Elementor Pro vs Beaver Builder 2018 – Updated


The WordPress community is blessed with many drag and drop page builders. These user-friendly WordPress plugins let you create professional looking pages in seconds even if you have no design or development experience.

In this article we pit two of the most popular WordPress drag and drop page builders against each other: Elementor Pro and Beaver Builder.

Both of these solutions use a front-end editor. This means that you can make changes directly on your website using a visual editor and see the changes in real-time.

Let’s delve deeper and look at what Elementor Pro and Beaver Builder offer WordPress website owners. This will help you see which of these premium drag and drop page builders is right for you.

Elementor Pro

Elementor was immediately popular when it was initially released in June 2016. The plugin managed to rack up over 10,000 activate installations in only three months and 15 months later the developers have managed to grow their user-base from 10,000 users to over 300,000 users.

One of the reasons the free version of Elementor grew so quickly is because the developers offered a user-friendly experience with features that were normally only found in premium drag and drop page builders. Their pro version, which is what we will be looking at today in this article, unlocks all features of Elementor.

Elementor will give you complete control over every page on your website using a beautiful front-end visual editor.

A whopping 53 content widgets are available to help you shape pages the way you want. You will find widgets for adding images, videos, maps, sidebars, testimonials, and more.

24 of these content widgets are only available in the pro version. This includes desirable content widgets for WooCommerce, social media sharing, pricing tables, posts, portfolios, Facebook comments, and more.

You will be pleased to hear that you can use any WordPress widget with Elementor. This opens up limitless opportunities for integrating widgets from your favourite WordPress plugins.

Every aspect of Elementor is open source, mobile-friendly, and optimised for search engines. A large collection of pre-made templates are also provided. These can be used unaltered or used as a base to create your own design. All templates can be saved and applied to other pages. They can also be exported and imported.

Using Elementor Pro

Once you have activated Elementor you will see a “Edit with Elementor” link in your post and page list pages. You can jump directly to the live editor by clicking on this link.

If you are already in the post or page edit area, simply click on the “Edit with Elementor” button.

The Elementor interface displays all options down the left-hand side of the page. When you click on the main content area you can move sections and widgets around.

Elementor refers to content widgets as elements, though confusingly the search bar states “Search Widget” at the top of the panel. All elements are displayed in two columns.

At the top are essential elements such as columns, headings, images, videos and maps. The next section displays all pro elements and then there are sections for general elements and WordPress widgets. The large number of elements means that you need to navigate using a scrollbar.

To add content to your page simply click on a content element and drag it to your page. When you click on a content element on your page the panel on the left-hand side will change to show settings for that element. The settings are divided into three sections: Content, Style, and Advanced.

You can change every aspect of a content element in this area and change the layout, styling, colours, and more. Since Elementor uses a visual editor, you can see any changes you make occur in real-time.

At the very top of the the panel is the Elementor logo and two buttons to the left and right.

The button on the left brings up a settings box where you can change colours, page settings, global settings, and more.

The button on the right acts as a reset button. Clicking on it will take you back to the main panel where all content elements are shown.

At the bottom of the panel you can change the view from desktop mode to tablet and mobile modes. You can also access your change history and revert back to previous versions of your layout. This is useful if you make a mistake or simply change your mind about something you added.

The templates button in this menu lets you save your current layout as a template and access the templates library.

Elementor’s interface is not as intuitive as Beaver Builder’s, but once you know how it works you will be able to create professional layouts in minutes.

Beaver Builder

Launched in April 2014, Beaver Builder has always offered an easy to use interface and a host of premium features that make creating professional content simple. The plugin has proved to be very popular with developers too, which is why Beaver Builder is held in such high regard and why they have over half a million customers.

Like Elementor, Beaver Builder lets you customise your website using a front-end visual editor. A free version of the plugin is available (more on this later), but it is the premium version that everyone is familiar with.

Beaver Builder uses a minimalist interface that fits well with the default WordPress colour scheme. In the past I have criticised Beaver Builder for looking outdated, but the release of Beaver Builder 2.0 Hoover changed that opinion. The interface now looks warm and modern.

Where Beaver Builder has always excelled is usability. From day one Beaver Builder has provided a user-friendly experience that other drag and drop page builders have tried to match. The interface is fast-loading and has next to no learning curve.

30 unique content widgets are provided, which they call modules, and you can also use third-party WordPress widgets. The content widgets are all categorised to help you find them quickly.

All layouts can be saved and applied to other pages and there are are dozens of pre-made landing pages and content pages available for selection.

A framework called Beaver Builder Theme is included in the higher priced licenses for Beaver Builder.

Using Beaver Builder

All editing in Beaver Builder takes place on the front-end of your website. You can launch the page builder by clicking on the “Page Builder” link in the post and page list pages or by clicking on the “Page Builder” tab in your editing page.

If you are browsing your website and you are logged in, you will see an option to edit your layout using Beaver Builder at the top of each page.

The Beaver Builder interface is very easy to navigate and everything loads fast. I have tested dozens of WordPress page builders and Beaver Builder is the one that always loads layouts and boxes and settings the quickest.

When you first enter the page builder you will see a simple toolbar at the top of the page.

At the left-hand side you will see a note of the post or page you are currently editing. On the right-hand side you will see a plus (+) symbol and a button entitled “Done”. Clicking on the “Done” button brings up buttons for discarding changing, saving the changes as a draft, publishing the page, or cancelling.

Clicking the plus symbol loads up the main page building panel.

Standard content modules are shown by default, but you can switch to show WordPress widgets or saved modules (A reminder: modules, elements, and widgets, are all the same thing).

The content modules are divided into categories: Basic, Media, Actions, Layout, Info, and Posts. Everything is displayed at once so you don’t have to scroll up and down like you do in Elementor.

All the usual options are there. You can duplicate, edit, remove, and move around your columns, rows, and content modules.

When you edit a column, row, or content module, a box appears with many different customisation settings and styling options. In general, I would say that Elementor offers more customisation options here, but it is simple to add colours and change the overall layout and styling.

If we return to the main panel, we can see that there are four different tabs: Modules, Rows, Templates and Saved.

The rows tab has pre-made row structures with different column variations. You simply need to drag these to your content area and then add content to the columns.

At the end in the saved tab you can view saved rows and modules. Saved rows can also be accessed from the rows tab.

The templates tab is split into three different sections which can be accessed via the drop down menu. The sections are Landing Pages, Content Pages, and Saved Templates.

There is a blank canvas template, 30 landing page templates, and 30 content templates.

Although Beaver Builder offers less templates than Elementor Pro, they have a better mix of designs. Some of the templates offered in Elementor Pro are, well, obscure. The ones in Beaver Builder look like they will suit more website owners.

There is a variety of layouts for agencies, businesses, marketers, and online shops. You will also find page templates for about pages, services pages, portfolios, contact pages, and more.

There is unfortunately no option to preview any template or a way to quickly remove your website design’s sidebars, but on a positive note, when you click on a template you are given the choice of replacing your existing layout with the template or appending it to your existing layout.

The template is also inserted into your page very quickly.

A host of options can be found via the tools menu at the left-hand side of the top navigation menu.

From here you can save, duplicate, and preview the current layout. You can also see a history of changes via the revisions link.

CSS, Javascript, and other global settings such as margins and paddings, can also be changed.

Beaver Builder lacks some of the more advanced customisation options found in Elementor Pro and other solutions such as Visual Composer, though it excels in other areas.

The interface loads quickly and has an intuitive layout that is simple to understand. This reduces the time it takes to create custom layouts.

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