Divi, the newest theme from Elegant Themes, was announced several months before its release, which took place near the end of 2013, on December 11. In fact, Elegant Themes had not released any new theme since July 18, 2013 and then started talking about their future most flexible and powerful theme as soon as July 24, 2013.
Being accustomed to getting a new theme every month or couple of months, some members of the Elegant Themes theme club were upset because, for them, everything seemed to be stopped at the development department.
So during last summer Elegant Themes seemed to change their strategy from regularly releasing new themes to focusing on the development of a single great theme: Divi. At the same time, they hired a new designer and regularly began posting a lot of new articles on their blog (which was previously used mostly for theme releases and other company news).
To keep their customers happy on the long wait, they also began offering a lot of freebies through their blog, introducing the category “Freebie of the Week”. Icon sets, PSD templates, stunning background images, slider images templates… a lot of free interesting stuff has been offered since last September.
Also in September 2013 one more category was added to their blog, beginning with an open contest: the “Customer Spotlight” series, which is a showcase of their customers´ success stories.
And the time came…
When the long awaited theme was finally released on December 2013, most of the numerous Elegant Themes customers were quite satisfied with the results. The theme comes with a wonderful drag and drop Page Builder, very flexible and straightforward to use, and a lot of modules are available to quickly build and customize any of your pages.
Everybody seemed to love Divi, so we can say that the strategy envisaged by Elegant Themes proved to be a right choice.
In fact, Divi has become so popular that, during last March, Elegant Themes didn´t blink to make a move that usually involves making difficult decisions: They increased the price of their Personal Package membership from $39 to $69 (although the new yearly subscription price would affect only new members, since Elegant Themes always honors the signup price for current members; in their own words: “we will never raise the price for people who have already signed up”). Anyway, $69 looks like a very fair price for a collection of 87 themes, especially when one of them is Divi, which really deserves that price by itself.
A successful theme
I was curious to see the evolution of Divi in terms of popularity. But remember that I happen to run a privileged observatory: our WPThemeDetector tool tracks the themes being used by WordPress sites, and it processes the gathered statistical information to create our Top WordPress Themes reports.
So I just had to wait and regularly check what was happening, and what I saw was that Divi was going up and up at a regular pace, becoming one of the 100 top themes on February 13, then one of the 50 top themes on March 25, and guess what: last week it finally showed up on our Top WordPress Themes report, as Divi became the #25 top theme on May 1st.
As a matter of fact, Divi was the first single theme from Elegant Themes to appear on our Top WordPress Themes reports. Elegant Themes as a theme provider has always ranked among the first positions of our Top Theme Providers reports, but none of their themes managed to get that high on our top themes list.
Since last week, this theme has even climbed a couple more positions, and it is ranking #23 today as I write this post. So who knows how high could it be getting in future dates. I´m still curious about its potential, aren´t you?
And the strategy goes on
Right after the release of Divi, Elegant Themes continued to enhance their blog strategy, which was most noticeable when during last January the renown blogger Kevin Muldoon became their “resident tutorial master”. He is now posting WordPress tutorials and interesting tips almost on a daily basis, thus helping convert the Elegant Themes Blog into an appealing WordPress resource.
Elegant Themes didn´t release any other new theme yet, but a lot of excitement is being built right now about Divi 2.0, the future new version of what is already their flagship theme.
Divi 2.0 was first announced on March 5 on the post “A Sneak Peek At Some Features To Look Forward To In Divi 2.0”, where Elegant themes said that they were putting a lot of effort behind some overarching theme options such as enhanced header, navigation and layout options that will provide users with a plethora of new design choices, and also announced the addition of post formats and new Page Builder modules.
On another post published on March 19th, “Another Look Behind The Curtain At Divi 2.0”, where some other new features where revealed, ET´s lead graphic designer Kenny Sing stated: “We Are On A Mission To Build The Best Theme Ever” and: “We believe that Divi will be the best theme you can buy, period”. On that post, Kenny also said that they are settings their sights on increasing the available options that were originally included in Divi 1.0 (2 section types, 11 row structures, 6 column widths, and 17 modules).
And finally, Elegant Themes announced yesterday on their post “Let The Countdown To Divi 2.0 Begin” that the official release date for Divi 2.0 has been set for May 21st, 2014.
My first experience with Divi
When Divi was released I was very busy with the development of the new look and features of this site, WPThemeDetector, which were finally released in February, so I didn´t have much time to give it a try. However, when last month I had to face the development of a new client site, I took a closer look at the Divi theme and it sure looked like a good candidate, so in April I finally had the opportunity to really try this theme.
The site is not online yet because it has been developed for a new company and for a particular new patented product that still hasn´t been released, but it is intended for presenting, marketing and selling that product throughout the whole of Europe. So, among other needs, this site has to have full ecommerce functionalities and also be multilingual.
Overall, I had a great experience using Divi to develop that site. To tell you the truth, I´ve never been too fond of the ET theme ePanel, so at first I was a little disappointed when I found that the new theme also included it. But you don´t need to use it much once you´ve made your basic settings, and then you´ll be impressed by the flexibility of the Page Builder and the quality of the results obtained with it.
I also had my doubts at the beginning about being able to easily translate all the content added through the Page Builder, but I had no problems at all and everything proved to be fully compatible with the WPML plugin I´m using on that site.
Taking my own experience with Divi one step further
At this moment I´m involved in the development of a new site based on Divi, and this time it will not be a client site, it will be something different and run by myself.
The only problem encountered so far is that apparently it was not possible to use your own custom page templates. Anyway, I was able to solve this issue through ET support, and apparently it is something that will be fixed in Divi 2.0.
And as a final word, let me tell you this: if you like Divi, you´re going to love my new site. So keep tuned as I will talk about it in a later post, as soon as the new site is ready.
Update: The new site is already online, and I posted about it here.