The Best WordPress Page Builder Contest: WPBakery vs Elementor
Looking for a perfect WordPress page builder? Get familiar with the main distinctions between Elementor and WPBakery
In this post, you will find a comparison of two popular designing tools for WordPress — WPBakery vs Elementor, vying for the title of the best WordPress page builder currently available on the market. You will learn how these tools differ in the most essential features, including their arsenals of design elements, fees, and other aspects. We are sure that this information will help you make a conscious choice of a WordPress page builder plugin to bring you the greatest value.
WordPress is one of the oldest and most powerful content management systems the digital world has ever known. First released back in 2003, it remains an immensely popular web publishing tool among individuals and businesses across the globe.
Throughout all these years, WordPress has undergone many crucial changes and improvements to become the convenient, intuitive system we now know. Thanks to a large number and variety of easily customizable WordPress themes, both free and paid, even novices without a web development background can have a working website up and running in almost no time.
That said, the veterans among the WordPress community know that the platform has not always been so user-friendly. A decade and more ago, building a WordPress page with a professional look and feel called for substantial web development knowledge and skill from the site owner or, alternatively, assistance from expert WordPress developers.
This prompted many companies to start searching for a quicker and less effort-intensive way to create WordPress websites. As a result, the market saw the first WordPress page builders. They allowed a layman with a vague idea of web technologies, or no idea whatsoever, to put together a WordPress page that looked decent enough.
Those pioneers were very basic and lacked many features that are now considered standard. As time went by, though, they grew more robust and sophisticated. New page builders were launched as well.
At present, WordPress users and designers have a wide range of such tools at their disposal: Beaver builder, Visual Composer, Divi builder, and many more. Thus, choosing the best WordPress page builder has become quite a challenge.
Two of the most popular editing tools for WordPress themes are WPBakery and Elementor. So if you’re currently in search of a suitable page builder plugin for your WP website, we suggest that you take a look at these solutions in the first place. To save you valuable time, we have done a brief WPBakery vs Elementor review. Enjoy!
Elementor vs WPBakery: A Bit of History to Get the Ball Rolling
Both WPBakery and Elementor are advanced WordPress page builders favored by a large army of professional designers and rank-and-file platform users. There are quite a few points of difference between them, though.
One is that Elementor is a relatively new piece of software. It was introduced to the WordPress community around five years ago. WPBakery, on the other hand, is an older tool with an established reputation.
Here is WPBakery’s story in a nutshell. When Elementor was not even at the idea stage, there was another popular product called Visual Composer Page Builder. It was sold with Envato under a lifetime license.
One day, the company behind this editor decided to part ways with the platform and create their own WordPress designing tool, changing one word in the original name. Thus, Visual Composer Website Builder saw the light of day.
However, the company’s management missed one important point in their contractual obligations with Envato. It turned out that they couldn’t sell another product under the name Visual Composer without the platform’s consent.
Therefore, they either had to stay under Envato’s umbrella or rename their original editor to something else and break the chains. Guess what they chose? They gave Visual Composer Page Builder the name WPBakery. Then, they virtually let it fender for itself, providing few updates or improvements to it and focusing entirely on the new product — Visual Composer Website Builder.
If your eyes are popping out of your head now, you’re not alone. The users of the old faithful Visual Composer Page Builder asked a million questions trying to find their way among these similar-sounding titles. Read how the company itself apologized to its customers and made an attempt to clarify the situation.
Anyway, WPBakery continued living its own life. However, it was not so regularly updated, provided no gratis plan, and had some annoying shortcomings. The WordPress community craved a better alternative and got it in the face of Elementor.
This WordPress page builder is the next step in the designing process for the most popular CMS in the world. It receives frequent updates based on the users’ recommendations and pain points and follows the latest innovations in web design.
Still, we’re not going to take one side of the fence or the other in the Elementor vs WPbakery page builder dilemma. Despite its venerable age, WPBakery does have its own merits and attractions. We’ll just review the key features of both editors in the question-answer format. The ultimate choice is yours and yours alone.
Elementor vs WPbakery Question #1: How Easy Are These Page Builders to Use?
When talking about the ease of use of a specific page builder, we mean how quickly you can add elements to a WordPress page, how easily you can style them (give them borders, colors, margins, etc.), and whether you can see the changes you’ve made right then and there.
Another important point is how effortlessly and fast you can move around a builder plugin’s UI. Just one extra click makes the editing process longer. Let’s take a look at what the two tools offer in this respect.
You will hardly find another WordPress page builder with such an intuitive UI. You can do everything right inside the editor’s view without ever needing to open another tool. The panel on the left (visible straight on starting the application) contains all the essential widgets you can simply drag and drop to the working area on the right. Among the rest, the list includes:
- Basic Gallery
- Inner Section
… and many more.
Want to extend this collection? Subscribe to the Pro plan and you will get access to:
- Pro elements (a flip box, media carousel, share buttons, etc.)
- Theme elements (breadcrumbs, page title, author box, etc.)
- WooCommerce elements (short description, add to cart, product categories, etc.)
Still not satisfied? Use the extensive array of Elementor add-ons.
Styling the widgets is as straightforward as adding them. Elementor’s creators divided the available styling options into two sections Style and Advanced (implemented as tabs).
As should be clear from the name, the Advanced section lets you tweak a site section in a more refined way, such as giving it a specific Z-index. Here, you can also inject custom CSS into an element (something WPBakery doesn’t allow you to do).
In the Style section, you can paint a menu item red or yellow, for example, or move text to the right or left within a form field. That is, perform elementary styling actions. You can use both tabs to change the style of every element on a WordPress page, regardless of its type (a row, column, or text field, for example).
Another feature of the Elementor page builder plugin every designer enjoys is inline editing. There’s no need to click something like the plus sign or open another window. Just edit a widget’s content straight away — a tremendous time saver.
You can immediately see all the additions and changes in the style and content live on the screen. This also greatly speeds up the designing flow. To facilitate a designer’s work even further, Elementor provides some other useful features, including:
- Hotkeys and hotkeys cheat sheet. Assign a keyboard combination to an action you perform often and save yourself the trouble of using the mouse too often.
- Finder. This search bar is your best friend for moving around Elementor quickly.
- Revision history. Want to roll back to a better version of your design? A piece of cake!
This WordPress page builder also offers its users a lot of design options. However, it’s UI is not as intuitive as that of Elementor’s, and the editing process in WPBakery is not so smooth.
For one, while Elementor reveals a panel with all available page elements right from the start, a WPBakery user has to click the plus sign in order to see the widgets. This can get pretty frustrating. Besides, it “eats up” a designer’s precious time.
Another feature this page builder plugin lacks is inline editing. To edit an element, you have to open a separate window with appropriate settings. The same frustration, the same time stealing.
On the bright side, we can mention the following WPBakery’s benefits, as far as widgets are concerned:
- Just like in Elementor, you can easily drag and drop widgets onto the working area.
- The core collection of WP widgets (over fifty) can be extended with over two and a half hundred add-ons.
- You can see any additions and modifications to a WordPress page live (this is true for the front-end editor, though — more on that below).
WPBakery’s sky is not cloudless when it comes to styling elements either. While Elementor allows you to apply the same styling options, basic and advanced, to all elements no matter their type, WPBakery’s creators went a different way.
If you want to apply a Z-index setting to a specific element in this WordPress page builder, for instance, you may discover that you can’t. WPBakery provides certain styling options based on the type of element. You can only set margins and padding, colors, and borders for everything on a WordPress page.
Who knows? Perhaps, this is an advantage rather than a drawback. After all, you don’t normally draw an automobile with wings, do you? Still, this fine-tuning makes the editing process lengthier.
In addition, if you’re thinking of adding custom CSS to a page section in WPBakery, think twice. This WordPress page builder plugin only allows you to use custom CSS classes. This is different from Elementor, as we’ve already said.
Finally, there’s one key point of difference in the WPBakery vs Elementor comparison we can’t skip. The former actually provides two editors: front-end and back-end. The latter only has the front-end editor.
That said, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a designer who wants to add abstract blocks to a page without seeing the result at once. Designers are mostly visual creatures and prefer working exclusively with the front end.
The table below summarizes the main distinctions between Elementor and WPBakery regarding the ease of use, available design elements, and styling options:
|Design elements||80+ (free and pro), supplemented by add-ons||50+ out of the box, 250+ add-ons|
|Styling options||Style and Advanced, applicable to every page element||Based on the type of element. Only basic styling options can be applied to every page element (border, background, margins, and padding)|
|Live preview||Yes||Yes, for the front-end editor|
|Custom CSS||Yes||Only custom CSS classes|
WPbakery vs Elementor Question #2: How Much Do These WordPress Page Builders Cost?
Are you a freelance designer? Do you work for a design agency? Are you a hobbyist with no commercial interest? Whatever the answer is, you can’t avoid the subject of money when it comes to choosing the best WordPress page builder for your needs. This is another big difference between the two tools in our review.
If you only need essential features and a limited number of widgets, you might be glad to know that Elementor has a zero-cost plan. Want more? Then, subscribe to the Pro plan. It provides three additional options, but you have to cash out, as you might expect.
The exact amount you have to pay depends on the number of sites you’re going to build. If you choose the most expensive option, the sky’s the limit: you get a website building conveyor with no end.
The paid plans give you extra tooling you don’t get with the zero-cost plan. For example, you can use the Theme builder for creating full-fledged WordPress themes. If you intend to add popups to your site, the Pro plan comes with a cutting-edge Popup builder.
The guys don’t seem to be worried about appearing uncharitable: WPBakery has no gratis plan. The only exception is when you purchase a WordPress theme. Then, this WordPress page builder will cost you nothing. Since it’s a tool with a relatively long history, many paid WordPress themes have WPBakery integrated into them.
Otherwise, prepare to spend a pretty penny on one of two available options. As is the case with Elementor, the sum in the bill is determined by the number of sites you are planning to design. Unlike the other page builder, though, WPBakery has no “site building conveyor without an end.”
This table lists the details regarding Elementor’s and WPBakery’s fees:
|WPBakery Licenses||Elementor Pricing Plans|
WPbakery vs Elementor Question #3: What Happens to Your Design When You “Pull the Plug” on These Page Builders?
Finally, we would like to touch upon an issue that arises no matter what plugin you install on your WordPress website. Sooner or later, you may want or have to wave goodbye to a plugin and disable or remove it completely. This may cause all sorts of problems, such as loss of data or security holes.
What happens when you pull the plug on WPBakery and Elementor?
It’s a page builder plugin for WordPress, right? Just like many other WP plugins, it gives site owners a bit of a headache when disconnected from a website, too. It’s not too bad, though, and doesn’t disrupt the normal operation of the site.
Your content will be “stripped bare.” No more parallax effect, no more Z-index settings, no more gradients… the list goes on. That said, your site will retain the structure, and the code will remain readable with no trash scattered about it.
This WordPress website builder is a different matter. Don’t be surprised to see your code looking like a mess with a ton of useless shortcodes as soon as you unplug WPBakery. Oh, yes, and there won’t be any parallax effect or gradients either. This means you have two problems to deal with instead of one.
We hope this brief WPBakery vs Elementor comparison has given you enough food for thought. We haven’t covered every aspect of each WordPress page builder. This would take more than one post. However, you should have enough information by now to make a conscious selection of the best page builder plugin to suit your particular needs.
Honestly, we are more inclined towards Elementor. It’s a modern designing tool, easy to use and frequently updated, with a sizable array of page elements and templates. Yet, we wouldn’t want to impose our opinion on you. Just try each (WPBakery is available for free on the demo site) to make your own conclusion.
If you have any questions about both editors, the PSD2HTML WordPress development team is always happy to answer them. We also provide high-quality Elementor WordPress development services, WPBakery WordPress development services and can assist you with any WordPress related task, front-end or back-end. Let’s get in touch!