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Elementor and ACF: A Comparison of Two Best WordPress Website Design Tools

Elementor and ACF: A Comparison of Two Best WordPress Website Design Tools

Elementor and ACF Pro (Advanced Custom Fields) are two reasonably powerful WordPress tools for website creation. Indeed, if you want to create a website, you can use Elementor or ACF. These two solutions can also serve as a support to add functionality to your website better. In this article, we are going to compare Elementor and ACF.

About Elementor and ACF

Here we see a basic description of what Elementor and ACF are about.

Elementor

Elementor is a page builder that offers a drag-and-drop interface for designing pages. Indeed, it allows non-technical users to create complex layouts without the need to code quickly. In addition, for experienced companies, it is a weapon to offer personalized and turnkey solutions.

ACF

ACF is an extension that allows you to create custom fields. You can, for example, use it to add fields on pages, categories, or labels. It is a tool that can also be used for creating page designs. With the Pro version, you have several features at your disposal. These features are particularly compatible with the new WordPress editor. An expert can also use it to create personalized and turnkey business websites.

Elementor – Pros and Cons

Here we offer you a comparison between Elementor and ACF

Some benefits of Elementor

Elementor is a page builder for WordPress that offers a drag-and-drop interface for creating web pages. It is appreciated for its ease of use and flexibility. Here are some benefits of Elementor:

User-friendly interface

Elementor is straightforward to use, even for beginners. Its drag-and-drop interface lets you see real-time changes, making designing pages intuitive.

Advanced customization

Elementor offers widgets and design options that allow you to customize almost every aspect of your site. Moreover, with Elementor Pro, you can create custom headers and footers, blog archives, and WooCommerce pages.

Pre-designed templates

it offers a wide range of pre-designed templates that you can import and use as a page starting point. It can save you time and help you get a professional design effortlessly.

Responsive design

Elementor lets you preview and adjust your design for different devices (desktop, tablet, mobile). You can adjust each device’s margins, spaces, font size, and other settings.

Integration with other plugins

Elementor integrates well with most other WordPress plugins, including form, SEO, and eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce.

Support for custom CSS

With Elementor, you can add custom CSS to any widget or section, giving you even finer control over your site’s design.

Popup Builder

Elementor Pro includes a popup builder that lets you create and manage popups on your site without needing an additional plugin.

Maintenance and support

Elementor is actively developed and maintained, with regular updates that add new features and improve security and performance. Moreover, Elementor Pro includes premium support for any help you might need. These advantages make Elementor a popular choice for many WordPress site owners, whether they are beginners or experienced developers.

Some Disadvantages of Elementor

Elementor is a famous page builder for WordPress, but like all tools, it has drawbacks. Here are some of the potential cons of Elementor:

Performance impact

Elementor adds extra code to your website, which can slow down its loading speed. This can impact user experience and potentially your site’s SEO.

Plugin dependency

It’s hard to go without once you start using Elementor to build your site. If you disable the plugin, you have many shortcodes to clean up.

Learning curve

Although Elementor is easier to use than coding from scratch, understanding its features and options is still a learning curve.

Cost

Although there is a free version of Elementor, many of its most powerful features are only available in the Pro version, which has an annual cost.

Conflicts with other plugins

As with any WordPress plugin, there can be conflicts between Elementor and other plugins you use on your site.

Design limits

Even though Elementor offers excellent design flexibility, there may be limits to what you can accomplish with it, especially for very specific or complex designs.

Potential compatibility issues

Although Elementor works well with most WordPress themes, some themes may have compatibility issues.

Updates

Occasionally, Elementor updates can cause issues with your site, mainly if you use a lot of custom CSS or have a theme or plugins incompatible with the latest version of Elementor. These disadvantages do not necessarily mean that you should avoid using Elementor. They are, however, essential to consider when deciding if Elementor is the right choice for your site.

ACF – Advantages and disadvantages

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is a WordPress plugin that allows developers to create custom fields to collect and display additional information. Here are some of the gains of ACF, especially from the perspective of developing custom themes and creating reusable blocks:

Some benefits of the ACF

Precise data control

ACF gives you precise control over the data you collect and display. Indeed, you can create custom fields for almost any type of data. Some data types include:

  • the text,
  • pictures,
  • files,
  • the dates,
  • colours

You can also create reusable fields and flexible content.

Customizing Content Types

ACF allows you to customize your content types by adding custom fields. This lets you create content specific to your site or business, such as portfolios, testimonials, product listings, etc.

Create reusable blocks

With ACF, you can create reusable blocks that you can use throughout your site. This helps you maintain consistency in your design and save time when creating new pages.

Integration with PHP

ACF integrates tightly with PHP, which means you can use your coding skills to customize your site even further. You can use PHP to determine where and how your custom fields are displayed.

Separation of content and design

ACF allows you to keep your content (the data) separate from the presentation (the design). Therefore, it can make your site easier to maintain and maintain sustainably.

Performance

Generally, a theme built with ACF will be more lightweight than one made with a page builder like Elementor, which can improve your site’s performance.

Flexibility

ACF is incredibly flexible. You can create simple custom fields or complex content management systems.

Compatibility

ACF is compatible with most WordPress themes and plugins. Therefore, you can use it alongside your other favourite tools. In short, ACF is a powerful tool for developers. You can use it if you want to have precise control over the data on their site. It offers excellent flexibility and allows you to create custom themes and reusable blocks for your WordPress site.

Some Disadvantages of ACF

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is a powerful plugin for WordPress that offers enormous flexibility for developers but also has its downsides. Here are some of the potential downsides of ACF:

Requires coding skills

To get the most out of ACF, you need to be comfortable with PHP and potentially other web programming languages like HTML and CSS. Indeed, if you are not a developer, you might struggle to use ACF to its full potential.

No visual interface for design

Unlike page builders like Elementor, ACF does not have a drag-and-drop interface for designing pages. All design has to be hand-coded, which can be a drawback for non-technical users.

Longer development time

With ACF, you must spend more time coding your design and custom features. This can make the development process longer than using a page builder.

No live preview

ACF does not offer a live preview of your changes. You must refresh your page to see how your changes affect the design. However, you can have a direct preview in the WordPress form using the PRO version.

Plugin dependency

As with any WordPress plugin, if you use ACF to add significant functionality to your site, you will become dependent on this plugin. If the plugin is no longer maintained or you have compatibility issues, it could cause problems for your site.

Cost

Although the basic version of ACF is free, you will have to pay for ACF Pro to access all the advanced features. These disadvantages do not necessarily mean that you should avoid using ACF. They are essential to consider when using ACF for your WordPress site.

Our preference when it comes to Elementor and ACF

When we get involved in the development of websites, we promise our customers to offer them solutions:

  • Easy to manage
  • Optimize SEO
  • Performance.

Both solutions (Elementor and ACF) guarantee this possibility. However, Elementor is a bit limited in terms of performance optimization. For example, when you install Elementor, the extension puts CSS and JavaScript files on your website by default, impacting performance.

We have a preference for the ACF.

We love the flexibility of ACF and the ability to use it to create a bespoke website. Elementor is built to ease the website-building process by providing many styling elements and scripts that make the process easier and faster. However, this means that Elementor adds CSS and JS to your site, which can impact your site’s load time.

A way to deal with Elementor performance issue

It is possible to minimize the use of CSS and Elementor JS. Below are some recommendations:

  • Disable some features
  • Optimize your site in different ways (Compression of CSS, JS files, Cache server)

However, it isn’t easy to use it entirely without these resources since they are integrated into the functioning of the plugin. Moreover, it’s important to note that disabling certain features may limit what you can do with Elementor. You can add your code to your WordPress theme if you want to use your CSS and JS from your custom HTML template. Alternatively, you can use optimization plugins to minify and combine CSS and JS files. Elementor Pro also allows adding custom CSS to any page or widget, giving you more control over the style of your site.

Conclusion

Suppose you are concerned about the impact of Elementor’s additional files on your site’s performance and are comfortable coding. You might consider using another lighter tool like Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) or creating your WordPress theme from your HTML template. This would give you complete control over the CSS, and JS used on your site but require more development skills. Contact us if you want to create a tailor-made website for your business. We use ACF Pro to create WordPress templates from HTML files.

Gilblas Ngunte Possi

Gilblas Ngunte Possi

Founder and Full-Stack Developer at Prositeweb.

My proficiency with modern tools and a keen analytical sense regarding information technology enable me to provide superior guidance in the development and implementation of your web solutions.

Gilblas Ngunte Possi

Gilblas
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