Divi is hands down, one of the most popular WordPress Themes ever. That’s actually an understatement. According to Elegant Themes, there are 767,150+ customers using it right now.
Normally, we’d take something like that with a largish grain of salt, given that it’s coming from the theme developer. But in this case, we have no reason to doubt the claim.
Look around you. Divi is ubiquitous on the internet and for good reasons too. It’s versatile. It’s easy. It can assume a million different forms, shapes, and sizes. Right from single page landers to massive eCommerce websites, people have made it all with Divi.
But one of the questions that we are increasingly beginning to hear these days is, Is Divi still as effective in 2021 as it once was?
That’s a legit concern. Divi’s been around for 8-years. But a lot has changed on the internet since 2013. Google, in particular, has turned into this demanding search behemoth that isn’t forgiving at all on feature-heavy themes like Divi.
Moreover, other drag & drop builders have cropped up in recent times. Some with more alluring price tags that make Divi seem like an old, expensive choice.
The question is, do you risk it with unproven, cheaper page builders? Or do you pay the extra buck and go for the old warhorse?
That’s where we step in. We have hands-on experience with the Divi Theme and have toyed around with it a fair bit for client websites.
To make your decision easier, we have created a detailed Divi Theme review. Strap in and enjoy the read.
Divi – The Birth and The Rise
Elegant Themes was formed in 2008 by Nick Roach, a young developer with a keen eye for design and UI. Nick’s philosophy was that good design didn’t have to be complex. To this end, he developed minimalistic WordPress Themes. Here’s an old interview of Nick in case you guys are curious.
In its early days, he ran the organization from his college apartment. But in a few months, Elegant Themes turned into a brand with a fair bit of repute. This was primarily due to their ‘All-access pass’ pricing model.
For $20/year, you could get access to the 30+ themes that they developed. Nick also threw in 24/7 support and a few neat bonuses. It was an offer that most people couldn’t refuse.
In the next few years, Elegant Themes developed 86-WordPress themes, all of which were included in the single pass. Some of them, like Nova, were quite popular on major WordPress marketplaces like Themeforest.
Then in Dec 2013, Divi was born. (And the world was never the same again)
Within months, it became the brand’s flagship that took over the internet by storm. So much so that the Elegant Themes Website today is called The Home of Divi.
What was the reason for the popularity, though? Any guesses?
Elegant Themes did something that nobody else had done until then. They bought drag & drop functionality into WordPress Theme design on the ‘frontend’. You see, WordPress has always had a ‘WYSIWYG’ interface on the backend. But no other WordPress theme until then had a frontend page builder integrated into it, which let you preview design changes in real-time.
Divi was the first one. For the first time, even rank beginners could make websites that they envisioned without getting caught up with complex code. Picture making an e-commerce website by dragging and dropping buttons, forms, fields, images, CTA & banners. All of this without knowing a single line of code. It was a game-changer.
Here’s a brief history of Divi over the next few years.
- May 2014 – Divi 2.0 was launched with an updated Page Builder & new specialty sections
- Oct 2014 – Monarch, their wildly popular social sharing plugin was launched
- Mar 2015 – Bloom, their equally popular email opt-in plugin was launched
- June 2015 – Divi 2.4 was released
- Sep 2015 – Divi 2.5 was released with a live editor.
- Oct 2015 – Divi Builder was launched as a separate plugin compatible with any WordPress Theme.
- Jan 2016 – Divi 2.6 was launched
- Mar 2016 – Divi 2.7 with A/B Split Testing was released
- Sep 2016 – Divi 3.0 with the swanky new page builder was released.
Since then, the updates started to get a lot more frequent. In fact, there are so many versions that it would be impossible for us to list them all out here.
- Oct 2019 – Divi 4.0 was released
- April 2021 – Divi 4.9.3 (Current Version) was released
Divi Theme Features
We briefly touched on the drag & drop interface that made Divi so popular. Let’s take a closer look at the features of the Divi theme.
The Divi Builder
The big draw that made Divi the popular theme that we know today, the Divi Builder. The Divi Builder is a standalone visual website builder that’s integrated into the Divi Theme. You have the option to use it with any other WordPress theme of your choice, by the way, since it’s also available as a standalone use plugin.
The builder is pretty much on par with other visual website builders like Elementor Pro & Beaver Builder. If you have never used these tools, then think of it like WIX, where you can just drag and drop various elements to design your website. But it also supports back-end editing.
Divi theme is incredibly powerful and allows you to build a website from scratch using the WireFrame view. You can select a preexisting website layout or design everything from the ground up.
The header, the footer, the standard page, posts, sidebars, everything can be built and customized. You have the option to use the WordPress Theme customizer to do this or select these components using the Divi Builder itself.
Sections, Rows & Modules
There are three primary components that form the building blocks of design in the Divi theme. Its sections, rows & modules.
- Sections provide structure to your page. Think of these like the larger boxes within which you will install the secondary components.
- Rows are the second tier of structure within the sections. You can have multiple columns in the rows and stack as many as you’d want to in any section. Each row and column can then accommodate one or more modules.
- Lastly, some modules are placed within these rows and columns.
Once you select the layout, you can start arranging rows and columns on each section, depending on how you want the site to look.
For example, on a landing page, you will normally add a full-width image with a fancy text heading that shows your marketing message. With the Divi, you can stack another image on it, like a product picture. Or a pricing table next to it. Or a CTA button. These elements are called modules.
Divi comes with a massive library of pre-designed modules to choose from for each part of the site layout. There are 44+ modules at present which pretty much covers all modern design elements. But these are also updated quite frequently.
Modules are the key to designing the perfect website. For instance, the header can have a custom background image, a background video, a menu, or a Navbar. But the best part is that you can even use unconventional things on the header if need be, like a form or a slider. Don’t try this, though. Just trying to get the point across that there’s no limit to what you can do with it.
Further, you can customize each one of the modules to fine-tune the details. You can alter everything from the size of the object, position, padding, boundary, functions, animations & also use custom CSS. You can set conditions where you want the elements to be displayed. The best part is that everything can be previewed live, which takes the guesswork out of it.
The chances are that you are too lazy to build a theme from scratch, like the rest of us. Divi has you covered. It comes with 1383 premade Templates that you can import with a click. Each template is immaculately designed and comes with its own images and content. This is a hands-off approach to website design. You can tweak the templates in any way that you want to.
These 1383 templates are divided into 187 categories, which are called Layout Packs. Each pack has a bunch of templates that are ideal for websites in that particular industry. For example, an Agency layout pack will contain the best possible website designs for corporate agencies, digital marketing agencies & so on.
The Theme Builder is one of our favorite Divi features. Divi has the ability to design entire WordPress themes from scratch. You can make your own theme, save it as a template and use it on multiple websites. It also allows you to make changes to any WordPress theme’s core design.
Let’s say you found an amazing theme for your business website. But the header is not exactly how you envisioned it. You’d like to tweak it a little. You can use the Theme Builder to alter the header and retain the rest of the design as it is. This extends to all aspects of your theme. The page, the post, menus, header, footer, sidebar, widgets, everything can be changed permanently.
You can also save any part of the theme as a global template that can be displayed in a set condition. For instance, you can choose to display a sidebar only with posts and not pages.
Note: You need to enable the visual editor setting in your WordPress Profile to be able to use the Divi Builder.
In all the chatter about Divi, we rarely hear people talking about the theme’s marketing capabilities. Divi’s marketing modules are extremely powerful. Irrespective of what kind of marketing channels you use to generate traffic or leads, these tools have their place in it.
- Bloom extends the same drag-and-drop visual interface to opt-in forms. You can choose from premade templates that are GDPR compliant, as well as customize your pop-ups for building your list. There are tons of segmentation tools built into it. Also, it integrates seamlessly with Mailchimp, Aweber, GetResponse, and most other email marketing services.
- Divi Leads is a split testing system that allows you to design different page variations that can then be broadcast to different audience groups. It allows you to test the effectiveness of each design for clicks, sales, or engagement. The data is collected and presented in an easy-to-understand graph. This is one of the most underrated features of the theme, in our opinion. Typically, you’ll end up subscribing to a third-party tool for A/B testing. With Divi, you get it within your WordPress Dashboard.
Divi comes bundled with tons of premade templates and layouts. But if you ever think you need more, there’s the Divi Marketplace as well as third-party marketplaces that offer a plethora of options.
Business websites, landing pages, lead generation pages, restaurants, Yoga studios, dropshipping websites, Divi’s capabilities are exhaustive. In case you are craving some motivation, here’s a look at 75 amazing websites designed using Divi.
The best part is that you are not shoehorned into using anything that’s premade. There’s complete flexibility to strip everything down to the bones. If you don’t like an image, you can use the Open Source Image Library that’s built into the backend to swap it. Don’t like the main slider? Swap it with a different one. The possibilities are endless.
Using the Divi Theme
Divi is extremely user-friendly for a WordPress theme that’s crammed to the brim with features and functionalities. In fact, that’s one of the reasons for its unwavering popularity in the face of the rising competition.
Even some of the most complex design & UI tasks can be achieved with utmost simplicity and don’t take more than a few clicks.
But if you are a rank beginner, can you design flawless websites with Divi? The answer is yes. You can!
The easiest way to get started with Divi is to import one of the premade templates and tweak it. Elegant Themes provides detailed documentation and has one of the best customer support teams in the world. In case you do hit a roadblock, help is always at hand.
There are also thousands of YouTube videos that literally grab your hand and walk you through the entire process. Here are our two cents about the user interface in detail.
- When you log in to the dashboard, you have all the options integrated into the backend. Just take your time and scroll through it. You should be able to figure out most of it. When you make a new page or post, it still opens up the default WordPress editor, mind you. But a single click allows you to switch to the Divi WYSIWYG visual editor with live preview. Any change that you make in the live edit mode, be it to a module or a column can be previewed before you save it.
- In case you make an error, there’s a history panel that allows you to undo your last action or revisit a previous version of the page. Every action that you perform is stored in this panel and can be retrieved or undone at any time.
- The modules are completely tweakable. If you are inserting a pricing table, you can change every tiny aspect of the table. If you are inserting a form, you can alter every form field and customize it to your liking. But none of these tasks are confusing. There’s a simple tabular interface that you can toggle through to find these settings. The tab names are pretty self-explanatory. Also, any change that you make reflects on the site instantly. So there’s no way that you can go wrong with it.
- Each design change that you make can be previewed on different viewports to ensure smooth functionality on mobile devices and tablets. Does the slider image fit into the column on a mobile screen? Do you need to readjust the height so that your message is above the fold? Everything can be previewed and adjusted.
How hard is it to build a website from scratch using Divi?
Well, we’ll be honest here. For a beginner, this is probably one of the theme’s features that can be a tad overwhelming. But even then, Divi makes this as effortless as it can get. Kudos to Elegant Themes for achieving this level of user-friendliness.
You can literally select from a bunch of preexisting templates for the header, the main page, and footer. Drag it all into place and start adding rows, columns, and modules.
Of course, there are a lot of advanced functionalities that might seem a little difficult at first. For instance, using custom headers or footers for different types of posts and pages or making global templates. You can make a global template for all blog posts. Then any change you make to the template will reflect on all blog posts on the site. By the way, you can overwrite these rules and set new ones at any time. For example, if there’s a review post template that you want to display for product reviews, you can choose to do that. It can automatically overwrite the default blog post when you select the ‘Review’ category.
Like we keep repeating, the possibilities are limitless.
Is Divi SEO friendly?
We bet that you want to know the answer to this. SEO Friendliness is a broad-strokes description. One that has no clear definition. What most people mean when they talk about Divi’s SEO friendliness or the lack of it is page speed and ‘bloat’. The rest can be achieved with Yoast or RanMath anyway.
WP-Rocket ran an excellent speed test on Divi. The base theme with the Divi Builder fared decently. But it was not phenomenally fast.
With WP-Rocket installed, Divi fared really well. It achieved 90%+ mobile scores & a ‘Largest Contentful Paint time’ of just 2 seconds. That page speed is well within Google’s recommendations for the upcoming Page Experience Update
That said, it would be unrealistic to expect any Visual Builder powered theme to be lightning fast. There are bound to be a few more HTTP requests which will slow down the page load time. Besides, a 90% mobile score is something that most people would be ready to live with. Just ensure that you use a good caching plugin, and you should be good to go.
How secure is Divi? – The 2020 Security Scare and the aftermath
On August 4, 2020, Wordfence, the developers of a Security Plugin announced that they had discovered a potential vulnerability in Divi, Extra & Divi Builder. The risk exposed over 700,000 websites that were using these themes. This was communicated immediately to Elegant Themes.
Well, the mere thought that a hacker can gain backdoor entry into your website is enough to cause nightmares to most people. Elegant Themes responded immediately and released a security patch plugin the next day. The next release had these vulnerabilities patched permanently. But that incident created a dent in Divi’s reputation temporarily.
What’s surprising is that Elegant Themes has always taken security very seriously. They tied up with Sucuri in 2014 to perform a code audit for every new release.
Well, we cannot comment on how the lapse happened. But they have gotten doubly vigilant after that breach. To Elegant Theme’s credit, every update since then has had a ‘Safe Theme Seal’ from Sucuri. This means that the theme is impregnable.
So, you can rest aside any unwanted fears about the security of the theme. It’s as safe as houses.
Divi Theme Customer Support
For a long time, Elegant Themes used a ticket-based support system in addition to a ‘Ask the community’ forum.
The ticket system was reasonably fast, and most tech-support related queries were answered in less than 24-hours. But a ticketing system somehow feels rudimentary in current times, don’t they?
To this end, Elegant Themes now offers 24/7 Chat-based technical support. Billing & Sales queries still use the ticketing system. In the 13+ years that they have been in business, there have been very few complaints about their customer support. They have a stellar rating on Trustpilot and most other online review platforms.
Divi Theme Pros & Cons
We have summed up everything that we’ve mentioned so far and created a pros and cons list for you guys.
- Design without code
- Extremely versatile. You can build any kind of website with it
- Drag & Drop interface
- Tons of customization options
- 1183 premade templates that can be completely customized as well
- 44+ Design elements that can be tailored
- Built-in theme builder
- Tons of tutorials
- Third-party marketplaces and Divi Store for add-ons
- A massive community of users for support, inspiration, and feedback
- Constant updates and feature additions
- Very useful marketing bundle
- 24/7 Customer support
- Not as fast as some modern themes are.
- Depending on your WordPress skill, there could be a learning curve
- Some advanced features may be overwhelming
- This is subjective. But Divi may appear to be a pricey option despite all that it brings to the table.
That segues into our next point.
What’s included in the Elegant Themes memberships?
When you purchase the Divi Theme, you get access to the entire Elegant Themes bundle with it. This includes:
- The Divi Theme with all its supporting plugins
- The Divi Builder as a standalone plugin
- Bloom, the email opt-in plugin
- Monarch, the social sharing plugin
- The Extra theme
There are different licenses to choose from.
Elegant Themes offers two pricing models. You can get an unlimited Divi license for $89/year or $249/life.
Both packages offer all the features, bundles, and support, mind you. The only difference is that you will have to renew the annual package each year. With the second one, you buy Divi and can use it for life.
It’s not too difficult to pick the one that offers the best value, is it?
Is the Divi Theme worth it in 2021?
It absolutely is. Divi is an incredibly powerful theme that makes short work of some of the most complex design tasks. To add to this, it comes with hundreds of premade templates, a great marketing plugin bundle, & is backed by a very skilled & friendly team of WordPress developers.
We don’t see how anyone can go wrong with it.