Are you thinking of investing in Essential Addons for your business? Read this review to learn what you need to know about this plugin to make an informed decision.
TLDR — I give it 4/5 stars (great) for now and I expect it to achieve 5/5 stars (outstanding) in the future. I recommend it for anyone who’s dissatisfied with the built-in Elementor elements and especially for web developers. You can check out the first page I built using Essential Addons here.
What is Essential Addons?
Essential Addons is a WordPress plugin designed to enhance popular page builders. It operates just like a normal plugin but you do have to have the prerequisite page-builder plugins installed.
The plugin provides users with additional elements on top of the standard Elementor ones.
These elements allow users to create webpages and blog posts with additional functionality. They also allow users to create more complex layouts and add a few funky features.
What do you need to run Essential Addons?
Essential Addons for Elementor requires the Elementor plugin to be installed. You don’t need the pro version of Elementor and I use it with the free version without any issues.
Is there a free version of Essential Addons?
Yes. If you’re on the fence about whether to purchase Essential Addons, install the free version and have a play with the free elements.
How is Essential Addons installed?
You can install Essential Addons from the normal plugin installation page in WordPress. However, this doesn’t work properly if you purchase the pro version of Essential Addons. When you purchase Essential Addons for Elementor, you’re given an installation file. You need to upload this into your WordPress file system otherwise the Essential Addons backend doesn’t recognise your installation as having been paid for and you’ll only be able to access the free features.
The pros of Essential Addons
The Essential Addons team has developed its elements to be fully configurable in a way that the base Elementor elements don’t always allow. I love that there are options in each element that enable me to fully customise each part of the element such as headings, icons, images, body text and buttons.
My favourite thing about the elements provided by Essential Addons is that they offer substantially expanded functionality. As an example, Elementor comes with a tabs element but this element only allows users to input text and images on each tab. With Essential Addons’ advanced tabs, I can put pretty much anything on each tab — even other tabs so I can create nested tabs if I like.
So far, all the elements seem to be fully mobile responsive which is an absolute must for anyone designing user- and SEO-friendly web content.
Take a look at this example of what I’ve been able to do with Essential Addons for Elementor. I’ve built a tabbed layout and on each tab, I’ve used different kinds of content. On the pricing tab, I’ve included a toggle that enables me to show comparison content and within that toggle, I’ve included four price cards to make a pricing table. There just isn’t a way to do that with the free version of Elementor.
As another example, Essential Addons enables users to put content behind a ‘paywall’. I haven’t used the protected content element yet, but it looks like a useful alternative to email newsletters and I plan on having a play with that feature it in the future.
If you want to see what else Essential Addons offers, take a look at their content element demo page. And if you want to see it in action, take a look at this page that I built almost entirely from Essential Addons elements.
I also love that the Essential Addons team are great with their support. I had a few teething issues when I first started using the plugin and the team went through the content I’d created to troubleshoot exactly what had gone wrong.
The cons associated with Essential Addons
Essential Addons is a fairly new plugin so there are quite a few bugs to be discovered along the way. Having said that, the team are great at ironing these out when you report them.
Some of the elements provided are very similar or the same as elements you can get for free from other plugins. This doesn’t detract from the more advanced elements Essential Addons offers, but it does make it seem like you’ll get more unique functionality than you actually do.
The team doesn’t always deliver on their promises. For instance, Ready Blocks were supposed to be available from the end of July but, somewhat ironically, they’re not ready yet. I totally get that anyone can underestimate how long it will take to finalise a project, but it would be better if they under-promised and over-delivered…
I’m currently using the Hestia WordPress theme and some aspects of the styling in Essential Addons conflict with my theme. I’ve found workarounds for most issues so far but it’s a pain and I worry about what will happen if I decide to change my theme in the future (which I would like to do as Hestia looks great but is slow). I was particularly disappointed that I can’t use the advanced tooltip feature because of a theme conflict 😞.
What do I think of Essential Addons?
Given the pros and cons, I give it 4/5 stars. I like the plugin and I think once the bugs are ironed out it’ll absolutely be worth 5 stars. I purchased lifetime access through AppSumo so I got a really great deal and I think I’ll soon make back my investment.
Should you buy Essential Addons for Elementor?
Well, obviously that depends on your circumstances but here’s what I think.
I’ve made great use of the plugin and I reckon if you use Elementor and find yourself frustrated by some of its limitations, then you may find Essential Addons is just what you need. It’s a pretty decent price too.
If you love Elementor just the way it is and you don’t have any need for more advanced elements, then you might not need Essential Addons.
If you’re a WordPress web designer, you can activate Essential Addons on an unlimited number of sites meaning you can use it to develop client sites. (Note, if they need support, they either need to contact you or purchase a license so they can get support directly from the Essential Addons team.) This plugin becomes really cost effective once you use it on a handful of client sites and I reckon it should easily pay for itself in time saved after only one or two projects. Just be aware that some elements may conflict with your clients’ themes.