Review: Why we (mostly) love Divi
The Divi Builder is touted as the best way to build a website, but is it really?
We say maybe, depending on what type of site you are building. In this article we break down the advantages and disadvantages of using Divi.
The Divi Builder is a drag-and-drop page building tool that includes a visual editor to edit directly on a web page. Page builders in general have generated a sort of love-hate reaction amongst web developers. In the case of Divi, some love the beautiful interface and the lighting speed it takes to produce a stylish page, while purists say it’s the antithesis of good web development.
The main technical complaint is that Divi isn’t as fully customizable or lightweight as a WordPress template coded from scratch. These are valid points, and ones we have to consider in relation to the type of site we have to create.
In terms of design: Divi offers 46 different modules, letting you add text blurbs, sliders, images, etc. They are customizable… up to a point. Often to make a Divi page match a planned design, custom CSS needs to be applied, or even custom-coded modules.
Speed: All those great functionalities are, when not used, extra. A Divi-built page is somewhat slower than one that is custom built.
The thing is, a client looking to make their company website typically has more pressing concerns. They have limited budgets, deadlines and a product they absolutely need to exhibit in the most professional format possible. And also, it’s become increasingly common that clients want to be able to update their own content, from blog pages to product descriptions.
In our case, the Divi Builder has allowed us many times to offer a solution to our client’s problems, and in a way that makes everyone happy.
The Divi difference
A page coded from scratch, versus one using a page-building tool like Divi, gives us amazing control over the functionality of the site, but requires:
- More development hours
- A more expensive hourly rate, since it requires coding and a higher level of technical expertise
- Back and forth between our design and development teams to make sure design and usability is correct
Divi streamlines the development process. It allows our design team to directly apply what they have mocked up to a live web page. Should they run into a stumbling block or need a section to be custom coded they have the help of our development team, but largely they can work independently.
One example of when Divi saved the day: A client came to us with a urgent project. They needed a new version of their website to be completed before an important conference. Furthermore, they wanted an easy-to-use content management system, preferably a visual editor, to be able to update their own content. The problem was, the project needed to be done affordably and within one month’s time.
With Divi we were able to assemble such a large site (89 pages worth, in fact) in the required timeframe, and with the price and editing abilities the client requested.
Positives from our Divi experience
Our designers love it, because they are in control. They tell us that they love the sense of creative possibilities when they have the ability to build pages themselves.
Our client’s budget can be applied toward making an awesome design that will improve their image, versus being tied up in coding hours for minimal payoff.
It’s easy to solve Divi problems or learn new tricks due to the sheer volume of videos and tutorials that have been published. There is good documentation on the Elegant themes site, and the large community of users significantly extends the information available.
Plus, now that we have worked with Divi, we know how to design in a way that will be applicable to the builder’s capabilities, should our client have interest in working with this tool. This is most important when working on projects with strict budgets where we have to avoid hours making customizations.
It’s possible for our development team to easily code custom modules in React should the need arise.
As far as speed goes, as long as images are properly optimized and slow-loading plugins are avoided, a Divi page will still load quickly.
Divi isn’t a catch-all solution for everyone. In our experience, it has been a useful tool for projects with a tight budget that require speed and control over design.