What is Elementor?
Elementor is the leading site builder for WordPress websites. If you read the above sentence twice and still didn’t understand it, you’re in the right place. When you set out to create a website with no experience, figuring out how to start can be daunting. In this article, we break everything down to give you a solid foundation to start on.
Assuming you’re still reading and looking for more information, let’s start from the beginning and work our way up to ensure you’ve got all the information you need to get started!
What is a website?
When you visit any website, whether it’s an online store, a news outlet, or a vacation resort, you’re actually looking at a collection of pages–web pages. These are just like the documents on your computer; they’re organized into collections of files and folders.
Of course, unlike the documents on your computer, these documents sit on a centralized computer known as a server. This server is connected to a network, which we all know as the internet and serves these documents to local computers like your own.
When you’re looking at the website of the ‘Acme Seaside Resort’ in Kauai, for example, what you’re actually doing is sending a request via your computer to a server asking it to ‘serve up’ the data that makes the page. The server takes the query, and looks at its database to compile, or build, a page for you. (There are systems which use files instead of databases but we’ll skip that for now).
The information in the database contains everything needed for the web page layout, including the text, images, videos, downloadable documents, and so on. In our example, the data may contain information about the resort’s location, pricing, and photos of the surrounding area.
This system seems easy, but there’s two big challenges to making these sites available to everyone everywhere. One of the main issues is the need for a unified way to access websites and how to create a system to organize and publish them successfully.
In the next sections, we’ll take a look at the code working behind the scenes of a website and how a browser uses this code to create web pages after the server has gathered the data.
What is a web browser?
We’ve already discussed that a server is just a computer on a network (like the internet) that serves up files when queried. The question is what does your computer do with that data to create a website? This is where a browser comes in.
A browser allows you to send and receive internet queries and data through your PC or mobile device in a standardized way. This is called a protocol. In essence, a protocol is just a format in which you send your queries or data.
As mentioned before, when you request a webpage from the server you get data packets back. This includes the page’s basic layout from the HTML along with other artifacts. The browser then takes that data and ‘parses’ or interprets this data and displays it on your screen. The browser can do this because the data is standardized.
By now we’ve gone over how requests are made, how the data is formatted, and how it is sent to your device. Now take a look at what codes are used to run the whole process.
Fundamentally, code is a set of instructions that we use to tell a computer what to do. Websites use a few different languages to create a web page, make it attractive and turn a static webpage into something users can interact with.
Alphabet soup: HTML, CSS, JS
Way back in the early days of computing, most content was created, and viewed, using proprietary software. This meant that you would create a document in a specific program, and the document could only be read by that specific program.
There was some movement toward making documents more shareable, but it was the internet that made this standardization essential. If everyone across the planet was going to begin sharing information, there would have to be a standard way of presenting this information. Thus was born the HyperText Markup Language or HTML – a new standard in structuring documents,
HTML was created to arrange data into documents or webpages, and while it was great to create fairly simple straightforward formatting, something else was needed to style these pages. The answer was cascading style sheets (CSS), a language standard that took ugly HTML plain text websites and made them visually appealing. Attention then turned to adding functionality.
Next: easier website building
At this point you may be thinking that you now need to learn several different programming languages to create a modern website. Thankfully, you don’t. To make website creation accessible, some very smart people came up with modern website building solutions.
These solutions create an interface between a website developer and the underlying code that allows you to add features with no need to code – similar to the way you can create a document on your device with an email program or word processor. Now, instead of spending weeks creating a website, you can be finished in a few hours.
In the next section we’ll look at Elementor, one of the most powerful and popular tools among web creators and used to construct over 11 million websites.
Elementor: no coding, no problem.
The idea of creating websites without coding can trace its roots back to 2003 with the creation of WordPress, a content management system (CMS) – for more on how Elementor works in conjunction with WordPress, check out the article – WordPress and Elementor – Same? Different? What’s What?
While this was a great first step, there was still a need to make working with WordPress more user friendly and accessible.
Enter Yoni Luksenberg and Ariel Klikstein in 2016, two web creators who came up with the idea of building a visual editor for web pages. Instead of coding the different elements of a web page, creators can simply drag and drop elements onto a canvas. Thus, the Elementor Editor was born.
A short time later, a new feature called Theme Builder was added to the Editor. With this feature, the Editor went from being the best WordPress page builder to being the best WordPress site builder.
Since its inception, Elementor has become a widely popular tool used by many web creators around the globe.
The internet and websites have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Interactive functionality and professional aesthetics originally meant you needed to be fluent in many diverse programming languages just to build a simple website. Now, all you need to create a sleek, interactive, dynamic website is the proper tools.
WordPress enables you to create websites efficiently and takes you away from all the tedious backend work. That said, you still need some technical skills to create and publish your website using WordPress alone. To solve this, Elementor works with WordPress to give you powerful drag and drop visual editing and web-building capabilities. It also streamlines the publishing workflow.
This makes Elementor a great choice to start your journey to becoming a top-notch web creator.