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How WebDevStudios Simplifies Elementor Migrations for Enterprise Clients

This article was written by WebDevStudios Director of Accounts Jen Miller, MBA, MSML. A WP Engine Agency Partner, WebDevStudios is a WordPress website design and development agency creating quality-driven digital experiences that fuel client success.

According to W3 Techs 43.2% of websites worldwide are powered by  WordPress, with 62.8% using WordPress as their content management system (CMS). Of those WordPress websites, 23% utilize Elementor.

The popularity of Elementor’s drag-and-drop interface is due to the builder’s ease of use. Historically, before the arrival of the WordPress Block Editor, Elementor made it simpler for non-technical users to build a website. Unfortunately, a simple test utilizing Google’s PageSpeed Insights shows that websites created with page builders score lower than those built in the block editor.

Testing indicates that page load speed is affected by Elementor, as the page builder makes larger than average page sizes and prompts the need for migration, as these issues affect search engine optimization (SEO). Often, the discovery of problems such as these occurs during a routine website audit.

“An audit is one of the most critical pieces of the discovery process, as it helps to set our baseline for improvement,” says WebDevStudios Director of Engineering Mitch Canter. 

“As such, 99% of the projects we take on here at WebDevStudios start with an audit for performance, code quality, and security.” 

Due to this, clients seek out WebDevStudios to migrate their existing WordPress website from Elementor to a block-based theme.

“We’ve seen an uptick in new leads interested in migrating away from Elementor,” says WebDevStudios CEO Brad Williams. 

“While the website design produced by the team may look great, they ultimately choose a no or low-code solution like Elementor as they don’t have the experts on staff to truly develop a modern block-based theme in WordPress.”

Migrating from a Page Builder – A Common WordPress Challenge

If you have yet to attempt to migrate from Elementor, you’re likely unaware of the challenge it presents. 

Website pages usually export and import relatively easily. However, page builders present unique challenges in this area.

For example, Elementor layouts become a solid block on import, which removes the original design elements and may result in missing content and unauthorized designs. Widgetized areas become one block as well, adding to the migration challenge. When migration challenges exist, more hours are needed, increasing the client cost. 

Until recently, migrating a page builder site to blocks required manual migration. However, that was not the most efficient solution. WebDevStudios Chief Operations Officer Lisa Sabin-Wilson explains this in detail: 

“Traditionally, migrating website data from a WordPress installation using the Elementor page builder to one that leverages the Block Editor was a cumbersome and time-intensive task,” she says. 

“It required significant manual effort, was prone to errors, and often resulted in increased project timelines and costs. Understanding these challenges, we developed this Elemetor-to-Block migration script that automates the conversion of Elementor-designed pages into the Block Editor format, effectively eliminating the manual labor that was once a staple of these types of data migration projects. Due to the volume of requests, our engineering team decided to design an Elementor to Block Editor solution.”

WebDevStudios Develops Time and Cost-Saving Migration Solution

WebDevStudios engineers analyzed why this problem occurred and developed a framework to address the issue. Our specialized framework converts Elementor blocks and widget content to the WordPress block editor through the custom command line interface. This results in quicker system line integration for engineers, allowing automated conversion of Elementor pages to core WordPress blocks when using a traditional theme, saving agencies and clients time and money.  

“It is important that our clients are able to take their data with them, no matter where they are headed on the web, ensuring their content remains intact and accessible, regardless of the platform,” says Sabin-Wilson. 

“Our script supports data portability, facilitating smooth transitions without the risk of data loss, embodying our commitment to delivering flexible and future-proof web solutions. Whether it’s for a facelift or a full-on re-platforming, it is vital that your data is ready to move when you are.”

“Operationally, the Elementor-to-Block migration script has helped us realize efficiency gains, reduced costs, improved project quality, and reaffirmed our commitment to innovation in this space and our ability to address and overcome the challenges of modern WordPress development,” Sabin-Wilson adds. 

“The right tech can make our work better, not just faster, and adding this script to our toolkit means we spend less time on the tedious and more time on the creative side of web development, and helps us keep costs down for us and our clients.”

The process is simple, requiring deactivating the Elementor plugin and activating a new theme, such as the WP 2024 default theme, as seen in the demo video. Once loaded, the website content remains without style and layout as one block in both the front end and the Elementor editor. 

However, when the WebDevStudios block editor framework runs in the custom command line interface, that one block becomes a series of blocks, as intended. The WordPress editor can now access Elementor widgets and elements found in previous layouts, as all Elementor widgets are now WordPress blocks. From here, our WebDevStudios team updates block designs and styles to match the design of the original Elementor pages, resulting in a more performant website.

To learn more about this innovative Elementor migration solution, please get in touch with WebDevStudios or call us at 1.855.932.3380. Let us know if you have a different problem for us to solve! We love creating innovative enterprise website solutions that create value.

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