Visual Composer is the king of drag and drop page builders for WordPress. It’s highly developed, easy to use and offers endless design possibilities. Users don’t need to do any code to create beautiful and functional web pages in just minutes. While Visual Composer is the best in the business when it comes to visual page builders, it’s not the only game in town.
There are some useful alternatives, both free and premium, for those who want something different. With free plugins you may experience more problems with compatibility, bugs and updates. For smaller projects, a free page builder may be just what you need.
Other premium plugins may be useful for certain users because they are lighter and faster. You may not need all the options that Visual Composer has to offer. Instead you can opt for something smaller in scope. This list contains 5 of the best drag and drop page builders available for WordPress.
The Beauty of WordPress Pagebuilders
WordPress has a large user base and is the most popular CMS on the planet. It’s also the easiest platform to use in relation to how much control you have over your website. It makes sense that most of the people who use WordPress are more design oriented than technical.
This is where visual page builders come into play. Think of it in terms of the relationship between an architect and an engineer. Usually the architect draws up some beautiful plans and the engineer has to figure out all the math to make it happen. Well, the page builder is like your engineer when it comes to building websites.
Since most of us WordPress users aren’t expert coders, we need tools to help us bridge the gap between technical skill and design. A good page building tool allows any user to learn how to design a site without having to touch the too much code.
For those who are experienced with coding, page builders can drastically speed up time. This is good for prototyping as well as saving time. Developers can also customize the tools to fit their needs, getting even more leverage.
Visual Composer is a favorite among beginners and developers. It is the all-time best selling drag and drop page builder for WordPress by leaps and bounds. Features include 45+ content modules, social media modules, charts, grids, buttons and more.
It’s also the best-selling plugin on CodeCanyon, which is no small feat. It’s packed with features and enables you to style your pages in a live browser or from the WordPress post editor. It’s easy to use. Once it’s installed you can click on the button within the editor to open up a panel that contains all of Visual Composer’s modules.
The things you can do with this plugin are flat out amazing. You can customize the modules within the skin builder as well. The heavy list of features and design possibilities make this plugin one of the best reasons to use WordPress. You don’t need to code at all, simply drag, click and fill out fields to create. Below is a list of some of the content block elements that you can add to your pages:
- Text blocks
- Separator with Text
- Message box
- Pie charts
- Flickr widget
- Twitter, Facebook and Instagram buttons
- Post and page sliders for scrolling through content
- Tabs to stack content in one area
- Image galleries
- Call to action blocks
- Much more
Right out of the box you can do lots of things with this plugin. If you find that there aren’t enough features for you, you can add more. You can create your own shortcodes and use Visual Composer to insert your own elements from the post editor. There are also many addons available for purchase.
Each element has multiple options that you can configure to get more control over it. There are so many different things you can do with this plugin, for some people it can be overwhelming. This can turn into a real time waster for those who lack discipline or focus. The plugin is updated often and the developer support is strong. The community of WordPress users who are willing to help you out with any issues is also very strong. It’s not hard to find tutorials, how-to’s and support if you run into any problems.
This plugin is perfect for someone who want to create pages with advanced features, with the option to customize anything in the future. At times Visual Composer may be overkill for your project. Although it’s very affordable, price may also be an issue. Below are some free and premium alternatives you can check out.Get Visual Composer Demo
Cornerstone | The WordPress Pagebuilder
This page builder was developed alongside the extremely popular X Theme for drag and drop page building. Since then it has turned into a very powerful and intuitive tool. This 100% front end page builder allow you to create at the speed of inspiration. If you were going to buy a page builder other than Visual Composer, I would choose Cornerstone. It’s quickly becoming a major player and becoming the new standard for drag and drop page builders in WordPress.
Create layouts, add elements and customize anything in real-time. The library of elements is always growing and there are plenty of other cool features included. For beginners this plugin is great because you can build professional pages in real time. Developers and power users will appreciate the settings panel, where they can do more advanced customization. Check out our review of Cornerstone WordPress Page Builder Review for a more formal introduction to this plugin.Get Cornerstone Demo
Page builder is a very good free drag and drop page builder for WordPress. It can help you build layouts with multiple rows and multiple columns on your site. This plugin is not as flexible as Visual Composer or other premium page builders, but it is free and offers plenty of tools for creating pages.
It works via widgets. It’s based on the idea that you can insert a WordPress widget into your page. Six main widgets are included with this plugin upon installation. You can use this plugin to add images, galleries, videos, post loops, buttons, calls to action, lists, price boxes, animated images and testimonials. You can also download a free widgets bundle from Site Origin at WordPress.org to add more widgets.Get Page Builder Demo
Some common issues with large page builders are how they perform. King Composer is a high performance page builder that is built for speed. It’s simple, versatile and loads quickly.
By using HTML5 to power King Composer instead of Ajax, this plugin is able to accel when it comes to speed. It’s beginner friendly and very easy to use. It works in almost real time, virtually removing any delay problems. This saves you seconds of time when building. This can add up and make a big difference in the long run. It’s useful for regular WordPress users as well as developers. You can download it free for personal use or get one of the pro versions for more functionality.Get King Composer Live Demo
This is a premium drag and drop page builder that is simple yet powerful. You can customize any element you wish. This is modern page builder that offers plenty of features for front-end page building.
If you are looking for more functionality, you can create your own shortcodes using the template elements. From your live site you can edit any element through the unique sidebar panel. While it’s not quite as extensive as Visual Composer, it offers plenty of options for you to create complex templates for entire websites.Get Frontend Builder Demo
This plugin is useful for those who are looking to build landing pages. Its fast and optimized specifically for this task. It allows you to add multiple sections on each page. Each section you create can have its own background and any content.
The content you add can include any shortcodes from other plugins you have on your site. Parallax Gravity is great if you are looking to showcase products and build engaging landing pages.
What can a page builder do for you?
A page builder is an indispensable tool for the web designers and end users. It took me a while before I realize just how much you could do with WordPress. When I discovered themes that had visual page builders and I was blown away.
After I spent a little time getting to know some of the page building tools, I realized how powerful the platform is for web design. It dawned on me that anyone who had the desire to could put up sites like a pro. Page builders allowed me to things that just aren’t possible by coding by hand within a short time frame. They also enabled me do things that were much beyond my coding ability like put up model pop ups that stores data.
With the better WordPress page builders you can easily create page and post layouts, add your content with widgets and make interesting websites. This is great for bloggers, business owners, online shops, portolios etc. Here are some things a page builder should allow you to do:
- Create image and post sliders
- Design multi-column layouts
- Add social media widgets
- Add buttons and content boxes
- Create image galleries
- Insert accordians and tab sections
- Allow you to customize elements
When deciding whether a page builder is right for you, it’s important to looks at the modules it contains, and the user interface. If you don’t mind spending a small amount of money to get the best that the market has to offer I’d go with a premium page builder. You can’t go wrong with Visual Composer in my opinion, but for some projects it may not be the best fit. Cornerstone is also an amazing tool for building pages and is a close second. The developers are giving it lots of attention, so keep an eye out for future updates.
If you don’t want to spend any money at all, go with the SiteOrigin Page Builder. Before making any decisions, you should spend some time researching the products for yourself. Try any demos you can to see whether it works for you before you buy.
Although you might have to spend a good 20 minutes on each plugin, it’s worth it. You may not be able to get a refund after your payment goes through if you are purchasing a plugin. Let us know any tips you have on page builders or any favorites you’ve come across in the comments section below.