O Elementor I have written about it many times on the blog and invariably since its launch I recommend it both to my clients and during training courses. Not only does it allow you to quickly and very conveniently manage the content of your website, but it also allows you to quickly create really visually attractive websites.
This is currently my opinion the best page builder for WordPress and continues to strengthen its leadership position with its growing capabilities and PRO version.
You can read about Elementor in its basic form, for example, in the article Elementor, the website you control. See also the tag Elementor. Therefore, I will not discuss the basics, but focus on the key capabilities of the PRO version that make this tool capable of replacing virtually any theme.
Some time ago Elementor was basically used as a tool to manage the content of individual pages and articles. What we could do was to install a theme we liked and with the help of Elementor we could arrange the content as if it was made of building blocks. It allowed, and still allows, to create virtually any arrangement of individual objects within a given sub-page or article. It works great!
But note... going back in time, starting with Elementor Pro version 2.0 we can not only do what I have mentioned, but also build our own page layout, so create page header, footer, define default appearance for articles or archives. This was an incredible step forward, because it made us almost completely independent of ready-made themes, which usually have a more or less ossified structure. We are independent of the standards they impose and that is something sensational!
But to the point. Let's take a look at how the functions that allow you to build your own template work.
How does the theme builder work?
As an example, I'll take a clean installation of WP + Elementor + Elementor Pro + the free OceanWP theme. I could just as well use the Elementor theme that is dedicated to the PRO version with the nice name Hello. You can find this theme here. Meanwhile, I have a "barebones" site that looks like this:
It's not crazy, is it? Indeed, installing a fresh theme usually doesn't add anything interesting. In the case of OceanWP, the theme is not bad and offers you a huge amount of configuration options in the free version and works well with Elementor.
Where we see the inscription above Want to publish your first entry?... is an area which can be freely composed in Elementor. However, in the free version we have no influence on how the header and footer of the page will look like. These areas of the page, when working with the free Elementor, depend on the template we have chosen.
Of course, you can use additional plugins to create header and footer, but this is only the tip of the iceberg of possibilities we get with Elementor PRO, and besides, taking care of the site also means minimising the number of plugins installed.
In the free Elementor you can create a header or footer as a standard section, but to place it where you want you have to add it manually to every subpage or article on your website. It is not very comfortable, especially when you will have to change something in those places after some time 🙂 - it's not easy.
This disability is unfortunately quite troublesome and not very practical, especially if our website will have a large number of subpages, not to mention a section with articles (Blog). Elementor Pro allows you to create a header and footer section that will automatically be displayed on all pages of your site.
To do what I am writing about, we need to use the tool Theme Builder. To create a new header, go to Templates > Theme Builder
We don't have any template created yet so the only option we have is to add one. This is what I do by clicking on the "Add new template" button. Next, I select the type of template from the list. I want to create a header first, so according to my intentions I choose this option:
In the name field, I enter something that will identify the template in the list (don't worry, this name won't be displayed on the page) and click on the create template button.
As soon as you initiate the construction of a header, sample, ready-made graphic proposals of its arrangement will appear. At the moment there are 31 of them, but you can modify each of them individually, or if you prefer, you can create the whole header yourself from scratch.
If this number of ready-made suggestions is not enough for you, be sure to check out this article: "2000+ free templates for Elementor". With Elementor PRO you have access to a huge number of templates 🙂 .
Ok to use a header template that initially suits me (I can further customise it as I wish) I click on it and insert it into the template.
By default, the scheme I have chosen uses two widgets. One is the logo widget and the other is the widget responsible for displaying the menu.
As you can see, the area that is responsible for displaying the logo and also the menu does not display anything interesting. This is due to the fact that I have not defined either a logo or a menu for the page. So, if I create a menu the matter will look different 🙂
Let's assume that we have already arranged the header properly. As I mentioned, you can change literally everything in it, from layout to colours, you can add more widgets responsible for displaying content, buttons, icons etc...
To save my work and publish the new header at the same time, all I have to do is click on the Publish button, which I find by default in the bottom left corner of the browser window, at the very bottom of the Elementor widget bar.
It doesn't end there though, because now it will be the most interesting 🙂
I can decide where the header should be displayed. In other words, whether I want to override the default theme header on the whole site or maybe only in selected areas of the site.
This is where I will pause for a moment, as this is an amazing feature of Elementor PRO.
Usually it is the case that the header is common, i.e. the same on every page and subpage of our website. However, there are times when we may want to introduce a little more variety to our site.
Let's assume that we have a blog on the website that covers several areas of our business. Each of these areas is characterised by something. We can come up with an idea to make the section that presents articles on a given topic stand out from the rest, for example with a distinctive graphic accent in the header, maybe a different colour scheme etc...
With Elementor PRO I can put this idea into practice and not have to touch a single line of code!
Note that the display conditions can be expanded. In our example above, the configuration would make this header scheme display across the site, except for entries assigned to a selected category, and on a page displaying a 404 error (page does not exist). Revelation 🙂
Once I have the display conditions defined I save the changes and can go to the page to see if the default theme header has been replaced. It has.
So we will do exactly the same procedure with the footer of the page. The procedure is identical. The only difference is that at the stage of defining the template type I choose the footer instead of the header.
I have a few more ready-made templates for the footer and, just like in the case of the header, I can freely model the footer to my own needs.
I choose a template, customise it, save it and specify the display conditions - all exactly the same as for the header. Finally, I check the effect, which can look like below or completely different, because you will surely have your own idea 🙂
The old header and footer are gone. What remains now is to work with the content of individual pages and subpages and here we can also use Elementor Pro.
So, you might ask, is there any point in investing in themes in this situation? I will answer yes. A good theme well optimized for Elementor is worth investing in because it will add even more wind in the sails of your website. I recommend themes such as Astra, Kadence, Blocks i GeneratePress. You will read about them in the article: Best WordPress Themes.
These are not the only unique opportunities Elementor Pro.
Other great features include form builder whether popup generatorThe templates can be used in hundreds of different ways. It also allows you to place created templates using shortcodes anywhere on the article or page. If you work with Gutenberg editor, you can easily inject blocks from Elementor PRO into it. It also offers great visual effects and many other small features that make it a powerful tool.
However, you have to learn to work with it and use its potential. Elementor is developing very dynamically. For JZS readers there is a special Elementor PRO course on the PoznajWP platform. You are welcome!
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