Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins 2021
Do you want the easiest way to build and customize your WordPress site and pages?
Then drag and drop WordPress Page Builder plugins are going to be the ideal tools to help you gain more control over the look of your blog or website.
Using WordPress Page Builders allows you to use drag and drop tool to layout your design and the various parts of the article you are working on.
It is also far easier than messing with code and often even hiring a designer that doesn't properly understand what you want to create and slows down the process.
Does the idea of controlling every aspect of your website without learning any code excite you?
All without compromising the SEO friendliness and benefits of using WordPress?
Next time you start a blog if you haven't already done so you must try using a page builder.
Traditionally you would have to use a tool like Squarespace or even Wix (if you dare) these tools may look good on the surface but they simply do not compare to the flexibility of WordPress.
There are many WordPress plugins that have come out over the years to solve this problem but the majority fall short so in this ranking post we are only going to focus on the ones I recommend.
Why use a Page Builder?
Many bloggers and website owners find the default WordPress post and page editor was also known as a WYSIWYG Editor (What You See is What You Get) to be very restrictive and more like a word processor than a tool for designing a page of web content.
The default editor (pictured above) contains only rudimentary tools that allow you to change aspects of the text, insert images, add bullet point lists and that's about it.
With a page builder plugin running on the front end of a website suddenly the possibilities are endless.
Not too many moons ago it was frowned upon to use a Page Builder plugin as not good form however those days have gone and now even some of the most established websites have adopted them.
What is the reason for this change?
- Preference for ease of use - There's a lot of demand for easier to use tools for end users.
- Improved Tools - Over the years the tools and approach taken have been greatly refined.
- Saving money - You can get a lot more done and save money when you are able to take control of your content layouts.
If you are starting your first blog or WordPress website you will likely find it overwhelming and difficult to change various aspects of your site.
There are a lot of WordPress themes available out there many of which are beautiful but not always 100% perfect for your purpose.
So inevitably you want to make some changes only to discover they require you to learn how to code and understand the subtleties of CSS, HTML and even PHP.
If you want the ability to break your content into columns and add various visual elements the default WordPress WYSIWYG will feel very limiting and more like using Microsoft Word than a website builder.
With page builders, you can drag and drop various "modules" into rows and columns to create the perfect layout for any page or post on your site.
Page builders include a variety of components allowing you to include images, content sliders, videos, buttons and various other elements in amongst the text on your page.
We are evaluating these WordPress plugins based on user-friendliness, flexibility, design, and speed.
First on the list is what I consider the most comprehensive page builder plugin and the tool we use on this website.
Page Builder has only been around for a couple of years but in that short time has cemented itself as one of the premier options for designing your WordPress site.
In 2017 Beaver Builder updated their tool and released version 2 which brought us a more intuitive and user-friendly design experience and also massively improved the speed of developing pages.
The one concern many had About Beaver Builder 1.0 was the speed issue while adding your sections and making design changes there was a slight delay however that is no longer the case and working with Beaver Builder is now lightning fast!
Below is a screenshot showing the interface while editing a page. On the right-hand side, you will see a drop down with various modules you are able to drag and drop anywhere within the editable space.
It is incredibly easy to learn not only because it's user-friendly interface but also because when you first install it on a website you are taken through an onboarding tour to make sure you know where everything is.
Every module comes with an array of options you can adjust from style related options to sizing and content.
Pricing starts at $99 which allows you to install Beaver Builder plugin on as many websites as you desire.
In addition a sister product "Beaver Themer" allows you to design global elements like headers and footers and also templates within your themes.
Beaver Builder has full support for WooCommerce allowing you to gain more control over your eCommerce stores design and layout than ever before.
Conclusion: Beaver Builder is both easy to use, fast and allows you to easily design beautiful web pages very quickly.
There is a free "Lite" version of Beaver Builder on the WordPress plugin repository, the premium version of the plugin, on the other hand, is far more powerful featuring more templates and modules than the free offering.
Still not convinced? Did you know WPEngine use BeaverBuilder for their main website now? That is a pretty big vote of confidence.
For that reason, if you are looking for a free Page Builder then Elementor is probably your best bet!
Though keep in mind, if you have a budget our best pick is still Beaver Builder.
The first thing that impressed me about Elementor when compared to many of the options like Visual Composer over the years is how quick it is to work and how fast my website loaded.
Elementor also has one of the cleanest interfaces for a front-end editor with an attractive graphical menu on the left-hand side featuring the different elements you can use.
It's as simple as dragging and dropping columns or other modules like headings, images or text editors where you want them and begin editing.
Elementor includes some very attractive ready-made templates that you can use to bootstrap and save even more time, then customize from there to your heart's content.
The free version is of course "Free" but the premium version is still affordable at just Pricing: $49 for a single site license and $199 for unlimited sites if you are a developer or you are launching numerous websites.
The website features extensive documentation and videos on how to use the product to its full potential.
Conclusion: One of the best page builder plugins on the market. It's fast, user-friendly and won't leave a dent in your pocket.
Elementor may not be our #1 choice but it comes in at a close second with a great user experience and a wide range of templates and modules available to bring your web pages to life.
Some Page Builders are also designed to work with specific themes or themes from a specific company.
This is the case with Thrive Architect from Thrive Themes who have a large library of themes to choose from all of which are compatible with the Thrive Architect plugin.
Some may remember Thrive Architect by its former name "Thrive Content Builder" which started off as an extension to their themes and has since grown into a more comprehensive product in its own right.
The user interface is similar to Elementor plugin and while maybe not quite as clean it certainly does the job.
One module I really like in Thrive Architect page builder is the table option that allows you to put nice comparison tables and display data in an elegant format within your pages and posts.
Thrive loads and operates very quickly compared with the majority of page builders out there but I'm not convinced it's faster than Beaver Builder and Elementor.
Conclusion: Another great option, particularly if you like the Thrive themes and want to use one.
While Thrive comes in third place in our ratings don't let that fool you as I could have included another 5-page builders in this list that don't even deserve to be put into the same category.
So I didn't. 🙂 Why waste time telling you about plugins you don't need to hear about when I could be spending time working on the next useful piece guide for you wonderful people.
Best WordPress Page Builder Conclusion
There we have it, that's our roundup of the best page builder plugins for WordPress.
Our winner in 2024 is still without a doubt the infamous Beaver Builder 2.0. I am excited to see what the developers do over the next 12 months.
Elementor is a great alternative if you find you don't like working with Beaver Builder but we doubt that!
Both Beaver Builder and Elementor are both compatible with the most common and popular theme and I have personally tested them with the default WordPress theme, Genesis by Studiopress and Generatepress and can confirm they both work as expected.
Notable mentions but not worth going into detail about include Site Origins Visual Composer which was one of the first page builders, however, has always been a nightmare to work with.
Then there is Divi, part theme part plugin which looks beautiful on the surface but is hard to work with, slow loading and lacks the simplicity, cleanliness, and flexibility offered by our top 3.
There may be instances where you want a page builder for building landing pages that don't require WordPress. If this sounds like you then you should check out our Click Funnels review and comparison with Leadpages at ClickFunnels Sales Funnels and Landing Pages.
Related Reading: See my recommended WordPress plugins for your website or blog.
We would love to hear which of the above is your favorite in the comments, or do you prefer an alternative? Let us know!
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Web Designer, Digital Marketer & Entrepreneur with over a decades worth of experience helping small and medium sized businesses evolve and adapt to the modern digital marketplace.