GenerateBlocks and Elementor are two popular WordPress page builder plugins. Of course, Elementor is far more popular with more than 5 million installs on WordPress.org compared to 100,000 installs of GenerateBlocks.
But it’s unfair to compare these two plugins merely on their popularity. They follow a vastly different approach to arrive at the same result – creating awesome websites with minimal effort.
In this post, I will compare GenerateBlocks with Elementor – their features, ease of use, and pros and cons. I will also compare the pro version of these two plugins so you can decide which plugin or, to be precise, which approach to adopt for your website needs.
If this sounds good, I suggest you read till the very end.
How Elementor is different from GenerateBlocks
Unlike GenerateBlocks, Elementor is not a block-based plugin. It does not use the WordPress block editor to create pages. Rather it comes loaded with 40+ widgets in the free version for different needs.
Once you create a page using Elementor, you cannot use the WordPress editor to edit it later since the Elementor widgets cannot be used in the block editor.
In order to create pages using Elementor, you just need to drag and drop widgets onto the editing screen and customize every aspect of the widget thereafter. The Pro version includes many additional widgets that can save substantial time in creating websites.
But it’s not just about widgets.
With Elementor Pro, you can design an entire website, including, a header, footer, contact forms, email opt-in forms, and much more. That’s why many websites are created using Elementor Pro exclusively.
GenerateBlocks on the other hand is a block-based lightweight plugin. It has been developed by Tom Usborne, the creator of the popular GeneratePress WordPress theme. Although GenerateBlocks works best with GeneratePress, it can be used with any WordPress theme.
Unlike Elementor, GB comes loaded with just 6 blocks. But these blocks allow the user endless possibilities to create any layout and functionality that the user wants.
Which one is more lightweight?
This is an important question to ask since your website will be entirely based on one of these two plugins so it’s crucial that it remains bloat-free. After all, page speed is a ranking factor, and maintaining low page load times is non-negotiable.
To determine which page builder plugin is more lightweight, I created identical landing pages using Elementor and GenerateBlocks on my test site. Then I ran these pages through GTmetrix and here are the results.
No wonder the page size was just 121 kb. Elementor on the other hand made 16 requests in all out of which 8 were CSS queries and 6 were JS. The page size was also much bigger at 440 kb.
So if you’re a stickler for performance, it’s really no comparison here. GenerateBlocks is the clear winner and the plugin that you should be using to craft your website.
Ease of use
Now let’s see which plugin is easier to use. Elementor uses its own editing screen and the widgets panel floats on the left side. Any widget can be dragged and dropped onto the editing screen.
It also includes a helpful Navigator panel showing a bird’s eye view of all the widgets and sections on the screen for easy editing.
Elementor works flawlessly and all settings are easily accessible. There are about 40 free widgets and if you upgrade to the Pro version, another 40 Pro widgets will be unlocked apart from a host of other features.
Overall, Elementor is a user-friendly and easy-to-use page builder plugin.
GenerateBlocks on the other hand utilizes the WordPress block editor since it’s a block plugin. As I mentioned earlier, it offers just six blocks. But don’t be fooled by its frugal appearance as appearances can be deceiving.
Using these six primary blocks, you can create almost any type of widget or design that you can imagine. Of course, to get the most out of GB, it’s better to pair it with the GeneratePress theme.
This way you can utilize the dynamic data options in the plugin which are not available when used with other themes.
The icing on the cake is that the dynamic data feature is available in the free version of GenerateBlocks, unlike Elementor which provides access to dynamic data only in its Pro version.
There is a slight learning curve involved in using GB as you need to know how to use the six blocks to create the functionality you want. But it’s well worth it if you like the DIY approach to WordPress design.
Comparing the features of Elementor and GenerateBlocks is like comparing Apples to Oranges. These plugins follow completely different approaches and accordingly offer different features.
In Elementor, there’s a widget for every purpose. Also, you can install different plugins to get access to additional Elementor widgets if you need them.
Elementor is not just a page builder plugin. When you upgrade to the Pro version, you have a complete website builder to play with. Every aspect of your website can then be designed using Elementor Pro and the theme has almost zero role to play.
GenerateBlocks on the other hand sticks to the WordPress block-building experience. It’s not intended as a stand-alone website builder. It utilizes the default WordPress block editor and extends its capabilities using its six versatile blocks.
The default WordPress blocks can be used alongside the GeneratePress blocks without any compatibility issues.
However, the real fun begins when the Pro version of GenerateBlocks is paired with the GeneratePress Premium theme to achieve similar results as Elementor. PassionWP is designed using this combination of GenerateBlocks Pro and GeneratePress Premium.
Pairing GenerateBlocks with the GeneratePress Premium theme will allow you to create different reusable templates, headers, footers, sidebars, and much more. You have a complete website builder on your hands using the WordPress block-based approach.
Elementor and GenerateBlocks pricing comparison
Elementor and GenerateBlocks are both freemium plugins. There’s a limited free version available for unlimited use on WordPress.org.
But if you really wish to go to the next level and customize every aspect of your or your’s client websites, then you should be considering the pro version of these plugins.
Elementor Pro comes in two versions – the first is the classic plugin version starting from $49 for a single install and going up to $999 for 1000 installs annually.
The second is the cloud hosting model where Elementor comes pre-installed on its own Google-powered cloud hosting platform costing $99 per year for one website.
At this price, you get 20 GB storage, 200 GB bandwidth and 100,000 monthly visits which is quite a good offer if you plan to only use Elementor for creating your website.
GenerateBlocks Pro costs $39 per year for a single website and $99 for 250 websites which is ideal for use on client sites.
Both the plugins are good value for money for the features and flexibility they have to offer. But if you plan to stick with Elementor for the long term, then the cloud hosting plan of Elementor Pro is probably the best value for money.
Which plugin should you pick?
You have seen a detailed comparison of Elementor and GenerateBlocks. Both are awesome plugins with many features, and capabilities. But since you plan to use only one of them, the question in your mind obviously is which plugin should you pick?
To answer this question, I would like to ask you which approach do you wish to adopt for your website creation and editing purpose?
Elementor is feature-rich, easy-to-use, and user-friendly page builder. But it does not make use of the default block editor and uses its own user interface.
If you don’t like the DIY approach and would rather drag and drop widgets to create your website, then Elementor is the way to go. It also comes with hundreds of free and premium templates to make your job easier.
But if you would like to make use of the WordPress block editor to create your website, then GenerateBlocks is your best bet. It is lightweight and fast. It also offers many free and premium templates to get you started in quick time.
There’s a slight learning curve involved when compared to Elementor, but when paired with the GeneratePress Premium theme, the sky’s the limit. Also remember that the free version offers dynamic data which is only available in the pro version of Elementor.
For this reason alone, I have picked GenerateBlocks over Elementor. Which is your choice and why?