The all new Divi Theme Builder

I finally tested Divi 4.0 on my local MAMP server. Apart from my all time grouse regarding Divi not having enough modules and enough effects being available for the designers, this release at least took care of one my main complaints with Divi – not being able to customise the website header and footer. And added features that were most welcome by the entire Divi user base.

Divi 4 at a glance

  • Custom Headers & Footers
  • Site-wide custom Post Templates
  • Site-wide custom Product Templates
  • Custom Category Pages
  • Custom 404 pages
  • Dynamic Content
  • Site-wide Design control & Theme building

For more details on the above, please visit https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/theme-releases/divi-4

The best feature about Divi 4.0 update is the Divi Theme Builder. It allows you to create custom layouts with Header, Body and Footer elements. You can choose to make them global or to be used with selected pages and posts thereby allowing you to literally create multiple websites within a website. Create multiple landing pages, give each brand, product or post category its own unique layout with distinct headers and footers and modules – the possibilities are nearly endless.

This feature comes as a boon for special landing pages and short term promotional pages created by many products and services companies. The headers and footers for these pages can be customised to highlight the product or service, say during Christmas, Halloween or Black Friday sales, or to highlight a new product launch, where you do not want the customer to be distracted by the rest of the website. Divi 4.0 achieves this for you in a few short steps.

While this may save you a ton of work in a new website creation, if you already have a blog or website where you have painstakingly tried to create unique looks by using custom codes, custom CSS and placed multiple modules on the pages and posts to achieve a look that were impossible in previous versions of Divi. You will have to work extra hard to convert each and every blog post by removing elements that can now be taken care of by Divi’s Theme Builder.

However, if you have not used Divi Builder to create custom layouts of your blog posts, you are in luck. Want all your featured images in a full width row? Done. Want the post title title, and other meta elements to be styled in a certain way and visible in selected column or row? Easy. Just create you layout in Divi Theme Builder, insert the relevant Dynamic Post Elements in their choice locations, assign the layout to all or selected posts and you are done. These changes will be visible on all the posts selected by you without having to work on them individually.

Limitations

As with all versions of Divi, version 4 also leaves you wanting for more. While it gives you the flexibility to create custom header, footer and body elements, it leaves a lot out.

Want your custom header or selected rows in it to be fixed on scroll? Not happening. You have to write your own CSS or google it to achieve that. DiviSpace has a good article on this here – https://divi.space/wordpress-and-divi-code-snippets/make-divi-4-0-header-sticky-or-fixed-on-the-scroll/

Want a shrinking header on scroll, like the native Divi header? Get ready to write or copy/paste more CSS and Javascript. Or better still, Elegant Themes just came up with a post here.

Suppose you have chosen to show a navigational menu at the bottom of the viewport with the submenu opening upwards. On scroll you want the menu to stick to the top of the viewport but now the submenu needs to open downwards. Can Divi do this? Nope, not without help. It gets frustrating as a designer not to be able to do this and rely on third party code when all it needed was another two options in the settings to achieve this.

Why Divi developers have to do this is something I don’t understand. They come up with a good user interface and limit it severely in terms of the power it can give the web developer to create a unique layout.

A proper post on my experiences and facing limitations with Divi is still in the pipeline. Divi 4 happened to release just when I had sat down to write that so I decided to take its latest version for a spin instead.

Is the Divi Theme Builder a step in the right direction? You bet. Considering just about every page builder worth its name out there is already offering it, it is a step Divi should have taken much earlier.

Is Divi Theme Builder all it promises to be? To some extent. I would have expected more flexibility and customisation features offered in it. The lack of powerful modules and the lack of extra customisation features in the modules Divi does have, severely limits what you can achieve with Divi alone. While developing a website on Divi I find that I spend more time looking around for tutorials and plugins to achieve the layouts and effects I need for that website, than I spend on actually creating the website.

Well, this was my two bits of a few hours spent with Divi 4 so you may find my review and experience not complete in some respects. For those who want a detailed look at Divi 4 features or other reviews may I suggest the following links?

  1. Elegant Themes – Elegant Themes’ blog post on Divi 4.0 release
  2. Divi.space – Our favourite new features of Divi 4.0