pagebuilder speed comparison

WordPress pagebuilders have become an integral part of the WordPress universe and since 2019, Gutenberg has been implementing a corresponding functionality in the WordPress Core.

There are heated discussions about pagebuilders all over the net. Opponents are critical of the massive effects on loading times and performance, as well as the "defacement" of code through excessive use of shortcodes, DIVs, etc. Over and over again

On the other hand, the proponents enjoy the freedom to build professional websites without in-depth html/css knowledge. Theoretically, even beginners are able to buy a theme that in 99% is based on a pagebuilder, install a demo, customize colors, fonts and content and publish a site that often looks better than what one or the other designer has created.

Please do not misunderstand. I also definitely see the negative sides of the pagebuilder theme and especially the use of ready-made themes. Especially when "specialists" "cough up" a website that consists of 30+ plugins, has loading times beyond good and evil and is then sold for a lot of money. But this is another topic that I will certainly cover in a separate article.

In today's article, however, I will devote myself to the probably most discussed topic, namely

Influence of pagebuilders

Now that I have started the fastWP Pagebuilder to create this nice headline 😎 I would like to explain in the first step how this test was done.

But before we start, one important piece of information

At the end of the article you can get exclusive bonus material for our test. Beside all the tested pagebuilders I have built a small WordPress theme myself and present you here the corresponding loading times. You can also download the "slim" WP Theme right now. CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE BONUS MATERIAL

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Overview & information about the test procedure

The idea for this test came to me several months ago and I was inspired by an article that was written in early 2018 ( https://pagely.com/blog/wordpress-page-builders/ )

For my tests I chose the most popular and most used pagebuilders from my point of view. These are:

  • Gutenberg
  • Elementor
  • WPBakery
  • Beaver Builder
  • Divi Builder (DIVI Theme)
  • Fusion Builder (Avada Theme)
  • Oxygen Builder

Some basic information about the selection

There are of course other pagebuilders besides these pagebuilders. Especially with SiteOrigin I have long considered whether I should include this one in the selection.

But I think that the above mentioned are now dominating the market so clearly and the SiteOrigin Pagebuilder is disappearing more and more.

If the Gutenberg would not be part of the WordPress Core, it would probably not be part of 🤭 due to ratings.

For Divi Builder I tested both the Standalone Builder and the Divi Theme. I admit this was also an interesting test for me personally as I have been suspecting for quite some time that a combination of Divi Builder and a "performance theme" like the Astra Theme or GeneratePress does not necessarily perform much better than the complete multipurpose theme Divi.

The Fusion Builder from the Avada Theme is the only pagebuilder that cannot be used as a "standalone" solution. But it is a fact that the Avada is probably the most used WordPress Theme worldwide.

The Oxygen Builder will probably not tell many people anything although it has been around for several years and is now even available in version 3. The Oxygen has had a rather shadowy existence until now. But with version 3 exactly this pagebuilder could cause a sensation in the WordPress world. More about this later.

The aim of this test was to check how the individual pagebuilders perform with an identically created page!

What were the basic requirements for the test and what were the technical specifications?

For our test I built an individual one-pager with the Gutenberg Editor (in the wise foresight that it would be most difficult for me to build an exact layout with this one).

This is quite simple and consists of different elements.

Afterwards I created 6 more WordPress pages, installed the corresponding pagebuilder (partly with extension - more about this later) and then recreated the basic design of the page created with the Gutenberg.

I tried to get as close as possible to the original.

It has to be said that of course the font color, or slightly different spacing or size of a button won't have any influence on the later performance evaluation, but on the one hand I wanted to avoid (possible) later discussions and on the other hand I also wanted to use this test to give an individual evaluation of the handling with the different builders.

Partly I had to familiarize myself very exactly with the functionality in order to reproduce one or the other area exactly.

So as a little "goodie" you can also get some information about how good or bad my impression of the individual pagebuilders was.

Here is the exact technical overview:

Hoster: Raidboxes
Starter package with 2GB RAM, 1 vCore, SSD
The server caching of raidboxes was deactivated
PHP version: 7.3
WordPress version: 5.3.2
WordPress Theme: Astra
Plugins: query monitor

Pagebuilder overview:

Gutenberg: Version 7.3.0, the plugin "Ultimate Add-Ons for Gutenberg" was installed as an add-on
Elementor: Version 2.8.5, as addon the extension Elementor Pro was installed
WPBakery: version 6.1.0
Beaver Builder: Version 2.3.1.1, as addon the extension Beaver Builder Plugin Pro was installed
DiviBuilder: version 4.2.2
Divi Theme: version 4.2.2
Fusion Builder / Avada: 6.1.2

Why have I installed some Premium Extensions?

As you can see I have installed the Premium versions of Gutenberg, Elementor and Beaver Builder. The reason is that I think that all pagebuilders should be used on the same level. In the basic version these 3 are equipped with far less functions than the competition which would have given them an advantage in a performance test. Including the extension I think that all test canidates offer similar conditions.

Pagebuilder overview:

For the performance measurements I tested each page with the following tools and functions:

GTmetrix loading time: complete loading time of the website
GTmetrix Page Size: Page size incl. images, scripts etc.
GTmetrix Requests: Number of queries to the database
Webpagetest.org loading time complete: complete loading time of the page
Webpagetest.org Start Render: the duration until the first visible element appears
Query Monitor load time: Page load time according to Query Monitor
Query Monitor Peak Memory Usage: Memory that is needed when all scripts, PHP etc. are running
Query Monitor Database Queries: Number of requests to the database that loads the page
Query Monitor Database Query Time: Duration for a query to the database
PageSpeed Insights Google (Lighthouse): Testing the site with Google Developer Console and Site Audit (mobile version)

Pagebuilder Performance Check 2020

So - with this the basic cornerstones should be sufficiently explained. Then we start our test 💪.

Gutenberg Performance Test

Gutenberg Pagebuilder

The Gutenberg is the official "Pagebuilder" which will replace the TinyMCE Editor with WordPress 5.0. The new "Block" editor has not really had an easy stand so far. Most users complain about bugs & missing features and...why do you have to remove the standard TinyMCE - it worked great so far.

Fact is, the Gutenberg Editor is in the year 2020 so no competition in terms of usability to its competitors. From my point of view, it is currently very well suited for posting simple blog articles.

But I would like to anticipate an important aspect right away - in terms of performance, Gutenberg sometimes clearly puts the competition in the back of the field.

This is what our Gutenberg page looks like:

Gutenberg GTmetrix data:

Gutenberg Webpagetest.org data:

web_gutenberg

charging time: 1.721 seconds

Gutenberg Webpagetest.org data:

Gutenberg Google PageSpeed Insights:

Overview Gutenberg Pagespeed / Performance Data

Gutenberg Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 84%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 86%
GTMetrix loading time 1.0sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 457KB
GTMetrix Requests 31
Webpagetest loading time full 1.721sec
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 0.600sek
Load time Query Monitor 0,12sec
peak memory usage 9,425kb
database queries 32
DB Queries Time 0,01168
Lighthouse Audit 87 / 92 / 71 / 85

Gutenberg Usability

In my opinion, the Gutenberg is currently in no way an alternative to existing pagebuilders. Blog articles and possibly simple pages can be implemented, but more complex structures are a real cramp. The functionality to build a complete page/subpage is so limited and not at all comparable to what the competitor offers. It is to be hoped that there will be a lot more to come in the next 1.2 years, because from a performance point of view the Gutenberg is top!

Elementor Performance Test

Elementor Pagebuilder

The Elementor Pagebuilder has risen to the absolute top pagebuilder in a very short time. According to WordPress, there are now > 5 million active installations, extremely good ratings and the range of functions in the free version of the Elementor is really outstanding. Regardless of our test results regarding the performance, we have to say that the Elementor is absolutely brilliant.

After a short training phase it is already clear how to operate basic functions and elements. The ability to select settings and functions via "right-click" is also extremely helpful. With the extensions, e.g. with the paid Elementor Pro Addon, "ingenious" layouts can be built with the Pagebuilder. The Pro version starts from 49$/year.

This is what our Elementor page looks like:

elementor-page

Elementor GTmetrix data:

GTmetrix details:

Elementor Webpagetest.org data:

charging time: 1.721 seconds

Gutenberg Webpagetest.org data:

Gutenberg Google PageSpeed Insights:

Overview Gutenberg Pagespeed / Performance Data

Gutenberg Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 84%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 86%
GTMetrix loading time 1.0sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 457KB
GTMetrix Requests 31
Webpagetest loading time full 1.721sec
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 0.600sek
Load time Query Monitor 0,12sec
peak memory usage 9,425kb
database queries 32
DB Queries Time 0,01168
Lighthouse Audit 87 / 92 / 71 / 85

Gutenberg Usability

In my opinion, the Gutenberg is currently in no way an alternative to existing pagebuilders. Blog articles and possibly simple pages can be implemented, but more complex structures are a real cramp. The functionality to build a complete page/subpage is so limited and not at all comparable to what the competitor offers. It is to be hoped that there will be a lot more to come in the next 1.2 years, because from a performance point of view the Gutenberg is top!

Elementor Performance Test

Elementor Pagebuilder

The Elementor Pagebuilder has risen to the absolute top pagebuilder in a very short time. According to WordPress, there are now > 5 million active installations, extremely good ratings and the range of functions in the free version of the Elementor is really outstanding. Regardless of our test results regarding the performance, we have to say that the Elementor is absolutely brilliant.

After a short training phase it is already clear how to operate basic functions and elements. The ability to select settings and functions via "right-click" is also extremely helpful. With the extensions, e.g. with the paid Elementor Pro Addon, "ingenious" layouts can be built with the Pagebuilder. The Pro version starts from 49$/year.

This is what our Elementor page looks like:

elementor-page

Elementor GTmetrix data:

GTmetrix details:

Elementor Webpagetest.org data:

charging time: 1.721 seconds

Elementor Query Monitor Overview:

Elementor Google PageSpeed Insights:

Elementor Google PageSpeed Insights:

Overview Elementor Pagespeed / Performance Data

Elementor Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 97%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 81%
GTMetrix loading time 1.1sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 541kb
GTMetrix Requests 47
Webpagetest loading time full 1.569sec
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 1.0sec
Load time Query Monitor 0,36sec
peak memory usage 18,276kb
database queries 81
DB Queries Time 0,02158
Lighthouse Audit 66 / 95 / 79 / 85
Yellowlabs B – 64/100

Elementor Usability

The Elementor Pagebuilder is not the current star in the pagebuilder scene for nothing. I think one of the main reasons is, besides the great and intuitive handling, also the extremely wide range of functions that the Free version already offers. The performance, at least in the backend is outstanding and in my opinion one of the best you can find in a pagebuilder. With the Pro Version you get brilliant options to create professional websites. You have to say it like it is - it's just really fun to work with the Elementor.

WPBakery Performance Test

WPBakery Pagebuilder

The WPBakery Pagebuilder is also one of the most used pagebuilders in the world. In particular, the WPBakery is used for all premium themes that can be purchased on platforms such as themeforest.

The final result is the WPBakyery from Visual Composer. Unfortunately the "separation" of the two builders did not work out very well and until today the users do not know where the difference is and why both pagebuilders went their separate ways at all. I admit openly that I did not go to 100% here either.

Fact is the WPBakery seems to be the builder that is currently used as the "skeleton" for all themes on themeforest. The WPBakery is only available as a paid premium version and costs 64$.

This is what our WPBakery page looks like:

wpbakery_page

WPBakery GTmetrix data:

WPBakery GTmetrix details:

WPBakery Webpagetest.org

charging time: 1.487 seconds

WPBakery Query Monitor Overview:

WPBakery Google PageSpeed Insights:

WPBakery Yellowlab.tools

Overview WPBakery Pagespeed / Performance data

WPBakery Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 97%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 84%
GTMetrix loading time 1.0sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 513kb
GTMetrix Requests 37
Webpagetest loading time full 1,487
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 1,1
Load time Query Monitor 0,27sec
peak memory usage 11,261kb
database queries 48
DB Queries Time 0,0154
Lighthouse Audit 90 / 96 / 79 / 85
Yellowlabs B – 78/100

WPBakery Usability

The WPBakery is the ultimate pagebuilder if you look at themeforest regarding premium themes. I think this is influenced by the license because frankly and honestly - I personally do not want to build a single page with this pagebuilder.

Regardless of the fact that I find it unbelievably confusing, I also noticed several negative points when creating our "page" - and we are not talking about a "complex page". Column duplication not possible, no real live view, no individual adjustments of headlines and fonts possible etc. etc. - from my personal point of view the wpBakery is massively worse than its competitors.

BeaverBuilder Performance Test

Beaver Builder Pagebuilder

A few years ago, I myself worked with Beaver Builder more often. But sometimes I found it difficult to use because I was looking for "functions" more than often. Meanwhile the Beaver Builder has become a bit of an "insider tip". That's what I call it now that it is not as present in the media as Divi or Elementor.

The Free Version is extremely slimmed down and frankly from my point of view not worth using. You can effectively build structures here - that's it. The Pro Version is available in different packages from 99$ to 399$.

This is what our BeaverBuilder page looks like:

beaverbuilder_page

BeaverBuilder GTmetrix data:

Beaver GTmetrix details:

BeaverBuilder Web Pages Test.org

charging time: 1.177 seconds

BeaverBuilder Query Monitor overview:

BeaverBuilder Google PageSpeed Insights:

BeaverBuilder Yellowlab.tools

Overview BeaverBuilder Pagespeed / Performance Data

BeaverBuilder Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 94%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 87%
GTMetrix loading time 1.1sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 341kb
GTMetrix Requests 31
Webpagetest loading time full 1,177
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 1.0sec
Load time Query Monitor 0,35sec
peak memory usage 15,720kb
database queries 64
DB Queries Time 0,0163
Lighthouse Audit 94 / 95 / 79 / 85
Yellowlabs A – 85/100

Beaver Builder Usability

As I wrote at the beginning, I have had some difficulties with the operation in the past. In my test I was honestly enthusiastic. Very intuitive and with the Pro Addon I see the Beaver Builder on the same level as the Elementor.

One thing really pissed me off on my test. If an element is opened, the Beaver needs such a short time to think about it until everything is loaded. If you click too fast, the loading process of the original module is aborted and you have to open it again. This happened to me quite often.

In terms of performance, you can already anticipate here - the Beaver has made the competition look pretty old.

Divi Builder Performance Test

Divi Builder Pagebuilder

The Divi Builder is developed by ElegantThemes who have been developing WordPress themes and plugins for many years. Personally I am a customer of the first hour and have worked with the themes of ElegantThemes even before the Divi existed.

The Divi Theme that follows in the test is the "flagship" of Elegantthemes. The Divi Builder is a standalone pagebuilder that can be used on WordPress pages without the Divi Theme. There are no free versions for both Builder and Theme and only the paid Premium versions available as a subscription from 89$ per year or as a lifetime license for 249$.

I admit frankly, I'm a fan of the Divi Builder. Especially the ingenious possibilities to customize almost every area of a page individually in the responsive section and the outstanding visual mode are great. Meanwhile I also admit that there are more and more problems that make me rethink or at least limit the use in future projects. Especially the topic performance is a headache for me.

Almost weekly updates of elegance themes are released, which of course also take their toll on performance.
Another point that especially affects Divi Builder is that it completely overwrites "styles" of plugins since quite some time. This means that I use a contact form and then have to adjust the CSS because Divi Builder sometimes simply overwrites it.

On request at Elegantthemes Support this is known and apparently also wanted. For me, the use of Divi Builder as a standalone solution is unfortunately declassifying more and more.

This is what our Divi Builder page looks like:

divibuilder_page

Divi Builder GTmetrix data:

Divi Builder GTmetrix details:

Divi Builder Webpagetest.org

charging time: 1.817 seconds

Divi Builder Query Monitor overview:

Divi Builder Google PageSpeed Insights:

Divi Builder Yellowlab.tools

Overview Divi Builder Pagespeed / Performance data

Divi Builder Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 82%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 84%
GTMetrix loading time 1.1sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 711kb
GTMetrix Requests 40
Webpagetest loading time full 1,817
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 1.2sec
Load time Query Monitor 0,31sec
peak memory usage 29,017
database queries 48
DB Queries Time 0,0134
Lighthouse Audit 76 / 96 / 79 / 85
Yellowlabs B – 61/100

Divi Builder Usability

I have to say directly that I am influenced by the intensive use of Divi Builder. Many users who start working with Divi find it confusing, overloaded and difficult to use without weeks of training. I have already worked with the Builder in the first version and therefore know it very well. On this basis in the Divi Builder for me the best pagebuilder of all. If you know you can actually adapt. I am also of the opinion that the Divi offers far more options in terms of layout and design than all other builders. Correct me gladly. 😀

After a certain training period, I have now completely switched to the visual Frontend Builder - I had a little trouble here at the beginning.

With no other pagebuilder I am so fast in creating and individualizing websites. Now that the option to create my own header and footer templates has finally been created, I was completely satisfied.

But it is also a fact that the Divi has the biggest performance problems in the frontend as well as in the backend when building pages. The basic requirement is a top computer, because otherwise you can hardly work fluently. What I also have to mention negatively is that there are bugs from time to time and that also quite often after one of the many regular updates.

The biggest shortcoming for me personally is the already mentioned aspect that Divi Builder cheekily overwrites all styles of other modules and plugins. In my current work I have massive problems with the form plugin Formcraft as well as the directory plugin geodirectory because with the used pagebuilder the CSS is partially overwritten and you have to rework some things to display everything as desired. These problems exist as far as I know ONLY with the Divi Builder.

Divi Theme Performance Test

Divi Theme

Due to the popularity of the Divi theme and the Divi pagebuilder I decided to list the Divi theme (and here the Avada) separately in this test. The Divi Theme is a multipurpose theme with extensive settings + Divi Pagebuilder integrated.

The pagebuilder works in this context then also 100% just as well whether used as standalone or in the Divi Theme. The Divi Theme offers similar to Avada, Astra and Co extremely many setting and configuration options.

During our test I was very interested to see if the very "heavyweight" Divi Theme had noticeable differences to the test version Astra + Divi Builder.

This is what our Divi Theme page looks like:

divibuilder_page

Divi Theme GTmetrix data:

Divi Theme GTmetrix details:

Divi Theme Webpagetest.org

charging time: 1.842 seconds

Divi Theme Query Monitor overview:

Divi Theme Google PageSpeed Insights:

Divi Theme Yellowlab.tools

Overview Divi Theme Pagespeed / Performance Data

Divi Theme Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 80%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 83%
GTMetrix loading time 1.1sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 740kb
GTMetrix Requests 43
Webpagetest loading time full 1,842
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 1.2sec
Load time Query Monitor 0,30sec
peak memory usage 28,300kb
database queries 49
DB Queries Time 0,0137
Lighthouse Audit 83 / 85 / 79 / 85
Yellowlabs B – 65/100

Divi Theme Usability

I have already written a lot about the actual Divi Builder. The Divi Theme basically offers as expected from a Multipurpose Theme extremely extensive setting and configuration options. I admit that I have to search longer for different options every now and then. Here I find our following candidate, the Avada, much better.

Avada Performance Test

Avada Theme

The Avada Theme is probably the most frequently used multipurpose theme in the world and is distributed exclusively via Envato - Themeforest by the provider ThemeFusion. Unbelievable 573,000 sales and almost 23000 reviews are already impressive. The Avada comes with its own Fusion Pagebuilder which only works with the Avada and cannot be used on other themes.

I myself was a fan of the Avada for a few years and used this as an alternative to the Divi. The pagebuilder is intuitive, the design options are endless and above all the demos have always been "impressive". Personally I have deviated to 100% from this theme for 2 reasons. 1. the performance - to anticipate "that's not possible". Even though ThemeFusion has improved a lot here lately, it is still beyond good and evil.

Although the Avada offers more options here to disable individually unused elements, the theme runs noticeably worse than the Divi. The 2nd reason was the visual frontbuilder. Maybe I didn't really give it a chance anymore, but I personally find it extremely bad and illogical.
By the way, for our test I disabled a lot of unused elements via the settings. Otherwise the following test would have been even worse.

This is what our Avada page looks like:

avada_page

Avada GTmetrix data:

Avada GTmetrix details:

Avada Web Pages Test.org

charging time: 2.705 seconds

Avada Query Monitor Overview:

Avada Google PageSpeed Insights:

Avada Yellowlab.tools

Overview Avada Pagespeed / Performance Data

Avada Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 72%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 82%
GTMetrix loading time 1.2sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 846kb
GTMetrix Requests 95
Webpagetest loading time full 2.705sec
Webpagetest Speed Start Render one and a half seconds
Load time Query Monitor 0.5sec
peak memory usage 15,148kb
database queries 73
DB Queries Time 0,0185
Lighthouse Audit 69 / 92 / 71 / 85
Yellowlabs C – 57/100

Avada Theme Usability

.... would not be the thing with the performance 😩

The Avada is really a great theme in terms of usability. The Fusion Pagebuilder is (at least) ingenious in the backend. Once integrated, pages can be created and extended extremely fast. Concerning design and functions one is literally slain. In contrast to the Divi, I find the display and presentation of the theme settings much better - especially because of the integrated search.

What I miss in Fusion Builder is the individual control of fonts in the individual elements. I don't understand why this is not on par with the competition. Concerning the visual Frontend Builder I already mentioned at the beginning that it doesn't work at all from my point of view. Some people might see it differently but I can't handle it at all.

It should also be mentioned that in the past there have been some major problems with major updates. Also we had to do a lot of work on some customer projects to bring old Avada versions up to date.

In the end, you just have to see the worst performance ever. The fact that pagebuilders and multipurpose themes don't necessarily make a Porsche out of your website is clear, but the loading times and the performance that an Avada demands from your server is already intense and in my opinion is out of proportion - especially because the competition shows that it works better.

Oxygen Builder Performance Test

Oxygen Builder

The last in the bunch of our big Pagebuilder Performance Test is honestly the candidate I was most looking forward to. Especially since I haven't been working with this one for so long. Soon there will be an extensive test here on fastWP. The Oxygen Builder is now available in version 3. I tested version 1 a few years ago but decided against using it any more because there were just too many problems. Be it because of the UX, bugs, performance etc.

With version 3, let's face it, Soflyy (the company behind the Oxygen) has released a version that could become a serious competitor in the pagebuilder market. I don't want to go into too much detail at this point. Basically Oxygen Builder is much more than a standard pagebuilder - it's more of a complete framework paired with a pagebuilder.

The target group is at least for the moment also rather "experienced" web designers and developers. The reason for this is surely the complexity of Oxygen which theoretically reaches 99% of all areas of the website and makes it configurable. But in today's test we put special emphasis on the performance and it was brilliant!

This is what our oxygen side looks like:

oxy_page

Oxygen GTmetrix data:

Oxygen GTmetrix details:

Oxygen Webpagetest.org

Oxygen Query Monitor Overview:

Oxygen Google PageSpeed Insights:

Oxygen Yellowlab.tools

Overview Oxygen Pagespeed / Performance Data

Oxygen Data:
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 93%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 89%
GTMetrix loading time 0.6sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 403kb
GTMetrix Requests 23
Webpagetest loading time full 1,155
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 0.6sec
Load time Query Monitor 0,14
peak memory usage 12,019kb
database queries 39
DB Queries Time 0,0162
Lighthouse Audit 97 / 92 / 79 / 83
Yellowlabs A – 91/100

oxygen usability

Unlike its 2 predecessors, Oxygen V3 is much more ingenious in terms of UX and features. Regarding the many reviews you can find on the net, I have to say that the construction of our test site went pretty fast. For some points I have searched in vain for possible settings but it should be mentioned that Oxygen Builder is (also) aimed at pure developers who are able to code a theme by hand. The Oxygen should simplify processes and work massively, but it should still be possible to change and adapt almost every part of the page individually without moving within the "limits" of a page builder.

The Oxygen is very comprehensive in terms of the functions that the Builder offers by default, but it is not comparable to a Divi or an Elementor. But I think that with version 3 they have created a product that finally attracts "attention" in the WordPress scene - at least that's the impression you get here since the Oxygen is already being discussed very actively.

From my point of view it is important that the developers take the next step quickly. There are a lot of construction sites that need to be tackled, and that can probably only be done by making the whole project "bigger".

That is my great hope, in any case.

Clean code, great performance and 99%ige freedom in development is great for various projects. I think there are still pages and projects that I would do with another pagebuilder, simply because it gives better results faster. Within a customer budget you just have to make such decisions.

For complex projects or even for sites where there is simply a budget available, the Oxygen is certainly an ingenious solution and I look forward to future work here.

Evaluation of our performance test

Best values

Highest Gtmetrix PageSpeed score: Elmentor & WPBakery with 97%

Best Gtmetrix Yslow score: Oxygenbuilder with 89%

Best Gtmetrix loading time: Oxygenbuilder with 0,6sec

Smallest Gtmetrix page size: BeaverBuilder with 341kb

Lowest number of requests Gtmetrix: Oxygenbuilder with 23

Best loading time at Webpagetest.org: Oxygenbuilder with 1,155sec

Fastest Start Render Webpagetest.org: Gutenberg & Oxygenbuilder with 0,6sec

Best load time Query Monitor: Gutenberg with 0,12sec

Lowest peak memory usage: Gutenberg with 9,425kb

Fewest database queries: Gutenberg with 32

Lowest database query time: 0.01168 Gutenberg

Best Lighthouse data: Beaver Builder with 94/95/79/85 points

Best YellowLabs data: OxygenBuilder with 91/100 points

Worst values

Lowest Gtmetrix PageSpeed score: Avada with 72%

Lowest Gtmetrix Yslow score: Elementor with 81%

Slowest Gtmetrix loading time: Avada with 1,2sec

Largest Gtmetrix page size: Avada with 846kb

Highest number of requests Gtmetrix: Avada with 95

Slowest loading time at Webpagetest.org: Avada with 2.705sec

Latest Start Render Webpagetest.org: Avada with 1,5sec

Slowest load time Query Monitor: Avada with 0,5sec

Highest peak memory usage: Divi Builder (+Astra Theme) with 29,017kb

Highest number of database queries: Elementor with 81

Highest database query time: Elementor with 0.02158sec

Worst Lighthouse data: Avada with 69/92/71/85 points

Worst Yellowlabs data: Avada with 57/100 points

Here is the general overview as a table

Info

The table can be easily scrolled sideways.

Gutenberg Elementor WPBakery Beaver Divi Builder Divi Theme Avada Oxygen Builder
Gtmetrix PageSpeed Score 84% 97% 97% 94% 82% 80% 72% 93%
GTMetrix Yslow Score 86% 81% 84% 87% 84% 83% 82% 89%
GTMetrix loading time 1.0sec 1.1sec 1.0sec 1.1sec 1.1sec 1.1sec 1.2sec 0.6sec
Gtmetrix PageSize 457KB 541kb 513kb 341kb 711kb 740kb 846kb 403kb
GTMetrix Requests 31 47 37 31 40 43 95 23
Webpagetest loading time full 1.721sec 1.569sec 1.487sec 1.177sec 1.817sec 1.842sec 2.705sec 1.155sec
Webpagetest Speed Start Render 0.6sec 1.0sec 1.1sec 1.0sec 1.2sec 1.2sec one and a half seconds 0.6sec
Load time Query Monitor 0,12sec 0,36sec 0,27sec 0,35sec 0,31sec 0,30sec 0.5sec 0,14sec
peak memory usage 9,425kb 18,276kb 11,261kb 15,720kb 29,017kb 28,300kb 15,148kb 12,019kb
database queries 32 81 48 64 48 49 73 39
DB Queries Time 0,01168 0,02158 0,0154 0,0163 0,0134 0,0137 0,0185 0,0162
Lighthouse Audit 87 / 92 / 71 / 85 66 / 95 / 79 / 85 90 / 96 / 79 / 85 94 / 95 / 79 / 85 76 / 96 / 79 / 85 83 / 85 / 79 / 85 69 / 92 / 71 / 85 97 / 92 / 79 / 83
Yellowlabs (Test was performed afterwards) no values 64 / 100 78 / 100 85 / 100 61 / 100 65 / 100 57 / 100 91 / 100

Conclusion Performance Test Pagebuilder

I don't want to send the readers who have stuck it out up to here "home" with a novel any more. Here are some short remarks that came into my head during this test:

  1. The Oxygen Builder is absolutely impressive regarding the performance! Surely it is not to 100% with an Elementor or Divi Builder to compare regarding the options and possibilities with the page construction - but on the one hand it offers nevertheless extremely many functions which also the competition offers and on the other hand it contains additionally even more possibilities to arrange and adapt a WordPress page individually.
  2. The WPBakery surprised me positively. It doesn't stand out anywhere, but it is consistently at the top of the overall data comparison and, in my opinion at least, provides surprisingly good data.
  3. The BeaverBuilder is my personal favorite next to the Oxygenbuilder and has impressed me extremely. Concerning the performance he declassifies Elementor, Divi and Avada. Concerning usability I was extremely positively surprised by the possibilities and the simplicity. I admit - for future projects where a pagebuilder is used I will probably rather use the BeaverBuilder than the Divi.
  4. The Divi Theme as well as the Divi Builder are from my personal point of view ingenious pagebuilders. But I admit that this test makes it clear that the extremely extensive functionality is at the expense of performance, you have to realize that we are talking about the basic framework - if you add e-commerce or other more complex functions, a site can quickly reach its limit and if I am "performance hungry" like a Divi, I will miss this performance in the end.
  5. Divi Builder + Astra Theme is not really much more effective or performant than the Divi theme directly. I had suspected it for a while, this test has now confirmed it.
  6. The Gutenberg is quite strong in terms of performance. Interesting is that despite the partly great data concerning requests, page size, database queries etc. it only occupies a place in the back middle field during the actual loading time. With 1.721sec the Gutenberg is only slightly ahead of the Divi Theme.
  7. The Elemental as a current star in the pagebuilder scene is a little bit disappointing from my point of view. He is not really bad now, but he is not really good either. Frighteningly high is the number of database queries where the elementor is with 81 extremely high. The elementor was also the highest in the database query time with 0.02158 sec. You have to be aware that such data can have a noticeable (negative) influence on larger pages. At least it should be mentioned that the Elementor is not a Porsche among the pagebuilders - sometimes I have the feeling that it is a bit "hyped" and at least our test shows that it is in the middle of the performance range. Click here for the detailed Elementor test report.
  8. Last but not least - the Avada - I don't want to be unfair here, but the bare facts speak absolutely against the Avada from a performance point of view: The Avada is not only slightly worse than the competition in our test in terms of loading time, but unfortunately more than clearly. For me personally, the loading time of webpagetest.org is the most important value and here the Avada is simply almost ONE SECOND higher than the competition. I would like to mention again that I even disabled some features of the theme.

    This alone saved almost 20 requests - so you can imagine where the Avada moves without optimization. From my point of view this can't be and probably doesn't have to be. The Divi Theme is certainly not a "performance monster" - but it shows that it can do much better. It would be interesting why the Avada is on such a bad "level". Maybe one or the other of you has some information or ideas here.

    As a user, I have to be aware that if my theme requires so many resources for a single call that sites with much more traffic place extremely high demands on the server - the rule will be that such avada sites will go down hard - even if only 10 people are on the site at the same time.

This brings me to the end of my Pagebuilder Performance Test. I hope the information was interesting for you.
I would like to try to include 3 or 4 more pagebuilders in this test. The Visual Composer, the Brizzy, the Thrive Architect and possibly the Siteorgin Builder.
I make that a little bit dependent on how this article is "accepted" here. Feel free to write your opinion in the comments here.

Cool infographics for the Pagebuilder Test

If you are interested, you can publish the following 2 infographics on your own pages or social accounts.

Last but not least, here is a small content upgrade for all those who still haven't had enough 😁

Bonus material

Our newsletter subscribers are very important to us and we invest a lot of time and energy to provide additional value to our subscribers.

For this reason I have created a "Content Upgrade" for this article in which you will find an additional test - namely with a bootstrap-based theme created by me which looks exactly like our other candidates.

In the Content Upgrade you will find the following information:

  • short info about the WordPress Theme I created
  • Performance data & screenshots for the theme
  • short feedback
  • Download link to download the theme

Does that sound interesting?

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About Christian

ChristianMy name is Christian and I am co-founder of the platform fastWP. Here in the magazine I am responsible for the more "technical" topics but I like to write about SEO, which has been my passion for over 10 years now.

20 thoughts on “Pagebuilder Performance Check 2020”

  1. Avatar

    WOW, I really have to say, there's a lot of work in it, I've just skimmed the article on my mobile phone and will read it again at home right now, but cool!

  2. Avatar

    I am frankly extremely shocked about the Avada. I've been using it from time to time for years, but the difference is quite significant 😱

  3. Avatar

    What's with all these tests? People buy you a book about html/css and then create your pages completely without a pagebuilder! These things are junk!

  4. Avatar

    Thanks for the test, interesting would be a test without page images, once a pure WordPress with Classic Editor and once a pure HTML page without CMS. Then the test had even more significance.

  5. Avatar

    First of all, congratulations on the effort that has been made here. There is a lot of work in this article, respect. Also, the framework conditions have been chosen to be relevant for a large number of users. So there is nothing to grumble about. And the comparatively small number of professionals can get along without a builder anyway, if it can be done. But that is not what this blog post is about.

    It's amazing how average the Gutenberg Editor performs. From the point of view of WordPress this should not be the case. I personally miss the Page Builder from SiteOrigin and of course the Themify Builder. Unlike the u̶n̶s̶ä̶g̶l̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶g̶r̶o̶t̶t̶i̶g̶e̶, both of which are very popular Visual Composers, they don't have to close the database and, according to Chrome, load much leaner and better performing.

    1. Christian

      @Elias, yellowlab.tools is very cool, I did not know it until now, thank you very much for that.
      So I still have all the pages as templates and can take you live again. I'll see if I can still deliver the data.

      1. Avatar

        @Christian: That would be great, thanks. Also really cool would be the possibility to subscribe to the comments if / when someone else has commented. I only came across the post again by chance. 😉

  6. Christian

    Except for the Gutenberg, I was able to create all the themes again and added the Yellowlabs data here. Have fun reading 🙂

      1. Christian

        Unfortunately I don't have the backup to the Gutenberg anymore. is currently just a question of time. but I'll try to deliver it later.

  7. Avatar

    Hello, Christian,
    Respect and thanks for the great work. Such tests always take a lot of time. Very good is also that you used the premium versions.

    If you will repeat this test, I would like to ask you to test the pagebuilder of Themify. From my experience I think it might surprise you at some point.

  8. Avatar

    Great test. Thanks for the article. A very resource-saving pagebuilder is also the one from SiteOrigins.
    I personally like to use it in combination with the themes of Kadence.

    1. Christian

      Yes, I have also read about the Builder from SiteOrigin. At the beginning I had thought about whether to include it but then I decided against it because I had the feeling that it is not so common anymore - maybe it was a wrong assessment.

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  10. Avatar

    Thanks for the great article. It helped me to decide against the Avada Theme even though I was about to buy it 🙂

    One question: The Astra theme seems to be good in terms of performance. Do you have any experience with the theme. The creators advertise a good compatibility with Elementor and Beaver-Builder.
    The combination Astra-Theme + Page Builder would be my current favorite solution. Or do you have something against it?

    Thanks and best regards Dirk

  11. Avatar

    My respect for this wonderful work. I recently set up a site with Pagebuilder and yesterday another site I'm experimenting with WP Bakery was bugging me. I was worried that Bakery was junk. This article has calmed me down a bit.
    But back to the author. Rarely do you find such a good overview for a yes yet not mega mass topic.
    Thank you very much for that.

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