Elementor is such a pivotal player in WordPress Development starting with its 11 million actives users and the popularity of its namesake PageBuilder now become a  ThemeBuilder UX. If one does development work in WordPress you are very likely either using Elementor directly  or interacting with other Elementor based websites as W3Techs sees Elementor as the fastest growing WordPress Tool.
As seen in the chart above Elementor has displaced Bakery’s Visual Composer as the the leading WordPress UI Editing tool. Becuse WordPress code is  Open Source,  competitors can peek deep inside rivals code and eventually duplicate others leadig features. So the critical step is to lead the delivery of new UI innovations which Elementor has done in the past.  However, that lead in UI innovation is under stress.

So it should not be a surprise  that in the past half year the OpenSourcery has done 5 stories on Elementor:
– Aug 27 – Elementor More Duress – tracks the continuoing and serious FlexBox and 3.x upgrade problems;
– Aug 20 – Elementor Under Duress – describe much stronger competition from PageBuilders, Web Builders, and LCAP
– May 07 – Gallery Tests Elementor  – explores the Gallery and slider display options in Elementor
– Mar 26 – Elementor Flexbox: A MVP Achilles Heal? – foretells Elementor’s Flex ills in contrast to Bricks and Oxygen
– Mar 10 – WordPress Revolution: Elementor Cloud Website – evaluates Elemetor’s entry into Cloud Hosting Services
So  this briefing provides some follow up on these stories as the WordPress marketplace and Elementor leadership strategy and status rapidly change.

Taking Care of the Elementor UI Advantage

As seen in the Elementor More Duress story, two astute WordPress observers raised the same concern that Elementor was diverting attention from its UI Developer To0l strength to support its venture into Hosting Services. Specifically, the investment in Strattic ‘s Headless WordPress  and Elementor Cloud Service diverted atention away from its UI Engine which is undergoing serious Flexbox and API challenges.  Our own  tests mid-Spring  have shown Elementor’s upgrade problems. Below is one of many examples early this year of Elementor Flexbox edits and WYSIWYG going badly awry
So the Elementor advantage of a superior WYSIWYG editing  with  Template Layout & Design appears in jeopardy. In fact, Web Tuts’ Paul Charlton brought up the notion that even  the Gutenberg Editor was now catching up to the Elementor UI through 3rd party tools like Cwicly and Kadence. These block-powered tools helped fill in Gutenberg’s design/styling  and query-loop  gaps. So with  other PageBuilders innovating like the well financed Enterprise Low Code Application Platforms,  Elementor could not allow the slow rollout of Flexbox layout and general Elementor UI updates.

Perhaps the the chorus of criticisms and Elementors own financial layoffs have struck home. Elementor has recently been candid about its Flexbox problems while actively providing WP Plugin support. Ourlatest test show improvements in WYSIWYG FlexBox layouts and response time results when using latest Flexbox lyouts as seen below:
“A” grade with  with LCP at 1.3sec for desktop view is good for old 3.71 Flexbox Version

But the latest 3.76 Elementor Flexbox shows 20% improvement in desktop response time and oveall Core Web Vitals. After showing up and then down response time tests from early summer, this reviewer is still cautious. When Elementor 3.8 appears more  complete desktop and mobile view tests will be done to see if Elementor retains its response time improvements. Also  a look into how Elementor API partners areadapting to the new Ui interface. But the bottom line is Elementor with its Flexbox and template & layout changes is improving
If this review has been helpful,  buy me a cup of coffee  or attend one of our info-packed WP Solutions meetups.

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