PLANETS MOST EXHAUSTIVE REVIEW OF DIVI THEME
The Divi theme is a relatively new entry into the market of Word press themes. Its creator’s Elegant Themes term it as a real multi-purpose theme that will help you re-design and customize your WordPress blog or website into a beautiful work of art.
For avid WordPress users, Elegant Themes are also the creators of Bloom Plugin and Extra WP theme, both extremely popular for their easy website building capabilities. Now Divi theme has received a lot of praise from other reviews termed as a powerful, elegant and even the best multi-purpose theme currently in the market. In this article, we will examine this theme in greater detail to determine if it truly is one of the top themes in the market.
In a general overview of the theme, one cannot help but be enamored by its attractive design and the fact that with loads of ready-made layouts it is possible to design stunning websites without any coding. But, let us first look into all this theme has to offer before we praise it any further.
The theme can be downloaded from the developer’s website Elegant Themes. Due to its low memory requirements, you don’t even need a PC and can download it and use it directly on your phone. The installation is a quick task with easy to follow prompts and after some new menu items will appear on your WordPress dashboard. The items will appear under the Appearance menu allowing you to configure the theme to your specifications. The options here include; navigation for your site, changing color schemes, widgets, changing the background image and also options for static front page among other features. It is also at this menu where you get the options of setting up your websites logo and name.
The Divi ePanel
Apart from the customization panel, Divi also has an ePanel. Sometimes it is necessary to change some of Divi’s default options to get the site looking the way you want it. To locate the ePanel first go to the Divi dashboard, from the dashboard go to Divi > Theme Options. The ePanel comes with the standard bells and whistles found in all good Website Builders. You can adjust various parameters here. It enables you to modify the number and choice of pages and their categories. Also, Ad Management on the ePanel helps you in handling your websites advert displays and size of banners.
BUILDING YOUR WEBSITE- Drag and Drop!
So now you have installed your Divi theme and customized it to your specifications, time to build your website. For this Elegant Themes included a powerful drag and drop tool that enable you to drag articles, images, gifs and other website content and place them straight on your site, where you want them. First, you got to Open Pages on your site then to Add New. Under the Add New page title bar, you will see the Page Builder button. Click on it, and it brings up a back-end website customization screen on your site.
Isn’t this what other WordPress themes offer?
It is, but there is a twist when it comes to Divi Site Developer. Previously users of Divi earlier versions had to build their pages in the back-end of the website, but the new version Divi 2.7 and Divi 3.0 offer you the option of making your site on the front-end of your website. The back-end though is simplified with rows and columns based layout. You can insert as many columns and rows as you need. Within the rows and columns are modules that are well labeled making it easy to work with them. There are 32 premade layouts but you are free to create your own, and also you can drag the modules about to where you would prefer them.
But, for quick customization, the front-end visual builder is the tool of choice. This option enables you to build your web page while observing what visitors to your site will see in real time. It still uses modules, but they appear in the foreground of your WordPress page. The controls to the modules are only visible when you move the cursor over the module.
When you click on the module, a panel pops up where you can edit the information that is in that module.
The only drawbacks here is that it takes a while before you get the grove of working with the visual builder due to the heavy use of icons. Memorizing the various functions of the icons takes up some time. The visual builder can also be very distracting as you get to watch the appearance and the content of your layout come to life.
There are over 40 different types of modules to choose from, each with its specific functionalities and properties. They include content sliders, call to action buttons, testimonials, pricing tables and much more.
The diversity offers you a greater scope of options to help you create the perfect website.
Divi has also incorporated a role editor into the theme, which is accessed from Divi button then to the role editor button. This button enables you to choose user roles: Administrator, Editor, Author or contributor and the various permissions that they have. Website Management can be a huge task to take on alone, so the option to bring in a few helping hands is a very welcome addition. The role editor also lets you set limits on what each individual can do on your site depending on the role that they play and exactly what they have access to. For example, you can make it that the authors and editors can only have access to articles and are not able to say, change the color settings on the site.
So what else does the Divi theme offer?
Let’s look into that.
Granted, the main attraction point for the Divi theme is the easy website building capabilities but, underneath the Christmas wrapping Elegant Themes threw in a few more additional features that are bound to surprise you.
Split Testing Tools
This feature is appropriately named Divi Leads by its developers. The feature allows you to compare two or more variations of a page or the elements of the site itself to find out which version delivers results or which elicits a better reaction by visitors to your site. The ability to get statistics on visitors’ behavior on your site can prove to be an indispensable tool towards improving your website. You can use the data to develop your website for optimum efficiency and all this from within the Divi builder interface.
The stats will appear like this. A line represents a different item that you chose so you can observe where performance was up and where it was down as compared to the copy items.
After activating the split test tool, you get to select the page or module that you want to maximize which the tool then creates a copy of. You then can set different parameters like color change, different content, or visitor interaction. The tool then tracks the activity of the original as compared to the copy giving you real-time stats.
Sometimes you may have two or more sites that have been created using the Divi theme. This feature first came out with Divi 2.7 which allows you the portability of site settings from one website to another. You can transfer specific groups of controls and settings between your different WordPress Websites. The portable parameters include theme customizer settings, Divi user roles, Divi library packs and theme options. You need only save your settings and work in your Divi library. Saved library items can then be integrated into your layouts, straight from the builder. This feature comes in handy if you may need to use the same column and content settings on many pages on your site and also if you are creating websites for multiple clients. Divi portability allows you to make a repository of pre-created elements and settings which could be your trademark design, efficiently storing them and allowing you to use them when a need arises.
Divi portability also allows you to copy any image files you used on one site to another. It will also include all references to the files updating their new location on the destination site. This feature further increases the speed with which you can build your websites, and the developers have made new looking Divi library packs which are available for free download.
Detailed History and Undo and Redo Keyboard Shortcuts
In a bid to further streamline the website creation process the developers have added another feature which is undo and redo buttons. The feature makes tracking forwards and backwards through changes you make very straightforward. That means you can undo something you accidentally deleted. Furthermore, you can even add hotkeys on your keyboard for the undo and redo actions making the process even simpler. You can also access the history of changes for each module by opening up a history panel. The button should be located on your far right under the tool bar on your builder interface. This feature will enable you to jump backward and forwards to a specific time when you made certain changes.
All Post Types and PDF Support
In the previous version, page builder tool of Divi only worked on WordPress pages, which was ideal for creating custom designs for your home page, landing page and about page. In recent versions, they’ve added support for blog posting and also PDF support meaning you can now use Divi to create blog posts. The PDF support means you can now also upload and attach PDFs to your posts further enhancing your content and thus creating a more comprehensive site experience. Creating custom layouts with your choice of dynamic modules and elements is now not only just for creating pages alone but also for every post you make.
As we stated earlier the modules in Divi are fully customizable, but we didn’t say to what extent. Well, get this, each module has over 200 settings available. That’s right, covering details like animation effects, loading, colors, sizes and much more. The options you get for designing and creating your page or blog posts are limitless with a more dynamic range of freedom. The best part is that these custom modules are downloadable from the developers’ website as WordPress plugins so you can update with new modules giving you more options.
The new Divi theme also gives you typography control over the texts you enter. The controls allow you to change color, height, font, spacing, capitalization and various other options. And this control covers all areas of your site including footers and headers, links, titles, body and any part of your page that contains a text.
Header and Navigation Area Design Layouts
The most integral part of your website is your home page and header as this is the first thing a visitor on your site will see. An aesthetically appealing design will determine whether the visitor will stay to discover more on your page or leave. The Divi theme offers you various design layouts to help you in creating the perfect landing page. Through the new customizable layouts, you can change the size and position of your header or logo. There are also more options to make use of fixed area headers and the ability to enable subtle scrolling for a more significant effect on visitors to your site. This feature can also be downloaded as a Divi Standalone package if you had a previous version of Divi already installed.
You can even toggle the transparency of your header navigation area. This enables you to let your background images and videos are seen further enhancing your landing page.
Sometimes you may have a lot of space to fill up on your site for aesthetic purposes Divi offers you full with modules that can fit from end to end of your page whether vertical or horizontal. By using this feature of Divi, you can now enter full-width content to your posts and sites. Through row settings in the builder, you can insert a full-width row into your blog posts and then proceed to place your full-width content. This allows you to enter sizeable full-width images into your posts while keeping a fixed text area width.
It is not limited to only images alone; any module can also be inserted into a full-width row allowing you to create stunning post layout that just isn’t on offer with many other WordPress themes on the market.
Improved Custom CSS Handling
Although the Divi theme has gone out of its way to remove all aspects of coding they have still allowed for CSS handling. This may be for the more tech savvy but if you still like to create your webpage programing Divi CSS handling will enable you to create your commands within some aspects of the Divi theme. This feature has been added to all rows, sections, and modules and comes in the form of a custom CSS tab.
If you see something, you need to customize, but can’t find the corresponding module or command you can use the CSS tab to customize a module to get what you want. This also applies to when you want to create a site that caters to children. You can just CSS customize an already set out theme to fit your new demographic. This feature reduces your need to download third party plugins while at the same time helping you build a more personalized and better WordPress site with less time.
Elegant Themes have also added some demo websites for you to go over as you design your website. The idea is to help you to get a feel for the true capabilities of the Divi theme and all the possibilities that it avails regarding site creation. The demo sites have been created using core Divi features and using no code customizations. The templates make use of the latest features of Divi, including newly updated modules, full-width layouts and improved controls and settings to show you the website creation power of Divi.
Languages and RTL
Divi theme also comes with 32 inbuilt language translations meaning you do not have to install a third-party plugin for translation and your site is not limited in its reach due to a language barrier. In addition to this, it also comes with full RTL support so you will always be up to date with new translations and new word additions.
Elegant Themes took their time to make Divi 3.0 their most comprehensive website builder to date. To further ease your site building task they also included a layout importer which allows you to import layouts from other sites that you own. Even if you did not use Divi to create the website the layout importer is still able to copy the design and integrate it into the Divi builder interface. From there you can proceed to customize it with Divi tools to fit your new website specifications. That way you do not have to build pages from the ground up.
Support and Documentation
Elegant Themes offers 24-hour support for all its products with a members’ only forum, and sub-forums for each theme, plus a few additional ones to cater for their other products. Most of the forums discuss only specific themes and are open-ended. This means anyone can answer your question, but, most of the time only trained moderators and Divi technicians will handle your issue.
In the process of installing the theme, online documentation covers all the necessary processes to get your site running and looking like the demo version on their site or to allow you to make your customized layout. Extensive documentation is provided, so it is not likely that you will need to call their support. Divi documentation is targeted mainly to consumers who are new to web building and therefore easy to understand. The user interaction for the page maker is excellently designed to get you started right away on your page building even if you are new to the platform.
Elegant Themes offer different packages to fit the pocket of every user. To get the Divi WordPress theme, you have to become a member of the Elegant Themes community. Once you are a member, you gain access to all the items and other products depending on the package. There are different packages to choose from:
- The Personal package- at $69 per year which gives you access to all themes, updates, support and unlimited use for one year.
- The Developer package- at $89 per year which gives you access to all themes, plugins, PSD files, updates, support and unlimited use for one year.
- The Lifetime package- at $249 one-time fee which gives you access to all the benefits of the Developer package for a lifetime.
Although the price of Lifetime plan is a one-off fee, the Yearly option must be renewed each you to maintain access to support, theme and plugin updates, and access to new products. You also get access to the Monarch social sharing plugin, and the Bloom email list building plugin. If you opt not to renew your subscription, you can continue to use the products that you have already installed unsupported.
An important mention is that plug-ins and new website layout packs are regularly posted on the Elegant Themes Blog, providing you with even more options for creating your WordPress website.
Regarding its utility, the Divi WordPress theme is a solid choice. It boasts of a user-friendly interface for those who are not technically savvy. The website builder by far is its most appealing aspect that enables you to build up an aesthetically appealing web page with just a few clicks. The pre-loaded layouts also come in handy when timelines have to be met. It also has multiple language support and translation meaning you can reach more visitors to your website. The different modules and their functionalities also offer you more options for page creation and the ability to customize them means that they will fit any specifications that you may require. But, just in case they don’t which I would think is highly unlikely you can still code your functionalities into them with CSS handling. All in all Elegant Themes have pulled all the stops to make the Divi theme your best companion for website creation.
It is ideal for individuals who have no technical knowledge of website building.
It is designed for multiple functions with something that caters to everyone’s specifications be it bloggers, freelancers, online magazines, and stores, etc.
It gives you the ability to craft beautiful Websites without resorting to the use of coding.
The drag and drop page builder gives you the pleasure of working with ease.
Beautiful design and very responsive graphic visuals.
Extensive documentation and responsive support for people new to the WordPress platform
Lifetime updates on the lifetime package.
Good value for your money.
The numerous options can overwhelm you if you are not specific on what you are looking for.
For developers who like a more hands-on experience, they may find the simplified interface limiting to work with.
Once you have experience Divi, switching from it to another WordPress theme could be disastrous.
Frequently asked questions
- What is Divi?
The Divi theme is a solid, highly customizable theme for WordPress developed by Elegant Themes that enables you to create web pages using pre-loaded layouts that you can customize.
- How much does the Divi theme cost?
The Divi theme comes as part of a package from Elegant Themes which is inclusive of all their other themes, plugins and products. There are two main themes; the Developers package which costs $89 per year, to be renewed yearly and the Lifetime package which costs $249 and lasts for life.
- How do I update my Divi theme?
Elegant Themes provide automatic upgrades for all its community members, but you are also free to visit their website and manually download updates and plugins as they are released. They also post updates on their blog site where you can also access them.
- How do I install my Divi theme?
Upon purchase, Elegant Themes provide full documentation and support for its products where one can get help in case of problems with installation or other technical difficulties.
- Does my Divi support SEO optimization?
Yes, it does. This can is done by downloading SEO optimization plugins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast which is fully supported by the Divi theme.
- How do I showcase and share PDFs with my Divi WordPress theme?
The Divi theme provides modules for every aspect of posting that you may require including uploads such as E-books and PDFs. Once you have located the module that fits your need upload and sharing is a click away.
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