Design, UI, UX, Insights, Web Development

The 8 Best Website Builders for WordPress in 2022

We are reviewing WordPress builders ease of use, flexibility, and advanced features and answer whether you should use one.

Drag-and-drop WordPress website builder plugins can save you a lot of time no matter the level of your design or coding skills. They are highly intuitive and offer all the tools for even the most inexperienced users to craft beautiful professional websites in no time, all without writing a single line of code. Before going through the best website builders for WordPress, let’s have a look at the reasons why you should even use one.

Why use website builders for WordPress?
  • No coding required: You can definitely use your coding skills to customize your website beyond the features any builder gives you to work with. But unless you want to go all pro, you can still create beautiful fully-functioning websites.
  • Complex features: Most website builders for WordPress have a wide array of complex features for users to include in the design without the need to manually create them with code.
  • Time-saving: Using drag-and-drop page builders for WordPress takes away the necessity to code everything from scratch, which naturally makes the entire process much faster.
  • Increased productivity: Some developers use WordPress page builders to create fast mockups during the planning stages and provide their clients with more options.
  • Reusable custom blocks and templates: Builders give you the ability to customize blocks or modules and save them for later use. Creative agencies go even further, creating reusable custom themes.

With the benefits out of the way, let’s have a look at the 8 best website builders for WordPress based on ease of use, flexibility, and complex features.

0. Gutenberg: The WordPress Block Editor

Since WordPress already offers its own block editor, it’s fair to ask why would you even need a separate page builder in the first place.

Gutenberg is the new default WordPress editor (though you can disable it if you prefer the Classic WP Editor) which uses blocks as content elements for creating pages. However, Gutenberg is not exactly a page builder, or at least not yet. Currently, it offers you the capability to speed up your design process by using and reusing content blocks, but it lacks the powerful features that actual WordPress page builders have.

Gutenberg features:
  • Pre-built blocks and the ability to make your own pre-built blocks
  • Drag-and-drop functionality
  • Customizable elements
  • Free plugins with extra blocks, including blocks for Woocommerce
  • The ability to create reusable content sections
  • Block-enabled customizable templates

In addition, Gutenberg being the default WP editor means it’s free and included in the current WordPress versions.

On the downside, the block builder doesn’t have front-end mode and even half the capabilities dedicated page builders for WordPress have.

Pricing: Free

Visit Gutenberg

 

1. LiveCanvas

LiveCanvas is a Bootstrap 5 website builder for WordPress optimized for speed and requiring zero configuration and zero backend editing or management. It’s a perfect tool for old-school developers working in pure HTML/CSS.

LiveCanvas allows users to work in HTML/CSS without the drag-and-drop editing nature of other builders. This gives you the perfect freedom to arrange your layouts, pick pre-made templates and content blocks, or code from scratch. As it uses the Bootstrap CSS framework, it’s extremely easy to install and integrate any Bootstrap 5 or standards-compliant WordPress theme into your website. Since the CSS is already built off Bootstrap, there’s no extra CSS or JS on the front-end unless you wish to manually enable animations.

Another factor that makes the tool different from other website builders for WordPress is that it’s layout-centric, meaning you first define the space (divs, sections, columns) and then you fill that space with content.

LiveCanvas features:
  • Bootstrap 5: no extra CSS or JS bloat added
  • Advanced built-in live code editor
  • Pre-made HTML snippets (blocks) and the option to build your own
  • Pre-made HTML page templates and sections
  • Advanced responsive layouts
  • 100% front-end based
  • History /Revisions
  • Unlimited Unsplash photo Stock

The tool also allows you to place your own shortcodes into your custom-designed pages.

Pricing: Starter $59 per year (1 website); Agency $149 per year (25 websites); Patron $499 per year (unlimited)

Visit LiveCanvas

2. WPBakery

Moving to the most popular WordPress page builder plugin, WPBakery gives you front-end and back-end building capabilities for the creation of responsive websites.

WPBakery offers a huge number of integrated layouts, as well as building blocks and useful elements to create a custom website to your taste. In addition, the builder also has over 250 integrations with other WordPress plugins, including WooCommerce.

What’s great about this plugin is that all its elements are integrated via shortcodes, so even if you disable the plugin, it won’t affect the shortcodes in your content.

WPBakery features:
  • Works with all WordPress themes
  • Built-in skin builder
  • Huge template library and over 50 content elements
  • Integrates with 250+ plugins
  • Allows elements from third-party providers
  • WPBakery Page Builder API
  • Advanced grid-builder

The plugin is very easy to use, rich in features, and allows you to use pre-made templates as well as to create your own.

Pricing: Regular $56 for a single website; Extended $299 for use in a single SaaS application.

Visit WPBakery

 

3. Elementor

Elementor is ideal for large-scale website projects, including eCommerce and business purposes.

What makes Elementor different is its custom KitsLibrary which has 300+ pre-built designs in different categories. The free version gives you access to a drag-and-drop editor, 40 widgets, 30 templates, and 60 preset layouts for a quick start. Add-ons include essentials like video, text editor, headings, button and image boxes, alert boxes, accordion content display, escalating progress bar, and more.

Naturally, the Pro version delivers bonus features for larger websites, such as WooCommerce builder, a further 26 modules like menus, tables, and price lists, as well as the ability to easily edit your pages, user-defined content, and category pages directly from the visitor’s perspective without visiting the admin area.

Elementor features:
  • 50 Pro widgets, 300+ pro templates, 10 website kits
  • Themes and forms builder
  • WooCommerce builder
  • Real-time front-end editing
  • Elements and templates from third-party providers
  • Pop-up builder, visual form generator, animations, and transitions
  • Translation support with plugins
  • Fully compatible with other popular WordPress plugins such as Wordfence, Smush, Yoast, WooCommerce, ACF, and more.

Thanks to its enormous community and the large number of developers building plugins specifically for Elementor, in case you need specific functionality, chances are, you will find a plugin to replicate it.

Pricing: Free plan; Pro Plan (for 1 Pro Website Activation) $49 per year.

Visit Elementor

 

4. Divi

Divi is a WordPress theme, often used by agencies to build WordPress-based websites since it has a fluid responsive interface and it makes it extremely easy to save and export your designs and hand them off to clients.

The plugin has a modern user-friendly interface and comes with a generous amount of design elements (including royalty-free images and illustrations) and layouts to choose from. It offers real-time editing and global elements and styles editor, which means you can make site-wide changes without having to edit each individual section manually.

Divi features:
  • Visual responsive editing
  • 800+ pre-made website layout packs
  • 110+ Elegant themes
  • 40+ design elements
  • Global styles and elements
  • Full element customization
  • CSS styling options
  • Wireframe mode

Another advantage of Divi comes from the fact it’s a part of Elegant Themes. This means that purchasing Divi gets you access to 110+ additional themes.

Pricing: $89 per year, or one-time $249 with lifetime access and updates.

Visit Divi

 

5. Beaver Builder

Beaver is a page and theme builder that focuses on stability instead of a huge amount of features. Since it doesn’t generate shortcodes and sets layout via HTML/CSS, you can edit the code and combine it with different themes easily even after you uninstall Beaver.

It has both a free lite version and a premium version that you can use on an unlimited number of websites, as well as an Agency plan. The builder gives you full control over all your design elements and a drag-and-drop design system.

What makes beaver stand out is its live front-end editing where you don’t have to even click the Preview button, as you can see every change reflected on your screen. It also has WooCommerce support for online stores.

Beaver Builder features:
  • Open API
  • Import-export feature
  • Live front-end editing
  • Ability to save and reuse modules and layouts
  • WooCommerce support
  • Drag-and-drop modules for images, text editors, accordions, separators, CTA buttons, subscribe forms, pricing tables, etc.

Some of the premium plans also come with the beaver Builder theme that offers a modern design with presents for different styles.

Pricing: Standard $99; Pro $199; Agency $399 (all prices are for the first year and renew yearly at 40% discount)

Visit Beaver

 

6. Visual Composer

Visual Composer was developed by the same team behind WPBakery and it packs features for both inexperienced and advanced web developers to try out. The front-end editor allows you to see changes in real-time, while the back-end editor comes with a grid-based interface with a handful of modules to drag and drop.

You get started with 40+ grid-based templates and 200+ third-party plugins for additional functionality. Visual Composer doesn’t require coding skills, but if you’re a developer, you can put those to good use and tap into the custom CSS and JS sections to make your websites truly custom. The plugin also has a tree view feature that turns your layout into a layered interface similar to what you see in most design tools.

Visual Composer features:
  • 40+ grid-based templates, 100+ pre-made layouts, 50+ premium content elements
  • 200+ third-party add-ons
  • Front-end and back-end editors
  • Tree view editor
  • The ability to add custom CSS/JS locally and globally
  • Full control over the custom CSS and JS areas.

Visual Composer is the only website builder for WordPress that allows you to edit all aspects of your landing page such as logo, menus, headers, footers, sidebars, and others. It comes with four pricing models including a free version.

Pricing: Single $49 per year (1 website);  Plus $99 per year (5 websites); Accelerate $112 first year (20 websites)

Visit Visual Composer

 

7. Oxygen

Oxygen is a website builder that works as a separate module that’s connected to WordPress. It focuses on page builder options for containers, paragraphs, and text blocks rather than overwhelming the interface with tabs and toolbars.

The builder is pretty easy to use and was made specifically to help users of all levels of expertise create websites within minutes. Beginners can build their own designs in no time by using the pre-made modules, while advanced users can tap into the HTML elements and build designs in a traditional manner and make them more custom.

A great advantage is the fact that Oxygen can work alongside other website builders for WordPress such as Elementor, Beaver, and Visual Composer, so you can use all the features you like.

Oxygen features:
  • Support for HTML/CSS, JS and PHP for full control
  • The familiar design software interface
  • Import/export feature
  • Works as a separate module, so it can work alongside other builders
  • A lifetime of updates and support

On the downside, Oxygen generates shortcodes that remain visible as garbage code once you uninstall or deactivate the tool.

Pricing: Basic $129 one time; Ultimate $149 one time

Visit Oxygen

 

8. SeedProd

SeedProd is a powerful and versatile builder for WordPress with tons of templates, a drag-and-drop editor, and a live preview. Despite the huge collection of features, the tool has a very clean interface and it’s easy to use for users with zero technical knowledge.

The tool packs hundreds of beautiful pre-made layouts for landing pages, sales pages, thank you pages, webinar registration pages, coming soon pages, maintenance mode pages, 404 pages, and more. It also prioritizes website performance, as it’s built for creating fast and SEO-friendly pages.

Most importantly, SeedProd integrates well with all popular third-party marketing services, such as MailChimp.

SeedProd features:
  • Easy-to-use drag and drop visual builder
  • Live preview
  • Pre-made templates
  • Built-in subscriber management
  • High performance (speed, SEO)
  • The ability to save and reuse elements
  • Custom domain mapping feature for building micro-sites within WordPress
  • Works with all popular WP themes and plugins
  • Integrates with all popular marketing services

SeedProd is also a great option for building WooCommerce websites with blocks for checkout, carts, product grids, featured products, add-to-cart buttons, etc.

Pricing: Basic $39.50 per year; Plus $99.50 per year; Pro $199.50 per year

Visit SeedProd

 

Disadvantages of Using Page Builders for WordPress

Website builders certainly speed up the process and allow us to design and build websites within WordPress quickly and efficiently, however, using one has its drawbacks.

Shortcode mess

When you disable your website builder plugin, it will leave shortcode chaos and potentially a broken design. Fixing the mess will require a lot of work, including recreating elements, and sections, or even -re-coding the entire thing.

Management and maintenance

The end client who will be managing it also needs to have some sort of expertise. In most cases, the website will be managed and taken care of by a marketing team. However,  sometimes this might not be the case for small businesses as the business owner might be burdened with this responsibility.  Since not everyone is a designer or has the technical knowledge required to maintain a website, there’s a risk the client might make changes with disastrous consequences. This includes breaking the layout, design, and functionalities.

Performance

Website builders for WordPress are multipurpose with expanded functionality most of which you won’t even need. As a result, the extra code can affect the website’s performance.

Commitment

You’re making a commitment to that website builder for design. You need to make sure it has all you need for your work in the long run, and whether or not you will really need it. For example, using a website builder for WordPress would be overkill for small websites without many design tweaks, custom functionalities, or plans for expanding.

Technical Knowledge

WordPress is easy to use and it’s very accommodating to everyday users, however, some areas do require knowing HTML/CSS, Javascript, and PHP. Creating custom layouts, adding widget areas, implementing new functionality, and basically, everything beyond the built-in option will inevitably require hiring a developer or learning some coding yourself.

 

Should You Use WP Website Builders? [Conclusion]

Website builders make it easy to implement design without writing a single line of code, however, this is simply not true if you want true customization. On one hand, these tools save time by offering drag-and-drop editors, pre-made elements, blocks, sections, and layouts, as well as a large collection of features. On the other, they can also be very difficult to transition from and often bring performance issues.

In conclusion, if you have basic HTML/CSS knowledge, you can take full advantage of these tools to create an entire website and make quick changes easily. Hopefully, this short guide helped you narrow your options in your search for the right website builder for WordPress that has all the features you need.

Still can’t decide?

Still not sure if you need a website builder for WordPress?

In the meantime, you can visit some of the related articles for some more insights, and inspiration, or grab a freebie:

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