Elementor Pro Essential Plan: Changes and Reactions
Elementor, the leading website builder plugin for WordPress, has recently announced significant changes to its Elementor Pro Essential subscription plan. These changes, set to be implemented on December 4, 2023, will affect the features included in the plan. While some features will remain, more advanced capabilities will be moved to higher-priced tiers.
What’s Included in the Elementor Pro Essential Plan?
The Elementor Pro Essential plan will continue to offer the Theme Builder, access to 50+ Pro widgets, basic marketing tools, and the Form widget. These features are essential for creating a complete basic website. However, more professional capabilities such as the Popup Builder, e-commerce features like PayPal and Stripe buttons, the full WooCommerce Builder, and collaboration tools like Notes and the Role Manager will require an upgrade to the Advanced plan or higher.
Existing Subscribers and Other Plans
Existing Essential subscribers need not worry as they will be able to keep all current features. If you have a valid Elementor Pro Essential subscription, you can continue using your subscription with all the features currently available to you, at no additional cost. Upon expiration, you can also renew your subscription while retaining all the features in your plan. However, some new features released to higher plans will not be accessible with your current Pro subscription.
Reactions from the Community
The announcement of these changes has sparked various reactions from the Elementor community. Some concerned customers took to Twitter and the comments section of the announcement to seek reassurance that the features they paid for would still be accessible after the change. On the other hand, critics of Elementor used this opportunity to express their disapproval of the page builder.
Elementor’s Relationship with WordPress Core
Elementor has had a somewhat contentious relationship with the open-source WordPress project. The plugin has been marketed against WordPress core and has faced criticism regarding bloat and performance concerns. With WordPress introducing full-site editing capabilities in core, the future of page builders like Elementor has been called into question.
Elementor’s Pricing and Plans
Elementor has a history of making major changes to its pricing and plans while guaranteeing legacy pricing for current customers. This strategy aims to encourage customers to lock in their auto-renewals, ensuring a more predictable financial future for the company.
The Shift Towards Block-Based Editing
The WordPress ecosystem is moving towards a block-first approach, with default themes and plugins embracing blocks. This shift has led some to predict the eventual disappearance of non-block page builders like Elementor. As WordPress continues to develop its block editor, page builders will need to integrate well with blocks to remain relevant.
Matt Mullenweg’s Perspective
Matt Mullenweg, WordPress co-founder and Automattic CEO, indirectly referenced Elementor’s feature changes in its Essential tier. He suggested that non-Gutenberg site builders may need to raise their prices to maintain revenue churn as Gutenberg-based ones continue to evolve. Mullenweg emphasized the importance of page builders aligning with Gutenberg since its development began in 2017.
The Future of Page Builders
Elementor’s decision to reallocate features across pricing tiers reflects the evolving dynamics within the page builder landscape. As WordPress places a greater emphasis on block-based editing, page builders face the challenge of balancing innovation, user expectations, and business sustainability.
In conclusion, Elementor’s changes to its Pro Essential plan have sparked reactions from its community. While some concerns have been raised, existing subscribers will retain their current features. The shift towards block-based editing in WordPress core poses challenges for page builders, and their ability to adapt will determine their long-term viability in the evolving WordPress ecosystem.