Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder

With the release of the new block editor in WordPress 5.0 (aka Gutenberg), you may be questioning whether it will replace plugins that provide similar visual content building functionality. That is, when it comes to the Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder, how do the tools compare and which one is right for you?

While the new Gutenberg block editor does bring more visual design and drag-and-drop editing, it’s not exactly a replacement for page builder plugins quite yet. This means many users can still benefit from using an additional tool.

In this post, we’ll compare the new Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder to help you decide which to use.

In general, the Gutenberg block editor is a good substitute for basic content and layouts, but you’ll be happier with a page builder like Elementor or Divi Builder if you want pinpoint style and spacing control over your designs.

A quick introduction to the new Gutenberg block editor

In WordPress 5.0, WordPress replaced the old TinyMCE editor with a new block editor, which was named Gutenberg while under development.

If you’re not sure what the Gutenberg block editor is or how it works, check out our posts on “What is Gutenberg” and “Gutenberg for Newbies“.

While the new block editor opens up a lot of new design possibilities, it’s not yet a 1:1 replacement for page builders, which we’ll illustrate by comparing the Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder.

Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder: A full comparison

We’ve already introduced the new block editor – let’s do the same for the other two tools we’ll be looking at. First up, Elementor is a hugely popular page builder for WordPress:

This plugin offers a wide range of elements and templates you can use to build your content. The free version enables you to design your pages and posts using a drag-and-drop system. If you opt for the premium version, you’ll be able to use its Theme Builder to customize almost every part of your site’s layout and design. Check out our Elementor full review to learn more, as well as our comparison of Elementor free vs Pro.

Likewise, the Divi Builder is a perennial favorite among WordPress users:

The Divi Builder website.

Here, you also get access to a large library of elements, along with plenty of customization options, and the ability to create nearly any layout you’d like. There’s no free version, though. It’s only available as part of the $89 Elegant Themes membership.

Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder: Specific features

To start things off, let’s take a look a each tool’s features.

Gutenberg block editor

Here’s what you can do in the Gutenberg block editor:

  • Create pages, posts, and custom content types using a drag-and-drop editor.
  • Use 25+ blocks to create content, including essentials such as text and images, as well as some more advanced options like tables and buttons.
  • Customize a few options for each block, as well as some document-wide settings.
  • Rearrange blocks at will, and add or delete as many as you’d like.
  • Create a very basic multi-column layout.

Overall, the block editor provides a functional drag-and-drop system. However, these features are also standard in most page builder plugins. Given this, let’s look only at what’s unique in Gutenberg vs Elementor vs Divi Builder.

Elementor

With Elementor, for example, you get:

  • Access to about 30 different ‘elements’ (this plugin’s name for blocks).
  • A library of page and section templates you can use.
  • The option to create more complex layouts, with multiple columns.
  • Much more control over spacing, like margins and padding.
  • More style options for each widget and section.
  • More advanced features such as maps, image carousels, and accordion tabs (the premium version also offers forums, slides, pricing lists, and more).
  • The ability to design your headers, footers, and other parts of your site with the premium version.

Divi

What about Divi? With this page builder, you can:

  • Use 45+ customizable ‘modules’ (another name for elements or blocks) to build your content.
  • Choose from advanced features such as portfolios, testimonials, maps, forms, counters, and much more.
  • Create complex layouts, with multiple columns and even a mix of full-width and multi-column rows.
  • Add custom margins and padding to control spacing.
  • Save your designs to be easily reused later.
  • Use lots of style controls to change how modules look.

As you can see, some of the areas where both Elementor and Divi excel in comparison to the Gutenberg block editor is when it comes to things like columns, spacing, and style controls.

The block editor is totally fine for basic layouts and styling. But if you want pinpoint control over your designs, you’ll be happier with Elementor or Divi’s features.

Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder: Ease of use

Next, let’s take a look at what it’s like to use each of these page builder systems.

Gutenberg block editor

When you create a post or page in the Gutenberg block editor, you’ll usually see the following interface:

The Gutenberg interface.

It’s simple and clean, and there are some handy tooltip prompts to show you the ropes. Adding blocks is as straightforward as clicking on the Plus sign, and choosing an element:

Adding a block in Gutenberg.

When you’ve placed multiple blocks, you can click each one to access its unique settings, and also reorder them. The interface could be a little more intuitive, but the tooltips will get you up and running quickly.

Elementor

On the other hand, Elementor provides an entirely new interface. You get a live preview of your site on the right and a sidebar on the left:

The ELementor interface.

To add new content, you can just drag a widget from the sidebar onto your live design:

An image in Elementor.

The customization options for the specific element will appear in the left-hand sidebar. You can also select the elements themselves to duplicate, delete, and move them (among other things).

Divi

Divi is unique in that it gives you two different ways to build your designs. First, you can use this abstract builder where your content is represented by generic blocks:

The Divi Builder interface.

Or, you can open the Visual Builder, which lets you build your design on a live preview of your page, much like Elementor. Rather than a fixed sidebar, though, you’ll add elements using a series of popups:

Visual builder in Divi

No matter which interface you choose, you’ll be able to edit your modules and sections using more popup interfaces, rather than a sidebar like the block editor or Elementor:

Module settings in The Divi Builder.

Overall, the Gutenberg block editor certainly offers the simplest interface. Even so, we think Elementor’s is the most intuitive, while Divi’s is more flexible (but does come with a learning curve).

Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder: Which one should you use?

Now for the million dollar question – which editor should you use?

If you’re already using Divi or Elementor to work on your site, we wouldn’t recommend switching over to using Gutenberg instead. Not only is this likely to play havoc with your existing layouts, but in its current version, the new block editor is just too simple to be a solid replacement for most users.

On the other hand, if you’ve never used a page builder before, Gutenberg is a great way to get started. It’s simple and easy to use, and will help you determine whether you like using a drag-and-drop system to create content.

If you like the way Gutenberg works but find yourself wanting more flexibility, you can try out Elementor or Divi. Elementor is ideal if you want an intuitive and user-friendly interface, while Divi is your best bet if you want the utmost in options and design possibilities.

Also, remember that you don’t necessarily need to pick one or the other. You can use the Gutenberg block editor for day-to-day designs and then switch to Elementor or Divi Builder when you need a little more power. Or, you can even insert Elementor templates into your Gutenberg designs thanks to Elementor’s free official block plugin (here).

Do you have any other questions about the Gutenberg block editor vs Elementor vs Divi Builder? Ask away in the comments section below!
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