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Finding the Best WordPress Page Builder

Finding the Best WordPress Page Builder: 6 Top Options

WordPress page builders have taken the internet by the storm. It is no hidden fact that WordPress powers millions of websites on the internet. As such, a good WordPress page builder can make lives easier for developers and end users alike. Such page builders have made it possible to quickly and efficiently put together a WP site in no time.

As such, the rising popularity of WordPress page builders is no surprise. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the most popular WordPress page builders.

Finding the Best WordPress Page Builder

We know that WordPress page builders allow us to create entire websites in very little time. Almost all page builders nowadays feature an easy to use drag and drop layout, and come with several predefined style elements and blocks. More importantly, modern day page builders churn out semantically compliant code without the user having to touch even a line of code.

What else can WordPress page builders have to offer? Let us first find out!

Advantages of WordPress Page Builders

  • WordPress page builders offer a real-time editing experience so users can see the changes live as they would appear on their site.
  • The simple drag and drop features allow you to use various addons, blocks and layouts on different pages thereby giving a versatile approach to design.
  • Any decent page builder allows you to disable or hide any existing element to clear it later, and these elements can also be saved for later use.
  • You have access to pre-installed blocks and layouts, which in turn allows you to work faster.
  • Using WordPress page builders does not require any coding skills. In fact, many page builders also feature a custom CSS option wherein you can specify your own styling — and then export the said styling for use on other websites.

As you can see, WordPress page builders have a lot of features and useful solutions to offer. This has made the lives easier of not just designers and developers but also of the end users as anyone can now customize a website with ease.

Top 6 Best WordPress Page Builders

Now, the big query — which ones are the top WordPress page builders out there?

Divi

Divi is a popular WordPress page builder that comes bundled with the best-selling Divi WordPress theme. You can use this plugin with other WordPress themes as well, and it also has frontend and backend interfaces that are easy to use and configure. This particular page builder comes with a lot of useful elements to create great and fully functional pages.

Unfortunately, there is no free version of Divi Builder. This means you will have to shell out at least $89 (per annum) for an Elegant Themes membership. This will also give you access to several WP themes, in addition to the Divi Builder plugin.

Elementor

Elementor is one of the most well-known page builders for WordPress today. Despite the fact that the plugin was released in 2016, it has already been installed by more than 3 million active users.

In fact, Elementor took the WP page editing landscape by the horns and single-handedly transformed it to something anew. Elementor is a highly popular and reputed name in the league of WordPress page builders.

The free version of Elementor provides you with 40 templates and 30 basic widgets. Free widgets include cool features like image carousels and custom HTML elements. For additional widgets as well as customized templates and premium support, pricing plans begin at $49 per year (for one website).

Brizy

Brizy is a relatively newer name when it comes to WP page builders. That said, it is also among the easiest to use.

Brizy features a complete set of widgets and design elements that can be added to any page or content area. It offers seamless integration with WordPress and has a feature-packed free plan.

Premium versions come with additional modules and content options and start from $49 per year for three websites.

Gutenberg

Gutenberg has been around for some years by now, and it seems to finally be getting community acceptance. That said, it is noteworthy to point out that Gutenberg is, of sorts, WordPress’ response to the page builder frenzy.

Gutenberg was pitched as the official replacement for the WP TinyMCE content editor. As such, the older editor would be phased out by 2022, and Gutenberg would replace it for good. The older editor can still be accessed via the Classic Editor WP plugin, but Gutenberg is the default editor of choice in WordPress.

There is no premium version, albeit many third party developers have, by now, started offering Gutenberg block plugins that extend the overall functionality of Gutenberg. In its basest form, Gutenberg comes with content blocks that can be used to add any type of content to the page, such as media elements, text, video, oEmbeds, and so on.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is a clean WordPress page builder with semantic code and regular updates. It comes with a bunch of addons that add more flexibility to it. Beaver Builder is very easy to use and is, perhaps, the easiest page builder with a very lenient learning curve.

This particular page builder has been used on more than half a million sites around the world! The free version offers a limited set of templates and content blocks, and you can upgrade to the paid version with additional options starting from $99 per year for unlimited websites. Such a pricing model means Beaver Builder is ideal if you are building multiple websites using it.

Oxygen Builder

The last entry on our list, Oxygen page builder, is different from other WordPress page builders, because it works with a separate sandbox module connected to WordPress. It has an easy to use interface with many page builder elements for buttons, containers, text blocks, image blocks, paragraphs, columns, etc.

Oxygen is a visual editor that is more suited for agencies and theme builders and less for end users. The cheapest pricing option begins at $99, and it does not offer WooCommerce integration. As such, unless you are a designer/developer or agency, Oxygen Builder might not be the best fit for you.

Afterword

So there you have it — a list of some of the top WordPress page builders out there.

Which one should you use? Well, if you are looking for something easy to learn, Beaver Builder is a good pick.

On the other hand, if you need a plethora of templates and design options, look no further than Elementor. Divi is a worthy choice too, but since it’s a premium offering, it may not fit everyone’s budget.

wpcli-power-tips

WP-CLI Power Tips You Absolutely Need to Know!

The WordPress command-line interface, or WP CLI for short, has always been popular among developers because it provides much more performance and speed when managing a WordPress site. At first glance, it may seem hard to believe that using the command line to perform certain tasks can in fact be easier than using the GUI. However, as you get used to the CLI, you’d realize it can boost your workflow and save a good deal of time.  Continue reading

Hacked WordPress Recovery

WordPress Optimization Part 6: Cleaning a Hacked WordPress Site

In this post, we will be learning how to clean up a hacked WordPress site.

Even the best and most secure websites can get hacked. It can happen to anyone of us; even if we take the best WordPress security measures, our sites can still be compromised. This is pretty much like our own physical health — even after taking the best precautions and having a strong immune system, we might catch a cold at times. Continue reading

WordPress Themes

WordPress Optimization Part 5: WordPress Themes

In the penultimate part of our WordPress series, we will now be turning our attention towards WordPress themes. What makes a good WordPress theme and where can you find one? This article will answer the question in detail.

If you have missed the previous installments of  the series, you can find them here:

Introduction: Finding the Right WordPress Theme

A WordPress theme is the template that decided how your WP site or blog looks on the front-end. As such, it is the visible section of your site and should therefore be carefully chosen. Depending on your preference in design as well as the genre of your site, you can pick from the thousands of free and paid WordPress themes out there.

Of course, design considerations are a matter of personal preference. A font and color scheme that you find good might not appeal to someone else, so we will bypass that. With that said, here are certain key things you should always bear in mind when selecting a WordPress theme for your site:

1 Source of Theme

First up, where do you get the WordPress theme from?

The choice, ideally, is very simple. If it is a free WordPress theme, you should never look anywhere other than the official WordPress repository.

WordPress Theme Repository

On the other hand, for premium themes, you can look at reputed theme marketplaces such as ThemeForest and Creative Market. You can also purchase directly from theme developers — just be sure to check the developer’s reviews before buying. Pretty much like web hosting providers, theme developers too earn a reputation that can be good or bad on the basis of their performance. As such, a simple Google search for 10 minutes can save you hours of trouble later on.

2 Features and Updates

The list of features that you need depends on the nature of your website. For example, a minimal WordPress theme with support for image galleries might be apt for a photography site, whereas you may need custom page templates and more for a magazine site.

However, irrespective of the type of site that you are running, your WordPress theme should receive regular updates and security fixes. If it is a premium theme, make sure you ask the developers about their update policy — some themes come with a lifetime of free updates, whereas others are good for just the first year wherein you have to renew the license.

Never run an obsolete or out of date WordPress theme!

3 Theme Check

Once you have finalized and installed a WordPress theme, give it a test using the Theme Check plugin.

WordPress Theme Check

This free WordPress plugin checks your WordPress theme’s code against the latest coding standards. Any obsolete function calls, hard-coded links, as well as security issues are highlighted. If the scan yields way too many suspicious results, your theme is not really good.

All free themes in the official repository are already checked for quality of code, so you need not check them again. However, all external premium themes should always be given a Theme Check scan before being put to use.

4 Theme Standards

For the most part, the Theme Check plugin will inform you about the quality of code as well as any obsolete methods that the theme makers might have employed. However, there are certain practical considerations that you should be aware of as well.

For instance, any WordPress theme that insists on installing multiple WP plugins in order to properly work is not worth the trouble. Having several active plugins will surely slow your site down — a theme that works out of the box is a better choice.

Similarly, a good WordPress theme is one that lets you preview all the changes in the Live Customizer itself, before you actually activate it. If your WP theme requires you to first activate it, then set it up, and then see the changes live — you should consider seeking an alternative if possible.

5 Bloatware

A well-optimized WordPress theme is one that is not bloated.

The biggest cause of theme bloatware nowadays is the bundled software. A good number of WP themes in marketplaces such as ThemeForest tend to come bloated with external plugins, such as page builders, in order to work properly. This means a theme that should otherwise be 3 MB in size becomes 25 MB. Naturally, if you are on a shared hosting plan, your site can slow down due to such themes.

Similarly, many poorly optimized and planned WP themes tend to encroach upon plugin territory nowadays. Such themes take care of SEO, shortcodes, social sharing, and other features for you. While it is a fancy thought to have a WordPress theme that handles it all for you, what if you change that theme three years from now? Your social share counts will be gone, your SEO metadata will also be lost, and your shortcodes will no longer work. Such features, ideally, belong to WP plugins.

Some Red Flags

Now that we have seen the traits of a good WordPress theme, let us discuss some basic issues that a bad WP theme might exhibit.

If you are getting any of these signs:

  • An Error 500 message
  • The Customizer takes way too long to load or does not load at all
  • Your WP website often gives a blank white screen (commonly known as White Screen of Death)

It means there is a high chance the issue might be related to your WordPress theme. The most obvious guesses are either a plugin compatibility issue with the theme, or several recursive function calls by the theme itself. If it is the first case, you can try disabling your plugins and then enabling them one by one. However, if the slow page loads and errors are due to poorly planned function calls, your theme’s code is below par.

Non-GPL Themes

WordPress is a free and open source software under the terms of the GPL. This means any product that seeks to extend WordPress — be it themes or plugins — has to be GPL-compliant. While media elements (say, animations and graphics that are part of your theme) are exempted from this, the theme’s code is not.

You are free to modify your WP theme the way you wish to; if your theme makers forbid you from doing so, they are violating GPL and their theme is surely not something you should use. An example of this would be “as per our ToS, you are not allowed to remove our link from the footer”.

That concludes our WordPress series. We have learned how to optimize and secure WordPress, improve our site’s SEO as well as how to distinguish a good WordPress theme and plugin from the bad ones. As a bonus, however, we will have a concluding part to this series wherein we discuss how to recover a hacked WordPress website. 

Up Next in the Series:

WordPress Optimization Part 6: Cleaning a Hacked WordPress Site