Elementor Vs Visual Composer (WPBakery) Which Page Builder Is For You?
It is literally David vs Goliath of the page builders. WordPress has been around since its first official release back in 2003, when it was a simple blogging platform with very few features compared to today.
Boost through to 2018, and we have had page builders come and go for WordPress. However, we have Visual Composer (Now WP Bakery) which has been the titan for some time, over 360,000 downloads, according to Themeforest and over 250 add-ons built by the community.
Then we have Elementor, a relative new comer launching with the free version in 2016 and a pro version launched back in December of the same year.
Since then WordPress developers have been implementing Elementor into many websites and themes ranking up over one million installs, with an ever growing base of 3rd party plugins available, is becoming one of the best builders.
Though WordPress is planning to bring its own visual editor after the development of the Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0. This is a positive step for WordPress, but like any new builder it will take time to mature.
So until then let’s get on with the show.
Elementor Page Builder
The Elementor interface is divided into two core parts, with a third area for some smaller settings:
1 – This is the live preview of your design canvas. This is what your visitors will see on the front end.
2 – This is the element area, you simply drag and drop onto the canvas, then edit the elements to suit your design.
3 – These options help you access responsive previews, undo/redo changes, and other smaller features.
In the free version, Elementor includes 28 free widgets. And you can also use all of the core WordPress widgets. The Pro version adds another ~30 widgets, giving you a total of 58 widgets in the Pro version:
The free version also comes with ~40 free templates. And the Pro version adds hundreds of additional templates.
Templates come in two formats:
Pages – full-page designs that you just need to edit.
Blocks – individual sections that you can put together like Legos.
You can also save your own designs as templates to reuse later.
When you click on any section, column, or widget, Elementor offers three styling tabs in the left-hand sidebar.
The styling options depend on which element you’re editing, but generally Elementor offers one of the deepest sets of styling options of any WordPress page builder.
Beyond basic stuff like colours, backgrounds, and typography, you can also control more advanced settings like:
- Custom margins/padding.
- Custom CSS classes/IDs. With Elementor Pro, you can directly add actual CSS styles to individual elements.
- Responsive controls. You can show/hide elements on specific devices sitewide and the option of global settings.
Other Incredible Features
These features are available in Elementor Pro:
- Full theme building. You can use the same Elementor interface to build template parts like headers, footers, singles, and archives. Basically, you can build your entire theme with Elementor.
- Global widgets. These let you reuse a common element across multiple pages and edit all instances of the global widget by just updating the global widget.
- Embed anywhere. Use Elementor templates in other areas via widgets or shortcodes.
Visual Composer (WPBakery)
Visual Composer and Elementor have their own approach in the user interface. Visual Composer gives you two options.
Front end editor – you can have a live preview of the elements you are adding, and the changes you make to the web elements, but depending on the theme being used are not always 100% compatible.
Backend editor – When using VC this is something I prefer to use. In the very beginning VC was all built in the backend, so this suits me well for enhanced development.
WPBakery Page Builder offers 39 elements, plus all the normal WordPress widgets.
Compared to Elementor, WPBakery Page Builder’s style options are a bit limited.
You do have a good amount of control over rows: However Theme Developers on the likes of Themeforest sometimes build in more advanced tools for styling.
If you want to use your own CSS, you can add a custom CSS class or ID to individual elements, or you can add actual styles at a page-level:
Other Notable Features
WPBakery Page Builder does not have any notable unique features itself from my personal perspective. But what it does have is a massive third-party add-on community. WPBakery Page Builder has well over 250+ add-ons.
As web developers and designers go, and we love coding and solving problems, our clients do not. So these two page builders offers clients the ability to edit their sites and update content in an easy way.
We have used WPBakery alongside our clients websites for many years, and it has been a great asset to our audience.
We have also built our own page builders for more custom projects. However, for simplicity and to keep our customers happy, we have now started to replace the page builders we bundle with our designs.
Elementor is our top choice, they have listened to what people want by keeping it simple. And deleveloped a powerhouse of a page builder for advanced developers. With consistent updates, and fast development and an ever growing community like that on the day when Visual Composer (WPBakery) was new and fresh.
We also recently redeveloped our own website, with Elementor at the core of the re-development, and we think this was the very best way to stress test this builder to see what it could do.
Let us know your thoughts below.