Elementor Pro Pricing Update Slashes Features in the Essential Plan for New Customers

Elementor, the most popular website builder plugin for WordPress with more than 5 million active installations, has announced major changes coming to the features included in its Elementor Pro Essential subscription plan.

The plan will still include the Theme Builder along with access to 50+ Pro widgets, basic marketing tools, and the Form widget, but it will shift other more advanced features to the more expensive pricing tiers:

“Going forward, when you purchase the new Elementor Pro Essential, you will have all the features you need to create a complete basic website, and also gain access to new features that will be part of the Essential plan,” Elementor Senior Product Marketing Manager Gabriella Laster said. “For more professional capabilities like the Popup Builder, e-commerce features including PayPal button, Stripe button, and the full WooCommerce Builder or collaboration tools like Notes or the Role Manager, you will need to upgrade to the Advanced plan or higher.”

The changes, which are detailed in a comparison chart in the announcement, will be rolled out on December 4, 2023. It will not affect existing subscribers or other subscription plans:

Existing Essential subscribers get to keep all current features.
If you have a valid Elementor Pro Essential subscription, you can keep your subscription with all the features currently available to you, at no additional cost. You’ll also be able to renew your subscription upon expiration, while keeping all the features currently available in your plan. Some new features, released to the higher plans, will not be available as part of your current Pro subscription.

Scott Kingsley Clark, lead developer of the Pods Framework, commented on the news in Post Status’ Slack in regards to how Pods will support Elementor users in the future.

“Elementor Pro is removing things like ACF/Pods integration from their lowest tier ‘Essential’ plan in December,” Clark said. “Existing subscribers keep the functionality but anyone getting new licenses after Dec 4th won’t have those.

“It’s not super clear since I don’t use the other features whether they’ve removed many other things or if some of those things are actually new features shipping in December to just the other plans.

“The impact of this is that I’ve chosen to replace the Elementor Pro integration for Pods that they provide — with a more complete alternative solution within the Page Builder Toolkit add-on. Previously, only new Pods-centric widgets were added. Soon I’ll add dynamic content support for Pods that will be available as a better alternative to what is in Elementor Pro currently.”

Concerned Elementor customers reacted to the news on X/Twitter as well as in the comments of the announcement, many looking for reassurance that the features they paid for will still be accessible to them after the change.

The anti-Elementor crowd responded to their concerns in a critical and dismissive way, using the news of the modified plans as an opportunity to express and reinforce their disapproval of the page builder. This prompted those who are reluctantly using the tool to ask for viable alternatives in the comments of the tweet.

Elementor has had a somewhat contentious relationship with the open source project, as it has historically marketed itself against WordPress core. The plugin’s reputation has been saddled with bloat and performance concerns for years, calling its long-term future into question. The writing was on the wall for most page builders when WordPress decided to land full-site editing capabilities in core.

Elementor has made a pattern of making major changes to pricing and plans while also guaranteeing legacy pricing for current customers. It’s one strategy for getting customers to lock in their auto-renewals to ensure a more predictable financial future for the company.

Two months ago, Human Made engineer Fränk Klein sparked a conversation on X/Twitter contending that “Elementor will disappear as a standalone plugin, along with all other non-block page builders,” as the WordPress ecosystem moves to become block-first by default.

“Since 2022, all default themes are block themes,” Klein said. “WordPress.com is all in on blocks. WooCommerce is modernizing with blocks.

“For plugin authors the biggest return on investment is to use blocks. So it falls to the page builder developer to ensure that plugins integrate well. And that’s a difficult, tedious, and costly undertaking.”

WordPress co-founder and Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg also weighed in on the news, indirectly referencing Elementor’s latest move to slash features in its Essential tier.

“As Gutenberg gets more capable, non-Gutenberg site builders will likely need to continue raising their prices, as one is in the news for today, to maintain revenue churn in the face of higher churn and fewer new users,” Mullenweg said. “I don’t [think] this trend will happen for the Gutenberg-based ones.

“They’ll also need to spend more to keep up, as they have to duplicate all the engineering that’s going into core. This is why we asked them all to plan on Gutenberg since we started development in 2017. Phases 1 and 2 also could have gone a lot faster with their help. The pace of iteration is pretty relentless.”

Elementor’s decision to reallocate features across pricing tiers is a response to the shifting dynamics within the page builder landscape and the increasing cost of supporting so many third-party integrations in the entry level plan. WordPress users and developers are slowly reevaluating their relationship with page builders, as every core release puts a greater emphasis on block-based editing for both content and design. This is a fundamental shift in how WordPress websites are built and page builders will continue to be challenged in striking a balance between innovation, user expectations, and business sustainability.


18 responses to “Elementor Pro Pricing Update Slashes Features in the Essential Plan for New Customers”

  1. The plugin was fine in the beginning, but gradually, it became a resource hog and increasingly challenging to work with. I disliked it when many clients wanted to install it on their sites. If it were to disappear, I wouldn’t miss it at all.

  2. Matt is making a solid point. How many new users does Elementor get each year?

    Revenue churn is a mega problem when Gutenberg is 10000% free and with other free Gutenberg plugins that do exist it easily makes a compelling package to build websites

  3. Elementor is the second most popular plugin on WordPress.org, while Classic Editor is the fourth most popular.

    The fact Elementor can raise prices suggests they’re not too concerned about customers switching to a block editor that millions have consciously opted out of.

    • The numbers only have something to do with each other indirectly.
      Elementor is an additional builder that disables Gutenberg by default.

      Classic Editor is for everyone who actively decides not to keep up with the times and shy away from new technologies.

      So when I look at wp.org, both have over 5+ million installs. So they are not that far apart from each other.

      But with 810 million installs worldwide, that’s still very small in comparison.

      Any statements about Elementor’s thoughts on why they are increasing prices are pure speculation.

      The fact is that the new pricing structure will cause confusion & that all builders, Avada and Co., will either jump on the Gutenberg bandwagon or have less income over time.

      Every builder must have had this on their radar – if not, it was pretty negligent.

  4. We are sticking with Elementor until the other tools catch up. Their toolset is still way more mature than block based builders especially for Woo websites.

    It would also be a huge challenge to retrain all our staff on a new builder at this point unless we have to.

    The thing everyone seems to forget is that clients and other DIYers still prefer maintaining their websites and editing pages with Elementor vs the block editor, hence its popularity.

    However, we have been testing Bricks and it’s pretty slick.

  5. Looking at their new plan, it appears way less appealing for new user who only need one website. They won’t get all pro features, event basic things like custom CSS and ACF integration are no longer included.

    Even though elementor enjoying its current mainstream status, it’s already showing its age and has reputation of being bloated and slow. There are loads of newer generation alternative that are better & faster. eg: bricks, cwicly or breakdance

  6. At the beggining I loved Elementor, I was part of lots of facebook based elementor groups and watched hours of elementor tutorials on youtube. In time not that they rise their price but the tool became a utter bloated software, i mean the page speed of a website is low as much optimisation you want to do. Now i am using bricks builder and let me tell you this is one of the best tools on the market now, before that i gave it a go to Oxygen but the developer its not trustworthy and let down a huge community. if elementor dissapears from the market it would not be a problem

  7. I find the predictions that Elementor and other page builders will eventually succumb to Gutenberg and block based editing very interesting.

    I am a self taught DIY website builder who started many years ago with Xara, then Wix, before discovering WordPress.

    Being a non coder I quickly discovered that (a) I needed a page builder (first Divi, then Visual Composer and latterly Elementor), and (b) the default theme of the day and free themes in general are pretty much useless for anyone who wants to build a serious website.

    When Gutenberg arrived I was intrigued, and spent quite a few hours playing and experimenting with it, before coming to the conclusion that the UI had been designed by Matt Mullenweg’s cleaning lady during her lunch break.

    I then discovered the Disable Gutenberg plugin, and have not bothered with the block editor since.

    However I thought I would take a look at the new 2024 default theme, as the idea of full site editing has some appeal. After about an hour or so I had had enough. The whole experience is still horrible and I am not the only one who thinks so.

    If Gutenberg is the future of WordPress, how is that of the current 3700+ reviews of the plugin, over 2400 of them (64%!!!!) only give it one star? The latest of these are only days and weeks old, and they are not the usual complaints about various aspects of a plugin that good plugins routinely attract.

    What comes through loud and clear is that many of the reviewers feel that Gutenberg is a poorly designed product that has been forced upon them against their will.

    This must be incredibly embarrassing for the people at WordPress and I feel for the poor forum moderators who have to respond to these reviews. There is nothing they can really say, other than to offer the usual platitudes.

    Elementor and other page builders may have their faults, but if they ever disappear or adopt block based editing as their standard offering, I predict that there will be an exodus of enthusiastic amateurs like myself to CMS alternatives other than WordPress.

  8. Just move to Gutenberg and let us all make it better – a free alternative to Elementor. Gutenberg needs A LOT OF POLISH to become consumer friendly! Remember – our final goal is to make it usable for the CONSUMER, not all consumers are coders/tech people, so make it INTUITIVE as Elementor!

  9. I don’t know, what the problems of some people with Elementor are about. Elementor is an amazing tool. I purchased a Pro license in 2016, before it was finally released. I never regretted it and I honestly don’t see a tool that is head to head with Elementor. Yes, it is not perfect. WP is far away from being perfect. And if Elementor becomes a stand alone Software, I am in for it. I am always open for new deveplopments.

    Elementor can change it plans as it wants. No one is forced to used it. I have not lost any feature in my existing account since 2016. I still have my 1.000 Activations and pay 100$ a year.

    If you have problems with Elementor, just don’t use it.

  10. Very informative article on the recent changes to Elementor Pro’s pricing and features. It’s interesting to see how Elementor is adapting its business model in response to the evolving WordPress ecosystem, particularly with the rise of Gutenberg and block-based editing. The decision to reallocate features across different pricing tiers is a significant move that reflects the challenges faced by page builders in maintaining innovation and sustainability. The article does a great job of presenting the perspectives of both Elementor users and the wider WordPress community. It’s a reminder of the dynamic nature of the web development industry and the importance of staying adaptable. Thanks for shedding light on these changes and their implications for both developers and users.

  11. The recent Elementor Pro pricing update is raising eyebrows in the community. The decision to slash features in the Essential Plan for new customers is a significant change that’s sparked discussions. It’s essential for both existing users and potential customers to carefully evaluate the updated offerings and determine how it aligns with their needs. Transparency and clear communication from Elementor will be key in navigating these changes and maintaining trust within the user base.

  12. While I’ve invested in Bricks as the possible ‘next big thing’ for me, I’m with Elementor for now. Two reasons:

    Dynamic data – many other builders lag behind in this area (and also in templating capabilities). I’ve done some quite complex stuff with dynamic data in Elementor and last I checked, Gutenberg did not have much in terms of this.
    End-user maintenance – some of my clients want to maintain their own site content and Elementor provides a reasonably simple means of doing this. I don’t see many of them being comfortable using a block editor.

  13. The latest adjustment in Elementor Pro’s pricing has caught the community’s attention. The choice to reduce features in the Essential Plan for new users is a notable shift that’s prompting discussions. It’s crucial for both current users and potential customers to thoroughly assess the revised options and assess how well they suit their requirements. Elementor’s transparency and effective communication will play a vital role in guiding users through these changes and preserving trust within the user community.

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