WordPress PageBuilder Showdown - Visual Composer vs Divi Comparison
Building a website may be an overwhelming task for many. However, the fact of the matter is you can conquer any battle if you have the right tools. And building a website is no exception. There are a lot of tools available to choose from, and drag and drop WordPress page builders are one such tool that has gained much popularity recently. These page builders come in handy when you need an easy way to build your WP website.
Divi vs Visual Composer Summary
Divi offers endless layout possibilities, whereas Visual Composer comes with additional features that can be added at an extra fee. Divi has over 40 modules and 20 different column layouts. On the other hand, Visual Composer comes packed with 40 content elements including charts, post grids, image carousels, video players, social media buttons, and text blocks.
Ease of use
The learning curve for Divi is quite high in comparison to Visual Composer page builder though the learning gets easier with time. The longer you explore the easier it gets. On the other hand, you would also need time to get your hands on Visual Composer before you actually start building pages and posts with it. However, it should not take much time to get familiar with Visual Composer.
For both the page builders, a support system is available for around-the-clock support through emails.
Visual Composer is available at a cost of $45 which increases if you buy additional features. Divi Page Builder starts at $89 - but for that price, you get access not just to it, but to ALL products from ElegantThemes - a definite bargain. Divi is certainly not the cheapest of the two, but worthy and you get excellent value for money.
What we liked?
Divi is perfect for non-programmers and designers since it allows you to actually speed up the designing process once you get the hang of it.
It offers endless layout possibilities allowing you to choose from a wide range of modules and layouts. It also comes with 19 pre-designed layouts which you can add your logo design.
The page builder now comes with back-end and front-end editing allowing you to see changes and updates you make in real-time.
The new update August 2021 performance update has genuinely transformed how Divi competes with other themes in terms of speed.
Visual Composer has an easy and intuitive interface and requires less time learning the actual process of creating pages and posts with it.
Visual Composer comes with a Front-end editor which allows you to design and see the changes in real-time. Though it also comes with back-end editing too, it is actually not required.
What we didn’t like?
Divi is quite costly in comparison to other drag and drop page builders.
You really need to put a lot of time and effort to get familiar with it.
Lacks some content elements that can be easily found in other page builders
Visual Composer is great for building business websites only.
No option for adding third-party widgets. (Update: Annie has pointed out to us in the comments that Widgets are possible in the sidebars via this add-on. (Unfortunately, this is no longer available).
Who wins the battle? Well, it’s not easy to say which one is the best. When compared, Visual Composer seems the obvious winner with so many benefits and a low learning curve. However, when it comes to Divi, you get a theme with a page builder plugin along with a theme building feature at only $89 which is quite a deal. If you go for a lifetime membership, with our EXCLUSIVE special offer (10% OFF) which is valid during June 2023 only you get access to Divi and ALL future plugins and themes!
UPDATED (January 2018)
Recently the guys are WPBakery have decided to rebrand Visual Composer to the WPBakery Page Builder, while launching a different product which is now known as Visual Composer. The latter is actually a website building service, not a WP Page Builder per se. What was previously Visual Composer is now: WPBakery page builder.
Essentially, the old and the new plugin are virtually the same. So do consider this comparison as a Divi vs WPBakery page builder, for all intents and purposes.
The following is a conversation I had with Michael from WPBakery:
We rebranded it to WPBakery Page Builder and Visual Composer trademark is used for a different project. Sorry for all the frustration. I will do my best to clarify things for you personally.
On CodeCanyon we have WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer Page Builder). This is our most successful and popular product which has been on the market for 5+ years.
Visual Composer Website Builder is our new product. It was written from scratch and despite the name doesn't share anything with the Page Builder plugin.
Saying that they can't be simply replaced one by another (yet, we have plans to write a migration tool later on). Our new Website Builder product aims to become the only tool that you ever need to create a complete website and without spending a fortune on developers and extra addons.
Visual Composer Website Builder is available on visualcomposer.io and it has a free version. Our development is mainly focused on the feedback that we receive and this is why it is so awesome - we add only features that are actually needed.
We are fully aware that many users rely on the Page Builder plugin and we will continue to support it and most important to develop it even further.
So no worries, your projects are safe.
Michael, from WPBakery"
What are WordPress page builders?
Page builders are a great way of adding or customizing pages in a WordPress website. They allow you to build professional and stylish websites without having any technical knowledge.
Drag and drop page builders, as the name suggests, allow you to create pages using a drag and drop system. These page builders are available in the form of plugins and thus can be used with any WordPress theme.
These plugins are nearly supported by every WP theme and can be used merely by installing and activating. They help WordPress beginners to build websites they otherwise find difficult to create.
At CollectiveRay, you know that we love to feature web design blogs which make the life of web designers easier. These two page builders fit perfectly with our mantra.
Read More: Divi vs Elementor - an updated 2021 comparison.
Why use WordPress page builders to build web pages?
Though many WordPress themes come with diverse page layouts, WP beginners often find them difficult to customize since they do not know anything about programming. Many ask questions like “Is there any easy way to create WP pages?” or “How can we build and customize WordPress pages without having any technical knowledge?” or “Are there any drag and drop page builders available for WordPress?”
Speaking of themes, if you're looking to create a WordPress membership site, this roundup of themes is a great read. If you'd like to see more of our reviews and WordPress theme-related articles, you can visit the corresponding menu above.
Well, the good news is that there is an easy way to create WordPress websites and especially WordPress pages! There are many WordPress drag and drop page builders available online that require no technical or programming knowledge.
These page builders enable you to build web pages of your website without writing even a single line of code.
(Side note and essential read: How to hire great WordPress developers)
From adding a content slider to full-width images to multiple columns, they come with many different components to help you create impressive and professional web pages. These WordPress page builders are as easy to use as installing and activating a plugin. Once activated, you can see an additional option in the WordPress editor screen that can be used to build WordPress pages. Divide your pages into rows and columns, and see the changes in real-time.
Now since there are numerous drag and drop page builders available, we decided to compare the two most popular and page builders for WordPress to guide you to the right decision.
Divi Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builder Plugin
August 2021 Update: New Divi version released that transforms performance
November 2017 Update: New Divi version is out with plenty of speed upgrades
While we are actually doing a comparison between Divi and VisualComposer, we've also written a full WordPress Divi 4.0 theme review if you want to know specifically about it.
April 2018 Update: 3.1 version is out
The plugin from ElegantThemes now has an API that can be used to connect with the page builder to be able to customize and extend the functionality as per your own specific requirements!
Divi has revolutionized how WordPress page builders work. You can now edit pages in the frontend and see exactly what you are doing, in real-time!
Divi is technically not a new product in the market. It has been used by many over the last years as it was integrated with the Elegant Themes’ Divi Theme launched in 2013. It has gained a lot of popularity since its inception. The makers of Divi page builder have taken a good product into an outstanding one by incorporating new features and functionality.
Divi Drag and Drop Page Builder is a premium WordPress plugin and according to us is one of the best WordPress page builders available out there. Divi Plugin is extremely fast and works with the pages and posts of your website regardless of the type of content you are adding. Divi allows you to create custom layouts and then customizing those layouts with different content modules.
After installing and activating the Divi Page Builder, you need to click on the “Use The Divi Builder” on the respective page or post editor screen and start customizing with the help of the builder interface.
This page builder follows the rows and columns layout system which means, you can add a number of rows and columns on your page before updating custom content. Below is an example of setting up the rows and columns on Divi at the backend.
Divi Builder is more of a back-end builder tool than a front-end editor. Thus you will have to make a few switches between back-end and front-end to know how the page will appear to your visitors when it goes live. Here's a bit of a look at how building a page with Divi would look like.
Note: Starting in Divi 3.18, you won’t be able to access the classic backend builder by default, which is the one shown above. If you want to use it, you’d have to go to Divi > Theme Options > Builder > Advanced and then toggle the Enable The Latest Divi Builder Experience to disabled.
Divi has evolved to be more of a real-time visual page builder.
In the earlier days of page builders, visual builders were a bit slower to load (they were quite heavy) and therefore harder to use. Backend builders were way more popular back then because they were lighter.
But with the increase in today’s computer’s processing power and the development of newer web technologies such as Facebook’s React, those problems of “heavier” front-ends have been almost completely eliminated.
Visual page builders still tend to be a bit slower when dealing with large and complex web pages, however, but thankfully, Divi has a solution for that.
While Divi now defaults to a real-time visual page builder, it still has a feature called wireframe mode.
The wireframe mode combines the customization options of the visual editor with the speed and simplicity of the backend editor, giving you the best of both worlds. So if you are dealing with a large and complex page, then opt for using the wireframe mode. Besides being lighter, it also presents a cleaner and more organized overview of all elements on a page.
Updated February 2018
The builder has now been updated to be able to work fully in the front-end and in real-time. Essentially, rather than having to imagine what your page looks like, you can now see exactly what you are building, as you are building it. You don't even have to work on the back-end anymore, it can all be done from the front-end now.
Have a look at the GIF below which shows you what editing part of the page looks like in real-time.
Update October 2019: The New Divi 4.0 Introduces the Theme Builder
As of October 2019, Divi now comes with a powerful theme builder.
It’s now possible to use the power of the Divi drag and drop page builder to build custom headers and footers as well as custom body templates such as product templates, blog post templates and more.
Not only that, but you can also build custom index pages such as category pages, archive pages, product archive pages and more.
The theme builder comes with a powerful tool that lets you include or exclude certain areas of your website from a specific template.
With this, you can easily create templates that are applied to your entire website or create ones that are applied only to specific areas of your website, for example, a single post or page or to certain posts belonging to a certain category.
The new theme builder can be accessed by going to Divi > Theme Builder.
From there, you can access all the templates you’ve created before. You can add new templates, edit or delete existing ones or import/export a template to/from external sources.
Aside from the ability to create custom headers and footers (which was a highly requested feature since Divi was released), you can also create custom templates that change the design, layout, and structure of your posts, products, and other post types.
This is not limited to custom post types either, you can create custom index pages too like for example, a custom category feed.
With the new theme builder, you can turn even the default WordPress theme into a premium product such is the power of the new features.
Visual Composer Drag and Drop page builder
Visual Composer is another impressive drag and drop page builder developed by WP Bakery. Building and customizing pages with Visual composer is super easy and it comes with over 40 content elements. You get complete control over the page layout once you activate Visual composer. Start by clicking on the “Backend Editor” button on the page editor screen. Add images, text, buttons, rows, columns and so much more.
Visual Composer allows you to create complex page layouts within minutes. So, no more shortcodes now! You can add elements, and columns with a single click, drag, and drop. Another big advantage of Visual Composer is that it allows you to save layouts as templates and reuse them anywhere, at any time.
Of course, the number of content elements that comes with Visual Composer is overwhelming, it's really hard to find something which is not catered for whilst building your Wordpress website with this page builder.
How easy is it to create one or more WordPress pages with the Page Builders?
The WordPress drag and drop page builders allow the user to create or customize each page or post with minimal time and effort. These are great additions for WordPress beginners who want to develop high-quality design layout for pages and posts but don’t have any knowledge of coding. The pages and posts are created within minutes and at a very low cost.
These can help anyone whether the person is familiar with coding or not.
However, the “drag and drop” doesn’t automatically mean “easy”.
Though eventually, it becomes easy to use them, you still need time to know how to go about it. When you begin with WordPress page builders, you can expect to spend a few hours to really get the hang of it. However as you can see in our Divi vs Visual Composer article - you'll see that both of them eventually get quite easy to use. They are built with this purpose in mind after all.
Can I create WordPress pages quickly?
These WordPress page builders enable you to build professional and unique pages through content building blocks. Some page builders call these building blocks as content elements and some call them modules. Be it modules or content elements, these building blocks basically used to create pages by dragging and dropping a part of elements onto the page.
From general settings to advanced custom CSS settings, these page builders come with many options. How quickly you can create pages with these page builders really depends on how quickly you become familiar with the WordPress page builder and how fast you learn how to use them.
With regard to Divi, the learning curve is quite high as we have mentioned earlier. You probably need to explore the options and learn how to use them exactly before actually getting started. On the other hand, Visual Composer has a lower learning curve and requires less time and effort.
There are many live examples available on the official websites of the page builders to know how exactly they work and how you can use them to bring out the best in your website. Have a look at Divi Documentation here, whilst for Visual Composer - follow to the website from here.
Specific features of Divi vs Visual Composer
What makes these page builders so special? Obviously, the features!
Divi and Visual Composer drag and drop page builders come with amazing features that make them stand out from the crowd.
Divi drag and drop page builder allows you to add custom CSS. You can add custom CSS to certain parts of the page and give your pages a touch of customization. This feature does not limit the designers from designing the page just by dragging and dropping the elements and modules. Custom CSS feature offers WordPress designers an opportunity to customize individual parts according to their requirements. Have a look at the demos of pages created with Divi here.
Combine the custom CSS with the theme builder and you have total control over your website’s design and layout. If you’re an advanced user or a web designer, Divi will accelerate your website design process significantly by doing most of the grunt work for you.
New improvements to CSS in the August 2021 update makes it even more efficient. Smart styles reduce duplication within CSS. Dynamic CSS only loads what is necessary for that particular page and the CSS file size has been reduced by 94% overall.
All this, combined with other performance enhancements helps Divi score 100 on Google PageSpeed Desktop and 99 on Google PageSpeed Mobile. It also hits 100% on GTmetrix!
You won’t have to write any code from scratch anymore.
On the other hand, Visual Composer comes with more than 50 add-ons, which means you can extend the functionality of the page builder by adding additional features. Though these additional features get a little expensive and add to the learning curve, they are worth the price if you really decide on using Visual Composer to build your website pages and posts.
Divi / Visual Composer Cost
Divi Drag and Drop Page builder will cost you $89 per annum and $249 for lifetime access. Looking at all the options, modules and elements it offers, plus the theme builder, the price is a steal - think of all the time you'll save struggling to build the entire WordPress website the way you would have wanted to.
There's also a discounted offer in place right now until June 2023 where you can get 10% off all prices. This is exclusive to CollectiveRay - so grab a bargain now.
Visual Composer Drag and Drop Page Builder will cost you only $45. Well, this is actually a great price for an amazing page builder. However, since Visual Composer comes with additional features, you may need to pay extra fees for the extra functionality. This again depends on your usage and requirement. Once you start using Visual Composer, you may find these additional features quite handy.
There have been many people who used these page builders to build their websites and found them really helpful. We searched for other people who have already used these products. The testimonials and case studies listed here are for seeing that we are not biased towards any of the WordPress page builders ourselves.
Learn more about the features of Divi page builder here:
According to Kevin Muldoon from WPMUDev, “Visual Composer is the number one selling drag and drop page builder, passing 20,000 sales milestones in March 2014 itself.” Read the rest of the article here:
Visual Composer is a feature rich page builder that is packed with 40 content elements. It also enables you to build pages and see the changes in real time through front-end and back-end admin area. In addition, the elements of Visual Composer are all responsive and thus make your pages look excellent on various devices.
Divi drag and drop page builder has been a part of Divi theme of Elegant themes and thus has already gained the trust and faith of many WordPress developers. It has user-friendly interface and the biggest strengths of this page builder is its ability to divide content into modules, columns, rows and sections.
With the addition of the new theme builder, Divi will even attract more WordPress users. The ability to customize your entire website is an invaluable feature that will help users of all levels create exactly what they want, without spending a lot of time.
Though each page builder has a different system for building pages and posts, both Visual Composer and Divi Page builder are great WordPress plugins to build websites. It is your testing and your needs which will justify the choice of one versus the other.
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