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Welcome to our Elementor review. If you want to create custom designs for your WordPress content, the developers of Elementor have produced a tool that can help you. With a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, a library of powerful content modules, and more than enough professional templates to help you get started, Elementor is aimed at both new and experienced WordPress users and developers.
With a free version and a commercial Pro option available, Elementor does look like a useful tool. But is it the best WordPress page builder plugin available today? That’s the question we’ll help you answer in this Elementor plugin review.
Elementor Review: A Quick Overview
The core Elementor page builder is an open source plugin that anyone is free to use. Available for download from the WordPress Plugin Directory, this version of Elementor has been installed on over 100,000 sites and has been rated 4.8 out 5 stars from users. Alongside the core Elementor plugin, there are also some free extensions that add even more features to the page builder.
The free Elementor plugin does provide you with everything you’re likely to need to start enhancing your WordPress website content. However, there is a premium version. Elementor Pro is available from $49 which provides a good value upgrade to the core free plugin.
This Elementor review will cover the best features of both the free and paid versions of this page builder. But to give you a quick overview of what the Pro version can do, the premium upgrade allows you to create custom post grid layouts to display your content in a range of different ways.
Elementor Pro also includes a live form editor, global widgets, live custom CSS editing, and full WooCommerce support to name just a few of the premium features.
Best Features of Elementor
Here’s an overview of the best features that make Elementor a WordPress drag-and-drop page builder plugin you should definitely consider.
High-Quality Mobile Responsive Templates
Perhaps the best feature of Elementor is its selection of high-quality templates. However, the builder interface covered next in this review could just as easily be considered its best asset. Either way, being able to choose from a growing selection of professional designs for your website makes Elementor a very appealing WordPress page builder plugin.
The Elementor templates cover a varied selection of purposes and design. Among the options, you’ll find homepage layouts, landing page, about, services, contact, product, and pricing page templates, plus much more.
The types of websites that can be built with these templates is diverse too. This includes agency, portfolio, business, freelancer, ecommerce, and hotel sites to name just a few.
Unlike some other free and freemium WordPress page builder plugins, the free version of Elementor includes a good selection of templates for a range of purposes.
The coming soon templates can easily be applied to your site, thanks to the maintenance mode features of Elementor.
Best of all, the Elementor templates can easily be customized through the drag-and-drop builder interface.
Elementor Page Builder Interface
All the best WordPress page builder plugins now feature drag-and-drop front-end user interfaces and Elementor is no exception. After creating a new post or page in WordPress, you have the option of using the default WordPress Editor or launching the Elementor builder interface.
If you choose to edit your post or page with Elementor, you’ll have the option of either working on a blank page or importing a template.
If you do choose to import a template, it’s very easy to see which templates are available to both versions of the plugin and which are reserved for Elementor Pro users.
Once a template has been loaded, you can hover your mouse over each element to see how the page has been constructed. Elementor uses a row and column based layout. You can then drag and drop any of the available modules or widgets into your layout, before customizing them through the sidebar panel.
Clicking on an element switches the contents of the side panel to instantly display the controls for that item. For example, if you click on a text-based item like the header element, you can change the text through the side panel. Depending on which element you’re working on, you’ll get access to a range of different customization controls.
As Elementor has a drag-and-drop interface, it’s easy to move elements around the page and into new positions. Simply click on them with the mouse cursor, hold down the mouse button, before letting go when the item is in the desired location.
Each element on your page can be highly customized. Changing the content, the styling, and layout options is all straightforward, thanks to the content sensitive builder side panel.
Add Custom CSS
If you need even more control over your page designs, upgrading to the Pro version unlocks the custom CSS panel. This gives you a quick and easy way to add custom CSS to your layouts, complete with real time feedback on your design choices.
While you work, you can change the viewport to get a tablet or smartphone preview of your page. This gives you a convenient way to find out how your design will look on smaller screen devices.
Another nice mobile-friendly feature of Element is the responsive controls for each item in your design. These settings allow you to change the visibility of an element depending on the device being used by the visitor. For example, you could create two variations of an important button. One would be optimized for smartphone displays, with perhaps smaller dimensions, and only shown to mobile users. The other variation would be displayed to desktop users.
Global Style Settings
Elementor doesn’t only make it easy to build creative pages designs. This plugin also gives you the ability to control the site-wide styling of your site. Through the Global Colors and Global Fonts areas of the sidebar panel, you can ensure your site has a consistent look and feel throughout.
As well as choosing from a selection of color palettes, you can just as easily use the color picker to create your own. You also get the same control when working with fonts.
While you can change the fonts for individual elements in your designs, the global settings also give you the option of creating a consistent style across every page on your site.
Elementor Page Elements
As mentioned, when building your page you can drag and drop any of the elements into your layout. Some of the best elements in the free version of Elementor include:
- Icon Box for displaying your most important features.
- Testimonials for publishing customer and client feedback.
- Image Carousel for displaying multiple photos or other images.
- Google Maps for creating helpful contact pages.
- Buttons for encouraging specific actions to be taken.
Those who choose to upgrade to Elementor Pro can add the following elements to their designs:
- Post Element for displaying a list of blog posts in a custom layout.
- Slides for creating slideshows and sliders.
- Price Tables for creating comparison tables for products and other items.
- Share Buttons for displaying custom social share buttons.
- WooCommerce elements for creating custom ecommerce store elements.
- Plus more Pro elements.
Users of the free version of Elementor have access to more than enough elements to create feature-rich layouts. However, if you’re selling products or services from your website or want to create a stylish portfolio, Elementor Pro could be well worth investing in.
Impressive Design Features
To help you create truly modern and trending designs, Elementor includes all the creative features you’re likely to need. This includes the ability to add stylish animation effects to your pages. Through the settings for each element in your layout, you can easily add entrance animations to make your designs pop.
You don’t just get a few animation effects to choose from. You can select from numerous zooming, fading bouncing, rotating, and other attention grabbing effects to ensure your most important elements aren’t overlooked.
Create Full-Width Page Layouts
To help you create full-page designs that cover the whole browser window, Elementor includes a useful Canvas template. By selecting this template, you can build a page design that doesn’t include the WordPress header, footer, and sidebar areas – regardless of which theme you’re using.
If you want another template option, there’s a free add-on available for Elementor that gives you the ability to create a full-width layout while keeping the header on display.
As mentioned, there are a number of free third-party add-ons that have been created for Elementor. These free extensions include:
- Page Templater For Elementor adds a full-width page template to your theme.
- Press Elements adds extra widgets to the Elementor page builder.
- Elementor Addon Elements add even more elements to Elementor.
- Devices Elementor enables you to add device (laptop, smartphone, etc) frames to your images.
As you can see, Elementor has been embraced by third-party developers who have built free extensions to make this WordPress page builder even better.
Elementor Pro Features
If you do decide to pay $49 to get access to Elementor Pro, then you’ll not only be getting access to the premium support channels, but also some great additional features.
We mentioned a few Pro features earlier in this Elementor review, such as being able to create custom grid layouts for blog posts and portfolio items. You can also unlock more elements and templates for your website by upgrading to Elementor Pro.
Another really powerful feature of Elementor Pro is that the layouts and templates you’ve saved to your library can now be inserted into other pages using a shortcode.
This means you could create a button, call to action, or an alert, and then insert it into your pages when required using the shortcode.
Now when the post or page is published, the shortcode will be replaced by the item it represents.
If you change the library item, every instance of it on your site will be updated to reflect those changes. Now you can create high-quality elements for your website with Elementor Pro. You and your content creators can then insert them into articles without ever having to access the Elementor interface.
Adding custom forms, countdown timers, social share buttons, pricing tables, sliders, and WooCommerce elements to your designs are some more of the extra functionality that’s unlocked by upgrading to Elementor Pro
Elementor Review Summary
Elementor has a lot going for it. Even compared to the best WordPress builder plugins, the free and premium versions of Elementor have a high-quality interface. Working in the Elementor builder is very user-friendly. Simply drag and drop elements onto your page. Then point and click to start customizing them.
The free version of Elementor has a useful selection of elements, helping you to build stylish and feature packed pages. The context sensitive sidebar provides easy access to the customization controls. Being able to see how changes are affecting the design of your page in real time makes the user experience much more intuitive. Not having to save your changes, switch browser tabs, and constantly hit refresh, speeds up the workflow immensely.
It’s also worth remembering that the free version of Elementor includes an exciting selection of templates. Not only do they look great, but they also cover a wide range of products and types of content. They’re all easily customizable too, helping you kick start your custom WordPress web design project.
Element Pro includes useful upgrades over the free version. More elements, templates, and design options make the $49 Element Pro a very competitively priced premium WordPress page builder plugin.
However, thanks to the presence of the free version, you can try Elementor without any financial risk. If you like the Elementor way of doing things and you want access to even more creative possibilities, then investing in the $49 Elementor Pro makes sense.