For quite some time, WordPress has been in the lead as the number one platform when you want to build a site quickly and easily. One of the reasons it became so popular was how fast you were able to set things up and how quickly you could understand how everything functioned. Many hosts from Bluehost to Hostgator all offer a simple service where you sign up to work with them and then you can install WordPress with just one click. This makes your initial foray into WordPress much easier since your host already assumes that WordPress will be your choice for a drag and drop builder. The support for both Joomla and Drupal is much less and thus they don’t have the advantages of hosts offering one-click installation that you would normally see.
Other services and sites began to notice how popular WordPress was becoming and tried to imitate them to steal some of their market share. We saw the rise of Wix and Squarespace which both exploded as people began to realize how easy it was to use the service. Wix made it very easy to choose a template that would work well with your chosen industry or business. Take for example when I used Wix to create a roofing website.
What are the most popular page builders that you can get for WordPress? What can they do and how easy are they to use?
If you are familiar with WordPress, you have probably already seen an ad for Elementor. Featuring a free version and 30 widgets that have basic functions, you can feel free to use Elementor as long as you want until you decide to buy the pro version. Once you get the pro version, you can get the personal version, a mid-grade version, or even one that works well for agency work and a team that is building thousands of sites.
What can you get with the pro version? When you upgrade, the 30 widgets will be bumped up to more than 50 pro widgets. That gives you even more functions that you can play with on the page and more options for your customers. Along with a large number of widgets, you also get 300 plus templates. If you are strapped for time, just use a template that was already built by a pro and it will look great on every screen. Maybe you are starting a business that needs to take online payment. That is easy with Elementor because they have a WooCommerce builder. Quickly put together your store and start accepting every major credit card when you work with this plugin.
This page builder is one of the best out there and very popular. Similar to Elementor, this builder has many layouts that are already done for you so you can go through the library and find one that will work for you. There is no free option, but you can get a license for $249.00 that will last for your lifetime. That is a great deal considering just one theme can cost hundreds of dollars. With a builder, you can create as many layouts as you would like.
The website for Elegant Themes also has a whole host of tutorials and articles that were written to help walk you through using their products. Maybe you are more of a visual learner and you need video walkthroughs. That is no problem because there are video tutorials as well that will aid you in using all the features. If you are serious about page building, go with the lifetime license and you will join a vast amount of other users that use Divi every day for development.
3. Beaver Builder
With Beaver Builder, you can try out the product before you go for the paid version. On WordPress.org, check out the lite version and play around with the options to see if this is the right builder for you. With Beaver Builder, you also are able to check out a live demo that will give you a great idea of what kind of pages you can create.
Beaver Builder is excellent since it will work with almost any theme. If this page builder doesn’t work with your current theme, just give them a call and get in touch with their customer support. Take the theme you are using currently and modify the header, footer, and styling so that things look just the way you want.
If you get the standard license from them, it totals just $99.00 and that includes as many sites as you want. You also will have access to customer support for a full year which is great as you get used to the product and its limitations.
Drag and Drop Page Builders For WordPress
First, I went through all the available templates set up on Wix. It was easy to sort through different types of businesses such as restaurants, construction, and also roofing. Once you have the given template you are looking for, the site is already made for you and looks professional. With just a few clicks of the mouse, I was switching colors and matching up the design with my design aesthetic. Pictures were already included along with icons so there was no need to hire an expensive designer that would need to go out and take pictures for you.
Once you have picked the colors that will look good with the rest of the site, many times logos are already done for you and you can just swap out the name of the company to fit what you have set up for yourself or your client. In the end, it was very simple to just move the various elements around on the page until I had a page I was comfortable with.
The logos and text boxes easily could be placed where I wanted and the code in the background would adjust to match the changes that I was making on the page. It is very powerful when you can visually see the site as you are making it so that you understand what the spacing and gaps will look like automatically.
More drag and drop builders began to move into the space such as Weebly to also appeal to a wide audience. As more services joined the space, WordPress had to try and keep up with so many providers becoming competition.
The developers for WordPress used PHP to develop plugins that could appeal to the users of Squarespace and Weebly. Now, WordPress users had access to drag and drop functions and you could design your page layout in just a small amount of time.
A lot of the users not familiar with site-building would have just stayed with the builders that work right in your web browser since they were easy and had huge marketing budgets to let people know that they were available.
Page Builder Plugins
Why were page builders created? Even when using a template or a premade layout, there are some things that will hold you back. What would you do if you wanted to create a brand new template? How would you add a widget to an area on the page if it was not already set aside for a widget? At times, you would try and insert a widget where the layout was not designed for it and strange things would occur with your spacing. Things start to get pushed out of the frame and other elements would be smashed together.
Instead of using a child theme as an offshoot that takes elements from the original theme and then trying to make the needed changes, you could just use a page builder. This was great for the average person since most people have no experience with child themes and do not understand what would be inherited and what would not come over from the original theme.
With plugins created with PHP, your page builders give you the ability to make a layout that fits your needs. Every page you do can be unique because you are no longer bound to layouts that were created before. There is no need to write code and everything is broken down in a very easy-to-understand grid system. With the grid system, you won’t need to worry about placement and the spacing for elements being uneven. With many schools of design, depending on the screen, everything is broken down into multiples of four, eight, or twelve.
The grid system helps you keep a uniform look so that your paragraphs, headings, and images all work together. Your building blocks will all come together and let you become more creative with galleries and widget use since the creator will not have to worry about sizing. Considering all the options you get with WordPress, the drag and drop builders are just like something you would get with Squarespace but much better.
If you’re new to WordPress and about to install your first-page builder, then don’t forget to read our guide on the installation process!