Best WordPress Page Builder Plugin: Page Builder vs Elementor vs Beaver Builder vs Thrive Architect, etc.

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Beaver Builder logo
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Elementor logo
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Thrive Themes Logo

The WordPress page builder plugin marketplace has exploded within the last several years, giving you tons of decidedly different options. Some are free; some give you easy drag-and-drop visual building tools, some offer back-end editing, some have robust design features. The possibilities are endless.

So how do you know which is the best WordPress page builder for your needs with so many contenders? We’ve done our research to bring you all the ins and outs, pros and cons for eight of the most popular builders to help you narrow down the field.

Best WordPress Page Builder Winners

We’ve based our rankings and reviews on several factors, including ease of use, features, compatibility with themes and add-ons, reliability and performance, price, tech support and more.

Beaver Builder Review

Beaver Builder Screenshot

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Beaver Builder is an excellent option for bloggers and web professionals alike. This WordPress page builder plugin has arguably the best front-end page building interface and tools on the market. The easy drag-and-drop editor lets you see exactly how your pages will appear to visitors while you’re building them.

And while they offer a free version, it’s fairly bare bones so you’ll want to upgrade to their premium plugin. Beaver Builder supports posts, pages, and custom post types and gives you amazing-looking templates for both landing pages and content pages, as well as tons of content blocks (tabs, buttons, forms, slideshows, testimonials, pricing tables and more). You can even apply CSS classes easily within the modules for full customization.

Pros

Cons

  • Extremely easy-to-use visual page builder
  • Optimized for fast loading and SEO
  • Works with all WordPress themes
  • Modules are easily customizable
  • Supports core and third-party WordPress widgets and shortcodes
  • Fully responsive (mobile-friendly), with mobile editing
  • Reliable updates
  • Fantastic tech and community support and online resources
  • 4.8/5.0 stars from 255+ users on wordpress.org
  • 30-day refund
  • Pricier than competing WP page builder plugins
  • Free version lacks many features
  • Pro version could use more modern design elements, like box shadows and animations

Beaver Builder Price

While there’s no free trial, Beaver Builder offers a free Lite version and a hosted demo, where you can test drive its many features. You also get a 40% discount on all active license renewals.

 StandardProAgency
Price for Annual License$99$199$399
Unlimited SitesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
1-Year Tech SupportCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Premium Modules & TemplatesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Beaver Builder ThemeCheckmarkCheckmark
Multi-Site CapableCheckmarkCheckmark
White LabelingCheckmark

Elementor Review

Elementor Screenshot

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Elementor comes in a very close second as our pick for the best page builder for WordPress. This plugin offers one of the most feature-loaded free versions on the market. With Elementor, you get a fantastic front-end WordPress drag-and-drop page builder, instant live editing and fast page loading.

The free version comes with 100+ templates, advanced design features, like animations and tons of widgets (called elements). These include counters, image carousels, icon boxes, Google Maps and more. Upgrade to Elementor Pro to enjoy even more functionality, including 20+ additional elements, a visual form builder, full WooCommerce support, the ability to customize your blog posts visually, incorporate slides, global widgets, custom CSS and much more.

Pros

Cons

  • Robust free version
  • Fast front-end live design and inline editing
  • Supports core and third-party WordPress widgets
  • Fully responsive, with mobile editing
  • Can save your elements as global widgets
  • Embed widgets anywhere on your site
  • 4.8/5.0 stars from 490+ users on wordpress.org
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Some users report compatibility problems with their WordPress themes
  • They roll out updates often, not all of which are reliable

Elementor Price

Elementor offers a robust free version and the following Pro pricing for an annual license with a 50% discount on all active license renewals. These packages include one year of support and updates.

  • Personal: $49 for 1 site
  • Business: $99 for 3 sites
  • Unlimited: $199 for unlimited sites

See Elementor in Action

Check out this brief video tour of Elementor to see its stunning user interface.

Thrive Architect Review

 

Screenshot of Thrive Architect

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Thrive Architect, the successor to Thrive Content Builder, is an exciting new entry into the WordPress Page Builder market. This plugin stands out for its conversion-focused features, giving marketers a fantastic tool to boost site visitors and sales. Thrive Architect also integrates easily with all the top email marketing services.

We’ve ranked Thrive Architect third in our reviews because it still has some kinks to work out. Thrive Themes also isn’t known for excellent customer support. But this page builder gives Beaver Builder and Elementor some serious competition. Although there’s no free version, they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Pros

Cons

  • Very affordable with a one-time license fee
  • Fast front-end visual and inline editing
  • Includes 224 conversion-focused landing pages
  • 20+ integrations, including social media and email marketing services
  • Pre-built conversion elements: customizable buttons, testimonials, countdown timers and lead generation forms
  • Fully responsive, with mobile editing
  • Gradient backgrounds and animation effects
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • No free version
  • Lacks global saving
  • Too many settings panels stacked on top of each other
  • Still buggy as they work out new software
  • Customer service is spotty

Thrive Architect Price

The following Thrive Architect pricing is for a one-time license fee, which gives you unlimited lifetime updates. Support is included for one year, and you can renew support for “a small fee,” according to their website.

Other Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins

Below you’ll find an alphabetical listing of other popular WordPress page builders we’ve reviewed.

Forge | MotoPress Visual Page Builder | SiteOrigin Page Builder | Themify Builder | WPBakery Page Builder

Divi Builder Review

Divi Builder Screenshot

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Elegant Themes launched its new and improved visual page builder, Divi Builder, in the fall of 2016 to stay relevant in the page building plugin market. And this plugin is a major contender in that space, particularly for web professionals.

You must purchase an Elegant Themes membership ($89 per year) to get Divi Builder, but this membership also gives you access to their 87 WordPress themes and two additional plugins. The major issue with Divi Builder is that it’s shortcode driven, meaning that if you ever deactivate Divi (or it gets disabled), you’ll get stuck with a bunch of shortcodes.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy drag-and-drop visual page builder
  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • Fully responsive, with mobile editing
  • 45+ content modules and global elements
  • Add custom CSS to each element
  • Advanced design features
  • Lifetime access pricing package for one-time fee
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • No free version or free trial
  • On the pricey side
  • Content is locked in, so if you disable the plugin you lose all your work
  • Users say tech support can be hit or miss

Divi Builder Price

Divi Builder is only available with an Elegant Themes membership, which also includes 87+ WordPress themes and two additional plugins. They don’t offer a free trial.

Forge Review

Forge screenshot

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Forge hit the page building plugin scene in 2015 to offer a simple, free drag-and-drop front-end WordPress page builder, which could be upgraded with add-ons and templates. We’re not sure what happened with Forge, but their advanced elements and features are no longer offered on their site (404 code on the pages). You can still download their free version that includes some useful features, but it’s unclear if it’s being updated.

Pros

Cons

  • Free
  • Easy drag-and-drop UI
  • Undo/redo any action
  • They claim plugin works with any WP theme
  • Add custom CSS to each element
  • Lacks many features and elements you can get for free elsewhere
  • Unclear if there’s any tech support available
  • Premium add-ons no longer available
  • Users report bugs

Forge Price

MotoPress Visual Page Builder Review

MotoPress Visual Page Builder screenshot

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Budget-friendly MotoPress Visual Page Builder for WordPress is consistently ranked as a top 10 WP premium page builder. For the price, it comes with a lot of useful tools and features, including a visual page builder, both front-end and back-end content editing, a custom interface that completely replaces the default WordPress customizer, 30+ built-in content elements and more. And we like that you can purchase add-ons separately for white labeling, Google Maps and other needs.

Pros

Cons

  • Very affordable (free version and free trial)
  • Full drag-and-drop support with visual page builder
  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • Fully responsive
  • WPML compatible and WooCommerce ready
  • Option to purchase each add-on separately
  • Good tech support and online resources
  • 4.8/5.0 stars from 90+ users on wordpress.org
  • Front-end editor can be glitchy
  • Premium add-ons cost extra for many common elements, like contact forms and pricing tables
  • Lacks advanced tools like mobile editing and modern design features

MotoPress Price

The following prices are for an annual license, but you get a 50% renewal discount.

MotoPress Base Plugin

  • Personal: $29 for 1 site
  • Business: $47 for 5 sites
  • Developer: $139 for unlimited sites

MotoPress Plugin with all Premium Add-Ons

  • Personal: $69 for 1 site
  • Developer: $179 for unlimited sites (includes White Labeling)
  • View all options

SiteOrigin Page Builder Review

SiteOrigin Page Builder screenshot

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The biggest selling points of SiteOrigin’s Page Builder are that it’s entirely free and very lightweight. Unlike other WordPress page builders, this plugin uses standard WP widgets to build your page instead of elements or modules you see with other page builders.

There’s a free add-on SiteOrigin Widget Bundle available for more diversity, and you can customize with row and widget styles and add custom CSS and CSS classes. You also get a handy History Browser that lets you roll forward and back through your changes. SiteOrigin offers an affordable add-on package that lets you extend the functionality of its free plugin, to build custom post types, add block animations and more.

Pros

Cons

  • Free WordPress page builder
  • Easy drag-and-drop live page builder
  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • Fully responsive
  • Available in 17 languages
  • Users rave about excellent tech support
  • 4.9/5.0 stars from 910+ users on wordpress.org
  • Not as customizable as premium plugins
  • You don’t get pre-made templates
  • Lacks many design features other plugins offer
  • Some reports about bugs
  • No mobile editing

SiteOrgin Price

Themify Builder Review

Themify Builder screenshot

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The Themify Builder plugin boasts a robust set of page-building and design features with drag-and-drop editing, all at a competitive price. It comes with any Themify theme you buy, and it’s also available as a stand-alone purchase. This plugin, however, seems plagued with problems.

Users say that every update breaks something on their site and its editing tools are unreliable in making universal changes. Another major issue is that Themify is shortcode-based. This means that your content is locked and you’ll lose all your work if the plugin gets disabled or you deactivate it.

Pros

Cons

  • Free version and affordable premium
  • Flexible front- and back-end editing
  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • 40+ pre-designed layouts and 60+ animation effects
  • Fully responsive
  • Compatible with WooCommerce, WPML, Yoast, Disqus and more
  • Multi-site support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Doesn’t support live visual editing (must go to live preview)
  • Content is locked in, so if you disable the plugin you lose all your work
  • Many reports that updates are very buggy
  • Users say the plugin is unreliable/inconsistent
  • Long wait times for ticket support (days)

Themify Builder Price

Themify Builder comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

  • Themify Builder Lite: Free
  • Themify Builder Plugin: $39
  • Themify Builder Plugin and all 20+ Add-ons: $59
  • View all options

WPBakery Page Builder (Formerly Visual Composer) Review

WPBakery Page Builder screenshot

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Visual Composer was one of the first drag-and-drop WordPress page builders to hit the market and quickly gained a huge following. Today, this plugin powers more than 2 million sites and is the top-selling WP plugin on CodeCanyon.

One of its best features is that it includes both frontend and backend editors, giving you the best of both worlds. WPBakery Page Builder also comes loaded with features, including 40+ content elements, 60+ templates, a built-in skin builder, a multi-lingual interface and much more.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • Works with any WordPress theme
  • Compatible with WPML, Woo Commerce, Yoast SEO and Gravity Forms
  • Fully responsive
  • Robust developer API to extend functionality
  • Users report knowledgeable, responsive tech support
  • 4.67/5.00 stars from 9,700+ users on codecanyon
  • No multi-site packages available
  • Switching between front- and back-end editors can get glitchy at times
  • Several user complaints that it’s buggy
  • Some reports that it slows down loading time

WPBakery Page Builder Price

A license comes with 6 months of support and lifetime updates. You can extend support to 12 months for an additional $15.38.

  • Regular License: $45
  • Extended License (allows you to sell your end product): $245
  • One site only per license
  • View all options

Need More WordPress Tools?

Be sure to check out our best WordPress plugin reviews to soup up your site and take it from average to awesome. See our picks for more than 10 different plugin types, including everything from menu and map plugins to social media and chat plugins. And if you’re searching for a top WordPress theme to give your site that extra sparkle, see our recommendations for the best WordPress themes on the market. We also take into account mobile-friendliness, speed, and more.

What experiences have you had with WordPress page builders?

Sources: WP Beginner, WP Explorer, WPMU DEV, Winning WP, aThemes, Blogging Wizard 

Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

Leave a Reply

2 Comments on "Best WordPress Page Builder Plugin: Page Builder vs Elementor vs Beaver Builder vs Thrive Architect, etc."

newest oldest most voted
Adam @ WPCrafter
Are any of these conclusions based on actually long-term usage, or are you just compiling other people hard work and experience, and not giving proper attribution?
Alex Schenker
Adam, as you can see in our review process (which is linked at the top of every article), our approach typically involves aggregating existing reviews and consumer feedback and trying to give our readers a summary. There’s dozens of supposed “product tests” and “personal accounts” being conducted out there, but many of them are biased based on commissions or incentives. So we try and separate ourselves from the pack by giving a balanced picture. In instances where we use the actual products, we give our personal spin and feedback as well.

That being said, you do make a good point about attribution. We attribute sources when chunks of content are referenced, as is common practice in the publishing world. In our review model, however, sometimes just tidbits, numbers, or individual items of content are referenced, which creates a large list of sources. But it would be helpful for the reader to know what these are. We’ve updated this article with a list of sources and will add to our process going forwards.

Since you were so kind as to point out what you see as flaws in our business model (in a public forum, vs contacting us directly), I’ll return the favor. At least we are upfront with our readers as to what we do. On your WPCrafter site you give no indication as to the fact that you are compensated when readers click through your affiliate links. This is not only deceptive, but a violation of FTC guidelines (note that these guides have a legal basis in Section 5 of the FTC Act, and fines are actively being handed out). Not to mention the fact that I can barely see your content because so many intrusive ads are in the way. Cheers.