When you say WordPress, you say "theme. WordPress is a wonderful CMS. Not surprisingly, almost a third of the web uses this open-source software to create websites. A CMS is needed to organize the content (on the backend) and a (WordPress) is needed to format the content. Although various themes are being developed for different features within WordPress, in practice, a few themes are proving very popular (and the rest quite a bit less so). One of the most popular WordPress themes right now is Divi. However, what sets Divi apart from a "standard" WordPress theme is the fact that Divi is not only a theme, but also a complete drag-and-drop page builder. So in this way, Divi is great for developing complex but also just simple websites (such as landing pages). All without code. However, Divi also has some drawbacks; this makes this page builder not suitable for everyone. In this article we dive deeper into that and look at the main alternatives for Divi (in 2023).
More about Divi
So Divi is a "multipurpose" WordPress theme and the flagship product of Elegant Themes. This company once started out building a few WordPress themes, but now seems more like a full-fledged software company.
Elegant Themes itself claims that Divi is "the most popular WordPress theme on the web. Of course, we don't know if this is really the case, but we do know that the software has been used to build a website for over 800,000 times: also a handsome achievement! This is not surprising, since Divi was developed for the novice user and thus targets a large audience. You can quickly load one of the 32 ready-made layouts or get to work all by yourself, using one of the better drag-and-drop editors in this segment.
You'll probably soon recognize an off-the-shelf layout (template) that fits your needs. By selecting that one and then tweaking some settings, you can save time. Among other things, you can customize your website using Divi through the WordPress Customizer and use modules to add functionality to your website or page. Think for example of contact form but also for example a shortlist of best selling WooCommerce products. These are just simple examples, but split testing is also part of it. The possibilities are vast and Divi is also reasonably priced in line with the market (at $89 per year).
Should you wish, you can further tweak to your heart's content by adding your own CSS. Another advantage of Divi is that there are already 32 built-in translations available, so an international website is no problem at all. Finally, there is plenty of support and documentation available to solve any problems yourself. But: of course you are not waiting for that! So what is the situation?
There are no real "problems" with Divi, but there are certainly some drawbacks. For example, there is no theme builder, which allows you to quickly determine the look and feel of the website. Also, you cannot create custom headers and footers. In addition, some find Divi simply too complex. Something we can agree with; just take a look at Divi's homepage... Are you still keeping track? But the most important drawback is yet to come, because a good number of users complain about the speed of Divi websites. Not only about the speed with which the page can be built from the page builder, but also with the final products themselves. This is because Divi adds quite a bit of "bloat" code under the hood, which can make everything work just a bit slower. This is unfortunate, because as every marketer knows, a slow landing page simply costs conversions....
Assessment criteria and alternatives
Meanwhile, Divi is far from being the only page builder to choose from. Indeed, there are some very good other tools available. We have looked at the main challengers based on the most important websites, blogs and comparison sites and, of course, our own experience. To assess whether a program is an interesting alternative, we looked at the criteria below.
- Opportunities and USPs.
Ultimately, features determine the strength of a program, theme or plugin. When designing a good, modern (landing) page, ease of use and speed should be particularly important, but there are more features to pay attention to, such as the design of pop-ups or questionnaires. Important to increase conversion is, for example, the ability to split test (A/B) or personalize. Integrations with other tools can also be important, but that will depend a bit more on your personal situation.
Usability follows in an important second place. No one is waiting for a software product with a huge manual. Modern software to build Web sites and pages should actually be usable out-of-the-box. Fortunately, modern tools are increasingly user-friendly. Under this heading, we actually count speed of the software and landing page as well.
Price is relative, which is why the success of a SaaS solution hinges on its capabilities. If you are able to either attract more sales or save enormous amounts of time, then price need not be as big a stumbling block.
Elementor, of course, we have already discussed at length in a previous article and not without reason. The possibilities within Elementor are vast and new features are being added at a lightning pace by the development team behind this plugin. The basic version of Elementor, which can be downloaded as a free plugin, gives you access to the well-known drag-and-drop page builder, 30 (default) widgets and theme builder. For more advanced features and integrations with key tools, consider Elementor Pro. A real plus of Elementor is the pop-up builder that allows you to link Elementor with your favorite email marketing software to bring in leads.
For a single license, Elementor currently pays $59 per year, but the next step is an immediate license for 25 Web sites for a price tag of $199 per year.
2. Beaver builder
Beaver has also been discussed before and is also considered a serious challenger to Divi. Still, Beaver Builder is a more classic page builder, with the free version of the plugin perhaps ultimately being a bit too limited. The Pro version, on the other hand, is quite complete with hundreds of page templates and other advanced features. An important sidenote, however, is that it does sell a separate add-on, the Beaver Themer (for $147), which only gets you started building a theme. In addition, Beaver does not offer (by default) any options for building popups, but fortunately many (additional) plugins have been developed, such as the Ultimate Addons for Beaver and the Powerpack for Beaver.
For Beaver, you pay $99 per year, but are allowed to use the software on an unlimited number of websites.
3. Thrive Architect
An increasingly common name within the WordPress community is Thrive Architect. Thrive Architect is part of a set of marketing-related plugins from Thrive Themes, such as Thrive Leads, Thrive Optimize, Thrive Ultimatum and Thrive Quiz Builder. The key benefit of that approach is that you link with all the plugins to build sophisticated marketing funnels.
Thrive Architect comes with hundreds of ready-to-use landing page templates, all optimized for conversion. For example, if you install Thrive Optimize in addition to Thrive Architect, you can immediately start A/B testing on your website. With Elementor, you should then also set up Google Optimize. If you look purely at the possibilities of building a complete website, Thrive Architect will probably lose out to a more complete tool like Elementor. However, that is not at all the focus of the Thrive community. It is clearly aimed at marketers and the price fits the bill. There is no free version of the software, nor are there many additional add-ons available that have been developed by third parties. Instead, you can join the Thrive Membership plan to get access to all the plugins, or buy licenses based on the number of sites you want to feature Trive Architect.
A "single license" starts at $67. In itself not very expensive compared to the competition, but of course the added value is in the additional plugins.
You pay average to slightly higher prices at Oxygen, with a Basic plan (without WooCommerce integration) starting at $129. Still, there is an important addition: you do get lifetime access for this, so it involves single payments: something that is becoming increasingly rare within the SaaS industry. So, in summary, Oxygen is wonderful for designers with an understanding of code, but if you don't have that, then you better look further.
AdPage is not a WordPress theme or WordPress plugin. AdPage is a Dutch-made tool for designing and optimizing reliable and very fast landing pages. You can then segment and personalize these. It's nice to know that the templates AdPage offers are already tailored and tested for the Dutch market and are also completely up-to-date with the latest AVG regulations.
So are you planning to sell your product or service in a targeted way and don't have the need to set up a full website? Or perhaps you already have a WordPress website but can't manage to build a good landing page? Then AdPage could be a serious option for you or your team.
Thereby, you can present your questions to your visitors dynamically, based on answers and data. AdPage helps you easily get started with these 'multisteps' and therefore you no longer need a separate tool, such as Google Forms or Typeform. You will also find various options for creating pop-ups or offering discount codes to your visitors.
You can seamlessly integrate AdPage with existing tools like Mailblue, ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, Salesforce or any of 500(!) other tools. One disadvantage of AdPage may be that you can't use AdPage to create a full website like you might be used to with WordPress or a tool like Elementor or Divi. That's not what AdPage is for; here it's all about the right and optimized landing page for your product!
You can start with AdPage from 39 euros per month, but you can also request a free trial period. You don't have to worry about unexpected extra costs as soon as your traffic increases: you can receive up to 100,000 visitors on a single landing page with the entry price of 39 euros. The AdPage team is also known for its dedicated support!
Page builders are becoming increasingly popular. Not only within the WordPress community, but also outside of it. This also seems a logical development, as companies and teams desire ever shorter turnaround times from concept to page (or website). For this, code is becoming less and less important, but usability of SaaS software is becoming more and more important. Integrations and links to other tools are also becoming increasingly important.
In our small survey, we have scrutinized only a handful, but with them most of the well-known names. Not for nothing, by the way, because these are all very good programs, each of which emphasizes or focuses on slightly different points. Elementor, for example, has the most options and features on board by default and Oxygen is a wonderful page builder for designers with some knowledge of code.
Would you like to get started building landing pages easily and conveniently? Then we recommend AdPage, our own tool from Dutch soil. AdPage offers, besides a user-friendly interface that lets you build the most beautiful landing pages in no time, full support from our enthusiastic team members.
Curious to know how AdPage helps marketers and agencies increase their sales on a daily basis? Then we would like to show you a demo, so you can be convinced of the quality and ease of use of our software. We will gladly tell you about the experiences of customers who have gone before you! Would you like to try AdPage free for 7 days? You can do that here!