Best Drag-and-Drop Builders for WordPress
For anyone who wants to build a website, WordPress is excellent.
Regardless of whether you want a portfolio site to display your artwork or a website that provides self-help and therapy blogs, WordPress is hard to beat.
55,000 plugins and 11,000 themes make it the darling of many.
Drag and Drop Builders for WordPress
No one codes a website the old-fashioned way. From about 2005, that has been replaced by the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors.
- Log in and navigate to the dashboard.
- Choose a template and rearrange the various elements on it by “dragging and dropping” from a menu.
- Place content (text, images) and hit “Publish”.
The first platforms to offer a drag and drop page builder were Wix and Weebly. Since then, WYSIWYG is the norm.
WordPress naturally offers a lot of choices. Being open-source, outside developers are able to offer you their own page builders.
We take a closer look at the best drag and drop builders.
5 Best Drag-and-Drop Builders for WordPress
Elementor is the most well-known among WordPress website builders. It is impressive because the UI makes is easy to grasp. Even someone with no prior experience in creating a site can use it flawlessly.
There is a free version that is quite powerful in its own right. The paid version is available for$49 annually. For a hosted plan (Elementor is positioning itself as a full-service player) the price is $89.
- Websites created with Elementor are highly optimized. The plugin does not insert unnecessary code that takes ages to load. Swift loading is essential for a website to rank high in search.
- Elementor has a live edit feature. As you move the elements around, the changes appear in the active pane. Some editors require you to “Preview” before you publish. That can take more time since every time you make an alteration, you pause and preview.
- The free version of Elementor offers several of the best features for no cost. It’s best that you use the free version if you are building a simple website.
- The code is open source. This means WordPress experts can correct any bugs quickly. With proprietary systems, one has to wait till in-house developers correct the flaw.
If you want an alternative to Elementor, give Beaver Builder a try. It is very powerful and can be used to create exceptionally well-made sites.
Beaver Builder is, however, a lot more expensive. The Standard plan (for one site) is a steep $99 annually.
- The learning curve is quite shallow. In an hour or two, any user would be comfortable with the layout and functions.
- No need to pause since you have access to live preview. It constantly updates as you make changes and makes it easier to minutely adjust the position of elements.
- Beaver Builder works great with any WordPress theme. Of course, it works better with its own themes, but you can buy any theme and customize it with little effort.
- It already contains MailChimp. There is no need to add the email plugin separately. Excess plugins cause a site to slow down and integration works well. You also have access to Gravity Forms for creating pop-ups.
- Beaver Builder provides access to an immense library of templates. These are ready-made site designs that can be easily personalized and used.
Divi is a part of Elegant Themes which, as the name suggests, creates some of the most stunning WordPress themes.
They claim that their website builder is “vastly superior”. Not an empty boast, since it is indeed highly capable.
- Divi is available from the Elegant Themes site. Download the Visual Builder bundle. A lot of thought has gone into the user interface accessible from the WordPress dash.
- It allows developers to import their own CSS into the theme. It is not clear if this feature works only on their themes or across the WordPress family.
- Divi builder lets you create a truly superlative blog or news magazine through the Extra Magazine theme. The latest theme is a class of website designs that accentuates text instead of being an all-purpose design.
- Divi offers over 110 templates and 880 layout designs. That surpasses Elementor, known till now as the best and most diverse.
WordPress ships with the Gutenberg editor. Released in 2019, it replaced the antiquated Tiny editor which had grown quite defunct.
Whereas the older WordPress builders looked similar to Word documents, the new one is sleek and easy on the eye.
- Gutenberg lacks some drag and drop features that are readily available with more specialized editors. You can add various types of blocks. A plus sign would appear that lets you create the block.
- Each block can be a subheading, para (text), images, code snippet, etc.
- Being simple, it is very lightweight. Gutenberg lacks the sophistication of premium builders but more than makes up for it with quick loading speeds.
- The drag-and-drop feature does not really work well. It is, however, very versatile if you design your page before and add modules. You can even embed audio or add a link to a file that can be downloaded e.g. an ebook.
5. WP Bakery
It is also known as Visual Composer with some minor differences. WPBakery has been around for a long while and claims over 4 million installs. That is nothing to be sniffed at. So many installs prove that it is dependable and trustworthy.
The plugin was one of the first to bring in a live design preview. At $56, it is one of the cheapest drag-and-drop builders out there.
- Highly responsive front-end preview. Make changes and see how they appear. Cuts back development time by half. WPBakery editor is sleek and shows an accurate representation of the actual browser window.
- Allows a lot of control over the back-end design. WPBakery uses the backend not to mean the server side but the design of the payments page and cart. Most website editors tend to gloss over this part and create checkout pages that are cloned. Not so WPBakery.
- The website assures that it is the only builder that works with every theme in the WordPress library. Those on a budget often choose free themes that need a lot of work. Most of these themes have not been updated for several years and require a good website builder to make them operational.
- WPBakery comes with a large template library and plenty of attractive themes. All the themes offer complex elements, such as Image Carousel and Accordion. Trendy new elements are crucial for holding the visitor’s attention. The themes are updated weekly.
- Easy to replicate the same design across hundreds of sites. Export the settings and publish a new site using them. It is a boon for those looking to manage multi-site WordPress.
The best one?
Choosing the best website builder is a tough call. Divi has a lot of pre-made layouts and Elementor has the quickest editor. Gutenberg is free and WPBakery is affordable.
Since it is a recurring expense, most site owners would have more use for WPBakery. If they focus on looks alone, then the choice is Divi or Elementor.