Ease Of Use
Very quickly, you'll understand how to drag and drop elements, edit text, create fun animations, and design beautiful sites. It's pretty intuitive, considering the complexity of such a task. There are three main things that keep this from being a 5-star product:
- You have to edit text in a separate box (instead of directly editing the text on the page).
- You have to get used to calling "rows", "sections" instead. Sounds like a minor point, but it takes a bit to get used to it, if you've ever worked with rows and columns before.
- There is no CTRL-Z or Undo button functionality. There is a Revision History in the dropdown of the left hamburger menu, which is a huge plus for Elementor. But the revisions depend upon clicking the Save button. Every time you save, a revision is saved, and you can revert to any of those in the list. What's missing is the in-between Undo. Let's say you saved yesterday. Today, you start working and you create a beautiful section. Just at that moment, your dog jumps in your lap, your hand gets bumped around, and just like that, somehow, the section gets deleted. Don't laugh. I've had this happen. My dogs are a little in the way at times. In any case, there was no coming back from that. I hadn't saved since the section was just built, and I was desperate for an Undo feature. My guess is that there will be one in the near future. I hope so.
Most, though not all, WordPress Page Builders rely strictly on shortcodes to layout your page designs. That causes you to be "locked-in" to using their plugin forever, because if you ever disable the plugin, your content is left looking like a huge code dump. It's a real mess. Luckily, Elementor understood how terrible that is, so they made sure to be as lock-in-free as possible. At the end of the day, if you decide to walk away from Elementor, your content may lose some styling, but it won't just show a pile of ugly, ridiculous code to your site's visitors. That is of huge importance.
It's difficult to keep code from becoming a nested-div nightmare, when creating complex designs. Some page builders fail miserably at keeping the code as clean as possible. Elementor shines at both the HTML cleanliness, as well as the CSS style management. In fact, Elementor goes to the next level of page builders, by not throwing a massive inline CSS dump into the head of every page. Ever had to scroll a mile when looking at View Source, just to get past all of the CSS styles? That doesn't happen with Elementor. Elementor creates separate external stylesheets for each page. Brilliant!
Design and Element Quality
Elementor knows design! Each element looks professional, and the templates are knockouts of beauty. When they first showcased the post card layout element, for instance, I was stunned that with one click, the blog home layout was instantly elevated to a "wow" level of classy design.
When hanging out in the Elementor communities, I notice a recurring theme. People new to page builders come into the experience with expectations of what a page builder will do for them. Those expectations end up causing disappointment as they discover that a page builder isn't the end-all, be-all product they imagined. Below, I'll list a few examples of what you can and cannot expect from Elementor (or any page builder).
Things Elementor Is Made For
Things Elementor Does Not Do
In the end, the choice is yours. You can download the free version of Elementor and try it for yourself. Yes, the Pro version comes packed with some extremely useful extras, but the free version is definitely not a lightweight. Try it. See if it fits your style and the way you imagine this process should be. If so, you'll join me and thousands of others who have become huge fans of Elementor. Welcome to the community!