Why use a page builder?
- Page builders allow you to create more creative with your designs without needing to know code.
- They allow you to build the design faster than hand coding it.
- They are coded to make your page responsive (aka mobile-friendly) by default.
The bottom line is that page builders are a great way to easily format your content without having to learn CSS or HTML.
A Quick Overview of the 3 Most Popular Page Builders
We’ve built entire sites using all three page builders. They all take a little bit of time to get used to because the interfaces are different. They all have a many of the same features. They are all being actively developed and improved upon, so bottom line – you’ll probably be fine with any of them!
Which is the best deal?
If you’re price conscious Beaver Builder Lite and Elementor are FREE! So download both and try the out to see what you like best. If you really like free, Elementor has more free stuff than Beaver Builder, including (also free) 3rd party plugins.
Keep in mind the “free” is never completely free – it will cost you time. With a paid plugin, you get both more features (meaning you can build the designs you want faster) and support. If you get stuck, you can email support and they can help you figure out what’s going wrong or how to do what you’re aiming for.
And if you opt for add-on plugins to supplement a main plugin, there’s always the chance that something will be incompatible or that the developer will stop support it at some time. This can lead to time spent debugging problems and maybe having to switch to another plugin. This is why a paid plugin, with regular updates and support can be a time saver if you are using it for the long run.
If you decide to go for the premium (paid) versions –
Divi by Elegant Themes is the only one that has a Lifetime license (which also includes lifetime support!!). If you plan on having the website more than a few years, this could be a cheaper option over the long term. Going with Elegant Themes also gives you access to a couple of other plugins that they have and the Divi theme. If you’re just starting out, this could be a nice combo because you’ve selected a theme and a page builder and you’re ready to get going. No 2nd choice to make for which theme you want to use.
But what about “lock-in”?
The one downside that people usually mention with Divi is “lock-in”. This refers to what happens when you turn the page builder off. For any of the three options, things usually look a bit weird. All your fancy formatting is out the door. But with Divi, you will also see shortcodes all throughout your page. This has to do with how their software was developed. It’s ugly, but honestly, I don’t think it’s as bad as people make it out to be. There are plugins you can use to strip out the shortcodes, and then your page will look like it would with the other two plugins.
No matter which plugin you use, when you turn off the plugin, your formatting goes away.
The Bottom Line
So which do you pick? All of them should work with any theme. If you’re going for the paid version, they all have great support. So I would recommend trying them out to see which feels the most intuitive to you. Both Beaver Builder and Divi have demo sites where you can play around with the plugins, without having to install anything:
Elementor doesn’t have a live demo, but they’ve got a video showing how it works on the WordPress plugin page: https://wordpress.org/plugins/elementor/
These plugins have all been around for a while, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
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