5 Best WordPress Theme Builders 2020

Searching for the best theme builder for WordPress?

You can design a responsive website using drag-and – drop with a theme builder. If you can’t find an off-the-rack theme that you like, or if you just want more flexibility to build sites for your or your customers, this is a great solution.

You’re in luck because some rapid improvements have recently been seen in the WordPress theme builder space, in part thanks to competition from some of the most popular page builder plugins in the world. Where you would only have a few viable options a few years ago, now you are spoiled for choice when it comes to high-quality theme builders.

We will look at six of the best options in this post. To fully customize your theme, all of these tools let you use a visual, drag-and – drop interface. Some are dedicated theme builders, while others are plugins for page builders that have expanded into the building space for the theme.

Either way, you’re going to get a great tool to let you customize your theme, or just some of it.

Let ‘s dig inside.

Builders of a WordPress Theme vs Page Builders

“You may be seeing terms like” drag-and – drop “and” visual interface “at this point and thinking,” hey, that sounds a lot like a plugin for WordPress page builder.

You’re 100 percent right if that’s you! Page builders and builders of themes are very similar and have a lot of overlapping characteristics. They’re also not mutually exclusive. Both a page builder and a theme builder can be a single plugin. In fact, WordPress page builder plugins are many of the tools on this list that also offer theme building functionality (typically in their premium versions).

The key distinction between the builder of a WordPress page and the theme builder is this:

For a single piece of content, for instance, a single blog post, a page builder lets you create a one-off custom design.

A theme builder lets you create templates that apply to some or all of your content automatically. A template that applies to every single blog post automatically, for example. It automatically adds the information from the WordPress editor to pre-determined points in the template as soon as you publish a blog post. You don’t need to recreate the design for each blog post as you would with a page builder. In the next section, more on how that works.

Other than that, it is very similar to everything else about them. For instance, whether you are creating a one-off design with the free version or building your theme templates with Elementor Pro and Theme Builder, you will use the exact same Elementor interface.

In a WordPress Theme Builder, what to look for

I think it’s important to run over some of the most important parts of a theme builder before getting into the best theme builders for two reasons:

That’s going to help focus your search.

It will allow me to define some key terms, such as “singles” and “dynamic content,” that you will see a lot.

Explained Important terminology

I ‘m going to use a lot of terms in the comparison below, which could feel a little confusing / overwhelming if you’re a beginner. I will do this because theme builders are inherently somewhat complex because they require at least a basic understanding of templating and custom content for WordPress (even if you don’t have to interact directly with those concepts).

So, I’m just going to explain them once in this section, instead of trying to explain these terms for each tool.

First of all, there is the concept of templates that I touched on when introducing the distinction between page builders and theme builders. By letting you design as many templates as you want, most theme builders work and then put them together like legos. There are four “core” types of templates for a WordPress site which you will work with:

Header. Self-explaining.

Self-explanatory, Footer.

Single-this is the template for a “single” content piece. An individual blog post or a page could be that. Or, if you use custom post types, in a custom post type , for example, an individual WooCommerce product, this could be the design for an individual item.

Archive-this is the template that lists multiple pieces of material for the page. Your blog page, a category page, a tag page, for instance, etc. This could also be the template that lists all of the content in a given custom post type (for example, all your WooCommerce products) if you’re using custom post types.

Secondly, there is the dynamic content concept, which goes hand-in – hand with templates. You need a way to dynamically insert content from each blog post to create one template that, for example, automatically applies to every blog post that you publish. That is, you need to be able to say: “put the editor ‘s title here, place the blog category list there, add the name of the blog author there, etc.”

You can add a widget that pulls in the core WordPress information automatically, such as the title of a post. Dynamic content allows you to do that.

Many theme builders, however, let you go one step further and insert custom content dynamically as well, such as content from custom fields that you have added with a plugin such as Advanced Custom Fields (ACF). This is a really powerful feature because, without having to know any code, it allows you to build truly custom WordPress sites.

Things to think about when selecting a theme builder

Here are my recommendations for some key areas to consider when choosing the best WordPress theme builder for your needs, with those terms explained:

All of these tools have visual, drag-and – drop builders, but you may prefer one ‘s approach to another. User-friendly builder

Pre-made templates-Importable templates are included in most tools to save time. In order to see if you like the aesthetics, you’ll want to browse these.

Display of conditional templates-you will want to be able to control where / when to use your templates exactly. You might want to use one header template for blog posts, for example, and another one for pages.

If you use a plugin such as ACF, Meta Box, Pods, or Toolset, then you’ll want to make sure that you can insert dynamic content from those plugins easily.

Integration of theme-if you still want to use part of an existing theme, make sure this “surgical” approach is supported by your theme builder. Not all of them do.

Now, let’s get into the best builders of WordPress themes.

1. Elementor PRO

elementor-page-theme-builder-

Elementor is the most popular WordPress page builder plugin, active on over five million WordPress sites. You can take the same visual, drag-and – drop Elementor builder and apply it to your whole theme with Elementor Pro, the premium version.

For different parts of your theme, you will be able to design templates such as your:

Headers

Footer for

Singles Singles

ARCHIVES

These templates can then be conditionally applied anywhere on your site. You could, for instance, use one blog post design for all your blog posts. Or, for various categories, tags, authors, etc, you could create unique templates.

You can handle all of your templates from one interface with Elementor Pro 3.0 (newly released in ~September 2020), which is super convenient.

Also, the Elementor interface is quite fast, user-friendly, and has plenty of design / style options.

You also get access to other premium features, including, most notably, a popup builder, which allows you to design all kinds of popups using the same drag-and – drop interface, and Elementor Pro is also much more than just a theme builder.

Another benefit is that there is a vibrant marketplace of Elementor add-ons from third parties that can expand its page and theme building features further.

Key Features

Visual builder, drag-and-drop

Controls Responsive

Create unlimited theme templates

Conditional Display Template

Manage all templates easily from one interface (starting with Elementor 3.0)

Pre-designed templates for the various theme sections

“Full-site importable templates, called” Site Kits

Dynamic content: dedicated WordPress core content widgets and built-in ACF, Toolset, Pods, and Meta Box integrations

Integration with WooCommerce via WooCommerce Builder

Builder popup

Integrated Integrations in Email Marketing

Works (or can replace it completely) with your existing theme

PRICE

While the core Elementor page builder plugin is available at WordPress.org, to access the theme building functionality, you will need Elementor Pro.

Three plans exist. Across all three plans, the characteristics are the same, but each plan has a different site limit:

1 site-49 dollars

3 sites, 99 dollars

1,000 (essentially unlimited *) sites-$1999

All plans come with support and updates for one year. You can get a 25 percent discount to continue getting support / updates after the first year.

  • This is basically an unlimited license, but because some people were abusing the unlimited license cap and reselling / sharing licenses, the Elementor team moved to a 1,000 site cap.

https://elementor.com/

 

2. Thrive Constructor of Theme

Thrive Theme Builder

On this list, Thrive Theme Builder is unique in that it’s an actual theme for WordPress, not a plugin like all these other tools.

Thrive Theme Builder is a little more like a highly customizable theme, whereas the other theme builders feel like you’re building your website design from scratch. You will begin with the base theme of Shapeshift, which comes with a bunch of different templates.

You can choose which templates you want from the setup wizard, which helps you get up and running quickly with a cohesive site with all the important elements covered. Then, if you want more control, you can use the visual, drag-and – drop interface to go in and fully edit those templates. Or, you can create templates of your own from scratch as well.

However, all the Thrive Theme Builder sites will share approximately the same aesthetic because everything starts from the Shapeshift theme. This is not necessarily a criticism, because it’s really clean and modern with the Shapeshift aesthetic. It’s something to keep in mind, however. You will not be able to use a different theme either.

Another thing to remember is that the products of Thrive Themes are kind of a closed ecosystem, which is distinct from all the other plugins. There is a vibrant marketplace of third-party extensions, with Elementor, Divi, and most other theme builders. With Thrive, that is not the case.

Again, because this is somewhat down to preferences, that isn’t necessarily a criticism. Do you want the openness of Android or the closed iOS ecosystem where everything “just works”? It’s sort of like an Android vs iOS debate? There’s clearly not one “right” answer, given that both are wildly successful.

Key Functionalities

Actual WordPress theme, not, like other tools, a plugin

Visual builder, drag-and-drop

Controls Responsive

Start from the base theme of Shapeshift

Simple Setup Wizard for Baseline Templates Choice

Full control of editing current templates or creating your own templates

Establish unlimited templates

Dynamic content support, including custom fields,

WooCommerce Integration

Tools (and integrations) for integrated list building

PRICE

There are two pricing plans for Thrive Theme Builder, the only difference being the number of sites:

1 site-97 dollars

5 sites-$1277 dollars

These plans come with updates for life and one-year support.

There’s no unlimited site license, meaning if you’re trying to build client websites, it’s not a great option.

As part of the Thrive Themes membership, which costs $19 per month (billed annually) for access to all Thrive Themes’ products, including Thrive Leads (email list building, our review), Thrive Architect (page builder, our review), and Thrive Optimize (A/B testing, our review), you can also get access to Thrive Theme Builder.

The full membership also allows you to use up to 25 personal websites with all the plugins / themes. If you want to use them on customer sites, you will need the $49 per month Agency membership for use on up to 50 personal or customer sites.

https://thrivethemes.com/themebuilder

 

3. Brizy PRO

Brizy Pro

Although it’s not that old, Brizy has quickly grown to attract a large following and new features such as theme construction have been constantly pushed out by the developers.

Its visual, drag-and – drop editor is one of the most unique things about Brizy. While a visual editor is not unique itself, the Brizy team has done a great job of keeping “inline” as many settings as possible, reducing the amount of time you have to spend moving back and forth between the settings area of the sidebar. It’s a small thing, but I think it makes the design experience a really smooth and speedy one.

Brizy may have the nicest editor on this list in terms of editor experience alone, at least in my opinion. Such things are quite subjective, so you might prefer another tool.

The integrated Brizy Sync tool, which is basically like cloud storage for all your templates / blocks, is another unique feature. On one site, you can save a template and then easily reuse it on other sites, all without having to import / export anything manually.

A non-WordPress version of Brizy called Brizy Cloud is also available, which acts as a kind of alternative to Squarespace / Wix. You may like this, and as part of your purchase you get it for free, but it’s a bit outside the scope of this post.

Key Functionalities

Visual builder, drag-and-drop

Controls Responsive

Establish unlimited templates

Conditional Display Template

Builder of Megamenu, which is another unique feature

Dynamic content, including ACF, Toolset, Pods, and Meta Box Integrations

Integration at WooCommerce

Integrated Integrations in Email Marketing

Builder popup

Integrated service provided by Brizy Cloud

PRICE

While there is a free version of Brizy at WordPress.org, for access to the theme building features, you will need Brizy Pro.

Here, the three plans are:

Personal-$49 for use on up to 3 sites and one year of updates / support.

Studio-$99 for unlimited sites and one year of updates / support.

Lifetime-$299 for unlimited sites and support / updates for lifetime use. That’s a deal for a limited time.

https://www.brizy.io/

 

4. Divi The Divi

divi

One of the most popular existing WordPress themes is Divi. It’s a combo of a theme and a page builder (or, as a standalone plugin, you can also use the page builder itself). However, the theme building features are not integrated into the theme itself, unlike Thrive Theme Builder, it’s basically a plugin like the other tools.

As of Divi 4.0, you will be able to create templates for your header , footer, and “body” (including single and archive templates) using the Divi visual, drag-and – drop interface.

One of the strong points of Divi is that it includes tons of full-site template kits, helping you get up and running with a strong foundation quickly.

Divi, like Elementor, also has a vibrant third-party extension marketplace that can add more features to the core plugin.

Key Functionalities

Visual interface, drag-and-drop

Lots of options for style / design

Controls Responsive

Conditional Display Template

Full templates for sites called “Theme Packs”

Support for dynamic content in native WordPress content and custom fields

Integration at WooCommerce

Use it as a plugin or a theme

PRICE

As part of the Elegant Themes membership, Divi is available, which gives you access to all the plugins and themes of Elegant Themes, including Bloom for email opt-ins (our review) and Monarch for social sharing.

There are two options for membership purchases, both of which allow unlimited use on personal and customer sites:

$89 for one year of updates and support

$249 for updates and lifetime support

https://www.elegantthemes.com/gallery/divi/

 

5. Beaver Builder + Themer Beaver

Beaver Builder + Beaver Themer

One of the most established and well-known WordPress page builder plugins is Beaver Builder. You can take the same visual, drag-and – drop Beaver Builder interface, with the Beaver Themer extension, and apply it to your entire theme.

Overall, Beaver Builder really doesn’t have any flashy characteristics that stand out, it’s just … solid. That may sound like a critique, but it’s not supposed to be. The Beaver Builder team has just concentrated on making the features that they do have super reliable, which many people appreciate, instead of constantly pushing out new features like some other tools.

So, while the feature list will not blow you away, it will also not let you down with glitches or bugs, which is just as important as a flashy feature list.

In order to design your own WordPress theme, you get a strong, smooth interface, fairly clean code (for a page builder), and everything you need.

Key Functionalities

Visual builder, drag-and-drop

Controls Responsive

Establish unlimited templates

Conditional Display Template

Dynamic Data, including Custom Field Support

PRICE

You’ll need both the Beaver Builder premium version and the Beaver Themer premium extension to use Beaver Builder as a theme builder.

For use on unlimited sites, Beaver Builder costs $99 and Beaver Themer costs $147 to use on unlimited sites. So, all in, you are looking at $246 to use Beaver Builder on unlimited websites for theme building.

https://www.wpbeaverbuilder.com/beaver-themer

 

Which Is the Builder of the Best WordPress Theme?

Now for the significant question, which is the best WordPress theme builder overall?

Well, I think a lot of that depends on your own requirements for personal features, level of knowledge, and budget, so I can not make a single recommendation for all situations. All of these tools have their own pros and cons, and all of them are quality instruments (which is why they are on the list) in their own rights.

However, given that at this stage I have used all of these tools, I would identify three of these WordPress theme builders for various situations.

Overall Best “Most” People Theme Builder

First off, for most individuals, I would say the best overall theme builder is Elementor Pro. I just don’t believe that any other tool matches its set of features. You get lots of widgets, lots of style choices, and other helpful tools like the popup builder. It’s also still pretty easy to use for beginners, and because it’s so popular, finding help is super easy. There are tons of YouTube videos and if you run into problems, the Elementor Community Facebook group has over 75,000 members who are happy to help out.

Essentially, if you’re not sure where to start, you won’t go wrong with Elementor Pro because the balance of features, ease of use, and pricing hits the sweet spot.

Advanced Users’ Best Theme Builder or Custom Content Sites

On the other hand, you might prefer Oxygen if you’re a more advanced user (or a developer). While I don’t think that Oxygen is the most beginner-friendly tool on this list, it has a lot to do with it, code cleanliness most notably. Oxygen is definitely the best tool for you if you are the kind of person who complains about the code quality of other page builders.

I would also generally say that Oxygen excels because of its features like repeaters, loops, conditional logic, and more when it comes to building custom content sites (with dynamic data from custom fields). Oxygen goes the farthest, even though all of these tools allow you to work with custom content.

Newbies’ Best Theme Builder

Finally, because of its approach, if you’re a total newbie, Thrive Theme Builder might be the best option for you. Thrive Theme Builder is an actual theme (Divi sort of is also, but it’s different), unlike all these other tools that are plugins. This makes it super easy to get up and run with a cohesive site alongside its template approach.

The downside of this approach to the theme, however, is that you lose a lot of the flexibility of other instruments. So, good for beginners, but not the best option for people who want flexibility of 100 percent.

Most Affordable Builder for WordPress Theme

Finally, let ‘s talk about prices quickly.

The two most affordable theme builders for a single site, if you’re on a tight budget, are:

Elementor Pro for use on a single site at $49

For use on up to three sites, Brizy Pro at $49

And if you’re looking for an unlimited deal for a lifetime, your options are:

$99 on unlimited sites for the lifetime entry-level Oxygen tier, or $169 for the top-tier (with WooCommerce integration and block builder from Gutenberg).

$249 for lifetime membership of Elegant Themes (Divi) and use on unlimited sites.

Limited time deal, $299 for lifetime Brizy Pro membership and use on unlimited sites may disappear in the future.

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