Do you want an easy way to design your website without having to hire a professional developer? Starting a WordPress website with a solution like Elementor is one of the best ways. That said, before you jump in and start using a feature-packed tool like the Elementor page builder plugin, you should take a closer look at what it has to offer to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
Today we’re going to review the free Elementor page builder plugin features. Here’s a table of contents to help guide you:
- What is a WordPress Page Builder Plugin?
- What is Elementor?
- Exclusive Editing Interface
- Front-End Page Building
- Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Design
- Templates and Blocks
- Endless Customization Options
- Revision History
- Elementor Pro
- Elementor Pros and Cons
- Wrapping Up
What is a WordPress Page Builder Plugin?
A WordPress page builder plugin is a tool with a drag and drop interface that lets you build stunning WordPress sites with ease. It typically comes with content blocks that you can easily rearrange as you design your site and front-end editing so you can make live edits.
Most of all, however, a true WordPress page builder plugin gives people of all skill levels the ability to create any type of website they want, without having any technical skills. In fact, page builder plugins don’t require you to mess with code whatsoever.
What is Elementor?
Elementor is a free and premium drag and drop page builder plugin for WordPress. Since it’s one of the most popular page builder plugins in the market, it’s safe to say that Elementor helps people build better sites, complete with all the design and functionality you could want.
With Elementor, you can:
- Create posts, pages, and custom post types on a separate interface than the default WordPress editing screen
- Build beautiful websites without having any HTML or PHP knowledge or skills
- Maintain site speed and performance, despite using such a feature-heavy plugin
- Edit on the front-end in a WYSIWYG environment
- Create endless number of customizations using the templates and blocks made available through the interface
- Build a custom website on a tight budget since there is a free version of the plugin
Of course, this is just scratching the surface. That’s why we’re going to dive in and take a look at some of Elementor’s best features.
1. Exclusive Editing Interface
With Elementor, you get a separate editing interface than the default WordPress editing screen. To access it, all you have to do is click the Edit with Elementor button.
When you do, you’ll open up the Elementor interface, so you can start editing.
This interface lets you make any and all changes to your site’s posts, pages, and custom post types.
You’ll have access to the content blocks that will let you customize the design and functionality of your website. And to do it, all you have to do is drag the widget you want to use to the preview section and make your changes.
2. Front-End Page Building
In addition to having an exclusive editing interface, Elementor is a front-end page builder.
When you use a back-end page builder solution, you can’t instantly see the changes you’ve made to your site as your build your content. This means that you can edit your content, but you won’t be able to view the changes in real-time until you click update and then preview.
This is how the default WordPress editor works. You make a change, but can’t see the way it looks on your website until you update the post or page, let it refresh, and then click the ‘Preview’ button. This process is very time-consuming and can be frustrating while trying to make major changes to your site.
With Elementor, any changes you make, no matter how minor, show up immediately in the preview section of the editor. This lets you fine-tune the look and feel of your site in real-time, saving yourself time and ensuring your site looks and acts just the way you want it to.
And this is all without having to refresh your site and click ‘Preview’ every time.
To make things even easier, you’ll see the list of elements (or widgets) on the left hand side of the editor such as:
- Google Maps
- Image Carousel
- And much more
These 90+ widgets are in addition to the default WordPress ones that every website owner has access to.
In fact, Elementor makes sure to integrate with every theme and plugin that you have activated on your site so that you have a comprehensive editing experience.
If you want, you can also edit within the preview section of the editor yourself. This is just another way Elementor helps people of all skill levels create WordPress sites faster.
3. Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Design
Having a mobile friendly website is important if you want to rank well in Google, provide an exceptional user experience, and boost conversions. Luckily, Elementor has you covered thanks to its mobile-friendly and 100% responsive design.
But more than that, Elementor gives you an easy way to make sure the look of your website is perfect on all mobile devices. After all, with so many customization options available, it can be easy to go overboard and create a wonky looking mobile site.
To check how your newly created WordPress website looks on either a mobile phone or tablet, all you have to do is click the Desktop icon at the bottom of the editor and choose which view you’d like to preview: desktop, tablet, or mobile.
This is what your website might look like in the mobile phone view:
The neat thing about this feature is that if you decide you want to make changes to your mobile view to make it more user-friendly, the changes you make will not affect the other two views (desktop or tablet).
In other words, Elementor preserves the customizations you make on any of the views so no matter where you site visitors come from, your site renders seamlessly for them.
4. Templates and Blocks
Elementor provides you with two distinct customization features to make your life easier and your designs flawless.
1. Page Templates
Page templates in Elementor (over 300 of them) are meant to save you time and allow you to be consistent throughout your website as you create pages and posts. You can use them as inspiration and even customize them as you see fit.
To access the page templates in the Elementor editor, just click the Folder icon:
When you do, you’ll see three tabs at the top: Blocks, Pages, and My Templates.
To find the page templates, click Pages. You’ll immediately see all the different types of templates you can use to create specific types of content.
To give you an idea, here are some of the best page templates available:
- Landing page
- About page
- Pricing page
Each page template is designed for a specific niche or industry, so you get the exact elements on your template you need to please your site visitors and grow your online presence. Of course, some page templates are reserved for the pro version of Elementor. However, there are plenty available in the free version to get you started.
Elementor blocks are preset sections that you can quickly load into you’re your page, just like page templates.
They include things like:
- Call to Action
- And more
To access them, click the Folder icon and then the Blocks tab. You can search for a specific block by using the Category dropdown menu.
Again, just like page templates, these blocks are fully customizable.
When you’re done using the available page templates and blocks to create a one-of-a-kind webpage for your website, you can then save it as your own template and use it later when you need to add more pages to your site. This feature is found by clicking the arrow in the green Publish button and selecting Save as Template.
The My Template feature saves you the hassle of having to re-do work or struggle with making webpages completely uniform.
5. Endless Customization Options
When you’re editing a specific piece of content using the Elementor page builder plugin, you can edit in real-time right in the preview section if you want. But more than that, you can access additional styling options in the editor to customize even further.
Here are just some of the things you can change when you click on Style or Advanced:
- Text color
- Font type and size (choose from over 800 Google Fonts)
- Margin widths
- Background image
- Column resizing
- Padding settings
- Widget type
- Content position
You can even custom CSS to your website if you want, making the Elementor page builder plugin one of the most all-inclusive in the market.
6. Revision History
It may not seem like that big a deal to have access to your revision history, but it is. Especially the way Elementor does it.
Every time you save a change to your webpage, Elementor saves that version of it in the History section of the editor. If you need to revert back to an earlier version of your site, or want to compare a before and after really quickly, all you have to do is click the History icon at the bottom of the screen and select the Actions or Revisions tab.
Actions will tell you which elements were added or removed on the webpage. Revisions will show you the version of the webpage at the time you clicked Save.
When you decide an older version of the webpage is no longer needed, you even have the option to discard it.
7. Elementor Pro
Are you interested in having even more features?
While the Elementor page builder plugin claims to be the #1 free WordPress page builder in the market, its pro version packs powerful punch.
Here’s just a snippet of what the pro version of Elementor provides:
- Popup Builder: create popups on your site and define advanced targeting actions to boost conversions.
- WooCommerce Builder: edit your WooCommerce shop with ease using Elementor. This includes things like a price table and/or list, categories, products, and the add to cart widget.
- Motion Effects: add interactions and animations to your website in the form of scrolling and mouse effects, smooth parallax effects, and even the unique 3D tilt effect to increase engagement with your content.
- Marketing Features: create forms right in the Elementor editor, add a countdown widget, and connect with your target audience via WhatsApp, Google Calendar, and more.
- Theme Builder: build a 404 page, add a sticky header, create a search results page, and edit the header and footer section without any code.
- Third-Party Integrations: integrate with your favorite email service provider such as Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, or ConvertKit, and connect to services like Zapier, HubSpot, and many more.
- Social Sharing: quickly add social share buttons and icons, add a Facebook button, and even embed Facebook content right on your website.
The premium version of Elementor costs $49/year for a single site license, $99/year for 3 sites, and $199/year for 1000 sites. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee just in case you don’t like it after trying it.
Elementor Pros and Cons
- Live front-end editor for making changes in real-time
- Extensive template and block library for inspiration and ease
- Mobile-friendly and responsive design controls
- Core product is 100% free making it an affordable solution
- Regular updates
- Convenient revision history
- Easy to use interface, even for beginners
- A lot of coveted features are only found in the pro version
- Doesn’t inherit theme styling, which can make meshing your old content and new content tough
- There is no white-label options, which is frustrating for developers or agencies
In the end, the Elementor page builder plugin comes highly recommended for those in need of an affordable, easy to use page building solution. It has everything you need to make customizing your WordPress website easy. And if you have a little bit of money to spare, the premium version of Elementor will surpass many other free and premium page builders in the market to date.
Don’t forget to brush up on your WordPress user roles if you’re going to launch a new site, use the Elementor page builder plugin, and allow more than one person to access the backend of your site.
Have you ever used the Elementor page builder plugin to help you start a WordPress blog or website? If so, we’d love to hear all about your experience in the comments below!