In the past, WordPress Developers, Designers and Agencies have to rely on coding for any custom theme development. Not so much today. With the introduction of WordPress Theme Builders, Drag and Drop Builders, hard coding is a thing of the past.
When we discuss about WordPress Theme Builders, we are not referring to Page Builders or Multi Purpose Themes. Many Theme Builders are however, also Page Builders with extended features and capabilities.
As Developers and Designers ourselves, we set out a Criteria for our Theme Builder Plugin assessment. The Theme Builder should help us complete common tasks in Custom Theme Development.
Our Criteria in choosing a Theme Builder:
- Must be able to display Dynamic Custom Fields and Content
- Allows Headers and Footers Customization
- Ability to Customize Archive and Single Layouts (For Posts and Custom Post Types).
- Must be able to Customize 404 Pages and Search Pages
- Bonus: Customize WooCommerce Pages
Best WordPress Theme Builders
In this article, we present you with a list of the Best Theme Builders available today that fits some or all of our criteria above.
Thrive Theme Builder
Recently, Thrive Themes launched the Thrive Theme Builder. And the response have been great with over 13 thousand users already jumping on board. Thrive Themes have an excellent track record in creating high converting websites and landing pages.
Thrive Theme Builder is paired with the Shapeshift, a conversion focused companion WordPress theme and comes with Thrive Architect Light preinstalled. Shapeshift is also built-in with a easy to use site wizard that helps guide new WordPress users to customize the website. And of course, Thrive Themes provides with pre-built professional Templates to help you build your site in a flash.
Features include: Custom Headers, Footers, Page and Post Templates, Search, 404 Pages, Integrations with major Email Marketing Providers, Dynamic Data such as User Profiles and Mega Menu. That’s pretty much customization across the whole website!
Thrive Themes has really upped their game with this new entrant in the Theme Builder Market. A worthy alternative to Elementor and Divi, thats for sure. Although as of writing, WooCommerce integration is still in development.
1 LICENSE: $97(1 Website License, Annual Renewal)
5 LICENSE: $127 (3 Website License, Annual Renewal)
Membership: $19/month (25 Website License, Annual Renewal, Includes all plugins and Themes)
Elementor Pro – Best Theme Builder, Popup Builder and Form Builder
In April 2018, Elementor made a huge leap from being just another Page Builder. With the introduction of new Theme Builder capabilities, You can literally build a complete custom theme without using a single line of code!
Elementor Theme Builder checks all the criteria that we set above. Additionally, if you wish to have different Headers, Footers or templates for your website, you can do so by adding a display condition.
These new features convinced us to purchase and try Elementor Pro on a few of our projects. The results are amazing. We literally cut down production times to as quick as within a day! As such, we highly recommend Elementor Pro Theme Builder with confidence.
Shortly after Theme Builder was announced, the Elementor team introduced the WooCommerce Builder. Editing WooCommerce templates used to mean messing with PHP codes across numerous files. With WooCommerce specific Widgets, Elementor Pro now allows you to display product grids and change the whole layout of Single product pages!
WordPress Popups plugins doesn’t come cheap and are usually quite complicated to design and setup. But Elementor’s new Popup Builder, you can now visually design Lead generation using Elementor and setup using multiple trigger system. Best of all, you do not to buy another plugin just for this feature.
While not very sophisticated, Elementor’s Form Building widget is a good replacement for
That being said, you’ll still need a solid Theme to handle what Elementor does not handle. For example, Elementor does not include favicon customization, which should be taken care of by the WordPress Theme. Also there are plenty of 3rd Party Elementor Addons to extend the power and design features. And with open Developer API documentation, you can produce your own Elementor widgets. Elementor Pro is a complete WordPress Framework in its own right.
Personal: $49 (1 Website License, Annual Renewal)
Plus: $99 (3 Website License, Annual Renewal)
Expert: $199 (1000 Website License, Annual Renewal)
Divi by Elegant Themes – Theme Builder and WooCommerce Builder
After a long wait Divi 4.0, Theme Builder is finally announced in October 2019! With theme building capabilities to match Elementor, Divi now brings more power and control for all Elegant Themes subscribers. Divi 4.0 includes the new Dynamic Content and WooCommerce Modules to give you ultimate control over your entire website. Whether you are building a static website, a blog or a WooCommerce Store, Divi 4.0 is a game-changer as it allows you complete control. Fans of Divi can rejoice now with 100% complete control over Theme Design.
Divi Theme Builder 4.0
Lets have a quick look at what Divi Theme builder brings to the table. Just like Elementor Pro, Divi Theme Builder allows you to build Custom Headers, Footers, Post Templates, Category Pages, Search and 404 Pages. Basically everything a WordPress Theme requires.
Custom Header and Footer
This is quite a step up for Divi as it took over 2 years. First of all, Building of Headers and Footers can now be achieved and designed the new Header Modules. Whether full Width or Logo in between or stacked. Divi Header Demo.
You can also create custom body templates that changes the default structure of your posts, products or any other custom post type.
Dynamic content & WooCommerce Modules
Dynamic content can be now assigned to Divi modules. This allows you to set dynamic post fields such as Title, Content and featured image to the template. Whats more, Divi 4.0 is compatible with WooCommerce. Divi WooCommerce Modules allows you to create completely custom product templates.
With the Theme Builder update, Divi is no longer just a page builder but a powerful theme builder for all types of WordPress websites.
Yearly Access: $89 (Unlimited Website Usage, Annual)
Lifetime Access: $249 (Unlimited Website License, One Time Fee)
Be sure to check out Elegant Themes Discount
Next, we have Beaver Themer. Released in 2017, Beaver Themer also fits our criteria on Theme Customization. Like Elementor, it also allows you to design and define your layout templates and the condition which they are displayed.
Beaver Themer: $147.00 (Unlimited site license, Annual, Requires Beaver Builder)Visit Beaver Themer
Finally, we have trusty Toolset of course. Toolset is known for Toolset Types. A plugin to manage Custom Post Types and Fields. But Toolset is a much larger suite of plugins. You can use Toolset to build complete websites along with advanced functionalities. For example, Toolset Views and Toolset Layouts allows you to completely customize layouts and Custom Database Queries.
While Elementor Pro, Divi and Beaver Themer still relies on pre made modules, Toolset allows you complete control over your theme. For example, if you are building a site with advanced functionalities such as Advanced Search, Directories listing, Displaying Maps based on search and Front-end Forms etc. Or if you like control over your code. Then the full Toolset suite of plugins is for you.
For most basic sites, however, the whole Toolset suite may be overkill. Moreover, Elementor Pro is well integrated with Toolset and it is sufficient to use Toolset Types for custom Fields and Elementor Pro for your layout needs.
Toolset Presentation – $69, 1 Domain license (Annual renewal) for custom brochure and listing sites.
Toolset Interactive – $149, 3 Domain licenses (Annual renewal) for Custom brochure sites, E-Commerce sites, Classified sites, Directory sites and Membership sites
Toolset Agency – $229, (Annual renewal) Unlimited Domain license.
Tip: Use the links above for 20% Discount off Toolset
Thank you for reading our list of the Best WordPress Theme Builders. Elementor Pro is currently the leader when it comes to Theme Builder capabilities. And Although Divi 4.0 is late in the game, it capabilities are comparable. As of now, we prefer Elementor Pro because of its more extensive functions such as the form and popup builder, however, Divi is much cheaper for building multiple sites because of Divi Lifetime Access.