Divi Theme Review
Author's Overall Rating:
Divi is the latest theme from Elegant Themes and is available as part of their pack of 87 themes. The theme has attracted a lot of attention since its release, thanks to its attractive design and range of features including the Divi page builder tool.
To help establish the quality of the theme, this Divi review will look at the features of the theme, as well as testing out the page builder tool to see how easy it is to use and what exactly it can do.
After installing the Divi theme (Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload), a number of menu items are added to the WordPress dashboard. These can be found under the Appearance menu and allow you to configure the theme.
Divi Theme Options Control Panel
In a recent update to Divi, the Theme Options control panel has been completely overhauled to give it a more elegant design.
As well as the improved user interface, Divi’s Theme Options control panel is now much more powerful. Through the settings and options, you can quickly upload a logo for your website, choose a new color palette, set up social media integrations, decide how many posts are displayed on a page, and much more.
Other settings of the panel make it easy to control how your site’s navigation works, configure the global settings for the general layouts of your posts and pages, manage adverts, and enable the search engine optimization (SEO) settings if you aren’t using a dedicated SEO plugin.
Appearance of Divi
This theme looks excellent as the demo shows. It’s a big step up from previous efforts and incorporates a lot of the most popular elements of the latest premium WordPress themes. These features include full-width layouts, large sliders, attractive icons, a responsive design, full-length one page layouts, and much more.
Divi is also compatible with WooCommerce so anyone building an eCommerce store with WordPress can take advantage of the excellent appearance of Divi. In fact, the theme comes with a number of prebuilt layouts for anyone creating an online store.
Thanks to the different layouts that come with this theme, it can easily be used for any number of purposes. These can range from creating a sales page, the website for a creative agency, a range of portfolio types, multiple blog layouts, and a whole lot more.
The design and appearance of Divi are really impressive and the look and feel is versatile enough to be used for pretty much any type of website. However, the visual design and appearance of Divi isn’t the only great feature on offer.
Divi Drag and Drop Page Builder
As well as the great design and appearance of the theme, the main selling point of Divi is perhaps its drag and drop page builder. The builder can be accessed from the standard WordPress post and page editor via a new button that the theme adds. Since the release of version 2.4 of Divi, the builder works with all post types, including blog posts.
Once clicked, the standard WordPress post editor is transformed into the new Divi page builder tool.
To allow you to build pages and custom layouts, Divi makes use of a three-level hierarchical system. This system consists of sections, rows, and modules which can be demonstrated like this:
Using the page builder is very easy, simply click on one of the + symbols to then insert either a new row, set of columns, or a module. There are many prebuilt column configurations to choose from. This allows you to easily divide up a row as required with hardly any effort. As each section can have multiple rows, and each row can have its own column configuration, you can get really creative with your page layouts.
If at any point you want to rearrange either the rows or the sections on your page, you can simply drag and drop them into their new slot. Unlike a theme builder such as Headway, you don’t have complete freedom over where your blocks are positioned as they can only be put in a fixed position or slot, not moved to anywhere on the page.
After you’ve added a row which contains, at least, one column, you can then begin adding modules into those columns. There are now 32 modules to choose from. This includes elements such as images, text, pricing tables, portfolios, newsletter signups, and sliders.
Once you add a module to the page, you can then edit it by clicking on its icon on the page layout screen. From there you can customize it to meet your needs using the forms and the standard WordPress post editor where necessary.
Throughout the page building process, you never have to edit any code. Although if you want to, you can add custom CSS to your page or its individual modules through the builder interface. Recent updates to Divi have seen more controls added to the builder and its modules. These controls now let you customize the individual fonts and colors used in your custom layouts, all through a visual interface.
Looking at the page builder screen doesn’t give you much of an idea of how what you are building will look like to those visiting your site. A welcome update to Divi that arrived in version 2.5 has seen the addition of the live preview feature. This gives you a way to quickly see how your custom layout will look to your visitors. Now there is no longer a need to be constantly switching back and forth between browser tabs.
To get an idea of how the page builder screen translates to an actual web page, this side by side comparison shows the page builder view, containing the different sections, rows, columns and modules, next to the actual page that has been created:
While using the page builder is very straightforward, you can save a lot of time by using one of the 30+ layouts that come with Divi (more can be downloaded via the website). These can be loaded from the page builder screen and once applied to your page, you can either add your own content or edit the page layout by adding or removing modules and rows. You can also rearrange the rows by dragging them into their new position.
The bundled layouts are very diverse including layouts for homepages, about pages, landing pages, portfolios, and even shops. The layouts are really impressive and are the best feature of this theme.
It is also possible to export your own layouts and share them amongst other users or import them into your other sites that are using the Divi theme or Divi Builder plugin. This is an excellent feature for web designers who could use this tool for creating new sites for their clients very quickly.
Once you’ve created your pages, it’s just a case of publishing them to make them live, and then setting up the navigation system to ensure they can all be reached by the visitors. If you are setting a page as your site’s homepage (as opposed to the latest blog posts), changing that setting in WordPress (Settings > Reading > Front page) is also required.
Divi 2.7 – Split Testing Tools, Improved Portability and More Page Options
Although Divi was first released in late 2013, it has been constantly updated and improved since then and remains Elegant Themes’ flagship WordPress theme. While Elegant Themes has released new themes and plugins since the arrival of Divi, this theme still gets plenty of attention in the form of new features and settings.
Now on version 2.7, the highlight of the latest update to Divi is the addition of a powerful split testing system. This new feature, called Divi Leads, now allows you to compare two or more variations of a page or its individual elements in order to find out which version delivers the best results.
The benefit to you as the website owner is that you’ll now be able to create pages that convert better against your goals. For example, if you wanted to sell more products you could use Divi Leads to compare a few different product images to find out which one results in more items being added to your store’s shopping cart. Maybe you’re a freelancer and you want more of your visitors to request a quote. Now with Divi Leads, you can split test two or more different calls to action or any of the other element on your sales page.
In the past, you’d need to rely on guesswork or blindly follow the advice of others. Now with Divi Leads you can test and measure your content to find out what works with your unique offer and audience, right from within the Divi Builder interface.
Using Divi Leads to Split Test Your Designs
Using Divi Leads to run split tests might sound complicated, but in practice, it couldn’t be easier. When working on a page using the Divi Builder, simply right-click on a module that you want to optimize and then choose Split Test from the available options. While you can split test most elements of your pages, call to actions or regular buttons are good candidates, especially when starting out with content optimization.
After activating the Split Test tool, you can then select which module you want to optimize. This then creates a copy of the module, where you can make the changes that you want to test. This could include modifying the colors, text, or any other aspects of the module that you can modify through the settings.
While the experiment is running, you can view the split testing stats to find out which version of your module has the highest conversion rate. Once a winner emerges, you can stop the test and set the best performing version of the module as the default item, or start a new test comparing it against another variation.
With Divi Leads, you can test multiple modules simultaneously, while creating as many variations of each item as you want. These tests can be run on many different pages at the same time to help you optimize your entire site at once. Divi Leads also works with many different goals, such as the number of times a button is clicked, bounces rates for a certain page, and the click through rates to a specific piece of content on your site.
Who Should Use Divi Leads?
If your website has been built with any goal in mind, whether that’s more page views, increased downloads, or greater sales numbers, then the new Divi Leads feature gives you an easy way to improve your goal conversion rates and make your site more effective.
Furthermore, if you are creating websites for clients, Divi Leads gives you a straightforward way to deliver better results for your customers, in a way that can be easily explained and documented through the split testing results statistics.
Another highlight of Divi 2.7 is the improved portability of site settings. This aspect of Divi now allows you to transfer more specific groups of options and settings between different WordPress websites that are using Divi. The settings that can now be exported and imported include Divi Library packs, theme Customizer settings, theme options, and the custom Divi user roles.
As well as the settings and configuration details for your designs, Divi 2.7 will now transfer any image files used in your pages or Library Packs. Not only will the images be copied to your WordPress Media Library, but all references to the files will be updated too, reflecting their new location in the destination site.
To give you a better idea of just how portable the new version of Divi is, the developers of the theme have made three new great looking Divi Library Packs available for free download.
Whether you’re working on a staging version of your website, have multiple sites in your portfolio, or you need to update your clients’ sites in one go, being able to easily import and export specific settings and elements from one WordPress installation to another has many time and effort saving benefits.
Overall, the new features of Divi 2.7 have made this WordPress theme even more powerful. While the Divi Leads split testing tool is really impressive, the portability upgrades help to make this theme an even better choice for web designers who are looking for a toolkit that can accelerate the speed with which they can create sites for their clients.
It’s also worth pointing out that if you want to use any of these new features – as well as the existing ones – on your existing non-Divi powered WordPress websites, they are available as part of the Divi Builder standalone WordPress plugin.
Divi 2.5 – Live Preview, History, and a More Efficient Workflow
At lot of the improvements that have been made to this theme with the release of version 2.5 are related to the Divi Builder tool. The Divi Builder is now available as a standalone plugin that will work with any theme. However, for Divi theme users, this drag and drop page builder remains fully integrated into the theme itself.
So let’s take a look at some of the new features and improvements on offer from Divi 2.5.
Streamlined Page Creation Process
These upgrades to the page builder functionality of Divi have been focused on speeding up the page layout creation process and making it even easier to build your own custom layouts in WordPress. As Divi has grown in popularity since its initial release and is now often used by WordPress implementers to create sites for clients, it’s clear to see why cutting down on development time has been made a priority by Elegant Themes. When there are only so many hours you can work in a day, the quicker you can get the job done, the more you earn.
Right Click Context Menus
One particularly useful new feature that fits in with this way of thinking about Divi is the addition of the right-click, context sensitive menus. Now, with the Right Click Controls feature you can instantly display a menu of commonly used functions in relation to the element that has been clicked on with the right mouse button. These menu items can include copying and pasting, the locking of elements, disabling items, and other context sensitive functions.
Undo and Redo with Keyboard Shortcuts and Detailed History
Divi 2.5 now has a powerful undo and redo feature that makes tracking backwards and forwards through your changes very straightforward. Support for those common keyboard hotkey combinations, such as Ctrl + Z, or Command + Z. for Mac users is now included in Divi. As well as simply advancing through your changes, you can now open up the history panel and jump straight to a specific point in time.
Divi Role Editor
As mentioned, Divi is gaining popularity amongst web designers who want a faster way to build websites for their clients. However, one problem that did arise with this approach was that when handing over a site to a client that was built with Divi, there was nothing stopping the site owner getting overwhelmed by the controls of the builder and even breaking their custom designs. Now, though, with version 2.5, the new Divi Role Editor feature allows site developers to control what actions can be performed in Divi by their clients after handover.
Through the role editor you get a great deal of control over what users can do in Divi. This includes how users can interact with the modules, what actions they can perform in the builder, and what types of settings can be configured.
If you don’t want to end up fielding countless calls from clients who’ve run into trouble after tinkering with their website, then being able to lock down the Divi Builder should appeal.
One area where Divi was perhaps lacking, at least, compared to some of the other premium page builder tools for WordPress, was that it was missing a front-end user interface for its builder. Instead, with the Divi Builder, all the action takes place on the back end of your site. The result of this is very little correlation between the builder interface and what your visitors will see.
Release 2.5 goes a long way to overcoming this. Thanks to the addition of an easily launched live preview feature, you can quickly see how your layout will look when it goes live. This preview mode also includes easy responsive testing controls. These tools allow you to instantly resize the preview window to see how your design will be displayed on a range of screen sizes.
This is probably the biggest improvement of Divi in this update. Now you no longer have to save your work or preview the page in a new browser tab in order to experience your design as your visitors will. Opening the live preview now gives you a quick way to see your page from the front end view, without the need to save your work or switch browser tabs.
As well as all the new features and functionality, the Divi 2.5 update has ironed out a range of bugs and minor issues. This is great news for anyone looking for a long-term platform for their website or WordPress web design business as it shows that Divi is constantly being worked on and improved behind the scenes and very unlikely to become abandonware any time soon.
Divi 2.4 – Even More Features and Functionality
To prove that Divi is a long term priority for the Elegant Themes team, their flagship product has been recently updated with the release of Divi version 2.4. While last year’s upgrade to version 2.0 saw some impressive additions to the theme, version 2.4 goes even further and is billed as the biggest update in Divi’s history.
Before we dive into the details of the upgrade in more depth, some of the highlights of Divi 2.4 include: using the builder on posts, creating a library of reusable content, new module design settings, more theme customizer controls, full width content, more header and navigation layouts, and improved custom CSS handling.
Divi Builder Now Works with All Post Types
Prior to version 2.4, the impressive page builder tool of Divi only worked with WordPress pages. This was great for creating custom designs for your home page, about page, and landing pages, but what about your blog posts?
Now you can use the new and improved Divi Builder to give your individual posts a unique look and feel. Creating custom layouts, complete with your choice of dynamic modules and elements is no longer reserved for pages – now all post types can be given a makeover with Builder.
Fully Customize the Divi Builder Modules
One of the greatest features of Divi has always been the number of useful modules that can be inserted into your custom page layouts. Now these Builder modules can be fully customized to match the rest of your website.
With over 200 settings now available, each module is fully customizable. This covers details such as sizes, colors, loading and animation effects, and plenty more.
More Control over Your Page Layouts
To give your website more of a fluid and responsive look, Divi 2.4 sees the addition of more controls for setting the width, height, and spacing of the individual elements that make up your website.
The 100% fluid grid will ensure your website will look its best, no matter what screen size it is being viewed on; while pixel pushers will appreciate the ability to get the look and feel of their content just right, thanks to the new customizer controls.
Better Typography Controls
Now with Divi 2.4, you can customize all aspects of your website’s typography. This covers all areas of your site, including: headers, footers, body, titles, links, and much more. The controls on offer allow you to change the size, color, spacing, height, weight, capitalization, and more, for those elements.
Improved Header Navigation Area Designs and Layouts
The header area is perhaps the most important part of your website and with Divi, making it look perfect is now much easier.
Through the new customizer controls you can easily change the size and position of your logo and header area. You will also find more flexible options for making use of a fixed header area, as well as the ability to enable hidden scrolling for a greater impact on your visitors.
You can even set the transparency level of your header navigation area. This enables you to really let your background images and videos take center stage.
Full Width Content
While the other details of the upgrade covered so far are impressive, full width rows is perhaps the one that piqued my interest the most when reading the Divi 2.4 announcement.
By using this new feature of Divi, you can now insert full width content to your posts and pages. Through the new row settings of the builder, you can insert a full width row into your blog posts, and then populate it with custom content. This then allows you to insert large full width images into your posts, while still keeping a fixed width for your text area.
This isn’t limited to just images though, and any of the modules on offer and be inserted into a full width row. This allows you to create some impressive post layouts that simply aren’t possible with the majority of other WordPress themes currently on the market.
Create Reusable Content with the Divi Library
One particularly useful feature added with version 2.4 is the Divi Library. This time saving feature gives you the ability to easily save and reuse your custom modules, sections, and rows, as well as your entire layouts.
Your saved library artefacts can then be inserted into your layouts, directly from the builder. If you want to use the same row and content configuration on multiple pages on your site, this is a really useful feature.
However, if you are building websites for multiple clients, and want to create a repository of pre-built elements, that match your trademark design aesthetic, then the library gives you an efficient way to store and use these elements as you need them.
You can get your library started off on the right foot by downloading a free pack from the Elegant Themes blog.
Four New Demo Websites to Choose From
The lead designer at Elegant Themes has created four impressive demo websites which you can use as inspiration for your WordPress site.
These four demo sites have been built using the core Divi features and settings, with no code customizations. These templates make use of the newest features of Divi, including full width fluid layouts, the new and updated content modules, and the improved settings and controls, to really show you what is possible with this theme.
Unlimited Possibilities with Improved Custom CSS Handling
While Divi makes it even easier to build a unique WordPress website than ever before, for those that require even more control, the upgrade sees the arrival of a new Custom CSS tab. This feature has been added to all of the modules, sections, and rows of the builder.
Should you see something you want to customize, but can’t find the corresponding control, you can now easily add your own custom CSS to give it that personalize look. There’s now no need to create a new child theme – simply use the CSS input fields for the corresponding HTML element.
Overall, the Divi 2.4 update adds many more useful features, settings, and controls to the theme. This not only helps you build better, more personalized WordPress websites with less time and effort required, but also reduces your reliance of third party plugins.
Divi 2.0 – The Update
After its launch last year, Divi quickly become the most popular theme from Elegant Themes, which when you consider the number of themes they have on offer, is no mean feat. The following day after the release of version 1.0, the team began work on the next version and a year later it is now ready to be unleashed on the general public.
As part of the improvements that have been made to the theme for version 2.0, the Divi theme now includes 3 unique section types, 20 column structures, and 33 robust modules. The gives you even more options for adding column-based layouts to your posts and pages, while also having access to more modules or page elements that can be inserted into those layouts.
Other improvements and upgrades include an enhanced drag and drop page builder that makes the original version even easier to use and more powerful. The header section of the theme has also been revamped to give you more customization options, while the navigation options too have been updated to include an optional vertical navigation area.
With Divi 2.0, it is now possible to use a boxed layout instead of a full width page layout which gives you more control over how your site looks on larger screens. The updated theme also includes a blank page template which removes the header and the footer areas and is ideal for creating standalone landing pages. There even are a few new eCommerce store layouts for selling goods online with the free WooCommerce plugin.
If you thought the original version of Divi couldn’t be beaten, in terms of flexibility, features, and easy to implement customization options, then this new version will be a revelation. For those who missed the original Divi the first time around, now is the perfect time to join Elegant Themes and start making use of this powerhouse of a theme.
Support and Documentation
Purchasing this theme also gives you access to the 86 other themes by Elegant Themes. These themes are all supported via a private members’ only forum, with sub-forums for each of the themes, plus a few additional ones. Support tickets are in fact new posts on the theme-specific form. This means anyone can answer your query, but in practice it’s usually one of the hired moderators who will take care of your issue.
The Elegant Themes support service is often maligned but it seems that bad experiences are rare and most issues appear to be resolved swiftly via the forums. When it comes to setting up the theme, the online documentation for Divi covers all the necessary steps to get your site up and running and looking like the demo version, or allowing you to create your own layout.
The interface for the page builder is well designed and getting started right out of the box shouldn’t pose a problem to anyone familiar with WordPress or even those new to the platform.
As mentioned earlier, Divi is available as part of the Elegant Themes package of 87 themes. There are a few pricing options available for joining this theme club:
- Personal: $69
- Developer: $89
- Lifetime Access: $249
The Personal plan includes access to all of the themes from Elegant Themes, including Divi, and those that are released while your subscription is active.
The Developer and Lifetime Access plans include access to all current and future themes and plugins from Elegant Themes. This includes the impressive Monarch social sharing plugin, and the powerful Bloom email list building tool.
The subscription period lasts for one year (apart from the lifetime access plan), after which you must renew the plan to maintain your access to support, theme and plugin updates, and access to new products. If you choose not to renew your plan, you can continue to use the products unsupported.
In addition to access to the plugins from Elegant Themes, the developer plan includes the layered Photoshop files for each theme, giving you even more customization options.
Divi Theme Review Conclusion
Both in terms of appearance and the features of the page builder, Divi is a really great WordPress theme. It’s easily worth $69, let alone all the other themes that are included for that price from Elegant Themes. However, paying the extra $20 to upgrade to the developer plan, in order to get access to the Bloom email list building plugin, is highly recommended. The fact that the Divi Builder plugin is now available should be of interest to anyone who would like to use the powerful page builder tool from this theme on other WordPress templates.
While the design of Divi looks very modern and clean, the page builder and the library of prebuilt layouts make it very easy to setup and build very attractive layouts for all manner of occasions in almost no time at all. Even though Divi is marketed as a page builder, it’s still worth pointing out that this isn’t a theme builder. You don’t get that granular control that you do with a theme builder tool like Headway. So if you are looking for a way to easily edit margins, set line heights, and have pixel-point control over columns and sidebar positions then Divi isn’t for you.
The regular updates to Divi have added lots of genuinely useful features to this theme. From the ability to create custom layouts for posts as well as pages, through to the additional page templates that are now available, there more reasons to choose Divi with each new release. The addition of a live preview feature will speed up your page creation workflow considerably.
If you want a very easy to use page builder that contains lots of really useful and well-designed modules for adding a range of elements to your pages, that in some cases would otherwise require the purchase of a premium plugin to gain access to, Divi is an excellent choice.
If you like the overall appearance of the Divi theme demo and would like something similar for your own site, while also having the ability to easily change the layouts in terms of what goes where, then there is every reason to say yes to this theme. With each update to Divi adding new features and functionality into the mix, this is one WordPress theme that keeps getting better and better.
- Attractive design
- Lots of page templates and layouts
- Includes a page builder tool
- Regularly updated
- Good documentation for beginners
- Great value theme club pricing
- Not so great documentation for developers
- Too many design options could overwhelm some
Summary: Divi combines great looks with a wealth of impressive features to deliver a truly useful WordPress theme. A great range of page templates and an easy to use page builder will suit both those looking for an out of the box solution, as well as those who want to create custom designs without coding.
If you go directly to Elegant Themes websites you'll see the pricing I described above. However, if you use this link you'll get access to a Developer’s membership at a 20% discount, no coupon code needed. This means that your developer’s license will cost you only $70, just a buck more than the personal license.
What do you get with a Developer’s license? Well, there are two main benefits: access to PSD files and access to all of their plugins. Yes, Elegant Themes also keeps on developing new WordPress plugins.
Personally I don’t care about the PDS files. These files are the core graphic files of the theme and you can edit them to your liking. I'm not a designer so I've never downloaded the PSD files and I don’t see the reason to do it, I'm happy with how Divi looks right out of the box.
Plugins, this is where it gets interesting. You've probably noticed social sharing plugins on my site. I have a floating bar on the left side, I have a widget on the sidebar and I have some social sharing buttons at the end of every post.
I've gone through a dozen or so different social sharing plugins over the years, some were not too bad, others were terrible. Apparently, too many people also had to go through the pain of finding a decent way to integrate social sharing into their WordPress blog. That's why Elegant Themes decided to develop their own plugin to do this — Monarch. This plugin is simply awesome! The Monarch plugin is beautiful, versatile, highly effective and fully responsive, just like the Divi theme. Check out this video to get a better idea:
One of the newest plugins to the family is Bloom. Bloom is an email opt-in plugin that's designed to convert prospects to customers. I've been using it, and I love it. Check out this video:
To be honest, I would have paid for the Monarch and Bloom plugins if they came as a standalone plugins, but they're both included in my Elegant Themes Developer membership.
Once again, you can get a 20% discount on Elegant Themes Developer license here. Similar theme clubs charge 200 to 500 dollars per year for themes that don’t even come close to Divi, that’s without mentioning the Monarch and Bloom plugins! Elegant Themes is working on a major revision (version 3.0) of Divi, so I wouldn't be surprised if the cost goes up here in the new future, so I recommend that you buy now.
All the best,
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