How to Convert Elementor to Gutenberg? Step-by-step Guide
9 min.

As WordPress continues to evolve, many users find themselves considering the decision to convert Elementor to Gutenberg. This shift, driven by various factors, is becoming increasingly common in the WordPress community. While detailed statistics on the frequency of such switches are not readily available, the trend is notable among users seeking improved site performance, enhanced content management simplicity, or a desire to align more closely with the core WordPress experience.

In this guide, we will walk you through the conversion process step-by-step. From preparing your website and content for the switch to rebuilding pages and ensuring that your SEO and functionality remain intact, each phase will be detailed to help you make a smooth transition. 

Whether you’re a WordPress veteran or relatively new to the platform, this guide aims to provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to confidently migrate.

Preparing for the Transition

Transitioning from Elementor to Gutenberg is a significant change that requires careful preparation. To ensure a smooth and risk-free process, several key steps need to be taken before initiating the actual conversion.

Backing Up Your WordPress Site

  • Complete Backup: Ensure you create a full backup of your WordPress site. This includes your database, WordPress files, themes, plugins, and media. Backups can be made using various WordPress backup plugins or via your hosting provider’s tools.
  • Safekeeping: Store the backup in a secure location. It’s recommended to keep multiple copies in different locations (like cloud storage and a local drive).
Backing Up Your WordPress Site

Evaluating the Existing Elementor Content

  • Content Audit: Review your website’s content created with Elementor. Pay special attention to pages with complex layouts, custom CSS, or special widgets that might need special attention during the conversion.
  • Functionality Check: Make a note of any Elementor-specific functionalities (like pop-ups or advanced forms) and plan how to replicate or rework these in Gutenberg.
  • Design Assessment: Assess the design elements used in Elementor – fonts, colors, spacings – to ensure you can replicate or adapt these within the block builder.

Setting Up a Staging Environment

  • Create a Staging Site: Set up a staging environment that mirrors your live website. This is a safe place to perform the conversion without affecting your live site.
  • Replicate Your Site: Ensure that your staging environment is an exact replica of your live site, including all content and settings.
  • Test Environment: Confirm that the staging site is operational and accessible, providing a realistic environment for testing and conversion.

By meticulously preparing for the transition, you ensure that the process of converting your site from Elementor to Gutenberg is as smooth and error-free as possible. This preparation stage is crucial for identifying potential issues and planning how to address them, thus minimizing the impact on your site’s functionality and user experience.

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Step 1: Deactivating Elementor

How to Safely Deactivate Elementor and its Add-ons

  • Backup: Ensure you have a recent backup of your site.
  • Deactivation: Go to the WordPress dashboard, navigate to ‘Plugins’, and deactivate Elementor and any Elementor-specific add-ons.
  • Check Dependencies: Ensure that deactivating Elementor does not affect critical functionalities or content.
Deactivating Elementor

What to Expect When Elementor is Deactivated

  • Layout Changes: Expect changes in layout, as pages built with Elementor will lose their styling and structure.
  • Fallback to Basic HTML: Elementor-based content will typically revert to basic HTML, which may not be visually appealing.
  • Widget Disappearance: Custom Elementor widgets will no longer be available.

Step 2: Familiarizing with Gutenberg

Introduction to the Interface

Unlike Elementor’s pixel-perfect layout builder, Gutenberg uses a block-based editor where each content element is a block. One of our favorite advantages of the editor is that it’s embedded within WordPress, offering a seamless integration.

Introduction to the Interface

Key Differences Between Elementor and Gutenberg

  • Design Flexibility: Elementor offers more design flexibility compared to the more content-focused Gutenberg.
  • Learning Curve: Users might find Gutenberg easier to learn due to its simplicity.

Step 3: Rebuilding Pages with

Converting Basic Elementor Layouts to Blocks

  • Recreating Layouts: Use Gutenberg’s blocks to replicate the basic structure of your Elementor pages, such as paragraphs, headings, and images.

Tips for Replicating Complex Elementor Designs in Gutenberg

  • Custom Blocks: Explore custom blocks that might match the complex designs made in Elementor.  Otherwise, you can have any needed custom block created by a developer.
  • CSS Styling: Use custom CSS to achieve specific styling and layout requirements.

Step 4: Handling Dynamic Content and Widgets

Strategies for Converting Elementor Widgets to Blocks

  • Matching Functionality: Identify blocks that offer similar functionalities to your Elementor widgets.
Widgets to Blocks

Managing Dynamic Content

  • Custom Post Types: Utilize support for custom post types for dynamic content like portfolios or testimonials.

Step 5: Optimizing for Performance

Removing Unused Elementor Assets

  • Clean Up: After the transition, remove any Elementor assets that are no longer needed to improve site performance.

Performance Tweaks in Gutenberg

  • Optimization Plugins: Consider using WordPress optimization plugins to enhance performance.

Step 6: Testing and Quality Assurance

Ensuring All Content Displays Correctly

  • Content Review: Thoroughly review all pages and posts to ensure content is displaying as intended.

Cross-Browser and Device Testing

  • Compatibility Checks: Test the site on various browsers and devices to ensure consistent performance and appearance.
Testing and Quality Assurance

Collecting Feedback and Making Adjustments

  • User Feedback: Obtain feedback from users to identify areas for improvement.

Step 7: Going Live

How to Push the Gutenberg Version of Your Site from Staging to Live

  • Migration Tools: Use WordPress migration tools to transfer your Gutenberg-based site from staging to live.
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Post-Launch Checks and Monitoring

  • Monitoring: After going live, closely monitor the site for any issues and be prepared to make quick fixes.

By following these steps, you can effectively transition your site from Elementor to Gutenberg, switching to simplicity and native WordPress integration, all while ensuring minimal disruption to your site’s functionality and user experience.

Troubleshooting Common Conversion Challenges

You can use Gutenberg and Elementor together or choose one and just troubleshoot until everything’s perfect. Transitioning can present some challenges, particularly with layouts and block compatibility. Here are some strategies to address these common issues:

Addressing Layout Breaks and Styling Issues

  • Analyzing the Source of the Problem:
    • Identify specific elements that are causing the layout breaks. This could be due to CSS conflicts, missing styles, or unsupported features in Gutenberg.
  • Applying Custom CSS:
    • Use custom CSS to fix styling issues. Gutenberg allows you to add custom CSS to individual blocks or globally.
  • Utilizing Columns and Group Blocks:
    • To recreate complex layouts, use Gutenberg’s columns and group blocks, which can help in aligning content as per your original design.
  • Responsive Design Adjustments:
    • Manually adjust layouts for different screen sizes using Gutenberg’s responsive design options.
  • Fallback to HTML Blocks:
    • For elements that don’t translate well, consider using the HTML block in Gutenberg to manually code the layout or style.
 Layout Breaks

Solving Block Compatibility Problems

  • Updating Plugins and Themes:
    • Ensure that all your plugins and themes are up to date. Compatibility issues often arise from outdated software.
  • Replacing Incompatible Blocks:
    • If certain Elementor widgets don’t have a direct equivalent, look for alternative blocks or third-party block plugins that offer similar functionality.
  • Testing in Staging Environment:
    • Conduct thorough testing in a staging environment to identify and address block compatibility issues before going live.
  • Seeking Community Support:
    • Utilize WordPress forums and communities to seek solutions for specific compatibility issues.
  • Gradual Transition for Complex Sites:
    • For sites with extensive customizations, consider a gradual transition, keeping some parts in Elementor while gradually rebuilding others in Gutenberg.

By tackling these challenges systematically, you can successfully manage the transition process and ensure that your website retains its functionality and aesthetic appeal in Gutenberg.

Best Practices for a Smooth Transition

Successfully migrating from Elementor to Gutenberg requires not only technical diligence but also a strategic approach to ensure a seamless switch. Here are some best practices to guide you through this transition:

Recommendations for a Seamless Switch

  • Incremental Approach:
    • Instead of a full-scale immediate transition, consider gradually moving sections of your site to Gutenberg. This reduces the risk of major disruptions.
  • Utilize a Staging Environment:
    • Perform all conversions and tests in a staging environment. This allows you to resolve issues without impacting the live site.
  • Regular Backups:
    • Continuously back up your site at different stages of the transition. This ensures you have a fallback option in case of major issues.
  • Prioritize Core Content and Functionality:
    • Focus first on core pages and functionalities critical to your website’s operation. Secondary pages or features can follow.
  • Seek User Feedback:
    • Involve end-users early in the process. User feedback can be invaluable in identifying issues that might not be immediately apparent.
  • SEO Considerations:
    • Ensure that the transition does not negatively impact your SEO. Keep an eye on URL structures, metadata, and overall site performance.
  • Monitor Site Performance:
    • Keep track of site performance metrics both during and after the transition. This includes load times, responsiveness, and user engagement metrics.
Seamless Switch

How to Train Your Team on Gutenberg

To ensure your website works well after the switch, you may want to train your team on the platform’s characteristics. Here’s what you can do.

  • Organize Training Sessions:
    • Conduct structured training sessions for your team. Cover the basics, including its interface, block system, and customization options.
  • Provide Resources:
    • Offer resources such as tutorials, guides, and articles. WordPress’s own resources are particularly helpful.
  • Hands-On Experience:
    • Encourage your team to use the staging environment for hands-on practice. Learning by doing is often the most effective form of training.
  • Feedback and Support Sessions:
    • Regularly gather feedback from your team and address any challenges they face. Organize Q&A sessions for ongoing support.
  • Update on New Features and Best Practices:
    • The builder is continuously evolving. Keep your team updated with the latest features and best practices.

By following these best practices and investing in proper training, you can ensure a smooth and effective transition from Elementor to Gutenberg, setting your team up for success in this new environment.

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Can I Switch from Elementor to Gutenberg?

Yes, this transition involves converting your Elementor-built pages to the Gutenberg block editor. While the process can be straightforward for basic sites, it may require more effort for complex sites with advanced features. Planning, testing, and proper execution are key to a successful transition.

Is Elementor Compatible with Gutenberg?

Elementor and Gutenberg are generally compatible. You can use the former for certain parts of your website and the latter for others. However, when used on the same page, conflicts may arise, especially with complex layouts or advanced features. It’s advisable to use one for specific page types to avoid potential issues.

What are the Pros of Gutenberg in WordPress?

Pros include native Integration, ease of use, performance, regular updates, and flexibility. As a core part of WordPress, Gutenberg is seamlessly integrated, ensuring stability and compatibility. Its block editor is user-friendly, making it accessible for beginners and those with limited technical expertise.

Generally, it is lighter than page builders like Elementor, potentially leading to better site performance and faster loading times. Being part of WordPress, Gutenberg receives regular updates and improvements.

Finally, while not as design-oriented as Elementor, Gutenberg offers a decent level of flexibility for content layout.

What are the Cons of Gutenberg?

The cons include limited design capabilities, a steep learning curve, and plugin dependencies. Compared to advanced page builders, Gutenberg’s design capabilities are more limited.

Besides, users accustomed to the WordPress Classic Editor may find it challenging to adapt to the block-based approach.

Finally, for complex functionalities, you might need additional plugins, which can affect site performance.

Is Gutenberg the Future of WordPress?

Gutenberg blocks development represents a significant direction in the future of WordPress. Its ongoing integration into the WordPress core and continuous enhancements suggest that it will play a central role in the WordPress experience. Gutenberg aims to modernize the editing experience and make site building more accessible, aligning with the overall direction of WordPress development. However, page builders like Elementor will likely continue to have a place, especially for users requiring more advanced design capabilities.


The transition from Elementor to Gutenberg in WordPress symbolizes more than just a switch between tools; it represents a strategic decision to embrace the evolving landscape of web development. This guide has aimed to provide a comprehensive roadmap for those looking to make this transition, highlighting the essential steps, best practices, and common challenges.

Gutenberg, with its seamless integration into WordPress, offers a simplified, performance-oriented approach to content management and site-building. While it may not possess the extensive design capabilities of Elementor, its ease of use, native WordPress experience, and regular updates make it an appealing choice for many users. The transition is not just about adapting to a new tool but also about leveraging the opportunities it presents for a more streamlined, efficient, and future-proof web development process.

While Gutenberg provides a robust set of core blocks and allows for the installation of additional blocks to replicate many design elements, it’s essential to recognize that a seamless transition might require some adjustments.

For users aiming to achieve a similar design for their pages, leveraging core Gutenberg blocks or installing additional blocks from the store can yield satisfactory results. However, it’s crucial to understand that replicating a complex Elementor-designed website may necessitate the development of custom blocks from scratch.

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