When you think of WordPress page builders, one of two names probably comes to mind: Elementor and Divi Builder. This writing will discuss the second of these WordPress tools: Divi. As one of the most popular WordPress themes and toolsets, what makes Divi so popular?
Divi has a reputation in the WordPress community. This is a positive reputation, mostly from its support for webpage design. But others refer to Divi as slow bloatware, providing good design and taking away website performance.
But everyone has their own opinion on this. So let’s dig into the fact. Check out our Divi review to find out whether Divi Builder is worth your hard-earned money.
What is Divi Builder?
Divi is a WordPress-only website builder owned by Elegant Themes. It has over 850 thousand customers and has been around for 14 years. Divi holds the title of one of the most popular WordPress plugins available.
Divi is Elegant Theme’s flagship product. Most people don’t know the company for anything else but Divi.
Nick Roach founded the company. Like other great entrepreneurs, he started the company in college. So this dream was fueled by ramen and Hot Pockets.
The company went from a college dormitory to more than 100 team members and worldwide offices. So, the toolset has gained an intense amount of popularity.
But this rapid growth doesn’t always pan out well for these companies. So, has Divi maintained its quality as its customer base has grown? Let’s find out together.
Who is Divi best for?
Divi is best for solopreneurs and small businesses tired of the monthly payments made to website builders. It has a one-time fee and is loaded with powerful and unique features that make it incredibly useful.
Divi has a higher learning curve than most other site-building tools. However, that learning curve can be addressed in a few hours. With a bit of work, Divi can be an excellent long-term investment.
So, if you plan on being a long-term WordPress user, consider Divi for your website. To find out more about why you should, check out our review.
Divi pros & cons
- Offers lifetime access through one of its plans
- Installable on unlimited websites
- Default themes are well made
- Options can help you create a unique website
- Easy to insert custom code throughout the website
- About 280 templates to base your page theme off of
- Good range of different pre-made designs for website elements.
- The website builder is pretty easy to use and is an elegant solution for professionals.
- It comes with an excellent email opt-in tool.
- You can create multiple user roles and accounts for your team
- No monthly plan
- No free trial
- Menu organization is somewhat scattered
- Other builders feel more refined
- Divi websites tend to load slower than alternative builders
Divi pricing and plans
Much like GeneratePress, Divi lets you choose between one of two plans: an annual plan or a lifetime plan. There is no monthly plan, and you don’t get a free trial to test it out. However, you do get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For yearly access, you need to be willing to pay $89, which will charge once per year. This gives you access to their complete lineup of tools: Divi, Extra, Bloom, and Monarch. You’ll find out more about what these tools do later in the review. These tools provide email opt-ins, social sharing, and design tools.
The lifetime plan includes the same tools but costs $249 as a one-time charge. There is no difference between what either plan offers other than the potential for long-term savings.
Both tools offer hundreds of pre-built website packs, product updates, premium support, and usage across unlimited websites. This sounds good on paper, but we want to see how it works in practice.
Installing the Divi Builder
Those who’ve worked with WordPress plugins probably know they need to install them manually. You can use these handy steps below if you’ve never done it.
Before you do anything, you’ll want to purchase Divi. Once you do that, you’ll want to install your desired plugins. In our case, we will be testing all of the products. But you likely will only need the Divi Theme, Bloom, and Monarch.
The other plugins are situational, and the Divi Builder Plugin is the plugin without the theme. So, if you like your current theme, you can download the plugin by itself. Also, know that installing themes differs from installing plugins, which we will address in these steps.
After downloading your plugins, you’ll want to go to your WordPress Dashboard. Next, you’ll want to click on plugins on the left-hand navigation and click “add new” to bring up the “add plugins” screen.
Once on this screen, you’ll want to click upload plugins. This will bring up a “choose file” menu where you can upload your compressed files. Select Monarch and click the “install now” button. You’ll do the same for the Bloom plugin.
Your page should automatically redirect to an “installing plugin from uploaded file” page. This page tells you that the installation was successful. Next, you can click on the “activate plugin” button to set up the plugins.
The other two files we downloaded, Divi and Extra, are themes. Because of that, you’ll need to pick “themes” under the “appearance” tab to install these. Like the plugins page, you’ll click the “add new” button at the top. Next, click the “upload theme” button on this one.
Follow the same process for uploading and choosing your file, only with the “Divi.zip” or “Extra.zip” files. Once you are done, you’ll want to click the “go to the themes page” option. You’ll know you’ve done it right once you see the installed themes on your list.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you can start playing with your new toys.
Divi theme review – comparing your two default themes
Divi starts you off with two different theme options: Divi and Extra.
The standard Divi theme you get is simple and elegant. The customization menu lets you go through some simple editing options on it as well.
Your alternative option, Extra, is a magazine theme that puts your blogs first. The theme is similar but has a slightly different color scheme.
Your standard customize menu lets you adjust some of the simpler aspects of your page. Here are your options in order:
- General settings let you change your site identity, layout settings, typography, and background. This is similar to other builders in how it applies to the general design of the page.
- The header & navigation menu lets you change how the menu bars appear and the general header settings. Its most customizable feature is under the header style, which changes how the menu appears.
- Footer settings let you customize the appearance of footer elements, menus, and widgets. You can also change color and style elements.
- The buttons menu lets you change the button style and the hover style as your mouse goes over the buttons.
- Blog settings let you change how the blog excerpts appear (style and meta appearance).
- Mobile styles let you change how the page appears from a mobile or tablet view.
- Color schemes let you change the overall color-based appearance of your theme.
- Menus let you change how the navigation menus appear.
- Widgets let you control what appears in the footer.
- Homepage settings let you control what appears when people reach your homepage.
- Additional CSS lets you add custom CSS code.
Most of these settings are similar to what you get with standard WordPress plugins. But the additional features under your header and navigation lets you create a unique navigation experience.
Divi’s true power comes as you scroll down to the Divi submenu.
Divi doesn’t take a page from GeneratePress but has its own customization section. This saves you the time and effort needed to determine the available features.
The Divi plugin is broken down into four areas:
- Theme Options – lets you control some of the more general options of your theme.
- Theme Builder – lets you build custom themes through Divi
- Theme Customizer – links you to the general customization menu (seen above)
- Role Editor – enables you to edit what roles have access to
- Divi Library – lets you look at your current Divi layouts
- Support Center – Gives you access to Divi Documentation (the knowledge base) and chat directly with customer support. You can also enable safe mode (which disables other plugins)
We’ve already gone through the theme customizer, which you can find above. You’ll also find some repeats of those options under the options menu. Most of this focuses on new design tools.
Adjusting your Divi theme options
The options menu provides a collected area where you can adjust aspects of your website. These deep customization options can assist you in building websites, but only as a support measure.
The options menu is broken into eight areas, which we will review below:
General options (seen above) let you adjust numerous features of the Divi webpage. Mostly, you’ll find these focusing on design options. For example, you can upload a logo, enable a fixed navigation bar, set up a Divi gallery, and select your color palate.
You’ll also find ways to link your social media URLs (like Facebook and Twitter) and control how blog posts display. You can also add a back-to-top button, enable smooth scrolling, add custom CSS, and enable responsive images.
“General” feels like a grab bag for every option under the sun. You’ll find answers to these things by clicking on question mark icons on the right of each option.
The navigation settings let you control how your navigation menu appears. You can control what pages appear and whether or not you have a home link. You can also change how the blog categories are handled.
It lets you control if the Divi builder appears on non-standard pages (like blog posts). It also asks you about advanced tools.
It lets you control layout settings, especially as it concerns blog posts. This includes single post layouts and single page layouts.
This lets you adjust settings for managing un-digitized advertisements. Namely, you can use it to create ads that appear on your screen (suitable for affiliate marketers).
It lets you control how you appear in search engines. If you have All in One SEO, it will link you there. Otherwise, it will send you to other tools.
It lets you integrate code in various locations on your page. This is broken down into the header, bottom, single top, and single bottom code. This is ideal if you want centralized custom CSS elements in different areas (more useful for developers).
This lets you control how you receive updates. You can also roll back to the previous version of Divi if the latest update breaks your page.
Having the options menu appear on top of the navigation menu is a bit of an odd decision. Still, starting with a simple understanding of how Divi works might not be bad. Up to this point, we’ve gone through what Divi refers to as the “back-end builder.”
You’ll see some unusual organizational choices here, but it won’t take long to get used to it. Once you finish digging through your options, you can get to the Divi Theme Builder.
Getting started with the Divi Theme Builder
The theme builder is where you start to see why Divi is so popular. You can use this to create beautiful websites using different design elements.
You can click the “add new template” button to get started. You can also change your default website template to see your options.
When building a new template, you can choose to apply it selectively. This application can be to specific pages or even specific blog posts.
Once you pick where these design elements apply, you can select a theme on which to base them. To do this, click one of the “add global” options, which lets you change the header, body, or footer.
If you click the “build global header” button, it will immediately bring up the visual editor. If you click the “add from library” button here, it draws from over 280 different page templates to base your design.
There is a wide range of designs where you can base your header, body, or footer. You can also use the visual editor to build from scratch. But if you aren’t a design expert, you probably want to start with some templates.
Navigating the visual builder
There are two ways to start using the visual builder. The first way is by accessing it from this screen. But if you are also logged into your WP account and browsing your website, you can click the “enable visual builder” button on the top of the screen.
At this point, you can select from those pre-made layouts or start from scratch. Either way, you’ll see a screen like this:
The Divi builder is straightforward, with most things found along the bottom of the screen. From left to right, here is what you can expect:
- Builder settings – The three-dot menu lets you change different modes to make the builder experience useful.
- Wireframe view – Let’s you view the site in different sections to see how it breaks down.
- Zoom button – This lets you zoom out of the web page to see the entire thing (or zoom back in).
- View buttons – The view buttons let you see a desktop, tablet, and mobile view (in that order).
- Plus button – Lets you add content from the Divi library
- Save to library – It lets you save the current content you are working on to your library.
- Clear layout – This lets you clear all of the current page content.
- The “x” button – Lets you move different page elements around. You can also use this to adjust element settings, remove elements, and duplicate them.
- Page settings – This lets you change the settings on the entire page
- Editing history – Views your editing history.
- Portability – This lets you import and export page content.
- SEO – Lets you change your SEO settings (integrates with All In One SEO).
The bottom-right corner lets you search the page, check your design layers, and pull up the Divi helper to provide you with a guide for handling this tool.
With everything at the bottom, it lets you focus on the page’s design. So, if you want to make a unique theme, you can focus on the page.
Adding and editing different page modules
Data throughout the builder lets you know that individual page items are “modules” on Divi. The next levels include areas (grouped into different rows and columns), with those rows and columns contained by various sections.
Switching to the wireframe view lets you see this and better add new modules without mucking up your website format. Clicking the grey “plus button” below these current modules adds items around existing modules. So, you get a grid-based editor, not a freeform one.
The default modules you can get include most of your standard and more advanced options. These include audio elements, contact forms, email opt-ins, and countdown timers. Many of these are found throughout the funnel builders we review (like ClickFunnels).
You can also store more pre-made items in your library. You can share these between different websites using the Divi Cloud feature. This can be handy if you have a web developer on staff. The Divi Marketplace will also let you add new pre-made tools others have created for fellow Divi users.
If you want to add an extra layer of rows, you can click the green plus arrow below. This lets you add new rows and dictate the number of columns in those rows. You can also add more columns between those rows by clicking the grey plus button in the middle.
So ultimately, Divi’s user experience is about standard for other website builders I’ve used. It’s easy to add dynamic content blocks that make your website more engaging. Your level of customization is up to you.
The theme builder could also stand to get some simplicity to it. The “add from library” button doesn’t seem to do anything on the theme builder. Ultimately, it does require you to use the tutorial. Thankfully, the tutorial is detailed, but it does say something about the ease of use of Divi’s tools.
Divi’s email opt-in tools: Bloom
Two tools aren’t part of the base Divi package: Monarch and Bloom. Bloom, the first one we will look at, is a way to create opt-in forms. This can be useful for creating an email list for a newsletter of interested customers.
You can start by choosing between six different opt-ins. These include inlines, widgets, below post, and pop-ups. From there, you’ll name the opt-in form and select the integration.
Divi doesn’t offer any built-in email marketing tools. So you’ll need a third-party integration to connect it. Thankfully, these integrations include all of the email marketing providers.
Unfortunately, Bloom doesn’t use the Divi builder to give you custom email opt-in forms. Instead, you can pick a color scheme, the fonts, and choose the content that appears with the form. There are a lot of style options here, just nothing overly custom.
Ultimately, it’s a valuable tool and a great addition to the Divi builder toolset.
Monarch Plugin: The social media toolset
Monarch is another interesting tool similar to Bloom in how it lets you create pop-ups for your page. The difference is that Monarch focuses on making it easier for site visitors to share your content.
Monarch is another tool that’s part of the Divi package. Like Bloom, the tool is simple, direct, and great for getting people to share your content. Because social pop-ups are easy to spot, it’s easy for people to share.
You can also create these social sharing buttons to be out of the way, which can help improve the user experience. So again, Monarch is a good tool if you have a site that thrives on social sharing.
What do users think about Divi?
Overall, Divi has an incredibly positive reputation online. All of the reviews across Trustpilot, G2, and Capterra give it an average of 4.7 or higher. But that’s not to say that Divis doesn’t get its fair share of criticisms.
Many Divi users love how easy it is to use. The team behind Divi is constantly updating the system and providing new features. Tools like Monarch and Bloom were excellent additions to lifetime subscribers who didn’t expect these things to be added.
On the critique side of things, Divi’s customer support staff tends to respond slowly. It also has a higher learning curve than other page builders.
Ultimately, its biggest issue comes from the website code. I’ve spoken to a few website owners who say Divi is one of the slowest website builders you can get. But many users are willing to sacrifice a bit of website speed to get the lifetime deal.
Is Divi worth your money?
The best investment for Divi users comes back to its lifetime deal. While it’s a high upfront payment, not having to make monthly payments year over year is an excellent adjustment. This, combined with Elegant Theme’s apparent dedication to Divi’s success, makes it worth the money.
With a higher learning curve, Divi isn’t for the casual user. Newbies will struggle with the software at first, as it isn’t one of those “pick it up and go” sort of builders. You’ll spend a couple of hours getting used to how the tools operate.
But once you get over that, Divi’s toolset is impressive and includes a high expansion potential. You can use Divi to resell websites, build your business, or enhance a personal website. The applications are endless for this tool.
Ultimately, Divi is one of the best values you can get on the web; be careful to keep some of your code lightweight to avoid site slowdowns.