5 Alternative WordPress Page Builders If You Have Fallen Out Of Love With Gutenberg
As a blogger in any capacity or if you have a running website, where you post articles for your content marketing, chances are you may have a WordPress-based blog or website. If you’ve been following the latest news around this popular platform, you may also have heard that WordPress is evolving from its original editor (TinyMCE) to a new editor – called Gutenberg.
This move has not been very well-received by everyone, the main reason being that the new editor is being seen by many as a bit tedious and complicated by requiring users to create new blocks for every change or additions to their blog. Given that the new plugin seems to introduce quite a few problems related to page editing, without introducing all of the benefits associated with page builders, we are not particularly happy with this direction.
However, the team behind WordPress seems to be intent on making these changes. Since we’re not particularly happy with Gutenberg (at least in its current form), and there are plenty of other options, we’ve taken a look at the other WP page builders available in case you find the new editor not suitable for you.
One outstanding thing about the Beaver Builder plugin is its simplicity. A user who is more used to blogging will find its drag-and-drop function time-saving and easy. Another big plus for this builder is the ready-made templates that enable you to use a template for each new post, saving you the time you would spend on creating new pages from scratch. This is particularly useful for web designers and people who want to build a site quickly without having too much experience in the industry.
Besides, it has easy-to-locate features or tools on the side-bar, making it easy for users to navigate. It is one of the fastest front-end page builders out there (unlike other builders which can tend to get a bit on the heavy side), and has very many formatting options. Beaver also has a reliable and helpful support platform for users – besides a thriving community around it.
Beaver, however, lacks many modern or advanced features like hover effects as well as box-shadow effects and gradients and may require add-ons to be fully effective. Beaver is also not one of the cheapest options on the market. It is, however, one of the favorite plugins for web developers, who appreciate the flexibility it gives them, to be able to do whatever they need.
The Divi builder really needs no introduction. With more than half a million customers as at the time of writing, Elegant Themes have carved a name as one of the major players in the industry. In fact, between the client-base of Divi vs Beaver Builder you’ll find that you’ll cover most of the WordPress page builder users.
In terms of the plugin, besides the standard drag and drop functions, one thing which we really like about it is an excellent time-saving feature: you can easily preserve or navigate to previous content blocks you’ve created.
Divi’s content creation works either on the back end or on the front-end. If you use the front-end, you’re actually be seeing the final design as you create it with the builder.
Divi also has ready-made themes and layouts ready for importing and using within the site you are designing.
When it comes to community, Divi and Elegant themes also have a huge fan base and support system. It is also one of the most affordable and has lifetime purchase plan instead of annual license renewals – making it an easy buy.
Its use of short-codes, however, creates a bit of an if you want to use a different page-builder later on and many users may feel “cornered’’ or restricted due to this issue. This use of short-codes may discourage switching to other WP page builders, but it can also make users feel like they are trapped with only one option forever. We find that Divi is more is more suited towards smaller websites or blogs and those with less of a web development background.
One thing that sets the Elementor above the various Gutenberg alternatives is that there is the free version available for use, without having to opt for the more advanced version of it. Not all bloggers or small website owners may want to immediately go for a premium plugin, especially if they are in their initial phases of designing a site.
Of course, Elementor still offers an impressive list of drag-and-drop features and is incredibly efficient, lightweight and feels fast when using, unlike most of the other editors.
It is not bound to any theme and is mostly compatible with whatever theme you would like to use. Although it is backend editor, it still features a live editor, making it easy to preview your page and design with every design change you perform so you can make all the necessary changes, getting it just right, before you actually publish.
Elementor is powered by a team of developers who are continuously pushing out updates and improvements of Elementor, making it a very competitive option in this niche. Their thriving Facebook group boasts about 18,000 users.
Elementor has a few drawbacks too. It is not built with a focus on marketing, like Thrive (which we will review soon), which would have been a great boost for users who want to perform such things as email list-building. The fact that it has no direct editing makes it a bit frustrating for users and it may take some time for beginners to figure their way around the default settings!
Perhaps this is the closest editor to Gutenberg, except that you will not have to create a block for every change you make on your page. However, over and above the Gutenberg features, Thrive editor has advanced marketing and lead-generation features, making it a great option for businesses.
It has over 100-page templates and has a versatile user interface and can be used for almost any design. Besides, it is one of the cheaper options when it comes to page builders. The templates are easy to manage and the layout options are very flexible.
Thrive has had a bit of support backlash with the release of Architect, which changed a bit the way of doing things and might have upset a few of its existing customer and fan base. It’s still an option we’re happy to recommend though.
This is another of our favorite tools and alternatives to Gutenberg.
Themify Builder’s best feature is its front end editor’s easy to use the tool. It has pre-built built modules where you can add your content. It is strikingly similar to Divi, which is not a bad thing given the popularity of the latter.
Themify has two editing options: you can edit from the admin profile option and you can do live site editing, making it easy to preview and make adjustments where necessary.
But Themify can be a challenge to new page builders or a new user of its interface. It has content lock-in, so you would lose all your work if you disabled this WordPress page builder.
Themify is not a very easy page builder for a beginner to use, and may also require add-ons to be really effective or to match its competitors. Still, it’s one of the options we like and could easily recommend, just has a bit of a longer learning curve compared to other builders.
In conclusion, the above are great and possibly easier options if you are looking to avoid the Gutenberg editor and still be able to use WP effectively for page building – particularly if you are looking to create custom page designs.
While Gutenberg is still one the way to its full maturity, at this point, we believe opting for one of the above alternatives or the original TinyMCE is the way to go, for the simple reason that the former has had much more time to mature and the latter allows you to get the original editing functions. We’re still eager to see what Gutenberg has in store and our opinion might change, but for now, we are still hesitant in recommending this to all website designers.