The Top Six Best Drag-&-Drop WordPress Page Builder Plugins – Compared

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Drag-and-drop WordPress page builder plugins are all the rage now!

I’d even risk saying they’re the new themes — as in, why would you go looking for a theme to match your site’s purpose when you could get any theme, and then handle the design in a page builder instead?

I’m not even joking: The WordPress page builder plugins of today are perfectly capable of carrying the load, and they really do give you all of the design tools you need.

But!

Which one should you choose? Are any of them actually better than the others? This comparison will help you to answer these questions. What follows is a list of the top six WordPress page builder plugins on the market, their standout features, and pros and cons.

First, let’s start with a quick comparison table to cover the details you probably care about the most:

Best WordPress page builder plugins
Plugin Price Elements Ratings Final score
Elementor Free plan: ✅

Pro plan from: $49 for one site

90-plus content elements

100-plus page templates

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of use

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Designs

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Beaver Builder Free plan: ✅

Pro plan from: $99 for unlimited sites

30-plus content elements

50-plus page templates

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of use

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Designs

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Brizy Free plan: ✅

Pro plan from: $49 for three sites

26 content elements

150 page templates in pro

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of use

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Designs

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Divi Builder Free plan: ⛔

Pro plan from: $89 for unlimited sites

40-plus content elements

~1,000 page templates

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Features

⭐⭐⭐
Ease of use

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Designs

⭐⭐⭐⭐
Themify Builder Free plan: ✅

Pro plan from: $39 for unlimited sites

25-plus content elements

40-plus page templates

⭐⭐⭐
Features

⭐⭐⭐
Ease of use

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Designs

⭐⭐⭐
Gutenberg Free plan: ✅

Pro plan ⛔

20-plus basic content blocks and 30-plus additional embed blocks

no page templates

⭐⭐
Features

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of use

⭐⭐
Designs

⭐⭐⭐

Here’s the full list:

Elementor

WordPress page builder plugins #1: Elementor

Free plan: ✅ Pro plan from: $49 / Official Website

You can’t really start the page builder discussion without mentioning Elementor. It’s the most popular page builder plugin right now — more than 3 million sites use it — and it’s also arguably the most feature-rich.

The main strength of Elementor’s is that it’s really easy to grasp, even when it’s your first interaction with a builder plugin of this sort. Basically, there’s just a main options panel to the left and a live preview window in the center. You can drag and drop things freely between those areas, and realign the blocks however you wish.

Here’s the main interface in Elementor:

Elementor UI

Last but not least, Elementor is available for free. There is a pro version too, but in 95% of cases, you’re going to be just fine with the free one (Elementor isn’t one of those freemium tools that’s basically unusable until you pay).

Key features ⚙️

  • 100-plus ready-made page templates.
  • Predesigned page blocks — things like hero sections, footers and whole headers.
  • 100% drag-and-drop capable; you can realign everything you see on the screen.
  • Works with posts and pages.
  • You can also use it to replace the standard post and archive templates of your theme.
  • A nice set of 90-plus content elements are available — and you get to use all of the widgets you’ve installed on your site already.
  • Works with any theme.
  • Works with WooCommerce and includes custom WooCommerce content elements.
  • Has mobile editing controls — and everything you create with Elementor is mobile-viewable and responsive.
  • Has a pop-up builder.
  • Has resizable columns, resizable widths and heights of everything, adjustable content positions, adjustable column gaps, backgrounds, colors, margins and much more. In short, customization is strong with this one!
  • You can import/export your custom-built pages and other third-party templates you found on the web.
  • Custom CSS support.

Pros 👍

  • The ready-made page templates make working with the plugin much faster — not to mention they give you great-looking page designs to choose from. And, of course, you can customize those templates freely.
  • The mobile editing controls are really cool. They let you tweak what your creation is going to look like when viewed on mobile (or tablets). Basically, you get to choose the breakpoints, adjust font sizes and padding values — and everything else that matters for a well-built layout.
  • There’s a huge community around Elementor, so you’ll always find someone to help you out with a design challenge.
  • There are other third-party plugins that give you additional Elementor content elements and blocks.
  • Perhaps the best free plugin on the market.

Cons 👎

  • Not everything can be adjusted inside the live preview. To handle things such as borders, padding, margins and other layout structure parameters, you need to go to the sidebar and look for the right option there. You can’t just grab the border and drag it out, for example.

Features: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Designs: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

👉 Read our Elementor review

👉 Go to Elementor

Beaver Builder

WordPress page builder plugins #2: Beaver Builder

Free plan: ✅ Pro plan from: $99 / Official Website

Beaver Builder is another great solution in the realm of WordPress page builder plugins. It’s a bit more expensive than Elementor if you want to use it on just one site, but it becomes a great deal when you have multiple sites to take care of — making it a potential top choice for agencies and freelancers.

The plugin delivers a great drag-and-drop page editing functionality that comes inside a completely custom interface. It also helps you to jumpstart your work by delivering a set of pre-made templates.

Working with the plugin is really straightforward. You start by either selecting a pre-made page template or by adding elements onto a blank canvas. First, you add rows, then you add content blocks to each row. You can customize everything, adjust the styling and more until you have a finished product.

Any existing element can also be edited by clicking into it and adjusting the details in the popup.

Here’s the UI of Beaver Builder:

Beaver Builder UI

Key features

  • 50-plus pre-made page templates.
  • Full front-end editing — edit what you see.
  • Full drag-and-drop support.
  • Mobile-responsive and SEO-optimized output.
  • Works with any theme.
  • Extensive docs and video tutorials.
  • Import/export feature.
  • Supports posts, pages and custom post types.
  • 30-plus content elements, and you can also use standard WordPress widgets.
  • Translation-ready.
  • Works with WooCommerce and includes WooCommerce content elements.
  • Beaver Themer — an add-on letting you construct your whole theme using Beaver Builder.

Pros

  • Lets you build multi-column structures.
  • Straightforward interface that’s easy to get started with.
  • A great alternative to Elementor.
  • Good-looking page templates to jumpstart your project.
  • Great interface for changing column widths and resizing stuff in general — full drag-and-drop support.
  • Default typography looks really good, which is handy if you don’t want to get into this stuff manually.

Cons

  • Can be restricted by what your theme allows it to do. For instance, getting a true full-width design can be a challenge.
  • No undo on Ctrl+Z.
  • Fewer content elements than some of the other page builder plugins on this list.
  • Can’t add custom CSS to elements.

Features: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Designs: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

👉 Read our Beaver Builder review

👉 Go to Beaver Builder

Brizy

brizy

Free plan: ✅ Pro plan from: $49 / Official Website

Brizy represents the new breed of WordPress page builder plugins, offering quite a unique UI.

As soon as you fire up Brizy, it does away with the stock WordPress interface and instead displays its own. It gives you a main canvas where you can put your elements and adjust them to fit your needs.

If you’re on Brizy Pro, you can add whole page layouts here. If not, you can begin by adding individual blocks. Now, what’s important here is that ‘blocks’ don’t refer to single content elements (such as heading or image), but rather pre-made web page sections (such as headline + image + features list, or icons + list + image to the side). This is perhaps tough to explain with words, but, trust me, it’s very handy and easy to comprehend once you see it.

Inline text editing also works very well and behaves like you’d expect it to. Plus, you can drag columns around to change their widths.

Apart from the main canvas, there’s also a small sidebar for things such as typography, colors, and adding single content modules. Overall, the sidebar in Brizy is much less pronounced than with some of the other builders on this list. It plays only a limited role, with most of your work happening directly on the canvas.

Overall, everything is quite intuitive and isn’t intimidating. The UI guides you from the start by pointing out the thing you’ll probably want to do next.

Here’s the UI:

brizy UI

Key features

  • Full drag-and-drop support.
  • Real-time editing and preview.
  • Inline editing.
  • Pop-up builder.
  • Role manager.
  • 26 content elements in the free version and 12 more pro elements.
  • 150 pre-designed layouts in pro.
  • Integrations with other plugins and tools such as ACF, Pods, ConvertKit, Drip, Mailchimp, Zapier and more.
  • Advanced contact form in pro.
  • White label options in pro.
  • Import dynamic content from WordPress.
  • Works with any theme.

Pros

  • Perhaps the easiest builder to get started with and also get great results out of.
  • Many marketing integrations with other tools.
  • The pre-made blocks are really good-looking.
  • The free version is functional enough for simple sites.
  • A very affordable three-site license — costs as much as the single site license for Elementor.

Cons

  • Not a lot of default content elements, which can be limiting if you’re building a more elaborate design.

Features: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Designs: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

👉 Go to Brizy

Divi Builder

divi builder

Free plan: ⛔ Pro plan from: $89 (access to all of Elegant Themes’ offering) / Official Website

In many aspects, Divi Builder is very similar to the other builders on this list, but there are a few differences.

The key difference is the way the UI is structured. Instead of giving you a preview panel and a sidebar to adjust the details, Divi Builder turns the whole window into a live preview and overlays all of the options on top of it.

Divi Builder also does a bit more to take you by the hand when you’re working on a new page, which can be helpful to new users. Instead of seeing one big imposing blank screen, Divi Builder asks you if you want to (1) start from scratch, (2) choose a pre-made layout or (3) clone an existing page.

There’s no free version of the Divi Builder. However, for a single payment, you get access to all of Elegant Themes’ products, not just the builder itself. Overall, it can be worth it if you’re planning to use more of their stuff.

Usage-wise, the UI is generally clear but may require some getting used to. There are color-coded controls for content modules, rows and sections. There’s a decent number of content modules to choose from, but perhaps not as many as with some of the other WordPress page builder plugins on this list.

Here’s what the UI looks like:

divi ui

Key features

  • Nearly 1,000 pre-made layouts to choose from.
  • Full drag-and-drop support when editing your content.
  • 40-plus content modules.
  • A/B split testing.
  • Good-looking photo effects that let you change the opacity of your images, adjust brightness, saturation and more.
  • Works with posts and pages.
  • Works with any theme.
  • You can bulk edit elements on the page.
  • Custom CSS support.
  • Inline text editing.
  • Multi-axis element transformations.
  • You can save and reuse your designs.

Pros

  • The individual content modules are all nicely designed. For instance, you don’t have to worry that your testimonials block isn’t going to fit your page design.
  • There are a huge number of pre-made layouts.
  • Those pre-made layouts aren’t just single-page layouts, but rather full website packs. Basically, you get multiple page designs that all follow a given design aesthetic, and you can import them all at the same time. For instance, when working on an about page you can also import a blog page, a contact page, a portfolio and a landing page template that all fit together.
  • Lets you A/B test content elements.

Cons

  • The UI can be unclear, but it may just be something you need to get used to. For instance, you’ll often see three separate ‘+’ buttons, one below the other. Clicking each one does a different thing, and it’s not immediately clear which one you should use.
  • There’s no free version.
  • It’s expensive if the only thing you want is the builder plugin.

Features: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐/5
Designs: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

👉 Read our Divi Builder review

👉 Go to Divi Builder

Themify Builder

themify

Free plan: ✅ Pro plan from: $39 / Official Website

The Themify Builder plugin is a flagship plugin by the people over at Themify (among their other products). It’s a feature-rich tool that allows you to do your work both on the back end and the front end.

Both editing interfaces (front and back end) are based on having a range of modules to choose from and then dragging and dropping them onto the canvas. The canvas is divided into rows, and each row can be further divided into columns.

That being said, not everything works entirely problem-free. My guess is that this plugin hasn’t been made fully compatible with WordPress’s block editing interface yet. So, even though you do get the Themify Builder UI embedded right in the main page editing interface (backend), the changes you make there may not appear on the final page. To make Themify work, your best bet is to go to your page in preview mode and enable the editor from there.

When it comes to working with the page builder itself, it’s kind of similar to the other solutions, with minor differences in where specific controls are. Plus, Themify uses the top menu bar as the primary place where you can handle basic parameters, such as switching from desktop to mobile, undo-redo your changes, save layouts and add custom CSS.

As a standalone builder, Themify is okay, but to let it really shine you’ll need to switch to its Ultra theme, or one of its other themes.

Here’s the interface:

themify ui

Key features

  • 25-plus content modules.
  • 40-plus pre-made layout designs.
  • Edit in the back end in wireframe view or on the front end in live view.
  • Full drag-and-drop support (front and back end).
  • Works with any theme.
  • Import and export your layouts.
  • You can save full layouts and layout parts.
  • Role editor.
  • Custom CSS support.
  • Undo/redo.
  • 60-plus animation effects.
  • Full add-on bundle available for $39.

Pros

  • Good-looking pre-made designs, plus they come divided into a handful of categories to make your work easier.
  • Every module is adjustable. You can set all aspects of how the module appears on the screen.
  • The output is responsive, SEO-friendly and translation-ready.
  • The plugin and all of its features are free. You can choose to pay for extra add-ons if you need them.

Cons

  • The back end editor was buggy in my case — the changes saved in the back end didn’t appear on the live site.
  • While you can preview how your design is going to look on mobile, you can’t do much to set different parameters for mobile vs desktop.
  • It has relatively fewer types of content modules compared with the other solutions here. That said, all of the most commonly used stuff is here.

Features: ⭐⭐⭐/5
Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐/5
Designs: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐/5

👉 Go to Themify Builder

The default WordPress block editor — aka Gutenberg

Gutenberg

Free plan: ✅ Pro plan ⛔

You didn’t expect this one, did you? For those of you who don’t know, Gutenberg was the work-in-progress name of the new content editing interface in WordPress.

In other words, your WordPress website comes with Gutenberg (aka the block editor) already built in from the get-go. Granted, it’s not a fully-fledged page builder for WordPress, but it does come with basic page building capabilities. For many users, those may be enough, so that’s why I’m featuring it here.

Gutenberg has its pros and cons, and it’s not the highest-regarded tool in the WordPress community, but it does have a couple of things going for it.

First, it’s already there, so no need to install anything. Also, it gives you just the bare minimum of block-based features, and makes creating posts less intimidating than using some of the builders featured above.

Here’s the interface:

Gutenberg UI

Key features

  • 20-plus basic content blocks.
  • 30-plus additional embed blocks (for content from Facebook, Twitter and so on).
  • Works with any theme.
  • Works will all standard WordPress widgets.
  • Works with posts and pages.
  • Integrates with all of the serious WordPress plugins.
  • Basic columns supported.
  • Things such as multi-column layouts available through third-party plugins.

Pros

  • It’s already there, pre-installed in WordPress.
  • It offers all the average WordPress user will ever need.
  • There’s a huge community of developers building add-on plugins with extra blocks and features, such as this one.

Cons

  • It only has basic page building abilities.
  • It does only what your theme allows it to do.

Features: ⭐⭐/5
Ease of use: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
Designs: ⭐⭐/5

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐/5

Final Thoughts

This sums up our take on the top drag-and-drop page builder plugins for WordPress. There certainly are many great solutions to choose from, and picking the best one all depends on your personal needs and what you expect from your ideal builder.

Still don’t know which to get? I advise the following:

First, start by experimenting with the default block editor in WordPress. Maybe it has all of the features you actually need, especially considering all of the extra blocks you can get from third-party plugins.

If not, go from Elementor → Beaver Builder → Brizy → Divi Builder → Themify Builder.

You’re bound to find your perfect builder that way.

I’m really excited about page builder plugins in general, and can’t wait to see what’s next for this market.

Lastly, if you’re interested in using a drag-and-drop page builder plugin specifically to create a landing page for your site, take a look at this earlier post of ours detailing a number of WordPress plugins aimed at helping you to do exactly that.

Which would you say is the best WordPress page builder plugin of the bunch — and why? Thoughts?

By Karol K

Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a freelance blogger and writer, WordPress figure-outer, and published author of "WordPress Complete". His work has been featured all over the web on sites like: Ahrefs.com, MarketingProfs.com, Smashing Magazine, Lifehack.org, Optimizely.com, Adobe.com, CodeinWP.com, and others.
Comments (policy)
  1. You should test the Avia Layout Builder of Kriesi. Imo by far the best builder. Only con: it is not a stand alone plugin. It’s build inside the themes of Kriesi. (For example Enfold)

    • Matt says:

      Considering the Avia builder can’t be purchased or used separately from the themes it is bundled with AFAIK, that makes it a poor choice regardless of it’s capabilities.

      This article thankfully didn’t suggest any builders that aren’t standalone plugins. I have nothing against Avia specifically as I’d say the same about nearly any theme only builder.

      As good as Divi, Layers, Enfold, etc may be, you’re essentially accepting a self imposed long term theme lock in if you use it. Why do that to yourself if you know better let alone do it to a client.

    • Karol K. says:

      Exactly like Matt said in his comment, the idea here was to list only builder plugins, so everything that’s delivered as part of a theme was excluded from the get-go.

  2. Hey Karol, thanks for taking a look at Conductor!

    Few things I wanted to note:

    1. We actually built Conductor to work on any theme, first and foremost. For instance, we have a Genesis add-on to make Conductor compatible with that framework. We only introduced Symphony as a starter theme, from user request.
    2. Our most popular add-ons, Genesis & Custom Fields, is included in the $99 plan.
    3. Symphony & Note can both be downloaded for free from WordPress.org if folks want to play with our code :)

    We’re really trying to abstract the content display from theme with our product. All of the products mentioned here are great and we have customers that use a combo of many. An example would be, Beaver Builder, as we have clients using both of our products at the same time. Fun stuff!

  3. kainerweissmann says:

    Visual Composer and other plugins with the same purpose brings much more complications and problems than they help doing work. Get rid of them as soon as you can. Do not look at them again and do not give them any PR. Themes who have e.g. the VC built in wont be bought by me or my team anymore. They are worse than anything WordPress has brought to life in the last 10 years. Same is valid for marketing jokes like “Divi” Theme from ET. My 2 Cents.

    • Dave Stevens says:

      I have to agree with you up to a point – but for those of us who don’t code, such as graphic designers who have had to learn to create websites, WordPress in conjunction with a good page builder allows us to make a site with advanced features that would otherwise be almost impossible.

      Visual Composer in particular is definitely hampered by being built into a theme. I have found that the built in versions are usually lower in version number than VC added separately and as a result, can be exposed to security issues in addition to missing features more up to date versions might have.

      Elegant Themes has created DIVI Builder recently, which works in any theme. I found it faster to use, more intuitive, and overall better in interface design than VC. Using it with the DIVI theme actually works rather well in my opinion, although I had to buy a third party product called DIVI Booster to get better flexibility out of the theme. No front end builder available, however.

      Where I agree with you is that these builders can create frustration and time consumption in their basic functionality, and are certainly not the optimum method for building a WordPress site. But for those without coding skills, they can make the difference between being able to build a good site or not.

      I completely understand your frustration. I went over to Live Composer as a result. Free and accurate. Certainly worth looking at for the price. :)

  4. Dave Stevens says:

    Having used Visual Composer for a year and a half on several sites, I have found it amazing in it’s richness of available features, but overall frustrating in it’s inaccuracy and, more than anything, the amount of time I actually waste overall making adjustments. The front end builder seemed great, but does not accurately show the final product often, resulting in many adjustments, and sometimes consulting with the authors of the plugin to be able to get the final result. Even just waiting for a module to activate can take several seconds – a huge time sucker on a large site, or even a smaller one. The backend builder is more accurate, but then you are bouncing back and forth between the backend and refreshing a frontend window to see results.

    Elegant themes has recently created DIVI Builder, which is far better than their original builder, faster than Visual Composer, but less feature rich. That being said, they include practically everything you need to create a good website (as does Visual Composer and most other page builders, though VC has a huge contingent of third party addons). It does not have a front end component, however.

    I would actually recommended this builder over Visual Composer in many ways, especially for speed. It initially costs more, but the cost comes with a huge range of themes available for use, several useful plugins, and DIVI Builder works with any theme, although best with the DIVI Theme it was initially created for.

    I have touched on other builders mentioned in this article, but have turned away from them because they either seemed to be more of the same with regards to potential frustration due to inaccuracy, lack of features, or speed issues. I always felt that I was only going to get about 80% of the way there with most of the other builders and their respective addons. Motocross was promising, but would fall short in many basic ways such as color settings, text adjustment, column spacing, and other areas. Otherwise, the costs involved were a huge turnoff. And having to pay higher costs to use a builder on more than one site is just unacceptable to me, given that there are alternatives.

    The best page builder I have used to date is Live Composer. It is a front end builder that consistently produces accurate results – in fact, exactly the same results that one sees while creating and editing a page. I originally bought it on Themeforest.com, but found it a little confusing. This was my fault because I didn’t spend enough time learning it, as I had others.

    The interface threw me off a little because it was very unusual. Then it was pulled from Themeforest, and between that and not quite getting it, I went back to Visual Composer and DIVI Builder, largely because I had a huge investment in Visual Composer, and was getting good results faster with DIVI Builder.

    My frustration levels were getting higher and higher using the previously mentioned two builders – Visual Composer because it was so much slower and inaccurate to build with (editing isn’t so bad once you have things in place), and DIVI just because despite being faster than VC, it was stilt only a backend builder, and bouncing back and forth between the front end and backend was never going to be my favorite way to build a page.

    On a whim, I did a search for Live Composer – I had found out that many plugins that ceased to be available were simply taken somewhere else – and I found it on it’s own site. And it went from being $29 US to completely free!

    I decided to take a closer look at it, and to be patient with it. After all, the promise of accurate page building in the front end of a WordPress site deserved another look, especially after what I considered to be failures overall with other methods I had employed otherwise. And the price was certainly right!

    The result? After taking the time to get to know how to properly use it, I am planning to use Live Composer for all future websites I build. In conjunction with Live Composer friendly themes, it truly shines, although it will work on any theme. It is accurate, fast, flexible within reason, and can be used in conjunction with other page builders in certain ways. It also works with shortcodes, so adding elements using other plugins is possible, which extends the use of Live Composer even further.

    It comes with a pile of features right out of the box with a small handful of added plugins that are either free or low cost that you could use if desired, though not necessary since there are a ton of free WP plugins available otherwise that could do the same things.

    The big deals for me are that it is accurate as a front end builder, can be used with backend elements in a limited way – and so can be used with some back end builders in a limited fashion, takes shortcodes, is fast to work with (once you get to know it), and is COMPLETELY FREE in it’s initial form. You can use it on as many sites as you like without further cost.

    I have been using it with a free version of the WEST theme. With slight modifications to the style sheet I can make it do what I need. There is a pro version of the West theme that allows further, easier modifications. It is reasonably priced.

    The most enjoyable aspects of working with Live Composer are when making adjustments in text size, line spacing, and general module spacing. To see it happening live in front of your eyes while adjusting a few sliders almost brings tears to my eyes. I save hours on this alone!

    I should state that I have no affiliation with Live Composer in any way. I was compelled to write this to help others who might be having the same issues as I have had.

    I hope this helps someone out there.

      • Dave Stevens says:

        Thank you Brian! Happy to get involved – I truly hope this helps someone. I have gone through hell dealing with Visual Composer, it’s third party addons, and other paid-for plugins that only go partway to solving the problems they profess to. Live Composer isn’t perfect, but it is far better than the alternatives I have used.

        All my opinion, of course. Others will have to try it out and see how it works for them. At least it is free.

        I spent literally hundred of dollars in Visual Composer, addons, a few themes, and other plugins from Themeforest that fell short of my expectations. I would love to prevent others from going that same painful route.

    • Dino Lopez says:

      I like your in depth review on those page builders. I agree with you with Visual Composer. Just because it has a lot of features, doesn’t mean it’s the best like what I’ve been reading after searching “best page builder for wordpress” on google.

      Their front end builder is hopeless. Plus, I exported one of my sites once and everything got messy! I got discouraged and I don’t plan on using VC again anytime soon. I’m no experienced developer and so far, Haven’t found the best builder yet. I’m willing to pay if the product is worth buying.

      Anyway, I recently found this new page builder I saw on a thread on reddit. It’s called PB Sandwich (http://pagebuildersandwich.com) and I tried it. I was wondering if you’ve ever tried it and if you did, what you think about it? You seem to know a lot about this. PB Sandwich is in the top of my “consideration list” right now. Thanks!

      • Dave Stevens says:

        PB Sandwich is a good find! Thank you for listing it here!

        Bearing in mind that I only took about 10 minutes to review their live demo, then popping back and forth into the demo while I wrote this to confirm some things – I did wind up buying PBS to experiment further within themes I like to use, since it claims to use the theme settings a lot as part of it’s own functionality…

        PB Sandwich seems to have an interface similar to Beaver Builder, just on the left side of the page instead of the right (I think you can change this in Beaver Builder, but can’t recall for sure). IT is easy to navigate, and is intuitive once you know what everything is, which takes no time to learn. I prefer the bottom layout and visual appeal of the Live Composer module bar better, but that is subjective. LC’s module bar can be cumbersome sometimes because you have to scroll left and right a lot to get to the settings, but not terribly so. Still, the PBS UI may be faster to use overall.

        PBS seems to have an undo feature of it’s own, which I think may be lacking for the most part in LC overall. You can do Control (or Command on a Mac)-Z here and there, but not everywhere in LC.

        I like the way PBS highlights the sections of editable content as you hover over it. It reminds me of a plugin called Synoptic Web Designer, which does a similar kind of thing (this is a tool you can use to edit page content beyond what you might be able to do with your regular pagebuilder, including Woo Commerce elements).

        A few familiar layout elements from Visual Composer are present in PBS for margin, border and padding adjustment, which is cool. I like the sliders from LC better, but that is also subjective. You can click into each field in PBS and then hit the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard to similar effect, which is also nice.

        The method of text editing in PBS is sublime. nothing beats editing text directly on the page. Live Composer is getting back to the text editing directly on the page without the middle step of popping up a text editor, but that may not be until next year sometime – funny because LC used to do that, but the feature got pulled because some complained that it lacked certain abilities like hyperlinking and such, which PBS does not. LC are possibly re-implementing that feature as an additional module in the near future. You can cheat that feature using another module, but technically it doesn’t edit text like PBS at this time without a workaround.

        PBS’s graphic scaling feature is awesome! click and drag a corner and your on your way! This is superior to the Live Composer method.

        Adding and subtracting columns edges out Live Composer a little, but are similar. Being able to drag columns into other columns was a nice touch in PBS. Oddly, I didn’t see any way to simply drag a text block from one column to another. I could do it with other columns and images, but not with text. It may be that columns are considered the text “blocks” as such. I will have to delve further to understand that fully. I guess you have to copy and paste it otherwise? Although, I ran into a weird glitch trying to copy and paste some text from one column to the next – the text I copied and pasted simply left the column of text I pasted into and appeared below the entire row to the left. There are still some bugs in PBS, but so are there some in LC, although LC has text block dragging, copy and pasting figured out. PBS is still looking good here though for the most part.

        LC has a slider, with the option to use a field instead to determine text size. This is excellent in my opinion. PBS’s button method is still great, however. For some reason LC does not allow a top margin individual adjustment on most elements. Nice to see this in PBS.

        Both LC and PBS have several modules you can add to the layout. I prefer the drag and drop method of LC to PBS’s position-your-cursor-and-click-the-module method. You can drag and drop them after they are on the page, as far as I could tell. PBS modules are shortcode-based, which is excellent in many ways. LC handles external shortcodes, but not always smoothly.

        I do not like that saving changes in PBS kicks you out of the front end builder. You have to re-activate the Page Builder again to continue. LC kicks PBS’s ass in this regard. Not only does LC allow saving and continuing, but also allows you to save the latest changes without committing them to the final presentation until later.

        Both seem to be missing a built in basic contact form option. LC is working on one. Both seem to prefer Contact Form 7 as a plugin option to add forms, which is fine. But sometimes it is nice to just drop in a simple form, similar to what DIVI builder from Elegant themes does. Visual Composer has an excellent third party add-on for creating forms, btw. This can be short-coded in wherever you like, and as such could be compatible with LC and PBS (and others). I have done this successfully with LC. the downside is owning and installing Visual Composer AND the form plugin (which I personally already have) to get the final result. Any form builder will work though.

        Live Composer has a few duplication features I didn’t notice in PB Sandwich with regards to recreating layouts across multiple pages, including the ability to copy and paste entire full page layouts from one project to the next.

        PBS is now just under $27 US at this time in beta mode (which I bought so I can examine it further). It will go up to just under $90 apparently at some point, putting at about the same level as many page builders are on average. LC is free, with a few added modules you can pay for if you require the features.

        I didn’t see any particular layout options directed specifically for responsiveness on tablets or mobile phones on PBS – LC has this functionality. You can optionally rearrange text sizes and positioning particularly for 3 options – Desktop, Tablet, and Phone which has been very helpful personally.

        I think that, in the world of paid-for WordPress Page builders, PB Sandwich is an excellent option, if not the best I have seen to date. But you still can’t beat free. Live Composer is compelling option for a free product, and I still urge anyone interested to try it out. PBS allows a demo on their website, so you can compare it all for yourself if you wish.

        • Dave Stevens says:

          Finally took some time last night to experiment further.

          An update to the previous comment would be that dragging and dropping text in PBS is just a matter of clicking and holding down the mouse button for a fraction of a second, then you can drag and drop text blocks.

          I built two test pages duplicating a few sections of the PBS website home page.

          It took me 20 minutes to do it in LC, and 10 minutes in PBS.

          For the basic elements like creating and editing text, PBS is very quick to use. It lacks some features that are built in to LC, but you can add most elements via shortcodes with other plugins.

          So I may be bouncing back and forth between these two page builders, depending on the nature of the project and it’s requirements.

        • Gambit says:

          Hey @disqus_V7D9Ui6W92:disqus & @disqus_gkw3uqGuLt:disqus!

          Gosh it’s just been 2 months since I last commented here about PBS. Thought it was longer than that!

          Oh yea, Page Builder Sandwich has been updated recently (especially with the UI and Shortcode Mapper feature). But since we’re still in the process of revamping everything, I’ll be forwarding your in depth insights about it. What are your social media accounts so we could credit you for improvement? :D

          Sincerely
          Patricia (Trixie)

      • Gambit says:

        @disqus_V7D9Ui6W92:disqus Hey man, we just updated PBS with more features! Hope you’ll like it! :)

        – Trixie-Gambit

    • Dan says:

      Hi Dave,

      I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on Beaver Builder. In my opinion, it is the king of all builders. It is a real front end experience and doesn’t clog up your content with shortcodes. I prefer it to Live Composer, PBS, VC, Divi and all the others out there. There is also an amazing community of developers using Beaver which is always a good sign.

      • Dave says:

        SHORT ANSWER:

        I liked the functionality of Beaver Builder. I frankly do not prefer their UI, although I think it may be faster to use than Live Composer. A large developer community is always a nice plus. I didn’t like the pricing and the usual licence restrictions based on price. I would probably be using it if it weren’t for the pricing.

        I found that Live Composer offered me a fantastic free alternative with licence free, unlimited use. It does have a limited developer community but does allow for third party development, which some have taken advantage of. I have also been able to extend it’s use through other plugins and themes that allow shortcodes.

        LONG ADDITION TO SHORT ANSWER:

        I am glad you have found Beaver Builder to your liking. It is an excellent tool for frontend building.

        Beaver Builder does have it’s own range of Shortcodes that one can use through the HTML module. Given this fact, it could be logical to assume that BB actually does use shortcodes otherwise in some capacity.

        The BB shortcode info I found is at the following link:

        https://www.wpbeaverbuilder.com/knowledge-base/shortcodes/

        I find shortcodes quite useful personally (it’s all very subjective and prone to personal preference), because I don’t code as much as some (prefer to avoid it generally), and plugins that utilize shortcodes allow me to add cool features I couldn’t achieve otherwise – potentially adding in several locations on a site where required quite easily.

        Although I understand what you mean by shortcode clutter, an alternative viewpoint might be that the potential to easily repeat a feature in various parts of a site via shortcode should, in theory, prevent clutter in that sense.

        I have even been able to add elements from Visual Composer into a Live Composer layout via shortcode use. I don’t prefer this, but there are some things that I like about Visual Composer that I don’t have access to in Live Composer.

        Shortcodes or otherwise, if your site requires the page builder you are using to be active after the site is complete in order to see the site in its completed form and structure on the front end, then it is adding extra reliant code whether you like it or not.

        In other words, if you deactivate Beaver Builder and everything in your site falls apart, I would assume shortcodes or similar additional code are in effect. BB might just be doing it better than others. With or without shortcode. i do like how BB leaves the text and image content behind if you turn it off, even if you do lose the layout and such.

        Chances are you wouldn’t turn off your page builder anyway, because you will want to add and edit later.

    • Liam Hayes says:

      Thank you Dave!!!

      I’ve been up for many many days and hours researching the plethora of theme builders trying to decide which is the best one for me. Live Composer was my first choice, but I’ve been told that DIVI and Beaver Builder are the way to go. Then I looked at Velocity and a million other ones.

      http://livecomposerplugin.com

      Now I can stop looking and just install Live Composer and start purchasing the add-ons that are available.

      http://livecomposerplugin.com/add-ons/

      There aren’t very many add-ons available here, and that makes me nervous that perhaps this plugin won’t get the support it needs to blossom, but with their offering it for free, I’m sure it will catch on a lot faster now. Especially since it is such a great looking and intuitive front end composer.

      Well here goes nothing. Time to dive in and learn WordPress.

      Cheers and thanks.

      • Dave says:

        I have been in touch with the LC developers and they are moving LC eventually to a different UI that is similar in structure to the CUSTOMIZE feature built into WordPress. I personally like the existing UI, but it seems slower to navigate through than other UI’s such as the BB one, or PBS.

        PBS has become more user friendly and more fully featured lately. It has a low price point at $39 US for one site licence including one year of updates, or $89 US for one year of unlimited sites and updates (still not free like LC). The price for the unlimited site licences includes a free basic theme to work with. It is definitely worth looking at as it is similar to Beaver Builder with a nicer UI and similar features. Maybe not a full-featured as BB, however.

        I should note that I have had great success using multiple Front End Builders within any given single WordPress project. You just have to keep track of what you are using on which pages.

        I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing so if you don’t have to, but when Page Builder doesn’t have a feature that another does have, it is possible to install and use more than one to get to where you need to go.

        I have used the DIVI theme from Elegant Themes, which has DIVI Builder built in (not a front end builder). I have used Live Composer on one site using the DIVI theme, but installed Visual Composer to get access to a drag and drop VC form builder plugin I like. So far so good.

        On another site using a theme I created in Artisteer, I used Beaver Builder to build the bulk of the site, but after transferring the site to it’s final destination, a page that I used BB accordions on failed to the point where if I even tried to use an accordion it caused BB to fail on that page (this may have been a problem with the hosting service somehow or the plugin I used to transfer the site over – not sure), so I used Live Composer to rebuild the one page almost identically to the BB version, used the LC accordions and all was well. I like the LC accordions better anyway.

        LC being free makes it easy to add to the mix, however Frankensteinian this may seem.

    • MotoPress says:

      Hi Dave, you’ve worked with so many page builder plugins and your experience is really valuable. I understood that you’ve already experimented with MotoPress, but we’ve made many significant updates and will really appreciate if you try it again and share your thoughts. There is even no need to buy the plugin, you can use the free version which contains almost all pro features https://wordpress.org/plugins/motopress-content-editor-lite/ Thank you in advance!

  5. scott says:

    I agree, these are 2 very important missing criteria that heavily factor in my choice of builder tools. That’s why I’m focused more on Beaver, Make Plus, and Layers WP, of which I think all provide some means of porting content back into wordpress posts. Now if I could just find some page load speed comparisons…

    • Rolf says:

      I created many sites using Enfold, but I would not say “the best”, it really depends on the usecase, if you want to quickly create a single onescroll landingpage a tool like Elementor would fit better.

    • Steven Marx says:

      I do, and it can create great looking sites, but is buggy, and the need to roundtrip from their website to your install is a bit of a pain. And it can be tricky to update the content on your site as, as others have pointed out with these builders, shortcakes take the place of the actual content in many places. Looking for a Cloudpress replacement is what brought me to this post.

  6. johnspeed says:

    We’ve been using Fusion for a couple years now for anyone looking for a free option which can power enterprise type wordpress installs. Our experience with most page builders (we’ve tried over 20 of them) is that they are amazing for end users, but not always powerful enough or easily extensible when you get into larger business or enterprise style wordpress builds. You can check it out here https://wordpress.org/plugins/fusion/

  7. graffig says:

    Hi folks, just wanted to raise awareness to KingComposer, a relatively new page builder on the scene: https://youtu.be/eFietqQAISY

    From a graphic designer’s point of view this plugin is a game changer, allowing me to get on with the designing of client sites whilst not being bogged down with code.

    Added benefit that even after I deactivate plugin all my content is still displaying correctly!

  8. Gary says:

    I just recently purchased the Visual Composer plugin. I was wondering which themes you might suggest I use in a Parallax design along with the VC plugin. Which premium theme would you suggest? And which free theme for Parallax?

    • Dallas79 says:

      Just asked the same thing. See a few entries on this list that elementor puts to shame. Chalk it up to being the new builder on the block, and the author probably just hasn’t given it a spin personally.

  9. Dallas79 says:

    How is Elementor not listed here? I’ve used all of these, and none of them are close to the speed and UI of Elementor – even its free version. I have no affiliation, but it’s silly to leave it out when some very weak competition is listed here.

  10. Dallas79 says:

    It’s not, actually. That’s how it’s done by lazy shops, or those wanting to create an ecosystem for their builders – but that’s not best practice at all.

    Beaver Builder and Elementor are among the only builders who took the time to design backwards-compatible fallback-friendly solutions that output valid HTML instead of a mess of shortcodes.

  11. pingram says:

    For me the biggest issue I had with ALL page builders was the addition of a ton of css and js libraries such as the grid and responsive breakpoints all pushed on top of a theme that already provides this stuff resulting in consuming excessive server resources not to mention the client side load. Often the css grid and breakpoints were completely different than that of the theme too.

    The only builder that has addressed this issue providing an easy way for theme builders to check for the plugin’s presence and use it’s libraries instead was Elementor. Additionally the css is built per element and en-queued using WordPress standards vs inline like many of these listed here. This allows for post processing such as minification, compression and caching.

    Lastly, only the css and js libraries for modules that are actually used are loaded so page loads remain as lean as possible. As a front end developer I realize Beaver Builder is likely the only one that comes close to this but I could never get over that childish name.

  12. Leo Chan says:

    I do find a con in Elementor. It doesn’t allow me editing blog post pages. It is not yet a complete theme builder as such. If you use WordPress to build website without blogging feature, Elementor does the job very well.

    • Rolf says:

      I think Elementor is great for one scroll landingpages, but not for larger sites. For them I would stick to a theme which comes with a layout editor. On the other hand the freedom you get for desisning your site with Elementor is great (bur requires more design skills)

  13. Lauterne says:

    The big
    difference between Elementor and other page builders is that it does not
    use shortcode behind its interface, which explains its velocity, where
    its competitors lose time displaying the result through their
    shortcodes. Disable them and you’ll get a dirty result, disable Elementor and you’ll just find your content.

  14. Jack Lewis says:

    This looks really awesome.
    Thanks for the list! I’m very new to WordPress development and am looking for a plugin that will give me the ability to click on a menu item at the top of my page and have an animated scrolling effect to different defined sections and easily drag and drop of a single page theme.
    Do you have any other suggestions?
    Thanks!

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