A few years back, well – many years back, I developed all my websites using straight HTML, server side includes, and a text editor (BBEdit). Then came cascading style sheets; an easy way to modify the general appearance of a website. Next, I got some training and aded PHP with MySQL databases to my repertoire. At about his time, WordPress finally evolved from a basic blog platform to a useful website development tool. With WordPress, one only needed to develop a theme that defined the look of the website and create content by filling in the blanks. Before long there were hundreds of themes available for free or paid. As I got more clients and competition, I needed to reduce the time and involved with website development so that I could continue those clients in a cost effective manner. Most available themes were dull or uninspiring.
It was around ten or twelve years ago when I discovered Elegant Themes, a development company that offered well-coded, simple, and elegant themes for WordPress. Their business model is such that I can own a membership and have my clients study the Elegant Themes library to choose a theme they liked. I could then install the theme, modify it to suit my clients and build the content they needed. This was much more efficient than personally coding web page from scratch, but creativity was fairly limited.
Then Came Divi
A few years ago, Elegant Themes introduced Divi. Divi is a WordPress page builder that is installed like a theme. Divi lets me define the overall look of the website by adjusting every imaginable setting without needing to develop my own cascading style sheets. It also lets me modify or add any CSS I wish. Then, it lets me build each page or post in any way I want by providing a host of modules that let me add all kinds of features to a website.
Say I want to add a video to a particular spot on a page. I just add a video module, upload the video, link the video to the module and drag the module to its proper place on the page. It’s all very quick and easy, once the initial learning curve is overcome. While I prefer to lay out my pages graphically, Divi also also a front end editor so you can see exactly what the page will look like as you are building it. This front end editor also lets my clients do minor edits on their own with a very little instruction. Most of my clients are busy running their businesses and they just send me an email when they need a change and I do it for them. Divi makes that quick easy and profitable for me to do.
Themes Within Divi
Elegant Themes also offers templates and layouts they they have developed for specific purposes. Some recent additions to these layout packs are designed for astrologers, Italian restaurants, realtors, and more. Last time I looked there were 188 layout packs available and each one has multiple layouts. Members get these free and can easily import them into a website as a starting point for further development.
As you may have surmised by several other posts in this blog, I use Divi for virtually all of my website development work now and you can too.
Other Page Builders
You may have seen page builders like Wix, Squarespace, Web.com, and GoDaddy. These companies typically host your website and allow you to build it using their proprietary system. That’s fine, but it can be really difficult to move your website to a different host or use a plugin to accomplish something special on your website. I don’t like these systems because they effectively hold your content hostage. With a builder like Divi, all of your content is on the host of your choice and it can be easily moved to another host. I prefer the freedom of Divi on the WordPress system.
To get Divi you need to be a member of the Elegant Themes family. I bought a lifetime membership with Elegant Themes years ago. They have an annual sale on Black Friday, November 27. If you want to move forward with Divi, that’s the time to do it. You can get all the details at www.elegantthemes.com/black-friday-2020/.