Jack "Straight Talk" Sarlo

"Elementor Page Builder Review Based On 3 Years Experience!"

elementor review

I’ve tried maybe six other page building tools before I finally found Elementor. For example Divi Builder, Beaver Builder and even Thrive Themes (Architect) gave me a headache.

I found some issue with them or some feature that was missing. Elementor was easy, contained the features I needed and it didn’t trouble me.

Elementor is a very popular page building plugin for WordPress. It allows you to build any kind of website, e.g. sales letters, optin pages, content sites, blogs, online store… just by clicking and dragging widgets onto your page.  

All my sales letters, optin pages and this website were built using Elementor, so you can check them out to see actual examples of what you can make with it.

In this guide you’ll discover some of the top features and issues you may face – all based on my approximately three year experience using this plugin..

The table of contents can come in handy…

Elementor Free Vs Pro Version

You can install the free version and test it out. If you don’t like you can just uninstall and delete the plugin. If you can’t see or use a particular widget/feature such as the ‘global widget’ it means it’s only available with the pro version.

The Pro version has more widgets and features than the free one. I personally use 6 pro widgets and several pro features. You’ll see a review of each one of them on this page.

This is the current pricing for Elementor pro.

Those are all yearly fees. If you don’t renew your site will still function the same. However you won’t be able to contact support, get updates or use their premium templates. 

From my experience none of the updates where that important, apart from the Popup Builder and another one. My website is very simple, all I do is add articles. I don’t use anything fancy. I personally don’t renew unless I need their support. Furthermore you can get support from the plugin page on WordPress.

And there’s a ton of videos about Elementor on Youtube that can show you to do a lot of things.

Widgets And Elements

Widgets or elements are the drag and drop features that you use to build your website. For example a text widget allows you to write text. The image widget allows you to insert image.

You just drag and drop these widgets on your page, and then customize them with colors, borders, shadow, position, make them mobile friendly, and much more… if you want to.

They have a useful page with a list of all Free and Pro elements.

These are some of those widgets:

  • Icon & price lists
  • Icons, Images & Videos
  • Diividers, spacers, buttons
  • Testimonial box, star ratings,
  • Headline, Animated Headlines, text
  • Forms, countdown timers, call to action box, Google maps,
  • Share & social buttons, Facebook comments, reviews, portfolio

The best part is that for sales letters, optin pages and blogs the less widgets you use on your website the better. 

You don’t want to distract your prospects with a lot of bells and whistles. They just want to optin, buy or consume your content undistracted. Even if you’re designing a sales page, you can keep it as simple as possible.

You don’t have to use flip boxes that change color, slides, toggle or tabs and the many other widgets.

Top 14 Widgets And Features

These are the widgets and features that I personally love the most. Some of them save me a lot of time.

Templates

 

You can create your own custom template, or use one of their pre-built templates. You can create as many custom templates as you want. I have one template designed for my article pages.

This way when you need to create a new article you don’t have to design the entire page from scratch. You just load the ‘article page template’ you’ve created and just write the post. Simple.

They have 150+ templates, some are only available with the pro version.

They also have pre-made sections, also known as blocks. This can come in handy when you want to create specific sections like a 404 page, FAQ section, blog homepage, headers, call to actions, countdowns, forms, etc. 

There are 235 different Blocks.

You can export your templates and then save them on your computer as a backup. You can also import them into your or another website that uses Elementor.

Shortcodes

 

There are many ways to use this feature, but the most useful in my opinion is to use them along with templates.

You can create an entire section, for example the sidebar or footer and save it as a template. You can them place this specific template on all your pages using what’s known as a shortcode.

Then you can update all pages that contain this template at once. Say you want to add a new item in your sidebar you just update the sidebar template and the effects appear on all pages that contain your sidebar.

I personally use this feature for my website’s header, sidebar and footer. Those sections appear on all pages of my website and it will be a complete hassle to update all pages one by one.

My mistake was that I didn’t use this feature from day 1. I realized I could do this after I had about 75 pages. So consider ways to use this feature as early as possible.

Save As Global

 

This can come in handy too. It’s like using shortcodes along with a template but on a small scale. You can save a single widget, for example a text box containing some text as a global widget.

Then you can place a copy of this widget on your website, as many times as you want. Any changes you make to any one of these widgets, such as adding some text or doing an underline will affect all of them.

I use this widget on the ‘Share Page’ text widget. That appears on all my pages. In case some day I want to change the text I won’t have to update every single page.

You can set the navigation menu of your website as a global widget. So whenever you update it, e.g. to add a new link you’ll see changes appear on all pages the widget is on. This can also be done using a template and a shortcode.

Here’s a video from Elementor about this feature:

Consider ways to use this feature as early as possible, before you have a lot of pages.

Search Form Widget

 

You can easily add a search box and obviously customize its shape and look. The best part is that you can customize the search results as well. You do this with the ‘Archive Posts’ widget. 

This is all point and click you won’t have to mess with any code. 

This video shows you how to customize the search results page.

Note: It’s a good practise for SEO purposes to avoid search results page from appearing in search engines. They are considered useless pages.

If you want to block the search results pages add this code to your robots.txt file. 

Disallow: /?s=

That will block whatever user searches for. 

You can test that it works well using Google’s Robots testing tool.

Archive Posts Widget

 

This widget is used to customize pages that contain a list of posts, for example tags, category or search result pages.

The archive page can be customized quite easily. This video shows you how to  use this widget to create tag, category, search results pages and more…

Posts Widget

 

This is useful to display a list of your recent posts, pages, a manual selection of pages or related posts/pages. Of course you can customize the look and feel of this widget.

Forms

 

You can easily create forms e.g. a contact us form. Previous you’d require an additional plugin to do that. You can add several options to your forms:

form options

Testimonial Widget

 

This widget comes in handy when creating sales letters. You can easily create testimonial boxes and customize their appears in several ways.

You can see some of the customization options in this video:

Social And Share Icons Widgets

 

Before Elementor inserting these icons required messing with html code or installing a separate plugin. 

Now you just drag and drop the ‘social icons’ widget where you want the icons to display. You can also add Facebook Like Button and embed a Facebook page or post.

The ‘share icons’ widget is also easy to use. This allows visitors to share your page or post, here’s the list of options:

Blog Widgets

 

There widgets are useful when creating a blog.

The ‘Posts’ widget can display a list of recent posts, a manual selection or related posts. And you can customize the look and feel in various ways. It comes complete with pagination. 

Each post or page can contain a summary (post excerpt) and an image (featured image). This video shows you this widget in action:

You can create a nice author box, with your name, photo, text and so forth. Customize it completely just like any other widget with borders, background colors or images, shadows, etc.

This video shows you some customization options:

The ‘Post Info’ widget can be used to display a nice box with information about a post, such as the author, date, time, comments, and so on.

Copy & Paste

 

You can copy any element or even an entire section from one page and paste it onto another page. This right click feature can be very handy sometimes. For example copy a headline from one page, and paste it on another page.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts.

Tablet & Mobile Friendly 

 

Each page or post you create can be tweaked to look well on tablet or mobile. There’s a button to see an actual preview of your website on those devices. And you can make changes directly in the preview.

Almost every widget can be customized specifically for tablet or mobile.

This feature is best used in combination with a template. First create a template for let’s say your blog posts. This will contain everything apart from the actual post. Customize the template so it looks great on desktop, tablet and mobile. You may need to play around with this to get it right, but you do it once.

Then each time you want to write a post you just load the template and create the post. Every post will be desktop, tablet and mobile friendly instantly. You can verify by using the preview button to make sure it looks good. There are also tools to preview your website on different devices.

Here’s a video of this feature:

Save Draft

 

You can save your post as a draft anytime you want. You can then continue writing any other time or day.

Elementor will also automatically saves your work each time you make any change. Every action you take can be undone. You can also the undo keyboard shortcut.

Elementor’s Popup Tool

You can design your popups using the same drag and drop widgets of Elementor. So it’s all very easy. You can create popups that load on click, exit intent, on page load, on scroll and more… Popups can slide, float, open in full screen, the hello bar, etc.

They have a very good tool to create popups.

The only issue is that the optin form does not integrate with Aweber. The solution however is to use a plugin called MailOptin.

Currently the optin form integrates only with these email marketing services: MailChimp, Drip, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, GetResponse, MailPoet, MailerLite, HubSpot, Discord, Slack and Zapier.

Installing multiple plugins on your wordpress site can slow it down, or they can conflict with one another – especially if those plugins don’t have well written code.

But if you don’t use Elementor’s built-in popup tool you still have to install a plugin to build your popups. So I’m okay with installing the extra plugin that integrates with Aweber.

Here’s a review of their popup tool:

A/B Testing Using Google
Optimize And Elementor

Elementor does not have the ability to split test your pages. But you can still do split tests using Google Optimize and they have put an article to show you how to do that.

Split testing is useful especially if you’re driving any paid traffic to an optin page or a sales funnel. You want to split test those pages to get more conversions for the same advertising cost.

Third Party Elementor Plugins

Third party developers created plugins that work with Elementor. There’s a whole list of them on Elementor’s add ons page.

Install these plugins only if you really need them.  Less plugins is always better.

I used to use Elementor Addon Elements. This plugin adds a set of new widgets that you can use. But I’ve since uninstalled this plugin.

One widget you may find useful is called Timeline. This lists your recent posts or pages, in a very cool way. You can see a demo of this feature and a video explanation. But remember you can use the ‘Posts’ widget to display a list of your recent posts…

Issues You May Face With Elementor

I faced some issues with Elementor in the last three years I’ve been using it. Some of the issues where due to my mistakes.

You can contact their technical support as long as you’re a paid member. Or else use the WordPress forum

Issue With Updates

 

There was some kind of issue after an update about twice in the last 3 years. So it’s a rare occurrence, but it affected all my pages and it took me a while to solve it. Basically after an update the text widget had extra padding. There was large spaces between each paragraph.

Truth be told it could be my fault because I did tweak my theme style sheet, even though I know only the basics about css. According to their support you should customize your headings or text font sizes or styles using elementors widget, not with your theme’s stylesheet.

Large Posts/Pages 

 

This rare issue happens only if you have an extremely large post or page. It happened on my “101 Ways To Increase Conversion Rates” post. It was huge. Elementor could not save it basically.

Keep in mind this only happens with extremely large posts. In that case one solution is to put the content on two posts, part one and part two.

Save Draft

 

You can save a draft of a post or page you’re designing. However for some reason this can be a bit slow sometimes. Other times it gets stuck completely. But this happened rarely, perhaps some connection issue.

It usually fixes itself after a while.

In these cases you can click Save as Template to immediately save a backup of the post. Worst case scenario if it cannot save you can create a new post or page and import the template.

Server Error (500 error)

 

There are many variations of this error, the number can be 403 or something else. 

This error prevents you to save or update a post.

The cause can be fixed by removing the last few widgets you added one by one until it can save. One of the widgets is the cause for whatever reason. Sometimes oddly enough if it’s a text widget replacing or deleting some words fixes the issue.

Elementor has other solutions you can test to fix these server errors.

To avoid losing your work you can write your posts offline, in a word processing tool like LibreOffice Writer… Then just copy and paste it into a new post. I do that now because at least once I lost more than 2 hours worth of writing due to a Saving issue.

No Dragging 

 

Usually you can drag any widget on your page and move them around. But sometimes dragging does not work. This is not a big issue so I haven’t yet found a fix. But the Navigator (accessed from menu or keyboard shortcut) can also be used to move widgets or entire sections around on your page.

Conclusion

So all in all Elementor gets...
4.5/5

It is my favorite page building plugin for all my websites. You can test the free version and just delete it if you’re not satisfied with it. And the pro version doesn’t have to be renewed each year…

Issues were minimal, widgets and features are abundant. Plus there are a ton of other add on plugins for more widgets if that’s what you really want.

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About Jack
Jack Sarlo

More than 7 years ago Jack made his first few sales online as an affiliate marketer. His site ranked on Google for dozens of keywords, so later on, he built courses and software to teach his SEO "secrets". He also won a Flip Camera in an affiliate contest.

Now he reveals all the insights he's discovered throughout the years about Internet marketing, in his free guides and products!

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