Starting a website can be a daunting experience. Whether you’re creating an ecommerce site or a simple blog, finding the right way to realize your vision is difficult.
WordPress has long been the preferred choice for many upstart web designers. Still, beginners often find it difficult to customize the various WordPress page layouts.
WordPress offers a plethora of different themes, each providing their own unique page layouts.
But if you want to customize these layouts, it can be extremely difficult for anyone who doesn’t know how to write HTML or CSS code.
This leads many users to wonder why there isn’t a readily available drag and drop design option for WordPress. Indeed, this is something that many of WordPress’ competitors offer.
Sites like Wix and Weebly make it easy for users to design their own pages but are lacking many of the other features that make WordPress so popular.
Fortunately, we are beginning to see more and more drag and drop page builder plugins designed specifically for WordPress.
These plugins allow people to create completely customized web designs specifically for the WordPress platform, all without ever having to write a single line of code.
One of the most popular has been Beaver Builder. This premium option comes with a hefty price tag of $99 for an unlimited number of sites.
That fact alone has caused many budding young blog builders to look elsewhere for their WordPress design needs.
With this review we’ll take a look at some of the top contenders for Beaver Builder’s crown.
We’ll see if the cheaper options can stand up to the competition and offer you a better solution for your business.
This powerful WordPress page builder allows users to build just about any type of design they can imagine with their drag and drop capabilities.
Elegant Themes makes the Divi Builder, which should speak to the quality of the tool given that Elegant Themes is a highly regarded WordPress themes and plugins company.
Indeed, The Divi Builder functions on nearly any WordPress site, giving designers a nearly endless range to create more advanced layouts without having to write a single line of code themselves.
Divi Builder comes with 46 builder modules, 20 row types, and three section types, and each can be combined and arranged with the others to fabricate nearly any type of page.
Thanks to its advanced design settings, users are able to customize just about any element they can imagine within the confines of WordPress.
One of the most interesting features of Divi is the fact that what you see is what you get: you click directly on your page and start editing while seeing a real-time preview of any changes that you make.
There’s no need to click save and preview in order to see your new design.
The Divi Builder is a fundamental component of the Divi theme, but it still works with each and every other WordPress theme available.
So, you create a custom page layout, save any of these Divi layouts, and you can even export the layout from one Divi installation to another.
The interface is relatively easy to comprehend, but like any new tool, there is a learning curve. It can take new users some time to get used to the interface.
Looking at the Divi Builder interface, one can see the navigation panel at the top.
On the left-hand side are options to save to library, load from library, and clear the layout.
This gives users the ability to save any layout and load it into your site at a later time, creating a fun sandbox environment to play around with the tool.
Additionally, there are a number of predefined layouts available for you to choose from as well.
Meanwhile, on the right-hand side you have an undo button, a redo button, and a history dropdown menu that allows you to get a view of any changes you have made along the way.
The undo and redo buttons can be used as many times as needed, while the history dropdown menu should look familiar to anyone who has used the WordPress revision system – this feature allows designers to revert back to any previous incarnations at any time.
The Divi Builder does have a somewhat steep price tag at $89 per year, but with that you receive the Divi theme, the Divi page builder plugin, and every other Elegant Theme product.
Thanks to this simple fact, users are able to use the Divi theme to install the Divi Builder plugin on any other theme they find.
Elementor is a great option for those of us not looking to break the bank with a drag and drop WordPress editor.
This is the first free and open source advanced page builder ever built for WordPress, which gives users the ability to make instantaneous page edits directly from the front end of their site.
The plugin has been highly praised for its high speed performance, making it easy and painless to get building your own WordPress themes.
In addition to the drag and drop functionality, users also gain access to hundreds of slick WordPress templates by Elementor’s top-grade designers.
These can easily be exported to different websites through the Elementor page builder.
Additionally, Elementor makes use of responsive mobile friendly design.
So you don’t have to worry about whether your site will function on a mobile device as well as a desktop. Elementor takes care of all of that for you.
If you want to take your design to the next level, Elementor offers tiered subscription plans with various functionalities.
The $5 monthly Personal plan is perfect for users with just one site and includes more than 50 pro widgets and 300-plus pro templates, the aforementioned theme builder, a WooCommerce builder, popup builder, as well as support and updates for one year.
The $9 per month Business plan has all the same functionalities as the company’s Personal tier, but is usable for as many as three sites.
Same goes for the $17 per month Unlimited plan, but you can use the service for – you guessed it – an unlimited amount of sites.
Each of these plans is billed annually.
Breaking down the workflow a little, once the Elementor Pro page builder has been loaded, you can begin working by either loading a template or adding your own content to the page.
These templates work well across a range of uses and styles and are a great way to get started building your own designs.
The pages created using Elementor Pro can be given multiple sections, each with its own column layout.
Users are then able to populate these areas with their own custom content or any Elementor Pro elements like buttons, images, price list, testimonials, slides, and more.
At this point, users can also add any other WordPress widgets to their page designs that they like.
Those can include pages, text, recent posts, or others that are usually only available through your site’s sidebar and footer areas.
Changing the size or position of any element within your page is as simple as clicking and dragging it to make the necessary adjustments (after all, we are talking about drag and drop editors).
How your page appears in the Elementor Pro page builder interface is pretty much how it will appear when people come to visit your site.
Of course, this makes the design process fast, easy, and intuitive, and makes short shrift of a lot of the guesswork that otherwise occurs when you use a page builder of poorer quality.
This user-friendly WordPress website editor has been designed to help you create custom website layouts at a rapid pace.
The simple drag and drop builder is combined with professional templates, out of box content elements, and a bevy of other powerful features to help you make an attractive website.
Live Beaver Builder and Divi, the frontend editing experience is ideal for designing a website. But that’s not the only thing this program can do.
Indeed, unlike some of its competition, Visual Composer Website Builder also allows you to edit your logo, headers, footers, menus, sidebars, and more.
Indeed, that’s where the name comes from. Instead of creating a simple page builder, the Visual Composer built a veritable website builder.
Among the numerous design options that help empower designers is the ability to add backgrounds that include parallax, gradient, carousel, video, zoom in/out, slideshow, and more.
It also provides flexible rows and columns for building interesting grid layouts for your website.
This tool works great with every WordPress theme and allows designers to switch themes without losing the custom layouts they’ve already built using Visual Composer.
On top of that, it includes support for the Gutenberg editor, Google Fonts, and Yoast SEO.
There is a free version of the tool that is a great way to get started with Visual Composer.
Or, if you prefer to dive into the tiered paid options, you can start building a single website for $59 per year, three websites for $149 per year, or unlimited sites for $349 a year.
Each of these comes with the following:
- 1 year of updates and support
- Premium support
- Unlimited access to Hub
- Premium elements
- Premium templates
- Global templates
- Template export/import
- Header, footer, sidebar editor
- WooCommerce support
- Compatibility elements
Once you fire up the Visual Composer Website Builder you’ll have two options for how you edit your pages. Those are the frontend editor and tree view.
Tree view allows you to navigate through the various elements available on the page, making the design process much simpler.
If you decide to use any of the out of the box options provided by the Visual Composer Website Builder you will find all of the elements and templates responsive and mobile-ready.
On top of that, you can adjust the responsiveness for each column independently.
The tool also comes with a header, footer, and sidebar editor. Usually these are defined by the themes you are using.
Most traditional web professionals will resort to hardcoding any changes they want to see in these sections.
However, with Visual Composer, designers are able to change the layout quickly and easily with nothing more than the visual editor.
This feature is only available in Premium versions of the tool
The Thrive Architect page builder is designed for conversion-focused websites, making it ideal for dropshippers and ecommerce sites.
The plugin was developed by the same people who designed Thrive Themes, which makes and sells conversion oriented WordPress plugins and themes.
Once you purchase the product, you receive the drag and drop editing tool alongside 271 pre built templates for landing pages.
The tool allows you to quickly and easily create your very own unique homepage, sales page, blog post, and various other website-related functions.
The tool was originally labelled as the Thrive Content Builder, but the new interface features handle somewhat similarly to Elementor’s interface.
Any one is able to use Thrive Architect, of course, but the tool has proven especially popular with bloggers and affiliate marketers because of the fact that it focuses so heavily on conversion rates.
The tool works well with all WordPress themes, regardless of which one you are already using. That means Thrive Architect should integrate seamlessly into your existing workload.
Indeed, Thrive Architect’s full-screen front-end user interface completely takes over the WordPress dashboard as you work.
This allows designers to see precisely how their page is coming along without having have your workspace cluttered by the rest of the WordPress user interface.
For even more workspace, the side panel can easily be collapsed.
One of the more unique aspects of the Thrive Architect interface is the inline text editing feature.
Rather than having to type into the sidebar or a pop-up panel, Thrive Architect allows you to just click on an area of text and start typing.
This greatly speeds up your workflow and makes it much simpler to preview your changes as you work.
This feature is not included in many of the other page builder plugins and makes Thrive Architect stand out a bit from the crowd.
Additionally, there are a number of elements to select from, which makes upgrading your content easier and more efficient.
And the recently improved user interface makes content editing a breeze.
Even the biggest laymen should be able to open this program and start using its drag and drop editor.
If you’re interested in Thrive Architect, you can use either a single site license of $67, or subscribe to the premium Thrive Membership, which gives users access to every Thrive product for $19 each month.
This popular WordPress theme shop offers a built-in Themify builder that works with each of its WordPress themes.
Fortunately, if you want to expand your scope to non-Themify WordPress themes, the Themify Page Builder plugin will work just fine.
This tool is frequently praised as a simple and highly intuitive page builder.
It comes ready with a number of ready to use modules that you can easily add to your pages or content posts.
One of the drawbacks though is that many of these modules will require you to install separate WordPress plugins.
But if you look at these as enhancements to Themify Builder, it may make more sense.
Indeed, users can purchase these addons individually or as a bundle. They can then be used to customize your sites even further.
Themify Builder comes with more than 40 pre-designed layouts for various industries including restaurants, musicians, photographers, gyms, various types of portfolios, as well as traditional online stores.
Users are able to import layouts with a simple click, modify the content, and create an outstanding landing page in just a few moments.
After that, Themify Builder allows designers to edit their pages from the administration area or from the live site, whichever they prefer.
When it comes to live editing, designers can see exactly how any changes will appear to visitors in real time.
Additionally, the Themify Builder comes with out of the box layouts that are easy to add to any website.
One of the more interesting aspects of Themify Builder is that you can still use the regular WordPress Editor if you choose.
Other page builders force you to use their own interface for nearly everything.
Themify editor, on the other hand, marks its own content in the WordPress Editor so you can place any content around it.
As you can see, there are a number of solid alternatives to Beaver Builder available out there.
We’ve presented here five different options for you to choose from. Each has its own pros and cons, but experiment a bit and find which one works best for you.
Thankfully, the difficulty of working within WordPress is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, drag and drop tools are increasingly becoming the norm.
These companies have all proven that it’s possible to build an effective and powerful page editor that anyone can use to keep their site looking sleek, modern, and beautiful all at the same time.THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Sam Zaman loves to write on technology & related stuff. Ecommerce, mobile and internet marketing equally drive her interest. Likes gardening and experimenting with new recipes. An avid reader and absolutely mad @bout donuts 🙂