Basically Elementor falls short of Jetpack and Yoast SEO when it comes to popularity.
But why is it so popular and is it the best tool for your WordPress site?
In my Elementor practice review, I will help you decide if Elementor and / or Elementor Pro are right for your needs. Basically Elementor falls short of Jetpack and Yoast SEO when it comes to popularity.
To help you make that decision, this is what I’ll cover:
- How Elementor’s Basic Interface Works
- What do you get if you upgrade to Elementor Pro
- Whether you need Elementor Pro or not (or just the free version)
How Elementor Plugin Works
First things first: Elementor is a visual drag-and-drop WordPress page builder plugin.
Basically, Elementor allows you to create custom layouts without needing to know anything about the code; everything is visual and point-and-click.
When you launch the Elementor interface, you’ll see a live preview of your design on the right and a sidebar on the left.
To create your design, you can:
- Use “sections” and “columns” to control the layout of your layout.
- Drag widgets from the left sidebar to your live preview to add new content.
- Rearrange widgets in live preview using drag and drop.
- Click and type to edit the text for your design.
- Use the sidebar to control the style and content of individual sections, columns, or widgets.
- Right click to delete, duplicate or manipulate items.
As for the content itself, the free version of Elementor gives you plenty of content widgets for things like:
- Google Maps integrated
If you don’t want to create your designs from scratch, Elementor also comes with hundreds of professionally designed templates that you can import. This feature alone allows you to create beautiful pages in WordPress.
However, Elementor Pro extends this main interface with a number of useful features, which I will focus on for most of this Elementor review.
Later I will help you choose between Free and Pro Elementor.
Elementor Pro Review: What You Get
Elementor Pro is technically a paid add-on plugin for the free core Elementor plugin at WordPress.org. That is, you get the exact same interface at a basic level…just with new features, widgets, and style options.
Two of the most powerful features are the ability to apply the Elementor interface to different types of content.
With the free version, you can design the content that would go “inside” the regular WordPress editor. Elementor Pro expands that in two ways:
- Theme Builder – you can design the templates for your header, footer, single posts (e.g. a single blog post), and archives (e.g. list of all your blog posts). You can also apply this to your WooCommerce store with WooCommerce Builder.
- Popup Builder – you can design custom popups using the full Elementor interface and display them anywhere on your site.
You’ll also get the ability to insert dynamic content in your designs. Dynamic content could come from your WordPress site — such as the name of a registered user — or it could come from custom fields — such as Advanced Custom Fields or Pods.
For example, with dynamic content and Popup Builder, you could create a custom welcome popup that greets registered users by name.
Beyond those features, you also get new widgets that you can use. These widgets can replace many other premium plugins, which makes Elementor Pro a good value. For example, you’ll get widgets for:
- Forms (including integrations with Zapier and some email marketing services)
- Social share buttons
Finally, you’ll also get lots of new design options, such as:
- Motion effects (e.g. parallax)
- Custom positioning
- Option to add custom CSS to individual widgets or sections
And for more design flexibility, you also unlock the full importable template library of over 300+ pro templates.
Elementor Pro gets you access to every single feature above for one price, starting at $49 for a single site:
Let’s take a hands-on look at some of the most useful features…
Elementor Theme Builder
With Elementor Theme Builder, you can essentially completely eliminate the need for a WordPress theme and design 100% of your site using Elementor’s drag-and-drop interface.
Or, you could just surgically replace parts of your existing theme that you want a little more control over. For example, you could design a custom header to replace your theme’s header but leave everything else intact.
With Theme Builder, you get the ability to create unlimited templates for your:
- Single (e.g. a single blog post or custom post type)
- Archive (e.g. your list of blog posts or a list of a custom post type)
- WooCommerce shop page
- WooCommerce single products
The main difference between creating templates and using Elementor to design a single piece of content is that you can automatically apply templates to some or all of your site.
For example, if you design a single blog post template, you can automatically assign that template to every single blog post you publish (or all the blog posts with a specific category, tag, author, etc.).
Once you choose the type of template you want to create, you’ll be launched into the regular Elementor interface. The only difference is that you’ll get some new content widgets that apply to that template.
For example, if you’re designing a “Single” template for your blog posts, you’ll get dedicated widgets to help you insert a post’s:
You can also insert other types of dynamic content, which I’ll cover in a second.
Once you’re finished, you can publish your template.
For each template, you can either apply it sitewide or just to specific parts of your site, which is super useful.
For example, if you publish product reviews, you could use Elementor to design a custom template for just your product reviews, but not your other blog posts:
Dynamic content is another powerful feature that you can use in Theme Builder or other Elementor layouts.
As the name suggests, dynamic content allows you to dynamically insert content from somewhere on your WordPress site.
For example, if you create a custom user profile page, you can automatically insert the name of a logged in user in a text widget. Or, if you are using custom fields, you can automatically insert custom field data into a widget.
Dynamic content can be:
To insert dynamic content, you must first add a regular widget. For example, if you want to extract dynamic text content, you can add a text editor widget.
Then you can click the icon to open the dynamic content interface:
From there, you can use the drop-down menu to select the content you want to insert. If you are using Advanced Custom Fields, Toolkit, Pods, or Meta Box, you will also be able to display the custom fields from these plugins in this interface.
Elementor Popup Builder
Elementor Popup Builder is another powerful feature that can eliminate the need to use tools like OptinMonster.
With it, you can use the normal Elementor interface and all the features you saw above to design custom pop-ups.
You will be able to use the entire selection of Elementor widgets, which means you can create:
- Opt for pop-ups with the form widget
- Social sharing pop-ups with the Social Share widget
- Login / registration pop-ups with login widget
You will also have full control over the size of the popup and the input animation, which means you can create:
- Centered pop-up
- Notification bars
- Full screen fill
Once you’ve designed your pop-up window, you can publish it to choose from a wide selection of targeting and trigger rules.
The Conditions tab allows you to apply your popup to certain content on your site:
Trigger rules include:
- Time on page
- Exit attempt
- After inactivity
- Scroll depth (either a percentage or a specific item)
And the Advanced Rules tab gives you more options to target your pop-ups:
In terms of design flexibility, Elementor Popup Builder is actually more flexible than most dedicated WordPress pop-up plugins. However, it doesn’t include built-in analytics or A / B testing, which might be something to consider.
Elementor Free vs Pro: Which Should You Use?
Now that you have a good understanding of what you can do with Elementor and Elementor Pro, let’s continue to help you decide which tool is best for your site.
First of all, do you need the Elementor plugin?
Before deciding whether you need Elementor Pro or not, it is important to determine if you need Elementor in the first place.
Elementor is a great tool, as evidenced by its popularity. However, you shouldn’t automatically assume that you need to use Elementor.
If you just want additional control over your blog posts, the native WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) might be all you need.
Where Elementor comes in handy is if you want more design options. While the Block Editor is good at basic layouts and styles, it still doesn’t come close to Elementor.
For example, Elementor offers you a lot more options when it comes to:
Do you need Elementor Pro?
If you’ve decided that you want the design flexibility of Elementor, the next question is whether or not you should pay for Elementor Pro.
The free version of Elementor is available on WordPress.org, and by itself, it’s pretty flexible already.
However, the Pro version also adds several useful features such as:
- Theme generator
- Popup Generator
- Dynamic content
- New widgets
- Advanced styling options
So who is Elementor Pro the best for?
Site Builders – If you build websites for a living, you will love the theme builder and additional styling options.
Custom Content Sites – If you’re building a custom content site with custom post types and fields, you’ll love Elementor Pro’s ability to create templates and insert dynamic content.
Marketing – If you are a marketer, you will love the pop-up creator so that you can design all kinds of pop-ups and display them anywhere. You can also use the Form widget to create signup forms without leaving Elementor.
Developers: If you are a developer, you will love the developer features, such as the ability to add custom CSS directly to widgets.
Overall, if you want a WordPress page builder plugin, Elementor is definitely one of your best options.
You can see if you like the interface by trying the free version. Then if you do, consider upgrading to Elementor Pro if it fits some of the situations I mentioned above.
Are you using the Elementor plugin? I would like to know how you use it? What are all of the suggestions you have for other Elementor users?