This is one of the most common questions I get from people just starting to use Divi. So in this article I want to explain the differences and when you should use one versus the other.
If you are not sure what the difference is between a standard WordPress Child Theme and a Premium Divi Child Theme, then be sure to check out this article I wrote.
The In’s & Out’s of Child Themes & Premium Divi Child Themes
What is a Divi Layout Kit.
One of the most coveted Divi Builder features is the ability to easily save sections, rows, modules and entire page layouts in the Divi Library. From that library, you can easily import and export these saved library sections, rows, modules or page layouts in between other websites.
Since all of the design is done within the Divi Page Builder settings, it is easy to use these saved items in other websites. So a Divi Layout Kit is essentially a library of sections, modules, rows and/or entire page layouts packaged for easy distribution and implementation between multiple websites that use Divi.
Some Divi Layout Kit developers will go as far as to utilize the easy import/export features of the Divi Theme Options and Divi Theme Customizer settings to create advanced multi-page Divi Layout Kits.
The Pros of Using a Divi Layout Kit.
Divi Layout Kits are a great resource for Divi Users who are not so great at design, do not know CSS, and need a jumpstart on their website projects.
They are great for smaller projects that do not require a lot of pages. We also use them for clients who are familiar with Divi and want to be able to make changes on their own after we hand it over to them.
The Cons of Using a Divi Layout Kit.
Most of the customization of a Divi Layout Kit is inside the settings of each section, row or module. So if you are a web designer working on a clients website that has multiple pages, you will have to go into each module to change the settings. That can really add up.
If you use a variety of different layouts from various layout kits, you will also have to consider adjusting all the individual settings throughout the website in order to keep things custom and consistent. I have seen a number of websites that use multiple layouts and there is a lot of inconsistency throughout their websites.
Another con is that you cannot add a whole lot of out of the box customization to a layout kit. For example on my blog, I have a ton of tutorials for doing things that are outside of the Divi Page Builder limitations such as custom Archive Page Headers, Custom Footers, and more. But these customizations require adjusting other php templates that need to be done in a child theme.
So for larger larger projects that require a lot of customization, having all your design & customization in one location just makes more sense. And that’s where Premium Divi Child Themes come in.
What is a Premium Divi Child Theme.
A Premium Divi Child Theme is like a Divi Layout Kit on steroids. Instead of keeping all the customization within the various modules, sections, and page layouts, the customization is kept within the Customizer settings and the child theme files.
This allows the Premium Child Theme developer to add more functionality and customization to the theme. Functionality that does not come standard with the Divi Theme. Our Premium Divi Child Themes Include custom features and functionality that you cannot package into a Divi Layout Kit.
Here is an example of what you get with Alamea, one of our Premium Divi Child Themes:
- Custom Blog Layout
- We have taken the liberty to shrink the image, align it to the left, maintain it’s aspect ratio, and wrap the text around the image for a cleaner look.
- Footer Layout
- Now you can use the Divi Builder to change background images, add modules and easily edit the text. Before you had to add this section to the bottom of each page you made. Even still it would not show up on single post pages, archive pages and search results pages. Now it shows up on every page and you only have to make the changes in one place.
- Unique Page Builder Header Sections for Category, Archive, Single and Search Pages
- One of the most common feature requests is to have more customization options for the Category, Archive and Search Results pages. We have enabled the use of a Divi Builder Header Section that can be applied to each of these different page types. And you can edit it in the Divi Library template. Now you can give ALL your pages the same look and feel.
- Divi Builder 404 Page
- We created a saved layout in the Divi Library and injected it into a custom 404.php template. You can add modules, sections and just about anything you could add to a regular page. So if a page or post is ever changed, you can offer a nice 404 error page that is as easy as pie to customize.
- Cool Menu Hover Underline Effects
- These are just cool. And you can also change the colors in the Theme Customizer
- Fixed Mobile Menu Bar
- Shout out to to Fabio Sarcona for his great tutorial on the bottom fixed bar. But we added a new twist… now you no longer have to add it to each page. We have injected it into the footer.php so that it will show up on every page when viewed on a mobile device.
- Extended Animation Fly-ins
- We have added extended fly in animations to a number of modules used throughout the site. And we have added the script that allows them to fly in again when scrolling back up the page as well.
The Pros of Using a Premium Divi Child Theme.
Premium Divi Child Themes allow me to continue doing pro-bono or low budget websites without much effort. The effort has already been put in and so when I get a client that only has a budget of let’s say $500, I can offer them a premade template and a few extra hours of customization. I don’t lose any money and the client still gets a quality custom product.
Having several Premium Divi Child Themes in my toolbox is like a Construction worker having more tools in his work belt. When I need too, I can get the job done faster, smarter and in less time. I no longer have to turn down clients with a small budget.
A Premium Child Theme is usually built for people who build websites for a living. They have a basic understanding of how WordPress (and Divi) works and are not afraid to dig into a little code to further customize the website for their clients specific needs.
They are also willing to make the investment knowing that their ROI will be covered on their first client build and the more they use it for client work, the more their ROI will increase.
The Cons of Using a Premium Divi Child Theme
If you plan on customizing the design but do not want to learn how to make adjustments to some code, then you will get frustrated pretty quickly.
If you find a Premium Child Theme that is perfect for your website right out of the box, then you will be fine. But if you decide you want to customize the design aspect of it, then be prepared to learn a little about child themes and CSS.
Merging Premium Child Themes is not recommended and can create unwanted conflicts and headaches. We recommend Premium Child Themes as best for a new project or a complete redesign.
Why Are Most Divi Layout Kits Free and Premium Divi Child Themes Are Not?
I cannot speak for everyone on this subject but here is my position.
A Divi Layout Kit can be done within a day or two depending on how many pages you add. Our advanced multi-page Divi Layout Kits have a lot of great features and even a little custom CSS in the Divi Theme Customizer. They usually take me a day or two to produce.
We usually release our Divi Layout Kits as free products for the Divi Community. We see it as a great way to contribute to the Divi Community and help new Divi users learn how to accomplish cool things using the standard Divi Builder features. Since most of the Divi Layout Kit users are not building websites for a living, it helps them get the website they need in the way Elegant Themes promised.
Our Premium Divi Child Themes on the other hand include up to 100 to 150+ hours of custom design and development. The goal is to create something powerful, unique and user friendly without requiring any plugins (if possible). Most of our Premium Child Themes customers will either save a ton of time & money on their own website, or will make money using it for multiple websites for their clients. Their return on investment will be felt almost immediately.
And since we offer unlimited uses for a one time fee, it helps us to cover the cost of that ongoing support.
I Want To Sell Premium Divi Child Themes? How Do I Get Started?
There are a number of reasons for building child themes but ROI can be hard to estimate. I started building Premium Child Themes for these four primary reasons.
- To have a library of pre-built themes for clients with a smaller budget.
- To have a recurring revenue stream.
- To learn more about Divi and to increase my skill set in the process.
- To showcase websites that are purely my own design.
As you can see my goals were not primarily based on a monetary ROI. Some themes in our Marketplace sell more than others and it’s hard to predict how many sales a child theme will have. A handful of really good child themes might sell anywhere from 5-15 copies per month whereas many only sell 4-5 a year.
So I recommend you start by building Divi Layout Kits and offering them as free products. The demand you get for your free layout packs will help gauge the demand for your Premium Divi Child Themes.
We recently did an episode of Divi Chat called The Pros & Cons of Selling Premium Divi Child Themes. If you are interested in getting into the market, I recommend listening to it first.
As you can see there are some big differences between a Divi Layout Kit and a Premium Divi Child Theme. Each has its own pros and cons and it’s rightful place. I hope this helps answer some of your questions about the differences and when to use either one of them.
I would also love to hear your thoughts on this topic. If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments below.
Well that’s all for now. I hope you find this article useful.
And distribution of BOTH is about to become much easier for everyone thanks to J.E.D.I 🙂
You got that right Michael 😀
Fully agree upon that… J.E.D.I is a great tool for as fat i’ve had the chance to test it now 😀
From where i can download jedi?
Sorry! This beta testing opportunity has ended. Sign up to be notified of future beta test opportunities and the full release of J.E.D.I. | Jerry’s Easy Demo Import here: https://montereypremier.com/downloads/jedi/
Really looking forward to JEDI. Thanks for this clear article, Geno!
Thanks Helen. Glad you found it helpful.
I have one of your Premium Divi Child Themes which I haven’t used yet, but it was on Sale at a great price 🙂
I’m a bit confused about whether I should, or can, set up my own basic blank Child Theme for further CSS changes (like the free one that Andrew offers in the Elegant Themes Marketplace) to run alongside a Premium Child Theme, or just add any Additional CSS to the Customizer? Or Divi Theme Ootions?
Everyone seems to recommend having a separate Child Theme (which of course also has separate header, footer & function.php files), but all the recent video tips from ET show extra CSS being added to the Additional CSS area in the Customizer.
I’ve also seen some recent comments about how this may affect Page Speed?
Is there a ‘hard and fast’ best place to put additional CSS?
What’s your view please?
The Premium Child Themes are basically pre-populated child themes so there is no need for another. You can always modify the files in the premium child theme if you are comfortable doing that. I strongly recommend adding any additional CSS to the Customizer Settings. When I create layout packs (which do not have a child theme), I add my CSS there.
thanks for this interesting article!
Great thanks for that Geno 🙂
Great article! This is going to be the future! Took me a while to find out that JEDI is not a release yet! Waiting for it!
Geno, Just my personal thoughts, when reading you post/tutorials etc over the last few years, I get the feeling that you genuinely like helping/education this Divi community and not just see it as a growing pool of people you can ‘fleece’ for a few shekels (which is how I feel with a number of vendors producing products for the Divi ‘bandwagon’)…
Thanks Steve. I appreciate it.
+1, keep up the good work Geno..!
So you would not recommend adding additional CSS to the premium Divi child? I was told to use a Child with customizations. Especially if I need to alter the color of something that is in the Divi Child theme. I try to keep it consolidated so I only have one CSS file to backup versus other locations. What’s ur thoughts?
I think if you are comfortable with the stylesheet, then go ahead and make the changes there. Especially if you are modifying existing CSS. Its always good to keep a copy of the original stylesheet css just in case. For those less comfortable in the stylesheet, I recommend they add new css snippets in the Divi Theme Options CSS panel so its easy to find what they added versus what is in the child theme.
You and your team are awesome. I see that you premium theme are much more expensive than others, but I see you offer unlimited use as well as ongoing support which is different. But you guys go above and beyond the typical stylizations and and actually add features with the Divi Builder that ET should have already had on there from build 1.0. Change the primary and accent colors across the board is one. I know Divi ha stage Default 4 colors and the accent colors, but like you said it still requires CSS snippets to change in some places and mobile. It’s hard to remember to do all that when you are focused on content. Also do you offer the fixed bar on the Alamea theme separately and/or the Divi Builder add on? I know some programmers have created plugins for this. But would love to be able to purchase extended features like this without buying the whole theme.
Thanks so much for the kind words Matt. Are you referring to the fixed bar on mobile devices?
Hi, Geno- I happen to be using a church layout kit that you created. Thank you! I’m wondering at what point in my customization process I should create a child theme?
When you start adding your own css or modifying header and footer php templates.
Thanks! I shared on my wall.
Thanks Do Tien. I really appreciate it and I am glad you are here. I hope we can help you achieve your goals this year.
Hi can anyone suggest me any kind of article that lists out what all a premium child theme can have, like custome header etc etc are there any limitations ? Sorry for being such a noob am new to divi
Hi Geno- I want to purchase a premium divi child theme, but I will want to change the colors throughout the theme. Do most premium divi child themes allow buyers to change the colors to match their brands without knowing code?
Most do these days. Back in the days it was all in the stylesheet. Some developers use the customizer and the module settings for colors. On our most recent child themes we added new color changes options within the customizer to make it easier to change everything in one place. You can see what I mean here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJHO3BOkUtI