The secret to beautiful WordPress websites (no coding)
How do you create a beautiful, customised WordPress website, without having to write code? WordPress, and particularly WordPress themes, came of age about 2/3 years ago. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I found the template that I use on this site, and almost every site I create for clients. The template is the secret sauce…
The last WordPress template you’ll ever buy
Let me start by making it clear that not all WordPress templates are equal. Most certainly not. The free ones are free for a reason (no-one will pay money for them). The one’s that have a cost are usually better BUT even amongst the PRO templates, not all are equal. For me, there is one template that is head and shoulders above the rest.
It is called Divi and you can get it from Elegant Themes. And here is why I love it.
A myriad of settings
When it comes to template settings, this one has everything you want. Including neat little boxes where you can write custom CSS. And others where you can paste in things like Google tracking codes. It doesn’t get much easier. It integrated to Aweber and Mailchimp, and you can easily link to your social profiles.
Then there is the customisation options. This is where it get really crazy. It allows anyone to easily customise the look and feel of their website. Here are some screen shots.
An awesome page builder
Elegant themes did not stop with easy customisation via settings. They also added their really brilliant “page builder”. Now again, I know there are lots of page builders around, and some of them even compare to Divi’s in terms of function. But, IMO, Divi’s page builder is the easiest to use AND the easiest to customise.
They even have a special module customizer section where you can easily and simply customise the default look & feel of your page builder modules (see image).
The Divi page builder comes with all the different kinds of modules you might want. It is easy to arrange your rows and columns. And you can drag and drop content amongst the page positions you create. It couldn’t be simpler to create really beautiful and effective web content.
On top of that, each module has a ‘customise’ tab which will allow you to change font type, size, colour, or add in some padding of you like. And then it even has another tab for “custom CSS”. So if the basic CSS customisation options are not enough, you can even write your own, in line.
And this functionality is not limited to the modules only. The rows and columns that you create come with their own settings, such as background images, colours, textures or videos, or even make the background transparent. The choices that Divi gives you are endless. And you do not have to write a single line of code.
And they have considered mobile in everything. Modules, rows & columns all have mobile specific settings. Everything is responsive and it just works beautifully on all mobile devices too.
A template library
To top it all off, they added a template library. Now this is real power. It comes stocked with a bunch of really cool predefined page layouts. So if you want to build a sample website, you can do so in a matter of minutes, and it will look awesome.
But here’s the kicker: Any module, row, column or entire page can be saved to the library. What’s more, when you save it to the library, you can choose to make it universal or not. If you don’t make it universal, you can add it to another page and edit the content. If you make it universal you can add it to any other page BUT if you edit the content of a universal element in one place, all instances of this element will change.
This means you can design pieces that can be easily repeated across the website. And even whole page layouts for things like blog posts or portfolio entries.
A short video about Divi
Cost and value for money
They have 3 packages to choose from. The personal at $69/year will give you access to their themes. The developer at $89/year will give you access to their plugins, themes and theme PSD files. And then they have their real value for money package, the “lifetime” package. This costs $249, and it will be the best $249 you can spend on your WordPress website. This gives you access to their themes, plugins and support forums for LIFE. You pay once and get lifetime access.
It would like to point out here that themes from Themeforest will cost you between $29 and $89 for only 6 months of access to your theme updates and support. That means that after 2 years you will have spent more than the $249 Elegant themes is asking for lifetime access. So IMO this is real value for money.
And take it from someone who regularly visits their forums. That support forum is worth more than $249. The tips, tricks and snippets in there have made me look like a hero to my clients on more than one occasion. So if you have a WordPress website (or develop WordPress websites), and you want a really awesome looking site, I suggest that you go join elegant themes now (with a lifetime package).
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