Secrets of Website Design: We Love Divi

Secrets of Website Design: We Love Divi

Selecting a website design for your online business is both exciting and challenging. Whether you’re just starting out or it’s time to revamp your existing site, there are so many options available you might not know where to begin.

For starters, you have to decide between free and premium themes. Is it better to shell out hard-earned cash, or can you get by with an inexpensive or even a free alternative?

Then, how can you tell which theme is the best for developing your site and implementing your business vision? The sheer number of themes available can make your decision confusing and frustrating.

What if you make the wrong choice and your site looks unprofessional or functions poorly? How do you know if a particular theme will end up being difficult to implement and maintain?

Not to worry! It is possible to avoid analysis paralysis and move ahead confidently. Even if building or maintaining a business website is more involved than you thought it might be, using Divi by Elegant Themes is the best way to simplify your web design, maintenance, and constant improvement.

VAWW Online uses Divi exclusively for all our web design projects (including our own!), so I’ll explain why it’s the framework of choice for plenty of other businesses as well.

Introducing Divi

Among the most popular WordPress themes in use today, Divi is extremely easy to use with little learning curve. You know it’s safe because the developers partnered with Sucuri.net to certify its security. And purchasing Divi is an extraordinary value that comes with even more bonus perks.

The team at Elegant Themes has been around for over 10 years and is committed to maintaining their products. Rest assured they’ll still be available to offer support for the foreseeable future.

And although it’s their flagship theme, Divi is not the only product included with every Elegant Themes subscription. Another 87 (not a typo!) more themes and plugins are provided as well. (Speaking of plugins, the Divi Builder Plugin works with any theme!) You also gain access to any new items created during your enrollment.

Website designers are not restricted to a certain number of uses, either. You’re free to use any of your Elegant Themes products on as many websites as you choose. Also of value to developers, Divi offers a split testing tool and can be translated into 32 languages.

It’s Incredibly Popular. Some may take Divi’s popularity as a negative because it’s currently being used on over 1 million sites worldwide, without considering the very reasons why it has become a favorite. Elegant Themes provides a value-packed bundle. Divi has numerous positive features that justify its huge and devoted following. Here’s a sample.

Divi by Elegant Themes is perfectly customizable.

Divi by Elegant Themes is perfectly customizable.

It’s Responsive. Right out of the box, Divi allows you to create sites that adjust to different screen sizes on the fly. Even better, its Visual Builder allows you to toggle between smartphone, tablet and desktop views while editing, and remains fully functional in all three modes. You can easily specify different settings for each view to completely customize your site for various screen sizes.

It’s E-Commerce Ready. Divi is fully compatible with WooCommerce, one of the web’s most popular e-commerce platforms. If you plan to do online selling, integrating Divi with WooCommerce is practically seamless and allows you to professionally showcase your products and services.

It’s Constantly Upgraded and Updated. Elegant Themes works hard to create the ultimate WordPress theme and make Divi the only one you’ll ever need. That means constantly refining and improving all their products to make them the best on the market. Significant Divi upgrades are routinely announced on the Elegant Themes blog and are instantly available to users.

It’s Infinitely Customizable. No two sites built with Divi look exactly alike — unless that was the intent. It’s so simple to personalize every aspect of your website, from layouts to fonts and colors to sizing and spacing, that you can achieve your true vision and have it online working for your brand in a few easy clicks.

Elegant Themes also provides innovative Layout Packs for a variety of industries, helping to kickstart your design with fully adaptable page layouts you can use as starting points to develop your brand’s website design.

And not only is the design customizable, the interface can be configured to your preferred specifications as well. That means you’re able to design your pages and content with effortless, intuitive controls that YOU tailored for your own ease of use.

It Inspires a Generous Online Community. Maybe it’s because Elegant Themes itself provides such value to its users, with great online support and documentation. Maybe it’s because Elegant Themes hosts a forum where users can connect to further explore common issues. Whatever the reason, the Divi community is engaged and helpful, with online groups and offline meetups to help one another solve problems and network.

But Divi is Not for Everyone

Some prefer and can afford a bespoke solution, and others simply need a quick and dirty premade template site.

Others think that Divi is hard to learn or difficult to work with, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Visual Builder shows you the results of your actions in real time, letting you see your website as it will look live. You don’t have to know any behind-the-scenes coding, but you can use advanced techniques as you gain familiarity and confidence.

You may be wondering if using Divi makes it difficult to switch themes later. It’s true that you’ll deal with a series of challenges any time you change themes. That’s why best practice is to work offline, in a staging environment, before taking any major updates, upgrades, or theme changes online.

Price is not an issue either, since Elegant Themes offers annual and lifetime subscriptions at a reasonable rate. Access to all their themes and plugins, as well as theme updates, premium support, and unlimited website usage, is available for $89 per year or a one-time $249 fee.

So don’t let any objections keep you from experiencing the ease of use Divi offers when developing your next website design.

Take Divi for a free test drive at this demo page!

Sign up for a 30-Day risk-free Elegant Themes membership here.

Or let us design your website for you! Contact us here for more information.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will be paid a small commission — at no extra cost to you — if you choose to click a link and make a purchase. This allows me to continue providing information and resources to you at no cost. And I only promote products that I use and trust.

5 Simple Tips That Will Upgrade Your Content Marketing Plan

5 Simple Tips That Will Upgrade Your Content Marketing Plan

What, you don’t even have a content marketing plan? Someone told you that you don’t need one because you’re “just” a blogger. You might think you don’t “do” content marketing. Or you feel “marketing” means self-promotion (yikes!). Maybe you don’t know how to begin.

In truth, any online business can gain from using content marketing these days. It’s a cost-effective method of responding to the habits we’ve developed thanks to our digital world.

Shoppers today use online resources to inform them of the best products and services available. Providing the information your audience searches for is a major key to business success. Having a content marketing plan is the starting point.

It’s important to stick to proven techniques when developing and using a successful strategy. Here are five tips to remember that will deliver consistent results when creating your content marketing plan.

Set Up a Secure Foundation

These content marketing tips are a basic foundation to build your strategy on. Start here, and you’ll lay the groundwork for developing a winning marketing plan.

Have a mission statement. Knowing who you are as a business and the audience your business serves is the essence of success. Be clear on what you offer and understand those you wish to attract. Define what makes you different from your competitors. Boil that down into a concise message. Use it as your guide to steer your entire content marketing strategy.

Be authentic. Present your true self to your audience. Speak to your readers naturally, as if in conversation. Record yourself giving your message, and be sure you write in that same voice. But avoid using slang and bad grammar. That’s sure to turn even interested visitors away.

Remember these basic pointers to design an unbeatable content marketing plan.

Remember these basic pointers to design an unbeatable content marketing plan.

Solve problems. Make yourself invaluable! Give a steady stream of reliable information to help your ideal clients solve their problems. Direct your content toward your target market’s issues and concerns. Know what their needs and questions are, and discuss them fully. You then become a trusted resource they can rely on.

Do your research. Present the most insightful nuggets of information. Your audience has already heard the usual buzz in other blogs and marketing materials. To stand out and produce exceptional content, be able to bring something new to the table.

Repurpose and republish. Not everyone noticed the information the first time you presented it. Others prefer a different format than your original delivery. So feel free to reuse and promote your content in different ways. Turn blog posts into eBooks, podcasts, or webinars. Let people know about your new product on your social media channels. Tweet quotables from past posts to attract new readers. Maximizing your content gains new visitors.

Have a Guide

It’s helpful to have your marketing plan written out where you can review and update it as needed. Our SMART Content Marketing Strategy Workbook will help you put your ideas into action!

This easy-to-follow guidebook leads you through five simple steps to develop an unbeatable content marketing plan. Download yours here!

Once your content marketing plan is specified, the real fun begins! Following your guide makes it easier to create unique, inspiring, educational blog posts, infographics, and more.

Summing Up

Having a mission statement, being authentic, solving problems based on solid research, and providing your content in a variety of formats make up a solid foundation for developing every piece of material you produce.

VAWW Online empowers solopreneurs and small businesses by providing profitable online marketing strategies without breaking their budgets. Explore all the ways you will gain from having a thoughtful process behind all your marketing efforts.

Let’s develop a strategy to propel you ahead that meets your needs and budget. Contact me here!

Before Choosing a Website Designer, Read This

Before Choosing a Website Designer, Read This

Before choosing a website designer to create or update your most valuable business asset, there is a lot to consider.

Your company website is too important to leave to chance. It should be treated with the care and consideration it deserves.

Sure, you can do it yourself, but should you? Are you adept at design? Do you understand the platform you will be using? Do you intend to manage your business AND your website with equal skill?

If the answer to any of these questions is no or even maybe, consider consulting a freelance website designer.

Are you hesitant to put this most vital business investment in someone else’s hands? Read about outsourcing successfully here.  And be sure to download our FREE guide for even more valuable tips.

You may decide that even if you plan to manage the site yourself, the initial design should be handled professionally rather than left to your own devices.

For your website to be as successful as you need it to be, it will have to stay relevant and attracting a wide audience of your ideal customers.

In the end, they will be persuaded to use your services or products based on how they see you online.

So your website is the perfect chance to impress visitors and keep them coming back for more. They might decide to make a purchase, or even patronize your storefront if you have one.

Don’t turn web surfers off with an old-fashioned site that doesn’t solve their problems. They won’t stick around if your first impression isn’t exceptional.

Before You Begin

You should know your objectives and goals for the site. If you have no idea about what your audience needs, your designer will not be able to magically provide it for you.

To attract loyal visitors, you will most likely want to produce a regular blog and use email to maintain their interest in your brand.

If you plan to sell products or provide services online you’ll need an e-commerce solution with shopping cart and secure payment options.

So review a variety of websites, including your competitors, and even some that are not part of your industry. Of course you won’t be creating a direct copy of anyone else’s site, but you can get a good idea of how to use yours to its best advantage.

Figure out how you want your website to connect with your target audience and be able to precisely convey that to your web designer of choice.

Making an Informed Decision

Accept recommendations from friends and colleagues, but also take a closer look at the websites you most admire. You’ll usually see a citation in the footer naming the designer and/or maybe the “theme” used to build the site on.

Follow up with freelancers or design agencies whose work you like by checking out their business websites. This is where you should find testimonials and a portfolio of their previous projects.

Once you’ve done your due diligence you will be able to clearly describe your goals for the website. Now you’re ready to interview a few prospective designers.

What to Expect from Design Consultants

Take some time to introduce the issues you want your website to address.  A good designer will continue asking questions about your business objectives and your ideal clients. This information provides a vivid image of the best ways to attract and convert your visitors into loyal customers.

Ask how they plan to solve your problems and evaluate their responses. Realize not every prospect is a good fit, for you or the consultant. And make your final decision based on the value to be gained rather than the cost of the initial investment.

Red Flags to Avoid

No contract. Don’t even consider working with anyone on a handshake alone. Your chosen website designer must be able to provide you with a detailed contract spelling out timelines, milestones, and deliverables. Otherwise, neither of you has an accurate idea of the project’s scope or goals.

No communication. It’s key to collaboration, and your design consultant should keep you updated on every phase of the project. You don’t want to be surprised, and the designer doesn’t want to make never-ending revisions.

Requiring full payment up front. You and your designer should agree to a schedule of payments that is spelled out in the contract. Typically you might pay 30% to begin the work, 30% at an arranged milestone, and 30% at delivery.

No defined development plan. The designer with the clearest concept of how to best serve your ideal clients using a variety of design and marketing techniques is the one you should consider. After all, serving your ideal clients is the ultimate goal of your website!

Working With Your Website Designer

Congratulations! You’ve narrowed down your choices and selected the best website design professional for your business needs. Now the collaboration will depend on regular communication and complete understanding of the project’s parameters.

Trust your site designer, but don’t be afraid to offer helpful insights to minimize revisions.

And be sure to provide any information & assets that may be required on a timely basis. Don’t be the reason your project is delayed.

To sum it up, start with a clear goal in mind for your new website or site redesign, and be able to communicate your needs effectively.

Do your research. Establish how you plan to connect with your ideal clients. Verify which qualified website designer will best bring your vision to life. And continue to communicate regularly to make the most of your collaboration.

Investing in your website is a proven way to increase your online presence and help grow your business. Here’s to your success!

This article is part of an ongoing series on how small businesses can improve their procedures and processes to maximize their growth. Are there topics you’d like to see in the future? Feel free to offer suggestions in the comments!