When you decide to create your own website, you’ll have a lot of options available to you. You can choose from different content management systems (CMS), website builders, and more.
An extremely powerful combination is WordPress CMS and a website builder like Elementor. This gives you the best of both worlds: content management power of WordPress and customization power of a website builder.
This post may be of help to you if you are wondering if Elementor is the right drag and drop site builder for your needs. The tutorial below will help you learn what this plugin does and how to use Elementor in WordPress.
Elementor: What is it?
WordPress page builders like Elementor allow you to control the many visual aspects of your website design along with creating customized layouts, designs, and pages.
Elementor is not an actual theme, but rather pairs with virtually any existing WordPress theme. Then you’ll customize your existing pages, give your site a new look, and more.
So, you don’t have to build your site from scratch. It comes equipped with a variety of widgets and pre-built content layouts. Instead, you’re using pre-crafted site elements created by professionals.
Additionally, the plugin uses drag and drop functionality when making your site. This makes it easy to accomplish design tasks. Just select, drag and drop, until you finish building your site.
What’s the difference between Pro vs. Free?
There are free and premium versions of this plugin, so you can start small and then upgrade for extra features later on.
Although the free version of the Elementor plugin provides many more features than most premium plugins, there are some good reasons to upgrade to Elementor Pro.
The first advantage of the premium version is that it has additional features that make it much easier to build a workflow. This is great for developers and designers who make client websites since you can create complete themes.
You can also take advantage of a larger widget library, 24/7 technical support, dynamic content blocks, integrations, and more.
For most people starting out, the free version will be more than enough. However, if you require more advanced features and functionality for your site in the future, you might consider upgrading to the paid version.
Which is the Better Editor: Elementor or Gutenberg?
This new block editor Gutenberg works on all WordPress-powered sites. Using a block system, this visual editor lets you make pages visually and create unique content.
In short, yes, the WordPress Gutenberg editor does offer features that for a while had to be added by installing an additional plugin such as Elementor. But, it’s still not as robust as other page builder plugins.
Here’s a breakdown of the features each offers:
The Gutenberg block editor:
- You can use the drag and drop editor to create your own custom pages and posts.
- Pick from the 25+ different content blocks, things like images, text, buttons, tables, and more.
- With the drag and drop editor, you can easily rearrange and insert new blocks.
- Various customization options are available for each content block
The Elementor plugin:
- More than 30 different content widgets to choose from
- The ability to customize and personalize every element
- It allows you to create complex layouts with multiple kinds of content.
- Advance editorial tools including image carousels, maps, and more
- You can control the spacing, padding, and margins on your site with this plugin
- Control over things other than content, such as headers, footers and footers
There is no cut and dry answer as to which editor will be best for your WordPress site. It ultimately all depends on your personal preferences and what you hope to accomplish with it.
If you’ve already built out your site with Elementor, then you’d probably prefer to continue working with it. Switching editing tools can mess up sites you’ve already built.
But if you’re forced to choose between the two, the native WordPress editor is a good place to start since it’s very simple to use and already built into WordPress. After using Gutenberg, you may want to switch to Elementor for even more features. This depends on how much customization you would like to make to your current website.
Can You Build a WordPress Site Without Elementor?
Elementor isn’t necessary for you to configure your website. Many WordPress users choose to use the feature-rich customization options offered by most themes.
Many standard WordPress themes offer plenty of design and customization options, such as uploading your logo, changing fonts, and colors, and more. Your theme will come equipped with widgetized sections that you can use to tweak the appearance.
You can change the appearance of a site but only to a certain extent. This is why it is common to choose a WordPress theme that has a demo of what you want the site to look like.
Elementor is ideal for users who want full control over the appearance of their sites, or once your existing WordPress theme has run its course and you want to stretch things even further.
Page Builders: Pros and Cons
Several WordPress page builders are available for building out your site. They are not perfect for every user, but they all have specific advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of Elementor’s biggest advantages and disadvantages.
Pros of Elementor
- Most users can build out their sites in their free version without paying for the pro version.
- Despite being a free plugin, it has a variety of features. Its feature set rivals many of the premium plugins.
- You can change the site in real-time and see how it looks, so you don’t have to switch screens constantly.
- The site can be edited and viewed on multiple platforms, tablet, desktop, and mobile devices, and unique changes can be made to each of these.
- The amount of control you have over your site is incredibly comprehensive and allows you to change things like spacing and padding.
Cons of Elementor:
- Although Elementor is a powerful editor, it can be challenging to get everything right, due to its flexibility and customization options.
- Your web pages might have multiple layers of content and it might be difficult and taking a lot of time to determine exactly what to change.
- You might obsess over the smallest details too much, instead of focusing on the most important things because you have complete creative control.
- Despite its intuitive nature, you’ll have to invest time into learning the many features and customizations available to you with Elementor.
- It is critical to keep your Elementor plugin installed if you are using Elementor to build your site, otherwise you will lose all your design and customization work you have performed.
Installing Elementor on a WordPress Theme
Here’s all the info you need to know about the Elementor plugin. We’ll walk you through installing and setting it up, and show you the basics.
You can install Elementor on your WordPress site and get started in minutes. All you need to get started is WordPress and a basic theme installed. Elementor works with a ton of themes. But, certain themes perform better than others.
After you find a theme you like, lets get to work on building your site!
1. Install the Elementor Plugin
You will need to be logged into your WordPress dashboard to install the plugin.
Navigate to Plugins>Add New, then search for the Elementor plugin.
Install the plugin called Elementor Page Builder next by clicking ‘Install Now’ and ‘Activate’.
On your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see ‘Elementor’ in the left-hand sidebar.
2. The Elementor Settings Menu
Your Elementor posts and pages will be unlocked now. However, you might still want to take a look at the settings menu.
Click Elementor>Settings to access the general settings.
The plugin allows you to select which posts types you want to edit, set font spacing, set color defaults, and adjust responsiveness settings.
Under the Settings tab, you can find the role Manager tab. This section will allow you to specify which members of your team can use Elementor to edit your website.
3. Build a page with Elementor
Now that you’ve configured your site in Elementor, it’s time to build your first page. Go to Pages>Add New and click ‘Edit with Elementor’. Once this opens, you’ll see a page like the image below.
Elementor has three main building blocks: sections, columns, and widgets.
- Sections are the highest-level container and contain columns and widgets.
- Columns are sections that contain widgets.
- Widgets are independent elements.
Begin by dragging an element from the left of the toolbox onto your page. This will open up a new set of options based on the element you selected.
It is possible to choose content blocks and entire pages that have already been created, just by clicking on the white folder icons.
Add a content block that has already been created by clicking on ‘Blocks’:
To add a pre-built page to your site, select ‘Pages’.
Either way, most users will probably prefer to use pre-built content blocks and pages, since they can speed up the site-building process, but you can also create pages entirely from scratch using Elementor.
You can click Publish once you finish editing your page.
4. Customization Options for Elementor
The Elementor editor has three different sections you can access whenever you’re editing a page. With the free version, you only have access to Basic sections.
Here’s a list of the most commonly used basic widgets:
- Social icons
- Star rating
With the free version of the plugin you’ll have access to 30 different widgets, but if you want even more you’ll need to upgrade to the pro version.
A free plugin can accomplish a lot, and it will even allow you to mimic some of Elementor Pro’s features, though it may take you a little bit longer to create.
Also, be aware that Elementor works with other third-party WordPress plugins, allowing you to apply additional visual customizations.
Moving forward with Elementor
You’re probably starting to see the power that Elementor has to offer you and your WordPress website, and even if you’re using the free version, it’ll give you a lot of control over the design. Getting started with Elementor is just the beginning. There’s a lot more you can do as well, like creating reusable page templates, and even customizing WooCommerce product pages.
Overall, Elementor is among the best WordPress page builders that let you build a website using drag-and-drop features. It offers a great balance between easy use and deep functionality.
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