LAST UPDATED ON
When it comes to choosing a website page builder for WordPress, the question I hear most often these days is which is better — Elementor or Divi? Put 100 web pros in a room and you’ll have a 50/50 split of (very) strong opinions, so I thought I’d dig into the issue a bit deeper to help you decide between them.
Both visual builders allow you to create beautiful websites easily. Deciding on whether Elementor or Divi is right for you will come down to how you plan on using it.
Divi has the edge for price, ease of use, & support. If you build sites for clients, you can’t beat Divi’s unlimited lifetime license, beautifully-designed template packs, and outstanding customer support. The visual builder is the easiest to use.
Elementor Pro has the edge for customization. If you’re new to WordPress, building only one site, or if you’re creating a blog – try Elementor for free. You can upgrade to Pro from there to have access to more modules. Elementor allows you more control over customising headers, footers, blog & archive pages which I think is a huge advantage for bloggers.
I’m going to answer some of the most common questions and concerns about each builder in more detail and summarize everything so you can decide which one is right for you.
But first, a brief overview of what you can expect when using either page builder…
|Will make building beautiful websites faster and easier||Will make you want to pull your hair out sometimes||Have unique strengths, benefits and amazing features||Have draw backs and competitive weaknesses|
I’m being a bit cheeky here, but I am not here to blow sand up your skirt. (I don’t even know what that means.) If you’re here looking for a guarantee that you’ll…
👉 Never be frustrated
👉 Won’t have a bit of a learning curve
👉 Will never experience troubles with your site speed or conflicts with other plugins and add-ons
…then my advice is to hire a rockstar WordPress developer, create your own custom theme, and then have him/her maintain it for you. If that sounds expensive, it’s because it is.
The tradeoff for having an insane amount of functionality at your fingertips — allowing you to build gorgeous websites for a very affordable price without touching code — is that sometimes these tools can be… well, bloated and persnickety. Powerful, wonderful, bloated and persnickety.
Right then, you’ve been warned and realistic expectations have been set.
Now let’s do an actual comparison…
Divi vs Elementor: Overview
What is Divi?
Divi is a WordPress theme created by Elegant Themes and was designed to be a total solution for non-designers who want to build beautiful websites without having to write code. It’s a favorite for professional designers too — allowing them to speed up development time.
What’s important to note is that Divi is also a visual builder plugin — a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create custom layouts — that can be used with other themes.
But, since the Divi theme comes included and works so well with it, most people use them together and the combination of the theme + visual builder is just referred to as “Divi,”
What is Elementor?
Elementor is a standalone visual builder for WordPress that allows you to build custom layouts in a drag-and-drop way. Elementor is theme agnostic, which means it’s designed to be compatible with any WordPress theme.
It’s still a relative up-and-comer on the scene but it has gained rapid popularity with bloggers and professional designers and developers alike.
Can Divi and Elementor Be Used Together?
This is where the distinction between the Divi Builder and the Divi theme comes in handy. Technically, yes, you can use the Divi builder and the Elementor builder together on the same website if you’re using the same theme.
But, my advice is to keep things simple and choose one or the other. If there’s a feature missing that you really want, first see if there’s a plugin that can do the trick. There are a lot of third-party developers who specialize in extending what Divi / Elementor can do.
Divi vs. Elementor At A Glance
|Popularity||1.3M+ Active Installs||1.4M+ Active Installs |
(to be fair, having a free version gives Elementor an advantage)
|Visual Builder||Very easy drag-and-drop visual interface; moveable pop-out menu; visually adjust padding and margins.||Very easy drag & drop visual interface; static left-hand-side menu; manual adjustment of padding and margins in settings menu.||Divi|
|Price||$89/yr for one site or $249 for lifetime – unlimited sites including sites you design for clients. Includes the Divi theme and all of Elegant Theme products including Bloom (lead generation) and Monarch (social media).||Elementor has a FREE version that’s very generous in its features. The Pro version starts at $49/yr. for one site and $199/yr. for 1000 sites. Does not come with a theme so that *may* affect your budget.|
Divi lifetime license wins in the long run unless you stick with the free version (can’t beat that!)
|Pre-made templates||800+ Premade designs and 100+ full website packs |
Huge advantage here if you’re looking for pre-made designs. The template packs are “websites in a box” with beautiful custom layouts for common pages you’ll need. They release new ones every week!
|Ability to customise headers and footers||No – this is a huge bummer for many Divi users||Yes||Elementor|
|Ability to customise single post & archive pages||No – another huge bummer if you’re using it for a blog||Yes||Elementor|
|Community||Strong community of Divi users and developers. Active Facebook group||Strong community of ElementorPro users and developers. Active Facebook group.||Tie|
|Developer Support||Live chat and email support, fast response.||Email support. Some rumbles from users that support could be better.||Divi|
|Shortcodes||Yes||No||Personal preference, edge to Elementor|
|Theme||Divi builder can be used with other themes, but comes packaged with the Divi theme||Theme agnostic||Divi|
|Free version||No, but they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you want to try it out.||Yes, whoo hoo!||Elementor|
Divi vs Elementor: Site Speed Performance
TLDR; Both Divi and Elementor are a bit bloated which may your site down. With either builder, you’ll want to follow best practices for optimization – things like compressing your images (a tool like ShortPixel. will do it automatically), staying away from poorly-coded plugins, keeping total plugins to a minimum, and testing your pages with Google Page Insights and following their recommendations — many of which can be handled using a really good caching plugin like WPRocket.
This is where the debate really gets heated so I want to start here. Divi has a reputation for (allegedly) slowing sites down and that’s bad for SEO and user experience. But talk to Divi professionals and they’ll tell you their sites load at lightning speed and get a “green light” when tested in Google Page Speed Insights.
I also keep seeing discussions that Elementor is more lightweight and makes your websites faster.
My question is — what is the experience like in practice for the average user? People who are not like me and who don’t run their pages through site speed analysers and spend an inordinate amount of time optimizing?
First, I needed a control…
Using the same website host (SiteGround) with the same fresh website…
- No content
- No images
- All plugins disabled (including the optimization plugin that comes with SiteGround)
Only the page builders and a fresh install of WordPress.
I hope that’s the right word, because I’m trying to make this as fancy as possible.
First, I’m going to test the initial page load time on a stripped-down sample page with nothing but a few lines of text on it.
Then, I’m going to install Elementor Pro and test both a pre-made layout that comes with the package and a basic web page I design from scratch.
Then, I’m going to uninstall Elementor Pro and install Divi and do the same thing.
Obviously when using templates they’re going to vary in complexity and total page size so I’m going to explain what that is and try to choose templates that are as close as possible to one another.
I have no life. Send help.
The Control Test
Here’s what I found using a fresh website and a site hosted on SiteGround, which is known for having fast servers.
As expected, a fresh Install of WordPress using the default theme and no plugins or content or add-ons to slow it down, it’s as fast as it gets.
Elementor Page Speed Tests
Now I’m going to test what happens when I create a page using Elementor. I’m going to run two tests — one with one of their pre-designed templates and one from scratch.
Elementor Pre-Designed Template Test
The first thing I did was install Elementor Pro, create a new page in WordPress, then open it up with the Elementor visual builder and insert a pre-made template.
Super intuitive and ready to go in a few clicks. The only weird thing is there’s an icon font that obviously need to be installed and I had to change the template from the default to full width in the backend… but there’s always fussy things with a new tool. Overall, nice experience!
Then, I ran it through Google Page Speed Insights and Pingdom and here’s the result:
As you can see, so far it isn’t really living up to the claim that “Elementor makes your sites faster” that I keep seeing, but it might be something within the template itself slowing the page down so let’s test a simple page I build from scratch…
An Elementor Page Built From Scratch Test
I just built a really simple page with the Elementor Pro plugin. It’s purposefully not fancy… just a headline, a photo, and some text in columns. I optimised the photo as much as possible before uploading it. Then, I read it through Google Page Insights and Pingdom…
Definitely a bit better but not perfect and to be fair, there’s not much on the page here. I’m not ready to draw conclusions just yet, let’s first see what happens when we run the same tests with Divi..
Divi Page Speed Tests
After uninstalling Elementor and installing Divi, I created a new page to install a premade template. Within just a few clicks I had a beautiful landing page to start with. It seemed most similar to the Elementor template I chose including an embedded video.
Now for the test. I ran it through Google Page Insights and Pingdom…
Some troubles with mobile but it’s still done a much better job than the Elementor template. To be fair, we’re not comparing apples to apples here but I do think this is how people will naturally use these tools — install template and assume they perform well speed-wise.
Now let’s compare apples to apples. I’ll build a simple page using the same photo and four text columns and see what happens…
A Divi Page Built From Scratch Test
I created a similar page from the Elementor Scratch Page test, easy-peasy lemon squeezie.
Now for the Google Insights & Pingdom tests. Drumroll, please…
Nearly identical to the Elementor scratch page test, so I’m going to call that one a tie.
Elementor vs Divi Page Speed Performance Conclusion
Here’s the bottom line and some people may disagree with me here, but I see no advantage to using Elementor if the deciding factor is page load time. Both Divi and Elementor could do a much better job of reducing page bloat.
In my own personal experience using Divi and as the (admittedly not bonafide scientific) tests above show, Divi isn’t some scary page-bloat monster that isn’t capable of creating fast-loading sites.
IMHO, when you’re using any visual builder, I think you should just expect that you’re going to need to spend some time optimising the site — compressing and optimising images, using a good caching plugin, using a good web host and so on.
Divi vs Elementor: Which Visual Builder is Easier?
TLDR; The main difference is the menu. Divi’s is a ‘pop out’ that can be positioned anywhere that’s convenient as you work including fixed to the left of your workspace. The Elementor interface has fixed menu on the left hand side only. Divi allows you to click & adjust padding and margins visually or in the settings menu whereas Elementor only allows you to adjust them using the settings menu. They’re both easy and intuitive, but I think Divi has a slight edge here.
Elementor Visual Builder
The Elementor interface is very intuitive with a left-hand menu of elements you can drag onto the page where you can drag and drop them into position. Settings like background color, padding and margins and so forth are all adjusted in the menu panel.
Divi Visual Builder
The Divi editor can be positioned anywhere on the screen that’s convenient for you as you work. You have the option to adjust paddings, margins visually (pictured) and can drag and drop the position of modules and sections visually. Lots of styling and formatting options – you can even upload custom fonts from the menu!
Divi vs Elementor: Pros & Cons
Both visual builders have advantages and weaknesses so I’m going to try to summarise the key high and low points based on personal experience and reading through countless community discussions.
TLDR; Divi is the most intuitive and easiest to use and the support and community is the best out there. But, Divi is limited in customisation for headers, footers, archive, and blog pages without workarounds or third-party add-ons. Page bloat may slow sites down so expect optimisation will be necessary.
- Widely considered the easiest and most intuitive visual builder on the market.
- Tons of beautifully-designed layout packs available and new ones released each week covering the gamut of industries. The packs include page layouts for each page of the website not just one template.
- Beautiful animation transitions, page dividers and great font customisation capabilities.
- Massive community of users, third-party developers, trainers and fans. If you have a question, or need to expand the functionality of Divi, you’ll find lots of resources, premium and free add-ons, and support.
- Excellent tutorials and documentation available from both Elegant Themes and the community.
- Top-notch support from the developers.
- Elegant Themes frequently releases updates and new features to the theme.
- The Lifetime Unlimited Licence is an outstanding deal – you can use it on unlimited sites for life and that includes client sites.
- Uses shortcodes, so if you disable Divi you’ll lose your formatting, so there’s no “theme switching” once you commit to Divi. (This isn’t unique to Divi, other visual builders work this way too.) I recommend not using the visual builder for blog posts just in case you ever want to switch themes. You can also use a plugin called “Bye Bye Divi” to remove shortcodes if you ever need to cross that bridge.
- Does not have the ability to create custom headers and footers.
- Not much customization available for archive pages and single post pages for blogs – this is probably the thing that bugs me about Divi most.
- Some users have reported that they experience problems when updating WordPress. Always make sure you make a full back up and have a restore plan before doing updates (that’s a good universal policy).
- There’s a bit of “code bloat” that can slow your site down, so you’ll need to optimise. It took a bit of fussing for me to get my site speed down, choosing a good web host like SiteGround and using a pro caching tool like WPRocket will help a ton.
TLDR; Elementor’s strongest advantage is that there is a free version available, but the ability to customize headers, footers, single post and archive pages is major. I keep reading complaints that the development support can be slow but I have no personal experience with that.
Free version! It has tons of amazing features in the free version and you can easily build a simple site with it if that’s all you need
Because of the free version, the community is growing rapidly which means you can expect lots of support, third-party add-ons and resources
More control over headers and footers
The ability to customise archive and single post pages. This is a major advantage over Divi if you want to custom-design your blog templates.
59 website elements come shipped with the Pro version, so if you are looking for something that offers lots of features and functionality, Elementor Pro shines here
It works well with any theme!
If you don’t like the left-hand side fixed menu, it can be a bit annoying because it does take up visual real estate, but like anything you get used to it.
The editor is a bit frustrating for advanced users who are concerned with pixel-perfect details.
Can be limiting when it comes to formatting tasks and font options.
Elementor does not come with a theme like Divi does which may be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. If you are buying a theme the obvious con is the additional price. A good theme to check out is Astra.
Divi vs Elementor: Features
TLDR; Elementor ships with more features — called “elements” (Divi calls them modules but same idea). If you’re looking for more out-of-the-box functionality and customisations, Elementor has the edge here.
Divi ships with 40+ elements and the developers are making continuous improvements to keep their users happy. Because of the large and active community, you can find a plethora of third-party add ons and extensions if you need advanced customisations.
Divi calls them modules, Elementor calls them elements — same same. Elementor comes with with 59 — beating Divi in this category. If having more customisation is your bag, Elementor has the edge.
If you want even more functionality, the Ultimate Add Ons for Elementor element library gives you more flexibility for what you can do with it. The pricing starts at $69 but if you really want to take it to the next level, it’s pretty spiffy.
(To be clear, the following modules are NOT included with ElementorPro, you’ll need to buy this separately…)
This add on was created by the same developers that created the Astra theme, which is commonly used with Elementor by professional web designers. While I’ve only used it once, I was pretty impressed, it’s lightweight and easy to use. I have a little blog project in the works and I may use the Astra + Elementor combo.
This site uses the Divi theme and I love it, but I do find it’s a bit limiting for the blog and archive pages… I think it’s an incredible tool to build marketing sites, but I’m keen to experiment more with Elementor & Astra to make a really custom and cool blog design.
I’ve been a Divi fan for many years and have build many client websites with it — the unlimited lifetime license has more than paid off many times over. And, I’m able to design websites as fast as all get-out.
But, ElementorPro is a rising star and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for a bit more customisation capability out-of-the box.
If you’re concerned about price — Divi is the winner in the long run especially if you’re planning to design client websites or multiple sites. Unless you stick with the free version of Elementor then you know, can’t beat it!
TLDR; Both allow you to build beautiful websites like you’re some kind of superhero. Which one will you choose?
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have questions in the comments and be sure to grab my website optimization checklist before you go. 👇
PS if you’re just getting started with WordPress, you may also like:
- Setting up a WordPress website from scratch — a helpful step-by-step tutorial
- 3 things you should do with your new WordPress website to prevent future headaches
Taughnee Stone is an award-winning designer, brand strategist, and location-independent business owner for over 15 years. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she now lives in Croatia with her husband, energetic Samoyed, and three bossy cats.