If you’re looking for a new WordPress theme, one name you’ll almost certainly come across is Elegant Themes. With its hugely popular Divi Theme, a few powerful plugins and an active user community, Elegant Themes is one of the biggest names in the WordPress ecosystem.
On paper, Elegant Themes certainly deserve a place on your shortlist when it comes to theme and plugin shopping. But are its products the right choice for your website? Should you sign up with this WordPress mainstay or continue your search? By the end of this post, you’ll hopefully have everything you need to make a well-thought-out, informed decision.
Let’s get started.
About Elegant Themes
Elegant Themes has been in operation for 11 years, and has served more than 600,000 customers to date. In the process, it’s grown a workforce of more than 80 employees covering several countries — a far cry from its humble beginnings working out of founder Nick Roach’s college apartment.
Elegant Themes has released about 87 WordPress themes over the years, as well as a number of plugins. However, it’s recently refocused its efforts on just its two latest themes, Divi and Extra, as well as its Bloom email optin form and Monarch social media plugins. The WordPress page builder that helped to make the Divi theme so popular is now also available as a standalone plugin in the form of Divi Builder.
As well as its high-quality products, another reason why Elegant Themes has been so popular is its pricing plans. For just $89 a year, you get access to all of its themes (including the flagship ‘Divi‘ theme — more on this below) and plugins, making it very competitively priced. If you’re planning on using its products for several years, though, the slightly pricier ‘Lifetime Access’ plan is actually the best value, giving you access to all existing and future products for a one-time fee of $249. There’s also a no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee on all purchases, so you can try the themes and plugins risk-free.
While Elegant Themes’ focus is now on its two main themes, Divi and Extra, for the time being, you do still get access to its older themes. However, these themes now look pretty outdated and are reportedly being retired, so it’s best to ignore them when deciding whether or not to join.
While getting access to everything for $89 looks like a good deal, is Elegant Themes the right choice for your project? Let’s find out.
Let’s start with a look at the WordPress themes before moving on to the plugins.
As mentioned, signing up with Elegant Themes does give you access to 87 WordPress themes for the price you could pay for just one theme elsewhere. However, there are really only two themes to consider. Since the arrival of Divi in 2013, the focus of Elegant Themes has been on making this the single best WordPress theme available. Extra followed shortly after, and together they’ve become the highlights of the Elegant Themes portfolio. In fact, as mentioned, the older themes are going to be retired.
DIVI MULTIPURPOSE WORDPRESS THEME
From blogs and business sites to ecommerce stores and everything in between, Divi is undoubtedly a versatile website-building tool.
It’s also ideal for new WordPress users hoping to create custom websites without ever having to look at a single line of code. However, this powerful theme has also become a popular choice with professional web designers looking for a tool that can make building sites for their clients more efficient.
Some of the reasons experienced and inexperienced web designers alike choose Divi are its useful set of high-quality templates, and the powerful drag-and-drop page builder tool. Importing one of the Divi website packs gives you a quick way to start your project, and the new-and-improved Divi Builder can be used to customize the templates through an intuitive WYSIWYG drag-and-drop user interface. Creating your custom designs from scratch isn’t a problem either.
No matter your skill level, Divi does a good job of democratizing web design. Those who are new to WordPress can use the Divi layouts combined with the builder’s point-and-click interface to create custom page designs. More experienced designers can do what they’ve always done — only much faster.
Another feature of this theme that’s worth mentioning is the Divi Leads tool. Divi Leads lets you split test to optimize your site’s design and content. If you’ve ever wondered which headline or color scheme your visitors will respond to best, Divi Leads removes the guesswork.
Divi Leads makes it easy to display multiple variations of your website and its content, while you sit back and wait for the results. If you need to create websites that convert against their goals –- whether for yourself or for your clients –- Divi Leads will be an invaluable addition to your toolkit.
One area where Divi has been improved since its launch is the library of pre-built website packs that are now available for this theme. At the time of writing, there were more than a hundred complete website packs that you could import into WordPress, and then edit through the visual builder to create your own unique site. Not only can you import a complete website pack that includes one or more homepage layouts and templates for the inner pages of your site, but you can also pick and choose from the library of more than 800 individual page templates.
These website packs cover a wide range of projects — from agency sites and health blogs to corporate homepages and ecommerce stores, to name but a few. To make creating a website with Divi even easier than before, these packs and templates can be browsed and imported from inside your WordPress dashboard.
In the past, it wasn’t easy to hide or customize the header areas of websites using Divi. Because of this, it was easy to spot a site built with Divi, as most of them had the same top navigation bars. That’s a thing of the past now, as you can easily hide the header area using the full-width template, or create your own custom design using the header module or theme customizer settings.
Overall, Divi is a great choice for creatives who’d like to build a custom WordPress website regardless of their technical abilities. Although with so many pre-built website packs and individual templates, Divi should also work well for anyone looking for an off-the-shelf design that’s ready to go.
EXTRA MAGAZINE WORDPRESS THEME
The Extra theme (view live demo), launched after Divi, includes many of its best features. While Divi is a multipurpose theme, Extra has been designed for blogs, online magazines and other content-rich websites.
The default homepage layout is perfect for creating a news or magazine website, and using this design gives you the ability to display your best or most recent content in a stylish grid format. You can use post carousels, tabbed areas, mini-article sliders and custom widgets to display previews of your content.
Extra also includes an image-focused homepage layout that uses the featured images from your articles to draw attention to your content. The design of this theme is focused on enticing your visitors to click through to more of your articles.
As Extra includes the powerful Divi Builder tool, you can customize any of the theme’s templates through a front-end drag-and-drop user interface. Not only that, but you can use the builder and its library of modules to create custom designs for each article you publish on your site. If you want your blog or online magazine to match the presentation quality of leading news media websites, you now have a powerful tool that can help.
With Extra and the Divi Builder, you can design custom page layouts that overlay images with text, include photo collages, use pull quotes, feature multiple columns, and include other tried-and-tested content elements to upgrade your website from a basic blog to a professional-looking online publication. You can also import any of the website packs and individual page templates that are available to users of the Divi theme.
One impressive feature of Extra that’s not found in Divi is the category builder and its associated modules. Using this feature enables you to design custom category pages that define how lists of blog posts and other content, such as portfolio items and ecommerce products, are displayed on your site.
As well as being able to create multiple layouts, you can also easily assign them to different types of content on your site, such as specific blog categories. If you want to take control of how lists of content are displayed, this feature lets you get really creative.
Even if you don’t want to use the integrated Divi Builder, Extra is still a good choice for bloggers and online magazine sites. The library of templates makes it easy to add important pages to your site with very little effort. With author, timeline, portfolio and contact page templates included, you can save yourself a lot of time when setting up a new website.
Extra can also be used to create an ecommerce store with WordPress, thanks to its full support for the WooCommerce plugin. If you want to build an online shop or simply add physical or digital products to your blog or magazine, Extra is more than up to the task.
While Elegant Themes created Divi with the goal of making it the best theme for any WordPress website, Extra was created to be the best theme for bloggers and online publications — and it definitely does a good job. Extra is a competitive theme that any blogger or magazine-style site owner should consider.