The WordPress theme market is constantly evolving, and Elegant Themes is working hard to keep up.
First, we had Divi 3 and the raft of improvements it brought. We then had Divi 4 that brought us the Divi theme builder.
We also had Divi AI, which is one of the best versions of AI website building around right now.
Now we are eagerly awaiting Divi 5.
Thanks to some releases from Elegant Themes, we know a little about what’s coming.
Let’s have a quick look at the key features, design capabilities, performance, and overall user experience we can expect from Divi 5.
Key Features of Divi 5
Divi 5 brings a slew of new features to the table, enhancing the already powerful Divi Builder.
Here are some features we’re looking forward to:
- Theme builder: Divi 5 introduces a fully-fledged theme builder. It looks like it will allow us to create custom headers, footers, category templates, and more. This extends the theme's flexibility beyond just individual page design.
- Dynamic content: A major highlight will be the ability to insert dynamic content elements into designs, such as post titles, custom fields, and author information. This dynamic approach simplifies the creation of dynamic templates and reduces the need for coding.
- No more shortcodes: Shortcodes have been part of building websites since forever. Divi 5 plans to do away with them. It is switching to JSON and will use a system like how WordPress works with data. Legacy shortcodes will still be supported for a while though.
- Global defaults: Divi 5 will allow you to set global design defaults for elements. It will enhance design consistency and speed up the development process.
- WooCommerce integration: For eCommerce websites, Divi 5 will offer WooCommerce integration with specialized modules for product displays, carts, and checkout pages.
- Multi-select and bulk editing: The addition of multi-select and bulk editing capabilities should streamline the process of editing and styling multiple elements simultaneously.
- Changes to how Divi manages APIs: Divi 5 apparently plans to introduce a new API system that allows third parties to use them when creating plugins and apps.
Let’s look at other improvements we can expect in Divi 5.
Divi 5 continues its tradition of empowering designers with a powerful visual editor. The Visual Builder remains intuitive and user-friendly, even for those with minimal technical experience.
The introduction of dynamic content elements should enhance the design possibilities and reduce the need for external plugins.
One concern often associated with powerful page builders is performance. Divi 5 takes steps to address this by implementing clean code output and optimized loading routines.
It also plans to ‘clean up years of technical debt’.
“We are recreating Divi’s backend framework, cleaning up years of technical debt, changing Divi’s storage format and improving its rendering mechanism,” Elegant Themes CEO Nick Roach said. “This new version of Divi will be able to processes design settings much more quickly.”
Divi's user experience is a mixed bag. On one hand, its interface is remarkably user-friendly and accessible, making it suitable for beginners.
The installation and setup process, guided tours and extensive documentation make it easy to get started.
On the other hand, some advanced features may require a learning curve, particularly for those who haven't used Divi before. Users familiar with previous versions might also need some time to adapt to the new workflows introduced in Divi 5.
Divi 4 is great, but there’s a definite learning curve. That’s especially true if you’re used to working with Elementor or another page builder.
We all know WordPress is shifting to full site editing and block based themes are becoming more common.
Elegant Themes was to keep up with those changes and will be transitioning into a block theme.
“On the block theme front, as a part of Divi 5.0, we are also transitioning into a Block Based theme, and since Divi 5.0 is actually internally built using the same ‘packages’ that Gutenberg itself is composed of, Divi 5.0 has a lot of compatibility built in from the core,” Elegant Themes developer Josh Ronk said.
“We are working diligently to push Divi 5.0 for maximum Gutenberg block compatibility, with the goal being that you would be able to use Gutenberg blocks inside of your Divi built pages, and then apply all of the Divi design options you love to the otherwise plain Gutenberg blocks you have installed.
This means you won’t have to choose between Divi or Gutenberg, and rather you get Divi AND Gutenberg.”
Divi will remain backwards compatible for as long as possible but will eventually shift one way or another.
As WordPress is moving towards FSE and block themes, it’s likely that Divi will too.
“Divi 5.0 will use React and it will leverage more of the native Gutenberg packages,” Roach said. “At some point we hope that Divi and Gutenberg will work in harmony. We don’t want to fight against the direction that WordPress is heading.”
When will Divi 5 be ready?
Now the million dollar question, when will Divi 5 be ready to use?
According to Elegant Themes, they have been working on the update for over a year and are still some way off completion.
It’s in development beta right now and has public alpha and beta to go before an official release.
If we were to guess, we would expect to see public alpha before the end of 2023, with beta and release early 2024.
An update this fundamental cannot be rushed and we would guess that the developers will really want to get this “Foundation Update” right.
We would guess they would want the release to be close to Divi’s 10th birthday but cannot imagine them releasing it until they are fully confident of its stability.
As always, keep an eye on CollectiveRay for the latest news on Divi and a review of Divi 5 as soon as it’s released into the wild!
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