I have been using Elementor for the past year and now it is the only website builder that I use for building websites. I also use Envato Elements plus Elementor, but I will discuss about it in another review. This website is also made with Elementor.
If you are considering using Elementor on your site, in this hands-on 2020 Elementor review, we’ll give you a detailed look at this popular WordPress page builder and whether it’s right for you.
Since its launch in 2016, Elementor has quickly gone on to become one of the premier WordPress page builder plugins, active on over 4 million WordPress sites according to WordPress.org.
Elementor was built in 2016 by a group of web professionals who, like me, were frustrated with the extremely slow process of designing websites using WordPress.
Since then, the number of users of Elementor has grown to 4 million people worldwide, including content writers, marketers, businesses, and developers. It just goes to show how easy it is to use.
Elementor has a free and paid version. Unlike the free versions of most other page builders, the Elementor free version packs enough powerful features to help you transform your boring website to a professional-looking one.
So if you’re just starting out and don’t have the budget to spice up your website, the Elementor free version is a great tool for you. But if you’re looking for more advanced features and an all-in-one solution for your website design needs, you might find more value in the Pro version, which we’ll talk about later.
There’s nothing worse (well almost nothing) than wanting to test a new WordPress page builder and running into technical issues when you’re trying to install it.
Adding Elementor to your WordPress install is as easy as adding any other good plugin:
If you’re lucky enough to own the Pro version, installation here is also easy peasy. Just download your installation ZIP file, upload it via the ‘Add Plugins’ screen and away you go.
N.B. Elementor Pro is an “add-on” for the free version of Elementor i.e. you need the free version installed for the Pro version to work.
Works With Any WordPress Theme
Elementor is flexible enough to work with any WordPress theme, but there 5 WordPress themes that people generally agree with are the most compatible themes with Elementor. These are:
- Generate Press
- Ocean WP
- Hello – official Elementor theme
- Flatsome – the theme we use on most of our projects
For a full list of Elementor themes, please click here.
Templates and Blocks
Page templates are a huge time saver. It lets you create a specific type of page in just a few clicks. For example, if you want to quickly make a landing page for a tech brand, there’s a landing page template that you can load into your website in just a few seconds.
Templates can be found by clicking the Folder icon at the bottom of the page. Once you click the Folder icon, a new window will open showing a list of page templates that you can use.
When you’ve found the template you want to use, hover your mouse over it and click “Insert”. Wait a few seconds, and you’ll see the template fully loaded into your page.
These templates are fully editable, and you can do a number of things to improve them. For one, you can set it to full-width:
Blocks are preset sections that, like page templates, you can quickly load into your page. There are blocks for all sorts of sections like About Us, call-to-actions, testimonials, FAQs, list of features, and more.
To add blocks, just click the same Folder icon as before and click “Blocks”. If you’re looking for a specific type of block, just click “Category” and you should see a dropdown list of available categories.
Once you’re done layouting your page, you can also save it as your template that you can reuse for similar pages that you’ll create. To do that, just click on the arrow beside the green “Publish” button and click “Save as Template”.
A new window will pop up where you have to name your template. Type the name, and click “Save”.
When time comes that you want to use this template, you can access it by clicking the Folder icon and clicking “My Templates”.
As more website visitors use their mobile devices to access the Internet, it’s now more important to have a mobile-friendly website.
Once you start customizing your website in Elementor, it’s easy to get carried away and do all sorts of things like add margins or paddings to your sections. That’s all good, but you have to be sure to check if the layout still looks good on mobile.
You can quickly do this by clicking the Desktop icon beside the “Publish” button and clicking “Mobile” and “Tablet”.
Note that the changes you do in one mode do not affect the other modes. For instance, if you change the spacing in the Mobile mode, it will not affect the spacing in the Desktop mode, so your original desktop formatting gets preserved.
Build your entire WordPress theme with Elementor
It wouldn’t be an Elementor review without covering the newest version of Elementor Pro.
Up until recently, Elementor was always just for your content. You still needed a quality theme sitting underneath it.
With the release of Elementor Pro 2.0, though, you can now build your entire theme with the same drag and drop Elementor interface, including your header, footer, and blog post templates.
To build your theme, you first select what part of your theme you want to build:
Then, you can use the same Elementor interface (with the addition of widgets for that type of content) to build your layout.
For example, if you build the template for your blog post, you’ll be able to drag over widgets for the:
- Post title
- Post content
- Author metadata
Lots more widgets to build your content with
Elementor Pro just plain adds new widgets. In addition to giving you more flexibility, these can also help you replace other plugins. For example, Elementor Pro has widgets for:
- Forms (including contact forms)
- Social share buttons
- Countdown timers
- Pricing tables
- Login forms
See the full list of Elementor Pro widgets below:
Tons of premium templates
When you purchase Elementor Pro, you unlock all the templates and blocks in the library. Beyond just getting “more”, the Pro templates are also usually a bit more detailed and complex. So it’s more a situation of “more + higher quality”.
Global widgets help you reuse the same element on multiple pages
To wrap up our Elementor review, let’s look at one more Pro feature:
Sometimes you might have a situation where you want to reuse the same element on multiple pages. For example, you might have a contact section that needs to include the same content on every page.
Global widgets make this easier by letting you:
- Save that widget as a template to reuse on multiple pages
- Automatically update every instance of that global widget just by editing it once
Elementor: Pricing and Licensing Scheme
Elementor’s PRO version comes in three packages: Personal, Plus, and Expert. Each package offers the same features, so the difference really lies on how many websites you need to create.
As for its licensing, there’s a lot of confusion going around, but really it’s quite simple. Once the license expires because you decided not to renew, you will lose access to future updates, support, and pro templates and blocks.
But you will still be able to use Elementor Pro’s modules, pop-up features, theme builder features and so on. You can also install the latest version you have on any new websites you’ll create.
They offer a 25% renewal discount to active members and a 30-day money back guarantee for new purchases.
Do you need Elementor Pro?
If you just want to create basic styled pages, the free version of Elementor should have enough power. In fact, Elementor probably offers the most feature-rich free version of any page builder.
With that being said, if you want to use Elementor to actually build out your core website pages (or build your entire website now, thanks to the theme builder), then Elementor Pro is a great option because of the new elements, extra controls, and other functionality.