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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Divi Review 2021 – Is it Worth it?

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In this review, we will be taking a look at one of our team’s favorite WordPress themes on the market: Divi

Created by one of the biggest names in the WordPress ecosystem, Elegant Themes poured everything into developing Divi, with beautiful results.


Divi is Elegant Themes’ magnum opus, a ridiculously flexible yet easy to use WordPress theme. Our fondness for this theme is an opinion shared by millions, as it is currently one of the most popular WordPress themes worldwide. 

As a web design company, we have been using Divi for the longest time, crafting hundreds of websites using Divi, stretching and testing its capabilities every time.

If you’re looking to get started with WordPress themes, follow along as we deconstruct and review all aspects of Divi.

Introduction

The History of Divi

The Divi WordPress theme first launched way back in 2008, but has since gone through numerous major updates & improvements – leaving it almost unrecognizable from the original product. To this day, Divi is still being regularly updated, ensuring the newest cutting edge features, security, and ironing out any bugs.

This review will be referencing to the latest update of Divi, version 4.8.2

A full log of Divi’s updates can be found here.

What is Divi?

Divi is a theme for WordPress, a content management system used to create websites. Without themes, your WordPress website will just be a cold, boring, husk that nobody likes to look at – however, using themes (especially Divi) flips this on it’s head.

Divi aims to be a multipurpose theme, covering your designing needs for almost any kind of website you can dream up.

Divi is split into two forms: the WordPress theme, and the Divi Plugin (also known as the Divi Builder.) The beauty of this, is that using the Divi Plugin allows you to still utilize Divi’s page builder functionality – regardless of what theme you’re using. 

So if you’ve already got a theme in place on your WordPress site, don’t fear, you can still make use of the best of Divi – including website layouts and templates, and split testing, to name a few.

With that being said, let’s get to the fun part – let’s dive into Divi’s features.

Divi Features

Website layout template gallery

To aid you in speeding up the process of building a website, Divi comes pre-packaged with more than 800 premium-quality templates for several pages, including welcome pages, about us pages, 404 pages and much more.

This is great news for novice web-designers, or invididuals looking to design their own website, as it takes away a lot of design efforts and time. Of course, using these templates means your website will not look unique, as thousands of other Divi users share these templates with you.

These templates range anywhere from corporate websites & personal trainer websites to eCommerce stores.

Take a look at the Divi Library to see what templates tickle your fancy.

Divi Builder

When you’re not using templates – you’re going to be using the Divi Builder to create designs from scratch. This tool has been extensively tested and updated throughout the years and is now a potent page builder for WordPress. 

The Divi Builder makes use of rows and columns to help you construct your page layouts. After creating a layout, you can insert Divi’s Modules into them. Modules serve as the building blocks of Divi’s Builder. There are 40+ “modules” available that you can easily add and edit. These modules include buttons, sliders, galleries, testimonials, blogs, and much, much more. These modules can be completely customized, ensuring that they fit your website design pixel perfectly.

Divi Builder is powered by React, a JavaScript library that ensures real-time visual updates. The days of refreshing pages over-and-over to see a change that you made on your site – Divi does it all on the fly.

All of this might seem amazing – but isn’t it overwhelming for new users?

The price of all these shiny features and funcionalities is the relatively steep learning curve of mastering the new interface. Divi Builder’s interface is in no way weak or hard to understand – but it is however quite different to the default WordPress one, which might leave some users confused. However, after a few hours of testing and playing around, you should be able to maneuver your way around Divi Builder confidently.

Divi Theme Builder

Theme Builder is a new feature that was added in Divi 4.0 – this addition allows complete control over every aspect of your webpage, letting you alter previously rigid elements.

For example, before the Theme Builder’s addition, the ability to create customer headers and footers in the Divi Theme was unheard of.

The beauty of the Theme Builder, is that you’re going to be using the same interface as in the page editor, meaning there’s no need to re-learn anything!

Divi Leads

When it comes to building a website, one of the major reasons people decide to invest in one, is to generate more revenue. Divi Leads jumps in here to aid, helping you to get good leads to grow your customer base.

Divi Leads was inspired by one of Elegant Themes’ other products, the Bloom WordPress Plugin. Bloom is an email opt-in plugin that allows you to conveniently generate leads for your online business. Divi Leads takes this idea, and goes well beyond Bloom – even incorporating a split-testing feature!

Even the tiniest optimization in your website’s lead-generation can cause drastic improvements, which makes Divi Leads a welcome surprise – as lead-generation and split-testing functionalities in a WordPress theme is quite uncommon!

Let’s take a look at a scenario you might want to utilize Divi Lead’s split testing function. In a nutshell, split testing is when you compare two versions of a web page – to see what resonates with your visitors the best.

Every split test you conduct has a goal, like clicking on a specific link, or maybe a button. Once the split test starts gathering data around these queries, you can find out which version of the page was most successful in reaching your goals.

 But split testing with only two variables at a time sounds super tedious, doesn’t it? Luckily Divi Leads doesn’t limit you to comparing only two versions of a page – this makes it possible to test many variations at once, even running multiple split tests at the same time to ensure highest possible conversion rates.

And after this extensive testing, Divi Leads even lets you analyze and pick apart results, presenting said results with beautiful visual graphs.

Is Divi Secure?

Over the years, WordPress has had its fair share of security vulnerabilities – and Divi is no stranger to security concerns either. Back in July of 2020, a remote-code execution vulnerbility was identified in Divi, which left almost 700,00 websites open to attacks. 

However, Elegant Themes does a great job of putting out fires, quickly responding to any security issues with swift patches to iron out any flaws.

Expert WordPress security company Sucuri has also audited Divi’s code, accrediting Divi as safe.

Divi User Support – Is it any good?

In the past, the chink in Divi’s armour would have been the lacking post-purchase user support. The proccess went as follows: If you had a question or query, you would have to visit a private discussion forum and wait around for Elegant Themes to notice your thread and reply. This proccess is just as tedious and slow as it sounds, and customers grew even more and more frustrated as their questions got ignored.

Luckily, Elegant Themes have made an effort to overcome this issue – They employed a huge team of technical support agents, ensuring all your queries get resolved, as well as getting rid of the support forum in favor of a one-on-one live messenger service.

Purchasing Divi automatically gives you access to full support from Elegant Themes.

Divi Community Forums

Even though Elegant Themes have now switched over to live messenger support in favour of using forums, their discussion forms are still alive and well. This is the perfect breeding ground for Divi site ideas, as users can inspire and innovate among each other. 

Divi User groups are also abundant on social media, with many active Facebook groups dedicated to Divi and other Elegant Themes products. Users often share useful tips and advice in their creative endeavors using Divi.

Divi User Documentation

Another gleaming highlight about Elegant Themes and Divi specifically, is their robust user documentation! Every feature and functionality of Divi is crammed into this online documentation, filled to the brim with answers for just about any question you can think about. Their blog, is also jam-packed with tips and tricks on how to make the most out of Divi, as well as showing off some beautiful Divi sites to spark inspiration.

Divi for eCommerce

While it’s not news that Divi can create jaw-dropping sites with unique and beautiful visuals, how does it compare to other themes from an eCommerce point of view?

Using Divi in conjunction with WooCommerce, you can definitely create a beautiful yet functional online store. 

Divi’s WooCommerce Modules give you the ability to completely customize and style WooCommerce elements through the Divi builder. This allows you to use the powerful Divi builder to craft beautiful custom product pages from scratch. To do this without Divi is tedious, as you would have to resort to using custom CSS to modify and manipulate WooCommerce page templates, with some elements even being completely uneditable.

Using the Divi Builder, a GUI is used when editing a product – making it easy for newer users to understand and explore these Woo modules. There are more than 60 Woo modules available through Divi, for example, the Woo Breadcrumb Module – which lets you add and completely customize your breadcrumb navigation indicator. Breadcrumb navigation is very useful for giving customers an idea of where they are inside your online store.

Moving back to the front end, your new Woo modules are now visible, and easily editable by simply clicking on whatever you choose to change. Clicking on a product image while editing with Divi, provides you with a large range of options, such as displaying a “SALE” badge, displaying a gallery of images, or even removing the product image completely in some cases.

Divi’s WooCommerce modules aren’t limited to just product pages, you can place them on any page throughout your website’s hierarchy too. For example – are you raving about a new producton your store in a blog post? Why not add an add-to-cart Woo Module at the end and link the product to allow customers to check out even from your blog page!

Here are some examples of stunning product pages created with Divi and WooCommerce:

VIEW A LIVE DEMO OF THIS PRODUCT PAGE

 VIEW A LIVE DEMO OF THIS PRODUCT PAGE

How much does Divi cost?

Divi is an affordable WordPress theme, especially if you consider all the extra products you get access to. It isn’t much more expensive than some of the other best-selling options out there, including those that don’t come with any additional products.

For what you’re getting with Divi, it’s an affordable WordPress theme. Note that when you purchase Divi, it’s bundled with all other Elegant Themes products, all of which are super useful. Divi’s price is among the same price of other best-selling themes, even those that do NOT include additional products like Divi.

Divi has two pricing options available:

Yearly access, as the name implies, gives you access to Divi, and all other Elegant Themes products for a year. Whereas lifetime access grants you a permanent copy of all Elegant Themes products, including future releases, support, and updates.

For companies concerned about security risks, it is advised to purchase lifetime access to Divi, which gives you access to updates that might include crucial security fixes. You would also be missing out on brand new features and fixes that Divi constantly pushes out as updates, too.

If you’re still uncertain about Divi, and want to test the waters, a 30-day money-back guarantee is given, that lets you use all of Elegant Theme’s products, risk-free.

Final Thoughts

Divi is an amazing product that you can purchase, knowing you’ll get a bang for your buck. With over 700,00 purchases in the last few years, very few of those customers have been left disappointed.

It gives you the potential to improve your productivity while designing, as well as guaranteeing a phenomenal end result. The graphical interface is beautiful yet simple, allowing anyone to make their vision a reality.

Top eCommerce Courses for Beginners 2021

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As one of the fastest-growing industries, eCommerce is on track to take over the retail sector, with no signs of slowing down. Battle-hardened through the year 2020, it has proven that it can thrive in the harshest of environments including economic turmoil, political distraught, and even global pandemics!

So why not join the billion-dollar market, and start your own online store.


Starting your own eCommerce business differs a lot from opening a physical retail store. But before you can start your store, of course, you’ll need an idea! For many people this is the hardest part, where the wheat is separated from the chaff. One of the best ways to get an amazing idea for your online store, is by bouncing your ideas off someone else. 

A great way of overcoming this big hurdle is by taking an eCommerce course – allowing you to correlate & compare with other like-minded individuals. In addition to communicating with other entrepreneurs, you gain the valuable opportunity of building up a database of contacts that will assist you in your climb to the top.

Which eCommerce course is right for you?

Jumping straight into a google search for eCommerce courses might leave you overwhelmed and confused – as there are thousands of options available! The most important part before settling for a course, is research. To save you valuable time and effort, we’ve taken a look at the top eCommerce courses right now – and dissected them for you to see what they’re all about. Here are the top eCommerce courses.

1. Shopify Power: Building an eCommerce Website

Udemy is a great platform to learn and improve yourself, with tons of content creators covering a huge number of topics – eCommerce being no exception!

This course specifically, is hosted by Jason Miles an eCommerce expert from Seattle. Miles is no stranger to Shopify, with his store Pixie Faire being the internet’s largest doll clothes pattern marketplace with over 100 designers and over 3.3 million patterns downloaded. 

This course is excellent for eCommerce newcomers looking to start a store using Shopify, as it will give you a basic rundown on how to navigate the platform, how to collect money from your online sales, and much more.

Price: $14

Difficulty: Beginner

2. E-Commerce Essentials: How to Start a Successful Online Business

Presented on Skillshare, this course is by expert Tracey Wallace, editor-in-chief at BigCommerce – one of the biggest eCommerce hosting options worldwide. Wallace’s expertise runs deep in the eCommerce world, with tips being shared in marketing, development, design, and much more. 

Clocking in at a mere one hour, this course is short and sweet – leaving you with a better understanding of how to market your product successfully, how to increase traffic to your site, and how to convert that traffic into higher sales.

Price: Requires a Skillshare subscription

Difficulty: Beginner

3. Shopify eCommerce Email Marketing

More often than not, customers who visit your online store won’t be sold on buying your product this first time around – you’ll have to be persistent to convince them.

This official Shopify course gives you the rundown on one of the most important eCommerce aspects – email marketing! Whether you’re sending out a newsletter informing all your clients about a new product you’re stocking or a simple thank-you email if a customer made a purchase, it really goes a long way!

This course will teach you how to build an impressive email database, and how to automate your email campaigns for maximum efficiency, with minimal effort.

Price: Free

Difficulty: Beginner / Intermediate

4. Google Digital Garage: How To Get a Business Online

An official course from Google, this is a freebie that informs you on what it takes to start a successful online business, after all, who knows the web better than Google?

This course is especially useful for owners of originally physical stores who are migrating to an online platform. This course cements all the fundementals, such as how to build and maintain a digital presence, how to keep your store safe from cyber-criminals, and more. This is a relitively short, coming in at just about 3 hours.

Price: Free

Difficulty: Beginner

5. eCommerce Masterclass: B2B Sales

BigCommerce is one of the biggest names in eCommerce; this hosting platform is home to hundreds of thousands of websites – including big shots like Toyota and Martha Stewart.

This course is a video series – sharing all their knowledge to help you set up your B2B eCommerce store successfully. This course goes into detail on essential B2B principles and features, including B2B shipping, multi-level purchase approvals, and account management.

Price: Free (Requires registration)

Difficulty: Intermediate

6. Product Photography for eCommerce

Product images are the selling point of your online store. It’s crucial that these images are the best possible quality – as they define your brand. This course shows you how to make the best of what you’ve got – to produce beautiful imagery on a budget.

Guiding you through the do’s and don’ts of product photography, is Co-Founder and President of Products of White Photography, Jeff Delacruz. This course is designed to be completed at your own pace, learning from his expert knowledge and experience.

Price: Free

Difficulty: Beginner

7. Brainstation Search Engine Marketing Course

Creating an online store is one thing, but getting people to visit it is another. This is why Search Engine Optimization is such a key aspect of eCommerce – ensuring that your product can be found easily at the top of their search results. 

There are tons of little details that all add up to create an SEO-friendly site, and this course will go through them all – including SEO strategy development, lead generation and ROI optimization.

Price: Enquire for a quote on their website

Difficulty: Intermediate

8. Facebook Ads for eCommerce

eCommerce and social media go hand-in-hand, and Facebook is one of the best platforms to reach out to your audience. This course will show you how to use Facebook to promote & grow your business. Expert techniques are demonstrated by Adam Reed, A 24 year old graduate and entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in online business. Finishing this course will leave you with confidence regarding promotion and product sales.

Price: $12

Difficulty: Beginner

9. Digital Marketer’s eCommerce Marketing

Have you reached the intermediate level of your eCommerce career?

This is the course that will take your store to the next level. Ezra Firestone guides you through how to optimize your online store to increase revenue. Although this course is pricey, you’re getting what you’re paying for – all the nitty-gritty details from a world-class expert. This course is a perfect fit for an eCommerce owner already at an intermediate level, looking to take their business to a professional level. Completing this course will reward you with an eCommerce certification (which can be displayed as a badge on your website, LinkedIn profile, etc.)- granted you pass the test with no less than 70%. 

Price: $495

Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced

Final Thoughts

There you go, these are the best eCommerce courses available in 2021. These courses will teach you how to start, nurture, and grow your online business into one of greatness. These courses are invaluable to beginners, to help them see where they fit in the world of online retail.

Order Printer Pro Complete Review

In the current eCommerce age, your store needs a little something special that sets it apart from the rest. You have to ask yourself why Bob and Joe use MY store instead of the next one? 

But don’t worry, this doesn’t call for huge changes to your store – it’s quite the opposite. It’s amazing how far something as minuscule as a customized invoice can go, and result in your store looking more professional and making a lasting impression on your customer.

Today we will be looking at Order Printer Pro, a Shopify app that allows you to achieve these aforementioned customized invoices effortlessly, and so much more.

What is Order Printer Pro?

Order Printer Pro is an app available on the Shopify App store, which allows you to easily create, design, and print invoices, packing slips, draft orders, and returns forms for your Shopify orders.

You can then print out these documents yourself, or even configure the app to send these documents (for example, invoices) as a PDF to your customers automatically.

Order Printer Pro provides you with fully customizable PDF templates, giving you the power to showcase your brand and leave your customers with an invoice that’s not an eyesore! The app is also compatible with templates made for Shopify’s default Order Printer, giving you the flexibility to choose out of thousands of templates available online.

Now that you’ve got an idea of what it’s all about, let’s dive into the features!

Features

Custom Template Designer

Order Printer Pro’s templates are built from HTML, CSS and Liquid – meaning they are 100% customizable to morph to your brand’s identity. It might sound daunting, but these three coding languages are very intuitive. After a few YouTube tutorials, you’ll be styling your templates like a pro!

Order Printer Pro’s template editing interface

Of course, no coding is needed if you want to use the templates as is (they are already gorgeous!)

Out of the box, the app includes templates for the following:

  • Receipts / Invoices
  • Packing slips
  • Returns forms
  • Quote for Draft orders
  • Refund & Credit notes

Automated Emails

With a simple one-time configuration, you can automate the proccess of emailing invoice documents to customers. This saves you and your customers precious time, as well as paper! This feature alone is what makes this app extremely useful, especially for stores dealing with a lot of invoices.

Easy text editing and translating

Every included template features translations for over 20 languages, allowing you to communicate clearly with international customers. Editing the text part of documents is simple and will enable you to convey your brand’s message.

Shopify Integrations

Impressively, the app also has synergy with multiple useful Shopify features, such as with Shopify’s multi-currency, which changes the invoice document according to the customer’s currency of choice.

Order Printer Pro is also optimized for Shopify Mobile and Shopify POS, meaning you can access and edit the app anywhere.

Pricing

Order Printer Pro allows users to choose between two pricing options, Free or Unlimited.

The free plan is ideal for stores that get less than 50 orders per month, and is as the name implies, 100% free! However, after implementing this app, you might find yourself growing beyond 50 monthly orders!

Just because you aren’t paying doesn’t mean you’re missing out – free users still have access to the following features:

  • Print and export in bulk
  • Print and export draft orders
  • Automated PDF delivery
  • Customizable templates

Stores with more than 50 monthly orders have to subscribe to the Unlimited plan for $10 per month to keep using the app; this includes the same features as listed above.

Examples

It’s time to put our money where our mouth is. Let’s see what this app is capable of.

Packaging Slip

Earlier this year, Shopify released an update integrating packaging slips on the platform. To access Shopify’s default packaging slip feature, navigate over to the Orders tab, select and order, then click on the More Actions dropdown.

This does get the job done, but the results are rather… unappealing. (See below)

Shopify’s default packaging slip design. Shipping and billing info has been obscured.

However, if you scroll down a bit in the More Actions dropdown, you’ll find the option to create the packaging slip using Order Printer Pro (if you have it installed of course.) Then you’re free to customize and create your own packaging slip.

Doesn’t this just look a thousand times better?

OrderlyEmails & Order Printer Templates

FORSBERG+two is the creator of the Order Printer Pro app, but it’s not the only Shopify app they’ve published. We’ll take a brief look at two of their other one-time-purchase apps, which are used in conjunction with Order Printer Pro to take your store to the next level.

OrderlyEmails

OrderlyEmails helps to improve the notifications that Shopify is sending to your customers via email. Using this app makes your email notifications stunning, providing you with professionally designed templates to blow customers away. 

Implementing this app into your eCommerce store allows you to benefit from enhanced sales and customer commitment by incorporating product upselling, discount codes, and social media profiles in all emails that you send.

Just like Order Printer Pro, this app creates a sense of continuity throughout your store, with your branding and color scheme present in all company-related emails and documents.

Order Printer Templaes

Another wildly popular app from FORSBERG+two, over 15,000 Shopify merchants worldwide utilize their Order Printer Templates.

This app separates the document creation part of Order Printer Pro into a separate app, with new features such as the “Magic Designer” which creates a template that matches your store’s design in seconds. 

Purchasing this app includes 22 Shopify-supported email templates, one-click translations, and outstanding customer support.

Example of a template

If you’re still not satisfied with the design, the guys at FORSBERG+two can be commisioned to do a custom design, pixel perfect for your business.

Conclusion

Putting effort into the details of your store is more important than most people think. Customers really appreciate additions like these order forms, as it shows them that you put effort into their customer experience, and that you are a step above the average Shopify store. With this level of professionalism, returning customers is a guarantee.

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Order Printer Pro Complete Review

In the current eCommerce age, your store needs a little something special that sets it apart from the rest. You have to ask yourself...