There are hundreds of thousands of WordPress themes available to choose from, each with their advantages and limitations. If you’re like us you’ll have tried quite a few over your time designing and creating WordPress websites with varying degrees of success. Although you can customise pretty much any aspect of any theme if you have a good understanding of CSS and html, a lot of DIY website designers don’t have any interest in learning how to code in these languages and that’s fair enough.
This is where our favourite, the Divi themethe Divi theme, comes into play. The Divi theme by Elegant Themes is the perfect foundation for creating any style of website, regardless of your coding abilities. Beginners and advanced users alike benefit from quick building and endless customisation options. We stopped using every other theme after discovering Divi simply because we can create any type of website quickly using it as a foundation.
Since Divi is so feature rich, it’s easy to miss little bonuses. We’ve compiled a list of things that might have gone unnoticed in the hopes that they improve your workflow or encourage you to give the theme a try.
Easy copying and pasting
Although you can save modules, sections and other elements to the Divi library for future use, we love using the easy copy and paste features to transfer common website elements from page to page. All you need to do is open up the page that contains the format in the backend editor (pressing “Edit Page” not “Visual Builder” on the front end) and then open up the backend editor of the page you want to transfer it to in another tab. Then it’s just a case of right clicking the element, pressing “Copy” and moving to the new page and after right clicking, pressing “Paste”. Simple!
Another handy copy and paste feature can be done in the visual builder, and this is copying module styles. This preserves any content you have added to the module and just pastes the styles (including any custom CSS or CSS classes) from one to another. Before this you had to go through and match every little bit of styling!
Benefit from the flexible visual builder
The Divi visual builder is a fantastic way to jump in and get designing right from the outset. But did you know that certain visual builder elements can be customised too? The menu (“…” button) can be dragged to anywhere on the screen, making it easier to click on rows, sections and modules.
More advanced options can be found if you click this button and look at the menu that appears in the corner (depending on where you dragged the button). These include a wireframe mode, which is fantastic for viewing layouts when your styling makes it difficult to navigate to certain modules (e.g. if you have negative margins causing modules to overlap) as well numerous other options for customising your building experience.
Automatic template options
One of our absolute favourite features of Divi is the automatic template options that are displayed when you first visit the visual builder on a page. If you are designing a website with many pages that all share the same layout, you can simply create the layout in one and populate the content specific to that page. Then when opening the next page, choose “Clone existing page” to automatically recreate the layout and populate the content again. Simply rinse and repeat to build a big website in a fraction of the time it normally takes.
Take advantage of A/B testing
One of the more complicated Divi features is the ability to A/B test your content. A/B testing is the practice of showing a percentage of your users one format and the other percentage another. This allows you to see which content or format works better for converting and engaging your website visitors.
Fortunately Divi makes it easy to do this. In the back end editor all you need to do is right click and select “Split test”. From here you will be taken through how to set up the A/B test, including which modules to include and how to style each version. This is a really powerful but underused feature that we recommend you try out.
Adding elements via shortcodes in areas that are not normally customisable
Although most aspects of the Divi theme can be customised, there are still limitations as to where you can place modules. For instance if you want to place a map or any other module into an accordian or tab module, this isn’t currently possible. Fortunately it’s really easy to add layouts as shortcodes with just a little customisation. Read our blog here that describes the steps.
How Divi treats image alt text
This one isn’t as much a great feature, rather it is something you need to be aware of. If you have done any research around SEO or web accessibility you’ll know that adding alt text to your images is really important. Something that isn’t widely publicised is that when adding images using the Divi image module, your alt text is not pulled through from the WordPress media library. If you’ve added lots of images this way then none of your alt text will be shown.
You can add your image alt text to sliders, image modules and any other element that includes an image by visiting the “Advanced” tab in each of the modules’ settings panel.
The final feature that we’d like to talk about is the new dynamic content options within Divi. Prior to this update we were only able to display static content in any of our modules. With the new dynamic content options we are able to create layouts that automatically populate with content that we include in the WordPress backend.
For instance, we can create a pretty blog layout in the Divi library and opt for the title to appear on a slider, have content appear in accordians or tabs and be creative with how we display things like post categories, date, authors etc.
We hope you’ve found this post helpful and if you’ve never tried the Divi theme, that you are more inclined to give it a go. It’s worth mentioning that we have not been paid to write this post – we are just really passionate about the functionality that Divi provides.
As always, any questions please leave a comment or get in touch.
Liam is a website designer and digital marketer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He spent many years working within the charity sector before moving into the marketing space a number of years ago. Liam always strives to do something slightly different with every project and always designs to deliver results, not just pretty websites.