Running a WordPress website, even a simple one, is very time consuming.
Beyond building the basic website, think of all the repeating tasks you have to make sure are completed, on a week by week basis. Tasks like:
- Creating a new post for the blog.
- Testing different landing pages.
- Updating the design of the homepage.
- Adding a new business service you just started offering.
The list goes on…
When we first released Elementor Page Builder, our goal was to help WordPress users save time, previously spent on such tasks, so they can focus on developing their websites rather than maintaining them.
Recently, we released Library, a new feature in Elementor, that significantly improves the entire design process on WordPress. In this post I’d like to show you how, by using the free Library feature, you can optimize your workflow, complete new page and website designs faster, and get a much better headstart when starting off on a new WordPress project.
A quick recap of Elementor
In case you haven’t heard of Elementor yet (I guess you must live in some sort of cave to have missed it), let me give you a quick intro.
Elementor was launched as a free page builder a few months ago. It quickly gained the appreciation of the WordPress community, getting dozens of five star reviews on the WordPress repository, and quickly rising to have over 9K active installs.
The basic Elementor version already offered some never before seen advantages:
- It was considerably faster than any page builder, free or otherwise.
- It let you edit the page while seeing exactly what it looked like. No need to press “update” or “preview”.
- It featured full access to 27 widgets, as well as full control over layout, enabling you to reach almost any design you can think of.
There were many more advantages offered by Elementor right off the bat, and all of them helped our plugin quickly gain the initial popularity it needed, as well as win the best page builder on WordCamp Boston’s comprehensive showdown.
With the release of Library, we have taken Elementor’s design capabilities to the next level. Library includes 20 (and counting) pre-designed & completely free templates, that can be inserted into any page with one click. Along with the pre-designed templates, Library also lets you create your own selection of saved pages & sections, and reuse them on your site pages, or export them for use on external websites. This means you don’t have to design every single page from scratch, and can simply insert the saved templates, customizing them to fit the specific site you are working on.
Let’s go ahead and examine how Library comes in handy in your day to day routine.
1. Start off your process with a pre-designed template
“You don’t know how paralyzing it is, that stare from a blank canvas that says to the painter you can’t do anything. The canvas has an idiotic stare, and mesmerizes some painters so that they turn into idiots themselves.” Van Gogh
Dealing with a blank sheet of canvas can be overwhelming for an experienced artist, let alone a beginner. The same is true for the WordPress designer, with regards to creating designs from blank.
As Chris of CSS-Tricks explains, using a predesigned template has many advantages over starting from scratch. You are tweaking a finished design, so you can learn exactly how a design is made throughout the tweaking process. Moreover, when you finish tweaking, you end up with a page you can be proud of, a page that looks good. If a beginner designer had tried to create the same page from scratch, they would most likely have ended up with something “downright ugly”, as Chris calls it.
We launched Library with an initial selection of 20 beautiful templates to choose from. These templates are designed for specific uses such as Homepage, About, Services and Contact Us pages. We have plans to vastly increase Library templates in the future, so you can expect an even wider range to be added.
Workflow improvement: With Library, you are able to Skip the blank canvas stage, and jump-start your design to get things going.
2. Developing your very own web design collection
The importance of having a regular morning routine is well known and documented. A lot of articles have been written about the routines of different successful people, like this article on Business Insider. Developing a design routine is no less important, and reaps the same benefits as the morning routine benefits (You can read about such benefits on HuffPost): you get used to a regular and repeating process, you are less likely to procrastenate, and you save a lot of mental energy. This routine can be easily achieved with Elementor Library.
Think about it. For every new website you create, you need to go through the same tasks over and over again. Create the homepage, then contact, about page, and so on…
By saving a template that exemplifies your own unique page style, you can later use it for other websites. You simply insert it, tweak it, and create an entirely new design, one that perfectly adheres to your style choices and standard. This means you don’t have to worry, every new website you create, whether you are consistent with your own style.
A designer’s portfolio needs to remain consistent, in much the same way as a fashion designer’s collection needs to fit their previous body of work. Each season collection is different, but every collection carries the designer’s unique style and touch.
Workflow improvement: Develop your “personal collection” of templates, so you can create different pages that all comply with your personal design style.
3. Saving time and improve your workflow on repeating tasks
If you look at the entire lifespan of a website, most of the time spent working on the site is not spent on creating the first basic pages, but rather on updating and adding new pages and posts to the site. Adding weekly Blog posts, creating new landing pages, updating services pages. These are all ongoing tasks that never really end.
Let’s take blog posts. Because of the large competition over the audience’s attention, today’s blog posts have become much more elaborate, including long form articles, GIFs, images, videos and any complex content that the reader might take a fancy to. This type of content is a must nowadays, if you want to generate substantial traffic to your blog.
Creating such elaborate posts is much more difficult without using a template framework, and also poses a challenge of consistency. With templates, you always use the same basic framework, and simply fill in the various widgets with the updated content. This way your readers also know what to expect, and have a clear format they can learn to love and look forward to.
Workflow improvement: Cut down on your weekly tasks, and make them align to a set format, by using a template and filling widgets with the updated content.
4. Compartmentalizing your portfolio
Many designers have run into this type of situation: Their client points them to several designs in their portfolio, and requests something along the lines of: “I want you to take the form from this page, the testimonial from this other page, and the company logos from this whole other website”.
At this stage, the designer needs to combine every request the client had made, and construct an entirely new page design, right?
With Library, this combo of sections turns into the simplest of tasks.The designer just needs to go to each page the client mentioned, save the specific section that was requested, and export them all to the new website.
Workflow improvement: Save, mix and match different sections, and combine them into entirely new page designs.
Free, not bogus free
By now you probably understand this is a badass and incredibly powerful new feature, and you might be wondering why we have released it, and Elementor in general, for free. Even though we explained it in a blog post a while back, we have still been asked this question several times after Library launched, so it’s worth addressing.
With Elementor, we follow the same concept other very popular plugin developers followed. Plugin like Yoast and Caldera Forms. Create a kickass plugin that is 10X better than the competition, then offer a premium plan that is even better. While our premium plan is still in the making, I can tell you it’s worth the wait.
I hope I managed to create a better picture for you of how to best utilize the free Elementor Library. Besides saving time, Library also removes the need for the designers to remember everything in their mind, and juggle around the various colors, fonts, images, effects… Library has the power to allow you to create and manage your websites easier, and at a faster pace.
We invite you to start tinkering with our pre-designed templates, or save your own pages and sections. Don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter so that you get notified every time we add a new template.