The Divi theme is one of the most popular WordPress themes available. A website builder framework, the Divi theme allows its users to build countless websites using a single, multipurpose application.
In this post, we’ll demonstrate exactly how to setup and install the Divi theme on a WordPress website. If you’re brand new, this post will give you the exact steps needed to get up and running with Divi.
Once we’ve explained the process of installing Divi, we’ll discuss the concept of using child themes with the Divi theme.
If you’re still unsure as to whether Divi is right for you, have a look at our Divi Guide.
How to Setup and Install the Divi Theme for WordPress
First things first, you will need to download the Divi theme. To do so, log in to your Elegant Themes account, select the Downloads tab from the menu on the left-hand side, navigate to the Divi product option and click Download.
The Divi theme files will start downloading, and once complete, you’ll find a file titled Divi.zip in your Downloads folder. There is no need to unzip the file.
Now, head over to your WordPress website, log in, and from the Dashboard, navigate to the Appearance > Themes menu.
Click on the Add New button at the top.
At the next screen, click Upload Theme.
Next, click the Choose File button and select the Divi.zip file from your Downloads folder. Remember, there is no need to unzip the Divi.zip file, the full Divi theme files are present inside the compressed folder.
Once the Divi.zip file is selected, click Install Now.
The file installation will run automatically. Once complete, you’ll see a success message. At this point, click Activate.
Finally, you’ll see the Divi theme activated in your themes console.
Now that the Divi theme is installed and activated, the front end of your site will show the default Divi theme.
With he Divi theme up and running, you technically could begin building your first Divi website, however, there is a vital process that should take place before you dive in.
Before building your website, it is best practice to create and install a Divi child theme.
Understanding the ins and outs of child themes can be a bit confusing in the beginning, just know that it really is something worth getting to grips with as it’ll help your web design and development processes tremendously.
What is a Divi Child Theme?
A child theme has a relationship with a parent theme. If you’re using Divi, the Divi theme itself is the parent theme, and the files you’ve just downloaded from Elegant Themes and installed on your WordPress website would be referred to as the parent theme files.
In a nutshell:
- A parent theme is intricately developed collection of files, that when installed and activated on a WordPress website, will run a number of functions to add a workable theme to the website that can be edited and customized by the user. In this example, the Divi theme is the parent theme.
- A child theme is a separate entity to the parent theme that can be created or purchased via third-party developers. The child theme does not completely override the parent theme, only partially.
How Does a Divi Child Theme Work?
In the simplest terms, a child theme “piggybacks” off of the parent theme. When WordPress runs, it looks first to the files present in the child theme and executes the code it finds. If the files are not present in the child theme, it executes the content found in the parent theme.
For example, if you wanted to add special functionality to your Divi website its best to do so by creating a child theme and add the relevant code here.
For example, if you’d like to create a custom 404 error page for your Divi theme website, the best way to do so is by creating a child theme, adding in a 404.php file and entering the relevant code.
This may all seem a bit roundabout, but it’s for good measure.
Parent themes such as the Divi theme, as built by development agencies such as Elegant Themes, will undergo regular updates. These may be massive version updates, or simple bug fixes or similar. At the time of writing, Elegant Themes has been rolling out plenty of amazing updates to the Divi theme.
Why theme updates become a point of stress, is in the event that custom code is added to one of the parent theme files, these changes will be wiped out in the face of a theme update. So, if you’ve spent ages coding a custom header, footer or similar, and added these customizations to the parent theme files, you’ll find your website returning to the default Divi look as soon as the next update comes around.
Divi Child Themes: Recommended Reading
We’ve published quite a bit of content on the topic of Divi child themes. If you’re brand new to Divi, or, even if you’ve been using Divi for a while and haven’t been using child themes, we recommend that you give these articles a read through.
- Everything You Need to Know About Using a Child Theme with WordPress and Divi: This post gives a really thorough explanation of child themes, what they are, how they work, why they should be used and how you can create one.
- What Is The Difference Between a Child Theme and a Premium Divi Child Theme: This post explains how Divi child themes come in different forms, as either regular or ‘blank’ child themes, versus premium child themes, such as the ready-to-go solutions created by Divi development agencies (such as Divi Space and Aspen Grove Studios).
- Divi Guide: Here you can find a comprehensive overview of the Divi theme, however, for more information on child themes, either scroll down or click on the menu item “Divi Child Themes and Layout Packs” on the left-hand side of the page.
To make things incredibly easy for Divi users, Divi Space has an awesome Divi child theme builder that is incredibly easy to use and build specifically for use in conjunction with the Divi theme.
All you have to do is visit this link, enter the relevant details relating to your Divi website and then you’ll receive an email which includes your child theme files.
All you’ll need to do is install the child theme files to your WordPress website after the parent themes have been installed, and then you’ll be good to go to start building your Divi website.
We want to hear from you!
We hope this guide has helped you get your first Divi website up and running. Please feel free to share your comments or questions below. We love receiving your feedback!
Thanks for reading!