Building an awesome website can be complicated, even if you’re an experienced developer. Some platforms make the process simpler – such as WordPress – but they still require you to put in a lot of work. That’s where WordPress page builders come in.
Page builders are tools that enable you to put together websites in record time, by providing you with pre-built elements you can arrange in any way you want. You can insert them into your pages, move them around, and see the effects immediately.
In this article, we’re going to talk about what page builders do and why you might want to use one. Then we’ll introduce you to five of our favorite options, and compare them to help you pick the right one. Let’s get started!
Five best drag-and-drop WordPress page builders compared (in a nutshell)
If you don’t have time to go through our full comparison, don’t worry – you can check out the key points right here:
|Beaver Builder||Elementor||Divi Builder||Upfront Builder||Visual Composer|
|Compatible with multiple themes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Responsive out of the box||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Includes pre-built page templates||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Supports CSS customization||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ready for translation||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Ease of use (on a scale from 1 to 5)||5||4.5||4||3.5||4|
|Starting price||Free||Free||$89 per year||$49 per month||$34 per license|
However, there’s a lot more to each of these tools than a simple chart can convey, so we recommend you take the time to go through our full analysis below. After all, one of these WordPress page builders could prove invaluable in helping you create your next website.
What WordPress page builders are (and why you might need one)
Page builder is a broad term, encompassing many tools that enable you to build a website from scratch. In most cases, they do this by providing you with drag-and-drop functionality and pre-built components that can be customized. For example, you might be able to click on a button access a contact form, place it wherever you want on your page, and personalize its appearance and functionality.
WordPress page builders make it easier for users of all skill levels to create awesome websites, by:
- Making it possible to build custom pages without a background in web development.
- Letting you customize complex elements and features with a few clicks.
- Including drag-and-drop functionality, so you can arrange all the elements on your pages as you see fit.
- Enabling you to preview how your site will look when it goes live.
The key to choosing a good page builder is to focus on two key criteria: a broad selection of elements to add to your site, and ease of use. Let’s talk about some options that fit both bills.
Five outstanding drag-and-drop WordPress page builders compared (in full)
Before we move forward, it’s worth mentioning that not all page builders include drag-and-drop functionality. However, we feel this feature is a key component of what makes these tools so easy to use, so we decided to focus only on page builders with drag-and-drop options.
- Includes a collection of pre-built layouts
- Is optimized for mobile devices
- Supports the use of custom CSS classes and IDs
- Provides compatibility with other WordPress widgets and shortcodes
- Includes a visual front-end editor
- Provides you with a library of ready-to-go page templates
- Adapts well to mobile devices
- Supports customization using CSS
- Is compatible with translation plugins such as WPML and Polylang
- Lets you create pages using a front-end visual editor
Elementor is available for free, but you can also opt for its premium alternative (from $49) with additional features.
3. Divi Builder
- Offers a flexible layout system
- Provides access to a broad range of layouts
- Includes fully customizable elements that support custom CSS
- Supports both back- and front-end editing for any page
- Was created with responsiveness in mind
The Divi Builder is a premium plugin available to Elegant Themes subscribers (from $89 / year).
- Lets you edit any website running the Upfront theme and save your customizations
- Provides access to Upfront creations made by other users
- Generates basic pages automatically (including layouts)
- Supports responsive designs
The Upfront Builder is available only to WPMU DEV subscribers (from $49 / month).
- Includes an extensive collection of pre-made layouts
- Supports CSS customizations for all of its elements
- Is fully compatible with translation plugins such as WPML
- Lets you edit any page using a front-end visual editor
Visual Composer is a premium plugin ($34), but it also ships for free with plenty of themes.
Building a website isn’t the kind of task you can knock out in a few hours. However, WordPress page builders can definitely help you speed up the process. In most cases, they’ll enable you to add complex elements to your site easily and arrange them in any way you’d like.
If you want to test one of these tools for yourself, here are our top five suggestions:
- Beaver Builder: It’s hard to find a front-end builder that’s easier to use.
- Elementor: This modern page builder is a good choice for both newbies and experienced WordPress users.
- Divi Builder: For Elegant Themes members, this is a powerful site builder with a wide range of features.
- Upfront Builder: If you’re a WPMU DEV user, this is probably the best choice for you.
- Visual Composer: This highly-popular page builder is compatible with a lot of themes, and is very user-friendly.
- If you want to look through the other popular options available out there, check out this roundup. (Also includes MotoPress Content Editor, SiteOrigin Page Builder, Live Composer.)
Do you have any questions about how to choose the best WordPress page builder? Ask away in the comments section below!