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.

If you find this review helpful you can use the affiliate links in this article. These links cost you nothing extra and provide me with a commission that allows me to test new products and provide free tutorials. Thanks for your support!

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.Inline-Editor

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.

divi-3-mobile-edit-view

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.

divi-undo-redo

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.

divi-3-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.

Get The Divi Theme

If you want help building your first website with Divi check out the information about my free how to build a website online course.

For more theme reviews, tips and tricks to help you build websites easily be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel. If you have a question leave it in the comments below!

20 Comments

  1. Jos Muijtjens

    Your impression on Divi is really very good.
    Wished you could talk with a more relaxed (slightly less tempo) voice.

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      Thanks for the comment. I’ll try to talk slower next time 🙂

      Reply
  2. Oscar Martinez

    My experience with Divi 3.0 has been challenging. So many bugs. Constant support needed. Developers are providing CSS solutions to fix each bug. I can’t get through one website build without several bug fixes. Tough to use for production.

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      I agree that in the first few weeks of the Divi 3.0 there have been some issues. It was a major release so I think that was to be expected. I have found that they have been working steadily and quickly at fixing issues. Be sure to keep up with the updates. They have been coming out steadily every few days. I think that as you have seen the support is helpful and I am confident that the will get Divi 3 running smoothly.

      Reply
      • Mike Wilson

        I don’t understand your view that a “major release” is expected to have issues. Customers like me pay real money and use valuable time to provide solutions for clients. When I am forced to be an unpaid beta tester for Divi, it is not only unfair, it costs me money, time, and sometimes clients. NO!! It’s time software companies tested their own sh*t before selling it!!!!

        I have had Divi for 2 days: the first page I created I discovered Visual Builder does not format the page properly. It does not support properly the world’s most popular slider – Slider Revolution. And their unconventional handling of featured image is currently an item waiting for a response from their support department.

        All of this and it’s almost March of 2017. When do paying clients get to stop paying for a product that isn’t dependable in a production environment?

        And if I were a hobbyist, I wouldn’t know how to write the css code or html to work around their faulty builder.

        Buyer beware gets old. It’s time software companies disclose their bugs as they are discovered and tell potential buyers BEFORE they waste time and money on their misrepresented crap.

        Just my 2 cents.

        Reply
        • Tim Martin

          There are no perfect website building tools. That’s one thing that I can tell you from testing many many website building tools. There will always be something you wish was done differently by the developer. It’s about choosing the tool that best fits your skill level and the set of tools that you need.

          Success starts from taking action. You can’t wait until everything is perfect before, trying something new, releasing a product or starting a business. If you wait until you have everything perfect chances are it will be to late. That’s one of the things that I have learned about building websites and achieving success. You can’t wait until it’s perfect.

          That goes double for software where everything in software is fluid and ever changing. In my experience Divi 3’s page builder worked great from the beginning and now works even better now after many releases to resolve minor issues with the builder. With my experience with the Divi theme I expect that it will not only continue to improve as far as the current

          I don’t know of any product that has software that doesn’t have some flaws or issues when it is first released. That is just the nature of the type of product and the complexity and difficulty of designing software. It’s impossible to foresee all issues that people may have. That’s why all quality software is constantly being update.

          As far as the revolution slider I personally haven’t used it in Divi, but I know from the Divi community that I’m a part of that there are people using Revolution slider with Divi.

          When It comes to sliders especially complex sliders like Slider Revolution I don’t really see that they add value to your site. I don’t think that they help websites better communicate a message or drive more sales. I think that when you look at the slider examples it’s easy to see the neat looking animations and perceived sophistication and think that that looks like a more advanced way of communicating.

          I think that in reality the opposite is true. Sophistication and effective communicating and marketing comes from simplicity. Crafting an easy to visualize and easy to absorb message. Sliders detract from that. If you have a more complex visual message to communicate it’s far better to communicate that message with video then the kind of animations that you can create with a tool like slider revolution.

          My interest is in helping people design effective websites that will help them deliver a message or drive sales. If you look at the websites of million dollar or billion dollar companies which large marketing budgets and highly trained staff or marketers and designers. You’ll notice that they focus on crafting a simple message with simple visuals. They pair down their message and visuals to just the essentials. They avoid anything that might distract from the message that they are trying to communicate.

          If you want to be successful in website design focus on crafting a clear easy to understand message. Then use tools like the Divi Split Testing feature to refine that message to find out what actually resonates with your audience. That’s the best way to create an effective, powerful and successful website.

          Hope that helps. The most important thing is to build you website get your message out their and refine it till you figure out what works. Your first attempt probably won’t be perfect but thru learning and more experimentation you will get to be more successful everyday. The tool you use to get there doesn’t matter as much as long as it help you to achieve your goal. Go with what works for you!

          Reply
          • Jack Allen

            Agreed, and thanks!

  3. Brad Smiley

    Tim, thanks for the very good overview! I do have one question… is it that you can only use a DIVI theme with DIVI 3.0? I was just starting a build with WordPress twenty seventeen, and reached a point where I began looking at Page Builders as a way to construct a “Portfolio” page whereby I could create several rows of videos. Beaver Builder look reasonable (but expensive), then I came across DIVI 3.0, which appears could very easily do what I needed done. However, I’m getting the sense that DIVI 3.0 only works with the (a?) DIVI Theme (or series of themes?). Can you straighten me out? Thanks again.

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      When you purchase the mid tier or top tier level from elegant themes Divi you have the option of just using the Divi builder plugin. You can use that plugin with any theme. I however do not recommend that. Both beaver builder and Divi technically work with any theme.

      What I have found is that it’s a pain, because most themes don’t have full width layouts. That is really where you get the best results with a page builder theme. There are a few themes that do offer this functionality, but to keep things simple I find it is just easies to use the theme that goes with the builder.

      If you do use the Divi builder to build a portfolio and if you want to have the videos open in a lightbox you will need an additional plugin. I have a video on how to set that up.

      Reply
  4. Brad Smiley

    Tim,

    Thanks for this… may I ask you these as a follow up?
    01. Does WP twenty seventeen have full width layouts?
    02. If it does, you’re saying both DIVI 3,0 and BB would work with it?
    03. But – generally – you’re saying if I purchased DIVI 3.0, I would be better off using the DIVI Theme? Here I’m a little confused… when you say the “DIVI Theme”, are you saying “there is a theme called the “DIVI Theme”, or are you saying, “any theme from Elegant Forest”?
    04. Finally, could you point me to the lightbox video (I’ll buy it if it’s a purchasable product).
    05. If you had to make a decision between DIVI 3.0 and BB, which would it be (if you had to!)

    Thanks, Tim. It’s guys like you who take the time to explain these kinds of things that really provide a helpful interface in this crazy website world! It’s much appreciated.

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      Sorry I wasn’t too clear! Sometimes I go to fast!
      01 WP twenty seventeen does not offer full width layouts.
      02 Technically Beaver Builder and Divi work with it. It’s just pointless because you have so little page space to work with. The theme by default fills up the page space. This gives you very little space to work with in designing your pages with a page builder.
      03 The Divi theme is from Elegent Themes. You can find a link Divi at http://realwebsitehints.com/divi
      04 Here is a link to the light box video. https://youtu.be/TQBL9Vi9HF4 I haven’t had a problem with it but some people have. Can’t quite explain that! Other then that when you are building website there are lots and lots of variables.

      05 I’m working on a comparison video between the two of them right now. I personally prefer Divi. They are both very good. Divi has more design options and I like the workflow better. That being said I have yet to find a “perfect” tool for building websites. They all have their moments… I like Divi because I have been using it for years and I’ve seen the developers commitment to constant improvement. Also there is an amazing community of Divi users all of who are very willing to help solve issues and find solutions!

      Reply
  5. Brad Smiley

    Tim,
    Thanks you! That’s exactly what I needed to know.

    I will check out the Lightbox video for sure.

    Really appreciate your help and would like to contact you for web support rates.

    Thanks again,

    Brad

    Reply
  6. Brad Smiley

    Tim,

    I have quick question… I see in the forum questions that many of the CSS guys ask that the person place some CSS tweak code into “Divi Theme Options > Integrations > Add to Body”. For example, I’m struggling with how to get a full-width video to loop in the Header. I see the code that the CSS guy says to add (in another post to a person asking the same thing), but I can’t figure out how to get to Divi Theme Options > Integration. Could you explain briefly how that is done? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      In the Header or in the first section of your site? If you want a looping video in the background of the first section to your site. Go to the section options and then add a video background. It will loop automatically.

      Reply
  7. Marty

    have a divi 3.0 site will not open inside pages. shows a 404 error code.
    the first page comes up and i am able to us the visual builder but when i go save page and preview the 404 code comes up

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      Are you sure that the page is published?

      Reply
  8. Amelia Hay

    I’ve been using the Divi theme for a while now, and I love that it is full width. However, there were some annoying bugs in the initial release. I have found that the theme does slow down my site because it’s image heavy. I have spent a lot of time installing plugins to overcome this and changed hosts. 🙂

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      It’s very important to optimize the images for your website before you upload them. This is really the only way on any theme to insure that your images don’t slow down your site. Also the Divi theme does not have any images installed on it so I’m not sure that it’s fair to say that the theme is image heavy. The great thing about Divi is that the design and layout of your pages and your website are up to you. How many images or how much use of images on your pages is entirely up to you. If you need help figuring out how to optimize your images you might want to check out my tutorial on it. http://www.realwebsitehints.com/optimize-images-website/ Hope that helps!

      Reply
  9. Hildah

    Hello Tim.

    This is an excellent review, thank you.

    Now I have read these reviews about Divi;

    1) It limits migration to other themes in future because everything will turn into short codes.
    2) It is not a lightweight theme and this slows the website.
    3) One easily loses some features, especially CSS codes in the case of an update.

    Due to the above challenges I have heard people recommend StudioPress themes and frameworks, such as Genesis Framework because they are lightweight.

    Here comes my questions now;

    1. I love Divi-is there ways to solve the problems listed above?

    2. Between Divi and Genesis -which one would you recommend for beginners?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Tim Martin

      Hi Hildah,
      Deciding on a theme is difficult! StudioPress is very light weight, because it is designed for developers. You need to know how to code to really be able to do anything with StudioPress themes. I think a lot of the blog posts about using Studio Press for beginners is very old and outdated information. It used to be comparatively easy if you learned how to code, but now there are much easier to use page builders. You can combine a StudioPress theme with a page builder plugin, but I feel that adds too much unnecessary complication to your site.
      Here is my video on that: https://youtu.be/AWqtjk9f8us

      As far as switching themes with Divi you can use the Divi page builder plugin on your new theme. Although I don’t really know why you would want to switch from Divi since you can design your pages pretty much any way that you would like. I have a video on the contreversy about not being able to switch themes with Divi most of that information online that says that you can’t is very out dated. Here is my video about that: https://youtu.be/Rzoslx1vHu4

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get more real website hints in your email!

Sign up for our email list and get more hints and tips right in your email!

You have Successfully Subscribed!