You should also know from the onset that Divi is a page builder—which is ironic considering the whole point of a CMS like WordPress is to separate the content from the page design. On a five-page site, this won’t be too big of a deal. But for huge, complex projects, having to go through page-by-page will get real old, real quick…It’s easy to put together a Divi site. If you want a site that doesn’t look and feel Divi-ish, much less so.
Drag and drop page builders are easy to understand, cheap and come with a lot of out-of-the box functionality. But they are also really cumbersome to use, frustrating to tweak and slow to load. It’s easy to get something passable out of them but very difficult to get something exactly right. Also they end up being incredibly difficult to move and replicate since the look is dependent on the database.
- Visual layout is much easier to understand than html/css or shortcodes.
- It can be quick to get the layout and content you want up. For one page sites that don’t get updated often it’s a good option.
- It’s relatively cheap upfront, themes like DIVI sell for about 70$ a year or 249$ for lifetime access.
If you don’t want to have your data locked into a theme, you need to be on guard to select products that utilize plugins that will preserve your data.
It just seems a little crazy to me to spend $50 or more on a theme only to find out a while later that all your hard work has disappeared when you switched to another theme.
- Cookie cutter designs. Since you are dependent on the theme’s inbuilt styles and layout you have to defer to the abilities of the theme when you are designing the site. At the end of the day your site will still look like the theme.
- No consolidated styling. The css is everywhere. Each individual content block can be set to have different styling attributes. The site might even have an option area for styles. In one case I saw a thousand lines of css stuffed into a 4″X2″ box in the optional custom code section of the theme options page. If you want to unify the site you will have to learn what classes the builder outputs and then add the styles in your styles.css. But your client can easily mess this up if they change the font size or color in the editor page.
- UX isn’t great there is so much clicking. The content in drag and drop page builders is basically set up like Russian Dolls. You have to click through the module to the row to the submodule and then to content or to the styling. If you have a site with a lot of pages this will get really tedious and repetitive.
- Testing the site styling requires you to click publish, wait for it to load and then go to the published page to see how it looks.
- You still need to override default styles of plugins which means creating a child theme and creating a version of the plugin’s php here. If you can do that you can probably just build the theme correctly yourself.
- The site’s look is database dependent. You can’t just port the theme files from one place to another. The theme you’re using might give you an easy way to export the styles but it also might not.
- Creating a template layout is difficult. You might have a module library like DIVI but in my experience these aren’t very robust. For example you might define a certain module as globally available and store it. When you go to use it in a specific page if you change the look of it there, it applies to the module in all locations. Using these correctly requires an understanding of scope.
- With a lot of themes there is a big problem with Data Portability. You can’t change the theme without removing the content. The content is so dependent on the theme that any other theme would not be able to retrieve the content from the database and render it. If the theme becomes unsupported or if you just want to change how it looks you would need to re-input all the content and layouts over again.