After being so busy writing about online sitebuilders, I wanted to expand my reach to WordPress page builders as well. Although this Elementor Pro Review is not the first WordPress page builder review I have written, it still marks a new era for me.
So, what do I mean?
Well, from now on, you will also find more articles on my blog related to WordPress-based page builders. And Elementor Pro is a great way to restart this journey.
Elementor Pro Review at Glance
- Deployment: *****
- Main Features and User Interface: ****
- Integrations: *****
- Customer Support: ***
- Pricing: ****.5 (Starting from $49 / €43(approximately) per year)
- Overall: 4.3
- Verdict: Very promising WordPress Page Builder. Definitely worth checking out!
- Clean user interface.
- Plenty of add-ons by third party.
- Powerful features (like the Theme Builder) that come with the product.
- Some of the handy element like Table or Table of Contents are missing out of the toolbox.
- Minor annoyances with the user interface.
- No chat channel for customer support.
My Initial Expectations
I had seen plenty of ads on my Facebook newsfeed regarding Elementor, mentioning all the fancy features it has. Based on those ads, I decided to take a closer look at what Elementor was all about.
After landing on the Elementor homepage, my curiosity started to build. I took a look at a couple of introduction videos to learn more about the product.
For instance, I learned that Elementor has over two million active installs (at the time of writing). This indicated that they were doing something right.
Who Isn't This Sitebuilder For?
There are certain showstoppers when choosing a page builder, and here are the ones that come with Elementor Pro:
- You would like to have chat support with Elementor Pro. Sorry, this channel is not available right now.
- The coolest features are available only on the paid version. So, if you don’t like upgrading to Elementor Pro, then there is nothing you can do.
- You don’t consider yourself a tech-savvy person, so you don’t like installing plugins on your WordPress. But believe me, this is a simple thing to do.
However, if none of these things are showstoppers for you, continue reading this review.
Why Go for Pro?
Elementor comes with two flavors: The free version and the Pro version.
You can naturally start with the free version and start building good-looking blog posts and pages. However, the Pro version comes with much more features than the free version. So, if you already like what you see with the free version, but you’d like to get more, you should seriously consider upgrading to Pro.
Here are some of the features you get with Pro:
- Access to new widgets. This is probably the biggest visible change I saw between these two versions. With Pro, you have many new widgets compared to the free version.
- Access to new templates. You have many new (page/post) templates to choose from.
- Form builder. I love this. (Almost) every website should have a contact form of some sort. When it comes to WordPress, traditionally this has meant downloading a plugin in order to accomplish the contact form functionality. However, with Elementor Pro, this functionality is already built in!
- Theme builder. That’s right; you can build the WordPress theme yourself! See the section Elementor Theme Builder for more information.
- Online store integration. Build online stores (WooCommerce-based) with WooCommerce Builder.
This list is just a quick breakdown of features of Elementor Pro. But as you can see, you can get much more power if you upgrade to the paid version of the product.
Elementor Pro is an extension to a free Elementor plugin. So, make sure you download and install the free version of Elementor first.
Once that’s done, it’s time to purchase the Elementor Pro. During the purchase process, you’ll create credentials for your personal download page.
Log in to your account and download the plugin’s zip file and then upload/install it to your WordPress. Once that’s done, you’ll see these two plugins installed to your WordPress:
You also need to activate the Pro version by going into your member dashboard at elementor.com (My Account):
Just copy the license key, and then paste it to Elemento Pro’s license options in WordPress to activate your copy of Elementor Pro:
The whole installation process is simple, and it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to do.
See, I told you it was easy!
Downloading, installing and activating the Elementor Pro plugin is easy. However, make sure to download the free Elementor plugin first, as the Pro version is an extension to the free version.
Main Features and User Interface
Once you have installed Elementor Pro, you’ll notice a blue button has been added to your WordPress editor:
But before clicking the blue button, make sure to name your post and save it as draft before clicking the Edit with Elementor button.
What happens next is that the default user interface opens in front of you:
Hmm … where have I seen this UI before?
Thrive Architect used to look like this:
So, if you have used Thrive Architect in the past, and you are now switching over to Elementor Pro, you’ll be somewhat familiar with the user interface. If not, you’ll still get acquainted with the user interface quickly after you have used the plugin a bit.
On the left, in the Elementor Panel, you’ll see a list of all the available UI elements. At the top-level, they are divided into two categories:
- Elements: The basic building blocks that you can use to edit your posts and pages. These elements are then divided into multiple categories:
There are a few points worth mentioning here:
1. There are separate sections for Basic and General elements. At first, you might be wondering what the difference is between these two.
You’ll find that out as soon as you turn off the Elementor Pro plugin. Then you’ll see only these element categories:
General elements are … well, general. But the Basic refers to the elements available in the free version of Elementor.
2. There is a section named WordPress which gives you access to WordPress widgets. You can then add these widgets into designated areas on the page.
3. Elements under Pro category are related to the Pro version of Elementor.
- Global: You can make an element global so that it can be used throughout your site and edited in one place. This is handy because this type of functionality saves you time.
On the right is the content area. This is where you drag your elements when you are building your content:
Once an element has been added to the content area, the left-side menu changes into a context-based menu:
This is where you fine-tune the element’s appearance and functionality. Inside the context menu, you can hop seamlessly between the Content menu (see the previous picture, for text editing tools), the Style menu (for colors and other style settings),
or the Advanced menu (for spacing and other advanced options).
Finally, you also have the settings at the bottom:
There are plenty of nice features over here.
For instance, you can access the responsive mode to see what your page looks like on different devices:
Or, you can access the history of the page. In other words, you’ll see what steps you have taken so far, and it is also simple to jump back to a certain version of the content:
You can also use CTRL + Z (On PC) or CMD + Z (on Mac), to jump back to the earlier version of the page/post, one step at a time. Finally, there is also no need to save the page/post separately, since Elementor Pro does this automatically.
Elementor Pro has the hamburger menu at the top-left:
When you click it, you’ll see advanced menu configurations where you can set site-wide settings to your website:
Here, you can find various configurations divided into different categories, like styling or other settings.
Finally, you can right-click the mouse which gives you more options to choose from. For instance, if you add the Form element to page and right-click on top of it, you’ll see the following menu appear:
Sometimes, you may be left wondering how to achieve a certain functionality in Elementor Pro. I know I was a bit confused at times.
For instance, I wanted to know how to save a custom section as a template. When I looked at the older tutorials on this topic, I had a pretty much solid understanding on how to do this.
But the tutorials I found were old, and they contained old information. And following the old advice left me frustrated.
Then it occurred to me that I should probably try to right-click the mouse and see whether doing this would make me any luckier.
I learned two lessons from this frustration (on top of not following dated tutorials anymore):
- Right-click everywhere. The desired option could be just one right-click away.
- Be precise where you right-click. In my case, I had to take my mouse pointer over the blue area at the top of the section (see the previous image), to find the wanted menu. However, right-clicking on the wrong location didn’t yield the results I was looking for.
Basic Building Blocks of Elementor Pro
In Elementor Pro, every page consists of Sections. Inside the Sections, you have columns and inside the columns you have widgets. This setting may take a bit to digest, but it makes total sense after you have worked with Elementor Pro a little.
When you look at the picture above, you see three main elements in it:
- The whole blue rectangle consisting of two columns is a Section.
- Add/Edit/Delete section action points.
- You can modify the size of a column by dragging the dashed vertical line between columns.
Finally, when you click the Section, you’ll see a context-based menu on the left that gives you access to Section-related settings:
Ok, so you may be wondering the reason behind this section/column/widget hierarchy?
The main benefit of this organization is to help with the positioning and styling of the content. This is, after all, what you’ll end up doing a lot in your page building process.
However, there were two things that I’d like to address here, which I found a bit confusing.
First, the edit button icon of a Section was a bit weird. Typically, I would expect to see a pen icon or such thing to mark something as editable. But this wasn’t the case here:
Then, the move icon was missing. It would have been helpful to see the actual spots on where to grab (like a cursor that changed to a hand icon) if you, for instance, wanted to move a section to another location:
No matter how you tried to place the mouse pointer on the edge of the element, the icon wouldn’t change. Finally, I was able to move the section by testing the various spots:
But even if I found the section I should grab with my mouse, I sometimes felt that the destination section's blue indicator wasn't firing off like it should have.
Adding new elements to the page was simple. Elementor Pro is a drag-and-drop page builder where you take elements (or widgets) from the left and place them in the content area:
These widgets are always placed inside a container, and they’re inside a column (or columns).
When you add new sections to the page, you can always choose the number of columns you want to use on your design:
Once the columns are there, just drag the elements into them. The blue indicator inside a column marks the spot where the widget will be placed:
You can then start modifying the content (for instance the styling) inside the columns based on your needs. The settings for doing this open on the left:
For some elements, this approach is good. Then, on some elements, I wished I could edit it inline without having to switch over to the left-side panel. For instance, if I added an image, I couldn’t add it to the page by just clicking the big Choose Your Image image:
Instead, I had to configure the image properties on the left panel.
There is one final thing to be said about the UI. Once again, it’s not necessarily a big issue, but you may find it a bit odd at first.
Let’s say that you have added the Heading widget to the content area:
Now, you’d like to add another widget under the heading. But how do you get back to the Widgets panel? Normally, you would click the hamburger menu at the top-left to get back to the widgets menu:
But in this case, when you click the hamburger icon, you are not taken directly to widgets. Instead, you’ll be taken to site-wide settings:
However, you can now see that the hamburger icon has been replaced with the arrow pointing left. And once you click that arrow, you get back to the widgets menu.
Another powerful feature of Elementor Pro is templates.
With templates, you have a couple of options to choose from: You can use existing templates, you can save a page as a template or even save a section of a page as a template.
In the first case, you access the Template Library by clicking the Templates icon on the page:
This brings you to the Template view where you can choose between three options:
- My Templates.
With Blocks, you have over 200 of them available, divided into 15 different categories:
So, what are blocks, then?
Well, they are predefined content sections that you can use to build a page faster. These blocks are created by the Elementor team. You can achieve (almost) the same functionality by saving a custom Section as a template (see the section Right-Click Everywhere! for more information).
Next, you have Pages. This is where you have access to landing pages, web pages, and blog post templates that you can use on your website:
Finally, all the custom designs that you save as a template (like custom sections or pages) are shown here:
In general, the templating makes building pages faster and more efficient. I found this feature easy to work with, and this is the feature I’ll use often when I’m building with Elementor Pro.
Elementor Pro Features Top Picks
So, if I was asked to pick certain top-features of Elementor Pro, these would be on my list:
- Templates. Make your workflow streamlined and faster with this core feature.
- Forms. Since this functionality is used in almost every website, there is no need to install and configure a separate plugin - it’s already built-in into the product!
- Theme Builder. Don’t like the designs offered by Elementor? No worries; just create the theme by yourself, using the Theme Builder.
- WooCommerce Builder. Build good-looking online stores with Elementor Pro.
- Popup Builder. Build popups with Elementor Pro
Moving from Another Page Builder?
There is one thing to note if you ever decide to move from one page builder software to another.
So, instead of just turning off a page builder and activating another, remember that by doing this, you lose all the styling that you have created with your old builder.
For instance, here is a simple page created with Elementor Pro:
However, once I turn off the plugins (Elementor Free and Pro), the page looks like this:
And this is how things look on a code level:
Not bad. But it’s not good, either.
You can surely install and activate two page builders at the same time on your WordPress (I tested this with Elementor Pro and Thrive Architect).
Just keep in mind that if you want to use only one builder (without having to renew licenses of both), you’ll need to convert the content created with your old builder to support the new builder. This requires work, sometimes even considerably (depending on how much content you have to reconstruct).
Try to keep two installations active. And when you have converted the old content to support the new plugin, then just turn off the old page builder plugin.
Even better, if you can hire someone to convert the old content to support the new page builder, you can focus on creating new content (instead of converting the old).
Elementor Theme Builder
One cool feature that Elementor Pro has is the ability to build a WordPress theme for your website.
To start with your theme, see the menu Templates on the left-side of the WordPress and then click Add New.
The idea is to modify each particular section of the page to meet your needs. For instance, you could edit Header, Footer or a Single blog post to your liking.
Once you have done these changes, it’s time to publish them, either to some parts of the site or site-wide:
I cover this particular feature more on my blog post, Elementor Theme Builder: How to Get Started.
Features and User Interface:
Getting started with Elementor Pro and working with different features is relatively easy. However, there are certain things you need to get used to (like understanding the section layout structure).
There were even some confusing parts in the UI (for instance, some useful elements missing entirely, why the move icon was missing when dragging a section from a place to another, or in some cases unable to edit element properties inline).
These small things may not be an issue after you have worked with Elementor Pro a bit.
Integrations and Extendibility
Elementor Pro integrates well with other systems like social media networks, CRM tools or email service providers:
And in case you don’t find the integrations that Elementor Pro provides out of the box, you can always find third-party integrations as well:
These third-party tools include plenty of new widgets (like the missing Table component) that you can use in your Elementor Pro-powered website.
Finally, you can always whip together an integration yourself, if none of the two options are a good fit for you.
Elementor Pro has a nice set of integrations out of the box. And if you don’t find integrations you like, you can always head over to third-party vendors for custom integrations or create one yourself.
If you have been reading my blog before, you know what channel I prefer the most with my support requests: The chat channel.
Therefore, I was a bit disappointed that this channel wasn’t available here, as it’s the fastest way to get support for your request.
Because of the absence of chat, I utilized two support channels for this review: knowledge base and email support.
The knowledge base was a great starting point, but it seemed that some of the support videos were out of date. Since the UI of Elementor Pro has changed over the versions, it would have been great to see the videos to reflect the most recent version of the product:
For instance, in the previous image, I wanted to know how to reach the Add New screen in Theme Builder. According to the Elementor video, I should have been able to find it through My Templates.
It turned out that getting there required me to choose the Templates menu on WordPress (under Elementor menu):
And through this route, I was finally able to find the view I was looking for.
Getting to email support required some steps.
First, I had to enter a topic for the answer I was looking for. I then got offered a list of potential articles from the knowledge base:
If I didn’t find an answer from these suggestions, I was then given the option to send the request to email support:
The email support operated 24/7, and I got answers to my questions relatively quickly (sometimes, in just a couple of hours).
Although this response rate was satisfying, what would happen if I stumbled upon a critical issue on a production site? Would I have time to wait for a reply, and then start sending follow-up emails if I wasn’t able to get the issue solved?
So, for this very reason, I think that 24/7 chat support should be available.
Elementor also has a very thriving community. However, I didn't test out this way of getting support.
The email support worked well, and I was satisfied with its response rate.
However, the chat channel was missing, which, in my opinion, is a minus. Also, the knowledge base articles should have been up-to-date to reflect the latest version of the product.
Elementor Pro comes with three pricing levels: Personal, Business and Unlimited:
The prices start from 49 USD (approximately 43 Euros) per year for one site. The more you pay, the more sites your Elementor Pro license covers. If you renew the license either manually or automatically, you get a 25% discount.
You also have a 30-day money back guarantee for new purchases.
Accessing and Cancelling Subscription Information
You can access your billing information by logging into My Account:
There you have Cancel Renew License, which you can turn off to stop your subscription renewing automatically. Once you have turned off the auto-renewal and you miss the renewal date, you are not eligible for a 25% discount.
Pricing is straightforward and hassle-free with Elementor Pro. It is also easy to cancel the subscription if you want. Starting from $49, you get a license for a single site. The more you pay, the more websites you can build with Elementor.
You also have a 30-day money-back guarantee for new purchases.
Elementor Pro Review: The Conclusion
Elementor Pro is a very promising product, and you can create good-looking layouts with it. It is easy to use, although there are certain aspects that take a bit of learning (like with any product).
If you want to play safe, I suggest that you try the free version first, to see if the product is a good fit for you. With the free version, you get the idea of Elementor, although the most powerful features come with the Pro version.
If you like the free version, I strongly suggest that you upgrade to the Pro to enjoy all the powerful features it has to offer.
If, for some reason, you think that Elementor Pro is not for you, you still have a 30-day money back guarantee (for new purchases only).