Over the last 2-3 years, the WordPress world has had some exciting changes related to design capabilities. Anyone who began using WordPress 5 or more years ago probably remembers a clunky back-end interface in which text was input into a basic editor and then published to a template. For marketers that wanted to be able to create landing pages and unique pieces of content, this posed big challenges and limitations.
However, in recent years, full-scale page building GUIs and applications specific for WordPress have emerged and given designers and site owners so much more freedom to design.
Our design team is loving one in particular – Elementor.
What is Elementor for WordPress?
The simple answer is that Elementor is a plugin. You can find the free version in the WordPress codex and can search for and install it right from your WordPress admin dashboard. The pro version of the plugin can be purchased on Elementor’s website installed like any other plugin.
But the conceptual answer is that Elementor is far more than a plugin. It is a theme builder and page builder that provides such broad design capabilities that it can be used to be literally any type of website.
Its front-end editor gives users a visual interface to build pages with using a library of modules and row templates. Elementor’s theme building abilities then take things a step further allowing designers to visually edit and control more traditionally complicated site components like archive templates, navigation headers, and search interfaces.
There are a couple of amazing features packed into Elementor that we and our clients are really loving these days.
Pop Up Builder
Marketers love this tool. Using Elementor’s drag-and-drop interface, designers can build layouts for popups using all the available modules Elementor has to offer. With this freedom, a site owner can build anything from a promotional email newsletter pop up to a cookie usage policy alert.
The true power of the pop up builder is the available triggers one can implement in order to actually make a pop up appear.
The options include triggers like:
- Exit intent triggers when a user attempts to close out of the browser tab
- When a user scrolls to a certain part of a specific page
- When a user spends a certain amount of time on a specific page
- When a user visits the site for the Xth time
- When a user clicks any element on a page
Built in Form Builder
Traditionally, most WordPress site owners relied on 3rd party form building tools to build forms for their websites. Elementor, however, has a very robust form builder integrated into the page builder.
Site admins can create forms with a variety of field types including but not limited to:
- Text fields
- Radio buttons
- Image and file uploads
- Phone number
While this tool is not a total replacement for extremely robust tools like Gravity Forms, it is an excellent solution for creating simple forms for capturing user information.
This is a unique feature as it is something that has been attempted by other page builders in the past, but never pulled off on the same level as Elementor.
Site owners can use the header building tool to visually create their own custom navigation menus for desktop and mobile. As an added perk, header templates can be displayed based on declared conditions.
For example, imagine an association website in which there is an online book store or resource center. With Elementor’s header builder, you can create a unique header for that portion of the website and only display it there.
Extensive Template Library
Elementor comes packed with an extensive template library that can be used to build pages. As a designer, this is one of my favorite perks to working with Elementor because it allows me to rapidly prototype pages and get the basic layout established before refining and polishing my designs.
Anyone who views the Elementor template library will be pleasantly surprised to see that it is organized by category and includes row templates for common website content components like:
In addition to individual row templates, Elementor also offers entire page templates that can be used as well.
If you’ve used Elementor on your own site, let us know what you think! Getting started with WordPress? Learn more about the platform here.