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Gutenberg vs WordPress Page Builders


As more users upgrade to WordPress 5.0, we’ve been asked several times if the new WordPress block editor, Gutenberg, is meant to be a replacement for drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins.

The new WordPress block editor is quite powerful and allows you to build beautiful content layouts. However, it’s no match for the powerful page builder plugins.

In this article, we will compare Gutenberg vs WordPress page builder plugins to help you understand the real difference. We’ll also share future roadmap of Gutenberg to help you see how it will change in the future.

Gutenberg vs Page Builder Plugins

Gutenberg vs WordPress Page Builder Plugins (Explained)

Gutenberg is the new default WordPress editor. It uses blocks to add and arrange content elements for posts and pages, hence the name block editor.

New WordPress editor called Gutenberg

Since Gutenberg allows you to easily add custom content styles and drag & drop element, it’s easy to get confused and start calling it a page builder.

But it’s not anywhere close (at least not yet).

WordPress page builder plugins are drag and drop design tools that allow you to create completely custom website designs without writing any code.

Creating a page with Beaver Builder best page builder plugin

Top WordPress page builders like Beaver Builder, Divi, and Visual Composer are significantly more powerful. They come with ready-made templates that you can use and offer a lot more design flexibility than Gutenberg.

Let’s take a deeper look at the differences between Gutenberg vs Page Builders to get a better understanding.

7 Key Difference Between Gutenberg and WordPress Page Builder Plugins

The biggest difference is that Gutenberg is a default WordPress editor and comes built-in with WordPress. On the other hand, page builder plugins are created and supported by third-party developers.

WordPress.org team does not call Gutenberg a page builder. Instead, they call it the block editor, and it’s presented as a modern way to edit content in WordPress.

There’s a big reason for that, and it’ll become very clear as you read the differences between the two.

1. Drag & Drop features

Gutenberg is not a drag and drop page builder (at least, not in its current form). You can add blocks and move them up and down, but you cannot adjust their width / height, add blocks inside other blocks, or create complex layouts using columns and rows.

On the other hand, page Builders allow you to drag and drop blocks/widgets, adjust their height and width, and even create columns and add blocks inside other blocks.

Nested blocks, rows, and columns

2. Theme support and compatibility

Gutenberg relies heavily on your WordPress theme styles. It does add some of its own CSS and even allow you to add custom CSS for blocks, but it doesn’t override your theme styles and settings.

While page builder plugins can work with your theme styles, they also give you the option to completely take over a page and override your theme’s styles. This is extremely helpful if you want to create custom page layouts.

3. Live editing vs backend editor

When you are editing a post or page in Gutenberg, what you see on screen is not a live preview of your actual post or page. Gutenberg is a backend editor, and it does its best to depict what your content will look like when you preview it.

On the other hand, page builder plugins give you an actual live preview of your page as you edit it. You can see exactly how things would appear without saving the page.

Editing pages with live preview

4. Content Layout vs Page Design

Gutenberg blocks give you the freedom to create content layouts, but they’re quite limited. You can use columns, tables, and full-width cover images.

Page builders are more flexible. You can not only add content, but you can also change the whole page layout. They offer more design options for each widget and block.

Creating page designs with page builder

5. Widgets and blocks

Gutenberg comes with a decent set of default blocks covering all the commonly used content elements. You can also save and reuse blocks in other posts and even on other WordPress websites.

It has a powerful API allowing plugin developers to create their own blocks too. All top WordPress plugins already have their own Gutenberg blocks that you can use.

Gutenberg blocks

Page builders come with even more blocks, modules, and widgets. They offer advanced content elements including carousels, sliders, call to action buttons, contact forms, countdown timers, and more. You can also save individual blocks, rows, or entire template to reuse later.

Content modules in Beaver Builder

Popular page builders also have their own APIs allowing other developers to make extensions and blocks. For example, the Ultimate Addons pack for Beaver Builder, and Divi Monk for Divi Page Builder.

6. Formatting and Styling Options

The blocks in Gutenberg come with their own styling and formatting options. However, these options are limited. For more styling and formatting, you’ll have to add your own custom CSS for a block.

Styling options

Page Builders, on the other hand, offer a lot more styling options. You can change background colors of blocks, use gradients, use font-icons, select fonts, line height, adjust width of elements, use styles on images, and more.

7. Scope

The purpose of adding Gutenberg to WordPress is to offer a modern writing experience to users. It is intended to be used by everyone including bloggers, writers, photographers, and businesses.

Page builder plugins provide a visual drag and drop interface to design entire pages. They are intended to be used by small businesses, aspiring designers, WordPress agencies, eCommerce stores, and more.

While Gutenberg helps you create better content, page builder plugins help you create better landing pages that help you increase sales, boost subscribers, and grow your business.

Can or Will Gutenberg Replace WordPress Page Builders?

In its current form, Gutenberg is just a better content editor than what WordPress had before. It is NOT a replacement for the powerful WordPress page builder plugins.

With that said, it is in the WordPress roadmap to expand Gutenberg’s functionality to more areas of the website such as menus, widgets, and even the customizer.

We will have to wait and see the improvements to determine if Gutenberg will ever come close the powerful WordPress page builder plugins.

Which Page Builder Plugin to Use with Gutenberg?

All top WordPress page builder plugins work well with WordPress 5.0, and the new Gutenberg editor. You can take a look at our pick of the best WordPress page builder plugins, and how they stack up against each other.

If you are building a small business website and have little to no technical skills, then we recommend Beaver Builder. It is the most beginner friendly WordPress page builder, and its packed with features.

Our second choice would be Divi. It is easy to use and gives you access to dozens of templates, modules, and a huge community of users.

We hope this article helped you understand the difference between Gutenberg block editor vs WordPress page builder plugins. You may also want to see our guide on how to grow your website on shoestring budget.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.



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6 Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders Compared (2019)


Looking for an easy way to build and customize your WordPress site? That’s where drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins come in handy.

WordPress page builders allow you to create, edit, and customize your website layout without writing any code. In this article, we will compare the 6 best drag and drop page builders for WordPress.

Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders

Why Use a Drag and Drop Page Builder for WordPress?

When starting a blog, many beginners find it difficult to customize their WordPress page layouts.

While a lot of premium WordPress themes come with different page layouts, most of them are extremely hard to customize for anyone who does not know code (HTML / CSS).

This is why users often ask us questions like: “how can we make WordPress drag and drop?” or “is there an easy drag and drop page builder for WordPress?”

When we talk with people who switch from Weebly to WordPress or from Wix to WordPress, their most common response is: “I wish WordPress had a drag and drop website builder”.

Well, there are several great drag and drop page builder plugins available for WordPress. They allow you to create completely custom website designs in WordPress without writing a single line of code.

Since there are so many different WordPress page builder plugins in the market, we decided to compare and rank the top WordPress page builders, so you can choose the right solution for your need.

Our criteria for comparing these WordPress page builders are: ease of use, flexibility, and the design output.

Having said that, let’s take a look at the best page builders for WordPress in the market.

1. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder best WordPress page builder plugin

Beaver Builder is a premium drag and drop page builder plugin for WordPress. In our opinion, it is by far the best WordPress page builder in the market.

It is extremely fast and comes with a built in onboarding tour to help you quickly familiarize with their interface.

Beaver Builder comes with a live drag and drop interface. You get to see all your changes as you add them by simply dragging elements from the right sidebar and dropping them on your page. You can click on any element on a page to edit its properties.

There are modules that let you add almost everything you may want including sliders, carousel, backgrounds, content blocks, buttons, and more.

It also comes with over 30 finely designed templates for landing pages that makes it super-easy and super-fast to create stunning website layouts.

We find Beaver Builder to be very beginner friendly. Check out our tutorial on how to create custom WordPress layouts with Beaver Builder.

Wondering if it’s compatible with the new WordPress version? Yes, it is.

Beaver Builder has been updated well along the Gutenberg project. So, it works fine with your new Gutenberg editor.

Pricing: Starting from $99 for Unlimited Sites.

Our Grade: A+

Review: Beaver Builder is the easiest page builder option in the market. It comes with pre-made templates to help you get started. The ability to customize every little detail makes it the perfect solution for WordPress users.

2. Divi

Divi Builder Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builder plugin

Divi is a drag and drop theme and WordPress page builder plugin. It is extremely easy to use and comes with 20+ layouts/templates for different kind of websites.

Just like the Beaver Builder, the Divi Builder is a visual drag and drop page builder, a true WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get).

You can directly click on your page and start editing with the real-time preview of all changes. You don’t need to save and click preview to see your new design.

Divi comes with 46 content modules that you can drag and drop anywhere in your layout. You can arrange them in 3 section types, 20 row types, and customize each element using its advanced design settings.

With Divi, you can create any type of custom page layout that you want within minutes. You can then save these Divi layouts for future use on your site. You can also export a layout from one Divi installation into another.

The Divi Builder plugin is the backbone of the Divi theme, yet it works well with any other WordPress theme.

Best of all, Divi has the best pricing out of all options in this. For a single price, you’ll get the Divi theme, the Divi page builder plugin, and all other Elegant Themes products.

This means you can use the Divi theme or install the Divi Builder plugin on any other theme.

Pricing: Starting from $89 per year

Our Grade: A

Review: Divi is a great Beaver Builder alternative. It has a powerful page builder with limitless design possibilities. Their large number of content modules allow you to create literally any type of website that you really want.

3. Visual Composer Website Builder

Visual Composer Website Builder plugin

Visual Composer Website Builder is a user-friendly WordPress website editor that helps you create custom website layouts, fast.

It comes with a simple drag and drop builder, out of box content elements, professional templates, and a host of powerful features to make a website.

Similar to Beaver Builder and Divi, it also provides real frontend editing experience for designing a website. But there’s a lot more you can do with this plugin. Unlike other plugins in the list, Visual Composer Website Builder allows you to edit your logo, menus, headers, footers, sidebars, etc.

That’s why the team decides to call it a website builder, instead of just a page builder.

The plugin features powerful design options to customize the appearance of any element on your page. You have easy options to add stylish backgrounds including parallax, gradient, slideshow, carousel, zoom in/out, video, etc. It also comes with flexible rows and columns for creating grid layouts on your site.

Visual Composer works well with all WordPress themes. This allows you to switch your themes without losing custom layouts that you created with Visual Composer.

It also includes support for the new Gutenberg editor, Google Fonts, and Yoast SEO.

Visual Composer is designed for professionals, and it’s evident by their attention to details such as remembering your color choices, which allows you to easily use the same color palette for consistency throughout your design.

Pricing: $59 For One Site License

Our Grade: A

Review: Visual Composer is a great plugin for beginners to start a website. It provides powerful features for website making in a simple manner. Website editing is made super simple with the real frontend drag and drop editor.

4. Themify Builder

Themify Page Builder Plugin for WordPress

Themify is a popular WordPress theme shop that offer a built-in Themify builder with all of their WordPress themes. For other non-Themify WordPress themes, you can get the Themify Page Builder plugin.

This simple and highly intuitive page builder comes with several ready to use modules that you can add to your pages or posts. Many of these modules usually require you to install separate WordPress plugins.

The plugin includes 40+ pre-designed layouts for different industries like gym, restaurant, portfolio, music, photography as well as online shops.

You can import a layout with one click, change its content, and build an awesome landing page within minutes.

Themify Builder allows you to edit your pages from the admin area as well as from your live site. With live editing, you get to see exactly how your changes will appear on the site.

Apart from that, Themify Builder comes with ready-to-use layouts that you can quickly apply to your page.

Pricing: $39 For the Builder Addon Bundle (The core plugin is free)

Our Grade: B

Review: Themify Builder is a reliable page builder plugin for WordPress. While the builder comes with promising features, there is a learning curve that can leave a new user frustrated.

5. Elementor

Elementor WordPress Drag and Drop Page Builder plugin

Elementor is another powerful drag and drop WordPress page builder plugin.

It is a live page builder plugin which means you get to see your changes live as you edit it with Elementor. Simply start by creating sections and select the number of columns for each section.

You can then drag and drop widgets from the left panel to your section. Elementor comes with tons of widgets including most commonly used website elements.

From basic image and text widgets to advanced accordions, sliders, testimonials, icons, social media, tabs, etc. Each widget comes with its own settings.

Elementor will also let you add widgets created by other WordPress plugins.

Don’t want to build your own layout?

Elementor comes with many ready-to-use templates that you can easily insert into your pages. You can simply point and click to edit any item on the page, replace the content, and you’re done.

Pricing: Starting from $49 for single site license.

Our Grade: B

Review: Elementor is a popular page builder plugin for WordPress. It is fast, easy to use, and comes with tons of modules / templates.

The biggest thing that we don’t like about Elementor is that their license is very restrictive. If you’re a freelancer or agency looking to use Elementor on client websites, please know that their Pro version is not GPL.

You’re better off using Beaver Builder, Divi, or Visual Composer because they respect the WordPress standards and freedoms.

6. Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Page Builder Plugin by SiteOrigin

With more than one million active installs, Site Origin’s Page Builder is a popular free WordPress page builder on the market. One of the primary reason for its popularity is the price (free). It is available as a fully functional free plugin.

Site Origin Page Builder is a little complicated to use, and new users often struggle to get familiar with it. However we had to include in our list because of it’s popularity.

For components, Site Origin Page Builder allows you to use WordPress widgets. It comes with several widgets of its own, and you can download and install any widget.

See our list of the 25 most useful WordPress widgets because you can use all of them with this page builder.

It also comes with a history tool which allows you to switch back and forth to undo/redo changes that you made. This is a huge time saver, and it gives you a peace of mind knowing that you can revert and undo changes.

The SiteOrigin plugin and all its widgets are fully Gutenberg compatible. There’s also a new SiteOrigin layout block that you can use as a Gutenberg block.

Pricing: Free

Our Grade: C

Review: Site Origin Page Builder is a good free plugin with a drag-and-drop interface to create and customize layouts. Although the live editing is not comparable to other solutions mentioned in this comparison.

Final Thoughts: Best WordPress Page Builder Plugin

As we compared different drag and drop WordPress page builders, one thing became very clear. Beaver Builder and Divi are clearly the top choice.

Visual Composer is a close third option that offer a complete drag & drop WordPress page builder.

If you don’t mind spending a little bit money to get the best solution in the market along with guaranteed support, then go for any of these three, and you won’t regret it.

Do I still Need a Page Builder if I am Using the New WordPress Block Editor?

Recently we’re getting a lot of users asking us this question.

WordPress block editor also known as Gutenberg was officially launched as the new default WordPress editor. The new editor uses blocks which are content elements for creating pages and posts.

Superficially, the block editor looks similar to some of the WordPress page builders above.

Gutenberg blocks most used

Hence there’re hot discussions going on in WordPress about Gutenberg and page builders.

Is Gutenberg a page builder? Does the Gutenberg block editor replace the WordPress page builders? And, do I still need a page builder if I am using the new WordPress block editor?

Well, the answer to the first two questions is ‘No, not quite yet.’

And, Yes, you will need a page builder if you want an easy way to create completely custom WordPress designs.

Gutenberg in its current form is no match to the powerful features these “true” WordPress page builder plugins offer.

Having that said, you can use a plugin like CSS Hero with Gutenberg and probably get away without using a true page builder, but it entirely depends on your needs.

A lot of our readers love using CSS Hero for quick and easy website customization. Read our full CSS Hero review to see if it’s a suitable solution for your needs.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress drag and drop page builder plugins for your site. You may also want to see our comparison to find the best WordPress contact form plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post 6 Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders Compared (2019) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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