Elementor Pro Review
By Sean Ondes | Last updated: October 15, 2019
The Elementor Pro team released the free version of Elementor in the summer of 2016 and followed up with Elementor Pro in the following December. Reaching a new milestone, Elementor Pro has more than 3 million active installations! That alone is a strong endorsement of Elementor and a testament to their marketing efforts. The team behind Elementor Pro believes that it simply outclasses other page builders with its intuitive user interface, features, and speed.
Elementor Pro Review at a glance
- Elementor is a very powerful page builder
- Integrated theme builder
- Great selection of prebuilt layouts
- Well integrated with other WordPress plugins and Third-party tools
- Very competitive price
- Not Open Source (not everyone cares about this but I do)
- Acceptable but not great user interface
Live page editing all the time
Elementor uses a live editing interface all the time. Elements can be dragged from the editing side bar into the live editor. This automatically brings up the element’s options panel. From there, the sky’s the limit. Every option you’re likely to need is in there.
Elementor is a 100% live editing page builder. That’s great but there is one advantage to the back end editing that less modern page builders rely on. The one thing that a back end editor gives you is a 30,000 foot view of your page layout.
Does one section seem out of place? Do all the sections make sense organized the way they are? A back end editor lets you see your page layout without any distractions.
Instead of taking a step backward to include a back end editor, Elementor does one better with it’s Navigator. Navigator shows you an overview of the page structure. Each section is draggable for easy rearranging and can be expanded to edit individual elements. You can easily get to Navigator by right clicking on any element in your page design.
Elements could be better organized
Elementor Pro has seen regular improvements in the user interface since its initial release. The interface which started off as pretty cramped now has much more room to breathe than its earlier versions.
There are still some aspects could still be improved. Specifically, I’m not a big fan of the persistent settings sidebar. It takes up a good amount of screen space and gets in the way of a more immersive live editing experience. Allowing the option to have a floating settings section would be helpful.
Until you learn to recognize the element icons, get ready for a lot of scrolling and searching around. Most of the elements are not grouped in any helpful way. Some of them are collected into Pro, Theme, and General groups but that really wouldn’t be of much help to anyone.
The way elements are categorized looks more like it’s for the convenience of the developers than the user. Groupings like “Basic”, “Pro”, and “General” are not helpful to anyone but the development team. Various image elements such as “image”, “image gallery”, “image box”, “image carousel”, and “featured image” are spread out through 3 different categories.
The only grouping that makes any sense is the collection under WordPress. That group includes all the widgets usually available for sidebar and footer sections.
Elementor Pro Features
Elementor Pro is packed with elements
Elementor Pro includes about every type of element that you can think of. These days, including all these elements is pretty much expected though. Where Elementor exceeds expectations is in the options it has for customizing each element.
While exploring the element options, you’ll find all the expected options to adjust fonts, set padding and margins, colors, and so on. What you might be happily surprised to see is options to create nice looking animations, layered parallax, and scrolling effects built in.
Chances are Elementor Pro will integrate with your favorite services
Elementor is completely compatible with WooCommerce. More than that, Elementor Pro includes a nice selection of WooCommerce elements to display products, categories, price lists, and special WooCommerce elements like the cart, single product, and customer account pages.
There are also built-in integrations with MailChimp, MailerLite, MailPoet, GetResponse, ConvertKit, Drip, and ActiveCampaign.
Elementor Pro’s built-in theme builder
Sometimes even the best theme is exactly the right fit for what you need. Elementor Pro’s integrated theme builder is the solution.
Having an integrated theme builder isn’t unique to Elementor Pro. Beaver Builder’s Themer plugin is an extremely powerful tool as well. The main difference between the two is that Elementor’s theme builder is included in their basic package. That’s just crazy!
Elementor Pro Theme Builder vs Beaver Themer
Now, it’s great that Elementor Pro’s theme builder is included as part of the package. That makes it significantly less expensive than the $199 Beaver Builder Pro package + $147 Beaver Themer plugin.
The price difference isn’t the end of the story though. As far as features and layout customization options, I think Beaver Themer has the advantage. I may explore a comparison between these two theme builders more completely in the future.
For now, the takeaway you should have is that Elementor Pro’s theme builder is a great overall value and wins on price. Beaver Themer is the more powerful of the two.
Create Dynamic Content with Elementor
If you don’t know this already, dynamic content is the text, images, or videos (or just about anything else that can be displayed on a website) that changes from page to page. A WordPress blog post is a great example. A template controls how the post is displayed so you don’t need to build each post from scratch. The only parts that get switched out from post to post is the text and featured image.
Plenty of plugins like Advanced Custom Fields, Pods, and Toolset let you customize WordPress posts and pages by adding your own custom fields. And Elementor integrates with most of them. With Elementor’s built-in theme builder, you can create custom page templates to display all of your dynamic content pretty much however you like.
How does the plugin work with Gutenberg?
You can choose to use either Gutenberg or Elementor to build your pages. For example, you could create an Elementor template for your posts layout and then use the Gutenberg text editor to add your content. Many people (myself included) have opted to ditch Gutenberg in favor of the Classic Editor plugin. Elementor works just fine with it too.
Elementor’s developers also released the Elementor Blocks for Gutenberg plugin and made it available in the WordPress plugin repository. This plugin lets you use Elementor blocks inside the Gutenberg editor.
In addition to these integrations, Elementor also connects with the Facebook SDK, reCAPTCHA v2, don Reach, TypeKit Web Fonts, HubSpot, SalesForce and Zapier. This is an impressive list compared to other page builders.
Layouts and Templates
More templates than any human can use
Elementor Pro includes over 300 professionally designed page section and full page templates. That’s more pre-built layouts than I’ve seen with any other page builder. On top of that, they are almost all seriously nice looking! Aside from a few standard business-y designs, you won’t find any cookie cutter layouts in the Elementor template library.
Most of the full page and page section templates creative use color combinations, fonts, and images for a very good overall effect.
Elementor works with essentially all modern themes
According to the developers, Elementor Pro will work with almost any WordPress theme and plugin. We can take from this claim that there is some theme out there that won’t work with Elementor. This isn’t a worry for me though. Elementor’s developers assure that they will work to resolve any issues that arise from theme and plugin conflicts. If they can’t help with a fix, they have a 30-day refund policy.
While Elementor Pro is built to work with almost any theme, the developers recommend these themes for best results.
I did all of my testing on Elementor using the OceanWP theme.
Installation and Removal
Installing Elementor is pretty easy
After purchasing Elementor, you’ll need to connect you site to your new Elementor account and activate your license. Once installed, you can explore the settings or jump in and start trying everything out. Navigate to the page you want to build with Elementor Pro and click on the “Edit with Elementor” button on the page editing screen or in the top admin toolbar.
- WordPress 4.6 or greater
- PHP version 5.4 or greater
- MySQL version 5.0 or greater
Elementor recommends that your host supports:
- PHP version 7.0 or greater
- MySQL version 5.6 or greater
- WordPress Memory limit of 64 MB or greater (128 MB or higher is preferred)
Just like Beaver Builder Pro, Elementor uninstalls cleanly. When you remove the plugin, no shortcodes are left behind – just your content.
Performance and Updates
Does the plugin slow down page loading?
They claim that they have the fastest page builder out there. I can’t confirm that it’s the fastest but it is fast! If your Elementor pages are loading slowly for some reason, there are some solid troubleshooting steps available in the Elementor documentation.
The Elementor team releases bug fix updates sometimes multiple times a week. New features are also added frequently. There are pros and cons to the rapid pace of Elementor’s development cycle. One major problem is that stability and security testing can be sacrificed in favor of quickly adding new features.
Are there known incompatibilities?
The Elementor Pro developers make efforts to work with or alongside just about every plugin. However, they have identified a few plugin conflicts. This is a full list as of December 2018.
- Shortcodes Ultimate
- Better WordPress Minify
- qTranslate X
- WP Clone by WP Academy
- Image Map Pro
- Heartbeat Control
I really appreciate that Elementor presents known incompatibilities in such a clear way. They go even further to provide an explanation about why these plugins aren’t compatible and offer a few alternatives to help you out.
Obviously, in a community as large as WordPress’ there are bound to be incompatibilities between some plugins. It doesn’t help anyone building a site to hide that or bury it in a support forum.
Customer Support and Documentation
Elementor has a ton of resources on their website to help you make the most out of their page builder. The best part is that all of this information is available without purchasing Elementor Pro. This is a really smart move on their part. Getting started with a new tool, especially something as complicated as a WordPress page builder is a huge barrier.
Elementor has excellent documentation
In addition to the getting started guide and video tutorials, Elementor has a dedicated learning section on their website that includes step-by-step instructions to help you get started, a tips and tricks section that explores Elementor’s more advanced features. If you’d rather watch videos than read, Elementor has a dedicated YouTube channel with dozens of videos covering topics ranging from adding a dynamic popup using their built-in popup builder to walk through tutorials on building an entire WordPress site with Elementor Pro.
How to contact support (email, phone, chat, slack, ticketing system, etc?)
If you use Elementor, you have your choice of support options. You could stick with the extensive documentation on the Elementor website including step-by-step troubleshooting instructions for a variety of possible problems. If that’s not your preference, there’s an active Facebook group full of helpful people. Or you could try the video library on their YouTube channel.
If you’re question is tougher than that, then there is Elementor’s premium support available with the purchase of Elementor Pro.
Elementor Pro packages
- $49/year for a single site license
- $99/year for 3 sites
- $199/year for unlimited sites
All package license prices are for a one-time purchase and include all the Elementor Pro features and 1 year of updates and support. The license can be extended for a discount on the original price.
Since the initial launch of its free version, Elementor has come on strong. It quickly reached 500,000 downloads and has recently passed 2,000,000. After using it, those numbers are not at all surprising. Elementor is a great page builder and has now become the standard to beat for all the rest.
With it’s great collection of features, exceptional theme compatibility, included theme builder, conservative pricing, and extensive support, I highly recommend Elementor Pro for both professional site builders and do-it-yourselfers alike.