Pagebuilders are everywhere these days. But, most of them slow down your site, and also, they are mostly pain (although some have a free version but the features in them are so limited that the users are forced to upgrade to the paid version).
SiteOrigin is built differently. It’s free and if you want some extra features, you can get some extensions for it which are really cheap. Also, SiteOrigin is extremely fast compared to every pagebuilder on the market.
One major disadvantage about using SiteOrigin is that it’s a backend editor which means you won’t be able to see the changes you make in real time. But, for most of us, this won’t be a major issue considering the cost saving and no effect on site speed.
In this post, I will review SiteOrigin pagebuilder. I will also compare my site with a page built with SiteOrigin.
Features of SiteOrigin
SiteOrigin is free. Free forever. But, if you need the extensions, then it will cost a little (but, the features provided in the free version should be more than enough for most sites).
Also, SiteOrigin is backend-only. This means that whatever changes you make, you won’t be able to see it live.
But, the best feature according to me (which is actually not a feature) is that it doesn’t affect site speed (unlike other pagebuilders like Elementor, WPBakery, etc.). This is extremely important after the core web vitals update of Google search.
I have listed down the best features of the SiteOrigin below.
SiteOrigin’s approach towards its interface is interesting considering the fact that most pagebuilders provide frontend editing.
In case of SiteOrigin, it’s on the backend. Here, you can set up everything via drag-and-drop. You can arrange modules, insert rows, widgets etc.
Some people may not like this as it can become a little tricky to visualize the site’s look. Keeping that in mind, they have given an option to check the live preview of your page. It’s not quite comparable to Elementor or WPBakery but it gets the job done.
UPDATE - SiteOrigin has been updated to include a frontend editor. But, it lacks the polish of it's competitors. I hope that as time progresses, it will become better.
After that, you will be greeted with multiple options like Add Widget, Add Row, Layouts (Pre-built layouts), Addons, Live Editor, etc.
You can use the Live Editor option to get access to the new frontend editor but as of now, the backend editor will give you the best experience. The frontend editor will improve as time progresses.
A Large Collection of Widgets, Modules and Layouts
Another good feature of SiteOrigin is it doesn’t skimps out on basic features being free. On the other hand, if you use the free version of Elementor, then you will realise that it’s so much limited and you will be compelled to but the pro version (which is exactly what they want).
SiteOrigin also has a free widgets bundle which will further increase the free widgets, modules etc. that is already included in SiteOrigin by default.
The default widgets are extremely basic but, if you install the free widgets bundle, only then you will realise the true potential of it. You can also add WordPress widgets on any SiteOrigin page.
If you upgrade to SiteOrigin premium, you will get access to even more widgets and modules (although, the free ones should be more than enough for most people).
In total, you will get around 20 more widgets if you upgrade to the premium plan.
Good Layout Directory
The layouts directory of SiteOrigin contains premade web pages. It’s similar to importing theme demos. This speeds up the process of making a page.
Access the layouts library by clicking on the button as shown above. A popup window will open showing all the layouts that are available for you to import. You can also upload your own layout from the same popup.
In total, around 25 layouts are offered by SiteOrigin.
Site Speed is Not Affected Much
Pagebuilders tend to slow down sites and that in turn will hurt search rankings. But, this is not the case with SiteOrigin. SiteOrigin does not add much weight to the page which in turn means you will get pretty good performance.
Below I have compared the speed of my site with a test site with a SiteOrigin page. (I am using GeneratePress without any pagebuilder and both of the sites are on SiteGround).
As you can see from the above, SiteOrigin loads the site within 3 secs (as recommended by Google). So yeah! your site won’t have any slowdowns whatsoever with SiteOrigin.
SiteOrigin is free. But if you want to use some of their premium plugins, then you need to pay some amount. In addition to more widgets, you will get access to premium support. Some of the elements included with SiteOrigin premium are:
- Custom Post Type Builder
- Accordion Module
- Block animations
- Image overlays
- Mirror widgets
- Parallax sliders
- WooCommerce templates
- Ajax comments
- A web font selector
- …and much more
SiteOrigin premium costs $29/year and goes upto $99/year. The $29/year plan will enable to use the premium version on only one site. The $49/year plan increases that limit to 5 sites. The $99/year plan enables you too use it on unlimited sites.
They is much more affordable compared to other pagebuilders like Elementor or WPBakery.
Pros and Cons
Just like everything else, SiteOrigin also has some cons. Here are the pros and cons of it.
- It’s mostly free. If you pay, you will get access to around 25 more widgets and also priority support. They are much cheaper compared to it’s competitiors.
- You have a lot of pre-built templates which makes the work of building a page faster and easier.
- It does not slow down your site unlike its competitors.
- Some features that are available on other pagebuilders is not available on SiteOrigin.
- The frontend editor is glitchy.
- There is no live chat support.
SiteOrigin is one of the best pagebuilders out there. It’s fast and easy to use. The best part? It’s mostly free. Also, the premium subscription cost for the premium widgets is extremely cheap compared to it’s competitors. I would highly recommend SiteOrigin pagebuilder to anyone who is looking for a pagebuilder.
I hope that you liked this post. If you have any queries or suggestions, then let me know in the comments down below.