5 Excellent Visual Composer Alternatives in 2017 (2 FREE Plugins)

In this post, let me introduce you some of the best Visual Composer alternatives. 

The Visual Composer is one of the oldest and most popular page builders for WordPress. It has been the best page builder for years. But unfortunately, some new plugins has managed to beat Visual Composer when it comes to true WYSIWYG experience and easiness.

Here are some of the major downsides of Visual Composer:

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    Complex user interface. There is some difficulty involved in finding even the simple features.

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    Some very simple modules like pricing table are being sold as separate addons.

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    The pricing is suitable only if you are willing to use it on a single site. The extended license $170, which allows you to use the plugin on only one site. If you are looking for multisite, you burn your money.

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    It comes with fewer page templates.

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    You can't create your own elements or templates for reuse.

Whatever the reason is, here are some of the alternatives for Visual Composer, this post will help you. 



Pricing (Lowest plan)


Thrive Architect (Our pick)

$67 one-time, single site, lifetime updates


Free or $49/year - single site


Free or $99 unlimited sites, lifetime updates


$89/year unlimited sites


Free or $29 lifetime updates, single site

5 Better Visual Composer Alternatives

Let's us go to review each of these one-by-one.

#1. Thrive Architect - Best Page Builder Ever

Thrive Architect is by far the best WYSIWYG true live front end editor I've ever used. Thrive Architect was previously called Thrive Content Builder, but now it has been rebranded and revamped to Thrive Architect. I've described this change in my review on Thrive Architect.

As it turns out, the Thrive Architect is now by far the best page builder plugin for WordPress. In fact this is the plugin I'm using on this site, and will never change it atleast for next couple of years.

Here are some of the areas in which Thrive Architect excels over the Visual Composer:

  • Thrive Architect comes with hundreds of landing page templates that are designed by the Thrive team who are pioneers in conversion rate optimization. These templates are fully customizable.
  • Thrive Architect is the fastest way to build a page as it needs no refreshing or loading additional modules to edit the elements. The entire page can be built with a single page load.
  • The Thrive Architect comes with lightboxes features which enable you to trigger the light boxes when a particular event like page load, hover or click or when any element comes into the viewport. The list building functionalities are baked right into the plugin, making it a great page builder especially if you are looking to build your email list. If you are serious about list building on your site, there's no page builder plugin that's better than Thrive Architect.
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    With Thrive Architect you can completely customize how your page looking like in mobile and tablet devices. This is one of the most unique features when it comes to any of the page builders I mentioned in this post.
  • You can save any group of elements as a reusable template. You can also export or import an entire page to be used across multiple sites.

The plugin comes with 34+ elements from text element, image element, countdown, button, progress bar, tabs, accordion, typefocus feature, maps, and much more. 

Another greatest advantage is that the Thrive Architect don't make use of shortcodes, although there's a provision.

What it means is that, even if you decide to deactivate the Thrive Architect plugin in the future, the content you built using Thrive Architect will not be rendered useless .The formatting added by the plugin will be lost, but the basic HTML format will still remain intact. For example, Thrive Architect's styled list element will be reverted back to basic HTML format bullet list when you deactivate the plugin.

Previously, in case of Thrive Content Builder, there were some elements that were reserved only to be used along with Thrive Themes. But in the recent Thrive Architect, it has become a standalone page builder that works on any theme without any exclusive elements.

You can edit every aspect of the element and the page. There's simply no aspect, that can't be edited with Thrive Architect. It comes with an overwhelming number of options for you to play with.

Thrive Architect pricing

This pricing is great considering that the Thrive Team gives you lifetime free updates, and also multi-site licenses are there.

In case of Visual Composer, if you want to use the plugin in 5 sites, you need to shell out $170 as each license costs you $34. And also, the support provided by Thrive Themes is exceptional when compared to that of Visual Composer.

One more advantage is that the Thrive Architect plugin seamlessly integrate with other plugins like Thrive Leads, Thrive Apprentice and other Thrive Themes product.

#2. Elementor Pro - (Free and Paid)

Elementor page builder

Are you in search for the best free plugin for WordPress page building? Then look no forward. Elementor has got your back.

Elementor is the page builder for WordPress that has the best free version.

Regarding features, it's very similar to Thrive Architect. The Elementor has a visually appealing design and user interface. In fact, the new Thrive Architect has a similar UI like that of Elementor. It is also a true WYSIWYG editor like that of Thrive Architect.

The Elementor is fairly popular due to their limited free plugin that's available on the WordPress repo. This means you get to experience the plugin before even buying it. The free version contains some of the basic elements like columns, text editor, icon box, headings, testimonials, up to tabs and accordions.

You can see how your page looking like in various devices like mobile, tablet and computer screens. But you can't really edit how they look in these devices. This is something you can do with Thrive Architect.

This plugin like that of Thrive Architect won't keep your content as a hostage. It means that you can deactivate the plugin without your content being disappeared. But the formatting will be lost.

The pro version of the Elementor needs to be bought if you want the page builder to be really a better alternative to Visual Composer.

The pro version comes with features like forms, slides, global widget, pricing table and pro templates up to 100+.

Another thing you need to note that is, Elementor Pro (paid version) has tight integration with WooCommerce. It has 4 elements especially meant of WooCommerce. If you are using a Page Builder exclusively for WooCommerce then, Elementor would be a no-brainer.

Elementor Pricing

As you can see the pricing is somewhat cheaper than the Thrive Architect. But you also need to note that, with any of these plans, you get only one year of free updates. As you anyhow need yearly updates, you need to treat the price for 3 sites - $99 / year.

Whereas, as you witnessed earlier, Thrive Architect comes with lifetime updates at a one-off fee.

Thrive Architect and Elementor both products are a tie when it comes to page builders. But still, I'm slightly leaned towards the Thrive Architect as they come with lucrative pricing, integrations, and lifetime updates.

#3. Beaver Builder (Free and Paid)

Beaver builder featured

The Beaver Builder also comes with a limited free version.

But, the free version of Elementor is far more robust and powerful than the free plugin of Beaver Builder. Rather than going to the free version of the Beaver Builder, going to the free version of the Elementor makes more sense as the latter comes with plenty of features being a free version.

Coming to the speed, Beaver Builder is slightly slower than the Elementor. Because the changes you make in Elementor is instantaneous whereas in Beaver Builder it isn't.

The free version of Beaver Builder comes with various elements like HTML, Text, Video, and Photo. Whereas, the pro version of the plugin comes with more than 20 modules that are powerful.

The Beaver Builder comes with 32+ content templates for you to choose from. This is something less compared to what comes with Thrive Architect and Elementor.

Similar to the above two plugins, Beaver Builder also doesn't lock-in the content. You can deactivate the plugin, still, the content will be intact, but the formatting is lost.

Beaver Builder pricing

As you can see the pricing of Beaver Builder is really unique. There's no single-site or 3-site license. All their plans come with support for unlimited sites.

If you are using the plugin in a WP multisite environment, then the pro plan is for you. Or else, the standard plan will suffice. 

All the plans come with unlimited website usage and lifetime updates. If you are considering to use the plugin on multiple sites, the Beaver Builder is the cheapest of all.

#4. Divi Builder (Paid)

Divi builder

Recently, Divi launched its own page builder that works on any theme and is a visual editor. The builder contains both frontend and backend editor similar to like that of Visual Composer.

Divi builder used to be a block-based page builder. That means you can't see how the page looks like in real-time. You needed to hit the preview button prior publishing. These things have changed when the Divi 3.0 was released. The Divi Builder is now a fully fledged live visual editor like that of Thrive Architect or any page builders.

The main feature that is unique to Divi Builder is the Divi Leads. This feature lets you split test various page designs and see which performs better when it comes to conversions. You can track the events on your site like element clicks, purchases, form submissions, etc. Once the plugin collects enough data you can view the analytics. This is something that is very special to Divi.

When it comes to the page builder modules, there are 45 modules ranging from content modules from the text, a button module, images, accordions, toggles, tabs, call to action, maps, contact form, and many others.

As far as responsiveness is concerned, you can adjust the text size for different devices, which is great. You can also toggle on/off the visibility of certain elements on mobile or tablet devices similar to like that of in Thrive Architect.

The all new Divi Builder is also really fast and the speed can be compared to that of Thrive Architect.

When you deactivate the Divi Page Builder the content will still be retained but with no formatting like that of any other page builder plugins I mentioned. Which is still great when compared to the previous versions of Divi theme, where content lock-in was the major issue.

Divi Builder pricing

The Divi Builder can't be purchased separately. It comes as part of the Elegant themes membership.

The membership comes at $89/year or at a one-off fee of $249. If you are looking for only a page builder the premium price is not worth it. If you want all of the Elegant themes like Divi Theme and plugins like Bloom Email Optins, and also Monarch social sharing plugin, including the Divi Page Builder, then the price may be worth looking at.

#5. MotoPress Content Editor (Free and Paid)

Motopress content editor

MotoPress is available both as a free version and as well as a premium version.

The free version of the plugin comes with all the essential features like 30+ content elements, frontend editing, cross-theme compatibility, and much more.

Whereas, for the MotoPress to become a great alternative to Visual Composer, you may need to buy the MotoPress Content Editor Pro. The pro version comes with priority support and updates, saving and reusing styles and also the ability to enable the editor for custom post types.

The MotoPress Content Editor comes with MotoPress Addons which costs you some additional money if you need them. There are some of the add-ons available like Google maps pro, pricing table, contact form, countdown, etc. The above elements are available in case of Thrive Architect, Beaver Builder and Elementor for free along with purchase. But these modules are being sold as separate add-ons in case of both Visual Composer and the MotoPress Content Editor. This adds up to the overall cost of the page builder. 

Motopress pricing

If you are willing to use MotoPress on a single site, it costs you $29. And for unlimited sites $147. For most of the people 5 site license for $47 maybe ideal.

Bottomline: These are some of the best Visual Composer alternatives you can get your hands on.

As you can see, Thrive Architect is the best page builder plugin as of now. It's feature rich than any other plugin and comes with tight integration with Thrive Leads - the best list building plugin (even better than OptinMonster). If you are a marketer, looking to build conversion friendly landing pages, Thrive Architect is the go. The Thrive Architect also has tigh integration with other Thrive plugins like Thrive Leads, Ultimatum, Apprentice, and Quiz Builder.

If you are looking for a free plugin, then go ahead and download the Elementor free plugin. It has the best free version of page builder plugins. But you certainly need to upgrade it to pro version in order to consider it as an alternative to Visual Composer or Thrive Architect.

Hope you found this post helpful in choosing a good substitute for Visual Composer when it comes to WordPress page building. 


9 thoughts on “5 Excellent Visual Composer Alternatives in 2017 (2 FREE Plugins)

  1. I would like to thanks for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website.
    Very nice information. Keep it up. Great Work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts !!!

  2. Hello Akshay,

    This is a great article that I will definitely be taking advantage of. I love the ease of creating and reading lists. They seems multi-functional. Hoping to focus my skills on refining this idea.

    Santosh Yadav

  3. This article such incredible! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your exp, I will try this. Great job. I really loved what you had to share, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  4. Nice comparison. One of the major downside of Visual Composer you forgot to mention is short-codes. And, Visual Composer is useless unless you buy the add-on packages for some features. Good alternatives.

    I am struggling to choose between Thrive Architect and Elementor.

    • Hi Mark, thanks for stopping by. Yes, shortcodes and additional add-ons are the major downsides.

      Here's the bottomline.

      – Thrive Architect if you are a serious online marketer for whom conversions and list building is crucial.
      – Elementor if you are a beginner and looking for a great free plugin to start with.
      – Beaver Builder if you are a developer and looking for great flexibility. Best plugin to use on clients' websites.

      Other than these three, I would not personally recommend any of the other plugins.


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