When you try and compare between Siteorigin and Elementor, it may pose a challenge, as one-page builder is a backend page builder with a long history, and the other is a frontend page builder released only last year. These page builders are very different, and in this article, we want to clarify exactly in which areas each page builder excels at.
Choosing the right page builder is crucial because this is the plugin with the most effect on your website. The page builder takes charge of your WordPress page design and allows you to design your entire WordPress site without coding. Page builders also save you from having to use various plugins like sliders, forms, and the likes, and reduces the time it takes you to build an entire website from scratch.
This SiteOrigin and Elementor review takes an objective look at the major differences between these free and powerful plugins. I am going to compare SiteOrigin and Elementor across 6 different criterions, and finally, add my personal conclusion as to which is the better page builder for WordPress.
1. SiteOrigin VS Elementor – Templates
- Responsive layouts that fit desktops, mobile phones and tablets
- 24 beautiful templates
- 26+ templates to choose from
- All templates are mobile responsive
- You can also save your own templates, and import and export them
Mobile Responsive Templates
Using a pre-designed template saves you time, but if you need to make further customization to adapt them to mobile devices, that time is lost. I did not have time to check all 24+ templates for each page builder, but rather chose templates randomly and check them out.
SiteOrigin’s templates fit our mobile screen nicely, automatically adjusting to the narrower display. Some of the templates did show a horizontal scrollbar, but this might have been caused by the theme we were using.
Elementor’s templates also looked nice on mobile devices. Elementor also has a feature called mobile editing, that lets you set a different size for spacing and fonts on mobile devices.
Saving, Exporting and Importing Templates
On SiteOrigin I couldn’t manage to save new templates, let alone export and import them to other pages on the site or to external websites. On Elementor this was easily achieved, and I could create my own library of favorite templates which I could later export to my other sites.
Both page builders presented free to use and beautifully designed templates, across a wide variety of topics and page types. Elementor’s templates are more finely made and are more interesting in terms of designs. While SiteOrigin’s templates tend to seem bootstrap-like, Elementor’s have interesting features like box shadows, background overlays, bold colors and more intricate grid layouts. It is apparent that Elementor’s templates were designed by professional designers with a creative touch.
2. SiteOrigin VS Elementor – Popularity
While popularity is not always the best factor to compare two products, it does give you an idea of the opinions and attitude the majority of WordPress users have the two plugins.
Here is how SiteOrigin and Elementor compare on Google Trends:
As we can see on this chart, SiteOrigin (in the red) shows more searches on average, but recently the trend is changing towards Elementor. If you think about the fact that Elementor was launched only last year, this might indicate a trend in favor of Elementor.
In terms of active users, SiteOrigin wins, with over 2 million active users, and is one of the most popular plugins in WordPress. Elementor only has 40K, accumulated since the launch in June 2016.
SiteOrigin has 310 five star reviews on the WP repository, and Elementor has 150 such reviews.
It’s pretty hard to decide on a clear winner. SiteOrigin is more known but has also been around a lot more years. Elementor is the new kid on the block and seems to be growing fast. Because both plugins have great reviews, I would say this battle ends with a tie. It would be interesting to see how on the one hand SiteOrigin will maintain the popularity it reached, and further develop the plugin to fit new technologies, and would also be interesting to see Elementor growth continue on, as they had a really strong start.
3. SiteOrigin VS Elementor – Widgets
The whole concept of page builders revolves around designing the page using basic elements, or widgets. These may include images, text editor, buttons and sliders.
Both Elementor and SiteOrigin offer a lot of free widgets, more than other page builders do. That said, there is no comparing working on the frontend in terms of the ease of use of widgets.
To get a button to look just right, for example, you would have to go back and forth and switch between the backend and the preview mode, every small change you make. This is true for every change you make on the page. SiteOrigin does have an advantage, as it offers a form widget for free, while this is available for Elementor only on the pro version. It also offers a call to action widget that is not available on Elementor.
SiteOrigin also has a lot of modules that allow you to create posts and pages grids. This feature is available on the free SiteOrigin plugin, whereas in Elementor it is considered a pro feature.
Not being able to see the widgets while you use them was a real drawback, and greatly interferes with your ability to design and complete web designs fast. Overall, I think Elementor is the right choice of the two because having widgets that are seen on the frontend are to me a crucial characteristic of every page builder, as we have seen it incorporated in Divi, Beaver Builder and Elementor.
4. SiteOrigin VS Elementor – Support & Documentation
I really loved SiteOrigin’s forum. It has been around for a few years now and has accumulated a vast knowledgebase of user questions and the SiteOrigin team answers. Elementor’s ticketing system also proved to be efficient and responsive, but I couldn’t find an answer to a specific question online and had to send over a ticket.
What I liked about Elementor was the number of video tutorials they put out, a tutorial for almost every widget and feature. This is nice because I don’t really read the documentation and usually, rely on either clear forum questions or videos.
SiteOrigin is the winner on this factor. There was literally no question that I couldn’t find the answer to in SiteOrigin’s forum with a simple Google search. I hope the Elementor team also take this sort of solution in mind and create a sort of forum of Q&As in the future.
5. SiteOrigin VS Elementor – Pricing Comparison
Elementor’s Pro plans offer you three different packages: personal, business and unlimited. The personal plan is for one site ($49), the business is for 3 sites ($99) and the unlimited for how many sites as you’d like ($199).
SiteOrigin’s premium plan is more complex, and offers three ways to pay:
- Monthly Subscription: Between $5 per month (for 1 site) and $15 dollars (for unlimited sites)
- Yearly subscription: Between $29 per year (for 1 site) and $99 dollars (for unlimited sites)
- Once off: Between $38 per year (for 1 site) and $128 dollars (for unlimited sites)
The right comparison to make is to compare Elementor’s plans to SiteOrigin’s once off plans. While SiteOrigins plans are slightly cheaper, this is not a significant different. If you are a site owner or web designer that depend on your websites for income, the few extra dollars will make no difference in the long run.
6. SiteOrigin VS Elementor – Ease of Use and Speed
This is the final criterion we will compare between the page builders. This is hard to objectively examine and compare. In order to get all of SiteOrigin’s widgets, I not only had to download another plugin, the widgets bundle but also activate the specific widget I wanted to use. It took me time to understand just where everything was. Even after using the page builder for a while, I still couldn’t remember if the Video widget was on the Widgets bundle, Page builder widgets or somewhere else.
Elementor’s UI proved to be really one of the best I’ve tried, with a nice icon near every widget. The drag and drop was very fast and didn’t include any stalls or hiccups in the interface. The list of widgets already appear on the first use, and with the search, it took no time to find the widget I was looking for.
When doing research for this article we read a lot about users commenting how easy it was to use Elementor’s UI. This was proven to us with our own experience. Elementor’s interface was much more intuitive than SiteOrigin, and again the fact that it’s a frontend page builder also helps in this department.
For us, Elementor won with regards to templates, widgets and ease of use. SiteOrigin won on documentation, and both tied at popularity and pricing. SiteOrigin is the more mature page builder, but is a bit archaic and presents an old technology that is less easy to use. Elementor went a long way to create the designer edge, allowing for a friendlier interface as well as more professional templates and better mobile editing capabilities.
At the end of the day, Elementor has a more advanced set of features and presents the better page builder. If you are an avid backend page builder (and I know there are some who are), then SiteOrigin can be the best fit for you. For other newbies or web designers, I would recommend trying out Elementor and see what it has to offer.
Because both plugins are free, I suggest you take the time and explore each page builder on your own.