does this in a different way than Elementor and Beaver Builder because it actually eliminates the need for a theme, rather than swapping in your template parts on top of your theme.
More Detailed Control
You can learn more in our Oxygen 2.0 review.
Price: $99 for lifetime updates and use on unlimited sites
Brizy is the youngest WordPress page builder plugin on this list, but it had to get a spot because the Brizy team has built the nicest page builder interface out there, in my opinion.
Rather than relegating settings for a widget into a sidebar like most other page builder plugins, Brizy tries to keep as many options as possible right inline with the widget.
I think this makes for faster workflows, and I find that I can build content faster with Brizy.
Even though Brizy is young, they’ve already added in a popup builder, a header/footer builder, and support for dynamic data from Toolset, ACF, and more.
Efficient, Intuitive Interface
As I mentioned above, if I only considered the actual builder interface, I think Brizy would be my favorite page builder plugin.
Again, that’s because Brizy makes it more efficient to access settings in my opinion. For example, you can see that most of the settings for the button appear right in the editor, rather than forcing you to use a sidebar:
Price: Free version at WordPres.org. Pro starts at $34 per year for 3 sites.
8. Page Builder by SiteOrigin
Page Builder by SiteOrigin is not as versatile and flexible as pretty much all the other tools on this list, but it does offer a great lightweight approach that’s nice if you just want something for some light page building that won’t slow down your site.
If you want true visual design, you’ll be better off with a different tool. But Page Builder by SiteOrigin definitely fits a need, which is why it’s active on over one million WordPress sites and rocks a 4.8-star rating on over 900 reviews.
While Page Builder by SiteOrigin lacks the robust design options of many other tools, it makes up for things with its performance.
I’ve tested Page Builder by SiteOrigin against other popular plugins like Elementor and Beaver Builder and Page Builder by SiteOrigin had the smallest footprint by a large margin.
So if you’re willing to sacrifice some design flexibility for performance, that would be a reason to consider Page Builder by SiteOrigin over the other options on this list.
Price: The core page builder plugin is free. You can extend it with SiteOrigin Premium, which costs $29.
Get Page Builder by SiteOrigin
9. WPBakery Page Builder
Because of its massive popularity in the Envato space, WPBakery Page Builder had to make this list.
You might know WPBakery Page Builder by its previous name – Visual Composer. The Visual Composer team rebranded the old page builder as WPBakery Page Builder a couple of years ago so that they could launch a new page builder under the Visual Composer brand.
So yeah – there are two plugins – WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer) and the new Visual Composer website builder plugin.
WPBakery Page Builder offers both front-end and back-end page building, so you can choose the interface that appeals to you.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of the WPBakery Page Builder interface and I find it less intuitive than something like Elementor or Beaver Builder. However, it’s undeniably popular, which is why I think it still deserves a spot on this list.
Tons of Extensions and Widgets
One of the big high points of WPBakery Page Builder is how you can find an extension for almost anything.
So many third-party plugins offer dedicated WPBakery Page Builder widgets, so it’s super easy to use that third-party content in your designs.
If you want to see it in action, check out our Elementor vs WPBakery Page Builder comparison.
Price: You can purchase the standalone plugin for $45. Or, it also comes bundled with tons of premium themes at ThemeForest.
What’s the Best WordPress Page Builder Plugin in 2021?
I don’t think there’s a single best WordPress page builder plugin for all users. Instead, I think it’s about finding the tool that’s best for you, and that might not be the same for everyone.
Personally, we use Elementor here at WPLift, and I also use Elementor on my own personal websites. So from our perspective, we find Elementor to be the best page builder plugin for our needs, and I think it’s a great plugin to start with if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of your choices.
However, all of the other plugins also have something to offer, so they’re worth exploring as well.
For example, if you’re a developer who gets a migraine every time you look at the code output from a page builder plugin, you’ll probably be a lot happier with Oxygen.
Or, if you want the most intuitive interface, you might prefer Brizy.
Many of these plugins have free versions and/or money-back guarantees, so you can experiment and find what works for you.
Now it’s over to you all – any questions about these plugins? Did I miss one that should be on the list? What’s your favorite WordPress page builder plugin? Let us know in the comments!
10 thoughts on “9 Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins Compared (Based on Real Experience)”
I use Elegant Themes’ Convertible theme on my personal site, which uses their ET Builder plug in. It’s a lot better and a lot easier than I imagined it would be, and it makes creating a landing page that actually looks good very easy. Great post.
Thanks Geoffrey. That’s a great choice too. Your blog looks like a good resource.
I use Visual Composer. What sold me was that I was able to create my own elements. Sometimes I use premium themes for clients and they might have a few shortcodes that I’d like to use, but I hate the idea of asking my clients to use shortcodes. So, I build them into Visual Composer.
Their documentation could use a little help, but they do a good job with support. Also really hoping they build in an auto update feature soon.
Thanks for the info. That’s a good idea for a use of the Visual Composer element builder feature.
awesome, did not know of the existence of these tools will help me a lot! congratulations!
I used Elegant Themes Builder, it’s easy to setup and use, very good indeed, didn’t find any bug, etc. It helped me design some nice layouts I couldn’t achieve with standard HTML/CSS.
The only thing I noticed is that the pages with intensive use looked a little slower to render.
This sort of thing is great for the non tech savvy user, but the extra impact they have on the weight and load of a site, so make informed decisions on the best solution for each project.
@JoeFylan: Have you heard of the new Thrive Content Editor from http://www.ThriveThemes.com
They seem to be making way and it looks like it could be a direct competitor with Visual Composer with basically the same cost effective price ranges.
I have not had a chance to test it out yet as I do not currently have the funding for it but as soon as I get my first client I will be making sure to check out bother editors and hopefully compare them side by side.
nice collection, very hhelpfull thanks for the post
I was wondering what categories were used to test these page builders? I personally use Page Builder Sandwich as my page builder and it bewilders me it was not included in your list. What does it lack to be part of your list?
You can play with the live demo here: https://demo.pagebuildersandwich.com/?pbs_iframe=1
Looking forward to what your input!
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