Although features usually make the most impact on whether a developer uses a page builder, affordability also comes into play.
The reason for this is because sometimes you can end up spending hundreds of dollars each month or year to use your page builder. With the SiteOrigin Page Builder, that’s not the case.
As you’ll learn in our detailed SiteOrigin review, this page builder is one of the most affordable options we’ve found. Not to mention, it offers a rapid, backend editing environment that merges its features with the current WordPress widget library.
The SiteOrigin Page Builder has some downsides, (like the fact that it’s mainly a backend editor and not a true drag-and-drop builder) but it’s a wonderful solution for those looking to keep costs low, utilize sleek layouts, and take advantage of a myriad of content elements.
Keep reading our SiteOrigin review to get an up-close look at the features, pricing, and customer service elements from the SiteOrigin Page Builder.
Top Features From Our SiteOrigin Review
As previously mentioned, the SiteOrigin Page Builder primarily runs on the backend of your WordPress website.
That means it works in the dashboard, which helps those who want a familiar interface but can also cause trouble if someone is more interested in finding a drag-and-drop builder.
During our SiteOrigin review, we found several primary features that make the page builder a reliable and clean solution for both developers and agencies. Take a look at our favorite features below.
A Backend Drag and Drop Builder
The SiteOrigin Page Builder has an interesting interface that counters what many other developers are leaning towards in the page builder world.
It keeps the page builder on the backend, where you can drag in and insert rows, widgets, and content modules. You can then drag and drop the modules to rearrange them however you want.
It’s a simple interface that works out well if you know what you’re getting into. Some people won’t like the fact that you usually don’t see a live view of your content, but rather little grey content blocks with labels for what each one does.
It is possible to see a live preview of your webpage, but there’s no option to click on the elements in the live version to edit them right there.
Instead, it functions more like the default WordPress Theme Customizer, where you make an edit in the left-side settings and watch the results appear to the right.
You could also manage a page by not even looking at the live preview. This has its advantages by cutting down on the amount of screen space required and cleaning up a usually messy interface.
In short, the SiteOrigin builder resides in the WordPress dashboard. You can open any page or post to edit content and incorporate a layout or start one from scratch.
Set columns and rows, then drag items like modules and widgets into the sections. All of the content gets structured within the regular WordPress editor, so you still have access to basic tools for things like featured images, page attributes, and more.
Although it lacks a true frontend, visual, drag-and-drop interface, you can click on the Preview Layout button to show the current visual status of your webpage.
Quickly switch back and forth between the visual layout and the SiteOrigin Builder to make edits and see what it looks like.
As you can see in the screenshot, switching to that Preview Layout view presents the true design, where the SiteOrigin Hero module appears as a large Hero image with overlaying text, headers, and a button.
No matter what, you can always swap back to the basic editor view to drag any element into another row or section.
This feels like an older interface but it strives to eliminate the complications that come with clunky visual designers, while also allowing you to see the entire structure in one area.
Many users find this far simpler and minimalistic than what you can expect from other page builders.
A Large Collection of Content Modules and Widgets
WordPress already has an incredible selection of widgets to construct your pages, but many page builders cut these out or make it tricky to include them in your designs.
SiteOrigin takes an alternative approach by integrating the already wonderful WordPress widgets with the page builder.
You also gain access to several content modules with the free SiteOrigin plugin. In addition to that, you can install the free SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle (highly recommended to unlock the true potential of SiteOrigin) to access dozens of other widgets for the page builder.
The standard page builder widgets are fairly basic, with an option to include the actual layout builder, a post content module, and a post loop.
However, that then brings you to all of your installed WordPress widgets, with options for Recent Comments, Navigational Menus, and Categories.
As suggested before, the Widgets Bundle opens up a large selection of other content modules, all of which are free and made by the SiteOrigin development team.
Some widgets in the plugin include a Hero Image, Post Carousel, and Headline.
But that’s not the end of it. All users who upgrade to the SiteOrigin premium plan unlock various add-ons, most of which function as widgets and content elements.
The premium plans include all add-ons, so you don’t have to pick and choose based on which ones you need.
For instance, the Contact Form add-on offers a quick way to include fields and buttons for people to send you emails. The Block Animations widget lets you set up movements and animations whenever someone scrolls over a button or image.
You also receive add-ons for lightboxes, call-to-actions, hero images, and much more. There are currently over 20 add-ons that come along with your upgrade to the SiteOrigin premium plan.
A Strong Layout Directory for Quickly Launching a Beautiful Design
The SiteOrigin layouts function as premade webpage and post designs, all structured so that you can install a layout, change around some of the content, and automatically launch your website without touching any code or even rearranging many of the content blocks.
A new popup page appears to reveal the nicely designed layouts from SiteOrigin, all of which come for free.
Not to mention, you don’t have to upload anything from the cloud or mess around with any page formats to make the layouts look presentable.
Choose to preview the layouts first, then drop them into your page builder. The result presents the preset layout as several rows and columns and sections, which you’re able to edit for your own company.
Some of the names of layouts from SiteOrigin include:
- Beautifully Baked
- Fitness Gym
- About Simple
- Fresh Organic
- About Adventure
- Refined Design
- Cafe Style
Another type of layout comes with the premium plan of the SiteOrigin Page Builder. Take advantage of WooCommerce templates to generate your own eCommerce-oriented templates or pull from the layouts in the gallery, all optimized for selling online.
A Quick Row and Column Manager
We enjoy the simplicity of adding a row with columns to the SiteOrigin builder, mainly becuase it takes two clicks and allows you to edit the width and column ratio when you insert a full row.
This way, you can break up your content in every row and decide to maybe have an image taking up half the row with text taking up 25% and a contact form in the remaining 25%.
The quick access Add Row button can be clicked at any time. It then leads you to a popup window where you make a few more selections about the row.
In that new popup window, you can adjust elements like the number of columns you need in each row, the column size or ratio, and whether you’d like it to show from left to right or right to left.
As you can see, we added four columns within this row, but then gave more than half of the space to the first column, with three other rows broken down into smaller chunks.
Page Cloning and Layout Building
Another reason to get excited about the SiteOrigin page builder is because of its built-in cloning features, allowing you to clone both pages and posts for later use.
Clone sections of your page or clone an entire page to either use elsewhere on the current website or on another website you’re working on in the future.
You can even import or export complete designs, a feature we like for agencies that plan on reusing similar designs for clients.
We also like that the SiteOrigin page builder keeps everything lightweight. You don’t have to wait around for several minutes for the plugin to save your cloned pages.
Instead, it takes a few seconds to save that design and implement it on another page or website.
A Detailed Log of Your Editing History
Seeing the history of your edits makes for a friendly work environment, considering you don’t have to constantly worry about making a mistake that you can’t change.
With SiteOrigin, it logs every change recently made to a webpage. You can go back into the history log and skip back to a previous version, making sure it all looks the way you want it to.
That history button sits at the top of the editor, next to the Layouts and Live Editor buttons.
We would recommend clicking on the History button from time to time just in case you need to go back and modify something you edited on accident.
The History popup window reveals a preview of your current site. There’s a list of the past changes that you can select to view.
In short, you may want to go back to a design you had five minutes ago, but clicking the Undo button multiple times wouldn’t make any sense.
With this feature, you simply scroll through the history, check the visual preview to make sure it’s the right version, then click on the Restore Version button to jump back in time to that previous design.
A Review of the SiteOrigin Pricing
The SiteOrigin Page Builder offers multiple plugins and extensions, some of which are excellent for individual developers, while others work well for agencies needing to create and manage several websites.
But first, you should check out the free SiteOrigin Page Builder plugin to see if it’s the right fit for your organization.
Essentially, the free version of SiteOrigin provides a live editing experience in the backend of WordPress, where you’re able to set row and widget styles on pages and posts, while also giving you a wide range of content elements to construct your websites without any problems.
In fact, the core SiteOrigin Page Builder is always completely free. Therefore, you don’t have to pay for a yearly or monthly membership.
The primary page building features are packed into the free plugin, which you can install on any WordPress website.
However, there is a SiteOrigin Premium plan, which offers a collection of add-ons to extend the functionality of the SiteOrigin Page Builder.
You also receive ongoing updates and fast email support with the premium plans, making it similar to other page builders where you can opt for the free plan but you don’t get things like support and updates until you upgrade.
Some extra elements that come with SiteOrigin Premium include the following:
- A Custom Post Type Builder
- An Accordion module
- Block animations
- A Hero block
- Image overlays
- Mirror widgets
- Parallax sliders
- WooCommerce templates
- Ajax comments
- A web font selector
- And much more
SiteOrigin Premium costs $29 to start, but they actually break it down into multiple packages:
- Single – $29 per year to use the premium version of the page builder on one website.
- Business – $49 per year for premium page builder support on up to five websites.
- Developer – $99 per year to utilize the premium SiteOrigin Page Builder on an unlimited number of sites.
Keep in mind that you can either pay for a yearly subscription (recurring yearly payments) or opt for a single-year license (where the license expires after one year and you get to choose whether or not you want to subscribe again).
The yearly subscription cuts the monthly price a bit if you’re looking to save some money. However, the single-year license is still rather affordable, especially when you compare it to other page builders on the market.
Furthermore, you can cancel any SiteOrigin Page Builder license at any time. You receive a 60-day moneyback guarantee to test out the premium version of the SiteOrigin Page Builder and get a refund if you don’t like it.
Finally, canceling your membership for the premium version doesn’t break all of your previously created websites.
All the content you made from before remains the same. You simply lose access to future plugin updates and any customer support.
During our SiteOrigin review, we decided to compare the SiteOrigin pricing next to the pricing from comparable page builders:
|SiteOrigin Page Builder||WP Page Builder||Elementor||Brizy||WPBakery||Beaver Builder||Visual Composer|
|Basic Plan||$29 per year||$39 per year||$49 per year||$49 per year||$45 per year||$99 per year||$49 per year|
|Mid-level Plan||$49 per year||$59 per year||$99 per year||$99 per year||Not offered||$199 per year||$99 per year|
|Top-level Plan||$99 per year||$99 per year||$199-999 per year||$299 (one-time for a lifetime license)||$245 per year||$399 per year||$349 per year
Overall, it’s not that unique to offer a free page builder when looking at other options like Elementor and Beaver Builder. However, SiteOrigin looks like a frontrunner when it comes to overall pricing at every level.
For instance, its lowest-priced plan is still $10 less per year when compared to WP Page Builder, a budget page builder option.
The Mid-level plan is cheaper than most, while the Top-level plan is the same price as WP Page Builder, making it one of the cheapest solutions on the market.
The one downside we found in our SiteOrigin review is that SiteOrigin lacks a lifetime license. Brizy is still one of the only page builders with a lifetime plan, but we still think other page builder developers should consider offering something similar.
Customer Support Options From Our SiteOrigin Review
During our SiteOrigin review, we checked to see if the development company offers direct human customer support (like email and phone support) along with online resources for people to complete their own research and learn from other users.
Like many of the other page builders on the market, SiteOrigin fails to provide phone or live chat support. The free plugin users receive email support (which is more than you usually get for a free plugin), but we wouldn’t expect anything spectacular.
SiteOrigin gives premium email support to all paying customers, meaning you get sent to the front of the line and provided the best possible service that SiteOrigin can offer.
We’ve found that they respond promptly to emails and have knowledgeable people to resolve any problems you have with the plugin.
Yet, outside of the email support, there’s no other way to get in touch with SiteOrigin. Maybe they’ll add a live chat box or a phone number in the future, but that’s not exactly common in this industry.
Having said that, SiteOrigin excels when looking at the online resources. It has a Support Thread page that functions similar to a knowledge base and forum.
On the Support page, you can read discussions, post your own questions, and search for problems that align with your own issues with the plugin.
It’s well moderated and a wonderful opportunity to chat with other users and see how you can improve your use of the page builder.
Last up, SiteOrigin offers a blog to read about new features/product releases and learn about how to improve your workflow with the plugin.
You may also want to reach out to the company on social media, seeing as how it runs Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages. If anything, you can follow them on social media to chat with other users and keep yourself updated on recent blog posts.
The Pros and Cons of the SiteOrigin Page Builder
We’ve covered everything from pricing to features in this SiteOrigin review, so now it’s time to break it all down and outline the pros and cons.
If you’re still having trouble deciding whether or not SiteOrigin is the right page builder for you, take a look at the benefits and downsides below to help you make that final decision.
- It’s by far one of the least expensive page builders on the market.
- SiteOrigin offers a simplified, backend editing experience with the option to see a live view after you make an edit.
- You can install a myriad of widgets for the page builder and utilize whatever default WordPress widgets are available to you.
- SiteOrigin has dozens of pre-built layouts so that you don’t have to start designing your website from scratch. They even offer simple page designs, like for a Contact or About Us page.
- You can check back on the history log to revert back to a previous design or check what elements you had in the past.
- The backend interface is far less glitchy than the often cluttered, clunky frontend page builders out there.
- The online forum and knowledgebase center make for a rather appealing way to research solutions for your own web design projects.
- The entire page builder, and many of the widgets, are completely free. You only have to pay when you upgrade to get more add-ons and widgets.
- SiteOrigin lacks a frontend builder.
- It doesn’t have a visual drag-and-drop feature but rather a quick switching tool to see your current design.
- There’s no live chat box or phone support.
- Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what your current design looks like since it doesn’t provide a live view where you would edit the actual content.
Is the SiteOrigin Page Builder Right for You?
Based on our SiteOrigin review, we particularly like the page builder for those interested in keeping costs low, sticking to the standard WordPress backend editing experience, and utilizing a sleek and simple drag-and-drop designer in the dashboard for rapidly building webpages.
It’s also nice to see that SiteOrigin includes layouts and the integration with WordPress templates, speeding up the overall design process.
Be sure to write us a comment below, especially if you have any lingering questions about this SiteOrigin review!
Other WordPress Page Builder Articles:
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- Brizy Page Builder Review
- Beaver Builder Review
- Divi Builder Plugin Review
- WPBakery Review
- Thrive Architect Review
- Visual Composer Review
- WP Page Builder Review
- Elementor Pro vs Thrive Architect
- Beaver Builder vs Visual Composer
- Elementor vs Beaver Builder
- Does a Page Builder Slow Down WordPress