Elementor to Roll Out Significant Pricing Hike for New Customers

Earlier this week, Elementor announced a significant pricing hike coming in March 2021 for new customers:

On March 9th, 2021, Elementor will be adding new Studio and Agency Pro subscription plans and adapting the Expert plan, to best accommodate users’ growing needs. These changes will only apply to new purchases. If you’re on an existing active subscription plan, nothing changes for you.

The most radical change is coming to the Expert plan, which previously offered 1,000 sites for $199/year. The plan has been pared back to support 25 sites. Users who need support for 1,000 websites will need to purchase the Agency plan at $999/year, a 400% increase on the price for what was previously offered under the Expert plan.

Elementor emphasized that customers with an existing active subscription will not be affected by the pricing changes. The company is also giving customers a chance to purchase the current Expert plan ($199/year for 1,000 sites) before it is discontinued before March 9, 2021. Existing customers on the Expert plan have the option to upgrade to the Agency plan at a 50% discount (valid from March 9, 2021 until June 9, 2021).

Over the past 48 hours, Elementor’s announcement has received 270 comments primarily from disgruntled customers. Some of them are opposed to the pricing hikes and others are unclear about what it means for their subscriptions long term. Elementor representatives’ responses to questions on renewal have been studiously unclear.

One customer points out that the announcement does not explicitly say that existing subscriptions will retain the legacy pricing past the end of the billing period for this year. It does not state that existing active subscriptions will remain at the same price indefinitely, nor does it specify a term after which the pricing will go up.

Elementor Evangelist Ben Pines, head of the company’s web creator program, has left the question regarding renewals open, saying he “cannot see into the future.” Customers were left wondering whether the lack of clarity on the future of renewals is a foreshadowing of prices going up after the current billing year.

“No one can predict the future, and offering a lifetime price guarantee is irresponsible for any future-facing company,” Pines told the Tavern. “What we can guarantee for sure is the extent to which we value user loyalty. This is why they have never experienced any price change in 4.5 years. We value our users’ trust, and have taken every step to ensure that our loyal users’ active subscriptions are not affected.”

The company has not confirmed whether existing active subscriptions will be guaranteed the lower pricing forever and reserves the right to eliminate legacy pricing at any point in the future.

In the announcement, Pines said the pricing model for Elementor Pro has hardly changed since it was introduced in 2016 and that it is time to update it to best accommodate customers’ evolving needs. Elementor is now installed on more than 7 million websites and caters to a wide community of users with varying levels of expertise. The new plans have access to 24/7 live chat support and a handful of other benefits, but many customers participating in the comments said they do not require chat support.

The upcoming pricing hike has heightened tensions for customers who feel the dramatic increase is unjustified for the software in its current state. They cited usability issues, persistent bugs, and performance problems that remain unfixed. Additional support features do not make the higher prices more compelling for this segment of the company’s customers.

Some who were disturbed by the radical price increase called for the company to consider creating a middle ground offering for the updated Expert tier.

“I agree that 1,000 websites for $199 is low,” one customer commented. “Many small people will never create 1,000 websites. What bothers me is $199 for 25. Would it be more reasonable if it was $199 for 50, to have some middle ground? Or maybe you do not want the little people around any more.”

A handful of customers commenting were unfazed, noting that anyone who builds 1,000 websites using Elementor and cannot afford $1 per work order should reconsider their business model.

Pricing changes can be a major source of friction for existing customers, as GitLab recently discovered when dropping its Bronze/Starter Tier and imposing a 5x price increase on those features in a higher tier. Although the immediate impact of pricing increases will primarily hit new customers, it’s the existing customers who have been paying for subscriptions for years who have the strongest opinions on the changes.

Raising prices to introduce more value for customers or to account for the increased support burden is a natural evolution for companies that experience rapid growth over a short period of time. Getting existing customers to lock in their auto-renewals by offering legacy pricing is also a strategy for ensuring a more predictable financial future for the company. But Elementor’s lack of clarity regarding term length for the discounted renewal pricing is the primary reason for all the agitation in the comments on the announcement.


41 responses to “Elementor to Roll Out Significant Pricing Hike for New Customers”

  1. With gutenbergs abilities increasing by the day in the long run it will be bye bye elementor. People are not idiots nor are they thiefs from their own wallet. But this is again a classic example of how things work. First they lure you in with nice offers and discounts and once they are big enough they believe they can do anything. Of course a group will stick as they don’t want to redevelop their websites, but newcomers will rethink their decision for elementor.

    • Newcomers have a different choice to make than they used to, so I agree with that.

      For one site, so have something insanely robust and constantly evolving and (most importantly) very intuitive, the slight increase in price shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for the kind of people and needs Elementor was already attracting. If the price for a single site stayed the same or went up ten dollars a year and that’s a deal-breaker for you, you probably don’t belong building a site and for the hour it would take to make that ten dollars for most people, you’ll add way more of an hour to your life of having to do other things the hard way ( again, if you are an Elementor kind of person).

      Cost should the last issue to cross your mind in that situation. As the screenshot indicates, they’ve put this whole mess on their back for four years without an increase and wouldn’t you know it, building up to multiple millions of users from scratch costs money, and that money needs to be paid for. It’s so typical that people count the misses and not the hits.

      They say they want more support, so they’re getting more support. Do they say, yay, more support? No, they want those people to work for free I guess.

      To act like this was a bait and switch is nutty. Gutenberg may be a more solid tool overall for the bulk of users and it’s also improving (and free!) but to imply that anyone that doesn’t choose it is an idiot is inefficient thinking.

      It’s a classic example of “Wow they actually are going to start charging more for a premium product that keeps getting more premium instead of holding the line for their entire existence.”

  2. Personally, I’m pretty tired of these bait-and-switch tactics that are so prevalent in the commercial WordPress world. Almost no one is spared. First, we entice you with some attractive prices or features, and once you are our hostage we increase the cost exaggeratedly or remove some important functionality in order to “best accommodate customers’ evolving needs”.

      • In my experience, clients usually think they want a website where everything can be edited by them and that everything works like a page builder, but when the time comes for them to actually edit something by themselves or create a new page, they usually call back and want the developers to actually do it. Or they just don’t ever edit their pages so the whole “everything is editable” just bloats their website.

        But of course, it all depends on the project requirements, but this has been my personal experience. Your may be different of course.

  3. One more reason I’m looking into full site editing coming to native WordPress editor aka. Gutenberg this year. I think it’s about time for everyone to work out a strategy to leave third party editors behind. Goal for second half of this year: Build at least one site using FSE and native WP editor. I hope that till then all basic design features will be covered natively (without the need for third party addons).

  4. Gutenberg is getting better release after release and that means the need for Elementor is shrinking.

    Once full site editing comes online, I think a lot of current WordPress theme and plugin houses are going to have to think hard about how they adapt and continue to add value.

    • I still say Gutenberg is like one year off even if it gets FSE.

      Gutenberg still needs a whole lot of default stuff that you can get with Elementor or DIVI.

      Some free plugins though can help you get close though.

    • They will live side by side for as long as people have different needs and understanding of how to get work done.

      I know Gutenberg-loving people who look at Elementor like a complex math problem and give up.

      I know Elementor people can build out just about anything in hours that would take — for those people — days in Gutenberg even after knowing what to do.

      It doesn’t make the tools bad or the people bad. Different strokes.

  5. Since the GPL doesn’t specifically permit a site license limit per site, any purchase even at the cheapest level is unlimited site license. So these price hikes are meaningless anyway.

    I pay for to support updates and new features regardless of their gpl incompatible site licensing. Just it’s popular doesn’t make it right.

  6. Glad that I use Themify instead of Elementor. Yes I know that elementor has many extra plugin for increasing their module flexibility, has been for long in this market etc. But every single of my client website using Elementor have a tendency to be slower and feel slugish than the one I create with Themify. Even I have Lifetime license, I always bought the normal one for my client. Since I know they’re improving the Theme & Builder and deserve the money.

    • What are you doing to optimize? Elementor is famously bloated but it’s not uncommon for us with a small bit of work to get the best of both worlds and get the flexibility and ease with an 85-95ish PSI score.

  7. For those of us with the “Grandfathered in ” licenses the price (right now) isn’t the issue, it’s the trust and faith in Elementor’s future actions. What does this move imply about their future actions, and a potential V.C. curve toward an exit strategy. This looks quite like a shark jumping moment for user trust in stability, and we must all choose whether we want to be on the beach or being towed behind the speedboat.

    If we are recommending clients to take an elementor license + maintenance from us and in 2023 it all changes again – what then? Can we really trust in this company not to bite us in future?
    Currently if a license expires the Pro Elements become partially inoperative, non-draggable. How about if they move forward with that. A client site functioning great in 2021 is non editable in 2022? What’s to stop them making that tweak? Our “trust”. Hmm. right.

    “I am altering the deal, pray I do not alter it any further” – Darth Elementor

    • I was actually considering options with elementor last night, but seeing this just turns me off completely. I use a variety of builders that perform pretty much the same thing. I had always hoped the price would go down, so I can take the plunge, but no further. Greed and bait and switch always turn me off, and I’m thankful of that. There is something better on the horizon and it’s not elementor.

      • That’s not the case, when an Elementor license expires they’ve made a change so that “pro” widgets you previously bought or added are no longer draggable, or addable .
        So if for instance a client accidentally removed their testimonial block, and saved the page, they could not then re-add it. This change was made in Elementor 2.9

        The significance being : The license for a previous version, once it expires, locks the user out of the functionality.


  8. I think that pricing strategy is not going to work. Sure you have a good bunch of people that have invested a lot of time and money into the quality wordpress page builder that is elementor but when you can get unlimited sites with DIVI or even Oxygen for 250 bucks in a one time fee it is going to make you even think twice at 499 bucks a YEAR for just 100 sites.

    Elementor needs to have some grandfathered in pricing for people to be nice to them.

  9. Good for them, still a huge bargain for agencies.

    It doesn’t make sense to me how most plugin authors are basically giving everything away for free to agencies after a certain number of sites. I think even a 50% discount per site is very generous. Pass the cost onto the clients like everything else.

    Still, Elementor’s new pricing is basically free for any successful agency. At 50 clients an agency will only pay $0.83/mo per site with this new pricing while they’re going to be charging for hosting and maintenance at $30 or $100/mo.

    I was pricing expenses for a niche multisite network and needed several premium plugins. The cost for plugins was only 6% of total expenses and 3% of total price. It was the cheapest part of the whole operation but one of the most critical. I think most plugin sellers can be a little more bold with their bulk pricing.

  10. Elementor Cloud will be like $25/mo per site. I think this is to dissuade most people from the pro plan, so they can cash in on hosting… like what Webflow does. That said, it’s kind of a shitty move for the community that built them up.

  11. I’ve already started removing Elementor from my client sites as soon as I find comparable features in a block-based plugin. The sites end up being faster to boot. I’ve started learning React and soon will be able to build my own custom blocks. Elementor is dead in the water to me.

  12. Unfortunately I was expecting that Gutenberg would be in a much better position than Elementor and yet they are like 3 or more years apart. I am sorry but I didn’t expect the development of Gutenberg to be rolling so slow.

    • I agree, I wish it was faster as well. But then again replacing nearly 20 years of habits and functionality in core takes time. Realistically, I’d expect at least 18 months until Gutenberg is even capable of matching Elementor, then maybe at least another 12 until the ecosystem around Gutenberg is rich enough to fill in the gaps.

      But then again, maybe we don’t need the bloat we’ve gotten used to with page builders and multipurpose themes over the years. From that perspective we’ll get there much sooner and have more performant sites to boot!

  13. Unfortunately, being grandfathered into the old pricing will only last so long until we’re forced to pay the new 400% higher pricing. It always happens, the most recent example is OptinMonster just recently stopped honoring their “Lifetime” plan. Little did we know it was only the lifetime of a field mouse.

    I guess we’ll be moving to Gutenberg sooner than we thought, it’ll just be a rough transition for a while until Gutenberg is more fully featured, though I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how far it’s come in just the last 12 months.

  14. Looking at these prices, $999 for a 1000 websites licence doesn’t seem that much ($1 per site) for an agency that needs that kind of volume. It’s unfortunate that the expert licence is for 25 sites only. If it was for 50 sites it would provide much more value.

    I personally don’t use page builders because I think they just bring too much bloat, but I do see the value they bring for people with less technical knowledge. They can be pretty powerful, but also complicated considering the fact they need to be a “Swiss knife” with all possible tools in the toolbox.

  15. Yeah well that could be expected. I never understood the hype around page builders anyway. There is no one that could ever satisfy what I wanted as a developer.
    I just like to build pages on my own without these dependencies. There might be great builders out there, but as of yet, none has clicked for me. 🙂

  16. Simplicity & performance should be the main thing
    maybe back of some features in Gutenberg is not such a bad thing.
    Although, I do wish many more built in –
    like a way to specify default site colours for example – so the colour picker is not such a pain to use.

    I did not look at elementor or other builder for a while now

    if only 10% of the energy and resources of paid page builders went into Gutenberg.. we would be in a different world.

  17. I can understand the excitement, but I have to agree with Danny Brown. 999$ for 1.000 sites a year. If you manage 1.000 customer sites or only a fraction of that, 999$ is not a high price.

    I pre-ordered Elementor Pro back in December 2016 for 99.50$ and paid 99.50$ since then and will pay 99.50$ in the future for the “old” Expert plan with 1.000 sites, because nothing changes for existing customers. I only manage 14 customer sites on my account. I never regretted my decision.

    New customers can decide, if they want to pay the price or not. Nobody is forced to buy an Elementor license.

    Of course, Sarah Gooding handled the topic. Good PR for Gutenberg is always appreciated.

    First world problems…

  18. Elementor price increase matched with their target market: big clients.
    It is similar to Drupal.

    I love their price increase by the way. It is correct thing to do. The clients pay millions of Dollar every year.

    If Elementor price too high, Divi or Gutenberg can be very good replacement.


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