Elementor: Jump on the Builder Bandwagon
Lately I’ve been hearing about more and more agencies and freelancers switching to using Elementor for building WordPress sites. Elementor is a front-end builder for WordPress that’s highly visual and meant to be more intuitive than other builders. It’s a drag-and-drop builder that doesn’t require coding. It’s a relatively new builder—it’s only been around since 2016—but it boasts more than a million active installs already. It’s also a favorite of mine.
What makes Elementor stand apart from the rest, for me, is that it’s easy to use and is, as advertised, generally intuitive. It’s easy to find where I need to make modifications to customize a site, which saves a lot of time. Elementor has easy-to-use styling options that pretty much eliminate the need for writing custom CSS, which also saves a lot of time (and frustration). However, if further customization is necessary, the HTML/CSS code is easily accessible and modifiable. Additionally, even if you uninstall Elementor, the HTML code you entered remains clean.
Elementor is also flexible. It works well with most themes, but it’s also easy to start a site from a blank canvas and create a custom design. Working well with themes, but making them easy to customize is very useful; however, being able to start from a blank canvas and create that custom design that’s perfect for a client, without having to code everything from scratch, is priceless. Also, within Elementor, it’s easy to save templates and styles that you’re using over and over so that you don’t have to make the same changes again and again.
Elementor makes building headers and footers easy. Just like the body of the pages, customizing the headers and footers is done visually; no coding necessary. You can also add a sticky header (a header or navigation bar that remains at the top of the page when you scroll) to the page or across the entire site without having to use additional plugins.
Elementor also makes blog pages easy to deal with. You can effortlessly add single blog posts and create a template to apply to others. You can also quickly create archives for older blog posts but still leave them accessible for users.
Elementor features the ability to easily switch between desktop, tablet, and mobile views so that you can quickly see how your site will look between the three. Considering that many people look at sites through their phones rather than from PCs, this feature is essential to ensure your site looks great across all three viewing possibilities.
There are several other workflow features within Elementor that make it easy to use. It automatically saves your progress, so you don’t have to keep reminding yourself to click save. You can use Ctrl-Z (or CMD-Z) to undo recent mistakes. You can copy and paste any element to create a new one elsewhere on the page or on a different page. You can copy and paste the style of any element to another element. You can work in draft mode so that your changes aren’t published to a live site while your work is in progress. There’s a revision history, so you can look back and retrace your steps, if necessary.
Elementor has a powerful free version that is useful for many situations. However, if you’re part of an agency or are a freelancer who is building sites regularly, paying for the pro version is worthwhile for the additional powerful widgets that are offered. Widgets such as one for a form builder, one for animated headlines, and ones that make working with social media easier are often well worth the money for the specific needs of clients. There are also integrations for things like MailChimp and reCAPTCHA that make the pro version helpful. Know that the pro version of Elementor is offered on sale occasionally, so keep an eye out for that if your budget is tight. They also offer a discount on renewals.
Elementor has great customer support available. There’s good documentation available about how to work with it, including a Getting Started guide, documents, video tutorials, and a FAQ. There’s also a Facebook group and a Github Developers’ Community where you can ask questions and get quick responses. Of course, if you’re a user of the pro version, you can also contact the company for support.
Even if you have a favorite framework and builder you like, give Elementor a try. You might be surprised by how much you like it.