This one is going to be brutal, folks. I am going to compare every important criterion of SiteOrigin’s Page Builder and Beaver Builder, two of the most popular free page builders for WordPress. This time, I will compare Beaver Builder Pro to SiteOrigin, because I think most Beaver Builder users are paid customers, whereas SiteOrigin is more of a free plugin.
As always, I cannot hide the fact that I carry a strong preference towards frontend page builders. However, I will postpone this criterion to the ending of the comparison post.
So let’s get started, and find out who wins in the battle between SiteOrigin Page Builder VS Beaver Builder.
In case you would like a summery of the comparison, here are the results:
- Templates: Tie
- SEO: Beaver Builder
- Easy to use: Beaver Builder
- WooCommerce: Tie
- Reviews: Tie
- Blog Options: Beaver Builder
- Design: Beaver Builder
- Mobile: Beaver Builder
SiteOrigin: 0 wins, Beaver Builder: 5 wins, Tie: 3
This might seem to you a strange criterion to start with, but whenever I compare page builders I first like to browse their templates. The logic stands that the folks who developed the plugin should have put the best designs as templates. Who better to create a great looking template for a page builder than the people who developed the thing?
SiteOrigin Page Builder offers 24 decent looking templates, ranging from homepages, contact pages, and landing pages. All templates seemed to do well on mobile devices and included a nice range of uses of the various SiteOrigin widgets. My personal favorite of the bunch was the “modern design” template.
Beaver Builder Templates
Beaver Builder includes a wider range of templates – 30 landing page templates, and 25 other pages, including about us, services and portfolio. The templates seemed to include a large use of the text editor and image modules, which is strange since the page builder has a lot more modules. My personal favorite was the DJ/Beaver template, which included bright and vivid colors and a nice use of the background video
Winner: Tie. Both page builders feature pre-made templates that are mobile responsive and display a nice yet basic design.
It is kind of impossible to assess exactly how each page builder performs in terms of SEO. This is a long-discussed subject, and I will not go into it in this post. I might be writing up an entire article on the subject in the future. The whole discussion is basically not about SEO at all, but about page load speed. Because page builders add markup to the page, this can potentially slow down the page speed performance.
Basically, the SEO of every page you create has to do with how rich it is with content, as well as how it is coded. Because shortcodes are slower to load, and SiteOrigin is based on shortcodes, it is not the best SEO friendly page builder. This doesn’t mean you can’t create SEO optimized pages with SiteOrigin. By using caching plugins, reducing the sizes of images, as well as following other speed optimization techniques, you can reduce the page load and make it more SEO friendly.
Beaver Builder SEO
Beaver Builder is built with the right SEO code standards in mind. The CSS is created on external pages, and the page builder also works nicely with Yoast SEO. Moreover, because it is a frontend page builder, you can do all sorts of content optimizations faster, also a great improvement in terms of SEO workflow.
Winner: Beaver Builder. Both plugins can generate websites that get high rankings on Google, but Beaver Builder is better in terms of SEO out of the box.
3. Easiest to use
This just might be the most important feature of any page builder. Think of why page builders were created in the first place: to help you design your pages more easily. How I go by determining this factor is by examining how fast the page builder is to respond to actions, how accessible are the widgets
How easy is SiteOrigin to use
This criterion is really where SiteOrigin falls short. Designing on the backend is a drag, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you want to create a website that doesn’t look like a stack of piled columns, you have to see the design in front of you.
How easy is Beaver Builder to use
Beaver Builder has a great interface, which I personally love. It allows you to quickly and easily design your website on the frontend.
Winner: Beaver Builder. This is a landslide win for Beaver Builder over SiteOrigin, and perhaps the biggest reason you should go for this plugin.
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform in WordPress, and it’s no surprise that WordPress store owners want to use the design capabilities of page builders when creating their product pages.
WooCommerce with SiteOrigin
SiteOrigin enables you to include the various WooCommerce widgets inside its page builder. Moreover, it also lets you design the product page itself. The plugin doesn’t provide you with a dedicated widget for WooCommerce.
WooCommerce with Beaver Builder
Beaver Builder works nice with WooCommerce, even though you cannot edit a product page. You do however get a WooCommerce widget, letting you add single product, product page, multiple products, add to cart button and other WooCommerce elements.
Winner: Tie. Each of the two page builders has its own advantages when using WooCommerce, and it’s hard to decide on a clear winner.
Both plugins have been around for a while now, and have a free plugin to download from the WordPress repository. I generally trust the WordPress review system, as I have found them to accurately let me know if a plugin is reliable and worth my attention.
This page builder has 398 five star reviews, and 13 one star reviews. People seem to like it a lot…
Beaver Builder Reviews
Beaver Builder has 111 five star reviews, and 5 one star reviews. Considering the fact that it is a newer plugin, this seems to be a well-liked plugin as well.
Winner: Tie. Again with the tie! Both plugins seem to be reviewed positively by their users.
6. Blog Options
WordPress was first created as a blogging platform and is still very popular among bloggers and content creators. With a page builder, you can create posts that are more image rich and that show a more interesting layout than the standard WordPress blog post.
SiteOrigin Blog Design Options
I wouldn’t really use SiteOrigin to create a blog post. It will seriously slow you down, and it’s just not worth it. Better stick with the WordPress visual editor if you want to create blog posts.
Beaver Builder blog design options
By default, Beaver Builder isn’t set to allow you to edit posts. You need to allow this in the settings page. Nevertheless, it is very helpful to use the frontend builder to create your blog posts.
Winner: Beaver Builder. It is much easier to create content rich blog posts with a frontend page builder.
If you are a long time user, and you have created many sites on WordPress, most chances are you won’t settle for the simple block layout. In fact, this may be the very reason why you would go for a page builder, as it allows you the ability to design complex web designs without using external designers.
This is the second criterion that SiteOrigin falls miserably behind Beaver Builder. You simply cannot surpass the ugly block look, unless you constantly go back and forth from the front to the back end and vice versa. Designing with SiteOrigin will take you hours more because you are basically guessing how to set each column, row and widget setting.
Beaver Builder Design
I don’t think Beaver Builder is the best option to go to in terms of design. Divi, for example, shows a wide range of page templates that look infinitely better than Beaver Builder’s templates. I’ve seen a lot of the Beaver Builder templates rely heavily on the text editor and image modules, and really the power of the page builder in my view comes from using a variety of modules. Otherwise, you are not really using the page builder itself, but the WordPress editor.
Winner: Beaver Builder. This plugin doesn’t excel in terms of design in my view, but it is still much better than SiteOrigin’s backend editor.
When you use page builders, you rely on them to do much of the coding and styling for you. This means you are also relying on them to make your pages responsive for mobile devices. With over 50% of internet users surfing on their mobile devices, this has become a real issue when considering to use page builders. You can create what you think is a perfect design, and later discover the page gets horribly botched on mobile.
SiteOrigin Mobile Options
If I add a headline to the page, it is very plausible that I will want to set a different margin or padding size for it on mobile. Otherwise, my headline will take the entire mobile screen. Unfortunately, this is not possible on SiteOrigin.
Beaver Builder Mobile Options
Beaver Builder allows you to set a different margin and padding size per device. This way, if you are using the call to action module, you can reduce the size of the margin and padding on mobile devices.
Winner: Beaver Builder.
9. Other considerations
The points listed above are really the main comparing criteria you should consider when deciding on your native page builder. There are other factors, which I will summarize now:
- Forms. Both page builders have form widgets/modules. Beaver Builders forms look better in my view.
- PayPal. You can use PayPal in SiteOrigin and Beaver Builder by using a third party plugin.
- Deactivation. When you deactivate Beaver Builder, your content remains. The same is not true with SiteOrigin.
In most cases, I would heartily recommend using Beaver Builder over SiteOrigin. This is true to beginner and more advanced users. Beaver Builder wins for the most important factors: ease of use, design, mobile, etc.