WordPress Visual Editors, Hanging with Troy Dean & Freedom Papers WPCP: 106

WordPress Visual Editors

This episode is sponsored by Sitelock.


I’ve been thinking about doing an in-depth post on WordPress Visual Editors (besides Thrive Content Builder & Beaver Builder, which of course are still my favorites!) for a while now. I’m still planning on it, but thought I would do a podcast episode first to gauge the interest as it’s probably going to be a pretty time-intensive piece of content (which is O.K. too, but nothing like getting a little validation first).

There are a LOT of WordPress Visual editors on the market now and I expect we’re going to see more.

I’m going to skip any of the visual builders that have shown up in JV Zoo during the past year because I have no idea if they’re going to be around or supported (not that I can guarantee this with the rest of these plugins, but more they’ll more than likely be here longer than the JVZoo products).

What’s interesting is that I’ve had this conversation a few times now (I think I’ve talked about this on the podcast before), but with the amount of new tools and options that are starting to show up I thought it was time to revisit this.

We’ll start by addressing the elephant in the room.

Which is whether or not you should use page builders.

Obviously you know my answer, but before you write them off, let’s talk about when and why you would want to use a page builder. If you look at why the team at Beaver Builder created their awesome plugin it was simple. They wanted to find a way to be more efficient with their client work. They were repeating tasks/work on their client projects and wanted to deploy the sites quicker. So they built the solution they needed.

Less time on a project does NOT mean it has less value. You’re still providing the client with what they want and you’re doing it quicker.

I know there are arguments out there about it not being as clean (referring to code here) or as light on the site… but I think we should look at this from the bigger picture.

First, most of these tools are getting better and better. Some use the WordPress customizer (for some reason this still isn’t my favorite option… I don’t know why. I probably need to spend some more time using it, which I will be with one of the latest tools, Elementor). Whether you’re building sites for clients or for yourself, here are a few things to consider when deciding if you want to use a page builder:

  • What are my goals with this site? (sales, leads, content, etc.). Set some tangible goals that you want to establish and measure with your site
  • Do you want to use a visual builder for every page or certain pages? What types of pages do you want to create with the builder?
  • If it’s for a client, will they be managing the site or will you? If they will, how easy is the page builder to use?
  • What is the support like for the visual builder you’re using?
  • Does it work well with the other plugins & theme(s) you like to use?
  • If you can complete the site in half the time while maintaining the quality and it accomplishes everything you want, what are the reasons you wouldn’t want to use this?
  • Do you (or the client) like to change things around frequently?

That being said, here are the page builders I’m going to talk about today. Keep in mind this isn’t a full list… it’s simply the ones I’ve looked at, used or currently use. If you guys want me to do a full post/video review of these tools let me know. It will take a decent amount of time to complete it, but I’ll make it as complete as possible.

Thrive Content Architect O.K., I won’t go into details here on this because I’ve written about Thrive a handful of times and am about to publish a new post with 4 videos on Thrive for you (which I’ll link to as soon as it’s published, but in the meantime you can check out a recent post I did where I explained why I use Thrive & Beaver Builder). I primarily use Thrive for landing pages (sales pages, squeeze pages, webinar pages, etc.). But in the post, I’m about to publish I used the Thrive Content Builder for the first time in a standard post. Pretty awesome!
Get Thrive Architect

Beaver Builder: See above. 🙂 I’ll do an updated post on Beaver Builder in the coming months, but in the meantime, you can check out the recent post & video I did on why I use Thrive and Beaver Builder. I use Beaver Builder for creating site pages. One of the most amazing things with Beaver Builder is community support. There are a lot of 3rd party developers creating add-ons (keeping the core plugin lighter and more streamlined). What I love about this is that the Beaver Builder team is completely supportive and is active within the Beaver Builder Facebook group.
[button url=”http://thewpchick.com/go/bb” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2f90a1″ size=”5″ radius=”5″]Get Beaver Builder[/button]

Elementor: This is the newest page builder to hit the web and I have to say, I’m LOVING it. Oh… and it’s FREE (right now). It almost feels like the WordPress customizer because the Elementor visual editor is on the left side of the page, but it’s SUPER easy to use. I will definitely be doing a full post and videos on this soon. But you can easily create an entire site with this page builder (this reminds me a little of Beaver Builder and what you can do with it). I’m probably going to reach out to the team at Elementor to have them on the podcast. I’m guessing that they’re doing a freemium model where the core will be free and they’ll monetize it with add-ons (again, just my hunch but I can’t imagine them not having a monetization model around this).
[button url=”https://elementor.com/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#95aa4d” size=”5″ radius=”5″]Download Elementor[/button]

Visual Composer: I bought this plugin a while ago but didn’t fall in love with it like I thought I would. I’ll go more in depth with this when I do the full post of visual editors, but Visual Composer has both a backend and a front-end editor (I prefer the front-end editor. I have a hard time visualizing things in blocks in the WordPress editor. Also why I didn’t get into Divi… although their front-end editor is coming SOON and it looks fabulous!). Visual Composer is one of the top selling WordPress plugins on Code Canyon and has a lot of add-on plugins. The one thing I don’t like are the amount of shortcodes that Visual Composer leaves behind when the plugin is deactivated (although to be totally transparent I’ve never looked at what is left behind with Thrive or Beaver Builder… sounds like a good video for the WordPress Visual Editors post!).
[button url=”https://codecanyon.net/item/visual-composer-page-builder-for-wordpress/242431?s_rank=1&ref=kimdoyal” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#e05455″ size=”5″ radius=”5″]Get Visual Composer[/button]

Forge: Forge is also a more recent addition to this space and is also FREE. Forge has add-ons (the model I was referencing with Elementor) but the core plugin is free. I’ve only played with this briefly but will go into more depth with the full post. It’s a front-end visual editor and the elements panel looks nice (I’m a geek about color and icons, which they have both, although I do like the cleanliness of the non-colored elements as well). Stay tuned for more info. on Forge as I haven’t really dug too much into this.
[button url=”http://forgeplugin.com/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#2f90a1″ size=”5″ radius=”5″]Download Forge[/button]

MotoPress: I’ve looked at MotoPress a handful of times and think I’m going to jump in and buy a license (for the upcoming post of course). It’s got a similar feel to Beaver Builder & Elementor, but the editing pane is a little different. I haven’t decided where I stand on this yet because I need to use it more. MotoPress is a premium plugin (very affordable… which actually, all of the premium options are affordable. When you take into consideration how much time and money you save with these page builders (not to mention how much money you can make with them), it’s kind of a no-brainer. MotoPress also has add-ons for the core plugin (not a ton since it comes with quite a bit in the core).
[button url=”http://www.getmotopress.com/plugins/content-editor/” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#95aa4d” size=”5″ radius=”5″]Get MotoPress[/button]

A few more that I mention in the podcast but won’t go into too much detail here are:

  • Conductor plugin: this is more for content than page building. I did a webinar & interview with Matt Medeiros ( you can listen here). Matt is awesome and explains in more detail what Conductor is. Get Conductor here
  • Velocity Page: this is a premium plugin by my friend Jon Nastor & Mark Jaquith (who is the lead developer at WordPress). I haven’t used Velocity page but will purchase it and do a walkthrough for the full post. Get VelocityPage here
  • Live Composer: this is completely free and is in the WordPress plugin repository (there’s not even a premium version available). I haven’t tried this yet but will include it in the review. Download Live Composer here

Hangin with Troy DeanTroy Dean

So last night my friend and mastermind behind WP Elevation & Rockstar Empire Launches, Troy Dean, was in San Francisco. He & his wife Amy (who is awesome too), were winding up their month-long journey through the states (they’re from Australia for those of you who don’t know Troy) and GoDaddy hosted a meetup at their San Francisco office (which was awesome, thanks GoDaddy! You’ll be hearing more about them in the upcoming months as I’ll be interviewing someone for the podcast and they have some really cool new things in the works for WordPress).

To say hanging with Troy was as much fun in person as I expected it to be is an understatement.

I don’t want to go into some crazy fan-girl post about Troy here, but anytime you can meet an online friend in person it’s ALWAYS worth it. Even if it means commuting into San Francisco (and getting stuck on the bridge going home at midnight because of the Giants game and closed lanes on the bridge. SO grateful I don’t commute).

You’ll be hearing more about Rockstar Empire launches from me in the upcoming months… and a few other surprises I talked to Troy about last night! Stay tuned for more next month.

Freedom Papers Podcast – COMING SOON!

I am SOOOO excited about this new show with my dear friend, Jon Perez!

We’ll have our launch episodes ready to go by the end of this week (just editing and writing now) and will officially launch the show on Monday, August 8th. We haven’t even launched this and I can tell you that I’m really proud of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. We’re going deeper into our businesses (and will be doing this with other people’s businesses on the show) and are essentially pulling back the curtain (Troy used this analogy a lot last night…. and I love the idea of just sharing it all).

Sign up to hear about Freedom Papers Podcast here!

Links from this episode

Thrive Content Builder & Beaver Builder: Why I Use Both

Thrive Content Builder

Beaver Builder


Visual Composer



Conductor Plugin


Live Composer

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  1. Thanks for the awesome mention at the end of your podcast. So thrilled for the mention of my review and me! Love your Podcast, always waiting for the next one to be uploaded. Arttia (Creative Limited) is my business name. My name is Belinda, over here in the UK. So hi from sunny England! I’m also one of Troys WP Elevators!

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Thank YOU! Totally appreciate the review! Great to connect with you 🙂
      Love that you’re a WP Elevator too… Troy is such a great guy! Hi back from ‘too hot California’ (I’m SO ready for fall! haha.. been over 100 here for the last week!).
      Have a great day!

  2. So with so many different page builders how do you decide which you will use on which projects! Thanks for the review I will have to go check out some of the ones you have mentioned. Thanks Kim

    1. Hi Teri,
      haha.. good question, right? I did a post on Thrive & Beaver Builder explaining why I use both. I don’t do a lot of site building for other people anymore so I tend to use Thrive most often because it’s got the most marketing pages (sales pages, optin pages, etc.). I think it’s great that more options are hitting the marketplace. I’m playing with Elementor right now and really like it. Beaver Builder & Elementor are probably more similar with the types of pages you can create (although you can do whatever with all of them, I’m referring more to the templates that come with the plugins) and better for building sites. Think it’s all just a preference for what you like working with. Not much help, huh? haha… Thanks Teri!

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