Elementor is a one of the best page builders available to help you design your WordPress website. It offers a powerful free version as well as an Elementor Pro version with a yearly fee. This frequently leads people to ask, “Is the free version sufficient or should I upgrade to Elementor pro?” In this post, I will compare Elementor for WordPress free vs. pro version to help you determine which is best for you.
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Full disclosure I have always been a die hard fan of the page builder Divi. It is what I use and love; however I realized that entrepreneurs who are just starting out may need a more budget-friendly page builder as they build their business. This got me started experimenting with the Elementor page builder.
I was blown away by what was possible with the free version of Elementor! After creating a basic website with this version, I decided to invest in Elementor Pro to see if it was worth upgrading to the $49/year price for one website.
So what are the differences between Elementor and Elementor Pro? My findings are detailed below.
The free version of Elementor, also known as Elementor Lite is surprisingly very powerful.
The elements (widgets) and customization options available in the lite version are enough for anyone to create a good website without needing to use any code. It is truly a drag-and-drop experience. Here are a few things that I really liked about the free version of Elementor.
First, this version of Elementor comes with pre-made templates. This gives you the ability to choose a layout that you can easily plug and play your own images and text into. There are several to choose from; however when browsing the templates, you will quickly notice that the ones with features like opt-in forms and media carousels have a “Pro” tab in the corner of them. This means that you need to upgrade to the pro version to gain access to these.
Next, Elementor Lite has an impressive number of widgets to choose from to help you create a fully functional website. This graphic shows you what is available with the free version.
While the free version does not come with a opt-in form widget, the HTML element allows you to embed an email opt-in form from your email provider. This is what I teach my students to do in my WordPress/Elementor course when using the free version.
In addition, I was also very impressed with the responsive editing abilities. Elementor Lite offers the ability to view your current website in a tablet and mobile view, in addition to desktop. This allows the user to see what the layout looks like in each of these different modes and edit it accordingly.
Creating landing pages is also possible within this version of Elementor.
Once you are in the Elementor editor, you can click on the settings gear on the bottom of the menu box. From here you will scroll down to the “Page layout” setting and click the drop down arrow to change it to Elementor Canvas.
This will give you a completely blank canvas for creating a landing page.
If you decide to purchase Elementor Pro, you get access to everything available in the free version of the Elementor plugin as well as a ton of extra features and options.
So what does Elementor Pro allow you to do that is not available in the free version?
Elementor comes with a large template library, but many of them are unavailable in the free version. Elementor Pro unlocks everything in the library giving you access to tons of amazing layouts and blocks.
In addition to the 29 basic elements you get access to in the free version, Elementor Pro unlocks 24 additional pro widgets/elements, 14 theme elements and 19 WooCommerce Elements.
1. The forms widget – This allows you to create all types of forms on your site and integrate them with popular email services like MailChimp, ConvertKit and Active Campaign.
2. The post widget – This allows you to display your latest blog posts or pages in a grid for easy viewing anywhere on your site. Without this, you have to configure this through something like the WordPress editor Gutenberg.
3. The navigation widget – In the free version, you are limited to your theme’s header design for a navigation bar, but with Elementor Pro’s nav menu widget you can set this up and completely customize your own menu within the page builder.
Elementor Pro allows you to use the drag-and-drop interface to build your entire WordPress website without being tied to your theme. You can fully customize your header, footer, archive page, search results, etc.
Elementor Pro offers three different packages depending on your needs. A single site Personal license isn’t too expensive at $49/year. The Plus and Expert packages are for those managing more than one site or creating websites for clients.
You can create a decent website with the free version of Elementor; however if you want an easy way to add more complex features without more complicated workarounds and a knowledge of code, Elementor Pro might be the better choice.
Elementor Lite is free, so I suggest starting with this plugin especially if you are using a flexible theme like Astra. This is the theme that I recommend when using this page builder.
Start building your site and see if the free version meets your needs. If you decide that you need or desire some more functionality for marketing, design, and/or eCommerce after working around in this version for awhile, you can always upgrade to Elementor Pro. The yearly price is very reasonable for what you get.
While there isn’t a free trial of the Elementor Pro version, Elementor has a refund policy which lets you cancel your purchase and get a refund during the first 30 days. So you can try it for a month and then decide if you want to keep it or not.
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