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The story of Divi, the flagship theme from Elegant Themes

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.

divi-page-builder

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.

divi-top-theme

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.

divi-2-sneak-nav

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).

divi-2-sneak-projects-fw

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.

divi-counters-demo

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.

Luis Alejandre

Luis is the creator of the WPThemeDetector tool and the chief editor of this blog. You can read more about Luis in our About page.
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43 Comments

  1. Good review but leaves the main questions unanswered: is it really worth the price people pay for the ET package and get only a single theme? I’m not sure. Divi has generated a lot of excitement and that’s the reason why it appears at top of your results. I’m not sure this will still be the case after one year.

    I bought a ET membership last year and I’m extremely frustrated to see the whole company focusing just on a single theme and it makes now almost one full year absolutely no other theme has been developed there. Are you sure this is the way it should work?

    I tried Divi on 2 different sites. Yes, nice experience, but limited. I don’t think you can do any sort of site with it as they try to make you think. The result is all sites made with Divi look the same. Just have a look of all those people proud to post their masterpiece “made with Divi” our there. Just pathetic.
    Come on. Let’s be serous for a second.

    • Hi Jerome,

      I didn´t mean that the new strategy of Elegant Themes consists of relying everything on Divi from now on. If that´s what you concluded after reading my post then it is my fault, I didn´t express myself clearly enough. I believe (and I really hope) that they´ve just changed their direction from releasing many themes every year (which maybe had a lot in common with each other anyway) to focusing on a smaller quantity of outstanding (while flexible) new products. I´d really like to know directly from Nick Roach whether I´m getting this right, but that´s the way I understand their strategy. I did ask Nick several months ago for an interview to explain their moves to our readers, but that was when they were really busy before the release of Divi so I got no answer.

      About the sites made with Divi looking alike, that is something that hopefully will be much improved with the release of Divi 2.0, since there will be many more options like side menus or different headers. But nevertheless, it should be considered that we are talking here about a flexible and powerful theme that allows the quick launch of a great site without too much effort, but not about a new framework intended to fulfill the needs of every kind of site making it absolutely unique at the same time.

      As for the question about Divi being worth the price, maybe the answer is implied in your comment: If you bought your ET membership last year you paid $39, and even if you´ve only used Divi from their collection and just in a couple of sites, I would said it was worth it. In fact, I would consider it worth the price even if I had to pay the current $69 and I only used Divi for the client site I mentioned in my post.

      Thanks for stopping by and for letting us know about your thoughts.

      • Thanks Luis, maybe you are right, I don’t know. But, for the same price, you can get other collections that release new themes every month. I agree it is flexible but it certainly doesn’t fit *any* site. Far from that.

        Anyhow thanks for your review but I think should clearly state whether it’s an independent point of view or a sponsored article because the web is flooded with fake “reviews”. I understand yours was clearly reflecting your personal impressions and was not sponsored. It is worth highlighting.

        As I forgot to do so in my initial message, I also profit here to thank you for your super excellent website – this one – that I’m often using and is a really a great and valuable resource for developers. Great job!

        • Thanks a lot for your very kind words about our site, Jerome.

          About this post you are right, it does reflect my own point of view and my own experience and is not sponsored. I want to make clear that I´m using affiliate links on it, but I wouldn´t say I like Divi if I didn´t, and I will never accept sponsored posts on this blog if I didn´t agree 100% with what´s written on them.

          • I just found your website, Luis, and it has a lot of great info, thanks. You’re also committed to supporting Divi with lots of info/experience, which is great.

            However, I agree with Jerome’s concerns about ET focusing too much on Divi. I like Divi, it is clearly a really popular look and feel right now, as tons of sites are using it or something similar. But things will get old very quickly if everyone is using Divi.

            I’ve been using ET for a couple years and noticed that there hasn’t been much else new, so again, I’m a concerned about that. I hope they continue to create other new themes. Do you have any updated info from ET in this regard?

          • Hi Tony, and thank you for your kind words.

            Elegant Themes are right now working on a new theme that will be called Extra.

            Many people like you and Jerome were used to ET releasing a new theme every couple of months or so, so no wonder there are so many complains about this. But the WordPress theme market was beginning to get overcrowded so ET decided to change their strategy and to focus on really outstanding themes, sacrificing the release frequency. And so far they´ve proved they were right to do so.

            I gess Divi is not only their current flagship theme but also some kind of experiment. I mean, I believe it is the first of a new kind of ET themes that will use the Page Builder and some of the features included in Divi.

            As for your assertion “things will get old very quickly if everyone is using Divi” I fully agree with you, and fighting that effect was my main motivation to launch my Divi4u site and is my everyday motivation for the development of new features for my Divi Children plugin. I don´t want Divi sites to look all the same.

  2. Elegant themes are the best theme producers. Their themes are very good but some of them are costly. I am thinking about to buy this one. Thanks Luis for this post.

    • I can´t see what you mean Sean, their themes can not be bought separately.

  3. Beware everyone, see the posts here about this DIVI theme,

    My membership just expired and I am in two minds on wether to renew or not because DIVI just doesn’t work as well as it appears in the ad.

    The Page builder works great the first time when you create the page but soon after if you try to edit anything it just keeps circling and the page builder does not load.

    This seems to be a common problem with the theme, I have tried it in multiple places, Now I am 1 update behind the latest and Don’t know if this problem has been fixed so unsure on wether I should renew.

    Just posting it here so everyone;s aware of this major issue with the DIVI theme.

    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/elegant-themes-divi-page-builder-not-working?replies=8#post-5563593

    • In the same support thread you´re referencing you can see that this issue has been fixed.

  4. Divi theme is one of the most talked theme like Genesis framework. But i think genesis is better for blogs

  5. Hi Luis
    Like you I’ve been very impressed with the Divi theme and I’ve even opened a dedicated site.

    I’m running Divi 2.0 on a local install but not updated on my live site yet.

    Love to know how you added the Divi counter animated gif to this post – any chance of a post on that?

  6. I don’t know when but I see they bumped the price up to $69 for new users.

    Since I suspect that most individuals have one website and would want only one theme this puts them about $20 over what you pay for a theme elsewhere.

    I’d be interested to know whether you still think it presents good value or whether you think they’re appealing more to the web design community?

    Thanks!

    Alicia

    • Hi Alicia,

      They raised the price from $39 to $69 during last March, a couple of months before I wrote this post (I talked about the price increase on it).

      To answer your question, yes I do think Divi presents good value as you can realize if you read the full post.

  7. Having worked almost exclusively with Elegant Themes, I was completely blown away by Divi. At first I was worried a drag and drop theme would be limiting to us developers who heavily customize but it has turned out to be the complete opposite. The ability to add IDs and Classes to every section and module makes it easy to create something really unique. I started a tutorial website for Elegant Themes and I can already see that Divi will become my main focus. It is absolutely worth the $69 and they just recently released another update for a really nice one-page design you should check out. Very cool.

  8. Hello! why do not work comments on the pages and projects in this theme?

    • Hi Yauhen,

      You need to activate the option to show comments on pages.

      From your WordPress Dashboard go to Appearance > Divi Theme Options > Layout Settings > Single Page Layout and then click on the “Show comments on pages” button to make show “This is Enabled” and finally click “Save“.

      • It does not help. Comments do not work if included “Page builder”

        • I see. I´ve never tried to show comments on pages with Divi, though.

          I´ll check that out. If it really is an issue with this theme I´ll try to come with a patch to fix it and in that case I´ll post about it on my dedicated site Divi4u and I´ll include the fix also in my Divi Children plugin. I´ll let you know.

          • Thank you!!!

          • Thanky you for your work 🙂

            Could you inform me too if you solve this issue in your plugin ?

          • Hi Fezet,

            It´s not addressed by the plugin yet. I´ve just released Divi Children 2.0 last week, but that version was closed sometime ago with a lot of new features (read this post to learn more about it). But I will check that out for the next update.

          • Okay, Thank you for your answer. This issue with Divi is very annoying for me, so I hope there will be a fix soon 🙂

            Thank you for your work with your plugin, I installed it on my website, it’s something very usefull and well made 😉

  9. Luis,

    Nice post, thanks. I’m new to website creating and have been looking at many themes, theme builders etc. The Divi 2 really caught my eye and looks great……..seems perfect for my architecture firm. Question: If I subscribe for the 1-year ($69..totally reasonable I believe), does that mean that after the year is up, I can no longer make changes to my site? If that is the case, then the only realistic option is to go for the lifetime subscription for $249?

    Thanks,

    Rick

    • Hi Rick,

      After that first year is up, even if you don´t renew your subscription, you can use Divi and any other theme from the Elegant Themes collection for as long as you want and in as many websites as you want.

      And of course you will be free to make changes to your sites, as many as you want. The only difference is that you won´t have access to any new feature of Divi brought by versions of the theme released after the end of your subscription, or to any new theme released by ET after that moment.

  10. Luis,

    Excellent. Thank you very much for the timely and informative reply. That was kind of you to do so.

    Very much appreciate your thoughtfulness.

    Best regards,

    Rick

  11. Quote: “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.”

    Divi 2 is now out. How can custom page templates be used with it?

    • First you need to create your custom page template. Once it is created you´ll have it available when you add or edit a page under Page Attributes, as one of the templates you can select for your page.

      I´m using custom page templates in my site dedicated to Divi, which is running on Divi 2.1.2 at the moment. For instance, the Divi sites showcase and the Divi Theme Detector are both using custom page templates.

  12. I’ve got several sites in development using Divi, and overall really like it. However, I’m unable to get a coherent answer from ET on one issue. Perhaps you know the answer. I have a bunch of pages formatted using a custom layout. I want to make a change to that layout that will update on all the pages that use it. This seems a simple thing, but as far as i can see, I cannot update the custom layout. Have you run into this?

    • Hi Annete,

      I´m not sure I´m getting to understand exactly what you try to achieve. Could you be a little more specific and/or provide some example?

      Maybe your needs could become an idea for a new feature to be included in my Divi Children plugin. 🙂

  13. Hi, Luis. I’ll copy for you the question I posted on Elegant’s support forum. Let me know if this still doesn’t make sense to you.

    _____________________

    I have a child theme set up. Using Page Builder, I created a layout called “main project page”, which is used to format all the pages under the projects tab in the menu.

    I want to add the facebook link to the Main Project Page layout and have it apply to all the pages already formatted with that layout. I need to know the simplest way of going about this.

    The modified layout with the FB link is here:
    http://69.195.124.71/~foutwopa/rcd-buil … ural-road/

    The others all have the original layout applied, which does not have the FB link (for example, http://69.195.124.71/~foutwopa/rcd-buil … r-removal/).

    • Hi Annette,

      I´m not able to see what you mean because, as you can see, there´s something wrong with the links you included in your last comment (they´re not complete).

      Please send me an email through the contact page of my Divi site divi4u.com.

  14. I read many positive reviews about the Divi Theme and decided to give it a try. The Page Builder is really nice, you can build all kind of cool page layouts in no time.

    However I didn’t realize that PAGE Builder means that all this great possibilities are just and only for pages. You can not use it for blog posts or custom posts, which means that you can’t even insert a slider oder a simple image gallery in a post by default. And this is a big downside for me.

    How should I explain my clients that for pages they have all the great features of the Page Builder and for posts there are just the most basic layout options.

    Another problem I experienced is that the Page Builder pages are using different templates than posts or non Page Builder pages, which depending on your styling makes them look quite differently. So I ended up tweaking the CSS for posts and non Page Builder pages to have the same styling as the rest of my website.

    I can hardly imagine why elegant themes does not seem to take this problems seriously. I hope they will do something about it in future versions.

    • FYI – I have just started looking into the DIVI theme myself, but I did see that their latest version (Divi2.4), that the “builder” now supports “blog posts” and other “non-page” type posts, so looks like they have closed this gap.
      Regards,
      Michael

  15. hey guys this is my first comment, no body explain why the page builder doesn´t work, also the slider module doesn´t work eather, I cant find any answer, coull I get any help here? please. I have divi 2.0
    thanks

  16. Two years later and Divi is onto version 3.0 already. My how time flies!

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