Divi Theme Review: Beautiful, Flexible, Responsive

Divi Theme Review: Beautiful, Flexible, Responsive

DIVI THEME REVIEW

22 Reasons Why I Love Divi And You Will Too.

5 common business structures

Margit Willems, Owner

22 March 2016

Still looking for a WordPress theme that is beautiful and easy to use—without breaking the bank?  Look no further!

Before I jump into the Divi theme review, I want to offer a short overview of what Divi is and what it isn’t, as well as how the post is organized.

What is Divi?

Divi is a WordPress theme from Elegant Themes that could revolutionize the way you build websites.

What makes this theme so special is the Drag & Drop Page Builder, referred to as the Divi Builder, that allows you to modify not only your site’s content, but the site design itself. Stated differently, instead of having to change themes, you simply rearrange the modules within the Divi Builder.

Due to its popularity, Elegant Themes now offers the Divi Builder as a WordPress plugin that works with virtually any WordPress theme — even themes not built by Elegant Themes.

Divi Theme Review Structure?

Because I want to provide you with a review from a personal user perspective, instead of one from a developer perspective, I start the review with my personal website journey—the different things I tried before finding the best solution that meets my website needs.

Next, I go into the actual Divi theme review. What started with a list of top 10 benefits/features turned into 22. The list is organized in order of importance with one exception—the new visual builder, which is currently listed  near the end of the Divi theme review, but most likely will be moved to the top in the very near future. The reason for this is because it is the latest update and I have only used it for a few days.

DIVI THEME REVIEW

My Website Journey

When I started my coaching and consulting business in 2008, I took advantage of a starter website package that was offered through my coach training provider.

At first glanze, it looked like a very attractive offer and included:

  • domain name registration,
  • website hosting for one year,
  • five (5) simple, beautiful, “plain vanilla” pages, and
  • up to three revisions/updates per year.

All I was required to do was to provide the content to populate the pages and they would do the rest.

All sounded to good to be true.

After submitting my content I was in for the first of several surprises.

  1. Formatting:  “Great News!” read the email. “We received your content and populated your site…” The text was there, but the formatting was gone. When I inquired about this, I was informed formatting is extra. This added a hefty sum to the original offer.
  2. Three Revisions: when I submitted my first update, I received an email stating that I had used up all my credits for revision/updates. What had happened to my revision/updates?
  3. Hostage: two weeks prior to renewal, per agreement, I elected the option to have my website hosted with a different hosting service–GoDaddy. Nothing happened. This is when my new web developer told me, “You are kept hostage with your account.”

Second Website

Yes, before switching to a new hosting provider, I had already hired someone to re-do my website.

But the new site was expensive–thousands of dollars expensive. Because of this, my web developer and I had decided to start with the front page (a cost of a few thousand dollars) and to add new pages over time.

Even so the site was great, I was still dependent on the web developer to make simple changes. This was just as expensive over time and I decided it was time to explore other options.

Third Website

This time I decided to go with a website builder provider.  The kind you can start for free, or pay a monthly fee to have the provider’s name removed in the URL (www.yourname.theirname.com). I opted to pay the monthly fee. This didn’t last long. While you had a nice templates to choose from, you couldn’t make changes to the template.

Fourth Website

It was time to make a major switch. I called the folks at GoDaddy and told them that I wanted to switch to Wordpress and what would I need to do to make this happen.  Because the domain was already registered through GoDaddy all I had to do was to switch hosting providers with a word of caution: “the old site would go down and I would have to start over.” Even so this meant re-building my site, I decided to move forward. I made the switch and have never looked back. I finally had the control and flexibility I had wanted all along—to make updates on the fly.

Plus, I had thousands of themes to choose from, and many offered premium versions for an annual fee per site. (Yes, I have more than one site.) A near perfect fit, until I was introduced to Divi.

Present Website

Early in 2015, while attending a monthly WordPress Meetup, one of my developer friends asked me if I had checked out “Divi,” the newest theme by Elegant Themes. I told him “No.” He suggested I should. I asked him “Why.” His response was a short and to the point one sentence Divi Theme review—”it saves me a lot of time and looks absolutely stunning, and it will do the same for you.”

Off I went to explore Divi.

DIVI THEME REVIEW

22 Reasons Why I Love Divi

1. Divi (Page) Builder

The Divi Builder is what sold me on Divi.

The Divi Builder allowed me to give my pages a personalized, unique and polished look.

Before I started using the Builder I had two choices, either have page after page looking the same, or format and customize the content of a page with HTML code and various plugins.

Because I only knew the most basic HTML codes I often had to search the internet for tutorials that showed what I wanted to do. This was always a time consuming task and, because of this, I often abandoned the idea and used more plugins to give a my site a more personalized look.

Little did I know that plugins add to the load of a website and often slow a site down. Good load time is crucial for any website. If you ever visited a site that took forever to load you know what I mean. Plus, Google favors sites with optimum load speed.  Since using the Divi Builder I was able to bring down my loadspeed a considerable amount.

Let’s take a closer look at the Builder.

The Builder consists of sections, rows and modules.

Sections are the foundation blocks. Think of sections as the frame and foundation of a house. Divi gives you four section options:

  • Fullwidth Section
  • Standard Section
  • Specialty Section
  • Add from Library (more about this later)

Each section comes with a number of features you can set to your liking. For example, if you want a certain background color, a background image, parallex effect, or maybe a video, you can do so in the section module.

Each section also comes with predefined modules. For example, the fullwidth section allows you to add a fullwidth header, while a standard section does not. Further, the standard section allows you to add rows, while a fullwith section does not.

Rows are the next element. Think of rows as the rooms in your house. After you select a section, you add rows and within each row you nest modules.

For example, I can select a single row and add a module like a picture that takes up the width of a standard row, or I can add a row module with a combination of several columns. Using our house example, a single row is the living room, while a one-fourth and three-fourth row combination is the bedroom (3/4th) with a closet (1/4th).

The really cool thing is, you can mix and match sections into one page, with many row combinations. You are not limited to a static template that allows you to do one thing and one thing only.

This is were you can get really creative with your layout.

Before I move on to the content modules, I want to mention the premade layout pages

2. Premade Page Layouts

Need a helping hand to get started with designing a new page?

Divi comes with over 30 predefined page layouts—ranging from blog post layout to corporate front page.

If you are a new to WordPress, I highly recommend for you to start with one of the premade page layout templates.  The templates include the differnt sections, rows and modules and are populated with “Lorem Ipsum”(dummy text), to give you an idea what to include and also a feel for what the page will look like.

The other nice thing about the premade page templates is that you simply remove the modules you don’t want or need on your page.  If you removed a module and later change your mind, don’t worry. Simply add the module back into the template.

In addition, there is a growing collection of new layouts available, for download, on the Divi blog.

Now, back to content modules.

3. Content Modules

Want to build your page without using the predefined layouts?

You can do this any way you want it by electing the sections (full width, standard, specialty or from library) you want, pick the modules available for the sections and voila, you just build a page in minutes without complicated coding.

Want to add more content? In Divi this is easy as pie.  Just add another row and the modules you want. The theme comes with over 40 content modules including: full size post slider, full size image, contact form, video, and the list goes on. And, of course, the text module.

Each module also comes with general and advanced design settings, as well as CSS settings. In my example, I used the blurb module. I started in the general settings, then went into advanced settings (changed color, font, and added a background), and lastly, went to CSS settings and added some code to give the blurb the circular look. When you browse through my website, you will discover that I use the blurb module extensively on several pages.  

v

This is a Blurb

I was created in the general settings tab.

v

This is a Blurb

I was created in the advanced settings tab.

v

This is a Blurb

I was dressed up in CSS settings…look at me now!

4. Responsive Web Design

With more and more people using smartphones and tablets when searching the internet, it is important to have a mobile friendly website.

Divi is a responsive WordPress theme that looks great on any device.  it also has the functionality for you to check what your page will look like while you’re working on your page.

5. No Coding Required

Yes, in Divi you can create absolutely stunning web pages without knowing HTML or PHP code. While knowledge in CSS is useful, it is not required. Moreover, if you absolutely want to have some additional “bells and whistles” on your page, you can always use one of the many CSS code generators available on the internet for free. Also, don’t forget the Divi blog where you can get creative ideas, as wells as the code, to use in your design..

6. Import/Export Function

The Import/Export function in the Divi Library allows you to easily, well, import and export templates from one Divi library to another. If you have multiple sites, just imagine how much time you can save by important pages you would duplicate on another site. If you are a web designer, just imagine how much time you can save with exporting wireframes to a client’s web site.

7. Create And Save To Library

You just created the perfect section or, maybe, even a complete page and want to use the design for multiple pages. But how do you do this without always starting from scratch?  Divi comes with an added productivity feature—create one and use in many pages.  

To do so, simply add what you created to the library.  This function is available for sections, rows, and modules. For example, I saved the social media and the footer module as global module to the library.  Not only can I add this module to any page with a few clicks, but the changes I make to the module will automatically update the module on every page it is place.

This feature alone saves you a lot of time.

8. Bloom eMail Plugin

I have tried many WordPress email plugins.  Some I liked, others I didn’t. Before switching to Divi, I had someone create my pop-up boxes, but all lacked personality.  Plus, even small changes came with a cost. Hence, paying the extra money ($20) for the developer option is was well worth it. You can create, change and modify a pop-up until you find the one that works through the build in A/B testing function.

Plus, because Bloom is designed to integrate with Divi, you don’t have to worry about plugin compatibility issues.  You don’t have to try numerous plugins before you find one that works best for you and also your theme.

9. Landing Pages

If want to create simple landing pages as gateways,for email capture or webinar registrations, you can do so with Divi.

This is especially helpful when you are first starting out and don’t want to invest in Leadpages or similar services.

Within Divi, simply use the blank page option and create the page. The blank page option will remove the header and the footer from your page, as well as the navigation menu. Removing these elements when creating lead pages/squeeze pages is important.

Why is this important?

When you build a page with a specific objective in mind, you want to eliminate all other distractions. The visitor has basically two choices: 1. respond to the Call-To-Action, or 2. Leave the page. For example, when you direct a visitor to your site, through social media or email, you want the visitor to either take action e.g., download a free offer or leave the site. Nothing more, nothing less.

In a future article I will cover the anatomy of a landing page.

10. Documentation

The documentation for Divi is easy to read and follow. It is written for the beginner in mind. I know developers sometimes complain about this, but then again, Divi was created to help people like you and me to create beautiful websites right out of the box.

11. Divi Facebook Community

Can’t find what you are looking for in the Divi documentation? Fear not. After you purchase Divi you can join the Divi Facebook group where you can ask questions and get answers either from one of the community members or the Divi moderators.

The FB community is also a place to ask for help on technical issues. I want to say 99% of the time the issues is resolved, without needing formal Divi support.

12. Divi Chat

In addition to the Facebook community, Elegeant Themes recently included “chat” on their product pages.

If you still have questions after reading my review, you can also ask them through the “chat” box.

13. Divi Support

If all the above support options failed, you can alwasy turn in a support ticket through the official member page.

Because I personally never had to use this feature, I can’t tell you about the response time.  In all honesty, I never looked into it.

14. Updates

Since I first purchased the Divi theme there have been many updates. Too many to keep track of.

There are a few I feel relevant to mention and included these below.

15. Elegant Theme Staff Listens

You may ask, “Why so many updates?”  The answer is fairly simple.

The developers at Elegant Themes are always asking for feedback through the Facebook community about what works, can be improved, and what would be nice to add.

I remember when they asked us to provide us with features we would like to see in Divi.

Well, some of the “wish list” features have been rolled out with previous updates. And, I’m pretty sure there are more to come.

16. A/B Split Testing

In all honesty, when the A/B split testing feature was introduced, I thought I would have no use for it.

I was wrong.

I recently started A/B split testing on another site of mine and I love it. It offered me valuable insights between two page designs.

17. Beta Testing Opportunity

I haven’t joined this group—yet,

Want to test new updates before they are released, then this group is available for you to join.

18. Affordable

You can purchase Divi to meet your budget (see pricing table below).

I started with the developer plan, but upgraded to the lifetime member plan within a a few months.  To be more specific, I upgraded before my renewal fee for another theme was due.  While I liked the other theme, I was only able to install it on one site and had to purchase additional site licenses if I wanted it on my other sites. Divi I can install on a many sites as I desire. Just to give you an idea, the annual renewal fee for the old theme was $99.00 for one site.  Hence, the difference for the upgrade was only a few dollars more. Plus, over a period of three years I actually saved $60.00.

In addition, if you purchase the developer or lifetime access option, you get the Bloom and Monarch plugin. Bloom alone justified the $20 difference between the personal and developer license.

19. Child Themes

Want to make changes to your theme without erasing your changes?  To do so you would create a child theme, a separate set of files that you can use to customize the theme without affecting the original theme at all. This makes updating themes easier, but it also makes sure that you will never mess up your original theme because you are never actually actually modifying the themes original files.

With Divi it is easy to create child themes.

You can learn more about child themes in the WordPress Codex.

20. Restricted User Access

WordPress comes with a set of user default roles, the Divi Role Editor allows you to limit the types of actions that can be taken by the different user roles. This a great way to limit the functionality available to guest authors, virtual assistants, or your customers to ensure they only have access to the necessary theme options available to them.

The Divi Role Editor feature becomes especially important as your site grows. The more people that have access to your site, the more you run the risk of having even seemingly minor changes made to your site.

Divi Theme Review

21. Visual Builder

Almost last but not least. In it’s most recent update of Divi (version 3.0), Elegant Themes released the Visual Builder, a feature that allows you to build your pages on the front-end of your website. For example, this page was build using the visual builder.

It takes a little getting used to, but once you have figured out how it works, it is an awesome feature. Before, I had to update to preview the page several times to see how the page looked on the front-end. The visual builder eliminates this back and forth and, because of it, makes it a powerful time-saving feature.

The Visual Builder is one feature that truly separates Divi from all other themes or builder plugins.

22. 30 Day Guarantee

 

Nick Roach and his team believe in their products and offer a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, so joining is risk-free!.

At the time of writing, Elegant Themes is also offering a 10% discount on new memberships and upgrades.

Divi WordPress Theme

Divi Theme Review Summary

Today, compared to just a few years ago, there are many WordPress themes to choose from that meet your unique business needs. The trick is to find a theme that not only works for you in the short-term, but also in the long-term.

Divi is such a theme.

With Divi, and the Divi Builder WordPress plugin, you can build just about any page that meets your heart’s desire.

If you are a beginner, you can start with one of the many pre-made page layouts and create pages that not only look fantastic, but also very professional. As you gain experience, you can further format and customize your pages through the Advanced and CSS settings feature.

Furthermore, the Divi framework, with its sections, rows and 40+  modules, allows you to build stunning pages without knowing complicated code, hiring a web developer to add special features, or using third-party WordPress plugins that could slow down your sites performance.

In addition, Divi comes with a 30 day guarantee and unparalleled user support from Elegant Themes, as well as from a very active Facebook community that is priceless.

This concludes my Divi theme review.

If you like my review, or if you have questions, please leave me a comment or contact me directly. Also, if you are a Divi user and feel I left something out, let me know so I can add it to the review.

Disclaimer: The opinions in this Divi Theme Review are based on my personal experience and, hence, are written from a Divi user perspective. They are neither paid for or endorsed by Elegant Themes, the creator of Divi.  If you decide to purchase Divi through one of the links/banners on this site, I will receive a small affiliate commission.

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Margit Willems

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