When it comes to Content Management Systems (CMS) WordPress has cornered the market. It has been just over a decade since being introduced, and it is now responsible for close to 80 million websites around the world. Used in over 120 different languages, WordPress accounts for almost half of all internet sites that use a CMS, including many of the sites that you have tagged as a favorite.
One of the more enticing features of WordPress is the ability to customize each page or post using a variety of plug-ins and tools. The chosen theme of the site remains the same, but the pages are individualized to relate directly to the content. Over the last year there have been a number of drag and drop page builders made available to WordPress publishers that allow the user to structure individual pages with a minimal amount of effort and time.
Page builders are fantastic additions for amateur website creators who want posts and pages made with a high quality design, but don’t want to have to know about coding. The pages are developed rapidly with a minimal amount of effort at a low cost, or even for free. These can assist just about anyone, regardless of technical knowledge, create web pages that look and act professional.
These Are The Best WordPress Page Builders…
Elegant Themes Drag and Drop Builder Plugin
The page builder plug-in from Elegant Themes is offered only as a part of their Developer Package, but well worth it if you want a simple solution to customizing your individual posts. The 17 different widgets are easily added by simply dragging and dropping where you want on the page. You can then make them the right size by dragging the edge, the same way you would a word document on your desktop. There are some common widgets that are obviously missing, like social media share buttons, but that is the trade-off for simplicity.
Once you download and activate this advanced plug-in it will show up right underneath the WordPress editor, making it easy to access, use and see all of your changes. The modules that you add to the posts are also fully customizable depending on which ones you are working with. For example, if you choose to animate an effect on your page you will be prompted to not only choose the size of the animated object but also the duration of time it will run. Specialized settings like this give you complete control over how a page looks to readers.
The Elegant Themes page builder plug-in includes options for creating columns in your posts, message and alert boxes that help important points on your page stand out, and eye-appealing buttons that help to improve engagement and click through rates on your pages. This is a plug-in worth considering if you want the look of the inner pages of your website to really stand out without having to work too hard to get there.
Themify Page Builder
Themify Builder is a Canadian based cloud solution for both theme and page building. While there is no coding knowledge necessary to work with the program, its advanced features make it more appropriate for users who are technically inclined. The drag and drop page builder comes with any Themify theme of your choice, along with a number of pre-built layouts and different color schemes to customize individual posts.
You can purchase the page builder separately for $49 as a plug-in but it does give you more flexibility when used in conjunction with Themify Themes. With this, you are enabled to make columns in your posts with ease, and control the exact placement of your images. All of which is done quickly and easily without the use of special codes.
Besides being an intuitive page builder and offering a variety of solutions for building creative web pages, Themify Builder also has an exceptional support system in place. Not only are there extensive forums that cover a wide range of topics from other users, you can ask for direct support and typically get a response within 24 hours. This feature is particularly helpful for site owners who are attempting to develop and run their WordPress website without the help of a professional.
Live Composer works in a similar way to the Headway WordPress framework, with the edit option for the added widgets located right on the bottom of the page. Instead of having Live Composer underneath your main WordPress post editor, it lets you design the pages right on your live website so that you can see how the elements look and work as you are placing them instead of having to switch back and forth.
Not only can you use Live Composer to create new templates, these can then be exported to be used for other posts on the site or even other sites altogether. For a website that creates a lot of content on a consistent basis, this is a time saving feature to take advantage of.
The disadvantage of Live Composer is that with its advanced features and over 30 different modules to consider, it may take a novice website designer some time to learn how to use them all. Yet once you get used to how the interface works, you should have no problems in creating unique pages that look professionally done.
Aqua Page Builder
You will find Aqua Page Builder right in the “appearance” settings of your WordPress administration center. This free plug-in works the same way as your WordPress widget interface does, so you should grow comfortable using it almost immediately. There are limited elements included with Aqua Page Builder, which could be a good feature for an amateur website owner who is just getting started on customizing pages.
The drag and drop process when working with Aqua Page Builder is intuitive, making it quick to create a page that looks the way you want it to. You can also import and export to other pages if you want to create uniformity in your site.
Although fairly simple compared to other page builders, you do get features like columns, alerts and Google Maps with the free download. This is a good way to get acquainted with the types of options you want at no cost to you before investing in a more advanced page building system.
WR Page Builder
This fully responsive page builder from Woo Rockets is located right next to your WordPress editor once installed. The interface allows you to go back and full between compact and full preview mode to see what you have created without waiting for the front-end to load. Once complete it adapts automatically to whatever device it is being viewed on, changing size to make it easier for your readers to see and interact with.
Featuring elements like pricing tables, promotion boxes and content lists, you are able add widgets to any page in your WordPress editor with WR Page Builder. Previously sold as IG Page Builder, the updated version is offered for free with upgrades available for advanced users.
The user is completely control when using WR Page Builder. Layout options include columns and rows whose width can be changed, customized backgrounds, and padding. Advanced users can switch easily to the classic editor to view the shortcodes when needed. You will have no problem implementing the functions of WR Page Builder with any theme you have chosen for your website.
There are over 500,000 websites whose pages are being designed with Visual Composer. This is a premium plug-in that gives site managers access to over 40 different content elements that are all set and ready to use. You choose whether you want to design the page from the front or back end, using any theme that appeals to you.
Some of the more popular features that are offered with Visual Composer include sliders that connect readers to your best content, social media widgets, Flickr widgets, image galleries and enticing buttons for calls to action. Even with all of these capabilities, its drag and drop action make it very easy to implement.
You might get lost in exploring all of the options available with each element, but once you have satisfied your curiosity for all that this plug-in is capable of, you will have total control over the way in which your pages appear and are utilized. Even the most inexperienced site builder can achieve professional looking results with their pages if they are willing to spend some time getting to know Visual Composer. Downloading the plug-in will cost $30, but the flexibility and wide range of options makes it money well spent if you are working with a high number of pages or multiple websites that you want to all appear unique.
Page Builder by SiteOrigin
SiteOrigin offers a free page builder that focuses its attention on creating pages that are easily accessible, read and utilized on mobile devices. With the number of users accessing the web by phone increasing daily, having a page builder that understands how a linear layout is not always effective is priceless.
The toolbar looks and behaves exactly the way your WordPress toolbar is designed, and SiteOrigin works with most of the widgets already available to you plus adds a few of its own like a gallery, post loop and images. It integrates seamlessly into any theme you have chosen, and the content will remain the same even if you decide to go with a new one.
Two of the more compelling aspects of SiteOrigin’s page builder plug-in is its ability to edit work in real time with an exact preview of your content. You can also go back and forth between versions of the page you are working to see the progression of changes you have made and pinpoint the one that looks and feels the most valuable. Having an interface that looks and acts like what users are already accustomed to is the reason behind the 500,000 websites that are being developed using this plug-in.
What stands out with VelocityPage is its capability to start right from the beginning and create your own template, not just drag and drop widgets to a pre-set one. This allows you to fully customize every page of your website to be 100% unique. Created by a lead developer at WordPress, Velocity integrates into almost all of their themes perfectly.
The Basic license for one website costs $97, but comes with a year of full support and an unprecedented 30 day money back guarantee. This is a big vote of confidence from its creators in how well the plug-in works at enhancing web pages with ease.
Velocity’s strength is in its landing page capabilities. With just a few clicks you can have yours up and running, yet looking as if it took weeks to create. The interface is simple to operate, and coming from a WordPress developer, not much different than what you are already used to. For having just been released within the last year, Velocity has already created a good amount of positive buzz.
Users can take advantage of the abundance of features offered by Beaver Builder with any WordPress theme, even those that have been custom designed. Or you can purchase the plan that includes the Beaver Builder theme. Either way, any changes made to the pages using Beaver Builder are not directly connected to the theme. This means that if you decide to go with a whole new look for the site you won’t lose the individual widgets you added to each page.
Unlike other page builders, Beaver Builder is a completely front end program. This means that as you are adding and editing your posts and pages you are able to see the content in the same manner as your readers will. This makes it incredibly easy to navigate and ensure that all of the widgets and other tools you wanted have been included on the page in the right place. Not only does this take the guesswork out of trying to determine if the page is laid out logically, it saves you time from having to keep switching back and forth and waiting for pages to reload.
Beaver Builder further assists the user by offering 11 layouts for some of the more popular website pages such as a blog archives page, about us, contact, portfolios and services. These are completely customizable or usable as they are. You can even fix it so that these pages double as a landing page for the website. This feature is perfect for a business that is attempting to make their site appear more professional.
Awesome Builder is one of the newer drag and drop page builders, having just been released in January of 2014. With this page builder you have access to over 25 different widgets including common ones like your social media buttons, alongside more advanced features like a Flickr photo stream. You can also use the import and export system if you create an amazing layout that you want to duplicate on subsequent pages.
Awesome Builder allows you to customize pages and change the layout for desk top, tablet and mobile web users. The tab to change between devices is easily accessed from the top of your page, and you can toggle between them to see how they look as you go. Another interesting aspect is the page builder’s capability to add animation to any of the added widgets. With this eye-catching feature it is easy to lead the reader to your call to action or other important aspect of your page.
The Awesome Builder plug-in can also be adapted into any language, making it easy for website owner around the world to use. Any template you create can be duplicated and saved if you want to use the same design on future pages and posts. There are many options with this plug-in, but with the ease of use an amateur will quickly catch on to how they all work.
While WP Page Builders are great, are they the best solution for your needs?
WordPress page builders are awesome, especially if you are already working with WordPress, but if you are still considering what platform to use to build your website, you should keep in mind that compared to actual website builders, WP pages builders are constrained and limited by the theme they are using and might not result in a responsive web page that looks good on all devices.
Also, some page builders only work on certain themes, so if you would want to change your wordpress theme in the future, you might find yourself in need of a new page builder, paying the $10-$50 again.
WordPress Page Builders Vs Website builders
WordPress started as a free platform to allow people to create blogs with ease, but over the years, it has evolved into a content management system for virtually all types of websites. However, this does not mean things cannot get any easier and better than this. There are some shortcomings to third party wordpress page builders that have been overcome by the various website builders available in the market.
WYSIWYG website builders are amazing tools that let you drag and drop a picture, page, sub page, blog posts, videos, and pretty much any of the critical components of the website. Some well known WYSIWYG website builders power millions of websites worldwide.
Once you have populated the website with content, all you need to do is save the additions and publish your website. What you see on the screen when you are editing is what will show up the same way when you publish your website. This makes website creation powerful, straightforward, and extremely simple. Almost anyone can drag content, upload text and pictures, and publish them without writing a line of code, and that is the beauty of website builders.
Most website builders give you a lot of design flexibility compared to any of the third party WordPress page builders, and give you a lot of control over the style. By this we mean flexibility of where you can place content, access to CSS/HTML codes to make customizations, or the tools provided to make modifications to the design.
If we compare the popular website creators and third party wordpress page creators you will find that there are few wordpress creators that are as easy to use as any of the website builders. You can drag any component of the page to just about anywhere.
Website builders offer a greater ease of use and control over creativity, and you can create an effective web presence more quickly and easily than you can even imagine.
There is a whole world of WordPress page builders available out there, and the best of them are listed above. However, for a more simplistic design experience you should consider a website builder.
If you need an image rich, professional looking website with minimal bells and whistles, without having to put in much time and effort then website builders such as IM Creator make the best choice.