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The 10 best WordPress page builders in 2023

Elementor or Beaver Builder? Divi Builder or Thrive Architect? Oh wait, why not opt for the good old Page Builder by SiteOrigin?

Choosing a page builder isn’t easy, especially because there are dozens of them on the market, each one more attractive than the last.

There’s a lot, but which one should you choose?

If you’re still trying to figure it out, don’t be discouraged. We’ll give you a hand.

In this article, you’ll find a comparison of the 10 best page builders on WordPress.

Originally, we dedicated a blog post to each of them, but we thought it would be nice to compare them all in one place as well. That way, you’ll have an overview of the best on the market.

And if you’re the kind of person who likes to get into the details and want to know more about one of these page builders, we’ve included a link to the dedicated article for each one.

Are you ready for the adventure? On to the great discoveries!

Some links in this article are affiliate links. This means that WPMarmite will earn a small commission if you go through that link to purchase a page builder, without it costing you any extra money. That said, it doesn’t change our views on the products featured. You can read our publishing policy to learn more.

What is a page builder and why is it useful?

To begin with, we think it’s useful to go back over some basic concepts, as well as the advantages and value of using a page builder.

What is a page builder?

A page builder is a tool that allows you to create rich and complex layouts for your content, without touching a single line of code, mainly through the use of pre-made templates. Editing is often done through drag and drop and in real time.

Most of the time, a page builder comes in the form of a plugin.

Historically, there were page builders directly embedded in themes, especially those offered on the Themeforest platform. Most of them were sold with the WPBakery builder inside (that’s still the case, by the way).

Nowadays, the trend is to buy them independently and use them to customize the theme of your choice. Though, as you will see, some page builders also have their own theme (e.g. Divi).

I hope that makes a bit more sense. Before moving on, I suggest we take a look at the common features of the different page builders that I will go over next.

Main features that the best page builders on WordPress have in common

While each page builder has its own characteristics, all of them generally work on the same principles.

That’s why you’ll find the following common features in most of them:

  • No technical knowledge of code is needed to use it
  • Use of drag and drop to move elements within the pages
  • Ready-to-use templates that can be activated in one click to avoid starting from scratch when building your pages
  • Compatibility with the vast majority of themes on the market, both free and paid
  • Ability to edit your content directly from the front-end of your site (what your visitors see), in real time

In recent years, page builders have become a great ally for beginners. With a page builder, you can have full control over every element of your page (except the header and footer, though that depends on the free or Pro version of the plugin used), and its overall design, even if you have no technical knowledge.

That’s quite a step forward, which is why page builders have become so popular in the last few years.

Before page builders were available, the design of your site depended mainly on your theme. But as soon as you wanted to add a little personal touch and go off the beaten track, knowledge of HTML and CSS was a must.

As a result, novices were quickly limited. Customization became too complex.

Thanks to a page builder, almost all the barriers are removed: everything becomes easier and, above all, much faster.

Until now, they far outstripped the default WordPress content editor (Gutenberg), which was too limited to function as a full-fledged page builder.

This changed a bit with the release of WordPress 5.9, in January 2022, which introduced a Site Editor capable of customizing all parts of your site without coding, not just the content area of a page or post!

Basically, this Editor adopts the way a page builder works and comes close to matching it, but it still has limitations, especially for a beginner (I’ll come back to this in detail at the end of this article).

The 10 best page builders for WordPress

Here is a list of the top 10 page builders for WordPress:

  1. Elementor
  2. Divi Builder
  3. Beaver Builder
  4. Brizy
  5. Oxygen Builder
  6. Live Composer
  7. Thrive Architect
  8. Page Builder by SiteOrigin
  9. WPBakery Page Builder
  10. Visual Composer Website Builder

For your information, this comparison will focus on the following elements, which seem to us to be the most important for each page builder: ease of use, number of templates/modules, customization, and price.

As a bonus, we’ll also tell you what we liked/ disliked about each of them, and for whom they are primarily intended.

Elementor

Active installations: 5M+ / User rating: 4.7 out of 5

Elementor is the number one page builder on the market, by far.

It has more than 5 million active installations on the official WordPress directory, a figure it only shares with a handful of other plugins, such as Contact Form 7 or Yoast SEO.

Its growth is simply dizzying. Just think: when we dedicated our test to it, in May 2018, it had only 700,000 active installations.

It only took three months for the number of active installations to go from 4 million to 5 million.

According to figures it reports, more than 11 million sites run on Elementor.

And according to W3Techs, Elementor is used on nearly 12% of sites using a CMS (compared to WordPress’ market share of 63.4%).

In fact, the question today is to know where Elementor will stop.

Can the creative frenzy that surrounds it — new features appear almost every week — stop overnight?

How can it be made even better? We’ll have to find out in the coming months. In the meantime, you’ll see that it’s a super efficient tool with almost unlimited resources.

With Elementor, it’s simple: you can do almost anything you can think of, without needing a single line of code.

Ease of use

It’s easy to get started with a clean, uncluttered interface. When you edit content, the screen is divided into two parts:

  • The left column contains the widgets, i.e. ready-to-use content modules (e.g. image, text, video, etc.).
  • The right part corresponds to the visible interface of your page, i.e. what your visitors can see when they navigate on your site.

With Elementor Page Builder, editing your content takes place in real time: you have an immediate overview of your changes (e.g. when you change a title). To make your life easier, you edit the page via drag and drop.

Templates and widgets

In its free version, Elementor offers about thirty widgets. All the basic content modules are there (Title, Image, Video, Button, Icon, etc.).

The Pro version of the plugin adds about fifty more advanced widgets (social network sharing buttons, portfolio, slider, price tables, etc.), as well as widgets dedicated to WooCommerce (24 in total).

Some of the widgets contained in Elementor Pro

Then, you will find about 40 page templates in the free version, as well as blocks, i.e. ready-to-use content sections (especially useful for creating an FAQ page).

This gives a nice first impression, but the Pro version goes much further, as you can imagine. Believe me, you’ll have everything you need.

The paid version has more than 300 blocks and templates in a rich library with various layouts.

Of course, you can also create your own templates and save them for later use.

Depending on the page builder you use, templates and widgets may have different names. This is their generic name on Elementor, but Divi uses the term “modules” to refer to what Elementor calls widgets. Another example: Page Builder by SiteOrigin uses the term “layouts” to describe what Elementor calls templates. In short, you will come across different names throughout this review, and that’s normal.

Customization

The customization of the different templates/widgets is almost limitless.

In terms of design, you can play with CSS filters (without entering any code), add separation shapes between the different sections created, and manage the positioning of your elements by moving them vertically, horizontally, etc.

In terms of animations, you can add mouse-over effects, click effects, parallax effects, etc.

On the marketing side, Elementor Pro offers its own pop-up and form builder.

Finally, Elementor Pro allows you to edit your entire site (from the header to the footer, including the content), as well as the elements of your WooCommerce store.

Most page builders only allow you to control the content. Editing the header and footer is usually an option offered in the Pro version of the plugin concerned.

And this is only a small part of what it does.

We like:

  • The impressive number of modules and templates.
  • The Theme builder (available with Elementor Pro), which allows you to customize your entire site, including headers and footers.
  • The Elementor ecosystem. There are countless groups dedicated to the plugin, as well as numerous add-ons to add even more features.
  • Compatibility with almost all themes and plugins.

We don’t like so much:

  • Because of the profusion of options, Elementor requires a certain learning curve to master.
  • The fact that you have to use a lot of mouse clicks to get the desired result.
  • There is no unlimited license.

Price

Elementor has a free version on the official directory. The Premium version starts at $59/year for use on one site.

Who is Elementor for?

For everyone, and especially for beginner web designers.

Download Elementor from the official directory:

Divi Builder

After introducing you to Elementor, let’s take a look at its main challenger: Divi Builder.

Launched by the Elegant Themes store in 2013, Divi originally established itself as the #1 page builder on the market… before being overtaken by Elementor.

Little by little, Divi Builder is trying to catch up, and the two giants are constantly competing with each other: it’s a question of who will release the latest trendy feature the fastest.

Divi is also a page builder with its own unique functions. It combines three features in one: it’s a page builder, of course, but also a theme and a theme builder.

Like Elementor, Divi allows you to customize both the body content and the header and footer.

Finally, be aware that you will not find Divi on the official directory. It exists only in premium version. Nearly 900,000 users have already adopted it.

Let’s summarize what it offers.

Ease of use

Divi is a comprehensive page builder with a lot of features. Quite a lot. As a result, it provides you with hundreds of options that take time to learn.

The process itself isn’t that complex, but the sheer number of options means that the learning curve of the page builder is steeper than with Elementor, for example.

On the practical side, there’s nothing too surprising. Divi works on the same principle as many of its competitors. The content you add to your pages takes place on the public interface.

Everything is done by drag and drop and you have a real time overview of your additions and modifications.

Divi Page Builder stands out by not having a side panel constantly on the screen. If you don’t touch anything, you see the page as it will appear on your visitors’ screen. You can start editing by hovering your mouse over an element.

This is generally useful, although there are also some limitations. For example, the button to save the page is somewhat hidden.

Templates and modules

To create the pages you have in mind, Divi offers around a hundred modules (both native and created by third-party developers). All the classics are there (text, image, gallery, video, audio, text + icon, testimonial, button, spacing, etc.).

In addition, you will have more than 300 layouts, i.e. enough site models composed of several pages that you won’t have to start from scratch.

Customization

Like Elementor, Divi gives you almost total control over the design of your page.

It’s impossible to list all the choices, but you can do a lot of customization by adding animations, shadows, gradients, separations between sections, filters, etc.

Divi even allows you to copy and paste the style you’ve applied from one element to another!

On the marketing side, Divi offers, like Elementor, its own form builder. Finally, Divi allows you to create permissions to restrict access to certain users. This is very useful if you want to give access to your customers.

We like:

  • The fact that Divi is a theme builder.
  • Its ultra-competitive price.
  • The number of layouts provided.
  • The ability to use Divi to customize WooCommerce: you can create product page templates, customize product categories/tags, etc.
  • The Divi ecosystem. You have everything you need to improve on this page builder: groups, training, add-ons, layouts, and child themes.
  • A page builder solidly anchored in the WordPress ecosystem.

We don’t like so much:

  • Divi’s backend interface is unwelcoming, although you don’t have to use it.
  • Divi needs a lot of resources to run and you may encounter slowdowns in your site’s front-end (what your visitors see).
  • It leaves a lot of shortcodes behind when you disable it, although plugins like Shortcode Cleaner or Bye Bye Divi fix this.
    These shortcode and performance “concerns” should disappear with the arrival of Divi 5.0, a major and long-awaited update that was still under development at the time of writing.

Price

There are two pricing offers: either an annual payment of $89, or a one-time payment of $249 that gives lifetime access (including updates and support) to the plugin.

Who is Divi Builder for?

Divi Builder is suitable and rather popular for beginners, but it can suit any type of profile (novice, experienced technician, freelancer, or agency).

Visit the Divi website:

Beaver Builder

Active installations: 200K+ / User rating: 4.8 out of 5

Beaver Builder is a page builder that has a solid reputation among WordPress professionals.

In the circuit since 2014, it’s somewhat of a fossil. However, though its free version is losing momentum and has lost a hundred thousand users in a few years, its Pro version is very comprehensive and has many assets.

Ease of use

Beaver Builder is one of the easiest page builders to learn. Like most of its competitors, it works on the drag and drop principle: you add the module or template of your choice directly to the page.

All your changes are visible in real time, thanks to a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) interface.

It works in much the same way as Elementor. You have a sidebar containing modules and templates on the right (you can move it manually), and you can edit the content directly on the page.

Further, Beaver Builder, like Elementor, can only be used on the front-end. You can’t use it from the administration interface of your site (back-end), like Divi Builder or WPBakery Page Builder, for example.

Templates and modules

The free version offers only 9 modules: Audio, Photo, Video, HTML, Text Editor, Sidebar, Button, Title, and Icon.

This is very, very minimal, but let’s say it’s a “loss leader”: it serves to introduce you to the builder and if you’re interested enough, you switch to the Premium version, which is more comprehensive.

The latter offers about 30 modules and nearly 60 templates that you can modify as you wish and save for later use.

Customization

Beaver Builder offers quite advanced customization of its content (modules and templates). For example, you can add templates, modify them, and save them to reuse them at any time, a very practical option to save time.

As for the modules, there are some limitations. Let’s take the example of an icon. You can set its base color, its hover color, a gradient, and its size. But that’s more or less it.

Do you want to customize its outline or add shadows? You’ll have to add a CSS class (which you can do via the Beaver Builder editor), and insert a piece of code to achieve your goal.

Finally, we’ll also note that the page builder hasn’t offered any new modules or templates since we published the test we devoted to it in 2018.

If you don’t know how to code and really want to take complete advantage of Beaver Builder, you’ll almost certainly have to use an add-on plugin like Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder (from $69/year).

We like:

  • A solid and proven page builder. It has been on the market for 6 years and is updated frequently.
  • In its Pro version, Beaver Builder offers its own in-house theme (as well as its child theme) that allows you to edit your entire site (header, content, and footer).
  • The Beaver Themer, a very powerful add-on that allows you to create your own headers/footers and templates.
  • Beaver Builder does not leave any shortcodes behind when you deactivate it.
  • A responsive and attentive support.

We don’t like so much:

  • The many limitations of the free version, which offers only a few modules and page templates (about ten of each).
  • The lack of customization of the modules.
  • Fewer templates and modules than some competitors.
  • The price of the unlimited version ($399/year).

Price

Beaver Builder is available for free on the official directory. The Premium version of the plugin starts at $99/year for use on an unlimited number of sites.

Beaver Builder: for whom?

For everyone, and especially for beginner web designers.

Download Beaver Builder from the official directory:

Brizy

Active installations: 90K+ / User rating: 4.7 out of 5

Brizy is a project launched by the creators of the premium theme store ThemeFuse. In total, these specialists have been in the business since 2009 and claim to have nearly one million customers worldwide.

Even if Brizy doesn’t reach the number of active installations of some competitors, you’ll see that it still has some unique assets.

After all, that’s the least you expect from a tool that bills itself as “a site builder that anyone can use.”

Ease of use

Brizy is a page builder that focuses on simplicity and clarity. Most of the settings are designed to make the user’s life easier and everything is done on the front-end.

Take a look at the interface to start building a page, for example.

There’s a clearly visible button in the center of the screen, and that’s it. It’s hard to get lost, isn’t it?

Then, everything happens directly online, without any sidebar, like in Divi.

For the rest, Brizy works on the same logic as most page builders: it sets up a hierarchy of structure elements. There are two main ones: rows and columns.

You can then add ready-to-use modules inside them, called Elements (e.g. text, images, calls to action, forms, etc.). These can be added by drag and drop, without no lag time.

Templates and modules

Brizy offers about a hundred templates, called layouts, divided into about twenty categories (Business, Travel, Portfolio, Sport, etc.). Note that the free version offers about twenty.

A preview of some Brizy demos

The number of templates is quite low compared to the competition. But don’t worry, Brizy makes up for it with blocks, i.e. pre-designed sections or pieces of page.

Brizy’s designers have gone all out on this option: there are more than 500 different blocks (about half of which are free), divided into a dozen categories (templates for contact forms, calls to action, price tables, and even headers and footers).

We finish with the Elements, the equivalent of widgets in Elementor or modules in Divi. Here, you will have to make do with 24 elements in the Pro version (17 in the free version). But the classics are there (text, image, map, video, contact form, button, countdown, slider, etc.).

Customization

Brizy allows you to modify multiple aspects of your content: font, colors, typography, margins, borders, etc.

The advantage? The settings for each block are available directly on the element you want to edit, right in front of your eyes.

We like:

  • A flexible and easy to use page builder.
  • An attractive price-quality ratio and the lifetime license.
  • The availability of about 4,000 icons to customize your content.
  • The ability to create dynamic content based on certain conditions.
  • The page builder is frequently updated with new features.
  • Marketing tools such as the pop-up builder.
  • A WooCommerce builder is included.

We don’t like so much:

  • An almost non-existent ecosystem.
  • The number of templates is rather limited compared to the competition.

Price

A free version is available on the official directory. The Premium version has three offers and starts at around $50/year for one site.

Brizy: for whom?

Brizy can be used by any type of profile because “no design or development skills are required.” In fact, it will particularly appeal to beginners.

Download Brizy on the official directory:

Oxygen Builder

Oxygen Builder is a little bit different from the other options in this comparison of the best page builders.

First of all, Oxygen Builder is different because it requires the most technical knowledge to be used correctly. You must know a minimum of code (HTML and CSS) to take advantage of it.

Secondly, Oxygen Builder does not use your active theme to modify the design of your site. Oxygen Builder is able to handle itself without it.

As you’ll see, it also has some other interesting surprises in store for you.

Ease of use

Let’s face it: Oxygen Builder is a rather complex page builder to get used to. To get the hang of it, you’ll have to spend some time working with the tool.

Its interface is closer to the web design tool Sketch than what we usually see in a page builder.

As with most of its competitors, the editing interface is divided into two parts:

  1. The left column allows you to add elements by drag and drop.
  2. The right hand side is the visible part of your site that you can modify online.

The little plus of this page builder is its “Structure” panel, which lists all the content present on your page, and gives you a quick overview of its appearance.

Templates and modules

Oxygen Builder provides about thirty essential elements (e.g. title, text, buttons, images, and videos). The classics are there, but we regret the absence of an element to create a contact form.

Some of the modules offered by Oxygen

In terms of templates, the choice is much more limited compared to the competition. Oxygen Builder offers about twenty ready-to-use templates.

To go further, though, you can create your own custom templates.

Customization

Oxygen Builder has some serious advantages when it comes to managing your layout:

  • You can align your elements horizontally without having to create columns.
  • You can modify the spacing and alignment between elements in a container manually, without having to change the margin values.

Furthermore, Oxygen Builder manages CSS classes very well: it can apply a change made to a CSS class (e.g. modification of a color) to the entire page. This saves you from editing each class one by one.

We like:

  • The advanced control over the design of the pages.
  • Performance: Oxygen Builder is a lightweight builder that is not overloaded with unnecessary scripts.
  • The page builder for WooCommerce.
  • The Gutenberg block builder.
  • The very low price of the page builder.

We don’t like so much:

  • The rather long learning curve.
  • The integration with multilingual solutions (e.g. WPML) is not always optimal.

Price

Oxygen is only available in a paid version, with four price plans that start at $129 for use on an unlimited number of sites.

Who is Oxygen Builder for?

Oxygen Builder is mainly intended for developers, or at least for people with good knowledge of code (CSS and PHP, in particular).

Visit the Oxygen Builder website:

Live Composer

Active installations: 20K+ / User rating: 4.4 out of 5

We continue this comparison of the best page builders with the Tom Thumb of our selection: Live Composer.

Relatively unknown, it has 20K+ active installations but has an interesting advantage: it offers most of its features for free.

Live Composer has been around for about ten years, but is losing market share as the months go by, and is struggling to find a place for itself in the midst of the big fish like Elementor or Divi Builder.

Does it still manage to hold its own? We’ll give you a summary of its uses so you can see for yourself.

Ease of use

First observation: Live Composer is not very easy to use. After activation, your dashboard is overloaded with numerous custom post types and you don’t really know where to start.

Then, the front-end interface of the page builder remains rather old-fashioned, with its flashy colors.

To use it, most of the options are in a toolbar at the bottom of your page. This toolbar gives you access to the modules and templates created but you can’t move it.

Personally, I find it more convenient to have a toolbar on a column, on the right or on the left.

Apart from that: Editing is done by drag and drop and online. Phew, that makes up for it a bit.

Templates and modules

If you’re looking for ready-to-use templates, you won’t find them. Live Composer doesn’t offer any.

Live Composer does offer a few very basic templates, but no trace of ready-to-use page templates.

That’s quite a limitation, even though you can create your page templates using modules and custom post types, and then reuse them by importing them for each new creation.

The modules are much better. Live Composer offers about 40 modules, which is more than the average number offered by other page builders.

An overview of Live Composer modules

Moreover, you can go further by getting a pack of 18 premium add-ons grouped in a single plugin.

Customization

The classic customization options are present (e.g. margins, font size, text height, shadows, etc.) and offer everything you need.

But using them is more complicated; the procedure is cruelly non-intuitive. The layout is not very clear and you can’t modify the width of a module manually, by stretching or enlarging it.

We like:

  • It’s free!
  • The customization options for your WooCommerce store, provided you get a dedicated premium add-on.

We don’t like so much:

  • Live Composer is not a Theme builder: it does not allow you to customize your header and footer, except with one of its two in-house themes.
  • The editing process is rather disjointed.
  • The lack of complete page templates.
  • A page builder that lags behind the competition in every respect.

Price

Live Composer is available for free on the official directory. However, it also offers two paid plugins: a WooCommerce-specific add-on, and an official extensions pack. Each of them costs $69 for use on one site.

Live Composer: for whom?

This page builder is primarily suitable for experienced technicians and developers, especially because it requires a good knowledge of how custom post types work to be effective. In general, we do not recommend its use because of its limitations.

Download Live Composer from the official directory:

Thrive Architect

Are you a fanatic? By that I mean a conversion freak? If so, you surely must know about Thrive Architect, if not use it.

This page builder is specifically dedicated to marketers who want to increase their sales without getting technical.

To use Thrive Architect, you don’t need to know how to code. Its options are legion, as you will see below.

Ease of use

As the designers of Thrive Architect state, their product was designed with this idea in mind: “to be as fast as possible to use.”

And in general, they keep this promise pretty well, even if you have to take into account a learning curve to start using it, due to the huge number of options offered (we’ll come back to this).

The editing interface is very pleasant to use, modern, and very similar to what Elementor offers:

  • The elements are displayed in the left column and you can add them on your page by drag and drop.
  • You can edit your page online on the right, with a real-time preview of the changes.

Templates and modules

Thrive Architect offers about forty widgets that are integrated into the visual editor by default, many of which are marketing-oriented (e.g. contact forms, countdowns, testimonials, webinars, etc.).

But Thrive Architect’s main draw is its landing pages. In total, there are more than 350 options at the time of writing!

As you can see, with this huge number, you will have plenty to do to design landing pages, sales pages, webinars, and opt-in pages.

Customization

Thrive Architect gives you almost unlimited freedom to customize your elements.

For example, you can:

  • Resize your columns manually
  • Manage the responsiveness of your site by choosing to hide certain elements depending on the type of device being used (computer, smartphone, or tablet)
  • Add dynamic animations

We like:

  • The fact that the page builder is constantly evolving: it frequently adds new templates and content elements.
  • The Thrive Themes ecosystem: in addition to Thrive Architect, a dozen complementary tools are available. For example, Thrive Leads allows you to collect emails on your site. You can of course couple it with Thrive Architect.
  • There are many official videos to help you get more familiar with the tool and maximize its functionalities.
  • Its quality-price ratio.

We don’t like so much:

  • The learning curve to get a good overview of the many features and then master the beast.
  • The fact that it’s primarily designed to be used with the other tools in the Thrive suite.
  • The support is not always very responsive.

Price

Thrive Architect is a premium page builder available from $99 per year for use on one site. You can also get it as part of the Thrive Suite, which gives you access to all the tools created by Thrive Themes ($299/year).

Who is Thrive Architect for?

Thrive Architect will be perfect if you want to implement a global marketing strategy on your site, with the objective of multiplying your conversions and boosting your sales. However, note that you will need to use the other tools in the Thrive suite to get the most out of it.

Visit the Thrive Architect website:

Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Active installations: 900K+ / User rating: 4.8 out of 5

An old hand: that’s how you could describe Page Builder by SiteOrigin. In the circuit for many years, this page builder was one of the first to launch.

This has allowed it to build up a large community of enthusiastic users. At the time of writing, nearly one million people have activated the plugin on their site, a figure that makes it the second most popular page builder in the official directory, just behind Elementor. Not bad, right?

Its main “technical” differentiating point from the competition is that it uses widgets to customize your content, both native WordPress widgets and its own (of course).

Finally, it’s free. All this surely makes you want to know a little more. Let’s get started!

Ease of use

Page Builder can be used both in back-end and front-end, like Divi.

Its learning curve is relatively fast, even if we regret some minor annoyances in the user interface.

For example, the action buttons are very small.

One of the major issues with Page Builder is the real-time editing. It is impossible to directly edit a piece of content online without a settings window appearing. That’s not very convenient.

Templates and modules

Page Builder offers very few widgets: only about ten (e.g. adding a button, a slideshow, a video, or rich text) in addition to the 12 basic default WordPress widgets (Archives, Recent Posts, Categories, Calendar, etc.).

To go further, you will need to activate another in-house plugin called SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle, which offers 22 additional widgets (e.g. call to action, contact form, Google Maps, etc.).

In addition, Page Builder offers:

  • 16 layouts, i.e. page templates that you activate in one click
  • 16 “packs,” i.e. entire site models

Overview of Page Builder layouts

Customization

Page Builder offers a rather nice option with its SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle plugin. Note that you can activate/deactivate the widgets that interest you so as not to slow down the loading speed of your pages.

It is also possible to choose the column layout (left to right or right to left) when the site switches to responsive mode.

In detail, the page builder allows you to modify most of the style elements (colors, fonts, spacing, margins, etc.), as its competitors offer.

On the other hand, you will have to use CSS code if you want to even slightly customize some visual aspects.

We like:

  • The integration with WordPress through the use of widgets.
  • The page builder’s loading speed.

We don’t like so much:

  • Since the plugin is free, you do not have individual email support.
  • Page Builder’s options are much less substantial than most of its competitors.
  • Page Builder is not a Theme Builder like Elementor Pro or Divi Builder: it does not allow you to customize the header and footer of your theme.

Price

Page Builder is free. However, it also offers a suite of add-ons in SiteOrigin Premium (from $29 for use on one site) to enjoy even more customization options.

Page Builder by SiteOrigin: for whom?

Page Builder by SiteOrigin can be used by any type of profile, from the novice to the advanced user. If you have never used a page builder before, we don’t recommend using this one because it’s outdated compared to more recent builders (Elementor, Divi, Thrive Architect, etc.). The latter will have more customization options, as well as offering a more polished user experience.

Download Page Builder by SiteOrigin on the official directory:

WPBakery Page Builder (ex-Visual Composer)

You may know this page builder under its former name: Visual Composer. Its branding changed at the end of 2017 and it is now known as WPBakery Page Builder.

WPBakery is notable as the oldest page builder in our selection: it was created in 2011. Available only in premium version, you will find it on the Envato platform.

And we can say that on Envato, WPBakery is a real star. With over 400,000 sales, it’s the best-selling page builder.

Moreover, WPBakery is installed on more than 2 million sites, partly because it’s integrated with many themes. In short, it’s a success with users — much less with developers.

The latter criticize its ergonomics and its obsolete shortcodes system that makes migrations very complex.

Ease of use

As indicated in our comparison, WPBakery Page Builder is not very intuitive and it’s very complicated to use. For example, it requires many mouse clicks to edit content elements.

However, it can be used both in front-end and in back-end, using a drag-and-drop interface.

At the visible interface level, you can instantly see the changes made.

Templates and modules

WPBakery Page Builder offers more than forty pre-integrated modules, from the most classic (images, separators, icons, etc.) to the most advanced (e.g. a customizable sidebar with your widgets).

For templates, it’s not bad either. You’ll find more than 80 choices.

Customization

WPBakery Page Builder allows you to customize many elements, whether columns, sections, colors, typography, etc..

In this respect, no complaints. However, we repeat: customization of different elements (modules, templates, etc.) is not easy.

We like:

  • The WYSIWYG interface (What you see is what you get) which allows you to edit the content on your page in real time.
  • The many add-ons available to boost the page builder, like Livemesh Addons for WPBakery Page Builder.

We don’t like so much:

  • The ergonomics.
  • The shortcodes mashup if you disable WPBakery Page Builder or the theme that embeds it.
  • The fact that the customization of elements is relatively complex.

Price

WPBakery Page Builder is only available in a paid version ($64).

WPBakery Page Builder: for whom?

WPBakery Page Builder can suit any type of profile. However, we don’t recommend it because of its technical limitations and the fact that the interface is not very user-friendly.

Download WPBakery Page Builder:

Visual Composer

Active installs: 70K+ / User rating: 4.7 out of 5

Visual Composer? It’s the old name of WPBakery, you may say, if you have followed the previous presentation (if you caught that, good job).

True, but here we’re going to talk about Visual Composer Website Builder, a freemium site builder launched in 2017 by the same creators as the page builder now called WPBakery. If the difference between the two remains unclear, check out our WPBakery article.

Visual Composer Website Builder is a more advanced builder, as it allows you to customize an entire site, header and footer included (with the premium version), via a drag-and-drop interface and thanks to templates.

Ease of use

On your administration interface, Visual Composer offers five sub-menus allowing you to proceed with the first settings: the dashboard, the sections corresponding to the header, footer, and sidebar, and the basic settings.

As we mentioned in our test of the site builder, Visual Composer resembles its competitors such as Elementor Pro, Beaver Builder, and Divi Builder on the front-end. On the left, a toolbar contains the basic features and available elements, which you can place in the content of your page, on the right, by drag and drop.

Did you say simple? Yes, it’s more simple than its false friend WPBakery, but the text editing process is less intuitive. You’ll have to (ab)use your mouse click to get there.

On the other hand, we appreciate the ability to undo mistakes using the keyboard shortcut (Cmd + Z on Mac or Ctrl + Z on PC) or the dedicated key, as well as the “Tree View” that shows the different elements that make up your page.

Templates and modules

The Visual Composer Hub, the platform hosting the content elements available on the Cloud, has nearly 200 modules, under the name Elements. With the premium version of Visual Composer, you can integrate your favorite modules into your site by accessing the Hub from the administration interface of your site or from the front-end interface.

Why does Visual Composer offer so many modules? Well, you’ll find the usual image, icon, and raw HTML modules, but also rarer elements such as animated or three-colored buttons, and even elements specific to WooCommerce.

As for templates, you can also choose between almost 200 possibilities, between page templates (homepage, “About” page, blog page, etc.) and templates adapted to different niches. We appreciate the variety of designs offered and the ease of customization of these templates.

Customization

As we mentioned, with the premium version of Visual Composer Website Builder, you can customize not only the body of your pages, but also your header, footer, and sidebar, directly on the page. You can create them from scratch or from an existing template, or even create your own template.

I also want to highlight the option of displaying a specific header or footer depending on the type of content (post or page for example), as well as on the page or post of your choice. Not bad, right?

If we come back to our contents, Visual Composer offers different effects and animations and allows you to change the margins and borders of elements very easily. On the responsive side, you can choose different values depending on the type of device on which your site is viewed.

We like:

  • The variety of templates and modules available.
  • The option of displaying a different header or footer based on the content.
  • The management of margins and borders.

We don’t like so much:

  • The content editing process is not very intuitive.
  • The customization options are less advanced than those of some of its competitors.

Price

A free, and therefore limited, version of Visual Composer is available on the official WordPress directory. If you want to take advantage of all its features and have access to the Visual Composer Hub, you can choose between 3 offers. Figure $49 per year for a use on a site.

Who is Visual Composer for?

Thanks to its ease of use and the variety of templates and modules offered, Visual Composer can suit any type of website designer. However, if you are hesitating between several page builders, you will be able to do better in terms of customization options with Elementor Pro or Divi Builder for example.

Download Visual Composer on the official directory:

Other page builders on WordPress to consider

You’ve now seen our selection of the best page builders on WordPress.

As options for this type of tool are particularly abundant within the ecosystem, here are other page builders you might come across during your research:

  • Themify Builder, created by the premium theme store of the same name.
  • WP Page Builder, designed by Themeum, which is also behind the Qubely and WP Mega Menu plugin.
  • Breakdance, a page builder offered by the creators of Oxygen Builder and intended primarily for beginners.
  • Page Builder Sandwich, which can be used in both backend and frontend.
  • SeedProd, which now offers its own page builder in addition to its basic features related to the creation of a maintenance page and “coming soon” page.
  • Nimble Page Builder, a page builder that presents itself as “fast” and “agile.”
  • Bold Page Builder, which has the advantage of being 100% free (no premium version).
  • Pagelayer, which offers a large choice of widgets (about a hundred).

The WordPress site editor: a viable alternative to a page builder?

As you have just seen with our selection of the best page builders on WordPress, page builders give you a way to create custom sites and layouts without coding.

However, let’s not forget that WordPress does offer options to work as a page builder (or at least very close to it) by default. Here are the details.

The WordPress content editor

To design your pages and posts, you probably use the default content editor of WordPress.

Gutenberg — that’s its stage name — made its appearance at the end of 2018, with the launch of WordPress version 5.0.

The way it works is simple: you add content through blocks — ready-made containers — within your posts and pages.

Although it has evolved a lot since its launch, and offers more and more options that can be found in page builders, both natively and with the addition of third-party plugins, the WordPress content editor is not a page builder:

  • It doesn’t allow you to customize the visual aspect of an entire page, nor to modify the header and footer, unlike most page builders.
  • It’s only used in the back-office (your administration interface), not in the front-end.
  • Since it adapts to your theme style, it has fewer customization options than on a page builder.

Nevertheless, there are some very powerful plugins that can allow you to achieve a result close to what you could achieve with a page builder.

This is the case, for example, of GenerateBlocks. On the other hand, you have to have a good technical basis already in order to use this plugin.

In conclusion, for a beginner, the WordPress content editor is primarily used to customize the content of your articles.

However, there is also a more powerful site editor that allows you to design all parts of your site without touching a single line of code.

All of a sudden, it becomes much more interesting, doesn’t it? I’ll give you all the details in the next section.

The site editor

In January 2022, the release of WordPress 5.9 caused quite an evolution in the WordPress ecosystem.

This major version of the CMS arrived with a new feature called Full Site Editing. The name was later changed to a more sober “Site Editor”.

The idea behind it? With this editor, you can now create and edit the entire structure of a site (including header, footer, menu, and page templates, not just its content) using the blocks of the content editor (Gutenberg).

Exactly like a page builder, for free and without installing any additional plugin!

To be clear and schematic, we can say that two editors coexist, in a way:

  • The content editor is used to write your articles and pages. But for pages, it does not allow you to change their entire structure. You can only modify the content.
  • The site editor, accessible in Appearance > Site Editor, helps you create and customize the structure of all your pages without limits.

So, should you jump on this opportunity and adopt this site editor right away for your next site creation? At the time of writing, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to novice users for several reasons:

  • Although the options it offers are becoming more and more extensive, it’s still far from offering you the features offered by a good page builder. In other words, you may find yourself limited without touching the code.
  • The site editor works only with block-based themes. Again, the number of these themes is increasing on the official directory, but the choice is still small (just over 200 at the time of writing this article).
  • From my point of view, using the site editor is more complex and technical for a beginner than using a page builder.

So if you are a beginner and/or don’t have a minimum of web design and web development skills, using a page builder seems to me to be a better way to start creating a website, for the moment.

On the other hand, if you are a more experienced user, the site editor can really be very useful.

And the best page builder on WordPress is…?

Here you are at the end of this comparison of the best page builders for WordPress.

I hope you have understood their usefulness and advantages. Maybe you have already decided to use one of them. If you are still hesitating, here are several cases to help you decide:

  • Elementor, Divi, and Beaver Builder are, in my opinion, the most comprehensive page builders and are accessible to both beginners and more advanced users.
  • Divi Builder will be particularly useful if you want a page builder coupled with its house theme.
  • Thrive Architect will be perfect for marketers.
  • Oxygen will definitely appeal to developers/technicians.
  • If you don’t have a budget to spend on page builders, Page Builder by SiteOrigin and Live Composer might catch your eye, as they are free. But I don’t recommend them, because I find them too limited compared to the competition.
  • Brizy stands out for its simple, fast, and responsive interface.

In the end, it’s difficult to put forward an ideal page builder. It all depends on your needs and usage preferences.

Well, to be completely honest and transparent, WPMarmite has its favorite: Elementor.

Alex has been using it since 2017 to create custom pages on the blog, and he can’t live without it!

Come on, it’s time to let you have your say. Which page builder do you use? And why did you choose it?

Share your experience with us by posting a comment.

About the author

WPMarmite Team

WPMarmite helps beginners get the best out of WordPress with in-depth tutorials and honest reviews. Meet the founder, Alex, and his team right here.

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