Any business owner with an online presence knows that website performance is crucial to the development of their customer base. And every up-and-coming blogger knows that rapid website load speeds are necessary to keep new audience members on their page. Indeed, if a page takes more than three seconds to load, more than half of users will simply leave.
But load speed is just the beginning of the user experience. Users also demand consistency, ease of use, and high functionality from all websites, whether e-commerce sites, blogs, or general information pages. Websites that use a mishmash of colors, fonts, and other elements will drive customers away almost as quickly as slow load speeds. The same is true for functionality. If users can’t easily find what they are looking for (e.g., through effective search tools, useful site menus, and efficient layouts), they won’t remain on a site for long.
However, there is frequently a disconnect between knowing what a website should look and feel like and creating a high-performance site. An extensive range of website design tools exists to help everyone from first-time website creators to highly experienced professional designers, particularly when it comes to WordPress sites. But these tools can be cumbersome and difficult to use for many designers.
In this review, we look at the features of Elementor, a website builder created for high-end design professionals, which also has toolsets that even the most novice designers can quickly and easily begin using to enhance the overall user experience.
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WordPress themes vs. website template kits
Before diving into Elementor’s features, it is helpful to understand the various design tools available, specifically WordPress themes and website template kits. We focus on WordPress because WordPress is still the predominant website content management system, controlling nearly 40% of all websites.
Many designers, especially first-time designers, want to start with prebuilt structures because it eases the overall design process. This is where themes and template kits come into play. And while they share many features, themes and kits have notable differences. While each helps maintain design consistency across all pages on a site, templates focus on a page at a time. Indeed, a single page may include more than one template.
Themes make it easy to get a consistently designed site up and running quickly. But they often lack configurability – adding or changing existing features can be quite difficult. On the other hand, templates and template kits provide a more granular ability to change or add specific features and functionalities to a site.
Choosing between themes and templates is a matter of what you need from a website and how quickly you need it. Elementor has tools that allow designers to easily go down either design path.
In addition, professional and freelance designers must apply consistent design principles to their own work as well, and templates can help. All the effort you put in on the front end may be for nothing if your invoicing and payment systems lack the same ease of use and functionality you insisted be in the client’s site. Just as there are specific WordPress design tools, there are accounting systems that have the web developer in mind and that include crucial features such as invoice design templates.
Elementor’s high-performance features
The design process in Elementor begins with its extensive site kit library. With more than three hundred templates, Elementor has a pre-made and pre-optimized starting point for any project. Elementor kits cover everything from e-commerce sites to travel and tourism sites to blogs to community and non-governmental organizations. They ensure design consistency across pages and optimize load speed.
Designers who want to start from scratch have access to Elementor’s easy-to-use drag-and-drop live site editor. No coding skills are necessary (although those with coding experience can access even more advanced features), and designers can see what the site will actually look like as they build it.
Elementor’s live editor also makes it simple to see what the site will look like on different devices. In today’s mobile world, optimizing page displays and functionality for mobile is essential. Nothing is worse than a page designed for a desktop that doesn’t convert well to mobile screen formats.
The editor also allows designers to apply global settings for colors and typography to ensure adherence to the brand guidelines. Essentially, designers create brand kits within the editor.
For the more advanced designers, Elementor has additional features that expand on-site functionality. For example, dynamic layouts allow the easy creation of multiple pages that have common purposes and functions (think product pages or blog posts). Moreover, it is quick and easy to update the layout across all existing pages if you decide to make a layout change. And with Elementor’s dynamic content features, designers can provide personalized user experiences.
For designers who like to code, Elementor includes custom CSS and custom code features that allow designers to extend their sites’ functionality further. Code-happy designers can also use Elementor’s Designer API to create custom widgets and more for their sites.
These are only a few of Elementor’s advanced features. For a complete list of features, visit Elementor’s website.
New features in Elementor’s Version 3.4
Performance indicators published by Elementor for version 3.4:
- Server response time improved by up to 23%
- Memory usage reduced by approx 5%
- Approx 30% off of data traffic to the Editor load saved
Version 3.4 also enables six custom breakpoints focused on seven different platform and screen sizes, and new features for improving site security, a paramount consideration for any site designer.
Elementor offers highly competitive pricing for every design need. Pro packages range from a single site base offering at $49/year to a high-volume package that covers 1000 sites for $999/year (that’s $1 per site). Each package includes the standard drag-and-drop live site editor, along with a host of widgets, templates, and kits. There is also a free version, although it lacks the most critical premium functionality needed for most sites.
The Elementor packages focused on professional website designers also include the Elementor Expert Profile. Expert is a marketplace for web designers in search of their next client. Profiles let designers build and display portfolios of their work, an essential marketing tool in the highly competitive design space.
Elementor offers both novice designers and professionals alike a comprehensive set of design features to help them build sites that maximize the user experience. Combining the ease-of-use of a drag-and-drop site editor with advanced tools such as custom CSS and advanced animations in a range of affordable packages, Elementor is well worth any designer’s consideration.