Active on over five million sites, Elementor has definitely earned the crown of “most popular WordPress page builder”. And one of the things that makes it so popular is the vibrant marketplace of third-party extensions that add new features, widgets, and templates to the core Elementor builder.
It’s not trying to give you every widget under the sun like some other extensions – it’s just trying to give you the advanced widgets that you really need when building websites…and also give you lots of control over how those widgets work.
In our Stratum review, I’ll share more about what this plugin offers and show you how it works on my test site.
If you’re using Elementor to build WordPress sites, you’ll definitely want to give this one a look.
Stratum Review: What You Get
In the next section, I’ll go hands-on with Stratum and show you how it works. But first, let’s talk about the new features that Stratum gives you.
20+ Widgets to Use in Elementor
The main feature is that Stratum gives you 20+ new widgets that you can use in your designs.
- Instagram – display an Instagram feed.
- Banner – animated banners for promos or announcements.
- Counter – animated counters.
- Price Menu – a really nice option for restaurant menus (you could also use it in other ways).
- Price List – including variables or categorized lists of individual items. Can also be good for food menus.
- Price Table – pricing/comparison tables.
- Image Hotspot – add animated pointers/tooltips to images.
- Circle Progress Bar – a circle with animated progress indicator.
- Masonry Gallery – a responsive masonry image gallery.
- Advanced Slider – fully customizable slider.
- Advanced Posts – automatically showcase your latest content in various grid or list layouts. Works with any post type, including pages and custom post types.
- Advanced Accordion – horizontal accordion tabs with the option to insert custom Elementor templates in each tab.
- Advanced Tabs – horizontal or vertical tabs with the option to insert custom Elementor templates in each tab.
- Countdown – countdown to a time/event with customizable numeric values and time labels.
- Testimonial Carousel – easily display stylish testimonials.
- Advanced Google Maps – including Google Maps embeds with customizable location markers and map styles.
- Flip Box – the box “flips” on hover.
- Image Accordion – a really interesting effect – check out the demo to experience it.
- Vertical Timeline – display events/projects/content on a vertical timeline.
- Horizontal Timeline – display events/projects/content on a horizontal timeline.
- Lottie Animations – add Lottie animations to your designs without any custom code.
One of the things that sticks out to me is that these are all very fundamental, business-focused widgets. So while it might not have the raw numbers of widgets that some other Elementor extensions have, all of the widgets that you do get are pretty useful no matter what you’re building.
Advanced Widgets Options
Another area where Stratum tries to differentiate itself is the advanced widget options that you get for those 20+ widgets. Especially with the Pro version (more on that below), it does a great job of letting you customize every little aspect of design, layout, alignment, functionality, etc.
For example, look at all the settings that you get to customize just the carousel part of the Advanced Slider widget:
Again, this is just one section of the widget’s settings – you get a lot of control!
To save you time, all of Stratum’s widgets will try to inherit existing styles from your theme. You can also set up your own custom colors to use with your widgets. You’ll be able to choose:
- Primary color
- Secondary color (hover)
- Background color (including separate colors for hover and active states – so three choices total)
Basically, you only need to change the widget’s styles if you want to override your theme’s existing styling. Otherwise, they’ll use all your existing typography, colors, etc.
First off, Stratum has a free version that’s available at WordPress.org.
The unique thing about its pricing model is that it gives you all of the widgets for free. This includes some widgets that a lot of other Elementor add-ons charge for. Three of the free widgets that stuck out to me are:
- Image hotspot
- Vertical and horizontal timeline
- Price menu – an especially great option for restaurants
You only need the Pro version if you want access to the advanced customization settings for those widgets.
For example, the free version gives you the Advanced Accordion widget and lets you use text and images in the tabs. But if you want to use custom Elementor templates inside the tabs, you need the Pro version.
Similarly, the free version gives you the Advanced Slider widget, but you’ll need the Pro version if you want to make it autoplay or infinitely loop.
- You get all the widgets for free
- You only need to pay if you want the advanced settings for those free widgets
If you want to get Stratum Pro, you’ll pay just $19 for use on a single site or $59 for use on unlimited sites.
Hands-On With Stratum
Now, let’s go hands-on with some of Stratum’s 20+ widgets.
For reference, I’m using Stratum Pro on my test site. Again, that means I don’t have access to any extra widgets, but I do have access to some advanced customization options that you don’t get in the free version.
I can’t show you how all 20+ widgets work, but I will pick some of my favorites to highlight.
It lets you display your title/description/price side-by-side with a large image, which is great for showing pictures of your mouth-watering food:
You get lots of options for controlling the layout and spacing. For example, you could make the image a lot smaller (or bigger).
There’s also this neat Animate items option that lets you hide the image at first and have it “slide in” when a person hovers over a specific menu item.
One thing I’ll point out with this first widget is that you can see how it inherits all of the colors and typography from your existing theme. You can see that it’s set to “default” with the slash:
This means that you don’t need to edit anything yourself – the widgets will automatically match the rest of your theme. Of course, you do still have the option to use custom colors if you want – you just don’t have to mess with any of the basic style options unless you specifically want to diverge from your theme.
I won’t highlight this for every single widget, but it applies to all of the widgets that Stratum offers.
You can choose from three different layouts:
No matter which option you choose, you’ll get lots of style and layout options. For example, choosing whether or not to include featured images or using excerpts vs full content.
I think the most useful option here is the Query Settings, though, as these let you control what content to include. You can target different post types (including custom post types) and also filter out specific content:
Advanced Tabs and Advanced Accordion
One of the coolest features here is that, with the Pro version, you can include other Elementor templates inside the tabs/accordion sections. All you need to do is set the Content Type equal to Template. Or, you can also just add your own custom text using the editor:
The Lotte Animations widget makes it super easy to include Lotte animations in your designs. All you need to do is grab the Lottie JSON URL and plug it into the widget’s settings. You’ll also get some additional options if you want them to control the animation, size, alignment, etc.
Elementor does offer its own Lottie widget in Elementor Pro, but Stratum gives you this widget for free.
Check the Other Widgets Out for Yourself
Remember, Stratum gives you access to all of the widgets in the free version. So if you want to experience a hands-on look at the other widgets, all you need to do is install the free plugin from WordPress.org. You won’t get all the settings options without upgrading to Pro, but you can experience what each widget is like.
Or, you can also browse demos of all the widgets on the developer’s website.
Settings Area – Disable Widgets + More
Finally, in the Stratum settings, you get options to disable any widgets that you don’t want to use to keep things lightweight and streamline the Elementor interface. If you go to Stratum → Settings, you’ll be able to toggle individual widgets on or off:
In the Style and API tabs, you can also choose your basic colors and enter API information for Instagram and Google Maps.
Final Thoughts on Stratum
Overall, I was impressed by Stratum. Rather than trying to offer you every widget possible, Stratum seems to focus on just doing the most important widgets really well.
So while the initial widget list might not be as impressive as other tools, you’re getting really solid options for the building blocks of your designs, which is an approach that, at least personally, I prefer.
I would rather have 20 widgets that I use a lot than 70 widgets where I only use 15 widgets and the other 55 are just adding weight to my codebase.
The other key differentiator is that Stratum gives you every single widget for free, which is not an approach that most other extensions use. This means that you get access to some advanced tools like post grids and image hotspots without needing to pay.
Again, you only need to go Pro to get more customization options for those widgets, and you can view all of the feature differences here.