Visual Composer has both notoriety and valuable partnerships, making it one of the most popular page builders in the WordPress world.
You’ll find that many ThemeForest theme developers have partnered with Visual Composer to include the builder for free inside the theme being sold.
However, dozens of viable page builders have emerged over the years, so it still makes sense to go through a Visual Composer review to understand how it compares with other options like Brizy, Elementor, and WPBakery.
In this Visual Composer review, we take an in-depth look at who should consider using Visual Composer based on its pricing, user interface, and the features packed into the page builder.
We’ll also explore elements like customer support and areas in which Visual Composer could improve.
Keep reading to learn all about Visual Composer with the help of screenshots and opinions based on our thorough research.
Visual Composer Review: Feature Highlights
As a whole package, Visual Composer comes with over 100 features, and we tend to see new and updated features on a regular basis.
Not to mention, you get over 300 content elements, beautiful page templates, and a complete theme builder for constructing a website from scratch.
We could list all the features from Visual Composer, but it makes more sense to focus on the ones that stand out the most.
The following features are the ones that make Visual Composer unique compared to the competition.
A Highly Advanced Drag-and-drop Builder
Many page builders market themselves as drag-and-drop designers but they lack essential tools or limit the number of places you can edit your content modules.
The goal with a drag-and-drop editor is to click on anything, from an image to a paragraph block, and move it anywhere or edit its content, without glitches or confusing backend settings.
That’s how Visual Composer manages to maintain its popularity. It offers a true drag-and-drop builder, making it simple for anyone to learn how to design a website, especially when working in conjunction with templates and content blocks.
In addition, Visual Composer is situated on the front end of your website. You can make edits on the backend as well, but we like how the majority of work gets done on the frontend.
It gives you a real view of what the website looks like and ensures that all of those changes get rendered in a preview and shown right before your eyes.
The drag-and-drop Visual Composer editor works with any WordPress theme and includes options for resizing columns, controlling column gaps, and updating your content within a matter of seconds.
There’s also an inline editor for making quick changes and swapping out media elements. The backgrounds work well for enriching your content, especially since you can upload videos, gradient backgrounds, and parallax sections.
From a development perspective, Visual Composer has all the tools required for an experienced designer to make any design possible.
We find there’s a bit of a learning curve for beginners, but that’s changed over the years since most of the editing gets done on the frontend now.
A Hub for Downloading Stock Images, Templates, and More
Page builders almost always offer libraries to choose and insert content modules and page templates.
Visual Composer is no slouch in that department, but it takes it up a notch with what they call the Visual Composer Hub, a place to search for and utilize all types of design elements within Visual Composer.
Categories inside the Visual Composer Hub include:
The Hub, which is accessible through the frontend editor, has the option to scroll through page templates and insert one of those templates on your website.
For example, you can instantly make a portfolio website or a landing page from the templates provided through Visual Composer.
These are professionally designed templates and they go along rather well with the preconfigured content blocks as well.
We find that it’s best to choose a template and continue with your modifications by adding new content elements, or by removing ones you don’t need from the template.
They also provide an Addons category inside the Hub.
Add-ons function similar to plugins, where you extend upon the current functionality of the page builder instead of looking for a third-party plugin in the WordPress Plugin Library.
The add-ons are made to work well with Visual Composer, and you can access most of them by upgrading to one of the premium plans.
Popular add-ons from Visual Composer include an export/import feature, template widget, and dynamic content tool. You can also take advantage of add-ons for building popups and managing user roles.
Another reason we like Visual Composer is that the Hub offers unique media items that you would usually have to go to a third-party website to obtain.
Not only that, but all of these media assets are completely free for those using the premium version of Visual Composer.
Giphy, for example, is directly linked to Visual Composer to place animated GIFs in your blog posts and webpages. It’s a simple click of the button, with no need to open the actual Giphy website.
The Unsplash tab is yet another example of consolidating assets into one dashboard. Unsplash is a website with free stock images, many of which are high-quality and posted by photographers who want to gain exposure.
However, going to Unsplash requires you to download the image then upload it back to your WordPress site. With Visual Composer, you cut out most of those steps.
Over 300 Rich Content Elements
In addition to the assets inside the Hub, Visual Composer includes a button to incorporate its main content elements, which have drag-and-drop functionality on the frontend visual builder.
You can access the Elements by clicking on the “+” icon in the visual editor. After that, click and drag the one you want to place into your design.
It’s possible to use these to modify the current template and change it to your own requirements.
The basic templates include buttons, separators, images, shortcodes, and video players, along with text blocks, fonts, and WordPress formatting.
Scroll down in the content module window to locate even more options such as containers and outline buttons.
Feel free to click on the Get More Elements button to gain access to the growing list of content elements. This is particularly important if you plan on getting a third-party plugin to expand your site’s features.
You may be able to locate a content element or add-on from Visual Composer that does the job for you.
Stunning Webpage Templates
Visual Composer has hundreds of webpage templates to choose from, for things like landing pages, retail shops, and eCommerce websites.
The list goes on, and you can scroll through these templates and use some of them with the free version of Visual Composer.
Outside of the basic templates, it’s required to have a premium version of Visual Composer to use the most advanced templates.
Having said that, the templates are modern, responsive, and versatile enough to extend the functionality of your WordPress theme.
We stumbled upon various types of templates in Visual Composer, ranging from landing pages to product showcases, and photography portfolios to About Us pages.
All that’s required is to click on the template of your choice and download it from the Visual Composer cloud library. It then ends up in the Templates section of your page builder to insert on any page of your website.
There are some improvements we’d like to see, however. Visual Composer doesn’t have a preview button for its templates in the Hub, so you must insert a page template to see how much of it looks and works with the rest of your design.
In addition, we’d prefer if Visual Composer added a filter for its template library, considering they have hundreds of templates, and right now you have to scroll through and look at the names to figure out what they are.
Other than that, the selection is solid, you can’t beat the designs, and it’s a speedy activation process for adding a template to any page on your site.
A Popup Builder With Conversion Optimization
The popup builder is a standout feature from Visual Composer since not many other page builders offer this type of functionality.
Not only does Visual Composer have premade popups to choose from, but they’re designed to increase conversions.
You can make popups for promotions, notifications, and email capture forms. There’s a live popup editor with drag-and-drop features. This way, you can see how the popup looks prior to publishing it.
In addition, it lets you configure when the popup loads for your customers. Some people like to have popups appear when the page loads, while others prefer a popup to come up when someone tries to leave the page.
Regardless of your preference, Visual Composer has settings for both of those.
Along with a responsive design for all popups, sizing and location controls, and page-specific popups, we’re rather pleased that this part of Visual Composer makes it well worth the price.
Related Reading: Best WordPress Popup Plugins
Integrations With Top Apps Like Mailchimp and Google Maps
You can’t find everything you need with templates and content modules from Visual Composer. That’s common with page builders, since the developers can’t literally think of everything.
The next best thing is to integrate with already established software and platforms.
Visual Composer handles integrations rather well, with direct compatibility for the following apps and plugins:
- Captain Form
- WP Forms
- Gravity Forms
- Caldera Forms
- EventOn Calendar
- Google Maps
- Envira Gallery
- Layer Slider
- Slider Revolution
- Essential Grid
- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
- Most reputable WordPress plugins
The vast majority of integrations come in the form of a unique content block made by Visual Composer. Therefore, you sign up for the desired integration (like MailChimp), then link that account to the content block that makes it work with Visual Composer.
It’s a respectable list of integrations that most developers will appreciate. The most important categories are covered, including social media, email marketing, icons, contact forms, and data management.
Access to a Developer API
Visual Composer presents an exceptional collection of visual design tools for the less experienced designers out there.
Yet at some point, those with advanced knowledge and experience need a connection to their website page builder to ensure that every customization option is available.
That’s where the API access comes into play.
Not every page builder allows you to tap into its API, so we see this is a strong advantage for Visual Composer.
In short, the API helps you extend Visual Composer in a wide variety of ways. You receive documentation to learn how to work with the API, along with an area to develop your own add-ons to go along with Visual Composer.
The add-on builder also allows you to sell those add-ons and make money from other Visual Composer users.
In addition to all that, the API assists with theme integrations, custom elements, and staging. It’s an all-in-one solution for developers with high-customization jobs.
A Review of the Visual Composer Page Builder User Interface
In the past, Visual Composer has had a reputation for its steep learning curve. Much of the editor remained in the backend of WordPress, and it was rather intimidating for those just starting out with a website design.
The past interface was clunky and unappealing to beginners, but it made the most sense for real developers since it offered the most features compared to just about every page builder on the market.
The healthy feature set hasn’t changed, but it’s clear that Visual Composer has made changes to welcome those beginners who only want to work in the fronted drag-and-drop environment.
We already know how easy it is to get to the Visual Composer Hub. The visual builder allows for dragging and dropping, and you can insert items like content blocks and stock images with the click of a button.
The entire main menu expedites the design process, with a tab that presents website insights for SEO and critical warnings.
Another tab shows page settings and formatting options, along with an area to add your custom CSS or modify general settings.
The Visual Composer interface holds up when compared to other page builders.
It has a simplified format when compared to past versions, you can add modules and media items without any problems, and the more advanced tools are still there for customizing CSS and tapping into the API.
Related Reading: Beaver Builder vs Visual Composer
Visual Composer Review: The Pricing
Our Visual Composer review found that the company offers a free version of the page builder in the WordPress Plugin Library or through the Visual Composer website.
This provides access to the primary page builder features like hundreds of building blocks, templates, and many customization settings.
An upgrade to the premium plugin costs $49, which renews every year if you want to continue with updates and support.
However, it’s possible to stick with the one-time payment if you have no need for updates or customer support.
Having said that, Visual Composer also sells more advanced memberships, some for developers and people who need to use the Visual Composer page builder on more than one website.
Here’s a look into the Visual Composer pricing plans:
- Free – Gets you the basic page builder, some templates, and assets.
- Single Website – $49 per year for all page builder features, building blocks, templates, and assets.
- 3 Websites – $99 per year for all features and assets. This plan lets you use the page builder on three websites.
- Developers – $349 per year for all features and assets. This plan allows for use on unlimited websites.
Overall, the Visual Composer Page Builder looks like a reasonable choice in terms of pricing.
You can use the themes and page builder on as many sites as you want in the Developer plan, and all features are provided in the other plans. Not to mention, there’s a 15-day refund if you’re not satisfied with the page builder.
It’s also important to note that you maintain control over the page builder if you eventually cancel a membership. You simply lose access to updates and support, along with any file downloads in your account.
How Does Visual Composer Compare to the Pricing From Other Page Builders?
Visual Composer ranges from $0 to $349 per year. You can get the page builder for free, but we figure most designers will want to opt for the $49 or $99 plans.
It’s also rather appealing to consider the $349 Developers plan, since that unlocks the possibility to use the page builder on an unlimited number of websites.
Thrive Architect starts at $19 per month ($228 per year) for the Thrive Suite. Brizy Builder has a $49 per year plan, and a more expensive $299-lifetime plan.
Beaver Builder starts at $99 per year. WPBakery goes for $45 per year, and Elementor begins at $49 with a free page builder plugin as well.
With these comparisons in our Visual Composer review, it’s clear Visual Composer offers decent pricing.
You can use the free version (which most competitors don’t offer) and pay about the same price as the other page builders with the $49 Single Website plan.
Visual Composer is significantly cheaper than both Thrive Architect and Beaver Builder, yet WPBakery, Elementor, and Brizy Builder all have roughly the same pricing for starter plans.
One thing to keep in mind is that Visual Composer doesn’t have support for multiple websites in most of its plans. It’s not common to see unlimited website support from the competition, but some of them have it.
We also noticed that Visual Composer lacks a lifetime plan. Brizy and Themify provide lifetime plans for around $250-$300 (one-time fee), making that ideal for spending upfront money and never having to worry about it again.
Although we like the overall pricing from Visual Composer, it would be nice to see a lifetime plan or maybe an expansion of how many websites you can use on some of the lower plans.
Check Details Pricing Plans Here
A Review of the Visual Composer Customer Support
Customer support for a page builder generally entails a ticketed email system and online resources. It’s rare we find anything beyond that.
Visual Composer provides customer support for all of its products as long as you keep paying a yearly fee. The free page builder users get limited customer support, besides the standard public forum in the WordPress Plugin Library.
When it comes to direct customer support, Visual Composer has a contact form for submitting general inquiries, billing questions, theme queries, and general emails.
This is the primary form of support, so there’s not much difference when compared to other page builder developers on the market.
As for online resources, Visual Composer does a wonderful job of outlining and detailing its products and services, with a full documentation page linking to guides for getting started, customization, and handling the builder modules.
They also provide an FAQs page to answer some of the most pressing questions that come about for things like billing and content customization.
In addition, a Visual Composer Blog contains hundreds of topics and articles for you to learn about the system and see how other users utilize the page builder.
They have pieces on designing specific websites (like portfolios and eCommerce stores), along with articles for things like building headers and setting up your blog.
Furthermore, Visual Composer provides links to its active social media pages, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Feel free to reach out to the customer support team on those if you’re looking for a quick response. Those pages, however, usually work best for researching articles, looking at videos, and discussing the platform with other users.
During our Visual Composer review, we found that it does a wonderful job with its online resources, but it doesn’t stand out that much when stacked up next to the likes of WPBakery and Elementor.
We definitely can’t knock Visual Composer, but we’d argue these types of online resources are standard in the industry.
As for the direct support, there doesn’t seem to be any live chat box or phone support, so it falls in line with other page builders out there.
We’d like to see this change in the future, with maybe a chatbox or a phone number, seeing as how you have to pay to maintain this level of support.
The Pros and Cons From Our Visual Composer Review
Visual Composer handles bugs and new features on a regular basis. In general, the page builder stands as one of the best page builders on the market, with far more pros than cons.
However, we would like to see a few improvements.
- The entire page builder is located on the frontend, and it includes easy drag-and-drop elements.
- Visual Composer comes with a Hub for adding modules, templates, stock images, and GIFs.
- Advanced developers can still take advantage of the most powerful customization tools by using the API.
- Choose from hundreds of unique and professional page templates.
- Make your popups without having to install a third-party plugin.
- You can integrate with some of the most popular third-party software options like MailChimp and FormNinja.
- It’s not possible to preview templates and content modules prior to inserting them into your design.
- You don’t have the option to pay for a lifetime membership.
- We would like to see more customer support options like a live chatbox and phone support.
Conclusion: Is Visual Composer the Right Page Builder for You?
In the past, we would only recommend Visual Composer for experienced developers. That has changed.
In fact, with reasonable pricing, incredible templates, and a solid drag-and-drop builder, Visual Composer makes sense for all beginners and experienced users.
We particularly enjoy it if you need a popup builder or access to the page builder’s API.
If you have any questions about our Visual Composer review, let us know in the comments below!
We’d also like to hear about your experiences with Visual Composer or any other page builders you’ve tried.
Other WordPress Page Builder Articles:
- Elementor Pro Review
- Brizy Page Builder Review
- Beaver Builder Review
- Divi Builder Plugin Review
- WPBakery Review
- Thrive Architect Review
- Elementor Pro vs Thrive Architect
- Beaver Builder vs Visual Composer
- Elementor vs Beaver Builder
- Does a Page Builder Slow Down WordPress
- How to Use the Elementor Free Page Builder
- How to Add a Popup With Elementor
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