Visual Composer’s New Name and the Confusing Story behind It

The Visual Composer users have found themselves quite confused lately, and we are here to clear the things up.

You have probably seen two new names in our offer; WPBakery and Visual Composer Website Builder.

So the big question is

“Which one is the original Visual Composer?”

If you think WP Bakery is a new product while the Visual Composer Website Builder is just a new name for the old Visual Composer Page Builder – unfortunately, you are wrong.

We admit that the whole thing is quite confusing and we understand why so many of our users, as well as long-term partners, are upset about this change.

Which brings us to the reason we decided to publish this post in the first place. Above all, we want to apologize for the confusion around Visual Composer, and we want to explain what happened here.

The story behind Visual Composer and WPBakery name change

We are sorry for the mess we have created around Visual Composer.

We realize that we should have explained what caused this situation from the very beginning before it escalated.

Unfortunately, we underestimated the situation and didn't follow through the right steps at the right time. We hope to make up for it right now. So let’s finally dive deeper into the mind-twisting story behind this name change – and why it got even worse as we tried to fix it along the way.
It all started with one thing that caused a big domino of issues that went down one after another:

Changing the name of the Visual Composer Page Builder

On every major WP theme, you have probably noticed the name above. After all, it was included as a premium plugin in the majority of the all-time favorite WordPress themes.

So the big question is: Why would we change the name in the first place when it was so well-known and easily recognizable?

The truth is – because we had to; we did not have a choice.

If you want the whole story, check out the video below.

It all began with our new product, the Visual Composer Website Builder. It is worth mentioning that the Visual Composer Page Builder and the Visual Composer Website Builder are two entirely different products used for different purposes.

The Page Builder is an Envato-exclusive product with a lifetime license (like all products sold with Envato). The Website Builder, on the other hand, was meant to move away from the lifetime license model. We wanted to create a product much more complex in features and specially designed for the users whose building needs have rapidly evolved.

However, the new features came hand in hand with much higher development costs, which could only be sustained with a yearly license model. In addition to that, we wanted to be in direct touch with our users because we recognized the need for the best support we could possibly provide.

However, our plans took a wrong direction because...

We overlooked a crucial detail that forced us into a difficult decision

And that detail in question was the contract we signed with the marketplace and all its limitations.
Long story short, we were not allowed to sell another product under the name of “Visual Composer” outside their platform.

At that point, we had to choose our next step. We had two options:

1. We could strip features off our new product our new product to fit the lifetime license model and put it up on the marketplace.

2. We could change the name of our Page Builder, the one we were already selling on the platform to lift the contractual limitations.

It was not an easy choice to make, and we knew that both options had significant downsides.

We weighed our two options over and over again, and eventually, we decided to go with option 2: change the name of Visual Composer Page Builder. We decided not to compromise the quality of our new product, and this was the only way to do it.

Visual Composer Website Builder and WPBakery Page Builder compared

And that is how the Visual Composer Page Builder became WP Bakery

This is where the whole confusion started.  

Not only were we buried in the process of developing our new product, but we also had to deal with a whole new set of unplanned changes.
Dealing with all that work, we did not immediately notice the vast confusion we created.

Not only were people confused about the name change, but they didn’t understand what the deal was with our new product, Visual Composer Website Builder. Was it a new product or just a rebranding of the old one? And what about WP Bakery? Is this a 2.0? Is this a new plugin altogether?

So let’s take it step by step and explain the difference between the two once and for all.

What is Visual Composer Website Builder and what does it do?

The Visual Composer Website Builder is a live-preview editor with drag-and-drop features. It is not the same thing as the Visual Composer Page Builder. It is an entirely new tool. It comes in two versions; the free and the Premium version.

There are hundreds of ready-to-use content elements to choose from that will help you turn your ideas and visions into reality. It is easy to use thanks to the drag-and-drop features, and you can see all the changes instantly.

It can be used with any theme, including your existing themes. On top of that, you can choose from a variety of WP templates for different types of pages (landing pages, portfolios, corporate websites, product pages and many more).

Page editing works in two ways; frontend editor and tree view. With the tree view, you can navigate through the elements available on the page which will save you a lot of time during the process.

One big perk of the Visual Composer Website Builder is the fact that there is a header, footer, and sidebar editor available in the Premium version of the product.

In addition to that, you can access numerous useful add-ons that you can get from the third-party developers or the Visual Composer’s dedicated Hub.

The difference between Visual Composer and WPBakery

Are Visual Composer Website Builder and WP Bakery the same thing?

Short answer: No. These are two entirely different plugins. Let’s take a moment to explain the main differences between the two.

Some people believe that the Visual Composer Website Builder is merely a premium version of the WP Bakery. It is not.

Visual Composer Website Builder’s code was built from zero with React.Js. It does not use any of the WordPress shortcodes. It was developed using the feedback from our users to offer them the best experience possible.

However, the most significant difference between the two products is that WP Bakery is only for the content part, while Visual Composer Website Builder allows you to build a complete website (with Headers and Footers).

Like mentioned before, Visual Composer Website Builder does not use any shortcodes, while WP Bakery is shortcode-based.

In practice, this means that the VC Website Builder:

1. allows you to generate clean code

2. doesn’t get messy if you disable the plugin (like it happens with shortcode-based plugins)

On top of that, VC Website Builder comes with a cloud-based Hub from which you can download all the elements you find useful. Basically, you can handpick the elements you need and download only them rather than bloating the website with a bunch of unnecessary assets.

There’s a full list of difference between the two products that you can check right here.

That being said, we also have to point out that WP Bakery is still getting the same amount of work and attention as it did before we developed VC Website Builder. Both of the products are equally important to us, and we want to offer the best user experience possible.

Thank you for taking a moment to go through this story with us. If you have any additional questions regarding our products, please leave a comment, and we will try to give you the answer as soon as possible.