Since its release in 2003, WordPress has gone from a weird thing for geeks to the web design cornerstone. This Content Management System (CMS) is free, open-code, intuitively understandable, user-friendly, robust, SEO-friendly, and has many plugins and addons to build an impressive site without coding.
Blocks and plugins empower WordPress. They expanded its possibilities and leveled barriers for novice users to build trendy and comprehensive websites. For instance, Elementor is a WordPress page builder that allows adding content to the website using elementary widgets. It is a leading visual editor with the most significant market share:
- It is easy to use (implements the Drag-and-Drop technology and What You See Is What You Get model, the all-in-one concept; no coding and programming skills are needed to develop a website).
- It allows you to use templates and free WordPress themes to build sites and add elements to them (titles, texts, images, sliders, videos, maps, icons, etc.).
- There are 30+ free widgets (galleries, image carousels, buttons, Google fonts, videos, etc.).
- Technical support and a lot of free tutorials are available.
- Elementor Free and Pro versions imply using other plugins and addons.
Here is the main problem. The possibilities galore (Elementor Free vs. Pro, Elementor Free and plugins/addons, Elementor Pro and plugins/addons) give users the choice to pay or not to pay. So, let’s delve into the Elementor Free vs. Pro comparison.
Elementor Free Version Overview
The Elementor free version envisages many basic features necessary for site-building. There are 253+ widgets divided into 15 categories: price, team, testimonials, portfolio, call-to-action, subscription, etc. These features are:
- live-mode editing without coding, undo/redo options, as well as intuitive navigation and menus;
- responsive page layout (elements, sections, columns), a theme builder, and the ability to position the elements randomly;
- customization of global colors (including custom), fonts (800+ Google and custom fonts), background, buttons, forms, images, and site identity elements;
- 30+ widgets, which can be set to appear/disappear on a specific device;
- SEO options;
- adaptivity to devices (mobile, tablets, etc.);
- multi-language support.
As one can see, the free version contains all the necessary elements. They say seeing is believing. Let’s check out free Elementor widgets, shall we?
Elementor free widgets
Widgets can help you turn any boring-looking website element into the most attractive one. Elementor widgets are categorized into groups:
- basic design widgets (Inner Sections, Headings, Button, Icon, Icon List, Counter, Testimonial, Tabs, Menu Anchor, Alert);
- basic content widgets (Divider, Spacer, Text Editor, Accordion);
- image layout, video, and slider widgets (Image, Video, Image Box, Image Gallery, Image Carousel, Sidebar);
- Google Maps, Star Rating, Social Icons, Sound Cloud, Shortcode, HTML.
The Elementor Free free version does offer a lot to build a picturesque and attractive site, as one can see. It provides clear guidelines on web design, making it possible to learn its fundamentals. Elementor global widgets give full control over any specific widget.
Despite the incredible scope of widgets and other tools proposed by Elementor free, there are ways to increase its functionality:
- to upgrade Elementor Free to Elementor Pro;
- to use addons for Elementor (for both free and pro versions).
Elementor Pro Review
Using the Elementor Pro version, you can do more. First of all, Elementor Pro is convenient for beginners and professionals because:
- there are 300+ templates (i.e., landing pages);
- it provides gathering data from forms like a CRM system;
- it supports PayPal, allows exporting/importing blocks and templates (Elementor Kits);
- it provides quick loading of the developed sites;
- there are 30+ pro widgets (including Hot Spots, Menu Cart, Video Playlist, Form, and others);
- you can create up to seven different options to segment design options for various devices, screens, and resolutions;
- it is possible to set up color schemes and font pairs for all sites.
And the main advantage is even more widgets:
- Posts, Portfolio, Forms, Login, Template, Review;
- Nav Menu, Share Button, Call to Action, Table Of Content, Countdown, Blockquote, Progress Tracker, Hotspot;
- Price Table, Price List, PayPal Widgets;
- Facebook Comment, Facebook Embed, Facebook Button, Facebook Page;
- Code Highlight;
- Slides, Animated Headline, Gallery, Flip Box, Media Carousel, Testimonial Carousel, Video Playlist, Lottie Widgets.
How much does Elementor Pro cost?
Elementor pricing envisages Free and Pro versions. Elementor Pro proposes these subscription plans:
- USD 49/year for one website activation (Drag & Drop Live Editor, Responsive Design, 90+ Widgets, 300+ Templates, 60+ Pro Website Kits, Theme Builder, Premium Support);
- USD 49/year for 25 website activations (Drag & Drop Live Editor, Responsive Design, 90+ Widgets, 300+ Templates, 60+ Pro Website Kits, Theme Builder, Premium Support, 20 Expert Websites, Expert Network Profile);
- USD 499/year for 100 website activations (Drag & Drop Live Editor, Responsive Design, 90+ Widgets, 300+ Templates, 60+ Pro Website Kits, Theme Builder, Premium Support, 20 Expert Websites, Expert Network Profile);
- USD 999/year for 1000 website activations (Drag & Drop Live Editor, Responsive Design, 90+ Widgets, 300+ Templates, 60+ Pro Website Kits, Theme Builder, Premium Support, 20 Expert Websites, Expert Network Profile).
Elementor Free vs. Pro
The difference is the available widgets, themes, and plugins. Elementor Pro is a powered-up Elementor Free version. That’s why all basic features are available within Elementor Pro (i.e., drag and drop builder, responsive editing for devices, canvas layout, 30+ basic templates, and 30+ widgets).
The key differences are:
- 60+ advanced widgets, 200+ templates for different site elements;
- Theme Builder for Header, Footer, & Single Post Pages;
- integration with services without additional plugins (i.e., Facebook, reCAPTCHA);
- Theme Builder to customize standard themes, including Custom Fonts & Adobe TypeKit;
- Custom Field Support for ACF, Pods, and Toolset;
- marketing and e-commerce tools (i.e., WooCommerce);
- Contact Forms, Integrations for Email (MailChimp, Drip, HubSpot, etc.), Social Media Widgets, and dynamic data;
- Role Manager to Manage and Limit Editor Access;
- Popup Builder with Advanced Triggers, Online Ecommerce Store, ThemeBuilder, FormBuilder;
- Access to all Pro Updates.
This comparison juxtaposes the free and pro versions of the Elementor page builder.
Elementor Cloud proposes additionally: 24/7 Live Chat, Instant Setup, Website Hosting, SSL Certification, Storage, CDN by Cloudflare, Automatic Backup, Manual Backup, Google Cloud Platform, Free Elementor Domain, Custom Domain, and 100K Monthly Visits.
Elementor Free is the best if:
- You are an inexperienced user and make your first steps in web design to find out which website builder is the most appropriate for you.
- You do not intend to present advanced content on your website pages.
- You do not develop a big e-shop, so you do not need WooCommerce, forms, theme builders, etc.
- You have your best theme and do not need additional templates.
Elementor Pro is the best if:
- You feel that free Elementor features limit you.
- You develop a complicated and picturesque site.
- Standard WordPress themes are not enough for you.
- You want to add a motion effect, WooCommerce, pop-ups, contact forms, and animation to your page.
Regarding addons, let’s clarify what Elementor is from this point of view.
What is Elementor?
Elementor (both Elementor Free and Elementor Pro versions) are more than just plugins because one can apply plugins to this page builder. Addons effectively inherit the main feature of Elementor ー to make website building accessible for everyone regardless of their code skills and web design experience. But Elementor implements the idea of all in one. Is there a need for that? Unfortunately, you can not add individual widgets from Elementor Pro. Therefore, there was a need for addons for this plugin.
What do Elementor addons do?
- add features/widgets to sites to customize sites;
- speed up sites by applying only necessary functionality;
- add some features not available for Free and Pro versions.
Elementor addons are developed by many companies and are not included in the Elementor Pro version. Each of them individually does not replace Elementor Pro as a whole but complements (and often significantly improves) one or some individual features.
Plugins work quickly and professionally. A user does not need coding skills.
It is an intuitively understandable, user-friendly, no-coding page builder. It is open for plugins and add-ons.
Elementor Free is really free and does not envisage hidden payments and commissions.
Elementor Pro proposes sales and special offers time-to-time, like Black Friday.
Yes, of course. There are no restrictions. You can use any combination of free/premium addons and free/pro versions of Elementor.
Yes, of course. You can apply as many addons as you want. But too many plugins will slow down the speed of the site.
Elementor Pro covers a lot, but some plugins are superior in features. So, there is the dilemma: to buy or not the Elementor Pro version? Is Elementor Pro worth it? I suggest weighing the pros and cons. Anyway, it’s up to your needs.
I hope this article was helpful and you have decided for yourself what you need. If not, make sure you see the success stories of the creators, and websites made with Elementor and Crocoblock. As a rule, people use Elementor free for their needs, but serious studios, companies, and designers buy Elementor Pro.