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Visual Composer vs Elementor: Definite Guide for Beginners

Visual Composer vs Elementor

Picking between Visual Composer vs Elementor isn’t an easy task at all. Personally, I’ve used both the tools and still found it hard to get over the comfort space I get while using each of these page builder tools.

Since it was hard to make my mind with my own experience, I looked for different user perspectives and finally consolidated them into one article.

Both Elementor and Visual Composer website builders are massively popular and flexible and have solidified their place in the list of top 5-page builder tools of 2021.

Yet, someone has to draw the line and show the differences so that it’s easy to understand what they are about to get into before getting started.

I will be placing my collective understanding of the matter.

So, if you want to make up your mind about Visual Composer and Elementor website builder in details, stay with me till the end.

I can guarantee you that your problems would be over for good.

In A Rush? Here’s a Helpful Suggestion

Between Visual Composer vs Elementor, I would side with Elementor for many reasons I see are obvious.

Although you can do the same work with both tools, my judgment is based on the user’s understanding of the tool up front, simplicity, user experience, flexibility, and other aspects that everyone cares about more or less.

A Brief Intro

Elementor

Elementor is known to almost all WordPress users, and the staggering number of 5 million users shows how it has been widely accepted as the go-to page builder tool for creating WordPress websites.

This is mainly because of the simplicity, flexibility, versatility, and top-notch support it brings with the tool.

On top of it all, it requires no knowledge of code to build a minimalistic, designed, clean looking website.

Price: $49 – $199

Offers: The trial version is usable for 30 days

Visual Composer

As of 2017, Visual Composer has been revamped and renamed into WPBakery Page Builder.

The newer version is without any doubts more flexible and neatly designed than its predecessor.

Undoubtedly it is one of the most popular page builder tools and easily makes a name in the top 5 list of WordPress website builders with its unique library of unique widgets and templates.

Price: $45 – $245

Offers: 15% discount on purchase

Visual Composer vs Elementor: Comparison Table

Topic of ComparisonElementorVisual Composer
Frontend Feature (Drag and Drop)Highly EfficientHighly Efficient
Search Engine FriendlyYesYes
Speed FactorFastFast
No-code ExperienceSimple to useSimple to use
Added ResourcesDemo websites, themes, and blocksHuge library of templates for each widget
Access to Future UpdatesLifetime update available for both free and premiumUpdate available for a lifetime – free and premium versions
Customer ServiceDedicated customer service with the experience to handle complex problemsSpot on customer service with convincing reviews
Pricing ModelFree Annual SubscriptionOne-time payment
Third-Party IntegrationsSeamless integration supports external themes, plugins, widgets, CRM systems, Email marketing services, Facebook, WooCommerce, etc.Compatible with external themes
Target CustomerSmall Business Medium Business Large Business FreelancersSmall Business Medium Business Freelancers  
Price RangePrice is different for each category and starts from $49 – $999 per yearPrice has two categories, $45 and $245 respectively, according to the terms and services

Visual Composer vs Elementor: What Are the Similarities?

Both Visual Composer and Elementor are similar in terms of usage. So, we can say that the basis of both of these tools is pretty much the same.

Both page builders can create 100% responsive websites that both search engine friendly and really easy to use.

The uncomplicated design is fascinating and happens to be the most important thing about these page builder tools.

You can follow what you want to find and what you are looking for in a few seconds, and it won’t require you to understand the system in depth.

The visual drag and drop systems are present in both the tools, which is the most obvious similarity.

You can build your own custom webpage using the visual page builder on a blank white canvas, and your website would look exactly the same after the build.

You can choose customized widgets from the library or build your own themed concept from scratch, which is also possible.

Finally, if you fall into trouble and need a walkthrough of the steps to get rid of it, both of these tools offer extensive customer support that replies to your queries within 30 minutes to a maximum of 24 hours.

Visual Composer vs Elementor: Differences from A General User’s Perspective

Subtle differences are hard to distinguish and since both the tools offer the same functionalities. You know that you need to familiarize yourself with the platform before you start noticing things.

Here are some differences that you should notice upfront when it boils down to Visual Composer vs Elementor.

User Interface

Elementor

The user interface of Elementor is of two parts. The sidebar to the left and the canvas to the right.

The preview section or the canvas takes up the majority portion of the screen as it shows all the visual aspects you put into your websites.

The canvas gives you the live preview option that everyone cares about.

Honestly, this live preview is what makes the no-coding experience so much fun when it comes down to building neat and minimalistic websites.

Plus, there is a mega menu on the right that shows all the widgets, elements, and settings.

It gives you the option to select templates from the huge collection of templates from the Elementor library. Your custom saved templates, widgets, and more.

The bottom left of the screen gives you three more options – General Settings, History, Navigator, and Responsive Mode.

  1. The General settings allow you to see the current status of the page, if it’s published or not, its title, featured image on the page and some other highlighted information.
  2. The history allows you to see the different versions of the saved projects that can be restored.
  3. The navigator creates a popup navigation tree to make navigation swimmingly.
  4. The responsive mode allows you to see your site across all devices using just one screen.

Visual Composer

Visual composer has an interface similar to that of the Elementor. In fact, you can also call it a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) frontend editor.

This means you’ll get to see whatever you create on the canvas, which is to say that you won’t essentially have any placeholders that represent a particular page block.

Here are the following parts you can find on the Visual Composer dashboard:

  • The element editor window
  • The live editor or frontend editor (drag and drop feature)
  • The navigation panels
  • Settings
  • A tree view of the website

The element edit window lies floating on top of each blocked element of the website. Just hover over the selected element to get the list of changeable options from a drop-down menu.

The frontend editor is the visual editor of the Visual Composer. It allows you to arrange and align different components by dragging and dropping them from the widgets bar into the editor.

The best thing is that you can play around as you like and still won’t complicate the design because that is all taken care of in the background without you even noticing.

The navigation panel allows you to access the settings where you can finely tune the different elements of your website from changing the images, height and width of a component, font size and weight, etc.

The settings don’t have much to do with the rest of the website.

As a beginner, you wouldn’t need to mess with it for your first project.

But you can start exploring what options it has after you’re done with your first website.

The tree view is an efficient way to navigate across different pages of your website quite easily.

In fact, you can also use the tree view mode for editing any chosen component on the webpage on the go.

The Premium edition of Visual Composer has additional options for editing the sidebars, tooter, header, which is also a considerably good selling point.

Verdict

Both interfaces have the same features with subtle changes. However, I’d edge towards Elementor for the small creative design aspects.

Available Elements

Elementor

Elements are what helps you to create a webpage using page builder tools. So, a good page builder like Elementor needs to have a sizeable number of elements with it.

In this regard, Elementor has 3 main types of elements – sections, columns, and widgets in that specific order.

The free version of Elementor has 30 different widgets for your website, which increases to 50 once you purchase the Elementor Pro version.

Besides, there is a huge archive of creatively crafted templates that you can find in the Elementor library.

I’d be lying to you if I did not tell you that I was thoroughly impressed by what the Elementor library had to offer.

The first difference is that it affects the entire section if you make change to a specific section.

The same happens when you apply the change to a column.

But contrarily, if you apply the change on a widget, the change remains confined to that widget only.

Visual Composer

Visual Composer elements consist of content blocks such as icons, buttons, text blocks, etc.

As a user, you can integrate these blocks into your webpage to create a layout for your website.

There are over 100 content elements in both free and premium versions of Visual Composer arranged into the following logical groups – Basic, Media, Containers, Social, WordPress, and Content.

The cloud-based template hub allows you to download the specific content block you need, and this prevents your site from the risk of slowing down.

This also reduces the dependency on third-party plugins, thus allowing your site to run even faster without additional assets.

Verdict

It’s a tie. Both tools offer bundles of templates, widgets, and components for use, and that for me is a big win.

Styling Options

Elementor

Styling options are straightforward in Elementor. If you choose an element, it automatically places the global styles on your existing content.

The settings can be adjusted in the way you want them to be from the ‘style settings’ by altering widgets, sections, and columns as you prefer.

Plus, there are plenty of styling options available to explore gradually as you get comfortable and understand styling.

Visual Composer

There are hundreds of styling options simplified into one window to create a seamless understanding of the system by the user while using Visual Composer.

You can say it’s similar to Elementor in many ways because you can do the same things in Visual Composer.

Verdict

Both tools offer simplified yet extensive options for styling. This one is a tie.

Templates

Elementor

Elementor has 40 neatly designed templates in the free version with lifetime updates if you keep using them.

But there are limitations to that. The number of widgets you can use in the free version is restricted to a certain number.

However, if you choose the pro version, then you instantly gain access to more than 300 additional different components and templates.

Block templates are used to create a specific section of the page, such as – contact forms, CTA forms, etc. On the other hand, page templates are more geared towards creating an entire page.

Visual Composer

Visual composer has two different types of templates – predefined and user-defined templates.

Of course, each template is uniquely designed to cater to specific purposes, or you can redesign them as you want.

But those customizable options become limited if you use the free edition, which obviously increases by tenfold if you decide to buy a premium subscription.

Verdict

This one was the hardest to decide because both of these tools have so many promising and unique elements to provide. I’d say this one is a tie too.

WooCommerce Integration

Elementor

Seamless WooCommerce integration is the essential feature, in my opinion, and Elementor does that well.

Plus, the customization features are easy to work with the Product Archive Widget that helps you ascertain.

Which products will be displayed in the list, customize the appearance of each item in that list, typography, colour palettes, and other features?

There are options to customize product search results pages and incorporate additional widgets to make the page more interactive.

Menu cart is another great option that allows you to add an ‘add to cart button on your page, and you can customize it as you want to make it more compelling to click.

Visual Composer

Visual composer supports seamless integration of WooCommerce with its themes, so everyone finds it useful to create an ecommerce WordPress website.

You can access the WooCommerce elements from the Visual Composer Hub to create the product page. Here are some of the elements you can avail:

WooCommerce Add to Cart, Product Category, Product Page, Recent Products, Related Products, Order Tracking, Checkout Page, Featured Products, Cart, Cart Checkout, etc.

Verdict

This is an essential point of them all. If you’re only integrating the WooCommerce plugin and WooCommerce elements, then it’s a tie.

But if you add a few more things like CRM integration, then Elementor is the best choice.

I say this because, a lot of times, you would need to integrate other complex tools except for WooCommerce, and you will find that Elementor offers all kinds of integration, unlike the Visual Composer.

Theme Builder

Elementor

The theme builder plugin allows you to create your own theme – either from scratch or on an existing template like you can create a webpage on Elementor.

The process is the same where you design your own concept on a blank canvas, customizing the headers and footers aligned with the theme of your website.

You can apply the same process to create headers, site logos, menus, and other relevant components essential to your site.

Visual Composer

Visual Composer Premium allows you to create your own theme, much like the webpage builder so, and there is not much difference with Elementor in this case.

If you consider the canvas and editing tools, you’ll notice there are subtle changes. For example, the heigh and width editor of each component is more swayed towards the sidebar.

Before you head over to create your own theme on Visual Composer, make sure to have the Theme Builder addon installed.

So that you can access the header, footer, and sidebar editor and, most importantly, access the components you need to download from Visual Composer Hub.

Besides, the Global controls allow you to edit headers and footers much more easily. You can enable custom post types, posts and pages, and default WordPress pages. It comes along with it, such as – search results page, 404 error page, archive page, WooCommerce pages can be altered.

Verdict

This one is a plus point for Visual Composer. They provided enough editing options with their header and footer editors and some other parts of a theme that I did not see in Elementor.

Addons

Elementor

The Elementor team is constantly running to create intuitively designed resources that stand out from the rest of the market, where you can find free templates, themes, widgets, etc.

A huge number of addons give a more creative edge to your website and backed by extra blocks, widgets that make a complete package.

Visual Composer

When pre-built extra widgets or templates are not enough for your work, you know it’s time to build something out of the scope of Visual Composer’s current capacity. But here’s a quick solution.

Head over to the Addons section of Visual Composer Hub, where you can find exclusive extensions specially created for special purposes that you can download for free.

Besides, you can also use the Global Templates, Import and Export, Templates Widget, Gutenberg Blocks, Theme Builder, Dynamic Fields, Maintenance Mode page, Popup builder, Premium Icon libraries, and other Premium Design options.

But his feature is only exclusive to Visual Composer Premium users.

Verdict

This one goes to Visual Composer for their immense collection of addons in Visual Composer Hub.

Elementor is creatively equal in this aspect, but Visual Composer has the numerical advantage.

Unique Features

Elementor

Elementor has some feature that is exclusive to Elementor users only.

One such feature is – Embed Anywhere feature that allows you to embed a selected template and replicate it using shortcodes.

In fact, all sections in Elementor accepts shortcodes so, and it makes development a whole lot faster.

Global Widget is another great feature that allows you to save a custom design once and replicate it anytime in the future, like a template across multiple websites.

Lastly, it has a simplified popup builder that allows you to design creative hello bars, full-screen display messages, fly-in messages and other types of popups.

These things are essential to increase your website’s conversion rate and increase the sales percentage of your top-rated product on your website.

Visual Composer

Visual Composer Hub allows premium users to choose from a wide array of addons, templates, stock images, and whatnot from their cloud storage.

It consists of almost all kinds of designs ranging from addons, block, footer elements, header elements, and the list goes on.

Besides, if you are a premium subscriber of Visual Composer Hub, you get access to new templates every week.

Verdict

Elementor has some unique features that are offered in no other page builder tool that I’ve tested, and so I will side with Elementor on this one.

Visual Composer vs Elementor: Differences from A Developer’s Perspective

The comparison drawn between Visual Composer vs Elementor draws a whole new level when you see it from a developer’s perspective, especially when you can see some whole new comparison angles that you may find useful.

Here’s what you’ll find useful.

License

Theme integration is an essential aspect of using the WordPress page builder tools. It allows the developers to integrate new designs into existing themes and redevelop them according to current standards.

Some might even try to resell it, which is totally not the ideal thing to do.

Theme integration option is only available for the free version of both Elementor and Visual Composer website builder.

But you cannot include any of the premium themes and resell them against the terms and agreements.

Elementor

Elementor free version is up for grabs from the wordpress.org plugins repository.

Alternately, you can download it from the Elementor website.

One huge upshot of Elementor is that it’s hosted in WordPress and so, you need not include it in your pack of plugins.

The premium version comes with all kinds of widgets, templates, header and footer builders, and a template system to create your own custom templates.

Visual Composer

Visual composer has two versions – free and premium that are readily available on their website.

However, Visual Composer is not readily integrated with WordPress, which is a disadvantage for Visual Composer users.

But you can still download the free version from their website or use the download link using the TGM activator.

The premium version has a header and footer builder that is a huge selling point, and not to mention the templating system makes life so much easier to work with separate components.

General Requirements

Elementor

Elementor does not require extra dependencies other than the usual WordPress general requirements.

Visual Composer

Visual composer does not come by default with WordPress installation, and so you need to install the extra dependencies to run it. Here’s a list of what you need:

  1. Webpack 4.0 or higher
  2. Node 8.0 or higher

Developer API

Elementor

The abundance of Developer APIs is one of the strong suits of a good page builder tool.

And while you consider that as an upshot, you should also know that this flexibility allows you to build custom elements using React components.

The best way to understand how the Developer API allows you to create each element of the website as an independent part of the system is to use it separately wherever you need to.

Visual Composer

Visual Composer Website builder works hand in hand with React components.

Each element is created so that it works independently as a separate block of code running on its own set of HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and JSON dependencies.

In this way, it no longer remains dependent on the shortcode system as it was in the earlier versions.

This system of building custom widgets is no different from building native WordPress widgets.

In this regard, I have to side in with Visual Composer since I’m familiar with React.

And for people who understand React, it will be easier to understand the file structure and the development process.

Comparative Analysis

Topic of ComparisonElementorVisual Composer
Active Installations5 million+ and counting100k +
Offers for Free Version30 default widgets with lifetime update50 elements with lifetime updates
Developer APIExcellentExcellent
Installation RequirementsN/AWebpack 4.0 or higher Node 8.0 or higher
Third-Party Extensions10+ official supportsN/A
Compatible on Themeforest350+ compatible themes on Themeforest and increasingN/A
Ease of Integration (Out of 5)53.5
Ease of Development (Out of 5)54
Starter ThemeComes with Elementor Pro onlyYes
Overall Score8.78.3

Summing It Up

The choice between Visual composer vs Elementor is subjective to one’s understanding of the tool and one’s taste, something we can or cannot change. But hey, we can always learn a thing or two from another perspective.

Here are my 2 bits on the entire Visual Composer vs Elementor debate. First, if it comes down to usage and you are a single user/developer, then Visual Composer is the cheaper option with a one-time payment and offers as much as Elementor.

However, if you’re running an agency and prefer to avail more flexibility for development and willing to spend more bucks and shorten out the timespan for development, then Elementor is for you.

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