Elementor Free vs. Pro: A Comprehensive Review [2020]

by Corey Philip
November 3, 2020

230 Pre-Built Page Templates

80++ Design Elements

3 Form Types

10 Hosting Packages

19 Master Add-Ons

Let’s face it… You’re not here to read this entire article. Hey, no hard feelings here! Just stating a fact and that’s that.

It’s hard to argue against the notion that good design is what drives people into action, especially on the Internet. That’s why so many marketing tools and softwares online have design features as well.

There are many page builders that offer easy design-focused features and interface. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, Elementor comes out superior – at least that’s what most people say about it. In this post, I figure out what makes Elementor such a popular page builder option and whether it’s really as amazing as a lot of people say it is.

What is Elementor?

Elementor is a visual page builder plugin for WordPress that lets you create captivating websites with a wide array of design features. It provides tools for advanced and specific styling, more extensive than most page builders, all without requiring you to write a single line of code.

Gone are the days when you have to save your code and preview the website every single time you make a change. Elementor has a front-end visual editor that lets you see what the website will look like when it’s published as you edit its content.

Elementor is best known for its superiority in design and customization because they offer most of the essential design features for FREE. Should you need additional features like email marketing integrations, e-commerce widgets, and other business-related capabilities, the Pro plans are also affordable to make upgrades easily accessible to anyone.

How Does Elementor Work?

Elementor provides a drag-and-drop page builder, which is essentially what you use to design different areas and functions of your website. The front-end page editor is the foundation of Elementor. It’s what you use for almost every other feature they offer. The main thing you need to know how to do is drag and drop elements into the front-end webpage and the rest will depend on your eye for good design.

Best of Elementor: What I Like

There are 2 particular capabilities that set Elementor apart from other WordPress page builder plugins. In my opinion, these are considerations that can probably be the reason you choose Elementor over other alternatives.

Integrates with 3rd party plugins

If you’re already using other WordPress plugins for your website, Elementor actually allows other plugins' widgets to be used with the visual editor.

One particular plugin that's commonly integrated with Elementor is WooCommerce.

WooCommerce integration is available on the Pro version and you can add products, pricing tables, and other e-commerce elements onto your Elementor website.

Compatible with any WordPress theme

Elementor works on any WordPress theme. If you already installed one, Elementor would be a good choice for you because you don’t have to format major parts of your website again. It works seamlessly with Elementor. This might also be a consideration if you already spent money on a paid WordPress theme.

What You Can Do With Elementor for Free: Key Features

If it isn’t obvious already, Elementor is one of the most popular page builders. Just ask the 5 million active users, as per the WordPress Elementor plugin page. As I mentioned, Elementor offers the majority of its design features for free. Here I review the major features included in the free version...

Get Started with Page & Block Templates

Elementor has a good selection of 230 pre-built templates that can be an efficient starting point for pages on your website. With other design elements in the drag-and-drop editor, you can easily change things up to match your brand and styling preference.

There are also templates for blocks and icons that you can add to the content itself. In case you have something in mind you want to create, you can do so freely and save it for later use in different pages or posts. You can also export and import templates between different sites. Talk about extremely convenient!

Set a Better Workflow with Shortcuts

What’s best about Elementor’s visual editor is that they also offer workflow features that make your editing a breeze. The idea of designing a page is fun in theory, but it gets tedious when you’re hours into it. Trust me!

Hotkeys is a set of shortcuts Elementor has set to make editing a mindless routine. They have a shortcut cheatsheet to get acquainted with the shortcuts, but as you do it more, it will be a mindless routine.

They also have a quick undo and redo and auto save. You’d think these are basic features that shouldn’t need mentioning, but you’d be surprised that other page builders don’t even offer this one. Or if they do, some are faulty and not really reliable.

Precise Format Customization for Every Element

Now this is where Elementor takes design up a notch. Drag-and-drop editing, inline text editing, column adjustments are basic as far as Elementor is concerned. This page builder enables very specific styling capabilities, described as pixel perfect.

Elementor allows you to disregard grids and set absolute positioning for just about any element. You can even put photos and texts on top of each other.

The basic background element can be upgraded with gradient colors, column gaps can be adjusted, and elements’ margins and padding can be set flexibly.

Edit Mobile Website

From the front-end editor, you can instantly change your website’s layout depending on the type of device. Elementor is designed for mobile responsiveness to minimize the need for editing, but you can also change some aspects to better fit mobile views if you want.

Something that isn’t typically offered by other page builders is ‘reverse columns’. On mobile, you can’t always show columns as they are on desktop because of the significant width difference of the screens. Reverse columns just lets you reverse the order of the content in columns when they’re viewed on a phone.

This is useful for when you have a layout that's good on desktop but doesn't translate as well on mobile.

Go Back to Old Page Format From Revision History

Elementor offers a full revision history that documents all the changes made to a page or post – every action made and every version saved after an editing session. With version control, one click allows you to choose one previous version and reset everything back to that version.

Elementor Pro Version: Stepping It Up a Few Notches

Now I would say Elementor seems pretty invaluable on the free version. But it does offer other great things on the Pro, if you’re looking for more advanced features for business, specifically marketing features.

Theme Builder

The Theme Builder allows you to change the main parts of your website like header and footers, or essential pages like the 404 error page or the search page. It also lets you create page and content templates to automatically apply to new pages or posts, or to save for future use.

It’s easy to access this with the Full Site Editor. Design your entire site with a front-end visual editor that shows your page’s appearance in real time.

WooCommerce Builder

This, as the name suggests, integrates with the WooCommerce plugin with Elementor, so you can use its e-commerce features. Features like the pricing, and Woo Add to Cart button are instantly made available when editing a page.

Here's the complete list of what WooCommerce features you can also use in Elementor:

If you’re already using WooCommerce, products and product categories you’ve already set can be instantly used in your Elementor page as well. Single product page, checkout page, and other previous pages you’ve created can also be instantly used with Elementor.

3 Form Types + Email Integration

Forms are only available on the Pro version, but you’re treated with 3 kinds for different purposes: contact forms, subscription forms, and login forms. Elementor Pro also integrates with 8 email marketing platforms and other communication and CRM apps to get leads into your lists.

Popup Builder

In addition to forms, the Pro version also allows you to build pop-ups for either an opt-in form or a special offer. This one elevates your marketing as pop-ups are more attention-grabbing than just page content. It milks out opportunities to convert visitors.

Elementor Pop-Up Builder gives you the option of a full screen, header bar, or bottom bar modals with fly-in, slide-in, or classic motion.

Other Features You Should Know About...

Role Manager

Role manager is quite a unique access management feature that lets you restrict editing access to certain people in your team. You can give permission to edit only to the designer or editor. Not only this, you can also restrict people to edit only the content but not make any design changes. As an example, you can give access to the writer to edit just the text content. 

This is convenient if you have plenty of people with login access to your site, but don’t want just anyone to make changes to how your site looks.

Request Parameters

This feature allows you to follow along a user as they go through your sales funnel. You can see where they’re at in the customer journey from the moment they visit your site. This is incredibly helpful to get further insight into how effective your marketing is, and allows you to determine what aspects to change, or if you should change anything at all.

24/7 Support

Anyone who uses any software like Elementor knows that the most frustrating part is often the customer support. It sucks when you don’t realize it until you encounter a problem and you can’t reach anyone from the company or get definitive solutions to your dilemma.

Now before I even consider a software, especially if it’s relevant to something as big a deal as my website, I check for what kind of support they provide. There’s not much difference to what Elementor provides compared to other page builder alternatives. They offer 24/7 ticket support, and also extensive documentation.

This doesn’t begin to include the 20+ other design features to add to the already rich elements selection. Animation or motion effects can be applied to headlines and call to action buttons. Hover, scrolling and mouse effects also attracts attention even as the visitor is just browsing your site.


Elementor gives you quite a generous set of design features for free, enough to establish a simple blog or personal website with. For that alone, I understand why this is such a popular page builder.

If you need more features though, particularly marketing features, the Pro is easily accessible even without a high budget. The annual prices are significantly cheaper than what we typically see softwares charge. And you can tell no part of the features are compromised to make up for the affordable rates.

Recommended or Not?

Elementor clearly has the competitive edge when it comes to design. It has a specific and comprehensive set of features and advanced elements settings that enable flexibility in styling and formatting your website the way you want it to look like.

The plugin is basically a giveaway for the amount of features you get for free. Other page builder alternatives are user-friendly, but Elementor is built so simply that it could be a gateway for complete beginners with no experience with websites at all.

You’ll may find Elementor a bit lacking if you need more advanced marketing functions, in which case the Pro plans that enable those marketing features are so accessible with a low budget. Elementor is more than enough for personal blogs, professional portfolios, entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses.

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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