If you’re an Elegant Themes user who hasn’t yet fully embraced the Divi Builder plugin or the Divi and Extra themes it powers, this article will give you a quick walkthrough of what you are missing out on.
As well as showcasing some of the best features of Divi, you’ll also get a better idea of whether there are any third party plugins on your site that have now become surplus to requirements. As the Divi Builder and the themes it powers are packed with useful features, there is a good chance you might be able to reduce your plugin count without losing any crucial functionality.
However, before we get to the types of plugins that Divi has the potential to replace, let’s stir up that old hornet’s nest and take a look at whether you really can have too many plugins installed on a WordPress website.
Why Reduce Your WordPress Plugin Count?
When it comes to WordPress plugins, there’s no such thing as having too many. It’s just as likely that one bad plugin will break your website as it is that you’ll have 50 well-coded extensions all working nicely together. On the topic of WordPress plugins, it’s more about quality than quantity. Although you should never overlook potential compatibility issues between your chosen add-ons.
However, there are some advantages to keeping the number of plugins running on your site to a minimum. Some of these benefits include having fewer plugins to keep up to date, a reduced number of licenses and accounts to manage, fewer opportunities for an extension to go wrong and start causing problems, and of course, the potential cost savings.
By replacing multiple plugins with a single product, you now have far fewer products to keep track of; while also having a single point of contact when you need help or assistance.
When it comes to replacing multiple tools with one product, there are some risks associated with putting all your eggs in one basket. One point to consider is the likelihood of the owner of that product going out of business or suddenly discontinuing it. However, choosing a product from a well-established and trusted source goes a long way towards mitigating this risk.
Plugin-Replacing Features of the Divi Theme and Builder Plugin
If you haven’t checked out the products you have access to as a part of your membership package lately, then here’s a quick recap.
The Divi Builder started life as the integrated page builder tool of the Divi theme. Now, the Divi Builder is available as a standalone plugin that should work with any WordPress theme, as well as being an integral part of the newly released Extra blogging and magazine theme.
This means the features covered in this article can be added to your WordPress website by installing the Divi and Extra themes, as well as the standalone Divi Builder plugin. So let’s get started and take a look at the top 10 plugin-replacing features found in the Divi Builder and the themes it powers.
Drag and Drop Page Builder Tool
Whether using the Divi or Extra themes or the standalone plugin, the drag and drop page builder functionality of the Divi Builder is the core feature on offer here.
The Divi Builder is a competitive product in the WordPress builder plugin category – and I’m not just saying that because of where this article is being published! It might be lacking a front-end view or live preview, as can be found in some of the other options. However, Divi Builder goes give you the ability to create multi row and column layouts for your posts and pages, which can then be populated with a wide range of different content modules.
Divi Builder also includes a selection of prebuilt page layouts, which can be used as is, or as a time-saving head start for your custom designs. There’s no single best page builder tool for WordPress, however, and the right tool for you will depend on your needs. However, when it comes to page builder functionality and user experience, Divi Builder should include everything you need.
Email Optin Forms
You might already have access to the Bloom email optin form plugin. However, if you don’t need to add popups, fly-ins, and a whole host of other types of optin forms to your website, then the Email Optin Forms module is a good compromise.
This module allows you to insert email optin forms for your newsletter into your custom layouts. The forms are all fully responsive, so they will adjust to the size of the column or row they’ve been added to. This gives you the option of adding full-width horizontal forms to your content or forms that span just a portion of the page. You can add custom content to your forms and personalize their appearance through the visual editor and settings.
Unfortunately, the Email Optin Forms module only integrates with MailChimp, AWeber, and Feedburner so it won’t be suitable for everyone. However, if you simply want to add attractive optin forms into your content, and you are using one of the supported email management services, you will get value from this module.
If you’re using advanced forms on your WordPress website then you may have to stick with your premium form plugin of choice. However, if your needs don’t extend beyond displaying a simple contact form, then the corresponding module from Divi Builder will replace a standard form plugin.
When using the Contact Form module, you can enable captcha spam protection, customize the appearance of the form through the visual editor, and add your own custom CSS. There’s no support for adding or changing the fields. However, if you only need to collect the name, email address, and the message from your visitors, then this module will suffice.
For those of you who are selling products and services from your website, pricing tables can be a core part of your pricing strategy. Moreover, if you ever publish reviews on your website, then using a pricing table to compare the items being discussed makes it very easy for your readers to see what’s on offer.
While there are some excellent pricing table plugins for WordPress, this module in the Divi Builder isn’t too shabby at all.
With the Pricing Tables module, you can create as many tables as you need. Through the Pricing Table builder, you can mark a column as featured to help it stand out, set a currency and payment cycle, add links, and then enter the list of custom content to be compared.
You can use the visual editor to customize the appearance of the table or add your own custom CSS for even more control over how it will look.
Testimonials can be used to great effect if you want to sell more products, land more clients, or just show your readers you know what you are blogging about.
With the Testimonial module, you can quickly publish feedback from your users in an attractive way. Like the rest of the modules from Divi Builder, these testimonials are responsive and will, therefore, fit into any column layout you’ve created.
Through the Testimonial builder, you can enter the name, title, company, website address, and a photo of the user, as well as entering their feedback. There’s no way to add a form to your website for collecting feedback from your contacts, however, if you are happy to solicit testimonials in other ways and then enter the details yourself, this module is an effective way to add some valuable social proof to your website.
Like the other Divi Builder modules, the appearance can be customized through the settings or by adding your own custom CSS.
The Divi Builder includes three separate slider modules for adding slideshows to your posts and pages. The standard Slider module allows you to create a slideshow with multiple slides, each of which can contain custom content; buttons; and a background image, video, or solid color.
The second slider module is a variation of the first, which instead gives you the ability to add full-width sliders to your website. This is ideal for adding slideshows to the header areas of your content or the homepage of your site.
Both of these sliders offer a few effects to give your slideshows more impact. These effects include auto playback and parallax scrolling. You also have the option of enabling or disabling the slideshow controls and navigation aids.
The Video Slider module is a simpler tool that only gives you the ability to set videos as the main slide content. These videos can be those that are hosted externally from your website or files you’ve uploaded to your WordPress Media Library.
It’s fair to say these slider modules won’t give the owners of the leading commercial slideshow plugins any sleepless nights. However, if you don’t have the need for animated slideshows with multiple timelines and a dizzying array of animation effects, these Divi modules should be enough for most situations.
Media Galleries and Players
When it comes to displaying media files on your Divi-powered website, there are a few modules that upgrade the standard functionality of WordPress.
The Image module makes it easy to add photos and other images to your custom layouts. This module will automatically resize your images to ensure they fill the width of the column or row they have been inserted in.
You also have the option of displaying a larger version of the image in a lightbox window when clicked or turning the images into links that will take the visitors to a custom URL of your choice. Lazy loading is on offer, and there are some basic animation effects that you can make use of to help the images catch the attention of your visitors.
The Audio module provides basic playback controls, with the option of adding cover art to the player. The audio file can be uploaded to your site through the WordPress Media Library.
As you would expect, the Video module makes it easy to add videos to your custom layouts. These videos can be self-hosted files or those from external sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
Interactive Google Maps
Every good business website needs an interactive Google Map and the Map module makes it easy to add one to your custom layout.
When adding a map to your page, you can set the start location. You’re then free to add as many pins to your map as you need, with each pin featuring its own custom content, if necessary.
This is a simple module, but it does make the process of adding interactive Google Maps with custom markers to your website very straightforward.
Social Media Follow Buttons
Those of you on the developer plan will have access to the powerful social sharing plugin Monarch. However, if your needs are more modest, then the Social Follow module could meet your requirements.
When setting up the module, you can choose which social networks you want to display icons for. By default, the colors associated with each network will be applied to the icons. However, you are free to choose your own custom colors.
While the buttons from Social Media module can’t be used to share your content, if you want to make it easy for your visitors to access your social media profiles, this one is for you.
There are a number of useful shortcode plugins for WordPress, which add a library of modules or elements to your website. These elements can then be inserted into your content by using the corresponding shortcode.
However, if you choose to use Divi Builder, you should be able to avoid adding a dedicated shortcode plugin to your website. Instead, you can use the following modules to add a range of useful elements to your pages: call to actions, bar counters, blurbs, countdown timers, tabs, and toggles.
These elements can be very useful when it comes to adding interactive and eye-catching elements to your posts and pages. Whether you want to increase conversion rates with a call to action button or organize your content more efficiently with tabs and toggles, there should be a module you can make use of on your website.
I hope that you’ve been introduced to some new features you can make use of while also identifying a few plugins that you can now deactivate from your site.
In some cases, when adding a new feature to your website, going with the best of breed will be the most suitable option. However, if you don’t need all the functionality of the most powerful plugin in a specific category, there is a good chance the tools you get access to with Divi might be enough.
Typically, you’ll want to keep design and functionality separate, letting your WordPress theme take care of defining how your site will look while your chosen plugins add the necessary features. However, now that the Divi Builder is available as a standalone plugin, if you do ever decide to change themes and stop using Divi or Extra, you can activate the Divi Builder plugin and overcome many potential theme lock-in issues.
Which Divi features can you use to replace a plugin on your WordPress website? Which features would you like to see incorporated into Divi in the future? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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