Your online presence is vital for modern business success, but how can you achieve a sleek, professional website? WordPress’s plugin page builders are the perfect solution for designing and creating websites without learning to code. There are many different options to choose from and you can find positive reviews for all of them. In this series, we will be comparing the pros and cons of the best page builders in detail to help you decide which is for you.
Using a front-end page builder is often quicker and more reliable than coding, which is why some web design agencies like KIJO use them as standard. For a truly feature-rich website, hiring a web design agency is the only way to go, as their expert knowledge can help you make your vision a reality. Web design agencies will use a single page builder to create your whole website, so it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each before you decide.
What is a Page Builder?
In WordPress, page builders are web design plugins, extra programmes to install on top of the core WordPress code to give more scope for professional website design. They help developers to build SEO-friendly pages and can be utilised over entire sites.
Suitable for creative individuals who seek perfection, page builders offer flexibility and detailed design at the level of each pixel. Almost everything is customisable. Some builders have an option to create a design system to use across a whole website, perfect for implementing your brand guidelines consistently.
What are the Benefits of Using Page Builders?
Page builders enable just about anyone to independently customise existing website pages and to build entire websites quickly and easily. Many page builders can be downloaded for free as plugins.
The main benefit of using a page builder is that it reduces the need for coding. This enables quick and efficient web development. Almost all page builders use simple drag-and-drop building blocks, enabling designers to see what they are creating while they build.
Most page builders provide a beautiful selection of pre-designed templates, which you can edit to create the perfect representation of your brand.
The majority of page builders operate a drag-and-drop design model. Users can easily create layouts from different content modules or ‘blocks’, which snap together like a jigsaw puzzle. The best builders are those which offer the greatest range of blocks and the broadest scope for their customisation.
For experienced coders, most page builders include Developer Options for adding bespoke elements and minor edits.
Specialists in Website Design
Hiring a great website design agency like KIJO can make the difference between being overlooked and making a great impression
Professional web design requires a range of skills, including graphic design, user interface and experience design, coding and SEO. A good agency will have specialists in each area, giving clients a team of experts in their corner.
A dedicated web design agency will use the same few page builders on all their projects. To ensure they have the full functionality of the builder, they invest in premium software. Using an agency is more cost-effective than paying for page builders if you are only going to build one site.
In this article, we’ve ranked the top 5 page builders and offered you our thoughts on what makes them great.
The Top 5 Page Builders: Reviewed
Themify is actually a theme builder, meaning it is used to design and customise your website’s existing layout. By using themes, you need only edit the website’s core elements once before the changes are applied everywhere.
This builder is best used to quickly create landing pages or stand-alone webpage. A landing page makes dedicated space for more detailed information about your product or campaign. You can then direct your audience to this page in your newsletters and other communications, giving you room to elaborate.
Themify also offers unique add-ons including Timeline, Maps Pro, and the Countdown, as well as an A/B image for real-time comparisons.
A good feature of Themify is the ability to switch between front-end and back-end quickly. This gives developers a choice of how they want to work.
Depending on the user roles for your site, Themify also enables you to allocate specific permissions to different modules. Users can choose to restrict or allow certain content on any module or row, setting clear editing boundaries for your team.
While theme prices start at around £59 per year, the Themify Builder standalone plugin is free!
4. Divi Builder
What began as a theme in itself is now a stand-alone page building plugin, offering over 60 different template layouts. It will work with any WordPress theme, transcending its creative origins as ElegantThemes’ most popular choice.
Divi’s content module range is extensive, including audio players, comments, data capture forms and testimonials in your pages.
Divi is easy to use, providing a lot of flexibility to those building pages from a template. Developers can choose to work in the front-end, able to see exactly what they are building, or in wireframe mode. In the front-end editor, you can simply click into a text block and begin editing. Wireframe mode strips back all the content to leave the bare bones of your layout. This is useful when you need to avoid distraction or rearrange the page structure.
Not accessing back-end code does have its issues, however, as sometimes a pixel or two makes all the difference to your design. Accessing the back-end page builder to edit at this micro-level is sometimes the quickest option.
Prices for the Divi Page Builder start at around $89 (£70) per year, ranging up to the life-time plan at $249 (£193).
The first WordPress plugin that defined the drag-and-drop page builder, Visual Composer is a powerful tool for creating complex WordPress websites. Used in over 500,000 websites, worldwide, this page builder includes ten language packs and is supported by the WordPress Multilingual Plugin.
If you are looking to build responsive layouts in minutes using a user-friendly interface, then Visual Composer is the plug-in for you. This builder also allows users to create layouts in the backend or frontend of a website, whilst providing instant visual results with the live preview feature.
Visual Composer has a lot to offer, although like with Divi Builder the choices offered could become overwhelming. Visual Composer is aimed at seasoned users who want to make complex pages of content. To enable this, there are forty-eight content elements on offer in total. Plugin extensions are available if this still isn’t enough.
This is perfect if you are familiar with website design and want to create dense pages of content, which feature graph, maps, post grids, and video, but less so if you want a page builder to create a simple website or blog in a day.
There is a limited free version available, as well as Visual Composer Pro which is priced at around £49.
Aimed at professional designers, Beaver Builder supports WooCommerce and is compatible with nearly all WordPress themes. This page builder focuses on being a complete design system, which incorporates WordPress page builder plugins.
Offering only fourteen unique homepage layout templates, Beaver Builder is streamlined in comparison to Visual Composer. Beaver Builder is perfect for users who want to quickly build a professional site without starting from scratch. However, this lack of template choice may seem a little uninspiring and many users simply use Beaver Builder to edit their existing sites.
Beaver Builder users can personalise templates to match their brand guidelines by replacing the images and text. More importantly, users can save these pages as customised templates for future website development, and even export these to use on a different site.
Beaver Builder offers a limited free version, but a paid package (starting at around £99/year) is the smart choice for businesses.
Aimed at professionals, from freelancers to agencies, Elementor is WordPress’s most popular drag-and-drop page builder. Offering pixel-perfect design, this Page Builder enables users to create beautifully unique websites. You can integrate marketing tools into your bespoke designs to encourage website traffic and increase your leads & conversions.
While Beaver Builder offers customisable templates, Elementor enables users to easily create a house style. This is not to be confused with branding, as a house style simply means that no matter how many developers work on your website, the fonts, colours and formatting will be consistent throughout.
Elementor users can include their existing marketing material to create a recognisable look throughout their website design. Continuity is key here, and Elementor allows for users to employ standardisation across font, colours, and links. Elementor also ensures that users’ blog posts and website landing pages are formatted in identical styles.
Built with remote workers in mind, the user interface is sleek, usability is intuitive and users can create everything from landing pages and blogs to bespoke professional sites. Anything is possible with Elementor.
The free version comes with just under 40 free templates while upgrading to Elementor Pro adds hundreds of additional ones. The Elementor plugin is free to use, with prices for Elementor Pro starting at around £49 for use on a single site.
Standing out from the competition: Elementor
In a league of its own, Elementor is crowned as KIJO’s choice of best page builders to use with WordPress.
A quality piece of open-source software, it is the epitome of what drag-and-drop design should be.
Elementor is both user-friendly and flexible, but to incorporate your house style across your email signatures, press releases and forums, your best option is to employ a professional website design agency.
For those professional finishing touches and to build a site which is second to none, contact the website design specialists at KIJO.