Divi Builder Review After 5 Years: Is It Still Relevant?

Last updated on
Apr 8, 2024

Divi Builder is a rational option of WordPress page builder if you create new websites on a regular basis. It has a key selling point: simple pricing. I have been using the page builder since 2019. In this Divi Builder review, I will share everything I know about the product. No bias.

I use Divi Builder on some of my WordPress projects, including this one (the website you are currently reading). The ultimate reason why I use Divi on every new project I create is that I can save my yearly expense.

Shortcuts:

Why Divi Builder?

To be honest, Divi Builder is not the best option of page builder in terms of features. There are better alternatives out there, including newcomers like Breakdance and Bricks. But again, it is the most rational option to create multiple WordPress websites thanks to its simple pricing option. You don’t even need to pay a yearly subscription fee if you want it.

Another reason, it has well-established ecosystem. If you need to extend its functionality, you can simply install a plugin you need. Elegant Themes (the company behind the page builder), provides an official marketplace whereby you can find related products. From plugins, child themes, to layouts.

What is the Difference Between Divi and Divi Builder?

Before digging deeper, let’s make it clear the difference between Divi and Divi Builder.

Both Divi and Divi Builder are the WordPress products from Elegant Themes, inc. Divi is a WordPress theme, while Divi Builder is a page builder. Initially, Divi Builder was exclusively available for the Divi theme (and Extra theme). In 2015, Elegant Themes decided to release it as a separate plugin to allow broader WordPress users to use it, regardless of the theme they use.

With Divi Builder is now available as a separate plugin, you have two options to use it on your WordPress website. First, you can install the Divi Builder standalone plugin on your WordPress website to be able to use it to edit pages. Second, if you have the Divi theme or Extra theme installed and activated on your WordPress website, you can directly edit a page with Divi Builder without installing an extra plugin.

The second option is more recommended as you can unleash the full Divi potentials on your WordPress website. More importantly, you don’t need to manage two different products (theme and plugin).

What Features Offered by Divi Builder?

Divi Builder is definitely not the best page builder in terms of features. Its competitors like Elementor and even Breakdance have more features. It has no companion features like popup builder or loop builder.

As I mentioned on the opening section, the main selling point of Divi Builder is its simple pricing plan whereby you can install it on unlimited websites with a single membership account.

Even so, Divi Builder doesn’t lose its essence as a page builder. It comes with a visual editor with a drag-and-drop editing experience. Also, you have a bunch of styling options to choose from to decorate every element on your design.

Here are some notable features that Divi Builder has:

📱 Advanced Responsive Editing Features

One of the notable features that Divi Builder has is responsive editing. With the feature, you can optimize your design on every device type. From desktop, tablet, to smartphone.

Don’t all page builders have the feature? Yes, they do.

But the responsive editing feature of Divi Builder is a bit ahead of other competitors. Even Elementor.

First, you can set a custom viewport which is pretty useful in case you are designing a page for a device that has a specific screen size (e.g., iPad Mini). You can simply type the value you want to the viewport fields to add a custom viewport.

Setting a custom viewport in Divi Builder.

Second, it has a native Display Conditions feature. You can use this feature to show/hide certain elements based on certain parameters. One of which is operating system. Two most popular mobile operating systems — Android and iOS — are supported by this feature.

Screenshot of Display Conditions feature in Divi Builder.

This feature is super useful if you are designing a landing page for digital product (e.g., a mobile app). You can use the feature to, for instance, display two different CTA buttons on iOS and Android devices. One button will only show up when the page is accessed via an iOS device (iPhone), while the other one will only visible on Android device.

Of course, basic responsive editing features like the ability to apply different settings to different device types and the ability to show/hide an element on different device types are available.

Here are the features of responsive editing in Divi Builder:

  • The ability to apply different settings to device types (based on viewport)
  • The ability to show/hide elements on certain device types
  • Display condition.

🖌️ Theme Builder

In case you didn’t know, every WordPress theme has template files written in PHP to govern the layout of site parts like header, footer, archive pages, and so on.

In the FSE era, you can create your own custom templates to replace the default templates of your theme (requires a block theme). The feature to create custom templates for site parts is often called theme builder.

Divi Builder also comes with a theme builder feature in case you need it. With the feature, you can create custom templates for your site parts from header, footer, achieve pages, single post, to search results page. The best part, you can create these templates using a visual editor. No need to deal with code.

The custom templates you can create with the feature are:

  • Header
  • Footer
  • Single post
  • Single page
  • Archive pages (category, tag, author)
  • Search results page
  • 404 page

Here is the screen of the theme builder feature of Divi.

The screenshot of Theme Builder screen on Divi Builder.

👁️ Display Condition

The theme builder feature of Divi Builder comes with a display condition feature. Meaning that you can assign a custom template to certain area on your website. For instance, you can assign a custom header template to a specific page or post. Sure, you can also apply the template globally on your website.

This feature is quite useful if you have a website consisting of multiple content types as you can leverage it to create different custom templates for each content type.

Need an example?

Say you have a blog about photography in which the content divides into three types:

  • Gear review
  • Photo showcase
  • Story

You want each content type to be displayed in different layouts. For the gear review content, for instance, you want it to have elements like star rating and CTA button. While for the photo showcase, you want it to have image gallery element. For a case like this, you can create three custom single post templates with each custom template is assigned to different category (or custom post type if you prefer).

Assigning a custom template in Divi Theme Builder.

The display condition feature is applicable for all custom templates, except for search result pages and 404. Also, it is editable. In other words, a custom template that has been assigned to a certain area can be reassigned to different area.

To change the assignment of a custom template, you can simply click the gear icon on the custom template you want to change the assignment of.

On a custom template itself, you can add dynamic content such as featured image, post author, post title, post content and so on.

⛓️ Dynamic Content

What is dynamic content?

Every element you enter via the WordPress content editor (be it Gutenberg or classic editor) can be considered dynamic content. From post title, post content, featured image, and so on.

When creating a custom template using theme builder, you can add corresponding dynamic element. For custom single post template, for instance, you can add dynamic elements like post title, post meta, post content, featured content, author profile, and so on.

Divi Builder provides several dedicated modules for dynamic elements such as post title, post content, and post meta. Alternatively, you can add dynamic element using the Text module and Image module by clicking the dynamic icon on the content editor/image picker.

Here is the list of dynamic content that Divi Builder supports:

TextImage
Site titleFeatured image
Site taglineSite logo
Post titleAuthor profile picture (gravatar)
Archive title
Post excerpt
Post publish date
Post comment count
Post categories
Post tags
Post author name
Post author bio
Category description
Current date
Post content

In addition to the default WordPress content as you can see on the table above, Divi Builder also allows you to add dynamic you created with custom fields plugin like ACF, Pods, and Toolset.

Here are the custom fields plugin it supports:

  • ACF
  • Pods
  • Toolset
  • Meta Box

🎨 Custom CSS

You can definitely create an eye-catching page without touching a single line of code with Divi Builder. But if you have CSS knowledge, you can achieve more. A simple instance. You can use your CSS knowledge to create a gradient text.

Custom CSS allows you to apply a certain style when the option to apply the style is not available. I myself use custom CSS to further text elements a lot.

If you often create pages with a complex layout, you will likely use custom CSS a lot as Divi Builder is far behind the competitors in terms of layout options. A simplest instance, adding CSS is required only to place two buttons side by side. As a comparison, you can achieve it with a few clicks in Elementor and Breakdance.

🤔 How to Add Custom CSS in Divi Builder

In general, there are two options to add custom CSS in Divi Builder. First, you can add custom CSS to a specific module element. For instance, you can add custom CSS the post title element of the Blog module.

You can access this feature from the Advanced tab on the settings panel, on the Custom CSS block. The fields available on the Custom CSS block are vary, depending on the module you work with. On these fields, you can directly add your CSS properties without defining the selector.

If you prefer defining the selector yourself, you can also do it. Simply switch to the Free-Form CSS tab and you can define any selector.

The second option to add custom CSS in Divi is by adding either CSS ID or CSS Class to a module. You can use this option if you have global CSS snippets.

Divi itself a dedicated feature to add global custom CSS. You can access it under the General tab on Theme Options (not available on standalone plugin).

Adding custom CSS here equals to adding custom CSS via the Additional CSS block on Theme Customizer in other WordPress themes.

✨ Generative AI

If you are a generate AI fan, then you will love this. In Divi Builder, you can generate both text and image content to a module. You can use this feature for free for the first 100 content you generate. Afterward, Elegant Themes will charge you $14 per month.

Recently, Elegant Themes introduced another AI feature which allows you to edit image right inside the editor.

To be honest, I barely use AI as I don’t think I need it on my works. But here are things you can do with the generative AI feature in Divi Builder:

  • Generate text content
  • Generate image content
  • Generate CSS snippets
  • Edit image

If you don’t need this feature, you have an option to disable it. Go to Divi -> Role Manager on your WordPress dashboard and disable the Divi AI option.

Disable AI feature in Divi Builder.

Pros and Cons of Divi Builder

Overall, Divi Builder is a great product and I am very confident recommending it, especially if you are a freelancer or agency. But it is definitely not a perfect product. There are many areas that require improvement.

Here are some pros and cons of Divi Builder after years of experience.

👍🏻 Pros:

1️⃣ Simple Pricing

Pricing is the main reason why I strongly recommend Divi Builder if you are a WordPress agency or freelancer. Unlike other developers who typically adopt tiered pricing plans, Elegant Themes adopts a different approach.

Instead of adopting tiered pricing plans, Elegant Themes offers a single pricing plan — which you can pay either with a yearly subscription option or one-time payment. With only a single membership account, you can install Divi Builder (or Divi theme) on as many projects as you want. In addition, you can also download other products from Elegant Themes such as Bloom and Monarch.

Well, there are actually two pricing plans that Elegant Themes offers, but the first option is enough for most cases. You can choose the second option only if you need extra services like Divi Cloud, Divi AI, and Divi VIP.

The pricing plans that Elegant Themes offers are totally worth it for freelancers and agencies. To save yearly expense, subscribing to lifetime membership is a great idea.

2️⃣ Achieve More with a Single Product

Another nice thing of being a Divi Builder user is that you can achieve many things with only a single product. For instance, you can add a contact form without needing to install an extra plugin.

You can also add an email opt-in form and connect it with your favorite email marketing plugin or services like MailPoet, MailerLite, and so on.

3️⃣ Extensible

Divi has an open ecosystem whereby it allows third-party developers to get involved. If you are a developer, you can build a WordPress plugin designed specifically for Divi Builder.

Since the native features are limited, the extensible attribute is quite crucial.

If you need a certain feature and it doesn’t available by default, you can install a plugin. You can find the plugins you need on the official marketplace of Divi.

4️⃣ Excellent Support

I rarely contact the Elegant Themes support team, to be honest. But every time I do, they always serve at their best.

The support service of Elegant Themes is way better than Elementor. In Elementor, support service is handled by third-party agent. While in Elegant Themes, support service is handled directly by a dedicated team.

I haven’t tried it yet, but faster response is available in Divi VIP.

👎🏻 Cons:

1️⃣ Lacks of Layout Options

Divi Builder uses row and column for design layout. Unfortunately, the built-in setting options are limited enough when it comes to layout. For instance, Divi Builder has no built-in setting option to center content on a column. Often times, CSS snippet is involved for basic layout.

As I mentioned above, you need to add custom CSS only to place two buttons side by side. Divi Builder is far behind Elementor and Breakdance in this area. Hopefully they will make it easy to create complex page layout after Divi 5 release.

2️⃣ Lacks of Modules

Unlike Elementor that has over 70 native design elements, Divi Builder has only 39 design elements (outside WooCommerce). In Divi Builder itself, design elements are called modules.

Actually, fewer modules is not a big issue for me. Sometimes, fewer options is better for streamlined workflow. The problem is that Divi Builder has no native star rating module, which I frequently use on my designs.

3️⃣ The Editor is a Bit Heavier

Compared to Elementor, the editor of Divi Builder is a bit heavier. Elegant Themes realizes this. That’s why they will remove some animation effects on the builder to make it lighter. Thankfully, I have a high-spec laptop (MacBook Pro) so this issue is not too serious for me.

If you work with a low-spec laptop, designing with Divi Builder will be a bit painful.

The Verdict – Divi Builder Review

Divi Builder is a great product, but it is far from perfect. There are downsides in some areas. As I mentioned above, three main areas that require improvement are layout options, number of native modules, and editor. Elegant Themes itself is working on Divi 5 — which is focused on editor improvement (promised to be lighter).

I really hope essential features — layout options in particular — will be added after Divi 5 release.

While some downsides exist, Divi Builder doesn’t lose its essence as a page builder. It has an easy-to-use editor — with advanced responsive editing feature. Custom CSS allows you to achieve more, and its theme builder is quite useful to create a dynamic website.

Who is Divi Builder for?

Elegant Themes specifically targets freelancers and agencies. The simple pricing plan it offers is too tempting if you are a freelancer or agencies who build and manage multiple WordPress websites. You can save your yearly expense with its lifetime membership.

Divi Builder is also great if you are a blogger maintaining multiple blogs as you can install it on all your blogs — with only a single membership account. Furthermore, Divi Builder can also be a great solution for online shop owners who build their online store with WooCommerce.

Divi Builder is great if you are:

  • A WordPress user looking for a theme that has a built-in page builder
  • A WordPress user looking for a theme that has a built-in form builder
  • A blogger managing multiple blogs
  • An agency or freelancer looking who hates subscription payment model
  • A small business owner looking to build a website
  • An online marketer looking for a landing page builder for WordPress

Divi Builder is not for you if you are:

  • A blogger with limited hosting resources
  • A casual blogger looking for a cheap or free theme

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Aliko Sunawang

Aliko is a professional blogger and web creator. He has been blogging with WordPress since 2012. In his spare time, he loves going out to take some photos. More

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