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The 8 Best WordPress Page Builder Plugins Compared 2022

Trying to decide on the best WordPress page builder for your website?

I went hands-on with eight different WordPress page builders to help you make your decision. Yes, I used every single one of these — this isn’t just a list based on the marketing copy.

We actually used to cover 10 different plugins, but we’ve cut the list down to eight in 2022 because the industry has evolved and some builders don’t quite make the “best” cut anymore. We also double-checked other details and updated ratings and screenshots where needed in our 2022 update.

To help you choose the right tool for your needs, I’m going to compare these eight WordPress page builders in five categories:

  1. Interface – How does the interface work, and does it make it easy to build beautiful pages?
  2. Included widgets/templates – What options do you get to build your pages?
  3. Styling options – How can you style the elements on your page?
  4. Other notable features – Does the page builder offer any notable unique features?
  5. Performance – Approximately how lightweight is the page builder, and will it help you create designs that load quickly? This is tough to assess, but I’ll try to do it in as fair a way as possible.

We originally had another category for “lock-in”, but we’ve removed it since I don’t think it’s relevant to how people use page builder plugins in 2022 and beyond.

For each category, I’ll give the page builder a score out of 5. I’ll try to be as objective as possible and keep my personal preferences out of things.

Then, at the end, I’ll put everything together and recommend what I think is the best WordPress page builder.

1. Elementor

Originally launched in 2016, Elementor has quickly grown to become the most popular page builder plugin by a wide margin. The fact that its free version is fairly generous with its functionality has led to a large user base, as well as a lot of theme developers bundling Elementor with their products.

We’re no exception — our free Sydney theme includes a number of importable demo sites that are built with Elementor for ease of customization.

Elementor’s claim to fame is a quick, glitch-free visual interface, flexible styling options, and powerful features such as full theme building and a popup builder.

I don’t think you’ll find another page builder that gives you as many features and style options in one package. Plus, it has a huge third-party extension marketplace, which gives you even more flexibility.

Though it started as just a page editor, the premium version, Elementor Pro, now lets you do a lot more than just page building. The two most notable features are:

  • Theme Builder – Design your entire theme using the same convenient Elementor interface. This includes your header, footer, archive pages, single post pages, WooCommerce product/shop pages, custom post type templates, etc. You get dedicated widgets for common elements, and you can even dynamically insert content from custom fields.
  • Popup Builder – Design flexible popups using the full Elementor interface. You can include all the regular Elementor widgets, which lets you create email opt-in, contact form, login, and other types of popups.

These two additions really help Elementor stand out from the competition. Though theme building is becoming a popular feature, the popup builder is still quite unique.

Read our Elementor Pro review.

Price: Free core version at WordPress.org. Elementor Pro starts at $49 for use on a single site.

Interface – 5/5

The Elementor interface is divided into two core parts, with a third area for some smaller settings:

Elementor interface
  • 1 – This is the live preview of your design. It looks exactly like your visitors will see it. You can type text directly in this interface as well as drag and drop various elements to rearrange them.
  • 2 – This shows a list of elements you can use. You just drag them over. And when you select an individual element or section, this is where you’ll style it.
  • 3 – These help you access responsive previews, undo/redo changes, and other smaller features.

For example, here’s a look at how you can drag over a text widget, and then simply type on the page (inline editing) to change the text:

Elementor inline styling

Elementor also supports right-click so that you can quickly duplicate content or copy/paste styles between elements.

There’s also a navigator view that lets you see a high-level look at the structure of your page and add names to sections or elements to stay organized:

Elementor copy/paste and navigator

With Elementor Pro, you get to use this same interface to design your theme and popups. You also get dedicated widgets/features to help you do that.

Included Widgets/Templates – 5/5

In the free version, Elementor includes 40+ free widgets. You can also use all of the core WordPress widgets. The Pro version adds another 60+ widgets, giving you a total of 100+ widgets in the Pro version.

This is in addition to the many theme-building widgets that you can use to create theme templates, as well as a set of dedicated WooCommerce widgets to display eCommerce content. Elementor Pro also now offers dedicated WooCommerce cart and checkout widgets that let you fully customize those key pages from Elementor, which is a huge advantage if you have an eCommerce store.

Here are the free widgets:

Elementor free widgets

And here are the Pro widgets:

Elementor Pro widgets

The free version also comes with 50+ free templates, and the Pro version adds hundreds of additional templates.

Templates come in two formats:

  • Pages – Full-page designs that you just need to edit.
  • Blocks – Individual sections that you can put together like Legos.

Elementor also now offers 100+ Site Kits, which are themed collections of page templates that help you build complete sites. For example, you might have one template for the homepage, another for the about page, another for the contact page, and so on.

You can also save your own designs as templates to reuse later.

Styling Options – 5/5

When you click on any section, column, or widget, Elementor offers three styling tabs in the left-hand sidebar:

Elementor styling

The exact options depend on which element you’re editing, but generally, Elementor offers one of the deepest sets of styling options of any page builder.

Beyond basic stuff such as colors, backgrounds, and typography, you can also control more advanced settings, including:

  • Custom margins/padding
  • Custom CSS classes/IDs – with Elementor Pro, you can directly add CSS styles to individual elements
  • Responsive controls – you can show/hide elements on specific devices

Elementor also offers global site design settings so that you can define your brand colors and typography in one spot and automatically use those as the defaults in your designs. If you ever update your global design settings, those changes will apply to every design where you used the defaults.

Elementor Pro also gives you some advanced design options that go beyond what many other page builders offer, with two of the most notable features being:

  1. Motion Effects – You can create really neat scroll and mouse tracking effects. Check out some examples here or play around with a live demo page.
  2. Custom positioning – You can use absolute and relative positioning to control exactly where to locate an element.

Other Notable Features – 5/5

These features are available in Elementor Pro:

  • Full theme building. You can use the same Elementor interface to build template parts such as headers, footers, singles, and archives. Basically, you can build your entire theme with Elementor.
  • WooCommerce builder. Design your WooCommerce product and shop pages. Elementor also recently added dedicated widgets for your Cart, Checkout, and My Account pages, which let you fully customize the designs of those pages using Elementor’s settings and visual interface.
  • Popup building. Design flexible popups and target them to specific content with advanced targeting and trigger rules, including exit intent.
  • Form integrations. Connect the form widget to popular email marketing services (or Zapier for even more flexibility).
  • Global widgets. These let you reuse a common element across multiple pages and edit all instances of the global widget by just updating the global widget.
  • Embed anywhere. Use Elementor templates in other areas via widgets or shortcodes.

Here’s what the new Elementor Theme Builder interface looks like:

Elementor Theme Builder

There are also two other notable features that apply to both the free and Pro version:

  • Third-party extensions. Elementor has a massive third-party marketplace of Elementor extensions, which gives you even more flexibility when using Elementor.
  • Landing pages. Elementor has a dedicated landing page feature that lets you separate your landing pages from the rest of your content.

Performance – 4/5

Since this is the first section with page builder performance tests, I first want to quickly run over how we tested these page builders. I won’t do this every single time, but I think it’s important to get out of the way.

Here’s the deal:

Testing page builder performance in a fair way is really hard to do because there are so many variables. Each page builder has different widgets, different features, different starting points, and so on. What’s more, it’s not just up to the page builder — how you build your designs will also affect the results that you get.

So — here’s what I think is the fairest way to compare performance:

For each page builder, I will create a very simple design that only includes a few foundational elements such as a text widget, headline, and button. By only using these foundational elements, I can ensure that I use the exact same content elements for each builder.

I will then give the total weight for the page (including the theme, which is our lightweight Sydney theme).

This is absolutely not a realistic page. In the real world, you will have much more complicated designs, therefore the page builder will add more weight and the comparison might not be quite the same.

I know that this method isn’t perfect. If you can think of a better way to test performance, I’d love to hear it in the comments. But I do think this method provides useful information about the relative out-of-the-box performance of these different page builders.

Also note that my performance rating is the rating for a page builder. None of these builders are as lightweight as the native WordPress editor, so if I were rating them vs the native editor they would all score poorly.

I also think that you can build fast designs with any page builder on this page as long as you follow WordPress performance best practices and use some quality speed optimization plugins.

I used the free WebPageTest website analyzer tool to run the performance tests.

So, with that lengthy introduction out of the way, let’s get to the results for Elementor:

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
Elementor21225
Native WordPress block editor528

Note – For the Elementor tests, I enabled Elementor’s speed-focused experiments, which you can access from the Experiments tab of the Elementor settings area. If you’re building a brand new site with Elementor, I highly recommend enabling these features from the beginning.

2. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder has been a stalwart in the page builder market for quite some time now. It outputs clean code (for a page builder), is popular with end-users and implementers alike, and receives regular attention from its developers.

There are also some official add-ons that you can pair with it for more flexibility — notably an optional Beaver Builder Theme and the Beaver Themer extension for full theme building.

In terms of features and design options, Beaver Builder cannot go toe-to-toe with Elementor (or Divi Builder, the next option on our list). However, some people actually don’t want every single feature packed in one plugin. In fact, one person’s “useful feature” can be another person’s “bloat”.

What Beaver Builder does have is a rock-solid, glitch-free interface and a very solid track record when it comes to stability (thanks in part to a slower development cycle when it comes to adding new features).

For this reason, I think Beaver Builder is more popular with users who value stability over always getting access to new features.

Read our Beaver Builder review.

Price: Limited free version at WordPress.org. Premium version starts at $99 for use on unlimited sites.

Interface – 4.5/5

Beaver Builder offers a unique interface for its frontend visual builder. You do most of your work from a sidebar on the right.

However, these sidebar options only appear when you click on a button in the top bar, so it’s possible to view a full-screen preview at any time:

Beaver Builder example
  • 1 – You click this to open the sidebar area.
  • 2 – This is a live preview of your design.

If you’d prefer a different layout, you can also pin the sidebar to either side of the interface so that it’s always visible. This is a nice bit of customization as most other page builders don’t give you much flexibility for changing the interface.

Beaver Builder also supports inline text editing, which means you can either type directly on the page to edit your text or use the popup that appears:

Beaver Builder interface

Using inline editing with the popup is a little awkward, to be honest. But you can easily pin the editor to the sidebar to fix that.

Another nice thing about Beaver Builder’s interface is that you can create new columns simply by dragging a content module next to another one. A lot of other page builders force you to set up your column structure before you can add modules, but Beaver Builder’s approach gives you a lot more flexibility and can help you work a little faster.

While Beaver Builder’s interface is generally very speedy and glitch-free, I do have one gripe — there’s no right-click support.

This is something many other page builders offer now and a feature that I find really handy for speeding up design work. For example, you can use right-click to more quickly duplicate elements, copy/paste styles, and more. That’s the only reason I dropped Beaver Builder from a 5 to a 4.5.

Included Widgets/Templates – 4/5

In the free version, Beaver Builder only gives you access to nine modules, though you can also use standard WordPress widgets. For this reason, I don’t find the free version of Beaver Builder to be a useful tool, especially now that the WordPress block editor exists.

The premium version, on the other hand, gives you access to 30 modules. These modules are also all modular, so you can enable or disable them as needed.

In the premium version, you also get access to ~56 page templates divided into two categories:

  1. Landing pages
  2. Content pages

Overall, templates are definitely not a strong point of Beaver Builder. Not only is the total number lower than most other page builders, but some of the templates look a little dated.

You can, however, save your own designs as templates to reuse them later. The Beaver Builder team also launched a cool new plugin called Assistant Pro that lets you save your own templates to the cloud so that you can easily reuse them on different sites.

Note that Assistant Pro is not limited to Beaver Builder — you can also use this cloud template library feature with Elementor, Divi Builder, the native block editor, and other builders.

There’s also a vibrant third-party marketplace for Beaver Builder templates and modules, which can do a lot to overcome any limitations here. For example, Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder and PowerPack both add dozens of new modules and hundreds of templates.

Styling Options – 5/5

To style your modules and sections, you can either:

  • Use the default popup window
  • Pin the window to the side to create a sidebar (you can see this in the example below)

The exact options depend on the module, but generally, Beaver Builder gives you pretty good control over your elements, including custom spacing and responsive controls.

Beaver Builder also offers a very unique toggle that lets you show or hide individual modules based on whether or not a user is logged in:

Beaver Builder styling

Other Notable Features – 4.5/5

  • Beaver Themer. Though this is a separate extension, it adds full theme-building functionality like Elementor. This is a separate purchase that costs $147 for use on unlimited sites.
  • White labeling. You can easily white label Beaver Builder if you’re building sites for clients. However, you need to purchase the $399 Agency license to access this feature.
  • Beaver Builder Theme. This optional theme gives you even more control over how your website looks. You get it as part of the $199 Pro license for Beaver Builder.
  • Third-party extensions. Like Elementor, there’s a vibrant marketplace for third-party Beaver Builder add-ons to extend the core plugin with more features, modules, and templates.

While the unique features are good, I’m dinging half a point because you have to pay more to get most of them. For example, Elementor and Divi Builder include theme building for no extra price, while Beaver Builder charges $147 for Beaver Themer.

Performance – 5/5

Overall, Beaver Builder is one of the more lightweight page builders out there. If you’re a performance junkie, but you still want the flexibility of a page builder, it’s one of the best options.

Here’s the performance data:

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
Beaver Builder9612
Native WordPress block editor528

3. Divi Builder

Divi Builder is a popular premium page builder from Elegant Themes. While it’s most commonly used as part of the Divi theme, Divi Builder is also a standalone plugin that you can use with other themes, as well.

Divi Builder is one of the few visual builders that can go toe-to-toe with Elementor when it comes to built-in design options, which is definitely one of Divi Builder’s strong points. You get lots of style options, animation effects, and so on.

With Divi 4.0, Divi also added full theme building support, which puts it on par with Elementor and Beaver Builder in that respect. That is, you can now use Divi to design your header, footer, templates, etc.

Divi Builder used to have a deservedly poor reputation when it came to performance. However, with Divi 4.10, Elegant Themes made a lot of performance improvements and, since that release, Divi Builder actually performs quite well (for a page builder plugin, of course).

It’s not the fastest page builder, but slow performance is no longer a valid criticism of Divi Builder within the page builder space.

Read our Divi Builder review.

Price: Available as part of the $89 Elegant Themes membership.

Interface – 5/5

Divi Builder gives you multiple ways to come at your design, which can be really nice in some situations.

Most of the time, you’ll use the frontend visual interface, which is definitely unique.

Basically, instead of any type of sidebar, everything is popups and floating buttons by default. You can see an example of adding a module below:

divi builder visual interface

Personally, I don’t really like this approach because I find it annoying to always have floating icons popping up as I move my mouse around. However, that’s just my opinion — I also know a lot of people do prefer it because you get a nice full-width preview at all times. I think it really comes down to personal preference here, which is why I didn’t take away any points based on my personal views.

Like the previous two page builders, you can also use inline editing to edit your text directly on the page:

Divi inline editing

In some situations, you might not want to work from the visual design interface. One nice thing here is that Divi Builder also offers a backend, wireframe-like interface.

This used to literally be a separate backend interface, but Elegant Themes is discontinuing the “official” backend builder. However, you can still access what is essentially the exact same interface from the frontend builder by opening wireframe mode.

In wireframe mode, you’ll see your layouts and elements represented by boxes instead of the actual content, which can be handy for controlling layouts and rearranging things. The nice thing about wireframe mode is that you can access it right from the visual builder (and turn it off just as easily).

Within wireframe mode, you add new sections, rows, or modules, move them around with drag and drop, and open their settings.

Divi backend wireframe mode editing

Like Elementor, Divi Builder also comes with right-click support, including copy/pasting styles. It also includes a Layers feature that’s similar to Elementor’s Navigator tool.

Included Widgets/Templates – 4.5/5

Divi Builder includes 46 modules that you can use to build your designs. If you’re using the theme builder, you’ll also get dedicated theme-building modules.

Divi Builder modules

In terms of templates, Divi has one of the biggest template libraries that you’ll find in any page builder plugin.

As of the time of writing, you get access to a massive 1,796 pre-built templates spread across 244 different layout packs (full packs around a specific website niche), as well as the ability to save your own designs as templates:

Divi template library

I’m only removing half a point because I feel like Divi’s built-in module offerings have fallen behind Elementor and some other builders in recent years, though there is a solid third-party extension marketplace.

Styling Options – 5/5

Like Beaver Builder, Divi Builder lets you style elements from a popup that you can, if desired, pin to the side.

One of the hallmarks of Divi has always been how much styling control it gives you. Across three different tabs, you can configure a variety of settings, including responsive controls, custom spacing, and lots more.

You can even add custom CSS to the main element or before/after the main element. The CSS editors even include basic validation and autocomplete! And you can also open a color picker right from the editor:

Divi CSS options

All in all, Divi Builder is really pushing the boundaries with its styling options — it’s good stuff.

Other Notable Features – 5/5

  • Theme building. Design your entire theme using the Divi Builder interface. This includes support for dynamic content from custom fields, which is great for building custom content sites. Divi’s theme building also supports WooCommerce.
  • A/B testing. One of the best extra features is Divi Builder’s built-in A/B testing system. No other page builder makes it this easy to split test in the core.
  • Divi theme. Pairing the Divi Builder with the Divi theme gives you full control over your site’s appearance.
  • User access controls. Divi Builder includes strong role-based access controls.
  • WordPress Customizer controls. You can customize how some elements look using the native WordPress Customizer.

Here’s an example of the Divi Theme Builder interface:

Divi theme builder interface

Performance – 4.5/5

In the past, Divi Builder had a very poor reputation for performance, which was rightfully deserved if I’m being honest. However, Elegant Themes released two performance-focused updates in 2021, one focused on backend performance and the other focused on frontend performance.

These updates made huge improvements to Divi Builder’s performance. The backend interface is much snappier when you’re working on your designs, and Divi Builder is now slightly above average when it comes to page builder performance.

So, if you’ve read any other posts talking negatively about Divi’s performance, I encourage you to keep an open mind because things have changed in 2022 and beyond.

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
Divi Builder16713
Native WordPress block editor528

4. Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect is the revamped version of what was once Thrive Content Builder.

Though anyone can use it, it’s especially popular with bloggers and affiliate marketers because of its focus on conversion rates and landing pages. One of the things I personally like about Thrive Architect is that its default styling looks pretty good right out of the box.

You can use Thrive Architect to design content within your existing theme. Or, you can enter landing page mode to design completely standalone landing pages that hide your theme’s header and footer.

The biggest potential downside of Thrive Architect is that you can no longer purchase it by itself. Instead, you can only access it as part of Thrive Suite, which gets you access to every single plugin and theme from Thrive Themes for one price. This includes the following:

If you think you’ll use those other tools, Thrive Architect can offer a lot of value because you get everything for one price. However, if you only want a page builder, Thrive Architect is now pretty expensive for what it offers, and I think most people will get better value from a different option on this list.

Read our Thrive Architect review.

Price: It’s part of Thrive Suite, which costs $99 per quarter or $299 per year.

Interface – 5/5

With Thrive Architect, you get a fixed sidebar on the left where you can style content elements and sections. Then, there’s a very small sidebar on the right that expands when you want to add new content modules or open your sitewide styles.

To format text, you’ll also get an inline formatting bar (or you can pin the bar to the top of the screen). This bar is also where you can insert dynamic content from custom fields — more on that later:

Thrive Architect interface

In the formatting sidebar, Thrive Architect puts all of its style options into a single tab that has collapsible accordion sections.

One unique thing is the breadcrumb selector when you click on a nested element. This feature actually comes in pretty handy when you want to quickly jump between an element and a section — I think other page builders should consider adding something like this.

Here’s a screenshot that shows the breadcrumbs, the formatting sidebar, and the slide-out where you can add content elements:

Thrive Architect breadcrumbs

Thrive Architect also offers true inline text editing. In fact, it has the most seamless inline editing functionality of any page builder, in my opinion. Most other page builders still display the text in a popup or sidebar, even though they let you type on the page.

With Thrive Architect, though, the inline editing is 100% native, and it’s the only way you edit text. This makes for a really nice typing experience while you’re working in the editor.

I like the inline formatting bar, too, as it gives you a good amount of options. You can also use this bar to insert dynamic content — here’s an example:

Inserting dynamic content in Thrive Architect

Included Widgets/Templates – 4/5

Thrive Architect offers 46+ different widgets, including some neat ones such as an evergreen countdown timer and a content reveal widget. These conversion-focused widgets are something unique about Thrive Architect in comparison to other page builder plugins.

Thrive Architect also includes hundreds of templates: you get 88 new “smart landing page” templates and 202 “legacy landing page” templates.

The cool thing about these templates is that they’re divided into different sets that help you build complete sales funnels. For example, you might have one template for the main landing page, another for an upsell page, another for the thank you page, and so on.

You also get 67+ content block templates, which are templates for specific parts of a page. You can put them together like Lego blocks to create a full page.

Finally, you can also save your own designs as a template.

Styling Options – 5/5

Thrive Architect breaks from Elementor in how it handles styling. Rather than giving you tabs, Thrive Architect includes everything in a single column.

The styling options are fairly detailed and include responsive controls and custom spacing. For example, if you open the advanced position settings, you can use absolute and relative positioning:

Thrive Architect style options

You can also add your own custom CSS at a page level. For individual elements, you can only assign CSS classes or IDs.

Thrive Architect also recently added a Central Style Panel, which lets you control the default colors for all of your designs (kind of like Elementor’s site settings). However, Thrive Architect only lets you customize design-wide colors — you can’t handle fonts.

Other Notable Features – 4/5

One cool feature is the option to set up Page Events. These let you display a lightbox popup based on certain triggers:

Page Events in Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect also supports dynamic content, which lets you insert WordPress information or custom fields data into your designs. It doesn’t offer full theme building (you need Thrive Theme Builder for that), but it does give you some extra flexibility for including custom content in your designs.

Another cool thing is how well it integrates with other Thrive Themes products. For example:

  • If you use Thrive Optimize, you can run A/B tests using Thrive Architect.
  • If you use Thrive Leads, you can easily integrate Thrive Leads’ detailed opt-ins into Thrive Architect.

Since you now get access to all of Thrive Themes’ plugins for one price, there’s really no downside to installing these other plugins and using their integrations with Thrive Architect. This is why I gave it a “4” even though its built-in features don’t quite match other plugins.

Performance – 4.5/5

Thrive Architect is pretty solid when it comes to page builder performance. In general, you should be able to build quick-loading sites with Thrive Architect as long as you follow WordPress performance best practices.

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
Thrive Architect12515
Native WordPress block editor528

5. WPBakery Page Builder

WPBakery Page Builder, formerly known as Visual Composer, is another massively popular premium page builder plugin. A big part of this popularity comes from the fact that WPBakery Page Builder is bundled with what seems like 99% of the themes at ThemeForest. But the fact remains that it’s used on a huge number of sites.

In 2022, WPBakery Page Builder feels a little dated because it hasn’t quite kept up with other page builders. However, one thing it does have going for it is that it integrates with a lot of the other popular plugins/themes at Envato’s ThemeForest and CodeCanyon marketplaces. For example, a lot of plugins sold through CodeCanyon offer dedicated widgets for WPBakery Page Builder.

Honestly, though, unless you’re already immersed in the Envato marketplace ecosystems, I’d probably recommend choosing a different page builder plugin in 2022 and beyond.

Price: $64

Interface – 3/5

Like Divi Builder, WPBakery Page Builder gives you both visual frontend editing, as well as backend editing.

However, the backend interface is a separate builder, rather than Divi’s current approach where you can quickly switch to the backend builder without leaving the frontend editor.

Here’s what the backend editor looks like in WPBakery Page Builder:

WPBakery backend interface

But I think most people will be happier on the frontend, which looks like this:

WPBakery frontend editor

You insert new elements and style them using popups — there’s no sidebar area, nor is there inline editing or right-click support.

Personally, I’m not a fan of this approach, but some people like it because there’s nothing to get in the way of the live preview when you don’t have a popup open.

WPBakery popup settings

Included Widgets/Templates – 3.5/5

WPBakery Page Builder offers 39 elements, plus all the normal WordPress widgets. Some of these elements would be combined in another page builder, though, so the actual number is more like ~33:

WPBakery content elements

However, while WPBakery Page Builder doesn’t have a huge collection of built-in elements, there are a huge number of plugins at CodeCanyon that offer their own dedicated content elements. So, if you use a lot of plugins from CodeCanyon, you might get a lot more elements.

You also get ~86 templates. Some templates are full pages, while others are just sections.

Styling Options – 3/5

Compared to something like Elementor or Divi Builder, WPBakery Page Builder’s style options are a bit limited.

You do have a good amount of control over rows:

Row settings in WPBakery Page Builder

However, the styling options for individual elements are a bit more limited.

If you want to use your own CSS, you can add a custom CSS class or ID to individual elements, or you can add actual styles at a page level:

Page-level settings in WPBakery

Other Notable Features – 3/5

I’m not sure WPBakery Page Builder has any especially notable unique features itself. But what it does have is a massive third-party add-on community.

While many other page builders have third-party add-ons, WPBakery Page Builder is unique in the number, which is well over 250+ add-ons.

Performance – 4.5/5

WPBakery Page Builder doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to performance, but I was actually surprised at the results. While it’s not the fastest builder out there, it’s solid and pretty competitive with the other options on this list, at least for this basic test scenario.

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
WPBakery Page Builder13411
Native WordPress block editor528

6. Brizy

Launched in April 2018, Brizy is one of the “youngest” page builders on this list. However, it comes from a well-known developer — ThemeFuse — and has quickly grown in popularity. Additionally, it offers a unique approach to some parts of page building, which makes it an interesting offering.

The developers are also quickly releasing new features, and Brizy already has support for theme and popup building.

There are three things that I think make Brizy stand out from other page builder plugins:

First, it has a unique inline editing approach that tries to keep as many settings as possible inline in the editor, rather than delegating them to sidebars or popup panels. I think that this offers a speedier design experience, and it’s something that I really like about Brizy. I’ll give you an example below.

Second, it has a very generous free version. I still think Elementor has the best free version of any page builder plugin in terms of functionality, but Brizy isn’t that far behind.

Finally, it also has a unique Brizy Cloud offering, which is kind of like a cloud-hosted landing page builder/website builder based on the Brizy interface. While you certainly can use Brizy as a self-hosted WordPress plugin, this cloud version can be nice for simple brochure sites or landing pages.

Price: Basic free version at WordPress.org. Pro version starts at $49.

Interface – 5/5

Brizy is exclusively a frontend visual page builder.

To build your page, you first have to add a block. You can use a blank block or choose from the pre-built section blocks:

Brizy might be the best wordpress page builder

The “unique interface” part is what happens once you start adding elements. Rather than having a sidebar or popup where you customize/style the element, almost everything happens inline (including typing).

Look at what I mean:

Brizy interface

The result is a really speedy way of building pages. In terms of just the interface and design experience, Brizy is my personal favorite page builder on this list. I love how they’ve put everything together, and the design experience feels so natural and seamless.

Included Widgets/Templates – 4/5

Brizy currently offers 18+ basic elements in the free version that cover foundational elements.

You also get additional elements for certain features, such as a menu element when you’re building a header.

Brizy Pro adds another 20+ premium elements, including social share buttons, galleries, toggle switchers, breadcrumbs, and more.

Brizy Elements list

In terms of templates, Brizy includes over 250+ blocks (template sections) that you can use, available in both light and dark themes (so 500+ total). You also get 128+ layout templates, which are full-page designs.

The number doesn’t quite match something like Elementor or Divi Builder, but the quality of the layouts is quite good.

Styling Options – 5/5

Because of how Brizy’s interface works, there’s no set formula for styling options like the other page builders.

You can expand a sidebar for advanced settings such as spacing and responsive controls:

Brizy styling

You can also add basic styling at a page level so that you don’t have to manually edit every single element:

Brizy fonts

But most of the time, you’ll use the inline controls to style your elements, which give you a good amount of control.

Other Notable Features – 5/5

Brizy offers a lengthy feature set that compares favorably to Elementor and most other page builders:

  • Theme builder. Design headers, footers, archives, and single post templates using the Brizy interface. It also includes a dynamic feature to bring in custom field content from popular plugins such as ACF and Toolset, as well as WooCommerce support.
  • Popup builder. Design popups using the Brizy interface and use conditions to control where/when they display.
  • Web stories. Design Google Web Stories using Brizy, which is pretty unique.
  • Global banners that are synced across multiple pages.
  • Integrations with popular email marketing services (and Zapier).
  • Lead management. Store leads in your site’s database and export them as a CSV file.
  • Brizy Cloud. In addition to the WordPress plugin, there’s also a separate cloud-hosted version that works for landing pages or simple brochure sites.

Performance – 4/5

You can build fast-loading designs with Brizy, but I think it’s a bit behind more optimized page builders such as Beaver Builder because it’s a little “heavier” with its scripts.

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
Brizy19315
Native WordPress block editor528

7. Visual Composer

Above, I told you that WPBakery Page Builder used to be known as Visual Composer. The reason for that “used to” is that the team behind Visual Composer decided to spin off WPBakery Page Builder so that they could launch a completely new product using the Visual Composer name.

That’s what we’re focusing on in this section.

While it comes from the same team, it’s a completely separate product.

The main difference is that Visual Composer is a complete website builder, whereas WPBakery Page Builder is just a page builder. That is, you can use Visual Composer to go beyond the page and also design your header and footer (though this requires the premium version).

With that being said, Visual Composer’s theme-building functionality is not equal to what you get with most of the other page builder plugins on this list, so I still struggle to recommend it over other options.

One positive detail about Visual Composer is that, like WPBakery Page Builder, it has a huge collection of content elements via third-party integrations and a cloud element library.

Price: Limited free version. Pro version starts at $49.

Interface – 4/5

When you go to create a new page with Visual Composer, you can choose from a few different layouts for your canvas. You can do a completely blank canvas, include your header/footer, etc.

From there, you can design everything using a visual interface:

Visual Composer interface

The interface is smooth and glitch-free.

As of 2022, Visual Composer also supports inline text editing. When you edit text, it will put a spotlight effect on the text area, which I think makes for a pretty nice typing experience:

Visual Composer inline text editing

However, I don’t find the options in the sidebar to be as usable because everything is a single long column and there’s a lot of wasted space. I prefer the approach that most other page builders use, which is to divide settings into tabs.

Included Widgets/Templates – 5/5

When you first install Visual Composer (or if you’re using the free version), you only get access to a few blocks and no templates.

Don’t be fooled, though. Visual Composer has a huge selection of elements and templates — you just need to connect to the Visual Composer Hub and download the ones you want to use:

Visual Composer element hub

As you can see, there’s a huge variety, with everything from content blocks to integrations and more. There’s a similar variety when it comes to templates, as well.

Styling Options – 4/5

Visual Composer’s styling options are solid, but nothing really stands out. You get all the features that you’d expect, such as shape dividers, custom spacing, parallax, and more.

You also get responsive controls to edit the design based on a user’s device, as well as a wide variety of responsive preview options.

Two nice features are the options to make a row or element sticky and control how columns stack.

Visual Composer row and column settings

Other Notable Features – 4/5

As I mentioned above, Visual Composer offers some theme-building features to let you design your header and footer.

However, you can’t create unlimited automatically applied post templates like you can with Elementor Pro, Divi Builder, or Beaver Themer, which I think is a big drawback if you’re looking for full theme building. You can save a template, but you need to manually apply it to each piece of content.

You can also insert dynamic content from default and custom fields, such as those you add with ACF.

The other standout feature is the Visual Composer Hub, which comes with tons of templates and content elements that you can import.

Performance – 5/5

Other than Beaver Builder, Visual Composer is the only other page builder to get under 100 KB on our simple test site (remember — this number includes our theme; it’s not all from the builder). Again, I was pleasantly surprised here.

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
Visual Composer9613
Native WordPress block editor528

8. WP Page Builder

WP Page Builder is a new offering from Themeum, an established WordPress developer. Even though the plugin itself is new, it comes from a team that’s been around in the WordPress space for a while.

Themeum also makes the Tutor LMS plugin that we reviewed not too long ago.

In general, it’s another quality option that’s trying to make a name for itself in a crowded space. It does a good job, but it doesn’t really have a “killer app” to differentiate itself against other page builder plugins.

Still, you might have a personal preference for its interface, so it’s worth taking a look.

Price: Fairly generous free version at WordPress.org. Pro version starts at $39.

Interface – 4/5

WP Page Builder has a pretty standard interface as far as page builders go. You get a visual preview of your design on the right and a sidebar on the left where you can control your designs.

One thing that I like a lot is the ability to adjust spacing (margins/padding) using a drag-and-drop slider. You can also use a similar drag-and-drop approach to resize columns:

WP Page Builder row settings

However, there’s no inline editing, which is a bit of a downer. Instead, you’ll need to edit text in the sidebar editor:

WP Page Builder sidebar editor

Included Widgets/Templates – 5/5

Even with the free version, WP Page Builder comes with a stellar selection of widgets. For example, the free version gives you pricing tables, post grids, flip boxes, and more. Most other page builders reserve these elements for the premium version.

You also get access to 31+ Layout Bundles, which are themed template packs for specific niches. Each layout includes multiple templates:

WP Page Builder templates

Styling Options – 4/5

I already mentioned the drag-and-drop spacing/layout controls, which is a really convenient feature.

Beyond that, you also get a good array of style options. For example, you get shape dividers, the ability to hide elements on certain devices and use different settings for different devices, and plenty of general style options:

WP Page Builder styling options

However, while it’s solid, you don’t get as many options as you’d get with something like Elementor or Divi, which is why I’m going with a score of “4” instead of “5”.

Other Notable Features – 3/5

WP Page Builder is a great page builder, but it hasn’t built up the kinds of extras you get with other plugins in this collection. For example, there’s no theme building, popup builder, etc.

Beyond the page builder itself, I don’t really see any features that stand out.

Performance – 4.5/5

In terms of performance, WP Page Builder is pretty competitive with all of the other page builders on this list. It does add a few more HTTP requests than the other builders, but I don’t think that’s a huge issue on the modern web, especially if your server is using HTTP/2 (which most quality hosts are nowadays).

BuilderTotal page size (KB)Total HTTP requests
WP Page Builder13619
Native WordPress block editor528

Which Is the Best WordPress Page Builder?

So which of these eight page builders should you choose? Well, here’s how the scores stack up (in order):

Page Builder Overall (25 is Max) Interface Widgets/templates Styling Notable features Performance
Elementor 24 5 5 5 5 4
Divi Builder 24 5 4.5 5 5 4.5
Beaver Builder 23 4.5 4 5 4.5 5
Brizy 23 5 4 5 5 4
Thrive Architect 22.5 5 4 5 4 4.5
Visual Composer 22 4 5 4 4 5
WP Page Builder 21.5 4 5 4 3 4.5
WPBakery Page Builder 17 3 3.5 3 3 4.5

And personally, that’s pretty much how I would recommend them to people, as well.

If you have no idea where to start, beginning your testing with Elementor is never going to be a bad idea. For most people, Elementor hits the right balance when it comes to features, ease of use, and design options.

While it didn’t earn the top spot for performance, you can certainly build quick-loading sites with Elementor as long as you follow WordPress performance best practices. For example, simply pairing WP Rocket with Elementor can massively shrink its performance impact and help you easily pass Core Web Vitals.

Plus, Elementor has one of the most generous free versions of any builder, so you can probably get away with just the free version for basic designs.

If you’re a designer, two other good options to consider are Divi Builder and Brizy. However, if you’re more of a developer (who values stability and a bloat-free experience over having more features), I think Beaver Builder might be a better starting point.

If you’re looking for the best value of price versus features, here’s another table comparing the score to the pricing options:

Page Builder Overall (25 is Max) Free Version? Starting Price
Elementor 24 $49
Divi Builder 24 $89*
Beaver Builder 23 $99
Brizy 23 $49
Thrive Architect 22.5 $299*
Visual Composer 22 $49
WP Page Builder 21.5 $39
WPBakery Page Builder 17 $64

*For Divi Builder and Thrive Architect, you’re purchasing a membership that gets you access to all of the developer’s other themes and plugins. The Thrive Suite offers a lot more added value than the Divi membership, which is why it costs more.

That wraps up our roundup of the top WordPress page builder plugins in 2022 and beyond. I hope you found it useful, and I hope you now have a better idea of which page builder best fits your needs, knowledge level, and budget.

Now over to you — which one do you think is the best WordPress page builder?

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24 Comments

  1. Hi, Brian, thanks for stopping by! No, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Unfortunately, there is not a page builder in existence that will allow you to preserve your formatting when you deactivate the plugin. The “Commitment” rating is meant to reflect how easy it would be to change to another page builder or stop using it if you desire to do so. In other words, the optimal is that it won’t delete your content (like Themify does) or riddle it with shortcodes (like Divi does). The best you can hope for is that it will preserve all of your content and just lose the layout, which sounds like what you’re experiencing.

  2. Hi Brian,

    You are right, the page builder should keep the content even plugin deactivated.
    In the WordPress community, There are just two page builder can have that features:
    – Beaver
    – KingComposer

    I think you can give a try for KingComposer.

  3. I respectfully disagree with your score for WP Bakery. I do, however, respect your comparisons overall.

  4. Thank you for putting this together. One thing that I was looking for was a comparison of bloat i.e. how badly a page builder adds bloat to the website that you create with it. Like does it add an inordinate number of extra calls to load a page? You might also consider the quality/elegance of the coding.

  5. I totally feel you! Loving all those features but as we are further extending our website functionalities and building more content it loads slower, slower and slower … Would be great if that would work page by page. Hit me up if you found sth like that in the meantime. Charline

  6. I would like also to add my three cents to this discussion. As an digital agency, we have used to work mostly with Divi in last years and been able to make wonderful projects with this builder. Divi is going insanely forward, adding more new and new functions in each release (like global styling or variables) but there is also a dark side – worse and worse performance. Elementor is great, but has also some flaws so I’m going to give a closer look on Brizy, which as I think has the best codebase. Anyway, great comparison!

  7. This article plus all of the commentary has been very helpful in choosing a builder. I’ve worked with several on this list but not Brizy… I think I will be checking that one out soon. Thanks again!

  8. I have been using Pagelayer.
    It’s pretty good and I like the speed of the editor.
    Has all the features required to edit theme headers and footers.

  9. I would love to know your thoughts on Oxygen. I have recently been looking in to that and am considering it based on the clean output and stated quicker load times. Would love to know if you have checked into that at all.

    1. I like Oxygen but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a page builder – it’s more of a theme/site builder. A lot of overlap, but slightly different in approach.

  10. You are describing all plugin in details. Wow!
    In my life, I only use 2 builder which is WPBakery and Elementor.
    Once I try Beaver but I feel like there’s no “chemistry”. So I go back to Elementor.
    Maybe I should try Beaver again.
    Thanks!

  11. Hi Colin, this was a great article, BUT, I have to disagree….. you did not mention Global Colors even once! This is something Elementor is greatly lacking! They should not deserve a perfect score. It is soooo annoying having to change colors on every single element, every single time, on every single page. Global Colors are a must have. Thrive Architect by far offers the best color options, Brizy does too. Thrive also has Symbols, which only Webflow has. I think you should take a little bit of a deeper dive! 🙂

    1. Kepler builder has global colors and symbols.. It’s WordPress too. I don’t see it in the list either

    2. I agree with @Paul O, it’s painful building without global colors, not to mention keeping track of them. We can see emerging builders like Brizy, Kepler integrating these including symbols. I agree Elementor is packed with so many features but they’ve disregard the ease of building sites.

  12. I feel like I keep going back to divi. Really tried to like Elementor with Astra Pro but having so many options on both of I’m constantly confused on where to change things. Wondering if I’m the odd one out or others feel my pain.

  13. Hi Colin,
    Thank you for this very interesting review.

    As a Yootheme user, and am quite surprised it never appears in the wp builders comparisons. Maybe because it was at first a Joomla builder.

    I have tested WPfactory which is a shame, and switched to Yootheme which is just great.
    I would be very interested to have it compared to the other ones.
    Aloha!

  14. In my opinion, Divi Theme works better and super easy to use. Elementor is slick, fast and works great as well. Thanks for this post.

  15. When using Site Origin’s Page Builder or Beaver Lite, if the plugin is deactivated will the page be blank?!

  16. I happened to use Elementor, Divi and Beaver Builder for quite some time ago but I stumbled upon Brizy during AppSumo lifetime promo code 2 years back.

    I end up stacking up the code and fully utilised Brizy.io and Brizy.cloud. It’s really suitable for my business and I can produce a good landing page and website which can convert very fast. For e-commerce purposes, I combine a e-commerce site for payment and Brizy for lead generation & copywriting. It works very well.

    So far although Brizy is new, I think it’s the cheapest and the best investment I ever buy (and subscribed). I highly recommend Brizy to others.

  17. I think that Page Builders are more of a personal choice, and there is no best one answer.

    I have used most of them and I still choose between 3 of those according on the project. I make websites for clients and still cannot say, this one is the best. It always depends on the website I want to build, the time I want to spend on it, and the money my client is willing to pay.

    Some people like the simplicity of Brizy or the addons you can add to Elementor.
    For me, I like to rank them depending on the speed of the result and the code they produce.

    I made some videos a year ago, comparing 8 page builders. Gutenberg was the fastest one, Oxygen was second and Thrive was on the third place.

    Of course Gutenberg is not ready to create a full website, except if the project is quite simple. In most case I will use Oxygen and if the project is way to complex and needs custom code (and the client does not want to pay) I will go with Elementor. Brizy is the tool I will choose if the client wants to add pages of his own.

    That been said if you are using a page builder, know how it works and can build whatever you have in mind then it maybe the perfect tool for you.

  18. It’d be helpful if you’d include an ‘Ease of Use’ comparison for those of us who aren’t WordPress (or web design) experts and are trying to put up our own professional-looking sites with the ability to totally customize everything (including headers & footers) exactly the way we want it as easily as possible.

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