When it comes to WordPress website development, the design and layout of a website are crucial factors that can make or break a website’s success. That’s why it’s important to make the right decision between Gutenberg vs. Elementor when selecting a page builder.
Traditionally, creating a website layout and design required a significant amount of coding knowledge, which made it difficult for non-technical users to create a desirable WordPress site. However, the advent of theme builders, or block editors, such as the Gutenberg editor and Elementor has revolutionized the way websites are built.
In this article, we will compare Gutenberg editor vs. Elementor, two of the most popular WordPress page builders available for WordPress, and explore their differences, benefits, and drawbacks.
What are Theme Builders or Page Builders?
A theme builder is a software tool that simplifies website development by providing users with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to create custom website layouts and designs.
They typically come in the form of plugins that can be installed on WordPress websites after the initial WordPress install to add more functionality to the default WordPress block editor.
The main benefit of theme builders is that they allow website owners to create custom layouts, add features, and design their website without the need for extensive coding knowledge.
If you don’t have a theme builder, like the Elementor page builder, you can still edit your content with Gutenberg blocks and the block editor. You also don’t need a theme builder, you can always install a theme on top of the Gutenberg editor and make great looking web pages.
Hopefully that makes sense, there’s lots of different ways to create pages in WordPress and build great WordPress themes.
There’s also a lot of different page builders aside from just the Elementor page builder which we will cover more in-depth in a later article.
Gutenberg vs. Elementor:
Gutenberg is the default WordPress page builder that was introduced in WordPress 5.0 and is immediately enabled upon install. It is a block editor that allows users to create custom page layouts by adding blocks of content such as text, images, videos, and widgets. The blocks can be easily customized and moved around on the page using a drag-and-drop interface. You may have used Gutenberg without even realizing it!
On the other hand, Elementor is a popular page builder plugin for WordPress that allows users to create custom page layouts using a visual drag-and-drop interface. This is an additional plugin that you have to install manually if you wish after you install WordPress. It comes with a range of pre-built templates, widgets, and blocks that can be easily customized and added to a page. Elementor also has a theme builder feature that allows users to create custom headers, footers, and archive pages.
If you need help figuring out how to install the free version of Elementor, or would like to see what plugins we recommend for WordPress, check out our 2023 guide here.
Differences between Gutenberg and Elementor
#1: User Interface
The main difference between Gutenberg and Elementor is their user interface. Gutenberg uses a block-based interface, called the Gutenberg block editor, where users can add content blocks to the page and customize them individually.
In contrast, Elementor provides a visual interface that allows users to see the changes they make in real-time.
Gutenberg’s block editor allows users to customize individual blocks by changing their background colors, font sizes, and alignment. However, customization options are limited compared to Elementor. Elementor provides a wide range of customization options for every element on the page, including margins, padding, animations, and effects.
#3: Pre-built Templates
Elementor comes with a range of pre-built templates that users can choose from and customize to their liking. In contrast, Gutenberg does not offer any pre-built templates. Both Gutenberg and Elementor both have templates specifically made for each respective block editor that you can go download later if desired.
Elementor has a library of third-party add-ons that users can install to add more features to their website. Gutenberg does not offer any add-ons.
Elementor vs. Gutenberg Cons
While Elementor is a powerful and flexible page builder, one potential downside is its pricing structure. While Gutenberg is free as it comes with every default install of WordPress 5.0 or later.
Elementor offers both a free and a paid version. The free version of Elementor provides access to basic features and functionality, while the paid version, called Elementor Pro, offers access to additional features and templates.
The pricing for Elementor Pro starts at $49/year for a single website, and goes up to $999/year for unlimited websites. For some users, this pricing may be a barrier to entry, especially for those who are just starting out and have limited budgets.
#2: Learning Curve
Both page builders take some time to learn but Elementor has a bit steeper of a learning curve. While the drag-and-drop interface is easy to use, the wide range of features and customization options may be overwhelming for beginners. It can take some time to learn how to use all of the features and get the most out of the page builder.
#3: Plugin Bloat
Elementor is a plugin, and as with any plugin, it can add bloat to your website. While Elementor is a one of the most well-coded and optimized page builders, using too many plugins on your website can slow down your website’s performance. You also may be tempted to add additional plugins that they cross-promote, which can sneakily add up.
#4: Limited Flexibility
While Elementor provides a lot of flexibility and customization options, some users may find that it doesn’t provide enough flexibility to create highly unique and custom designs. For users with more advanced design needs, a custom-coded website may be a better option.
Overall, while Elementor is a powerful and flexible page builder, it may not be the best fit for all users due to its pricing structure, learning curve, plugin bloat, and limited flexibility.
However, for those who are willing to take the time the to learn how to use it, Elementor can be a great choice for creating highly customized and professional-looking websites. Much less, if you become comfortable with it you can take your website to the next level really easily with the pro paid version.
Benefits of using Gutenberg
#1: Easy to Use
Gutenberg blocks are easy to use, even for beginners who have no coding knowledge. The block-based interface makes it easy to add content to a page and customize it. Pasting content straight from Google Docs or Microsoft Word works really well as well so the basic functionality is there.
#2: WordPress Integration
Since Gutenberg is the default editor, it is fully integrated into the WordPress ecosystem. This means that it is optimized for WordPress, and users can easily switch back to the classic editor if needed.
#3: SEO Friendly And Simple
Gutenberg is SEO friendly and allows users to add meta tags, descriptions, and focus keywords to their pages without feeling too complicated. You can easily use it or Elementor with Yoast SEO or similar SEO plugin.
Benefits of using Elementor
#1: More Customization Options
Elementor provides a wide range of customization options for every element on the page, including margins, padding, animations, and effects. This allows users to create highly customized pages and designs.
#2: Pre-built Templates
Elementor comes with a range of pre-built templates that users can choose from and customize to their liking. This saves time and effort in creating a custom design from scratch.
#3: Theme Builder
Elementor’s theme builder feature allows users to create custom headers, footers, and archive pages, which is not possible with Gutenberg.
Elementor has a library of third-party add-ons that users can install to add more features to their website. These add-ons can extend the functionality of Elementor and allow users to create more complex designs and layouts.
Examples of what you can do with Elementor
#1: Custom Headers and Footers
With Elementor’s theme builder feature, users can create custom headers and footers for their website. This allows them to add their own branding elements and create a unique design that matches their website’s overall theme.
#2: Landing Pages
Elementor allows users to create custom landing pages that are optimized for conversions. Users can add custom forms, buttons, and calls to action to their landing pages to encourage visitors to take action.
#3: Product Pages
With Elementor, users can create custom product pages for their eCommerce website. They can add custom product descriptions, images, and pricing options to create a unique shopping experience for their customers.
#4: Blog Layouts
Elementor allows users to create custom blog layouts that match their website’s overall design. They can add custom post templates, archive pages, and pagination options to create a seamless blog reading experience for their visitors.
Gutenberg vs. Elementor Recommendation
When it comes to choosing between Gutenberg vs. Elementor, it ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use editor that is integrated into WordPress, Gutenberg is a great option. However, if you are looking for more customization options, pre-built templates, and add-ons, Elementor is the way to go.
If you are a beginner with no coding knowledge and just want to create simple pages and posts, Gutenberg is a great option. You can get all of your content right in the Gutenberg block editor on your WordPress site and then find a great WordPress theme to compliment. However, if you are looking to create more complex designs and layouts, and more ways to make your WordPress website unique, Elementor is the better choice.
Overall, we recommend Elementor as a page builder, if you are invested in learning how to build your website and want the best looking and most professional website. The ability to download a starter theme or template, and customize it to make it your own with Elementor’s customization options is very powerful. I personally like to start my research from Google and search for Elementor themes until I find one that most aligns with what I’m going for. Then I install the theme and start customizing away.
An ambitious Linux programmer whose been in web hosting for 6 years, currently working at as a Linux System Administrator. I’ve designed WordPress, Drupal and Joomla sites through contract work or on my break from working too much. Work-a-holic and tend to be connected almost 24/7 (I like it). I really enjoy creating automation scripts as it tends to make life easier. My goal is dive into the world of DevOps and be able to manage datacenters.
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