How do you narrow down the best WordPress tools when there are so many?
If you're customizing your WordPress website, you've probably heard of both Thrive Themes and Elementor. Thrive Themes has multiple programs available, the relevant one here being Thrive Architect. These are two of the most popular page building programs in the WordPress market.
Elementor has the most features of any competing page builder. The Pro subscription creates even more advanced developer opportunities. Meanwhile, Thrive Architect can create any website, but it has particular tools geared toward internet marketing campaigns.
I've looked into the differences between each system to help you determine which would work best for your site.
Overview of Thrive Themes and Elementor
Unique Thrive Themes Features
Unique Elementor Features
Prebuilt Page Elements
There are a number of different elements that can be added or removed from any given page template. The majority of the unusual ones are used to capture leads, improve conversions, gain subscribers, and drive sales. Thrive Architect is geared toward creating websites that drive consumer engagement.
The drag-and-drop builder is available with all building elements and features regardless of your price plan.
Some of the elements that you'll find in Thrive Architect but not in Elementor include:
The social media sharing elements are a big deal with marketing, since the majority of content is consumed through social media channels. Tweets are quickly consumed and amplified. Disqus comments give users a reason to return to your site for discussion.
The goal of Elementor is to offer any and every page element that a person might need. As such, there are some unusual choices that might not fit any but a few niche layouts. This service prioritizes customization options above conversion optimization.
The free version of Elementor comes with many of the basic elements. For the more complicated or unusual ones, though, you'll have to upgrade to a Pro plan.
Elements you'll find with Elementor but not Thrive Architect include:
Elementor has more free-floating elements than Thrive Architect. One important thing to note, though, is that many of these elements are rarely necessary in a page design. If you don't think you'll use them, there's no reason to prioritize having them.
The Architect system gives you access to page templates grouped by series. They're supposed to be used in conjunction with each other to give your website a more cohesive and easily-navigated interface. The majority of templates are different types of landing pages.
Some template set features include:
The dynamic grouping is one of the most helpful aspects of the organization. It helps you build a website structure where every page works together to meet your end goal.
The main focus of Thrive Architect is to drive conversions and sales. That means that the pages and pre-existing website structures can replace other basic software used to increase email signups and sales.
One of the most interesting aspects of Elementor is that you can create an entire website, including its structure and completed web pages, with a single click.
The free program has multiple templates for single pages. However, the real customization features are only available after you purchase the Pro plan.
Once you upgrade to a Pro account, you can create:
You can take your pick of more than 130 templates with different purposes and structures. Examples of templates you might find include:
You can also import any templates you've already been using.
Winner: Thrive Themes
Thrive Architect wins the template toss-up because of how helpful the preset groupings of different pages are. If you don't have a web design background, each bundle shows you exactly how to structure a marketing or advertising or lead capturing system so everything works together.
That's not to say that Elementor isn't impressive. It will create whole websites faster than Architect. But that website won't have the same conversion optimization or revenue potential.
Custom CSS Coding
With the Architect system, there are certain custom CSS capabilities including:
Strangely, the builder doesn't have custom CSS compatibility with certain structural elements like columns. For those, you'll have to make do with drag-and-drop.
Elementor has many of the same integrated CSS capabilities as Architect. An additional feature is the existence of a customized CSS field on every builder. As you play around with the page elements, the visual design will update in real time.
That's a huge time saver for coders who don't want to toggle constantly back and forth between previews.
Both systems allow you to use CSS to alter your templates. Architect has structural limitations, though. Elementor includes all of Architect's CSS capabilities and offers a live CSS field that will show you your visual design's tweaks in real time.
Pros and Cons of Thrive Themes
Pros and Cons of Elementor
Final Thoughts: Which is Better?
There are good reasons why these are the most popular page building tools for WordPress websites. Not only are they easy to use, but they let you customize your site to reflect your goals even if you have no technical background.
Elementor is an aesthetic designer's dream, while Thrive Themes is vital to any internet marketer.
Elementor has more customization options and templates than any other page builder, including a theme builder, complex pop-up builder, a post type layout builder, and a custom header/footer builder. But it doesn't have certain analytics tools.
Thrive Themes isn't quite as customizable due to its lack of theme builder. But it allows for complex A/B split testing for different page variants, which means marketers can determine exactly what designs have the best results.