Trying to decide between Elementor vs Beaver Builder to design your WordPress site?
Choosing a WordPress page builder is a little bit like getting married. While you can always change your mind later, it’s messy and something you’re better off avoiding whenever possible!
To help you avoid changing your mind down the road, we’re going to compare these two page builder heavyweights and help you make your decision.
We’re not going to recommend a single tool – but we are going to dig in and give you the information you need to make your own decision. To help do that, we’ll give you a hands-on look at the interfaces, widgets, templates, styling options, and lots more.
And to make things as standardized as possible, we’ve imported the exact same Astra Starter Sites design for each respective page builder. So even though our test sites are running two different page builders, they’ll look 100% identical, which gives you a great look at how each page builder handles things.
Elementor vs Beaver Builder: The Interface
This section has to come first because you’re going to spend most of your time in the page builder’s editing interface.
If you don’t find it speedy and intuitive, your productivity will drop like a rock – and that’s the opposite of what a page builder should do!
Both of these page builders offer rock-solid, glitch-free interfaces that are pretty speedy, so you’re unlikely to notice any difference on that front.
But while both are visual, front end page builders, they approach the interface a little differently, and that might affect your decision. There’s no right or wrong here – it’s really just preference.
Let’s take a look…
Elementor divides your screen into two core sections:
- 1 – a live preview of your design on the right.
- 2 – a sidebar where you can add elements, style them, and make use of other functionality (like responsive previews).
If you want to get a full look at your site, you can also manually hide the side panel when needed.
To add a new element, you just drag it over from the side panel:
And Elementor supports inline text editing so that you can edit any text element just by clicking and typing:
Finally, with some of the smaller buttons in the sidebar, you’re able to access:
- Responsive previews
- Undo/redo buttons
- A full history of both individual actions (for the current session) and saved revisions
- Various other settings
Beaver Builder Interface
Beaver Builder gives you a full-width preview of your design, opting to tuck the control areas into a top bar and a popup that appears when you want to edit a module or row:
- 1 – your live preview takes up the full page
- 2 – you can add modules or rows by clicking on the + icon to open the menu
Here’s what the interface looks like when you hit the + icon:
Like Elementor, you simply drag these modules over from the sidebar to add them to your design:
You edit modules in a popup. But you can easily pin this popup to the sidebar if you prefer that approach.
Beaver Builder also recently added inline text editing, which puts it on par with Elementor in that respect, as well*:
*We recommend you pin the popup to the sidebar if you use inline editing because it offers an easier inline editing experience
Elementor vs Beaver Builder: Modules And Sections
Whether you call them widgets or modules, or sections or rows, these elements are the building blocks of your designs.
You use sections/rows and columns to create the basic layout for your page, and then widgets/modules to actually add content to that layout.
In this section, we’ll compare how each page builder handles these elements.
Elementor gives you three elements, each with a hierarchy:
- Sections – these are the largest “container”. A section groups columns and widgets and lets you, say, apply a background to everything inside.
- Columns – columns go inside sections and divide your design vertically.
- Widgets – these are the actual content of your site. Widgets can be text, images, a pricing table…you name it.
In the free version, Elementor lets you build your designs with 28 widgets. And with Elementor Pro, you get access to 30 new widgets, giving you 58 total widgets.
Elementor also lets you add additional widgets via third-party plugins. For example, the Ultimate Addons For Elementor plugin adds 23+ new widgets that you can use in your designs.
Beaver Builder Modules
Beaver Builder operates using a similar approach, though with different terminology:
- Rows – these are the largest “container”. You can use them to apply cohesive spacing/backgrounds to the content inside.
- Columns – columns go inside rows and help you divide your page vertically.
- Modules – these are the actual content of your site. E.g. text, images, buttons, etc.
In the free version, Beaver Builder gives you 6 modules. But with the premium version, you get access to 30 modules.
Like Elementor, you can also extend this further with third-party plugins. For example, the Ultimate Addons for Beaver Builder plugin adds more than 45 new modules.
Elementor vs Beaver Builder: Styling Options
Once you have your modules and sections, you’ll want to style everything to make it look just right.
That’s where a page builder’s styling options come in…
But don’t fall into the trap that you have to use your page builder to style everything. For basic stuff like colors and typography, it’s often easier to use your theme to set up global styles.
Then, you only need to edit styles with your page builder if you want to create content that breaks from your global styles.
Elementor Styling Options
By default, Elementor applies its own global styles to your content, which you can configure as needed.
However, by accessing the plugin’s settings, you can turn off this functionality and use your WordPress theme’s styles instead:
Once you do that, your Elementor content will use the exact same styling as your regular WordPress content, which ensures consistency across your entire site.
Of course, if you want to override these global styles, or style your design in other ways, Elementor gives you plenty of control.
For each section, column, or widget, you get three tabs to control how it looks and functions:
- Content – basic things like alignment and size.
- Style – colors, typography, etc.
- Advanced – custom margin/padding, animation, responsive controls, Z-index, and more.
Elementor has one of the deepest set of styling options you’ll find in a page builder, so it’s impossible to cover every option.
But beyond the custom margins/padding, two especially handy features are:
- Responsive controls – these let you hide content on specific devices.
- Custom CSS – with Elementor Pro, you can add custom CSS styles directly to individual widgets or sections (the free version lets you add a CSS class or ID, but not actual styles)
Finally, for many of the style settings, it’s possible to use the device icon to apply different styles to different types of devices:
Beaver Builder Styling Options
By default, Beaver Builder adopts your theme’s global styles, rather than applying its own styles like Elementor does by default.
Again, this means that you can use the Astra theme’s Customizer controls to set up a cohesive style scheme and then just override your global styles with Beaver Builder as needed.
When you click on any row or module, you can style it using the various tabs that appear in the popup.
These tabs depend on the specific module, but generally, you’ll at least have options for:
- Advanced – things like custom margins, responsive controls, etc.
Like Elementor, you can use the device icons to apply different styles to different devices.
And while you can only add CSS classes and IDs to individual elements, Beaver Builder makes it easy to add actual CSS styles at a page-level (just not an element level):
Additionally, one unique feature that Beaver Builder has is the option to set custom responsive breakpoints in the global settings (these breakpoints apply to all your Beaver Builder content):
Elementor vs Beaver Builder: Template Functionality
Both Elementor and Beaver Builder give you the power to build a beautiful page from a 100% blank canvas…
But sometimes you don’t want to start from scratch!
And with so many beautiful templates for both Elementor and Beaver Builder, you don’t have to.
Instead, you can just import a template, tweak as needed, and enjoy your great-looking site.
As of Elementor 2.0, Elementor divides its templates into two categories:
- Pages – these are full-page designs that are fully-functional from the moment you import them (you just need to customize the content)
- Blocks – blocks are designs for specific sections of a page. For example, you could use a block to just add a pre-built “contact” section to an otherwise custom page.
In its free version, Elementor gives you ~40 page templates, as well as a larger number of blocks.
And with Elementor Pro, you get access to hundreds of premium page and block templates.
Once you create your own designs, you can also save them as templates to reuse them later on.
Like widgets, it’s also possible to use third-party templates, as well. That’s actually what we’ve done for the example screenshots – we imported a fully-built demo site based on Elementor templates using Astra’s Starter Sites.
Beaver Builder Templates
Beaver Builder doesn’t include any pre-built templates in the free version. But in the paid version, Beaver Builder gives you a variety of page templates divided into two sections:
- Landing Pages – ~31 templates
- Content Pages – ~25 templates
Beaver Builder doesn’t offer the equivalent of Elementor’s blocks in the free version. But you can find third-party plugins that give you that same type of functionality (these are called row sections).
Like Elementor, you can also save your own templates to reuse them later.
And if you want access to additional templates, Beaver Builder makes it very easy for you to access new templates via third-party developers.
Elementor vs Beaver Builder: Theme Building
Theme building is a powerful feature that lets you design your entire WordPress site using the same user-friendly page builder interface you’ve seen above.
Both Elementor and Beaver Builder now offer full theme building, but they go about including it in two different ways.
Elementor includes it in the regular Elementor Pro add-on, while Beaver Builder requires you to purchase the separate Beaver Themer extension.
Both plugins’ theme building tools are also fully compatible with the Astra theme. Yes – even if you’re using a theme builder to design your entire site, it’s still important to choose a quality theme (here’s why!).
For example, the Astra theme provides a quick-loading foundation that lets you control the global styles for your theme builder, which saves you a ton of time.
Elementor Theme Building Functionality
With Elementor’s theme builder, you can create and manage the various parts of your theme from the My Templates area.
When you create a new template, you can choose what part of your theme you want it to replace, as well as give it a name:
Then, you can either choose from one of Elementor’s pre-built blocks to start your design, or you can build it from scratch.
The theme building interface is identical to the regular Elementor interface. Only now you get a new set of Theme Elements to build your design.
These Theme Elements let you insert dynamic information pulled from your WordPress site’s main functionality. For example, if you add the Post Title and Post Info elements (example below), Elementor will insert the actual content for the specific post that a user is visiting:
The available Theme Elements depend on what type of content you’re building.
Once you’ve built your design, you can choose exactly where you want to use it. You can use it everywhere. Or, you could opt to just use it on, say, a specific:
- Category of blog posts
- Custom post type
- Post format
Beaver Builder Theme Building Functionality
If you have the Beaver Themer extension for Beaver Builder, you can create and manage the various parts of your theme by going to Beaver Builder → Themer Layouts.
When you create a new Themer layout, you’ll give it a name and choose what part of your theme you want to replace:
Then, you have two drop-downs to control where your design displays:
- Location – lets you apply your template to all content, or just specific categories, tags, post types, etc.
- Users – this is a unique feature that lets you apply your design based on the individual user. For example, you could only display your design when a user is logged in, or for specific user roles.
Then, you can click the Launch Beaver Builder button to actually design your theme part.
When you’re building your design, you’ll get a new group of Themer Modules that let you dynamically insert your site’s content:
Elementor vs Beaver Builder: Other Considerations
There are some features that don’t fit neatly into this comparison format…
That’s what this section is for.
Here are some unique features that Elementor offers:
- Global widgets – you can use global widgets in multiple spots and then update every instance at the same time.
- Embed anywhere – you can embed Elementor templates with shortcodes or widgets. This lets you, say, use Elementor to design a CTA in your sidebar.
And here’s something that only Beaver Builder offers:
- White-labeling – if you’re building sites for clients, this helps you create a custom, white-labeled end product. The Astra theme also supports white-labeling, so if you combine Beaver Builder with Astra you can create a 100% white-labeled solution.
Elementor vs Beaver Builder: Pricing
Both Elementor and Beaver Builder offer free versions at WordPress.org that you can test out, though Elementor’s free version gives you more flexibility because of its larger widget library.
If you want the premium versions of either plugin, here’s how the pricing stacks up…
There are three Elementor Pro plans:
- 1 site – $49
- 3 sites – $99
- Unlimited sites – $199
There is no lifetime option, and each plan comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
For Beaver Builder, there are also three plans. Each plan allows unlimited sites, it just comes with different bundles:
- Standard – $99 – use Beaver Builder on unlimited sites (but no multisite support or white-labeling)
- Pro – $199 – everything in standard, plus the Beaver Builder theme and multisite support
- Agency – $399 – everything in standard, plus support for white-labeling
There is no lifetime plan, and Beaver Builder offers refunds if requested within the first 30 days.
Additionally, if you want access to theme building, Beaver Themer is an additional $147 for use on unlimited sites.
Final Thoughts On Elementor vs Beaver Builder
Elementor and Beaver Builder are two page builders that are both at the top of their game. That’s a big part of why we’ve built Astra Starter Sites on both Elementor and Beaver Builder. And we’ve also gone out of our way to ensure that the Astra theme integrates perfectly with both page builders when it comes to page-level controls and theme building.
If we had to draw a difference between the two page builders, most people say that Beaver Builder is a little bit more suited for developers, while Elementor is a little bit more suited for designers.
But honestly? You won’t go wrong picking either of these page builders.