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Friday, October 22nd
To complement the WordPress recommendation in our review of site builders, we tested the Divi site builder. Divi, sold by Elegant Themes, is a theme you install on any self-hosted WordPress site. With Divi, you can instantly generate a website with home, about, contact, product, portfolio, and other pages from a library of hundreds of pre-designed layouts in multiple categories. With that generated site, you have total freedom and control to change every aspect of the design.
Divi has a set of tutorial videos that appear the first time you use it. For the best experience, be sure to follow the tutorials until you have enough information to begin.
Easy Visual Builder Mode
Using Divi's novice-friendly Visual Builder mode, your site appears in your browser as a user would see it. But, if you, as the site administrator, click on an element, such as text, image, video block, section, row, column, header, or footer, you can then edit or drag and resize that element directly on the page. When you're done with the changes, click the "Save" button. Your changes are now published.
Free To Use The Photos And Illustrations
All photos and illustrations in the pre-designed layout are open source, so you can use them on your site without paying any royalties or licensing fees. If any of those images are not what you want, simply replace them with the ones you want.
Full Theme Builder
Because Divi is a full theme builder, and unlike with other page builder themes and plugins for WordPress, you can exert control over the header, footer, 404 (not found) message pages, search results, archives, categories, and other meta-pages within WordPress. All your pages, headers, and footers can remain completely consistent with each other. And, if you want one header and footer for one set of pages, but a different header and footer for others, you can easily do that as well.
Use Pre-made Animations Or Create Your Own
Ever wanted to add nifty animations and effects to your site? Most page builders, if they have that capability, limit you to the ones that they've created for you. Not so with Divi. You can use pre-made animations and effects or create them entirely from scratch using the visual user interface. If you need even more flexibility and control through CSS and HTML code, you have that as well.
Easy To Setup ECommerce Functionality
Divi includes numerous page modules common to all websites, such as accordion, audio, bar counters, buttons, call to action, contact form, divider, email opt-in, and many others. When the WooCommerce plugin (for eCommerce stores) is installed, Divi's WooCommerce modules are available. These are a game changer because normally WooCommerce's page layouts are difficult to alter. With Divi, you can start with a blank page and set up a product, cart, or checkout exactly how you want the visitor to experience it.
Save Repeated Layouts To Your Library
As you build pages, you may find yourself repeating various layouts. You can save repeatable layouts as library items and then add them wherever you need them. Library items can then be customized per page. Or, if you want to alter a library item so that the change happens for the whole site, make it a global library item.
Switch Between Different Visual Modes
The Visual Builder lets you switch between different visual modes: Wireframe, Zoom Out, Desktop, Tablet, and Phone. Wireframe is very helpful when you have a lot of sections, rows, and modules and need to see how they relate to each other without seeing the design. Zoom Out helps you see the whole design in a zoomed out perspective. Desktop, Tablet, and Phone mode let you see and make changes specific to each of those modes alone or in groups.
License And Support
When you buy the license and support for Divi from Elegant Themes, you're also getting access to over 80 additional WordPress themes, the Bloom email opt-in plugin, and the Monarch social sharing plugin bundled with it. You can install the Divi Builder on each of the additional themes and control their look and feel as well. If you plan on using Divi and the bundled plugins for the long term, the lifetime license purchase option is a very good investment.
We were extremely impressed with Divi's power, flexibility, and ease of use. One thing that reviewers are currently unhappy with is that using the Divi theme builder tends to slow down the site's page speed as site visitors experience it. Speed of a site is important for Google PageRank scores. But, with a caching plugin and fast website hosting, the page speed can be brought back to acceptable levels. With additional tweaks, a Divi site can be very fast. Despite these added steps, the advanced design capabilities make using Divi as your site builder worth it.
The way you build a website can directly impact the success your website has in attracting and retaining customers. So, it's important to choose a website builder that maximizes things like search engine optimization (SEO), usability, the speed at which each page loads (page speed), mobile browser compatibility, accessibility for users with disabilities, and dozens of other requirements.
Website builder software and services aim to remove the technical barriers that come with more sophisticated methods of building websites. With a website builder, not only is content easier to author, you also become a "drag and drop" designer of your home page and supporting sub-pages. This can be a blessing or it can be a burden depending on the quality of the website builder, how much time you have and your tolerance for learning curves.
Whatever you choose, remember that you may be stuck with your decision for a long time. In other words, think in the long term and visualize what your needs will be not just months from now, but years from now.
As you decide which website builder will be the best choice for your needs, there are several factors to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best website builders available today. We hope this information helps you create the perfect site for your business, non-profit organization, or your own personal projects!
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