Divi released Divi 3. A HUGE update to the Divi theme. In this review I’ll take it for a test drive, show you what it’s like to use and let you know if it’s right for your next website project.
I do these reviews and buy and try out all sorts of themes to help you find what is actually going to work, be easy to use and allow you to get the results that you want.
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Diving in and using Divi 3
The first thing that I did after installing Divi 3 was to start doing some work! I have a couple of new pages that I want to make for Real Website Hints. I have to say I spent hours working on designing and tweaking pages in Divi 3. Not because Divi was so difficult to use, but because I was actually enjoying the experience! The ability to see changes while you are making them is so liberating.
If you are new to building pages there is a small learning curve to Divi 3. It’s a font end builder that is based heavily on their back end page builder. I found it really easy and intuitive to use because I have so much experience with their back end page builder. But if your new to Divi it might take you a little bit of time to figure out, but once you do I think you will really find this an enjoyable page building experience for WordPress.
If you do need help getting started with the Divi theme I’m working on a brand new course, How to build a website with the Divi theme. That will show you not just how to use the Divi theme but how to think about and build a really great website.
Building a Page With Divi 3
To get started building a Page in Divi 3 you start out like you normally would by creating a new page in WordPress and then enabling the Divi Builder.
There is now a new button to enable the visual page builder. Here
it’s really easy to navigate and start building a page. Everything is color coordinated so that it’s really easy to tell if you are highlighting a section a row or a module.
One thing that I really like about this visual builders over the other ones that I have tested is that it doesn’t add any extra fixed bars on top of or next to your design. I just feels much more open that way. When you need to add a module the module window opens up. I really like the module search feature allowing you to start typing and get quick access to the module that you want.
They have made editing text really simple. Simply click on a text element and when the bar changes to display the text formatting options you can click directly into the text and start editing. I also really like the fact that you can change the font or font color just by highlighting it and changing it.
One thing that I did have a problem with was using this mode to adjust the font size. I found that to be hit or miss. I’m sure that they will have this resolved soon. Right now I find that the most reliable way to adjust text size is to use the standard module controls which you can bring up by using the gear icon on the text module and going to the design settings.
Designing a Mobile Friendly Website
Divi is a fully responsive theme. That means that it will automatically reformat your pages so that they look great on any sized screen. One thing that Divi does better then many other page builder themes is allowing you to better tailor the viewing experience of your site based on the type of device that your users are using. Most mod have settings especially size settings that you can easily customize based on device size.
The new Divi Visual builder also offers several view options to help you make those adjustments. They have a zoomed out view so that you can get a larger view of your site. A desktop setting, tablet setting and phone setting. So if you want to really fine-tune the experience of your viewers on different devices you can.
Undo and Redo?
The builder also has some really nice feature for undo and redo. If you make a change and want to undo it you have a few options. One is to just press cmd + z or ctrl + z on a pc and it will undo your changes. If you are working inside of a module there are undo and redo buttons. Then on the bottom tray with the page controls there are also a history view that you can use to to go back to a previous change that you have made.
Adjusting Your Sites Main Design Settings
The main site design controls for the Divi theme use the WordPress Theme customizer function. I like seeing theme developers embrace features that WordPress has added. This just helps make a more unified feeling WordPress experience.
Power Features for Professionals
If you build sites for other people or if you have a site that other people contribute to you’re probably going to like Divi’s User Role control features. This allows you to turn on and off access to all sorts of functions of the theme. This give you greater control and helps to keep people from messing put the beautiful site that you created with Divi.
AB in page split testing.
This is a super powerful feature that Divi has added that I don’t think any other theme offers. In page A/B Split Testing That is the ability to test certain elements on your site and see if they are resonating with your audience. You can test any module or section on your site. You create 2 or more test subjects like a headline for example. Then you select the action that you are looking for your audience to do, like push a button for example. Divi will then automatically rotate your test headlines and tell you which headline got more people to push the button. That is some really powerful ninja marketing stuff. And it’s all built right into the Divi theme.
So it is all sunshine rainbows and puppy dogs?
There are a couple of things that might bother you. One is the occasional fidgety-ness of getting to the settings button in the visual builder. I found that this would happen is two modules were small and close together. You can usually just keep moving the mouse around until you get access to the module you want. You can also switch to the back end builder. I never found that I resorted to going back to the backend builder. I found in a few seconds I was usually able to get to the module that I wanted.
Also remembering to save. The save button is on the main page settings. It’s by default closed, so you have to remember to open up the page settings tray and click on the save button before exiting the builder. This save button should really also be right next to the exit page builder button, or should be like the beaver builder page builder where when you exit the page builder it asks you if you would like to save.
Another thing that I don’t really see as a problem but some people freak out about is that if you decide to switch themes from Divi. Divi does leave behind short codes. That’s how the page builder works is by creating these short codes to call out the actually code that builds your pages. I don’t really see this as a huge issue for two reasons one is that you can build just about any kind of site with Divi. It’s a one theme builds any website theme. Secondly you can always download and install the Divi Page builder plugin which will then allow pages that you made with Divi to look normal on other WordPress themes. Most page builders that I have tested leave behind short codes so having the option to download the Divi page builder plugin is a huge plus over other page builder themes.
Conclusion Divi 3 Review
Over all I really like the Divi theme. It’s the theme that I use for Real Website Hints and I have been using for several years now. I really respect the developers behind Divi. They have shown a constant commitment to improving and adding new, better and genuinely useful features to the theme. The last major update added the ability to save single pages. This is an awesome feature. It allows you to work on a test site on your computer or on another server. Design and build a page. Save that page as a single file. Then upload it to your live website and quickly update an existing page. All of this without having to do anything complicated, confusing or having to edit your page on your live site.
Divi is an easy and accessible theme to use so it’s great for beginners but it offers so many power features, that it’s also an incredible tool for professional web designers to use. One of the power features that I am really impressed by is the built in AB split testing so that you can test multiple different headlines, images or buttons and see what is actually resonating with your viewers. This is the kind of feature that you could pay hundreds of dollars a year to implement with an outside company or you could just get it included as part of the Divi theme.
The licensing for Divi is also pretty straight forward. The base tier is access to the the Divi theme, plus all of the themes made by the Divi developers and all of their plugins. At the time that I wrote this that was $89 for one year of support and one year of updates. You can build an unlimited number of sites with that. After the one year the theme and your sites will still work, you just wont’ have access to support or to theme updates. One plugin that they make that I particularly like is the bloom email opt-in plugin. Divi does offer email opt-in functionality but bloom takes it to the next level with advanced programable popups for your email opt-in. With this tier you also get 1 year of updates and support and you can build and use the plugins on unlimited sites.
The final tier is the one that I wish that I had signed up for when I first got the Divi theme. This is the same as the second Tier but it also included lifetime updates and support. This tier is a bit of a step up in price at $249. I think that if you are serious about making a quality website for yourself this is well worth it. The developers of Divi have done such an incredible job of making continual improvement to the theme that I Iook at it as having paid a one time fee for an amazing development team that is constantly working to make my website better. And I think that if you are building websites for other people this is the obvious choice to make.
Here is a link if your interested in getting the Divi theme, or learning more about it.
If you want help building your first website with Divi check out the information about my free how to build a website online course.
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