Gutenberg vs Elementor: Feature Comparison

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Wordpress is entering a new era, as full-site editing (FSE) arrives. Building with blocks will become popular, and more developers will adapt to this new option to build websites, which keeps the website way faster than website builders but has the user experience to let regular users create their entire website using blocks.

Many established Wordpress companies are building block plugins or block themes(FSE). BrainstomForce released Spectra One and Yith launched the Yith Wonder theme, both free.

Established websites are also going from using website builders to block plugins and FSE themes, as building using blocks may offer the same flexibility and easiness of use as website builders.

With that in mind, should you use Gutenberg or a block plugin over a page builder (Elementor)?

Gutenberg vs Block plugins

Comparing Gutenberg and Elementor has nuances. You can compare it to Gutenberg-powered plugins; plugins that leverage Gutenberg for their builder, or to the default Gutenberg block editor.

Elementor isn’t comparable to the default block editor, as it offers way more customization. It’s far ahead in terms of templates and 3rd-party plugins.

As for the block plugins that leverage Gutenberg, Elementor is also way ahead, but some options can be considered, such as Spectra and Kadence Blocks as their templates and pattern libraries can be an alternative. Pricing also might be in favor of block plugins.

Interface

Both options offer drag-and-drop functionality. The main difference is that Elementor has its own editor. Every plugin that adds its own editor will also add load time on the admin frontend.

Elementor may have an advantage because it shows block “state” such as when a block is being hidden on mobile or desktop viewport. This feature may be offered in many block plugins.

Speed

On a fundamental level, Elementor has been failing to improve the performance of its plugin for years, while Wordpress, especially block themes(that leverage Gutenberg), has been showing significant improvements each major release, much due to the Wordpress Core Performance Team.

Simply put, Gutenberg is way faster than Elementor.

For block plugins that leverage Gutenberg, the same applies. Popular block plugins such as Kadence Blocks, GenerateBlocks, or Spectra, all have better speed performance than Elementor.

Because of the resource usage difference between Elementor from block themes, you may have a massive hosting price difference when building and using block themes.

Layouts and Templates

Elementor has a lot of templates. With the most popular place being Themeforest. Block plugins have been building their libraries, but it will take time to catch up.

Block themes are catching up significantly to page-builders, but because of the headstart advantage(FSE was introduced recently), Elementor might have a more diverse disponibility of layouts. Popular block themes like YITH Wonder, Spectra One, and Ollie, have patterns and full-page patterns that match the same design visuals of page-builder layouts.

You can also use block plugins to add elements as custom blocks to your layouts. That means also more assets loading and you will be dependent on the development of the block plugin for future updates, adding another layer of dependency.

Pricing

Because of the resource usage difference between Elementor from block themes, you may have a massive hosting price difference when building and using block themes.

Finally the price comparison. Elementor has its free version, while Gutenberg is free. For comparison, you could use block plugins, with pricing as:

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