Editors Note: This post is contributed by James King.  You may be familiar with some of his plugins:

  • KK Custom Forms / CRM (I use this form builder on every site instead of the default Divi, it has much more flexibility and, sorry Divi peeps, I love you, but this is more reliable).
  • KK Divi Mods (Mods is short for Modules) and this plugin gives you some really fun modules such as verticle tabs, a featured slider with a carousel navigation, and blog grid.  There are 15 in all, so if you have a moment take a look.  This plugin incorporates some of the features of his other plugins, so the one may tick a few of your wish list boxes.
  • The other one I use all the time is KK Divi Blogger.  If you want to sex up your Divi Blog, this is the plugin for you.

James is a Developer, the real deal.  He operates at a much more technical level than the average WordPress designer, and we thought it would be helpful if he shared with you how he handles the steady stream of Divi updates that seem to be waiting for us each time we login to our websites.

From James:

On the subject of constant Divi updates and potential pitfalls, I’ve chosen to deal with possible unwanted effects by downloading each update rather than rely on the auto-update.  Once downloaded:

  • I change the zip file name to reflect the version: (ie Divi3083.zip).
  • I then unzip and change the resulting top folder to the release: Divi3083.
  • Then, I edit the style.css file and change the Theme Name to reflect the release: Divi3083.
  • I then rezip the top folder to create a new uploadable file.

All this takes about 30secs.

When I’m ready, I then upload/install my new zip file on a targeted site.  Obviously, I’m a dev, so I do this on a dev site. This can be done on a live site, as well, and not interfere with it.  I then activate the new release via this new theme and proceed to review what effect it has on my existing content.  The benefit here is that if anything goes wrong (interpret this as you will), then you only need to reactivate the preceding theme. There’s no scrambling to find an older zip and then figure how to over-write what you’ve just done or resort to a back-up.  The latter is what WP says you should do and it’s smart, but we’re only talking about a theme here.

Another side benefit here (at least I consider it one) is that you don’t get a WP notice that an update to the theme is available should you keep the renamed theme in place.  There are several perks here depending on the individual situation.  The obvious one is keeping a client who has admin privileges from updating on a whim.

Now, if a child theme is in play, there is obviously a need to incorporate it into this scheme.  It’s a simple matter to change the Template Name in the child theme’s stylesheet file, though with premium child themes, it may be daunting to go this route.

Another question that may come up is what about theme settings. As it is, simply renaming Divi does not interfere with any settings to date.  ET uses an internal variable to store everything in the DB.

So there you have it, how a Developer is handling the Divi updates.

Any tips?  I would love to hear what works for you.

EIleen Lonergan
Eileen Lonergan was an integral part of this company. Unfortunately, Eileen Passed away on the 31st of October 2018 after a short battle with Cancer. She leaves behind the legacy of the Divi Theme Users Group and hundreds of people that she helped through coaching, building outstanding websites and just being - accessible. We miss her every day!
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