Building a website with WordPress is a different experience for everyone. My own beginnings were quite bumpy. Having struggled for months with countless free themes, getting repeatedly stung by the cactus of the 2017 theme, I didn’t enjoy the process much. Yet I was determined to find the best WordPress theme to suit my ways. It had to be simple to use, but highly flexible, with a lot of options for customising the page.
I asked my online business coach Alex Sol, who had a cool-looking website, what theme he had built his site with. He told me he was using DIVI by Elegant Themes and sent me a link to his review of Divi as well as Elegant Themes’ website. I felt my salvation was near!
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I tend to divide my WordPress-using history into two periods: As ‘pre-Divi’ and ‘post-Divi’ (I may well say antediluvian and postdiluvian).
I started using Divi in 2018, and to this day, whenever I come across a question “What is the best WordPress theme in 2021?” I’m pretty confident I know the answer.
I had tried a few free WordPress themes before, but I never liked the fact I was not able to customise them much. The inflexibility of most of them was impacting my enthusiasm for building websites, as well as slowing down my online business learning process.
I trusted Alex’s personal choice, and after watching a few videos and experimenting with designing a page in the Divi ‘live builder’, I could see how user-friendly and flexible the whole interface was and decided to invest in the Divi theme.
I’m happy to say that I haven’t looked back once since purchasing Divi. This incredible theme has turned my often frustrating work in standard WordPress editor into creative play with no limits to my imagination.
Also, it was soon after rebuilding my website with Divi when I earned my first commission from my online business.
Examples of pages built in Divi
Below are a few samples of pages I’ve built in Divi’s Visual Builder – by simply dragging and dropping elements on the page. Each of these images leads to the live version of the page, so if you want to view any of these websites and get the feel of Divi in real life, just click on any given image and it will open in a new tab.
Note that I’ve built all these websites from scratch, without using a template. Although Divi comes with a whole sea of beautiful templates, it’ so simple (and fun!) to build a page in Divi’s Visual Builder, that you’re more than likely to end up designing everything by yourself.
What Makes Divi So Special?
The Divi theme is actually much more than just a WordPress theme. It’s a complete web design platform that replaces the standard WordPress editor with a far more advanced visual editor.
The process of building a page is really flexible: You can still build the standard way, (on the back end), but you can also build on the front end, in Divi’s Visual Builder, where you can see what your published page will look like while building it. No need for the constant switching from standard WordPress editor to preview your pages. This is what’s made all the difference for me.
To have an idea of what I’m talking about, have a look at the following video by the Divi team, where they’re introducing one of the previous software updates. (By now Divi’s upgraded to version 4, with yet more great updates such as the WooCommerce modules, but this video will give you a good general overview of Divi’s features and potential.)
As the Divi developer in the video (who for some reason seems to remind everyone of Nicholas Cage) says: ‘The new visual builder allows you to make changes on your website on your actual website. There is no need to preview your pages because everything is happening right in front of your eyes.’
Everything is totally customisable on the actual page. Shapes and sizes of your building blocks, fonts, images, etc. It feels as if you are painting directly on the canvas, rather then trying to control everything from behind the painting. If you want to add a block of text, an image, a video, a gallery, etc, just add it on the front end and that’s it.
Divi comes with a huge number of beautiful premade layouts, so if you want something ready-made (but still fully customisable), you can choose from 1183 (!) really cool templates.
When you want to build a page, you have three options:
1) Build from scratch
2) Choose an existing layout
3) Clone an existing page.
Sections, Rows, and Modules
If you want to build from scratch like I do, Divi has a range of building blocks called sections, rows, and modules. With these you can build anything from a minimalist room to a baroque cathedral.
You have complete freedom to chose the number, size, and placement of these elements.
Here is an example of the three basic building blocks:
Here are the three building blocks in ‘real life’:
The Three-step Procedure of Building a Basic Structure
1) First, you’ll create a section (think of a section like a big, outer container or a box, inside which everything else fits.
2) Then you’ll create a row (an ‘inner container’ – the box with a green border) inside the section.
In the two images above I’ve only used a single row, but, as you can see from the following screenshot, you can select a row with as many segments/columns as you like, and these can be of different widths. (There are even more combinations possible than in this screenshot).
3) Finally, you insert a module. A module can be: A text, an image, a gallery, a map, a shopping cart, etc. Basically, all the various content inside your page.
This is what inserting a module looks like:
In the following example I’m using a row with four segments/columns, and into each column I have inserted a module called ‘blurb’.
A blurb module is a combination of an image and text, as you’ll see in the second example below:
Try and Build a Page Right Now!
Would you like a little ‘live builder’ experience? Try the ‘Drag and Drop’ Page Builder for free here. (Click on Divi / Live Builder Demo.) You can take a short tour first or start building straight away. Enjoy!
An Overview of Divi Modules
Here is Divi’s generous list of the modules:
Examples of Modules
Here are several examples of different modules.
The Gallery Module
You can add captions and descriptions to your thumbnails, or hide them as I’ve done here. Click on an image to enlarge it.
You can experiment with customising your gallery’s background, adding a border to the thumbnails, make the border’ corners rounder, etc.
The Slider Module
Another great, fully customisable module to showcase your / your client’s products or art. This is a ‘real life’ slider I’ve created for an online store ‘Buddha Groove’.
The Blog Module
This is one of my favourite features of the Divi theme. You can use Divi’s blog module to customise the appearance of your blog page and organise your posts and categories. You can insert a blog module on any page you like (even on multiple pages) and control how your blog excerpts will display.
Here’s an example of how I’ve used the blog module:
Instead of the traditional blog-page layout, (which Divi offers as well) I’ve chosen a grid layout, which gives my blog-page more of a magazine look.
You can also go really minimal, hiding the featured images:
Here’s the more classic look of a Divi blog module from my coach Alex Sol’s ‘Extra Paycheck’ blog. (Check out his podcast devoted to online entrepreneurship. I’m grateful to this guy for so many things, his great articles and podcast being just the tip of the iceberg.)
The Blurb Module
This is one of my favourite modules. Below is an example of a fully functioning Blurb module (i.e. two Rows with four Blurb modules in each), borrowed from my article about the online store ‘Buddha Groove’. First I created a Row with four sections, and then I inserted the modules. After that, I duplicated the first Row. You can have a lot of fun designing the Blurbs; you can create the ‘on-mouse hover’ effect by selecting a desired degree of transparency; you can also create rounded corners, or choose from various animation effects.
The Email Optin Module
The Email Optin – an essential module for anyone in online business. Fully customisable as well.
The Social Media Follow Module
The icons inserted through the Social media Follow module will lead your website visitors to your social media platforms. The icons are also customisable – you can keep them as they are or make them transparent to fit your page’s design.
Here’s the standard look of the icons:
And here are a few examples of my playing with the design:
The Contact Form Module
Contact forms are also highly customisable. In the second example, I have used partial transparency in the form’s fields.
The WooCommerce modules
Another bonus of the 2019 update is Divi’s WooCommerce Builder, which includes 16 Divi’s WooCommerce modules. These allow you to create custom product templates, and amazing product pages. You’ll be able to build your own product listings anywhere on your website.
You can activate all the Divi WooCommerce modules by first installing the common Woocommerce plugin, and then activating Divi’s Woocommerce Builder. I am not using this feature yet, but you can view live demos and tutorials on Divi’s WooCommerce modules on Elegant Themes website under Divi WooCommerce Modules.
Great Plugins – Free with The Divi Theme
The fun certainly doesn’t stop at all the modules or the WooCommerce Builder. When you purchase Divi, you’ll also get a whole package of bonuses including some really cool plug-ins mentioned in this list:
Monarch – Your Social Sharing Plugin
The first one well-worth mentioning is Monarch, a social-sharing plug-in, rated as one of the top social media plug-ins on Google.
For instance, Bloggingwizard.com rates Monarch as the second best in his 2020 review of 11 Best Social Sharing Plugins For WordPress, right after the extremely popular plugin Social Snap.
Shoutmeloud.com places Monarch in the fourth place, while, interestingly, he also rates Social Snap as first. By any means give Social Snap a try, as it does look and sound great, but remember that if you decide to invest in the Divi theme, you will get Monarch for free.
Manage the location of your social sharing icons
You can manage the placement of your social sharing icons in several ways, as seen from Monarch’s interface.
You can place them vertically on the side of your page, or ‘inline’ your page or post. (That means above, anywhere within, or below your post). They can also ‘pop up’ or ‘fly in’.
Examples of Social Share Icons’ Placements
Here’s a common placement of the social share icons in the sidebar:
In the next example, the icons are ‘inline’, straight after the end of a blog post, in the middle of the page. You can arrange the icons both vertically or horizontally.
And here is the ‘Fly in’. If you want to see it flying in real time, just scroll all the way down this page…and click on it. 🙂
You can also choose on which pages or posts you don’t want the icons to appear.
Monarch provides you with the social follow icons as well, so you can experiment with these, as well as the icons from the ‘Social Follow’ module.
Bloom – an Email Opt-in Plugin
Another plug-in that comes free with Divi is Bloom, an Email Opt-in plug-in, which integrates with subscription services such as MailChimp, Aweber and others.
Bloom helps you grow your email list. When you insert a Bloom email opt-in form to your page, it will connect to your email marketing or email newsletter software. When someone signs up using the Bloom opt-in form, they get added to your email list.
You can choose from many customizable templates and even upload your own image. You can also decide where on the page you want the form to appear, and whether you prefer it static, or as a fly-in or a pop-up form.
Below are two examples of a simple subscription form. You can click on the second one to view it on a real page, where I’ve placed it under the post.
The customer support team from Divi / Elegant Themes are always super helpful. They’ll be there for you 24/7, answering any of your questions.
Plus, apart from the direct support team, there are some great Divi-devoted forums, groups, and individuals. I’ve learned a lot from a cool guy called Josh Hall, a real pro in Divi. He’s got many of his own tutorials on Youtube, his website, and his own Facebook group called ‘Divi Web Designers‘. I highly recommend joining the group.
You can also join Divi’s official Facebook group called ‘Divi Theme Users‘ where you can get any of your questions answered by many experienced Divi enthusiasts.
If you decide to invest into Divi, you can choose from two options:
A yearly subscription ($89 a year) or Lifetime access for $249 one-off payment. I got Lifetime access from the very start as it was clear to me that I would be using Divi long-term. Remember, when you buy Divi, you are not getting just one separate theme, but a complete package of themes, plugins, and 24/7 support. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that you’re getting the ultimate web design toolkit.
Remember that signing up with Divi / Elegant Themes is risk-free. You’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee, and if for any reason you feel Divi (and all that comes with it) is not for you, you’ll get a full refund.
20% Off The Complete DIVI Theme - Get It While It Lasts!
I hope you have enjoyed this Divi walkthrough and that it has helped you see the incredible potential of this theme. As you’ve probably guessed, I swear by this theme and would recommend it to everyone. But you should always make your own decision. I’d highly recommend comparing this theme against other WordPress themes. There are plenty of free WordPress themes, some of them with free hosting.
One such platform is Siterubix, where you can create your website for free and experiment with many WordPress-based themes. This is how I started – I was running several websites on Siterubix’s free domain for months.
So, perhaps once you’ve tried out several themes and platforms, (like I did) and still don’t feel completely satisfied, you can opt for the Divi Theme – don’t forget you can give it a try for one whole month. (A word of warning: You may not want to come back to any other theme after experiencing what Divi can do for you!)
Don’t forget to test the Divi Builder for free (via Divi / Live Builder Demo), and have a look at some of the articles and tutorials.
Let’s Talk About Divi
If you would like to ask any questions or share your opinion about Divi or any of the related plugins, do leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to reply as soon as possible.
For those of you who have tried Divi or are actively using it, I’d be very interested to hear about your experience as well.
BY LUCIE DUN
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