WordPress page builders vary drastically in their functionality. Some offer limited control over the elements on your site, while others force you to eventually mess with code if you want more advanced results. Two of the main problems page builders encounter include handling dynamic content (like blog posts) and only being able to edit some parts of the theme. Elementor is a popular page builder that’s just recently launched a version that takes care of both of these situations. In fact, it might be the best release yet, resulting in one of the more impressive advancements in page builder history.
In this Elementor Review we’ll talk about those changes, along with the other features you can come to expect from the Elementor plugin.
Overall, Elementor functions as a full theme builder, not only for your website pages or landing pages. It utilizes dynamic content editing so that your entire website can maintain the same style throughout. In addition, Elementor is a plugin that works with all WordPress themes. So, you’re not stuck experimenting and trying to figure out which page builder is right for your theme.
The Building Process
Exactly how would a WordPress user walk through the Elementor builder?
Selecting a Template
To start, the user would have the opportunity to choose a template type from the Elementor library. You also have the option to save and upload your own template, but when starting from scratch the Elementor templates are a huge step towards your finished product.
All you have to do is go to the Elementor tab in the dashboard, then click on the Add New Template button.
This reveals a module for choosing the template type. You can choose from Page, Section, Header, Footer, Single, and Archive. For my testing purposes, I’m going with the Header section.
Elementor also lets you name your template for later use.
Several templates specific to the header area show up for you to select. You’ll notice that all of them are starting points, but you’ll receive spots for social media buttons, your menu, logo, contact information, and more.
Once I choose a header module it drops itself right into the Elementor page theme builder. Every element of the header block is editable. This includes the menu, social media buttons, and of course, the logo.
For example, if I click on the logo area, an editing box appears on the left, with options for image size, where to pull the image from, alignment, and where to link the image to.
This Header module would be considered a “Block.”
If you look towards the top of the template selector you can find a tab called Blocks. The Blocks are webpage elements that you can piece together to make an entire custom webpage. If you go to the main Block tab (without filtering to only headers) it uncovers all sorts of blocks for things like email subscription forms, FAQs, product features, contact forms, and more.
All the user has to do is click on one to add it to the page. Dragging and dropping these blocks up and down on the page is done in the Elementor editor.
Two other tabs are shown in this Templates area. One is for your own templates, which you can save and use for later after customization. The one in the middle is called Pages. So, if you’d rather get a better headstart with your design, Elementor has several full page templates available, with the blocks already stacked on top of each other.
Many of these are categorized based on industry. So, if I’d like to import a full homepage template for a restaurant or fitness website, that is done with one click.
Once the full page template is dropped into the Elementor editor it becomes similar to that of the blocks we talked about earlier. The only difference is you’re getting closer to a finished product.
So, you can drag the contact form up on the page if it’s not exactly where you want it, or you might completely delete the collection of photos if you’re not considering showing a section like that.
Handling Dynamic Content After Choosing a Template
With many online page builders, you’re stuck in a situation where you construct a framework, but you’re not able to publish dynamic content across your entire website. For instance, you might include things like URLs, featured images, and meta data for one blog post, but it’s only published that one time.
Elementor, on the other hand, takes advantage of dynamic content by taking that template we installed before and automatically inserting certain dynamic content.
Some of this dynamic content can be inserted by using an Elementor widget. So, you might have an author box and want that shown on all of your new blog posts or archives. The same goes for things like post info, post comments, and featured images.
Several dynamic content tags are included outside of these widgets. Here are some that may pique your interest:
- Current date.
- Site name, tagline, and site URL.
- The number of comments and the URL for those comments.
- The name, profile picture, biography, and meta data for the author.
- The URL, meta, description, and title for an archive.
- Post URLs, titles, attached files, time, date, excerpts, featured image, and more.
A great example of this type of dynamic content involves making a standard blog post. Most of the time, you’d be in a situation where you would have to generate a new featured image, page title, and content for every new post. However, Elementor lets you save this as dynamic content. This way, the design of that first blog post will be copied into all of the new ones.
This functionality is available for headers, archive pages, authors, comments, sites, and for the general website.
Elementor Display Conditions
The final primary advantage of Elementor is called display conditions. This means that you can decide on where you would like your templates to be implemented across your site and automatically send them out for publication. So, once you’re done finding the right template and creating your dynamic content, you’re able to set certain conditions depending on what you need.
Many people will decide to apply the template and dynamic content to the entire site. Others might rather have the templates applied for specific categories or pages. What’s great is that every template you make has conditions for specifying exactly where the template will go in your website. I know that lots of bloggers like to have blog post headers different from the header on the homepage. Therefore, you could create a unique header, then set it to only show on single posts.
Elementor Gets It Right
The wave of page builders has been somewhat confusing for regular WordPress users. Lots of promises are made on sales pages, but most of the time you end up missing some sort of functionality or finding out that not all elements on your website can be edited without code. This new release from Elementor shows how much work has gone into the product, and it definitely makes Elementor a leader in the page building world.
If you have any questions about this Elementor review, or if you’d like to share your thoughts about the plugin, let us know in the comments below.