Divi How To

Divi How To

The website from the front end looks gorgeous! How do they do it? Today, without a website, you’re not relevant or legit. It’s a harsh judgment. Not everyone knows how to build a website. Well, that’s changing. It’s possible when someone shows you how to.

How To

When you see how its done with tech stuff, you find out the tech guys best kept secrets. If they don’t want you to know then there won’t be a help menu and you’ll have to rely on them to do it for you. That’s not acceptable anymore. Maybe it was in the last decade. But now you have access to the how-to, at least on this blog you do.

If you’ve been on this website you’ll know that I’m in love with the one theme that teaches you how to do it for yourself. It’s the most advanced theme of it’s kind and here’s the big secret; the developers and designers also use it! It’s the Divi Theme made by Elegant Themes.

This article shows you how to with the Divi Theme. Building a website isn’t easy, if it was everyone would have done it and we’d be doing something else. It’s a complex set of components that must work together to create the website. But when you see the how-to in action then the complexity disappears and you can build a website yourself. We tend to think only a designer can design a website. This is not true, with the right tools you can design your website the way you want with built in settings inside the modules.

A website is a content management system and you can put into it whatever you need to function. WordPress is the ideal software for a website, it’s flexible and you can add functions to it as you need them. You will need a WordPress theme and the one I recommend is the Divi Theme. It’s the most versatile theme, and yes, it’s also for beginners and you don’t have to know how to code to use the Divi Theme.

The Theme Marketplace is jam packed with WordPress Themes, each one looks better than the last one you looked at. One theme isn’t better than another. It all depends on your willingness to want to create your website yourself, or have someone help you create it.

The Web Page

There are three parts to the webpage. The header, the body and the Footer bars.

The Screen

Contant is viewed on different size screens. The Theme adjusts the content automatically to fit the screen size.

Enable the Theme Settings

After uloading the Divi.zip file you’ll need to go to the Theme Options area to enable the settings. Without doing this the theme won’t work. It might sound obvious but sometimes a setting not enabled can cause a problem. 

Divi Theme Options Area

The image on the right is the Theme Options area.

At first all the settings will read disabled. Click disable and the blue ENABLED button will appear. This tells you that you just enabled that setting. When you return to this area you won’t have to remember whether you did or didn’t enable the setting. 

If you didn’t enable the setting it would be greyed out and read DISABLED.

Locating The Built In Help Access

There is a help menu built into each module. Open the module and locate the ? symbol at the bottom of the module. Click on the symbol and the Divi Builder Helper will open with a video tutorial of that module.  smile The video tutorial is published by Elegant Themes. This is exactly how I learned to use the Divi Theme when I first started using it when it came out in 2013. I would stop and start the video as many times as I needed. After a while I got it.

Did you know that no one knows how software works until they start using it?

Accessing Built In Help

When you click on the ? symbol the built in instruction video will open and you can watch the video. It is directly related to the module you’re using. In this example we’re looking at the Divi Toggle Module Settings Instruction Video.

Press the play button and the instructions will show you how to use the Toggle Module.

All of these videos are also on Elegant Themes YouTube Channel. There are also related articles to help you even further. This is how I learned to use the Divi Theme.

Premade Layouts

One of the most helpful elements when creating a website. You can choose any layout that fits into your idea. The layout is meant to be used as a guide.

There are 100+ Theme Layouts in the Divi Library and a new one is added each week and there is no extra cost, they come with the Divi Theme.

Accessible Content

As technology advances so do the effects of what you can do with content on a web page. This text box flips when you hover your mouse over it!

Is the Content Accessible?

Everyone uses the web including people with disabilities. Make sure your content isn’t overly animated or decorated. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Even if it looks cool to you.

Acessibility

We tend to think everyone is the same as we are, but there are people with disabilities that access the web. You want to make sure your content is suitable. Keep it simple and clean with as minimal distractions as possible.

Animation on a web page attracts attention. It’s great when it’s subtle. Annoying when it’s overdone. The last thing you want to do is annoy the person visiting your website. They get off as fast as they can and don’t return.

Creating a Website is a Process

If there’s so much information about WordPress and creating websites, why is it so difficult to create one? It’s because the information isn’t presented from the how-to-do it’s presented from it’s easy and click here to get started. This is the number one reason why websites fail. The initial setup doesn’t follow the roadmap. Yes, you need a roadmap. It’s that much harder to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.

Bringing Your Idea Into the Website

The idea you have for your website has been living inside you. You might be fairly sure what you want. You will find a lot of readymade themes to use. This is fine if you know how to use the theme and there is sufficient documentation to help you if if you get stuck. 

The majority of WordPress Themes don’t have as extensive support as the Divi Theme offers you. This makes a big difference when you want to get your website going so that it works for your business project, or service. Before you settle on a theme you need to have two other elements first. The Domain Name and the Hosting Company in that order.

The Domain Name

This is the name of your website. Do the work and make sure the name you choose isn’t taken. Search the main database Whois.com to find out. If the .com extension isn’t available but the same name is available to use with .org – don’t use that name. It’s “confusingly similar” and will result in the company with the .com name coming to you and wanting to know why you are using their name.

The Hosting Company

The real information about them; some are good and some aren’t. Don’t go with cheap hosting. Before you sign up for web hosting find out what version the Host servers are running on. Those servers will host your website. You want to have sufficient memory and not have your website crash beause the Hosting Company doesn’t give you enough memory.

The Hosting Company should be on 7.0+PHP. This will accommodate the memory you need.

The version is based numbers. Software updates regularly. WordPress core and the WordPress Theme will update fixing bugs and adding new features. When there is an update you will see a series of numbers. For example: the WordPress core software updated current version is 5.3.2 – the next time WordPress core updates the version numbers will change to 5.3.3.

If a Web Hosting service only operates websites at 5.0 they won’t be compatible with the updated WordPress version of 5.3.3. Since all Web Hosting companies supply the WordPress core software they have to keep pace with WordPress core updates.

The Theme will also have version numbers. These are different from the WordPress core version numbers. The WordPress Theme you use should update regularly, not once a year when the license comes up for renewal. The Divi Theme is regularly updated and all you’ll have to do is see the notice in the Updates area and then press the Update button.

Read More About What Divi Does 

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Why Some Plugins Work and Others Don’t

Why Some Plugins Work and Others Don’t

Which plugins should you use? There are so many how do you know the plugin will work? You don’t until you use the plugin. Some plugins will crash your website. This is because they are in conflict with the theme. How do you avoid this problem?

About Plugins

This article will give you information about plugins based on my experience of using plugins with WordPress since I started using WordPress in 2006. The links to purchase the plugins are my Affiliate links. I constantly use these plugins on my websites. They do specific functions I couldn’t do without them. They’re so good they’re worth recommending.

WordPress gives you the advantage to add specific functions into WordPress known as a Plugin. A Plugin is a package of code and is developed by a team of developers. For a Plugin to work sucessfully, it has to be compatible with WordPress and the WordPress Theme. All you would need to do is add the Plugin to your website and activate the settings, and the plugin does the work intended.

There are over forty-four thousand Plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository. That’s a whole lot of plugins! All plugins are required to go through testing before being allowed to be offered in the WordPress Repository. The Plugin Repository is accessed from your website Dashboard in the Plugins area. The Plugin Repository is linked to your WordPress website. When adding a plugin, go to the Plugins section, select Add New, or Upload a Plugin.

How are Plugins Made?

Plugins are created by developers, the people that know how to code. Plugin Developers are problem solvers. Many of the things you want to do in a website aren’t simple to implement. The Plugin Developer creates the plugin code package to add specific functions to the website.

Before you add a plugin to your website you do need to research the plugin beyond the sales copy, which by the way is just advertising. The Plugin will appear to be the perfect solution for what you want. Is it? Always do some research. Read the reviews about the plugin. Who is the Developer? When was the plugin last updated? Is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress (which is updated frequently). Is there tech support available if something goes wrong with the Plugin? Sometimes the Plugin is offered free, but tech support requires an upgrade.

Because there are so many which one should you use? This depends on the WordPress Theme you’re using. Not all Plugins in the WordPress Repository are compatible with all themes.

The question to ask; does this plugin work with the Theme you’re using?

Today, technology updates faster and there are more people using the software. You want a smooth integration with Plugins and this isn’t always possible. There will be problems along the way. The key to less Plugin issues is to use Plugins specifically made for the Theme you’re using.

Plugins I Use

The plugins I use are compatible and specifically developed for the Divi Theme. It’s no secret I use the Divi Theme and love using it. I also don’t know how to code with HTML but I can copy and paste a CSS style into the appropriate field (following a video tutorial, which anyone can do). The Divi Theme is produced by Elegant Themes in 2013, since it came out I haven’t needed to use any other theme. 

I will only add a plugin to a website if it’s necessary and it has a specific feature. For example; the ability to add more information to the main navigation menu with images and text. This is something I could not do without a plugin.

At some point there will be a problem even with the most perfect plugin specifically built for the Divi Theme. When that happens the test is; the developers tech team fixes the problem, with no extra charge asap.

This may or may not happen depending on the Developer. Some Plugins are developed but not kept up and the Developer goes out of business and the Plugin is no longer available. Other times the Plugin becomes obsolete and is discontinued. Usually another Plugin better than the first Plugin will come in it’s place.

Why You Should Be Prepared to Buy a Plugin

It’s great when it’s free, but as you’ve most probably come to know by now, free means upgrade for a fee. Any Plugin might have conflict even if you paid for the plugin. Plugin Developers are a 3rd party development team and not part of the Theme Development Team. Remember, there’s three sets of code that work together, the Plugin code package, the Theme code package and the existing WordPress core code. If the Plugin Developer is good, their Plugins will work well for what they’re designed to do.

Plugins Included with The Divi Theme

Bloom

Bloom

Included With Elegant Themes Membership

An email opt-in plugin with design features that creates popup modules and fly-in modules to request visitors to your website to subscribe to your newsletter.

Split testing and growth measurement dashboard tells you how people respond. Did you know; email is the most direct way to connect with your audience and customers.

Monarch

Monarch

Included with Elegant Themes Membership

Social Media changed the way we communicate. Now you can arrange the social sharing buttons in a floating sidebar or an inline style at the end or beginning of a blog post.

This plugin is lightweight and integrates with all the social media platforms that you want to connect with.

Plugins Worth Considering for your Divi Website

Divi Blurb Extended Plugin

Divi Blurb Extended Plugin

Did you notice when you hovered over the Zip file image it flipped into another view? I use this plugin on all my websites. It has extra features and options that make the blurb look interesting.

The developers of this plugin, Elicus Technologies created an enhancement to the existing Blurb Module inside the Divi Theme.

This is my Affiliate link with Elicus Technologies; Purchase Divi Blurb Extended Plugin here.

Divi Post Extended Plugin

Divi Post Extended Plugin

Developed by Elicus Technologies

This blog post layout uses Divi Post Extended Plugin with the Stellar layout. If I didn’t have the Plugin, I would have to do a lot of HTML work to get this layout. This Plugin also comes with a Widget which you can pull in blog posts into a sidebar and the footer area. Here’s an example of a blog post with a sidebar using the Stellar layout. 

This is my affiliate link with Elicus Technologies;  purchase Divi Post Extended here.

Divi Blog Extras

Divi Blog Extras

Plugin Developer Elicus Technologies

With this Plugin you can arrange the blog posts on the Blog page from a choice of six styles. I use this plugin on all my websites to style the blog page.

Take a look at the Blog page on this website to see how the posts are pulled in and displayed using this Plugin. The Blog page has an attractive layout and this is because I can select one of six styles to display the blog posts on the Blog page.

This is my affiliate link with Divi Extended;  purchase Divi Blog Extended here.

Divi Mega Menu Pro

Divi Mega Menu Pro

Developed by Tim Strifler | Divi Life

This plugin gives lets you place additional information in the top navigation menu when you hover over a menu tab. The header of a website is one of the most complex areas and is best left alone! 

Without this plugin you only have the option to display the main navigation menu as tabs with a drop down list of items. This plugin isn’t in use on this site but soon will be.

This is my affiliate link with Divi Life; purhase Divi Mega Menu Pro here.

 

Divi Overlays

Divi Overlays

Developed by Tim Strifler | Divi Life

The Divi Overlay Plugin gives you the ability to put a popup form from a link in a button or text. This plugin is in use on the Homepage.

In this example if a visitor clicks on the button Free Live Consultation a contact form will popup without the visitor having to leave the page. The contact form can be styled and modified as well.

This is my Affiliate link with Divi Life; you can purchase Divi Overlays here.

The Divi Community

The Divi Theme changed the way we build websites. It’s for anyone to use. Even if you’re a beginner and have no experience with WordPress you can use the Divi Theme.

The popularity of Divi gave rise to the Divi Community. People who use the Divi Theme, Designers, Developers, and Users share their knowledge and products about Divi.

Connect with the Divi Community on Facebook, and Meetup. Join the Divi Nation and participate in website building with professionals and beginners.

Join the Divi Chicago Meetup Group. The Divi Community is in Chicago! Everyone welcome at all levels, beginners too. Feel free to bring something to share or questions to ask.

How Many Plugins Can You Add?

As many as you want. But if you add too many you could bloat the website and weigh it down causing the site to load slowly.

If you wanted to sell products on your website you can add the WooCommerce Plugin. The WooCommerce is free to use initially but it is adequate for a start up business. As your business increases you add specific features you need. If you wanted to add courses to your website you could add LearnDash. Almost any function you can think of you can find a plugin for it.

Questions to Ask About Plugins

Find out as much information about the plugin as you can. Do others use it? What is their feedback?

Is the Plugin updated regularly?

Avoid Plugins that haven’t been updated in a while.

Is there tech support and tutorial documents?

Is the Plugin compatible with the WordPress version you’re using (you should be using most current one).

Is the Plugin compatible with the Theme you’re using?

Is the Plugin necessary?

Sometimes you might purchase a Plugin and some time later the Theme updates and adds the feature the Plugin provided. Developers know this and it’s part of their work. They might discontinue that Plugin or develop it further with additional features. You can continue to use the Plugin, but if you’re not going to continue to use the Plugin you should delete it from the website.

Plugins Are Essential

This is one of the most outstanding features of the WordPress software, being able to add a specific function to a website to enhance the website even further. A WordPress website can expand to a membership site, an information portal, an online store. Anything you want to expand into with your idea can be accommodated and added to a WordPress website with Plugins.

All Plugins should come with sufficient documentation to help you set it up. If you get stuck on the settings you can always contact the Developer, they’ll be more than glad to help. They want you to be satisfied using their Plugin.

Your plugin adventure is about to begin as you start to develop the idea behind your website. Research the options and always be prepared to ask questions. If you have more questions contact me, I’m always willing to answer questions. These Plugins work with the Divi Theme.

Purchase the Divi Theme

To use the Divi Theme you must be a member of Elegant Themes. This is one Theme Company you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll be going out of business or discontinuing their Theme. The Divi Theme is the world’s most popular Theme for a simple reason; it’s the ideal WordPress Theme that accommodates all types of users, even beginners. 

This is my affiliate link with Elegant Themes. I’ve used the Divi theme since it came out in 2013 on all my websites. It’s that good!