WordPress is my fav blogging platform, but it isn’t without its flaws.

My WordPress-related pet peeve has always been customization. While some aspects, like widgets and plugins, are for the most part straightforward to use, there is a STEEP learning curve when it comes to creating or even customizing a WordPress theme. I have absolutely spent my fair share of time frustrated as hell at my inability to produce what I wanted in a WordPress theme design.

ENTER THE DIVI WORDPRESS THEME.

I’m not kidding when I say Divi changed everything about my blog and branding strategy.

First up, some pros and cons on the theme:

PROS:

Super easy to install and set-up.

Divi installs like a regular theme, and Divi Builder installs like any other plugin.

Manageable learning curve.

The Divi Builder is a visual drag-and-drop page and post builder, which makes getting started straightforward.

The Elegant Themes team constantly adds new features and updates.

And, even better, the features are actually useful. My favorite recent update has been the addition of section dividers (check that out below.)

Divi is as simple or complicated as you want it to be.

Want a plain, clean one-page design? You can do it in Divi. Want a parallax background, animated content sections, and video components? Divi can do that, too!

Elegant Themes has killer customer support.

Their forums are a great place to find answers to questions that have already been asked, and if you can’t find the info you need, an Elegant Themes team member will get you fixed up quickly.

You can use Divi on multiple websites.

Divi doesn’t nickle-and-dime you per domain use, which means you can install Divi on multiple WordPress sites without having to worry about licensing limitations.

CONS:

Once you build something with Divi, it’s Divi forever.

Divi theme layouts are so customizable – the sky is really the limit. THAT SAID, once you create a page or post with Divi, there’s no way to easily remove the Divi coding should you choose to switch to a different theme in the future.

Because it’s a builder, you must build.

Divi won’t solve your design dilemmas right out of the box. The default Divi layout is very simple – not ugly, but plain. To really get your jazz and pizazz, you have to take the time to create killer designs.

It’s a premium theme, with a premium price.

Divi costs $89 per year, or $249 for lifetime access. For me, the price is well worth the features and ease of use, but if you’re just starting out, you may not want to sink that much coin just yet.

When you buy the Divi theme, you also get immediate access to the rest of Elegant Theme’s themes and plugins – like Monarch sharing, and Bloom email. Both plugins are so easy to use with Divi theme, and integrate beautifully into whichever design you create.

For a full overview of Divi’s features, including a fully functional demo version, click here.

READY? ALRIGHT, LET’S DO IT:

First, head over to the Elegant Themes homepage, and click the pink Join to Download button on the upper-right corner of the page:

Now you’ll be able to decide between the one-time one year Elegant Themes subscription, or joining for life (which is the better deal in the long run, should you use the Divi theme for longer than two years.)

Once you’ve created your Elegant Themes account, you’ll have full access to the full Elegant Themes suite: this means Divi access, as well as additional theme access, like the Extra child theme, and Elegant Themes’ older, non-divi templates. This is also where you’ll get Members Area access to the Elegant Themes created plugins, like Bloom and my personal fav, Monarch.

To get started installing the Divi theme to your WordPress site, navigate to your Members Area. Here’s where we’ll download the Divi files for the first time. You’ll want to click the pink download button on the Divi theme, and the Divi Builder:

installing divi to your wordpress site

From here, you’ll want to save the Divi.zip and divi-builder.zip files to your desktop, or a Divi-specific folder on your computer harddrive that you’ll easily be able to find later. I recommend keeping a backup of both the theme zip file, and the builder plugin file handy – juuust in case.

So, first we’ll install the actual Divi theme to your WordPress site, and then we’ll install the Divi Builder plugin.

To install the Divi theme, load up your WordPress admin site, and navigate to Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme:

installing divi to your wordpress site 2

Once the dialogue box pops up, navigate to the location where you saved the Divi.zip file, and double click it. WordPress will do its thing, and install the theme to your site. Once it’s installed, you’ll see the Divi theme preview in your Themes list. Click the Activate button right underneath the purple and white Divi preview.

Now, the only thing we need to do before getting to the fun customization stuff, is entering your Elegant Themes API key. The API key basically lets Elegant Themes know you own a legit copy of Divi, and are entitled to future updates.

To locate your Elegant Themes API key, go back to your Elegant Themes Members Area, and navigate to Account > Your API Key. On that page, you should see a gigantic pink button that will let you generate as many API keys as you need. If you create another WordPress site at any point in the future, you can generate another API key to use Divi with that site, too!:

elegant themes api key

Click on the Add New API Key button to generate your first API key we’ll use today. Once the key has been generated, double-click with your mouse to highlight the text, and then copy it, and navigate back to your WordPress Dashboard tab. Once you’re back in WordPress land, we’re going to paste your API key into your Divi themes settings page.

To do this, navigate to Divi > Theme Options using the main navigation menu on the left-hand side of your WordPress Dashboard:

Once you’re on your Divi Theme Options page, click on the Updates tab. On this page, you’ll use your Elegant Themes username (if you already can’t remember it, that’s cool, check out your Elegant Themes member registration email for a reminder) and the API key you just generated. Stick ’em both in there, and click the Save Changes button.

That’s it! The theme part of Divi is now installed to your WordPress site. The last thing we have to do before you can start customizing your Divi theme, is install the Divi Builder.

The Divi Builder controls the creation of all WordPress Pages and Posts. You’ll use the Theme Options, Theme Customizer, and Module Customizer to change the look of your layout (like the sidebar, color elements, background, etc) and the Divi Builder to create and manage the structure of your actual content.

It’s really, really easy to install the Divi Builder. If you’ve manually added any WordPress plugin to your site already, this is gonna be a snap.

All you have to do is navigate to Plugins > Add Plugins > Upload Plugin. From there, find where you saved the divi-builder.zip file on your computer, and double-click to upload. Once the plugin has been successfully uploaded, activate it, and click on Post > Add New.

On your new Post page, click on the purple Use The Divi Builder button. Once you’ve done that, you should be looking at this:

divi builder overview
Here’s a very brief overview of what you can do with the Divi Builder:

The Use Visual Builder button will load up the drag and drop builder, which lets you preview your post or page in real-time. This is where I recommend you start, as a new Divi builder, even if it’s just to get used to and preview the different elements you can create.

Aside from the Visual Builder, there is the Layout Builder, which you can see above. You won’t be able to see what you’re doing until you preview your page, but you may prefer it over the visual/drag-and-drop builder style.

That’s it!! Welcome to your brand new Divi life, have fun 🤓

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This