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Trying to decide between Divi vs Elementor as the visual builder for your WordPress site?

When it comes to features and design flexibility, these are two of the top page/theme builders out there, and both let you create stunning websites without writing a single line of code. However, we’re not here to weigh in on their design merits. Instead, we’re focused on another important comparison – Divi vs Elementor performance.

Put simply, is Divi or Elementor better at helping you create a quick-loading WordPress site? After all, having a great-looking website is only half the battle – you also need it to load fast to offer a better user experience, improve your conversion rates, and maximize your SEO rankings.

To help you answer that question, we’re going to run some hands-on performance tests using Divi and Elementor. We’ll put each tool through several tests and try to compare their speed on a one-to-one basis.

Then, we’ll also run over a few other comparison points and then end with some tips for how you can speed up both plugins and cut your load times in half.

Note – we originally published this comparison in January 2021. However, both Divi and Elementor have focused a lot of development work on improving their performance to account for Google’s Page Experience update.

As a result, both builders have done a great job at reducing their “weight” and speeding up load times, which is why we completely reran our tests and fully updated this post in November 2021.

How We’re Testing Divi vs Elementor Speed

There are a lot of variables when it comes to testing Divi vs Elementor in terms of site speed. For that reason, before we get to the actual data, we think it’s useful first to set up how we’re running the tests.

In total, we’re going to test each tool in four different scenarios. Why four? Because we think this gives us the best chance to capture those variables and help you understand how Divi and Elementor compare in terms of performance.

Scenario #1

In the first scenario, we’ll enable each plugin on our site and then create a basic design with just a single line of text. The idea is to see each plugin’s basic “weight” even before adding any widgets/modules.

Both Elementor and Divi have emphasized avoiding unnecessary loading assets in their 2021 updates, so these pages should hopefully be pretty lightweight.

Scenario #2

In the second scenario, we’ll add some real content using modules/widgets. This is the tricky part because each tool has a different set of content elements.

To try to keep things as fair as possible, we’ll use equivalent widgets on each builder. If you’re curious, here’s what we’ll add:

  • Accordion (two sections)
  • Button
  • Number counter
  • Contact form
  • Pricing table (one plan)

No WP Rocket vs WP Rocket

For each of the two scenarios above, we’ll run two sets of tests:

In WP Rocket 3.9, we released some new features and enhancements that can do an especially great job of optimizing the CSS and JavaScript that page builders generate:

You’ll see it in the data below, but these features, along with WP Rocket’s caching and other optimization features, can make big improvements to both Elementor and Divi. 

Other Housekeeping Details

A few more housekeeping details before we show you the data!

First off, there are the page builder configurations themselves. We’ll be testing:

  • Elementor (version 3.4.7)  + Elementor Pro (version 3.4.2), inheriting styles from our theme (rather than using Elementor’s built-in styles). Because you need Elementor Pro to match Divi’s features, we think it’s only fair to have it installed.
  • Divi Builder plugin version (version 4.12). While many people use the Divi theme, we think it’s only fair to compare plugin vs plugin as the starting foundation wouldn’t be equal otherwise. If you want to use the theme, you can check out our analysis of Divi theme performance.

We also enabled Elementor’s speed experiments (Optimized DOM Output, Improved Asset Loading, and Improved CSS Loading), which we recommend doing if you’re building a fresh site with Elementor. You can enable these by going to Elementor → Settings → Experiments. These are still technically alpha/beta features when we’re writing this post, but you shouldn’t have any issues using them on a fresh site.

Beyond that, our test site is:

And to collect the performance data, we’ll use WebPageTest with the following configuration:

  • Test as an iPhone 8 – because Google has moved to a mobile-first index, we’re going to focus on mobile performance results.
  • Use a throttled LTE connection (12 Mbps, 70 ms RTT) – in the real world, load times would likely be faster if a user is connected to Wifi.
  • Run nine separate tests and take the median value to eliminate single-test variability.

For reference, before installing either page builder or WP Rocket, our test site had the following details:

  • 0.283 s time to first byte
  • 0.444 s median Largest Contentful Paint.
  • 0.586 s median fully loaded time
  • 7 HTTP requests
  • 28 KB file size

Divi vs Elementor Performance Compared

Now, let’s get to the data!

Scenario #1: Just Text

This first test is when we just added a single line of text using each builder’s text widget. The page is super basic – again, this is just to get a kind of “baseline weight” for each tool. This is what the page looks like:

Just some text
Just some text

Here’s the data when using just the page builder plugins (no WP Rocket):

LCPTTFBHTTP RequestsFile Size
Elementor0.707 s0.318 s24146 KB
Divi0.681 s0.328 s11130 KB

You can see that there’s very little difference between the two now.

If you use WP Rocket to implement caching and optimize the CSS and JavaScript, you’ll see that the two are still pretty much equal. However, WP Rocket can greatly reduce the page size and cut both builders’ Largest Contentful Paint times in half.

LCPTTFBHTTP RequestsFile Size
Elementor + WP Rocket 🚀0.306 s0.260 s520 KB
Divi + WP Rocket 🚀0.303 s0.253 s419 KB

Scenario #2: Content Page

Now, let’s run a test after adding some content. Again, here’s what we added with each builder:

  • Accordion (two sections)
  • Button
  • Number counter
  • Contact form
  • Testimonial
  • Pricing table (one plan)

Here’s what the Elementor version looks like:

Elementor with some content
Elementor with some content

And here’s what that looks like on Divi:

Divi with some content
Divi with some content

We doubt either page will win any design awards, but the two are virtually identical in terms of the modules that we used.

Here’s the data when using just the page builder plugins (no WP Rocket):

LCPTTFBHTTP RequestsFile Size
Elementor1.034 s0.342 s28158 KB
Divi0.768 s0.377 s14149 KB

Again, you can see the same basic trend as the previous test page, though Divi Builder’s Largest Contentful Pain time was better than Elementor’s in this round.

However, when optimizing both pages with WP Rocket, you can see the same big drop in file size on both pages. What’s more, the Largest Contentful Paint times were pretty much identical with WP Rocket. 

The Elementor drop is especially notable as the LCP time with WP Rocket was ~one-third of the time without WP Rocket:

LCPTTFBHTTP RequestsFile Size
Elementor + WP Rocket 🚀0.373 s0.248 s523 KB
Divi + WP Rocket 🚀0.377 s0.262 s530 KB

Conclusions: Is Elementor Faster Than Divi?

When we first wrote this post and ran our tests in January 2021, Elementor had a slight edge over Divi in terms of performance.

However, things have shifted as a result of the August 2021 Divi 4.10 release, which made huge improvements to Divi’s frontend performance.

Now, Divi is much better about only loading the minimum resources needed for each design, which results in much lighter page size.

Elementor is also experimenting with this type of dynamic asset loading/optimization, which we did enable in Elementor via Elementor’s speed experiments.

So what are the results of those improvements? Well, we can draw three conclusions:

First conclusion – both Elementor and Divi have made big performance improvements in 2021, which is great to see. Both plugins are significantly lighter than they were in January 2021.

To help you see the difference, here are the unoptimized file sizes of the basic text page from our January 2021 tests and our November 2021 tests:

Elementor (Jan 2021)Elementor (Nov 2021)Divi (Jan 2021)Divi (Nov 2021)
Page Size273 KB146 KB376 KB130 KB

Overall, both plugins deserve credit for eliminating bloat and reducing page sizes.

Second conclusion – it’s hard to pinpoint a meaningful performance difference between Elementor vs Divi in November 2021.

Both builders now have pretty much the same file sizes for equivalent pages. Divi Builder was a tiny bit smaller and had a slightly better Largest Contentful Paint time on the content page. Overall, it’s tough to say there’s any notable performance difference.

Third conclusion – WP Rocket can make big improvements to both page builders, especially thanks to WP Rocket features that let you remove unused CSS on a page-by-page basis and delay JavaScript execution.

While Elementor and Divi have both gotten better about only loading the resources needed for each design, there are still many scripts/code that can be removed or delayed.

With these features, WP Rocket was able to shrink the page size of both builders from ~150 KB down to just ~25 KB.

More importantly, these performance improvements also hugely affected the Largest Contentful Paint times in all of the tests. 

For example, in the content page test, WP Rocket cut Elementor’s Largest Contentful Paint time from 1.034 seconds to just 0.373 seconds and Divi’s time from 0.768 seconds to just 0.377 seconds.

Choosing Between Divi vs Elementor: Key Features, SEO, and Price

While we think performance is one of the most important considerations when building WordPress sites, it’s not the only one. Here’s a quick rundown of some other important differences before we finish this post.

Divi vs Elementor Key Features

Earlier, we said that this wasn’t so much a post about features but more about performance. However, here’s a quick recap of the high-level feature similarities and differences.

Here’s what’s the same between both tools:

  • Visual, drag-and-drop interface
  • Inline text editing
  • Very detailed style/design options – both are probably the top-two page builders when it comes to design flexibility
  • Full theme building support
  • Support for dynamic content (including custom fields)
  • WooCommerce support for theme building
  • Vibrant third-party extension marketplaces, though Elementor’s is larger
  • Pre-built template libraries, though Divi’s template library is larger

And here are some of the high-level differences:

  • Elementor Pro includes a built-in Popup Builder, and Divi doesn’t (though you can use third-party tools to add popup building to Divi)
  • Divi comes in both a theme and a plugin version. Elementor does offer its own Hello theme, though.
  • Divi offers built-in A/B testing to optimize your designs (though you can A/B test Elementor with third-party plugins/tools)
  • Divi offers frontend and backend editing while Elementor only offers frontend editing – some people like having the backend option in certain situations.

Are Divi and Elementor Good for SEO?

In terms of the SEO implications between Divi and Elementor, you won’t notice much difference. Both tools will still let you control SEO settings via popular SEO plugins, and both load quickly enough that you won’t have any problems with page load times and SEO.

There are some convenience differences. For example, Yoast SEO has a feature that lets you view/edit the Yoast SEO settings/analysis from inside the Elementor interface. This doesn’t change the features (which you could use with Elementor before) – it just makes it more convenient since you no longer need to go back to the regular editor to control Yoast SEO settings in Elementor.

Overall, though, you can rank WordPress sites built with Divi, and you can also rank sites built with Elementor, so you shouldn’t worry either way. There are far more significant factors for WordPress SEO than the page builder plugin that you choose.

How much do Elementor and Divi Cost?

Elementor is the only option that offers a free version, which instantly makes it a better option if you’re on a zero budget. Even with the free version, it’s still surprisingly flexible.

In terms of comparing Elementor Pro vs Divi pricing (via the Elegant Themes membership):

  • Elementor Pro is more affordable if you only need to use it on a single site. It starts at just $49.
  • Divi is more affordable if you need to use it on multiple sites. For $89, you get to use it on unlimited websites. Elementor Pro’s $99 plan only allows use on three sites, and higher site limits can run up to $999 for use on up to 1,000 sites.

Additionally, Divi offers a lifetime license, while Elementor Pro only comes in one-year licenses. For a one-time $249 payment, you get lifetime support/updates to use Divi on unlimited sites, which is tough to beat from a value perspective.

How to Speed Up Elementor And Divi

Thanks to a number of performance improvements in 2021, Elementor and Divi have gotten much faster in their default states. Both are significantly “leaner”, and both do a better job of only loading assets where they’re needed.

However, you can still make both plugins even faster by implementing other WordPress performance best practices.

For the easiest way to speed up Divi and Elementor, you can use WP Rocket. As you saw in the test data, WP Rocket can make huge improvements no matter if you’re using Elementor or Divi.

WP Rocket’s new features are focused on improving Core Web Vitals and are especially helpful for optimizing both Divi and Elementor, as they let you remove or delay unneeded CSS and JavaScript.

To recap, here’s the data from before and after implementing WP Rocket in both test scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Just Text

LCPTTFBHTTP RequestsFile Size
Elementor0.707 s0.318 s24146 KB
Elementor + WP Rocket 🚀0.306 s0.260 s520 KB
Divi0.681 s0.328 s11130 KB
Divi + WP Rocket 🚀0.303 s0.253 s419 KB

Scenario 2 – With Equivalent Content Widgets

LCPTTFBHTTP RequestsFile Size
Elementor1.034 s0.342 s28158 KB
Elementor + WP Rocket 🚀0.373 s0.248 s523 KB
Divi0.768 s0.377 s14149 KB
Divi + WP Rocket 🚀0.377 s0.262 s530 KB

So whether you decide on Elementor or Divi, install WP Rocket and enjoy a faster WordPress site.

Do you have any questions about Elementor vs Divi performance or how we configured our test environment? Let us know in the comments.


Comments (3)

Hi,

Thanks for you great article. Very good work.
Thanks again

We've been a DIVI shop since they rolled out the first version. We recently dipped our toes into the Elementor waters and even with a fully tuned LiteSpeed server with WPRocket, Elementor didn't clock any better scores than DIVI did with Lighthouse. Another thing we noticed with Elementor is building the header and footer and tying into a complete site is more involved that with DIVI. Right now due to the speed in which we can design and deploy DIVI sites comapred with Elementor, we're sticking with DIVI.

For client website, I design using Elementor because the Custom CSS is more elegant than Divi's...

But to design own website, I use lightweight page builder like Zion Builder or Beaver Builder. Fast website important for SEO...

If client want SEO optimization, I will migrate their website to Zion Builder or Beaver Builder.

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