Have you been looking at your blog and wondering why everyone else seems to have more polish and flair?
Before you drive yourself crazy, or worse, quit blogging altogether out of pure frustration with your theme, give working with a page builder a shot. It may be the answer to finally getting your site looking how you want.
What is a WordPress Page Builder?
A page builder is a plugin that allows you to more easily design your site. You can drag and drop web elements onto your page to get the look and feel you want without having to code anything. If you have used Microsoft PowerPoint or Canva, WordPress page builders have a similar feel.
By using a page builder you can easily add (almost) anything from a slider to a pricing table all with the drag of your mouse — without expensive developers. In fact, even some of those expensive developers use WordPress page builders because it saves them time and allows them to easily implement their designs.
Not too long ago there were barely any WordPress drag and drop builders and the ones that did exist had a steep learning curve. Today there are dozens of page builders. They range from straightforward to complex, feature-rich to pretty basic.
Below I will break down nine different WordPress page builders to help you decide which one you should use.
WordPress Gutenberg Editor (Free)
WordPress Gutenberg Editor is included with every WordPress install since v5.0 and is what most bloggers will encounter first when adding a page or post to their website.
Though Gutenberg is technically an “editor” and not a “page builder” it does have some of the most basic page builder capabilities and is included free with WordPress.
With Gutenberg, you can quickly add stylized text, images, lists, audio, and more without any coding abilities.
If you aren’t going to be doing much tweaking to your WordPress theme and only plan to do basic design of your posts, then Gutenberg should serve your needs.
However, if you plan to “wow” your audience and pull out all the design stops then I would recommend going with one of the other WordPress page builders on this list.
Elementor (Free and Premium)
Elementor is one of the most popular WordPress page builders and currently is used to manage over 8 million websites.
The Elementor drag and drop builder is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. On the left side of your screen will be a sidebar of elements called “widgets”. These range from text boxes to blog post grids.
Once you have chosen which element you would like to add, simply drag it from the sidebar to the position you want it on the page, and you are done.
Maybe the element you added doesn’t fit the style of your page? Simply click the element and the sidebar offers options to restyle the element with just a few clicks of your mouse. That square black and white button just became themed to your site’s colors with beautiful rounded corners in a matter of moments.
Elementor also comes built-in with the ability to use one set of options and styles for desktop and another for mobile. This allows you to have a mobile-ready website in minutes.
One of my favorite features of Elementor is the powerful templating system. With the templating system you can create a single page style or single page element and reuse it throughout your blog.
Let’s say you have a podcast and a blog, but you want them to have a unique design so your user can tell them apart. You can create a single blog page template and a single podcast page template and with some simple assignment rules, you never have to tweak the design again.
The templating system is especially helpful if you have a disclaimer on your site. Simply create the disclaimer as a template and add it to every page it belongs on. Then if laws change and you must update your disclaimer you only have to change it in one place instead of hundreds.
Elementor comes in two options, free and pro.
The free version of Elementor delivers the beauty of drag and drop and includes access to the templating system and revision history.
You will also gain access to 30+ widgets covering most basic functions including headers, text blocks, images, audio, buttons and more.
Elementor Free also includes a selection of page templates and block templates to allow you to get going without worry.
Elementor Pro kicks things up a notch and includes more than 90 widgets and 300 templates.
The additional widgets include everything from carousels to pricing tables. The pro version also adds another one of my favorite features, the form builder. The Elementor form builder is incredibly advanced and versatile and allows you to skip other popular form builders
Pro Elements isn’t a version of Elementor. It’s a powerful WordPress plugin that adds the open-source parts of the Pro version for free.
Currently, the open-source components of Elementor Pro include most widgets. The pro-exclusive templates are not currently open-source and therefore, are not included in Pro Elements.
If you are on a budget and need access to an Elementor widget only available on the pro version then Pro Elements may be a lifesaver. However, if you can afford Elementor Pro I encourage you to purchase it and give back to the hardworking team at Elementor.
Beaver Builder (Free and Premium)
Beaver Builder is another popular WordPress page builder and is currently used on over 1 million websites.
Much like Elementor, Beaver Builder is a live drag and drop builder that has a very intuitive user interface.
When editing a page with Beaver Builder you simply click any element already on the page for a list of properties that you can edit. Or you can drag and drop a variety of elements called “modules” onto the page from the builder panel.
Beaver Builder Pricing
Beaver Builder is easy to master for first-timers and professionals and comes in two versions.
Beaver Builder Lite is available directly from the plugins library of WordPress. With the Lite version you get quick access to the Beaver Builder that users around the globe have come to love. Unfortunately, it is severely lacking in modules to use on your site.
The Lite version “out-of-the-box” allows you to add audio, video, images, and text. The good news is, you can install the PowerPack Lite for Beaver Builder Addon for free, which adds another dozen modules, including dividers, headers, and lists.
If the Lite version combined with PowerPack Lite still doesn’t offer the modules you need you can upgrade the PowerPack plugin for $69 per year and gain access to over 65 modules and more than 350 page and row templates.
The premium version of Beaver Builder offers the same great drag and drop page builder as the Lite version but comes pre-installed with 29 premium modules, 50 page templates, and over 100 row templates to help you get started quickly.
Beaver Builder premium also gives you an opportunity to save, export, and re-use layouts so that you can skip the hassle of rebuilding the same feature on multiple pages. For example, if you wanted to add an opt-in form on all pages, you can build it once and re-use it on all pages.
The premium version has a lot to offer, but personally I would go with Beaver Builder Lite with the premium version of PowerPack plugin for the best bang for your buck.
SeedProd (Premium – $79/year)
If you are looking for an easy and code-free way to build landing pages, then SeedProd drag and drop page builder is for you.
SeedProd claims to be the number one WordPress page builder for landing pages and it isn’t hard to see why.
Much like the previous page builders in this list, when you edit a page you will see a live preview of the page on one side of the screen and a sidebar with elements, or as SeedProd calls them “blocks”, on the other.
Adding blocks to the page is as simple as dragging the block you want to use into position on the page. Once the block is in position the sidebar will show a list of options to quickly make stylistic changes.
SeedProd comes built in with more than 30 blocks and over 150 page templates to save you time.
One of the most unique features of SeedProd is the ability to point any domain name to a specific SeedProd built page on your blog. Typically if I were building a landing page for a course I would have to set up a new WordPress install. With SeedProd I can build the page within my site and then point any domain I own to that page and save a huge amount of time.
Another great feature is the form block built right into SeedProd. This will save you the hassle of buying and learning another form builder plugin. Plus it has integrations with some of the most popular email marketing services, including MailChimp, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, and even Zapier.
SeedProd also comes with the ability to build coming soon pages with ease and add ReCaptcha to any opt-in form to protect from spammers and bots.
If you are building landing pages or just looking for a solid WordPress page builder then SeedProd just may be your best pick.
GenerateBlocks (Free and Premium)
From the creators of the popular GeneratePress theme comes the GenerateBlocks WordPress page builder. Unlike the other page builders in this list that abandon Gutenberg, GenerateBlocks is built directly into it creating a very lightweight and intuitive interface.
Since GenerateBlocks is built right into the Gutenberg editor you will add elements, or as GenerateBlocks calls them “blocks”, the same way you add other page elements within Gutenberg.
GenerateBlocks comes in two options, free and pro.
The free version of GenerateBlocks offers four simple blocks, “container” for organizing content, “grid” for flexible layouts, “headline”, and “buttons”.
With those four blocks you can only build the most basic pages for your blog. However, anything more advanced such as info boxes, pricing tables, calls to action and more will require the premium version.
GeneratePro on the surface appears to only add one block, the “Template Library”, however within the Template Library is more than 150 other elements ranging from footer templates to advanced button styles.
With the Pro version you can also build custom templates to use throughout your site and establish global styles to quickly stylize blocks on all pages.
You will also gain access to add background images and gradients to blocks as well as decide which elements will show on mobile and desktop to create the perfect mobile-friendly website.
If you are leaning towards going with GenerateBlocks, I highly recommend upgrading to the Pro version to ensure you can use all the features you will need.
Brizy (Free and Premium)
Brizy self-proclaims they are the easiest WordPress page builder and once you jump in and use it you find out it just might be.
This real-time drag and drop builder offers a similar look and feel to many of the page builders on this list. A sidebar panel of elements on the left and a live page view on the right.
What makes Brizy unique is how incredibly quick and easy you can edit elements on your page. Unlike many other page builders in this list where the element options appear in a sidebar, Brizy lets you make stylistic tweaks right from the element itself. With a series of sliders and dropdowns, you can alter the look and feel of almost every element on your page.
Brizy is available in both a free version and a premium version.
The free version is in the WordPress plugin library and is pretty generous. Once you have Brizy free installed you will have access to more than 20 elements, including buttons, videos, and even forms.
You will also gain access to some advanced styling not available in other free WordPress page builders such as shadows, rounded corners, and image zooming. If that isn’t enough, you can even add a custom right-click menu and global blocks.
Global blocks will save you time by letting you create a group of elements to re-use over and over again such as an ad for your latest affiliate partner.
Brizy free may be the most powerful free drag and drop builder for WordPress I have ever seen.
If you are wondering if upgrading to the Pro version of Brizy is even worth it then I have some great news, it 100% is. One of my favorite features, the Brizy Pop-Up Builder, is exclusive to the Pro version.
With the Pop-Up Builder, you can design a pop-up with the same Brizy drag and drop experience you use for page building. Once your pop-up looks perfect you can either set a manual trigger, such as when the user clicks a button, or an automatic trigger, like when the user goes to exit your site. This is an incredible feature and only available in the Pro version of Brizy.
In addition to the Pop-Up Builder, you also will get full integration with HubSpot, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Zapier, and more to ensure your opt-in emails are routed to your email marketing service without the need for a developer.
The Pro version also adds incredible features such as image and video filters and a personal favorite, dynamic content. With the dynamic content functionality within Brizy Pro you can populate text, images, videos, and entire pages based on the content and conditions you set.
Most bloggers can probably get away with the free version of Brizy, however, the Pro version adds a bunch of features that may save you time.
Related: What to do When You Hate Tech
Visual Composer (Free and Premium)
Visual Composer is a very powerful WordPress page builder. Once you have it installed you will notice that the set up is similar to other page builders. A split screen with a sidebar of elements on one side and the live page view on the other.
The drag and drop page builder is very intuitive to use. Simply drag the element to its position on the page, from there the element’s options will appear in the sidebar.
Visual Composer’s element editor may have the most options for each unique element out of all the other page builders on this list. This allows you full control over the look and feel of each element.
Visual Composer Pricing
Visual Composer comes in two options: a free version and a premium version.
The free version in the WordPress plugin library is pretty basic but should work for bloggers just launching their site on a budget. Offering quick and easy access to basic elements including images, videos, buttons, and hero sections.
You will also have access to stylization options like adding filters to images, adding box shadows to elements, and element animations.
One of the biggest downsides to Visual Composer free is that you can only use the drag and drop page builder on the content part of the page and not headers or footers.
Once upgrading to the premium version of Visual Composer you will gain the ability to use the WordPress page builder in all parts of your site including the header, footer, and even create pop-ups with the Visual Composer Pop-up Builder.
The Visual Composer Pop-up Builder lets you easily build pop-ups with the same drag and drop experience as using Visual Composer to edit a page. You can use any Visual Composer element in a pop-up, allowing you to build impressive pop-ups in minutes. You can easily set your pop-up to use a manual action such as clicking a button or an automatic one like on page load.
The premium version of Visual Composer will also let you edit 404 error pages, WordPress archive pages, and establish sitewide styles for a uniform feel across your entire site.
Another unique feature of Visual Composer premium is easy access to the Unsplash Stock Image library. This allows you to quickly select any stock image from the Unsplash library that fits your needs without having to buy a stock image or take the extra step to save and upload an image.
WPBakery is used by 4.3 million people and is the older and less powerful sibling of Visual Composer.
There are two page builder options within WPBakery. The frontend builder, which has a similarish feel to the live page editor within Visual Composer. Simply click add an element, choose the element you want to add, and configure the plentiful of options.
WPBakery also has a less intuitive, but seemingly more powerful backend editor where you can add, remove, and edit elements but doesn’t have a live preview. The backend view definitely has a learning curve and tends to feel like it is geared towards developers.
Many bloggers are familiar with WPBakery to an extent as it is included in some of the most popular WordPress themes, including BeTheme and The7.
WPBakery has almost all the basic features you expect from a WordPress page builder. You can add headers, text, images, videos, tabbed content, masonry content grids, and more.
One of the best parts of WPBakery is the plentiful options available for every included content element, putting the power in your hands without the need for an expensive developer, although there may be a learning curve.
WPBakery isn’t as powerful or as pretty as some of the other drag and drop page builders on this list but can provide amazing bang for your buck. You can grab this feature rich page builder for a one-time fee of $45 and that includes all updates for life.
Themify Builder (Free)
With an interface very similar to most WordPress page builders on this list, Themify offers a lot of punch and all for free.
Similar to WPBakery, Themify has two different interfaces, backend and frontend. The backend interface allows you to easily add elements and drag and drop them into place, but lacks the live page view and is designed for speed and those with a bit of development experience.
The frontend page builder offers the traditional sidebar panel of elements called “modules” and a live page view. Simply drag and drop until the look fits your needs.
Themify offers most modules you will need to build the site you want. From icons to headers to images and more. Each module has plenty of options so you can configure the look and feel to match your preferences.
Themify offers more than 40 professionally designed layouts that can be quickly imported just in case you aren’t entirely sure where you want to begin.
If you find that Themify is lacking a module you need, you can purchase the Builder Addons directly from Themify for a one-time fee of $39. The Builder Addons adds more than 25 modules including mosaic content layouts, contact forms, countdowns, progress bars, and even content restrictions based on user permissions.
Themify may not have some of the functionality of the other WordPress page builders on this list, but you will have plenty to work with and you can’t beat the price.
Disadvantages of WordPress Page Builders
After reading about some of the top drag and drop page builders you may be gung ho about using one, but there are a few downsides.
Impacts on Page Speed
Some page builders are built with site speed in mind and others require a bunch of additional resources to be loaded with your page in order to function properly.
When choosing a page builder always make sure it is loading the minimal resources absolutely necessary to function. This is somewhat difficult for a non-developer to identify or even notice, but any of the builders on this list should give you great speed.
In traditional speed tests WordPress’ own Gutenburg tends to be the fastest with WPBakery right behind. However, the others on this list tend to perform quite well.
Switching WordPress Page Builders
Pick very carefully which page builder you want to go with because changing from one to another in most cases requires you to completely redesign your site on the new page builder.
Now, this doesn’t mean that if you choose one and it isn’t for you that you are stuck permanently. It just means that there isn’t a quick one-click convert system to change and will require you to either work with a developer or rebuild it on your own from scratch.
Many WordPress page builders are theme-independent meaning that they will work with any theme of your choosing. Some themes prefer a specific page builder and some require certain page builders if you want to use their pre-built templates. Some themes even come with a proprietary page builder.
For these reasons, I recommend you choose your theme first and then choose a page builder that is recommended or verified compatible with your theme. It will simply make your life that much easier and avoid wanting to change page builders down the line.
Related: 9 Best WordPress Themes for Bloggers
Designing your blog will likely make you want to give up blogging altogether — or at least pull your hair out — but before you quit, try one of these page builders and see if they make life easier.
Page builders allow you to customize your site yourself and can be a great middle-ground between having a standard straight out of the box theme and hiring a designer for custom code.