Elementor: The Noob Friendly Website Page Builder
As a small business owner your website is often the first, and most important, impression that you make with a potential client. You expect to be taken seriously, and your client expects to see a serious website that clearly lays out what it is you do and what problems you can solve for them.
Now that we’re aware of how important a professional, customized website is to the success of your small business, the question becomes: How do I go about getting one of these fancy doohickies? If you’re like most small business owners, the thought of building a website from scratch (or updating your existing one), coding, hiring a developer and constant maintenance on your website probably keeps you up at night.
But it shouldn’t.
Quite the contrary actually. You should look forward to checking on the speed and performance of your website, installing updates, backing up your website weekly, and performing basic SEO functions, all of which can have a huge impact on your Google rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
What’s that? You could care less about title tags and meta descriptions? And even less about H1 headings and formatting text? Fair enough. But you don’t have to be an SEO guru or an HTML expert to create and edit your own website or blog.
What is a website page builder?
Gone are the days where you would need to code every page and element of your website, test this code in every browser known to man, and fixing the endless errors that occur. Even worse is hiring an expensive web developer to do all this work for you, leaving you all but powerless if something should go wrong. Pro tip: it will.
This is where a website page builder could be your saving grace. Website page builders allow you to create visually stunning websites and pages, with little to no coding knowledge needed. Just select which elements you want to use, drop it on the page and edit the elements or widgets as needed.
Most web hosting services offer WordPress hosting as well as pre-installed page builders. At brainbox we always suggest installing WordPress (which we will cover in another blog post) and my favorite page builder, Elementor, to quickly start bringing your ideas to life.
As a website design and marketing agency, Elementor let’s us get your website up and running quicker with less hassle for everyone. As a small business owner, WordPress and Elementor will let you quickly and easily make simple edits to your website, such as changing images or editing copy, without the worry of breaking something or crashing your site.
Benefits of a website page builder
Ease of Use
Website page builders are designed with usability in mind. All of the coding and CSS is pre-built into the elements that you want to use on your page. You simply select the element that you want to use, whether it’s an image, a text box, a slider, a heading, an icon, an image gallery, etc., and drag it to the appropriate spot on the page. That’s it. No coding. No screaming. No hair pulling.
Website uptime is crucial to your small business. If you’re website is down, customers can’t find you. If customers can’t find you, your business will suffer. Your website shouldn’t be down for several days due to a few small edits, or months due to a new redesign. A page builder will let you quickly and easily make small edits or a complete redesign, with minimal downtime. Make the changes you want, and publish when you’re ready.
Owning and operating a website costs money, including some hidden costs we might not always think of. These can include things like a domain name and monthly or yearly hosting costs, premium themes and plugins, Google and Facebook ads and of course the website design itself. Working with a page builder will allow you or your web designer to create and maintain a responsive, mobile friendly website more quickly and easily without having to worry about coding every page of your website.
What is Elementor?
Elementor is a free (paid version also available) page builder plugin for WordPress that allows designers, developers and site owners to create visually stunning websites and landing pages in a live environment without having to switch back and forth between the editor and the preview mode. The best part is that you can create these stunning websites without the need for coding or CSS.
Advantages of Elementor
Elementor is the first, and currently the only frontend page builder that offers such an advanced level of design possibilities, while giving you the ability to design and redesign your website live. They have dozens of awesome widgets and a huge template library to help you get started. This is truly a unique drag and drop website page builder. If you can think it, you can design it.
If you ever get stuck trying to do something or think you may have broken something, chances are there is a simple fix that you may be overlooking. Elementor offers, in my opinion, some of the best customer support in the industry, as well as a large, engaging customer base that are typically eager to help out noobs and any issues they may have. On top of this, their website offers a huge selection of blog posts and documents from a variety of topics. Whether you need how-to’s or just some digital inspiration, chances are you’ll find it on the Elementor blog page.
All of these advantages add up to a huge time and money savings for small businesses. Whether you’re designing your website yourself, making major or minor edits or working with a web designer, the ease of use and available features make Elementor a must have for all small businesses.
How to Install Elementor
Installing Elementor for your WordPress website is quick, easy and best of all free! First, log in and open up your WordPress dashboard. Along the left hand side of the screen you’ll see an option for ‘Plugins’. Hover over this tab and click ‘Add New’. When the next page opens up go to the search bar on the right side of your screen and search for Elementor (it should be the first result). Next, click on ‘Install’ and then ‘Activate’. That’s it! You’re now ready to start building pages with one of the most advanced, user-friendly website page builders out there.
Building Your First Page
When you’re ready to start building your first page with Elementor, simply go to ‘Pages’ and add a new page. At the top of the screen (or out beside your page in the ‘Pages’ tab) there will be an ‘Edit With Elementor’ button. Clicking on this link will open the live visual editor, giving you access to all the templates, widgets and elements that come free in Elementor.
Once inside of your Elementor page, you’ll be able to start designing using the three main building blocks: sections, columns and widgets. Sections are the largest building block, and inside of each section are groups of columns. A column houses the widgets inside of them, which are things like text, images, lists and icons (plus many others). You can have one or several columns inside of each section, depending on how you want the page to look. For example, you could have one column inside your section that houses a large image or video. Or you could have two columns, such as an image with a text box beside of it. Maybe you want to show off the services or packages you offer. Simply make a section with 3 or 4 columns and add an image or icon with your description and price below it. All of these widgets and elements of the page can be changed and edited to achieve the look you are going for.
Preview and Publish Your Page
Once you’re happy with your content and how your page looks you can preview the page (see how it would like live) or go ahead and publish it. Don’t worry, if you publish your page and need to go back and make an edit, simply go to the page you need and click ‘Edit With Elementor’ again. Then you can go straight to the section and column that needs editing.
Another great feature of Elementor is that it allows you to preview your pages from the view of multiple devices. This allows you to quickly switch between desktop, tablet or mobile previews of your website. If you notice the preview for mobile devices doesn’t look quite right, you can make edits that will effect only the mobile version, such as changing the text size, image size or margins. You also have the ability to show or hide sections of your website from certain devices.
If you need to go in and make extensive revisions to your page or website you can begin making the edits, save it as a draft and come back and work on it later, all without ruining your already published page.
Whether you’re a small business owner who’s trying to figure out how to build their own website, or an established business who needs to make constant changes and updates to your website, Elementor has the tools you need to get the job done! Still not sure where or how to start? Get in touch with brainbox and let us walk you through the process and show you what’s possible for your business.
What’s your favorite website page builder? Know any tips and tricks to use with Elementor? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!