Kadence Blocks and Elementor builder are two of the most popular tools to build and customize WordPress websites.
Let’s see what is the difference between them, what are their capabilities/limitations and which one is better for your next or existing website.
What is Kadence Blocks?
Kadence Blocks is a free and premium blocks plugin for WordPress. It’s based on the default Gutenberg Editor and provides powerful features and pre-made blocks to easily build new pages and websites.
Kadence Blocks is a part of KadenceWP, the company which was founded by Ben Ritner from Missoula, Montana. The company has been acquired by Liquid Web, but still operates independently.
What is Elementor?
Elementor is one of the most widely used and popular WordPress site builders. It has its own editor and a wide set of advanced options built on top of WordPress.
Elementor is owned by Elementor Ltd., a company which is based in Israel. It was founded by Yoni Luksenberg and Ariel Klikstein.
What’s the difference between Kadence Blocks and Elementor?
Both plugins offer the same core functionality – WordPress page and website building. However, the main difference is in the way you build and customize websites.
With Kadence Blocks you operate in the default WordPress editor, while with Elementor you have a separate editor and environment where you manage settings, templates and tools.
Number of users
The free version of the plugin is currently used by more than 300 K website owners and has a 4.8 rating from more than 140 reviews. The plugin is catching up as more users choose the native WordPress experience.
The free plugin has more than 5 Mln users and has a 4.7 rating based on more than 6,450 reviews. Elementor expanded really fast because it offered more capabilities than the default WordPress software.
Kadence Blocks is fully integrated with the native WordPress Gutenberg editor. It expands the default WordPress functionality and provides superior capabilities.
If you’re familiar with Gutenberg editor you should be pretty comfortable using Kadence Blocks plugin. It offers a set of predefined blocks that can be further customized in the right-hand panel.
Creating new layouts is simple – you add a block, adjust it right in the editor and move forward. You can add premade sections or even whole pages.
You might find it a bit difficult to see the end result, as the design in the editor doesn’t always look exactly the same as the one in the front end. You will have to open a new browser tab to see the final result.
Also, I’m not a big fan of Gutenberg editor in terms of ease of use and experience, and Kadence Blocks aims to fix that problem.
Elementor builder provides its own custom editor. You create a page/post and click on Edit with Elementor button. The editor loads in a new environment and provides its unique functionality.
The editor is based on a grid system where you can drag and drop predefined widgets. All the widgets and adjustment settings are available in the left-hand panel. You can also insert premade sections and pages.
Seeing the end result is a bit easier as you work in a front-end editor and the page should look the same when you open it in a new browser tab. It might look different though if you’re using a screen with a small resolution.
I think that Elementor wins when it comes to ease of use and editing experience.
The free version of Kadence Blocks is pretty capable by default. It offers multiple Gutenberg blocks and features like color and typography controls, spacing controls, configurable defaults, Design Library, etc.
Here is the list of free blocks:
- Advanced heading
- Advanced gallery
- Table of contents
- Info box
- Icon list
- Contact form
- Advanced button
- Lottie animations
- Google maps
- Advanced image
As you can see the list of blocks is quite exhaustive and you can build almost any kind of layouts with them. If not, you can always use the row block and some custom HTML and CSS to achieve the desired result.
The premium version gives you even more functionality and design options. Premium blocks and dynamic content are my favorite features. It’s totally worth upgrading for these options alone.
Also, Kadence theme + Kadence Blocks is a powerful combination, allowing you to adjust most of the elements of your website, including the header and footer (at no additional cost).
Read my Kadence theme review and Kadence Blocks review to find out more.
Elementor uses widgets instead of blocks, but the principle is the same. The free version of the plugin is limited to 31 widgets. Here they are:
Some vital features like header/footer builder, contact form, posts widget, etc. are not available by default.
To build a more capable website, you will definitely need the Elementor Pro version, which is packed with more features than Kadence Blocks Pro.
Elementor is way ahead of the default WordPress editor in terms of functionality. While it takes some time to learn, you will be able to adjust pretty much every element of your website.
If we mean performance, Kadence Blocks is the winner here. The plugin is performance oriented and only loads CSS and JS files when you need them. It also uses SVG icons for better loading times.
Kadence Blocks is integrated with the default WordPress editor, meaning that it’s not bloated with extra files and scripts.
The latest version of Kadence Blocks 3.0, has been further improved for performance. The team has modernized and rewritten the code of the plugin, making it even faster.
If website speed is one of your top priorities, then you should definitely consider Kadence Blocks.
Elementor wasn’t specifically built with performance in mind. Once you install it and start adding new functionality and design sections on your site, it will become slower. The plugin will load some extra CSS and JS files, making your site a bit “heavier”.
You have to make sure that you use reliable hosting and optimize your website (using performance plugins like SG Optimizer) for better page loading times. Alternatively, you can choose Elementor hosting, which is cloud-based and optimized for WordPress.
Keep in mind that WordPress page builders are usually more bloated and not focused on performance by default.
Google loves WordPress because it’s SEO friendly. So is the Kadence Blocks plugin, as it’s powered by the native WordPress editor.
Kadence Blocks works well with the most popular SEO plugins like Yoast, Rank Math, AIO, SEOPress, etc. Moreover, it provides built-in FAQ schema markup for the accordion block (you can enable or disable the markup).
Elementor integrates with 2 of the most popular SEO WordPress plugins – Yoast and Rank Math. If you have any of these plugins installed, you’ll be able to edit your SEO settings right inside the Elementor editor.
One of my favourite options in Kadence Blocks is Design Library. You can easily import sections, wireframes or full templates on your WordPress site.
The process is extremely simple and intuitive. Choose a design and import a single page or a whole website template in a few clicks. Easy!
With Kadence Blocks you get access to more than 80 free and premium starter templates for a wide variety of websites. The designs look modern, fresh and are mobile friendly.
Elementor also allows you to add predesigned blocks, pages and full website templates (called website kits). It currently offers more than 100 website templates.
Importing design elements is simple, just open the template Library in Elementor editor and choose the desired block, page or template.
Things get more complicated when you want to switch your website kit. There is no simple way to do it without messing up your existing design. In other words, it’s not easy to switch designs as in WordPress.
I also find the old design kits a bit outdated, but it’s a matter of preference.
Kadence Blocks doesn’t have a lot of integrations, but it should work well with widely used WordPress plugins.
Here are some initial major integrations:
- Tutor LMS
- Restrict Content Pro
- The Events Calendar
- Pods custom fields
These should be enough for most of the users, but if you need some really specific integrations you might want to consider Elementor.
Elementor on the other hand has plenty of integrations. The list is quite impressive:
- Campaign Monitor
- Adobe TypeKit
- Facebook SDK
- Font Awesome Pro
Most of them are available in the premium version, so it’s worth upgrading. As you can see Elementor is more capable if we consider integrations.
Kadence Blocks Pro is a good value for money. It starts at $89 / year for an unlimited number of sites. You get an introductory price for the 1st year = $69 / year.
With the premium version you get access to all premium blocks, premium Design Library, custom icons/fonts, dynamic content support and 1 year of updates and technical support.
The bundle deals are even more tempting and include the Kadence Theme Pro, all premium starter templates, Kadence Cloud, Kadence Conversions and many more.
Here are the plans:
|Kadence Blocks Pro||Essential Bundle||Full Bundle|
|Use on unlimited sites||Use on unlimited sites||Use on unlimited sites|
|1 year support and updates||1 year support and updates||1 year support and updates|
|30 day satisfaction guarantee||30 day satisfaction guarantee||30 day satisfaction guarantee|
|Pro blocks||Pro blocks||Kadence Theme Pro|
|Pro addons||Pro addons||Kadence Blocks Pro|
|Dynamic content||Dynamic content||Pro Starter Templates|
|Custom icons||Custom icons||Kadence Cloud|
|Custom fonts||Custom fonts||Kadence Shop Kit|
|Pro starter templates||Pro starter templates||Kadence AMP|
|Kadence Blocks Pro||Access to all themes and plugins|
|Pro Starter Templates||Access to all future products|
There is also a lifetime plan priced at $699 (one-time fee), you get everything for an unlimited period of time.
Elementor Pro provides a complete set of options to build, adjust and improve your website. Here are some examples of premium items:
- Over 100 free and premium widgets
- WooCommerce builder
- Popup builder
- Form builder
- Header/footer builder
- Marketing tools
- Motion effects
- Slides & carousels
- Custom CSS and HTML
- Sticky elements
- Dynamic content
- Custom fields
The price for the premium plugin starts at $59 per website. If you have multiple websites, you need to get a more advanced plan. Here are the existing pricing plans:
|$59 / year||$99 / year||$199 / year||$399 / year|
|For 1 Site||For 3 Sites||For 25 Sites||For 1,000 Sites|
|100+ Widgets||100+ Widgets||100+ Widgets||100+ Widgets|
|300+ Templates||300+ Templates||300+ Templates||300+ Templates|
|Theme Builder||Theme Builder||Theme Builder||Theme Builder|
|WooCommerce Builder||WooCommerce Builder||WooCommerce Builder||WooCommerce Builder|
|Popup Builder||Popup Builder||Popup Builder||Popup Builder|
|Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year|
|Updates for 1 Year||Updates for 1 Year||Updates for 1 Year||Support for 1 Year|
|100+ Website Kits||100+ Website Kits|
If you need a hosted solution, where hosting and Elementor Pro are bundled in one plan, it’s worth considering Elementor hosting which starts at $9.99 / month for the 1st year (billed annually).
Learn the difference between Elementor plugin and cloud hosting.
Kadence Blocks has the following support options:
- Online documentation
- Facebook group
- Community forums
- Ticket system (free and premium users)
Ben Ritner and his team are really helpful and transparent, and support is one of their top priorities. The community is active and there are lots of enthusiasts sharing tutorials and guides on Kadence Bloks.
Elementor provides multiple support options:
- Knowledge base
- Online chat
- Facebook group
- Elementor Academy
- Email ticket system
Since Elementor is used by a big community there are lots of online resources to learn from. As for premium support, doesn’t look like the in-house team is super effective (they only score 3.9 in Trustpilot).
In any case, it’s quite challenging to support so many customers for such a complex product.
Which one is best for you?
If website speed, SEO, design quality and support are your main priorities and you like working in the default WordPress editor then go for Kadence Blocks.
If you need more features and integrations (and aren’t crazy about site speed) and like the drag-and-drop editor provided by Elementor then go for it.