Elementor Acquires Layers WP

Elementor acquires Layers WP, the popular WordPress theme company, and makes the Layers theme available for free.

Today, I’m excited to announce that Elementor has acquired Layers WP, a popular WordPress theme company. For those of you who are not aware, Layers is a WordPress theme brand, launched in 2014 by WordPress veterans, David and Marc Perel.

With some beautiful themes, Layers saw much success over the years, partnering with Envato and other major players in the market. Back in 2015, Layers won #2 on Product Hunt and attracted a lot of attention. Over the years Layers accumulated over 375,000 downloads worldwide.

With the change of the tide in the WordPress ecosystem and the fast-paced shift towards all-in-one solutions in its market, David and Marc approached us with a proposal. We met in London, and were impressed by the enthusiasm and approach of these two creative entrepreneurs. Both of us found common ground in our approach and vision, and decided to explore the option of an acquisition.

Layers were looking to hand over the project to the right company. They wanted to find a complimentary product for their themes, a product that offered an intuitive and easy to use solution for designing a WordPress website. Their selling point was that Elementor could stand to benefit from the many unique design features built into the Layers themes.

Making Layers Compatible & Free

Over the past few weeks, we have drilled down into the Layers theme and fine-tuned it, so that it worked as smoothly as possible with Elementor. 

Additionally, the Layers theme is now available for free via the Layers site.

Why We Decided to Acquire Layers

It’s 2019, and users still struggle with bulky themes.

At Elementor, we recognized the immense thought, effort and hard work that went into the Layers project, and saw the potential in keeping this project alive.

We have always believed in contribution in the WordPress community, as seen by several other plugins we released like Activity Log and One Click Accessibility, projects that were 100% made for the community.

Similarly, we are now releasing the Layers theme for free, making it available for download via the Layers site. We are also considering adding this theme to the WordPress repository, to make it easier for the user to install.

The most outstanding feature of the Layers theme is without a doubt its advanced Customizer panel, offering easy-to-use tools to quickly customize areas like your site’s header and footer, blog page and more. This is a fantastic set of features that will contribute a great deal to Elementor and WordPress users alike.

What This Means for Layers Users

Layers will continue  to provide full support to its users for a temporary period of two months. After that time period, support will be handled by the Layers user community.

Elementor will continue to make sure the Layers theme remain compatible with Elementor and WordPress, but no new features are planned to be introduced.

Because the Layers theme is now fully compatible with Elementor, users can take advantage of Elementor, and even get a discount while upgrading to Pro.

Be sure to check out the dedicated documentation articles and video tutorial we already released, where we explain how you can work with Layers and Elementor.

What This Means for Elementor Users

Many of our users are on the lookout for a decent and compatible theme to use with Elementor. Layers are now another viable free option they can choose.

In the past, we released our ‘Hello Theme‘, which was a starter ‘bare-bone’ theme for users who wanted the leanest possible solution. Since it is so lean, the Hello Theme was mainly suited for users who can manage the entire site design with Elementor or code. Our hope is that the Layers theme will help less tech-savvy users manage the entire site design hassle-free.

Acquiring Layers is an exciting new direction for Elementor, and presents a great start for 2019. 

About the Author

Ben Pines
Ben Pines
Elementor evangelist & head of content. Follow me on Twitter

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152 Responses

  1. That’s an interesting acquisition, considering Layers is Cutomizer based page builder, what will become of Layers Pro? Which I bought a few years back.

    1. The Customizer functionality in Layers Pro is available through the newly updated theme that is compatible with Elementor and is available for free.

      1. In Layers Pro i have a slider widget, posts widget…..
        I can’t find them in layers for elementor?
        What i’m doing wrong?

        1. The slider widget and posts widgets are no longer available in the new Layers theme. However, you can find their equivalent in Elementor Pro.

  2. Good move! Perfect fit for us, some projects need the find grained control of a bare bones theme, others are better developed on a good theme that exposes design elements for the non-techie.

  3. Where can I see more details and demo of this theme? All requests to site goes to 503 error page and there is nothing I am able to find on how this theme works. Please share external site links about theme.

  4. As long as Elementor remains simple in its concept…absorbing and adding new features is great. Just don’t over complicate it. It’s easy to forget that. Apple is finding that out with the sales of their iPhones …

  5. Will the merged all in one product Layers/Elementor make Astra/elementor obsolete? Having found some conflicts with Astra over the course of building site. I for one would prefer an all in one solution, the less 3rd party plug-ins and themes the better….

      1. Hmmm … Marrying Elementor page builder with an accompanying theme does give me pause. I have strived to move away from an all-in-one solution – I prefer to seperate Theme and Page Builder.

        That’s just my take …

  6. Congrats . Excellent . Happy to hear this big news from Elementor. Just waiting to use the theme . Hope to see in coming days more happy news like this . All the very best and best wishes for all for a very happy new year 2019 .

  7. Really great news, many warm congratulations. Although I am getting slowly onto Elementor & Elementor Pro but the more I am using the more I am falling in love with it.

  8. Full circle. I bought Layers lifetime when they started and been using them since . I recently switched to elementor for some other features. So guess I am back where I started with the best of both worlds.

  9. This is a great news. You do a great thing with your page builders.

    I hope you will develope a suite like thrive themes. For example AN lms. Quiz builder. Comment system and more.


  10. Interesting “spin” on this acquisition, Ben. Reading between the lines: Layers sees the writing on the wall with Gutenberg/page builder market consolidation coming. Layers sees Elementor as one of the few players that will be left standing (hopefully) when this all shakes out. Layers says to Elementor, “Hey, we have a large customer base and potential mailing list that we can sell you along with the themes/applications. You may get a few things from Layers you can port over to Elementor but the real value to you is our customer base that we will push to switch to Elementor and then hopefully Elementor Pro.” Elementor says, “Seems like a win-win. We eliminate some competition, get a large customer base to sell to that already uses a page builder, maybe some of your experience/team will come over too? We’ll offer your themes as free now (get them into the WP repository for even more exposure and potential customers), and we’ll sell it as ‘doing something for the larger WordPress community’. We’ll then kill the Layers product after 60 days and won’t update Layers themes hopefully forcing a migration to Elementor/Pro.” Sound about right?

    1. My take exactly. I’m forever fascinated – and disheartened – to see how successful companies deftly reframe the conversation from “monopoly” to “community”.

      By appealing to people’s values, they obscure the real intention – building a monopoly. That’s what all companies – and organisms – want.

      I have no problem with ambition and wanting, but I do have a problem with being inauthentic, disingenuous and misleading.

      Why not just say “We’re acquiring this company to further strengthen and bolster our already robust ecosystem to ensure our ability to continue serving the WordPress community for years to come.” Reading between the lines, people would know what this means.

    2. That’s how I read it. I was excited to try Layers since I trust Elementor, but right there in the post they admit that they’re going to let it wither on the vine. Sounds like they are eliminating a competitor and buying a list, as you suggested. Savvy, but no need to promote Layers to your existing customers, right?

    3. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy theory at all. There was no reason for Elementor to buy Layers. The guys wanted out and it was bought at an exit price. With a user base of some 300k Layers offered a great opportunity to target a huge committed market of users. Layers will now be free in the hope and expectation that it’s existing users will buy Elementor Pro. If just 100,000 do so and buy the average Pro licence at 99 dollars. That’s a million dollars. Take into account that the affiliate rate for Elementor Pro is 50% and the maths is simple.
      The fact that Elementor have already said that there will be no new features in Layers suggests that they already know that it’s lacking in some areas when compared to other Themes like GP or Astra and are halting the requests in their tracks before they begin. Sure, it will be updated to ensure compatibility but, that’s it.
      Other than the above explanation, it makes no sense whatsoever for Elementor to buy it. None. Whether Ben stands by his blog post or not.
      Don’t get me wrong, it’s a slick business move, let’s just be honest about it. There’s no benefit to existing Elementor users, and we all know it.

      1. I couldn’t edit my post. Should read 10,000. What worries me most is the number of sheep who jump on with their ‘Congrats’ ‘Wow well done!’ Comments without looking at the content of the post in depth.

      2. Ben wrote: “Our hope is that Layers themes will help less tech-savvy users manage the entire site design hassle-free.”

        Tony wrote: “There’s no benefit to existing Elementor users, and we all know it.”

        I’m an existing Elementor (Pro) user. I want a mobile header with the hamburger menu on the same level as the logo: Elementor’s header template stacks the various elements of the mobile header, so I need to use a third-party theme to get the mobile header I want.

        The theme I’ve been using (let’s call it artsA) is fine and ‘free’: it nags me for reviews and I’m stuck with an irremovable upgrade link/nag highlighted at the top of the Customiser menu.

        Until such time as Elementor Pro offers better mobile menus, if I use ‘Layers for Elementor’ I can have the mobile menu I want without the nagging. This is a benefit to me, a “less tech savvy user” in that it helps me “manage the entire site design hassle-free.”

  11. I am a layers users, I see it was updated to 3.0. Has layers Pro been updated as well to work with this new version?

      1. Awesome, thanks David. I was wondering where Layers was going. I have been using Elementor for awhile as well. Great products from both companies, looking forward to trying them together.

  12. Elementor already have a Theme! the awesome simple Hello theme (Github), – anyhow what’s really the point of a theme, when you only want to use Elementor?
    All my domains are running on the Hello theme v1.1, that basically just bypass directly for Elementor to control everything…
    So with this purchase (that most likely was only for the potential customers and not really the theme) what is going to happen with the Hello Theme in the future?

      1. Hi Ben. Any chance the Hello Theme could push out updates like a normal theme? I’m running multiple sites on it (using child themes), and it is hard to notice when the parent theme is updated. Thanks!

          1. Update, yes you are right Ben; Hello was updated to v1.1, but after the update (manual, Github update did not show any update, and you can’t just overwrite, you have to install another theme, delte the old Hello and reinstall new Hello, I agree with Brian to please make Hello a “normal” theme for updating), I then discovered that all my pages with text boxes (basically all pages on https://www.golfatm.com) was now having funny black dots left of all text in in all text boxes!
            I then decided to try out the above Layer Theme – and Da Da… only to discover that all formatting of my pages got fully fucked up, nothing worked, columns, text, spaces!!!
            I can’t believe why Themes have to override Elementor when I specific choses to use only “Elementor full width” Template on all pages (and No; I do not want to inject custom CSS to reset all Theme settings)
            So.. now Im desperate looking for an old version of Hello V1.0 that i can reinstall to have my domains running with ONLY Elementor in control of all layout.
            Anyhows, Its 2019 and I think its about damn time you guys includes a Theme directly inside Elementor in the left menu settings thank you, who in there right mind would build WP pages the old way anymore after discovering Elementor :-)))

          2. Thank you Ben. Support made it sound like this was coming down the pipeline. The need here is great for me, because this represents a liability to my business the more clients I put on the Hello Theme. I may miss an update and the manual update process is time intensive.

            The bare bones approach to the Hello theme and customizer is great since Elementor does all the heavy lifting themes used to do.

  13. This is interesting, and generous, but if I understand correctly you are making a point of saying:

    • These themes will have no further development, beyond compatibility, at a time of rapid shift in WordPress
    • Starting in 2 months, the support for them will be handled by “the Layers user community.”

    Can you clarify why either of those would be sufficient for me to build the future of a site on, compared to other options?

  14. Sounds great but just wondering what this means for those that bought an AppSumo Layers Pro2 lifetime deal (a $1,200 value)?

    Not sure I’ve quiet got there with my money’s worth, and I already subscribe to Elementor Pro.

    Might there be any transitional benefit due on my Elementor subscription that I can use?

  15. This is a bit of a messy start Ben Pines. While you cherry pick what to reply to, including cryptic messages about the, soon to be released Pop up feature in Elementor. Thousands of users are in the dark as to how to obtain the, formerly Pro, features of the Layers theme. Please address this issue.

    1. We have purchased the Layers theme and made it compatible with Elementor and WordPress. If you bought Layers Pro in the past, its features will remain intact. However, Layers Pro will no longer be updated or maintained. The main Layers Pro features are available with Elementor Pro.

  16. Yes, I also like to work by the elementor pro page builder.Because its has a lot’s of pro feature which is helpful to make any complex website just a few hours.

    Thanks Elementor Team,

    1. Apparently you can get 25% off if you use the code on your Layers account page https://www.layerswp.com/my-account/.

      LayersPro was (supposedly) any number of sites for life. Elementor Pro is $199 Per Year for unlimited sites.

      I don’t see anything in Layers for Elementor which isn’t already in the free version of Elementor.

      My guess is those of us who bought Layers Pro just have to accept that we wasted our money and move on.

      I am now very wary of ‘lifetime deals’ on sites like AppSumo and MightyDeals. This is the third one I’ve bought where the developers have sold out, halted development or declared their product to be ‘end of life’ after only a few years.

      The purchase price is only part of the cost; there’s the learning curve, getting work flows in place, establishing template libraries and customisation.

      Rebuilding sites on another theme and/or with another page builder (because there’s no easy upgrade path) is time consuming and expensive. You can’t just turn round to clients a year or two after building their site and ask them to pay again because your trust in the theme’s developers was misplaced.

      Those who bought Theme Forest themes with Layers included, are now presumably also faced with having to rebuild those sites. Jupiter X theme for example with over 100,000 sales….

  17. Smoke and mirrors. There’s no benefit to Elementor users, only to Elementor team. No issue with that, just be honest about it. Plenty of themes out there that work with Elementor
    ‘No such thing as a free lunch’, still stands and applies last time I checked.

    1. Well, this time I have to disagree…
      WordPress is free. Elementor is free. So many amazing open source projects have changed the world. ‘No such thing as a free lunch’ doesn’t really fit the concept of the Elementor / WordPress / Open source communities.

  18. So ironic. I JUST moved a client site off of the free version of LayersWP, because I thought that theme had been abandoned (it hadn’t been updated in a couple of years). It also just seemed antiquated, what with its customizer-based page builder. I moved everything to GeneratePress premium, and now I see this.

    Oh, well. Interesting, nonetheless.

    1. Hello there, the same question from here. I made some sites with LayersPro before i switched to ElementorPro. A Guide to convert existing LayersPro-Sites to Elementor would be helpful. Thank you!

  19. Well, I tried it, but now my Elementor-made Single Post and Single Page templates no longer work, and I can’t find any way to change that without messing with the theme CSS. And I’m switching back to GeneratePress.

  20. Ben, I’ve never had any cause to doubt what you’ve written in the past, but I have to say I will be more on my guard in future. What you’ve written here bears no resemblance to what LayersWP framework offers either Elementor (the company) or Elementor users. There’s nothing here I can see that you guys couldn’t do in a couple of weeks, if you decided to. I think you have done your credibility a big disservice by putting out this line of very thinly disguised BS. It just doesn’t wash. Nothing wrong with buying market share. Just don’t try and palm it off as community spirit.

    1. Hey Terence,
      Layers WP is a successful project from 2014, testing and fixing for 5 years is not something you can replicate in two weeks. We are now releasing premium themes for free, in order to answer a real question our users ask every day.
      This is not BS. I have been 100% truthful with our audience since day 1, and plan to continue in this way in the future. Frankly, these sort of comments make me feel bad.

    2. I hear you Terence. I’m not sure what to be more stunned by–what appears to be thinly disguised do-good community spirit or saying they had no understanding of the market share grab, new customer acquisition, etc. we are describing.

  21. Hey Ben, then you see some (hidden?) value in LayersWP that I — and one or two others — can’t see.

    If so, that’s OK. In fact, it’s as it should be.

    It’s just that, to me, the LayersWP/Elementor hands-on experience i.e the evidence of my own eyes doesn’t tie up with comments you made, such as…

    “Elementor could stand to benefit from the many unique design features built into the Layers themes.”, and

    “The most outstanding feature of the Layers theme is without a doubt its advanced Customizer panel, offering easy-to-use tools to quickly customize areas like your site’s header and footer, blog page and more.”, and

    “This is a fantastic set of features that will contribute a great deal to Elementor and WordPress users alike.”

    So either I don’t understand what you are seeing or I am living in an alternate reality.

    I’ll spend so more time with LayersWP/Elementor and see if I figure out exactly what it is that you see as such a positive improvement.

    PS. Sorry to have made you sad. Why not just be happy that, with Elementor, so many more people, not just coders, can now create exactly the website they always wanted?

  22. Good job Elementor…this is excellent news! I look onward to verifying the new lean and mean “Hello Theme”. While I am acquiring slowly onto Elementor & Elementor Pro but the more I am utilizing the more I am falling in love with it. This is a amazing set of options that will lead a excellent deal to Elementor and WordPress users

  23. I see there is communication that the LayersWP has support ending in February 2019 and no new features. Will this mean Elementor team will carry on updating via WordPress.org? I just don’t want to use a theme that will not be updated in the long run.

    1. Layers Pro will not be updated any longer. The free Layers version, which has been purchased by Elementor and is offered for download on Layers website, will continue to be updated and maintained by WordPress community.

  24. Layers seems to be overriding my Search Result Archive in Elementor Templates and is just showing the Layers default template. Is there a way to force Layers to show the Elementor Archive Template instead?

  25. To be totally upfront I haven’t heard of this theme – Layers but now that I know it’s totally compatible with Elementor I’m looking to give it a try. Wondering if it’s better than WPAstra 🙂

  26. Is there any support for this theme at all? I built my ecommerce site around it and am getting multiple error codes, and then find out it hasn’t been updated in a year?

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