Every freelancer needs their own website. But not every freelancer is a web designer. Here’s the best free WordPress website builder plugin.
These days, plenty of quick, pre-built website services, such as Squarespace and Wix, make throwing together an online presence relatively easy.
However, such services templates are limiting if you want to customize certain aspects of your website, such as advanced SEO, unique layouts, or cookie banner options.
If you’re looking for more than what those services can offer, you’ll need to move to WordPress.
A WordPress website requires a hosting service and a yearly domain fee. However, the best WordPress website builder plugins, which are particularly necessary for those without coding knowledge, also require a paid license. While the paid versions come with lots of customizable features, support for those without good CSS or HTML knowledge, and an easy-to-learn interface, sometimes paying for a license is simply not an option.
After working with a few websites running different free themes and website builder plugins that were almost unworkable, I set out to find the best free theme for two new websites I was building.
After digging around on some Reddit forums (so you don’t have to), I settled on the Elementor website builder free version and the Blocksy theme.
Here’s why Elementor is the best free WordPress website builder plugin:
· You can see your changes as you work on the page in real time with Elementor’s live editor. If you’ve ever worked with a free website builder and theme where you have to preview the page after every change, you know how time consuming that is.
· Elementor offers a drag and drop page builder. This can be a bit tricky until you get the hang of it, but it’s a great way to build layouts. Plus, you can copy pre-built templates and modify them to your needs to save even more time.
· Elementor provides tons of social media logos, including Skype, Slack, Discord, and a variety of non-U.S.-based socials, to easily link all your platforms to the header or place social icons on pages. (Social share buttons are a pro feature.)
· Tabs, toggle, counters (not countdowns), testimonials, sidebar, read more, and accordion elements are all free.
· Customizing the header and footer is ridiculously simple.
· Finally, Elementor’s UI is optimal for the non-developer. It even smoothly integrates with AISEO.
Of course, Elementor’s free version has some cons, too, but most of those are resolved if you get the paid version.
· Adding custom CSS is only available in the pro version. However, if you’re like me and your foray into web designing ends at the occasional HTML, that’s fine.
· The location of featured images for blog posts cannot be changed.
· You can’t place a blog anywhere besides the blog page.
· Other paid features include social share buttons, media carousels, CTAs, navigation menus, testimonial carousels, and reviews. Elementor’s website says 100 widgets are available. Of course, many of these could be built out manually using the basic block editor or the free elements.
Elementor even offers Elementor Pro plus hosting on Google Cloud for only $99 USD per year. If I managed to convince you of how great it is, you can use my affiliate link to purchase it here.
(Honestly, if I had known the hosting plus the pro version was only $99 per year before hosting elsewhere for $10 per month/$120 per year without pro Elementor, I would have gone with Elementor’s pro hosting plan.)
If you only need the Elementor Pro plugin, one website license is only $49 per year.
As for why I chose the Blocksy theme, I heard it was simple, it worked well with Elementor, and is SEO-optimized. I like the clean, minimalist look it offers. Need I say more?
Go check out what it looks like here.
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