Creating a WordPress site can be a frustrating experience. It should be relatively easy, just pick a template and modify it to meet your needs. However, finding a template which does EXACTLY what you want, can be a big problem today, because there is quite a lot of choice, and you might opt for a multipurpose theme which is not necessary the exact fit. Changing it so that it looks right is often an even bigger headache.
When creating a page within WordPress the situation wasn’t improved with the standard, and very limited, post editor. All you were given was a box to add your text, pictures and multimedia content. It was difficult to set out the page the way you wanted, with the resulting post not necessarily appearing the way it did in the editor.
That’s until WordPress Drag and Drop builders appeared on the market.
A big improvement over this restrictive method of creating posts can be found using a WordPress drag and drop plugin. You don’t need to know any code or employ someone who does when you can drag page elements around and place them where you want. Using a visual page builder makes creating a post less of a chore and more intuitive, as well as something even novice webmasters can accomplish.
These plugins work by allowing you to divide your content into sections, which you can then move around so that it appears the way you imagined. They often provide templates, which you can easily modify with drag and drop, to suit your needs.
We take a look at some of the more popular WordPress drag and drop plugins available for your website.
Gutenberg is the default drag and drop editor that comes built into the latest versions of WordPress. It is an open source creation which is intended to improve upon the original editor.
The new built-in visual editor allows you to create modern designs with multimedia sections that should look good on all screen sizes. The editor uses blocks to manage the content on your page. Create blocks using one of the defaults included in the program, fill it with words, images or video as appropriate and use the arrows to move them around until the page looks as you want.
Though it may be included with WordPress 5 and above many people aren’t happy with this feature. The one-star ratings far outweigh any other user review. People complain that it is buggy, makes things more difficult and is confusing to use.
Elementor is an open source drag and drop builder for WordPress which allows you to make fast edits to your pages. The speed makes it easy to see the results of your changes and experiment with design choices.
You start by creating a section and selecting the number of columns you want in each one. The left panel contains widgets which you can drag and drop. Many popular widgets are found within the large number available. The widgets have their own settings and the choices range from standard text and image elements to more advanced sliders, social media, icons and testimonial widgets.
They offer a large template directory which provides designs which have been created with mobile users in mind. Editing these templates is easy, you just click on them to edit or remove.
Elementor is offered in three paid packages, Personal, Business and Unlimited. All the packages offer the same features and are differentiated by the number of sites you can use it with, there is also a free version which is more limited in capabilities. Personal is for one site and costs $49. Business is three sites and costs $99. Unlimited as the name suggests doesn’t restrict you at the cost of $199 per year.
This website has an excellent guide on how to use Elementor Pro to achieve excellent results.
Beaver Builder is a popular choice of WordPress drag and drop plugin. This visual builder comes with a good number of templates to give you a starting point to create your unique site. Pick a template and drag elements from the sidebar menu to add them to the page. You can then edit these elements to fit your requirement.
You can add elements which will do a large number of different things. Elements you can add include backgrounds, buttons and sliders among many options.
The plugin comes with 30 templates which are optimized to better display for mobile users. They have compatibility with many WordPress shortcodes and widgets to reduce problems.
Beaver Builder has gained a lot of very positive feedback from users. Customers in particular talk about the ease of creating with the plugin and the great customer support on offer.
Beaver Builder is available in three packages, Standard, Pro and Agency. The Standard subscription costs $99 per year and can be used on unlimited sites. The Pro option gives you multi-site capabilities and the Beaver Builder Theme. The Agency package adds a white labeling option.
Divi bills itself as “The Ultimate WordPress Theme and Visual Page Builder”. It allows you to create almost any type of design you can imagine with their drag and drop interface.
The Divi package gives you access to a wide range of different layouts within their flexible system. Their interface allows for both front-end real-time editing if you use their theme, and back-end page editing with any other themes.
They provide 46 content elements which are customizable and support the use of custom CSS. You are able to combine these content elements and move them around to create your website layout. They have over 20 pre-made layout templates designed for different website types.
Divi is available in 32 languages and they have made sure that all the builder interface sections, as well as descriptions, are translated into your language of choice.
Divi costs from $89 per year and includes the builder plugin, Divi theme and all the other themes created by the creator of this plugin, Elegant.
Thrive Architect is a WordPress visual page builder which is more focused on business websites than the others here. They offer a large number of landing page templates and conversion elements to help you achieve a better conversion rate from your site.
Architect offers front-end editing and provides most of the elements a marketing site will normally need. They have credit card icons, countdown timers, lead generation forms and call to action buttons, to name but a few.
They have templates available for almost every imaginable marketing strategy. If you are launching a new product they have a sequence to help sales. If you are having a webinar event they have the template pages for that too. In total, they have 274 landing page templates to boost your website leads.
Thrive Architect charge one time fees of $67 for a single site and $97 for a 5 site license. These two options get free updates and have one year of support. Their Thrive membership option allows you to install the plugin on up to 25 sites and provides unlimited support at the cost of $19 per month. The membership also gives you access to all of their other products as well.
The latest release of WordPress does contain a drag and drop editor which may meet the design needs of some. Ultimately, though, you will probably be better off using a different WordPress drag and drop plugin if the user reviews of Gutenberg are to be believed. The other plugins featured here provide far more features, are easier to use and are considerably better received by their users.