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Website design and development has come a long way since the days of having to use Notepad to write HTML code by typing one character at a time. WordPress was a disruptive force that the Internet world had been waiting for for over a decade. It was still rather clunky and eager for the next big thing. The next disruptive force arrived in 2016 with the release of a WYSIWYG page builder plugin called Elementor. Although the WordPress core has been adding other features to simplify the design process, they might never catch up with the simplicity and productivity of Elementor.
I started building sites in Elementor way back when it was still in beta. I have also used several themes including Genesis, Avada, good ol’ bootstrap hard-coded themes, and a number of others that included proprietary page builder capabilities, such as Beaver Builder and Divi. Having been around the block (or blocks), I found that Elementor makes the job easier on myself and clients alike, both technically inclined as well as the technophobic.
If I can offer a claim to fame in making my own contribution to Elementor, it would be that while Elementor was still new, less than a year old, I really wanted to add some gradient backgrounds to a section of one of the sites I was working on. Seeing how complex the development process must be for Elementor’s development team, I took it upon myself to research the various gradient tools and write a brief message to the developers, showing them different user interfaces to streamline their mindset of the features that should be included in a gradient builder. Much to my pleasure, within about three weeks, the gradient picker I described magically appeared in one of Elementor’s updates! That was a huge relief to myself and the thousands of other Elementor users out there. I got the feature I needed, finished the project, and had a great tool to help me keep designing awesomeness into future projects.
One of my biggest fears about adding any page builder to WordPress was that I’m an SEO speed freak. Site visitors don’t like to wait. Google tends to reward pages that aren’t weighed down by bloated code or huge images. Knowing that page speed was a ranking factor, and that maximizing visibility in Google’s search results is a prerequisite to any project I touch, why would I risk adding any plugin that might cause pages to load less quickly? I’ll tell you the answer. Because the content itself, the message you deliver to visitors, the layout of that content, the aesthetics, the productivity of being able to get the job done quickly and move on to the next task, or write even more content, videos, spend time on publicity, these things make the QUALITY of your content. The quality of the message, the ability to convert visitors into customers, these details are much more significant ranking factors than just page speed. Every minute that you’re staring at back-end code is a minute that you’re not doing the things that matter most in winning the rankings you want and reaching new customers. Elementor makes it simple. And… although the beautifully designed pages won’t load as quickly as a less attractive, less appealing, lower converting pages created with plain old WordPress, you come out ahead with the improved workflow, consistency, and overall elegance backed by get-r-done productivity Elementor provides.
Elementor has a feature-rich free version and, if you want even more features (you probably do) then go for their $49/year per site “Pro” version. At $199/year they sell an unlimited (well… 1000 sites) version.
NetGain Associates, Inc. clients get to have Elementor Pro version included in every project since we have the unlimited license. The links to Elementor on this page are proudly set as my affiliate links.
Oh, over a cup of coffee I introduced Elementor to a buddy of mine, Douglas Karr of MarTech Blog. Doug gave the page builder a try and wrote a nice article titled “Elementor: A Must For Every WordPress Designer“.