Elementor Canvas vs Full-Width Page Layouts Explained & Which Layout to choose when?


So you’re inside your Elementor editor and you’re confused about whether to choose the Elementor Canvas or Full-width layout.

Well, I’m here to put some light.

By the end of this post, you’ll be able to understand which layout to use when because I’ve included real-life examples 😀

So, In this guide, you’ll get to know the following…

What is the Difference between Elementor Canvas vs Full-width?

Let's start from the basics…

Once we are in the Page Layout Settings, Elementor offers 4 different layout options & they are

  • Default
  • Elementor Canvas
  • Elementor Full Width
  • Theme

Now here’s a simple explanation of both…

The Elementor canvas layout will only display Elementor-created content for that particular page. It won’t load/show your website header, footer & nor sidebar.

Whereas Elementor Full-width layout will display Elementor-created content including your website header, footer as well as sidebar (if enabled).

Need something better?

Here's the visual explanation of the Elementor canvas layout vs the full-width layout

A simple explanation of Elementor Page Layouts

Now, it's time for real-life examples.

Let's take my own website…

When I select the Elementor canvas layout, here’s what my WordPress hosting page looks like…

Elementor Canvas Layout Example (No header, footer)

But when I select the Elementor Full-width layout, the header & the footer of my website will be visible & the page will look somewhat like this…

Elementor Full-Width Layout Example (Includes header, footer)

I hope you got some clarity.

To conclude, Elementor Canvas = Completely blank page and
Elementor Full-width = A blank page including header & footer.

Apart from these two, there are a couple of more layout options, let’s understand them as well.

Elementor Default & Theme Layouts Explained

The Default & theme layout options used to confuse me a lot when I was a beginner.

But it’s pretty simple. Let me explain…

The Elementor Default Layout inherits (uses) the layout set in Elementor Global settings > Layout settings. Whereas selecting the Theme Layout will display the predefined layout that you’ve set in your active theme.

Here’s a bit of explanation…

First, let me cover the theme layout (as it makes sense)

Quick Note: I’m using the Kadence theme which is one of the best themes out there for Elementor websites.

It offers Elementor-like features inside the Gutenberg editor such as global styling & a lot more. You can learn more about the Kadence theme here.

The theme settings are usually found in the customizer. From a long list of options, go to the General tab > Layout option.

Once you're here, the settings panel looks somewhat like this…


As you can see in the above image, I’ve set the content max-width to 1280px which is a standard layout.

Also, I’ve disabled the sidebar options for my pages & posts.

So, if I select the theme option inside my Elementor page layout then the page layout will become 1280px wide just as we have defined in the theme.

In case I change the theme layout option (from customizer) to 1200px then the page built with elementor will also become 1200px wide.

I hope you understood the relationship.

To conclude, Theme Layout inside Elementor = The Content width Layout defined in theme settings.

Also Read: How to Desing your WordPress website like a pro

Now let’s talk about the Elementor Default Layout…

As I mentioned above, the default layout is the layout set in Elementor Global settings > Layout settings.

Quick Note: Global styling is only available in the pro version. In case you haven’t, Grab one license of Elementor Pro here.

Let me quickly share where these settings are & what I’m talking about…

Inside the Elementor Global settings, or rather say site settings, there’s an option called layout settings.


Here, inside the Layout settings, there’s an option called default page layout.

Clicking on it will open 3 options & they are:

  • Theme
  • Elementor Canvas
  • Elementor Full Width

Now, whatever layout you set here, will be the default layout for all your pages created with elementor as well as the ones you’ll be creating in the future.

For example, If I set Theme as a default layout in Global Layouts settings, then for my individual pages created with elementor, my page layout will switch to theme mode, and the content width will be 1280px including the header & footer for those pages. (This is what I use)

But, If I set Elementor canvas as a default layout in Global Layouts settings, then for my individual pages created with elementor, my page layout will switch to canvas mode & remove the header & footer from those pages.

Similarly, If I set Elementor Full-width as a default layout in Global Layouts settings, then for my individual pages created with elementor, my page layout will switch to the full-width mode which will also include the header & footer for those pages.

I hope I was able to explain the layouts.

It seems complicated but you’ll understand by testing & trying.

If I’ve to explain by taking the example of my own site, then:

  • Selecting Theme will give me 1280px content-width including header & footer.
  • Selecting Default will give me the Theme 1280px layout. (Bcoz I’ve set default layout as a theme in global settings)
  • Selecting Elementor Full-width will give me the full-width content including header & footer.
  • Selecting Elementor Canvas will give me a fully blank canvas layout. No header, no footer, noting.

Now that you’ve understood the difference between all layouts, here are a few tips on which layouts to use based on conditions…

Elementor Canvas or Full-width? Which Layout to use when?

The best way for selecting layouts, be it canvas or full-width, would be first to understand the use case.

For example, If I’m creating a sales page, a bridge page, or a checkout page then I’ll be using the Elementor canvas layout.

You may ask, Kuldeep, what's the reason for doing that?

Well because on such conversion pages, I would like people to take the action & not navigate my site & see what other pages I’ve & how well they are designed 😅.

But when I’m creating some site pages such as the contact page, services page, blog post archive page, etc then I’ll be using the Elementor Full-width layout.

The reason for this is I want people to navigate to other pages as well & check my other content.

Need some real-life examples? There we go…

Take a look at Elementor’s homepage (you can also visit the homepage by clicking on this link)

Example – Elementor Full-width Layout

On the homepage, the visible part is Header (It’s a stretched/full-width header), the Content & obviously the Footer.

From this page, we can easily navigate to the features page, pricing page, etc. So we can assume that it’s a full-width layout.

Note: On the Elementor homepage, just the header section is stretched to full width, and the rest of the content is within a boxed layout.

Now let’s take a look at Elementor’s checkout page…

Example – Elementor Canvas Layout

Here, you can still see the (different) header & footer but they are not for navigational.

The purpose here is very clear & i.e to get conversions & obviously, offer a distraction-free checkout.

So it's likely that for this checkout page, the Elementor Canvas layout is used.

I hope you got some clarity.

If you’re like me, you’ll also love tips & tricks. So, here are a few tips on choosing layouts…

Tips on choosing appropriate Layouts inside WordPress and Elementor

If you build websites with Elementor or even WordPress Gutenberg editor, here are a few tips that will improve your website design as well as help you with conversions…

  • 1140px, 1200px, 1280px, 1400px & 1920px are some of the standard content width layouts that are widely used & recommended (I personally use 1280px)
  • If you’re designing a landing page, lead page, bridge page, checkout page, etc, using the Elementor Canvas layout will be a good choice.
  • If you’re designing a content page like a blog post or pages that are meant to be read, choosing a narrow layout somewhat around 800px will be a good option. It will enhance readability.
  • Elementor's Full-width layout is perfect for website pages such as contact pages, homepage, services, about, etc because showing the header & footer on such pages makes sense.

That being said, I’ve come to the end of this post.

I hope I was able to help you understand the difference between Elementor canvas and Elementor Full Width.

Which layout you're going to use from now onwards? Let me know in the comments below.

Lastly, I know that you’re good at hitting the share buttons 😉

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