There is also a pretty useful community forum available if you want to search through previously solved problems. This is typically where I end up when I run into a problem. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using a theme with over 700k users is that your problem is more than likely to be a repeat offender, which means there should be some documented solutions available. This is an advantage for most widely downloaded themes, but since Divi is among the top downloaded themes, you will get a ton of chatter online about solving Divi issues by the community.
It also helps that a lot of Divi site builder folks prefer to stick to the one theme, so the community of experienced web folks is pretty deep.
Unlimited Usage – and Why it Matters
Speaking of people who build sites using Divi, let’s talk about the “unlimited” part of their license and why it matters. This is what Divi has to say about their “unlimited” usage:
Unlike some other WordPress Theme companies, we do not limit the number of sites that you can use our themes on. Buy the package once and then use our themes and plugins on unlimited websites without purchasing additional licenses!
Ok so I can build as many websites as I want for myself… that’s pretty cool. What about if I want to build sites for other people?
A single subscription gets you unlimited use of our themes and plugins. Install them on as many websites as you would like using a single license. Use them on unlimited client websites too.
That pretty much says all you need to know! Just don’t sell the theme to people – that is a big no-no (btw, that’s what affiliate links are for… what do you think this page has?). You can still build a great website using Divi, but don’t charge for the theme, just charge for what you create for your clients!
Bloom – an Email Optin Plugin to Grow Your Audience
If you are on any site with adequate traffic, you will typically find an email opt-in somewhere on the page you landed on. In the past, I used tools like Optin Monster to grow my clients’ following. If people want to be in touch with you, it is important that you give those people a way to know when you have opportunities to invest in you, your content, or your services.
Divi created Bloom as an easy way to create pop-up or slide-in email opt-ins. This is a great tool that can allow you to incrementally grow your email following. You can set conditional logic to make sure your pop-ups show up after a set duration of time or scroll distance. You can even trigger email opt-ins to occur after an event such as a user comment, purchase, or set time of inactivity.
Given that Divi integrates with 19 different tools and has over 100 templates, I highly recommend you start with this tool before opting to pay big bucks for an expensive plugin like Optin Monster (which is great… just expensive).
One more really important feature – you can A/B test with this plugin (just like you can within the theme!) which means you can test until your heart is content! I am a big fan of testing as you can improve a site’s performance dramatically with simple, incremental improvements and learnings.
Get familiar with the bloom dashboard, start tweaking your designs and behavior settings to boost engagement and conversion, and before you know it, this plugin will be one of your most powerful audience-building tools!
Monarch – a Social Media Sharing Plugin to Boost Visibility
For whatever reason, social share plugins tend to be rather hefty in terms of load time. I have opted out from using them on some of my websites, but when I am in need of a sharing tool, I turn to Monarch. When you are looking to encourage sharing of your information – for instance, when you want to get as many eyes on one of your blog posts as possible, a plugin like Monarch encourages users to share the value they found with the click of a button.
My favorite use of this tool is the “floating sidebar” because it allows the share buttons to follow the user as they read throughout the page. You can add share buttons to your content, images, and even as a pop-up, but would recommend testing to see what gets the most interaction on your site and limit the number of buttons to a reasonable quantity. A little can go a long way here – that’s why I like the sidebar that follows the user.
A lot of the tools you will find in Bloom can be found here in Monarch, which means you will get the same great trigger functionality to display pop-up and slide-in versions of the button. Couple that with being able to see your usage stats on the Monarch dashboard, and you have some great extra functionality that is typically found in premium plugins.
Try this plugin before resorting to any third parties – the in-house option is specifically optimized to work with an Elegant Themes stack, so this plugin will be the most supported and integrated to work within the Divi Framework.
Key Features Worth Mentioning
You Have the Option of Choosing Between a Wireframe and Visual Builder
Everybody is moving to the “visual builder” from a block editor, and maybe I am in the minority, but I am a big proponent of the block editor for a couple of reasons. First off, while the visual editor gives users with little to no experience a bit of a leg up, I find that regardless of what visual builder you use, the drag/drop/resize functionality of these builders is just short of perfect.
For me as someone highly experienced with Divi’s functionality, I still find the wireframe editor to be better than the visual editor. Limiting custom size options that the visual builder makes seem “so easy” also minimizes device sizing errors. When you over customize a site, you can easily run into funky one-off issues that can quickly become time-consuming maintenance issues. If you have to spot check every page on a regular basis to ensure responsive device compatibility, you might end up being a full-time web support specialist for your own site.
By giving users the option to use either builder, I think Elegant Themes and the Divi folks gave users the best odds for success. There are reasons to use both editors – and if you can use the wireframe editor to get your modules in the right places at the right sizes, then use the visual editors to ensure your modules all line-up right/ have enough text to balance with the images/, then check the tablet and mobile views to make sure nothing breaks, you will be getting the most out of everything the Divi editor has to offer!
Just a bonus note here – if you can download the “classic editor” plugin, there is still a bit of an advantage to using the classic editor on occasion – and Divi still supports this editor style.
A/B Testing is a Built-In Function of the Theme
At the end of the day, your site is only as good as the users deem it to be. If you can learn about the A/B testing functionality built into Divi, you can turn your website into your best analyst. Designing regular A/B tests should be a core component in the regular maintenance of a website.
Whether you are testing image selection, button color, font sizes, backgrounds, animations, or anything else – knowing how users interact and engage with your content will make deciding whether to choose a pink vs an orange button as easy as reading the report to see what the people want.
While you will need to know the core tenets of testing (like having a control variable, not testing for too many things at once, and how to ensure statistical significance of a test), this tool is worth every penny of the license for the theme itself.
By testing and incrementally improving your site based on user behavior, you will ensure your site gets better and better with each change you implement – and before you know it, your site will skyrocket in terms of performance.
Presets and Global Templates
Presets just came out, but Global Templates have been around for a while now. I use global section templates as theme footers on quite a few of my websites, and I also include a number of global modules on most of my websites for key areas that need to be regularly updated.
If you get used to setting global presets, you will save a ton of time when the time comes to make a change across the entirety of your website. Set a couple or even a few presets, then build your site design around those presets. If you can keep things simple, your future site updates and changes will take minutes, not hours of page-by-page microwork.
Another great example of templates saving time is in loading existing templates for future posts. I did a website redesign for a client with 400+ blog posts about a year ago, and it could have been a nightmare. Luckily, I figured out all the sidebars and footers they wanted could be “global” and category-based. Using a series of global modules and by loading each new post with an existing series of 4-5 templates, I took the implementation time down to almost nothing. Some pages took as little as 3 minutes to completely rework since all that was left was copy-pasting content and the featured image.
So to reiterate – Presets and Global Templates are incredible opportunities to save time, so get to know how to use them ASAP.
You Can Import and Export Your Own Themes and Templates – and Even Sell Them if You Wanted
So at this time, I am running about 5 websites of my own for various business functions and even a personal blog. When I want to spin up a new site, I tend to work off my existing designs for my own personal sites. Thankfully, with Divi I can save my pages and export them from within WordPress, then load my pages into the new website – pictures and all, with the export file.
If you make a design you are particularly proud of, you could even sell the template on the Divi Marketplace!
The Blog is a Cornerstone for Skill Improvement
When I was just getting started, I was on the Elegant Themes blog every day. One of the coolest things about their blog is they clearly are investing in their user base. There are multiple success guides to growing a successful online business. If you have something you are trying to implement on your website (like an appointment tool, a popup contact form, or a really cool image-based menu), it is likely Elegant Themes has an in-depth if not step-by-step guide that will show you how to implement just such a feature.
Through reading the ET blog on a regular basis I have been able to improve as someone who builds websites for a living far quicker than someone who is simply learning by doing on a regular basis. I find the value I get from this blog has been able to allow me to increase my rates dramatically over time. There are a variety of skills I have been able to use to differentiate myself from the competition – and most of these skills I learned on the ET blog.
How Much Does it Cost?
Ah, the all-important question – how much is this thing going to cost? At the time I am writing this, the whole Elegant Themes suite costs $89 for a one year license and $249 for lifetime access.
With this purchase, you get access to Divi, Extra (the companion theme that also uses the Divi builder), tons of free templates, product updates, premium support, unlimited website usage, and updates for the duration of your license. There is a 30-day guarantee in the event you are unhappy with your purchase, so if you don’t like it, ask for a refund!
Whether you choose to get the one year license or lifetime license is up to you, but I would like to encourage you to get lifetime access. If you plan to have your website for more than two years, you would be better served with the lifetime package. I am all about saving money, and let me tell you – getting the unlimited license has been more than worth it for me!
A couple of important notes about the “unlimited” part of the license – Divi makes a really important note that they mean what they say by “unlimited usage” and this is super important. You can make sites for your clients using your license. This means no more buying a theme every time you make a website for a client, no more needing a second license because you want to make a new website, you are all set with the one license and that’s all you need. I purchased Divi and have been making websites with my one account ever since.
Common Criticisms of Divi
The Theme is Slow
As I have mentioned, Divi is a very versatile theme due to its many modules. This means they have jam-packed the theme itself with tons of functionality. If you are someone who doesn’t code for a living or have a very narrow set of functionality needs, this theme accomplishes virtually anything without the need for extra plugins and scripts. As a result, when running side by side in speed tests against themes like Genesis Framework, the theme itself runs comparatively slow.
With that in mind, it is important to understand that there is a common misconception about needing to build a “fast” or “optimized” website for great SEO and reduced bounce rate. The most important thing in terms of speed is that your site is able to load quickly enough, typically within 2-3 seconds, and Divi is more than capable of hitting those numbers without sacrificing quality.
There is a lengthy explanation I can provide here on hitting the perfect intersect between a fast website and a good looking website, but the short version is a stripped-down, nearly plain text website might load in a half of a second, but the lack of attention to aesthetic will hurt that site more than the speed helps.
Another pitfall of buying a speedy theme is lack of out-of-the-box capabilities – you may get the fastest theme on the market, then end up downloading all the necessary plugins and scripts you need for your site, only to find out that your performance is now far slower than you previously hoped.
The Theme is Difficult to Use
Did I mention I have a course for this? In my experience, I have certainly come across a number of clients who feel like this theme is just too difficult to bother learning. It makes sense – there is so much you can do with this theme, and as a result, the process of learning feels completely overwhelming.
When it comes to learning curves, Divi is steep at first, then has a really nice comfort zone once you get the basics of where everything is. Divi’s tools are built in a consistent manner so once you know how to use a few of the modules, you get the hang of pretty much everything. You can make an amazing website with only a few hours of practice – but it sure helps to watch a tutorial and follow along.
If ease of use is your primary concern and you don’t want to learn, you are going to find themes like Avada, Enfold, any theme that uses Beaver Builder, and any theme that uses Elementor to have the same issues. If this is the case, I highly recommend Squarespace as it seems WordPress might not be the right fit for your needs.