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When it comes to WordPress themes, there are plenty of options to choose from and it can be daunting. In terms of paid themes, there are a few big players: Divi by Elegant Themes, Genesis Framework by StudioPress and Avada by ThemeFusion. We see a ton of posts in the FTB Community asking for recommendations for themes to use and although there are some other great ones out there, we always recommend Divi. The FTB website is built using it and I make no secret about being a huge Divi fan. I use it for nearly all my client sites as well as my own.
As one of the biggest WordPress themes with over 1 million live websites using Divi, it’s not surprising it offers a lot! So, here are just some of the things I love about Divi and why I think it’s a great theme for travel blogs of all sizes.
1. Static Home Pages
With bloggers being in two camps, having a static home page or a blog post page, we see lots of conversations about static home pages in the FTB Community. Divi makes it super easy to switch from having your blog post page as your home page to having a beautiful static home page with whatever content and design you’d like! Of course, we recommend including certain elements (brief summary of what readers can expect, intro to you and your brand, recent blog posts, quick links to your niche content) but you really can let your imagination run wild!
2. The Page Builder
Not only are you able to design a custom home page, but you can also create your own category landing pages. These not only make your reader’s user experience better, but they are also an opportunity for more SEO optimisation and we all love to keep Google happy! Divi makes it easy to create custom 404 pages which are great to redirect readers and keep them on your site, without an additional plugin.
The Visual Page Builder
Divi’s visual page builder enables you to build on the front end so that you can see exactly what you’re creating as you make it. Divi has the option to use the visual builder or the back end builder and you can switch between the two on any post or page as you work on it. Both builders have their own advantages and it really comes down to your preferred style. You can try the visual builder out before committing to Divi to see if you like it!
Consistency is a key element of website design. No one wants to move from one page of a site to another and suddenly feel like they are immersed in a new city. Divi makes it super simple to create page and post templates, as well as save modules, rows and sections to the library. This means you get to add new pages and posts that have consistent styling with just the click of a few buttons.
Not only can you save items to the library as templates, but you can also copy and paste module styles or full modules from one place to another.
4. A/B testing
Sometimes, no matter how much we pour over Google Analytics, we don’t know what elements of a page work and which don’t Divi Leads allows A/B testing as standard. That means you can show different readers different versions of your pages (right down to heading color and size!) and then figure out what works best for your specific goals. There are many plugins that offer this functionality but the Divi theme enables you to split test right from your theme.
Right out the box, Divi comes with so much functionality that you can get rid of a ton of other plugins you’ve been using. And you know fewer plugins helps site speed, right? For example, Divi comes with email optin modules, gallery functionality, post sliders, contact forms.
Although you can get rid of plugins, there may be times when you need something very specific. As one of the big players, Divi is compatible with pretty much every 3rd party plugin and there are a ton of Divi specific plugins that, as you probably guessed, are made purposefully to work alongside Divi.
6. Child Themes
As I keep saying, one of the great things about Divi is the fact so much of it can be customised. However, that also comes with a risk of losing all your hard work! When any theme gets an update from the developer, the core files are updated. That means that any changes you have made to the theme on your website will be replaced with the new updated version of the theme files. But, by using a Child Theme you eliminate that risk because a Child Theme is a replica of your main (parent) theme. If you’re still confused, keep an eye out for our upcoming post that talks about child themes and whether you need one!
In the meantime, let me say yes if you’re using a premium theme like Divi, you need a child theme. The great thing is that it doesn’t need to be daunting. There are tons of awesome child themes out there ranging from free to expensive with varied levels of customisation. These can be a great way to make your site look totally different from any other Divi sites.
7. Pre-made Layouts.
Not only does your Elegant Themes license include other themes and plugins but Elegant Themes also have a library of pre-made layouts ready to get you started. These layouts can be a great way to take the leap and stop looking at a blank page knowing that as you get to know Divi more, you can play around with the endless options.
It’s not just Elegant Themes that have layouts, there are plenty of Developers out there with Divi page and module layouts. If your own imagination is leaving you a little uninspired, the Divi focused slice of the internet has your back 🙂
It’s a wonderful thing, people who use Divi seem to all like hanging out together talking Divi. That means there are several Facebook groups jam-packed with Divi experts (as well as beginners and those in the middle) who are ready and willing to help out. Not sure why a module won’t centre align? Wondering how to create the epic layout you have in your head? Jump in and ask away – someone somewhere is bound to be excited to share their knowledge.
And, if that doesn’t work, Elegant Themes support channel is always open too.
Right out the box, Divi is responsive. Once you add elements to pages or posts, they automatically respond to the size of the screen a reader uses. However, should you want to create a mobile-specific layout, every element of a Divi page or post can be manually edited to appear differently on mobile than on desktop. You can also choose to hide elements on different screen sizes. For example, sliders don’t perform well on mobile but are great on the desktop. Divi makes it easy to have a slider for your posts on your homepage on a desktop and a grid for your recent posts on mobile.
10. Bang for your buck
Your Elegant Themes license key will not only give you access to Divi theme but you can also use their other strong theme, Extra (great for online magazines) and all their plugins (Monarch, Bloom and more). The guys at Elegant Themes have great sales on every Black Friday and it’s definitely worth jumping on their lifetime license deal then!
In case you missed the memo, Divi is fully customisable 🙂 The theme enables you to design your header, navigation, footer, sidebars and on page content so it fits perfectly with your brand and voice. You can also fully customise what you see and how you build – switching from the back end to the visual builder, setting up the default screen when you open the builder and deciding what options are on show while you work, takes just a few clicks.
There you have it, plenty of reasons for you to give Divi a whirl! Have you tried it already? Let us know what you think of the theme in the comments!
Admin & Facebook Manager
Originally from the UK, Lottie has traveled extensively across 6 continents & lived in Australia, Canada & South Africa.
She ditched the bright lights of primary classrooms to embark on an adventure exploring South Africa in a caravan as a location independent freelancer. Her next adventure is taking her, temporarily, back to the UK where she will be living in a narrowboat and bobbing around on the waterways.
A self-proclaimed princess who loves all things pink and sparkly; connect with Lottie at her site Princess In A Caravan.