Nelio Unlocker Review: No More WordPress Page Builder Lock-In!

Published on February 1st, 2021

Last Updated on March 20th, 2021

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Ever built your WordPress website with one-page builder and then wished you could go back to the regular WordPress editor or maybe switch to a different page builder? Or maybe you built your website with Squarespace but now want to switch to WordPress?

In both of those situations, there’s one big thing stopping you – lock-in.

In the best-case scenario, you’ll be able to easily switch your basic content. But no matter what, you’re always going to lose your existing design. And if you picked the wrong WordPress page builder, the “content” part might not even be guaranteed because you could just see a whole bunch of shortcodes if you try to disable the builder.

Basically, your only option was to manually recreate the design in the new editor, which takes a lot of time for one page, let alone for an entire site.

Now, that might change, because Nelio Unlocker is here to solve that pain point.

In a nutshell, Nelio Unlocker lets you convert any design into the same design built with the WordPress block editor or Elementor (Note – the Elementor integration wasn’t released at the time that we wrote this review, but it should be available by the time you’re reading this).

I don’t just mean convert the content – I mean convert everything including the design, layout, and styles.

For example, if you built your homepage with Divi, you could convert that into the block editor while preserving both your content AND the design.

That’s a pretty powerful value proposition!

In our hands-on Nelio Unlocker review, I’ll share more about how this tool works and show you some real examples of me converting different types of pages.

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Nelio Unlocker Review: How Does It Work?

The basic idea behind Nelio Unlocker is super simple – the magic is what happens behind the scenes.

First, you choose the source page that you want to convert. One option is to choose an existing post or page on your site – it could have been built with any page builder. Or, you can also enter a direct URL to any link on any website building platform, even on an external site.

Then, you choose your destination, which is the editor into which you want to convert your source content. At the time that I’m writing our Nelio Unlocker review, Nelio Unlocker only supports converting to the native WordPress block editor (Gutenberg). However, the developer is planning to add Elementor as a destination quite soon (it might even be there already by the time you’re reading this), with the potential for other page builders in the future, as well.

Once you make those two choices, Nelio Unlocker will send your source design to Nelio’s servers for processing. Then, it will deliver back the final product to your WordPress site.

In my testing, this process only takes about 10 seconds from start to finish, so it’s almost instant.

And that’s it! Again, the concept itself isn’t complex, the complex part is the behind-the-scenes processing that’s able to turn a design from, say, Divi, into the same design built with blocks.

Hands-on Testing With Nelio Unlocker

To test how Nelio Unlocker works, I ran a bunch of conversions on my own site. I’ll show you specific details for a few different tests, but here are my broad conclusions after running all those tests.

First, Nelio Unlocker is quite accurate if converting from an existing WordPress page builder plugin. For example, going from Beaver Builder to the block editor.

In all of the tests that I ran with Elementor and Beaver Builder, the only manual cleanup required would usually be to just go in and adjust the spacing a bit. For example, you might need to add a bit of spacing between sections, as Nelio Unlocker seems to put things too close together sometimes.

I also tried converting from non-WordPress websites to WordPress (though I didn’t share those tests below). Specifically, from Squarespace. Here, Nelio Unlocker wasn’t quite as accurate, which is to be expected. It still managed to pull in the content, colors, and general layout from Squarespace. However, you would have to put in more work to manually adjust the layout and spacing if you wanted a perfect conversion.

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How to Run a Conversion

Running a conversion is super simple. To get started, you install and activate the Nelio Unlocker plugin from WordPress.org. Then, you go to Tools → Nelio Unlocker.

First, you’ll choose the Source. You can either choose an existing post/page (or custom post type) on your site. Or, you can enter any internal or external URL.

Then, you can choose your Target. If converting an existing page/post, you can choose whether to overwrite the existing content or create a new draft. Then, you can choose the editor that you want to use for your converted content.

Again, at the time that I’m writing our Nelio Unlocker review, it only supports the block editor as a destination. However, the developer plans to add Elementor as a destination soon with potentially other page builders after that:

Nelio Unlocker review of tool

Then, you click Convert Now and you’ll have your converted page ready to go within about 10 seconds.

Let’s look at some real tests and you can see it for yourself…

Test #1: Elementor to Block Editor

To quickly set up test scenarios, I’ll use the Astra theme to import demo sites built with various page builder plugins and then convert them to the native WordPress block editor (AKA Gutenberg).

I’ll start with a demo site built with Elementor, which is the most popular page builder and the page builder we used to build WPLift.

Here’s the original design built with Elementor:

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And then here’s the converted design built with the block editor:

As I mentioned earlier, you can see that the design itself is pretty much spot on, but it’s just missing some spacing. You would need to add spacing between the menu and the hero section, as well as between the hero section and the product featured section.

You’d also need to clean up a little text in the part further down the page (not pictured). But overall, the meat of the design came through perfectly and would just require a little touching up.

Finally, here’s how the design looks inside the backend block editor:

Overall, Nelio Unlocker passed test #1 with flying colors.

Test #2: Beaver Builder to Block Editor

Next, let’s look at a test site built with Beaver Builder.

Here’s the original design built with Beaver Builder:

And then here’s the same design in the block editor:

Again, you can see the same basic idea. The design itself is almost perfect – you mainly just need to adjust the spacing.

Here’s what it looks like in the editor:

For test #2, Nelio Unlocker again nails it with a job well done.

Test #3: Brizy to Block Editor

To finish out the WordPress conversions, let’s look at one more site built with a different page builder – Brizy.

Here’s the original design in Brizy:

However, Nelio Unlocker seemed to struggle a bit with the Brizy design. It got the basic layout, but it’s missing the background images for some reason:

Here’s what it looks like in the editor:

Overall, Nelio Unlocker just seems to struggle with Brizy-built pages for some reason. I tested another Brizy page and got the exact same issue, so it seems to just be something with how Brizy pages are built.

Nelio Unlocker Pricing

Nelio Unlocker uses a flat per-page pricing model.

You’ll pay $19 for every page that you convert, which I think is pretty cheap for most situations.

For example, let’s say you have a Divi website that you want to convert to the block editor. Let’s say it would take you 2.5 hours to recreate your original homepage layout in the block editor.

If you can pay $19 to save those 2.5 hours of work, I think that’s a no-brainer for most web professionals, as your time is probably worth more than the equivalent of $7.6 per hour that you’d be earning by doing the work manually.

So instead of spending 12.5 hours to recreate a five-page website, you could just pay $95 to Nelio Unlocker, tweak a few spacing issues where needed, and call it a day.

There’s no way to do a “test” conversion – you have to pay before you convert anything.

However, if you want to test it out, you can reply to the developer’s Twitter thread here and they will run the conversion for you so that you can see what the before/after might look like before spending money.

Final Thoughts on Nelio Unlocker

There’s no doubt in my mind that Nelio Unlocker is solving a very serious pain point for WordPress users and implementers.

Page builder/content editor lock-in is one of the biggest downsides of using a page builder to design your site. So the possibility of unlocking not just your content, but also your design, is really powerful.

The converted designs are not 100% finished in that you can convert a page and literally not touch anything. But they are almost 100% there and in most cases, you just need to go in and tweak the spacing a bit and adjust a couple of other things here and there.

In my testing, Elementor and Beaver Builder conversions were almost perfect. Collectively, I’ve tested around ~10 pages built with Elementor and Beaver Builder and all of them were pretty dang accurate. However, Nelio Unlocker did seem to struggle with the two Brizy designs that I tested, so it might need some fine-tuning there.

Overall, if you’re struggling with a page builder or website builder lock-in, definitely give Nelio Unlocker a look as I think it can save you a lot of time and frustration.

You can also check out this Twitter thread to ask the developer to run a test conversion for you and/or see other conversions.

Get Nelio Unlocker

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing, WordPress and B2B writing. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi. You can also follow his travel blog.