To put it plainly I see love, love of a product, love of a community (all be it some what fractured sometimes). But, all in all, I see a bunch of people that have been drawn together by one single WordPress theme – DIVI!
What Nick Roach has achieved is frankly, way beyond many of our own dreams. As a now 30 Year old man, he has built ONE product that has opinions divided and a community that holds each others hands through the good and the bad experiences they have with Divi, to me as an Englishman, the sometimes over the top awesome backslapping and seeming sycophancy is a little bit much but still, its a community that likes to congratulate itself on its achievements so I let it go over my head – mostly.
Is Divi the BEST page builder, is it too flaky, too buggy or does it simply give all of us an an opportunity to build a website that we would never have dreamed of 2 years ago unless we were all ‘Full Stack Developers’?
Nick has often been quoted as being community driven, this may well be true but, I see it the other way around. The Divi community, specifically the Divi Theme Users Group started by Eileen Lonergan along with others that came later have driven Nick. Divi Theme Users is the largest Group out there and as Admin I write of my experiences as a member of that group. Its members are very active and sometimes not in the most positive way towards Divi or even Divi Third Party Developers.
In that group and on this blog, we discuss all page builders, recently Elementor has been the Disruptor.
We, like the many others are growing to love it as much as we do Divi – both are outstanding products and both get their fair (or should I say) unfair share of criticism.
The Page builder developers have invested time, money and a massive amount of effort and yet the community still find ways to have a good old moan about the functions not being good enough and this or that should be BAKED in and not made as an add on by the multitude of Divi and Elementor third party developers. I say, Really?
Without the likes of Sean Barton, Stephen James, Dan Mossop, DEEP DS, Tim Strifler and Sami A – we would not have had Divi Module Editor (now divi switch) a Dozen Injectors, Divi Booster, AC Shortcodes, Divi Overlays or Divi Multi Modal to name just a few.
Without Divi we would not have heard of the tutorials of Michelle Nunan, Geno Quiroz, Fabio Sarcona, Mark Richmond many others. Indeed, theirs and our business may never have got off the ground.
It was the Facebook groups that helped everyone build their profile and earn a fantastic living from being community minded and commercially aware. But, without Divi, where would we all be – we would be using Avada, or Salient and struggling with bloated themes and trying to make them work as best we could, we would be stuck in a never ending loop of buying a theme EVERYTIME we needed it, we would be stuck with the 40,000 plus WordPress plugins. As for specific theme amends, where would we go, we would have to be members of at least 3 or 4 theme specific groups, deal with unknown support forums and get lost in the melee. As Divi users we have Elegant Marketplace blogs, Divi Soup, Quiroz Tutorials, Divi Dojo and many more to choose from including the ET blog that now features Divi tutorials of their own that can be found in the wild if you look hard enough but, as a central resource with millions of hits a year, where would you rather look? This is the power of Divi AND the community.
What else do I see?
I see Nick and his team innovating, posting in the Facebook groups about stand out things that are coming to the page builder both back end and Visual Builder to make it more friendly, to make it easier to use if you are not a developer and to make it more intuitive if you are a developer, I see Nathan B Weller posting pretty much daily about this or that tutorial, blog post or Divi Nation episode, I see developers showing their latest designs, or tutorials that will hep you as a Divi User excel, yes, we do sometimes feel overwhelmed and even spammed a bit, but, if you are like me and mentally filter the results and only click on the ones that are relevant to you, you will have a better day.
These posts provide (in the main) fantastic leaps forward and great tips to help you become better each and everyday, some are literally, game changers.
Utilizing the resources posted in the Facebook groups and various newsletters you belong to in the Divi Ecosphere will help you build the web site of your dreams (Oh, I’ve said that before 😉 )
On commenting in blog posts and Facebook posts.
I’ve seen a drop in the amount of comments in the ET blog recently and I think this is due to the new commenting policy of being nice – it has to be said, some of the older posts were a bit nasty in the comments section so, although a good move, it could of course be down to Divi Overload – but I doubt it, I think the new policy has affected the commenting as some people do like to both praise and chastise – and, there is nothing wrong with that but it was getting a little hairy sometimes. Most comments are positive, most are supportive but, I do see negatives. Yes we could all do with a cure all for the jumping header, but guess what – if it ain’t here yet, you can bet your last dollar it ain’t gonna happen. – We have also noticed commenting has dropped in our own blog posts but page views have actually increased and I’m sure its a similar pattern over at ET.
So, what does the community want from Divi and other page builders?
We all want faster, better, more intuitive builders and to be able to make our design stand out and not look ‘DIVI’ and we definitely do not want to have to use third party plugins or extra css because we want it all BAKED in to the theme. And of course, we don’t want to pay any more for it than we already have because we are entitled to it – aren’t we?
We want better support, we want to know how to do things that are away from the actual theme and we want all that support to be given in less than a day and we want it all to be part of our sign up fee even if that is the Lifetime Membership
Hmm, how about this?
We respect what we have, we respect the now many Facebook support groups that have built up around Divi and the many experienced and not so experienced Divi users pitching in to help for free.
We respect the many individual businesses that are burning the midnight oil to bring you what you want out of Divi to help keep it as light as possible from the get go 95% of which stick to the ET model of unlimited use – now, that is really worth a lot of respect – do you see that on Envato? – Nope!
Yes, these Divi developers make some money from their products, their courses and some even ask for a donation – but hey, who are we to worry about someone asking for a few dollars so they save us literally hundreds, yes, they are riding on the back of a very successful product and community and yes, wouldn’t it be great to have just one place we can get all the plugins the themes, the layouts and the advice – Yes it would be great we totally agree.
But, how much would you pay for the privilege of having everything with no extra cost to you at the time that you needed it, how much would you pay to have every single third party plugin ready and waiting just in case, how much would you pay to have every paid and free layout to download without having to give up your email address every time or search the web or groups endlessly because you know it was there yesterday!
To the advisors on how Nick should run ET and how others should run their Divi Centric businesses, how much they should charge and how the model should be designed, I say this;
Your advice has been noted, if you can give me an example of what you have achieved in this space to a similar degree of success, please do post a link so that we can see it for ourselves and learn from it. 😉
Its time to wake up and smell the roses for a few nay sayers.
DIVI, the community and the developers that support the community are worth celebrating – all of them – lets do that instead of saying please fix the jumping header and figure out another way to do it – I have :).
The same goes for all page builders. Use it as you will for whatever purpose you see fit. If it doesn’t fit your needs, use something else or learn to code as fast as a page builder will get you to market.
Most of all, enjoy your Web design journey. Its the best industry I have ever been involved in, in so many ways. My only regret is that it was not available to me earlier in my life. Have a great day and join in – you’re welcome.