Don´t try to hide Divi: You don´t need to, it won´t work.

Don´t try to hide Divi: You don´t need to, it won´t work.

Why all of a sudden some people seem to be so desperately in need of a way to hide the fact they´re using Divi?

Some months ago I learned about the existence of Divi Ghoster, a plugin intended for concealing (white labeling, if we want to use a milder language) Divi. I checked it out and didn´t feel very impressed by it. To tell you the truth I found it a bit lousy, with those admin menu hiding approaches and such. But let me make clear in the first place that I might also be biased by the fact that I don´t quite understand all this fuss about hiding Divi.

Then, yesterday I heard about the new 2.0 version of Divi Ghoster to be released today, some of its exciting new features being its ability to Hide Divi from Theme Detectors and to Hide Divi from the source code. By the way, Divi Ghoster is referred to on its product page now as “THE ORIGINAL WHITE LABEL PLUGIN FOR DIVI” (yes, with “the original” underlined). Why? Keep on reading.

Later on I was surprised when, on the very same day (yesterday, August 10th 2016), somebody published on the blog of some marketplace an article titled “Why would anyone want to white label Divi (or Extra)?” (please excuse me for avoiding names and for not including links, anyone who has followed me or this blog should know why by now). It is not an article intended to discuss what its title says, it is actually a sales page for a plugin named Rebrand DE which does… guess what? Yes! white label Divi!

On that article, its autor claims that when you white Label Divi with Rebrand DE “you are not going to be asked that question or have to face similar questions from potential or incumbent clients”. That question, allegedly asked “often” to web developers and designers “after the sites we build are launched and sometimes just before our proposal is accepted”, is this: “Oh, you are using/have used Divi, isn’t that cheating as it doesn’t really need coding”.

Come on.

Timely enough, SJ James published just a few hours ago an interesting post on the difference between forking and copying: Copying Niche Plugins And Child Themes? Are You Forking Kidding Me? and, guess what? One of the duality examples he uses for his post is none other than: Divi Ghoster by Aspen Grove VS Rebrand DE By Atlantic Wave! (Incidentally, the company behind Divi Ghoster is co-owned by a former partner of the marketplace where Rebrand DE is exclusively sold. It could be a coincidence, but it sure adds some spice to the reasonings behind Stephen´s post).

You don´t need to hide Divi

Anyway, the question I´m introducing here for discussion is: Why should you want to hide the fact that you´re using Divi in the first place?

That question could also be asked in a number of different ways, such as:

  • Are you ashamed of your job?
  • Do you think you´re not adding enough value for what your client is paying you?
  • Are you afraid of your client telling you you´re cheating?
  • etc

To me, cheating has nothing to do with using Divi, but it looks to me like it might have something to do with hiding Divi.

Divi has become a very valuable tool to build websites, a more and more powerful tool with each update. But that´s not enough to have a website ready in just a few minutes, unless you really are a very active and experienced Divi professional (in which case you would deserve to get well paid for that, wouldn´t you, even if your client knew you´re using Divi?).

Imagine someone trying to hide the use of Photoshop so the final design work looks like more manual and more time consuming and therefore it seems to deserve a higher price?

Personally, I never try to hide the fact I´m using Divi for a client site. Quite on the contrary, on some occasions when I´m asked to do a very customized job, I would tell my client something like “I´m planning to use the Divi theme because it´s flexible and powerful enough for your requirements, and I can effectively add to it all the custom code you need for your site“. Then, once I get the contract, I will start adding value to that Divi site. And that´s one of the reasons why I get paid: because I add value. What should I be ashamed of?

But don´t take my word for it. Look at what other people you might trust do about it. Just to name a few: Do you think Geno Quiroz tries to hide the fact that Divi is being used for Monterrey Premier client sites? Does Melissa Love try to hide Divi at The Design Space Co? Just think about any other professionals you know in the Divi community, and check how they handle the fact they´re using Divi (by the way, I´d just named a couple of them as quick examples, I couldn´t talk here about all the great professionals in the Divi world).

Why would you want to belong to the kind of web developer/designer that needs to hide Divi? Value your work and become a proud Divi professional, lose your fears and you will not experience the need to hide any tool you´re using to do your job.

Anyway, if you think you´re doing a lousy job on a client site, if you know you´re not adding enough value to it, go ahead and hide Divi. Elegant Themes (and the rest of the Divi community, for that matter) will be happy to know that a lousy site doesn´t appear as made with Divi.

But, wait a moment…

Stop trying to hide Divi, it won´t work

If all the previous reasonings won´t convince you, there´s still one more reason why I think you shouldn´t try to hide Divi on your client sites: It just won´t work in the end.

Why? Because theme detectors were there before Divi hiding plugins. And the job of theme detectors is to accurately detect the themes used by websites (as well as some other things, too), so clever theme detectors will eventually “learn” the tricks used by people trying to conceal the theme they are using.

I don´t know about other online tools, but WPThemeDetector is already able to detect Divi in the demo sites of both Divi white label plugins.

Both Divi Ghoster and Rebrand DE claim on their videos they´re able to fool WPTD, but they´re not.

Here is what you get when you check the Divi Ghoster demo site on WPTD (you may also want to try with any other site using Divi Ghoster):

divi4u-dont-hide-divi-wptd-divi-ghoster

As for the other plugin, Rebrand DE, here is what WPTD tells us about its demo site:

divi4u-dont-hide-divi-wptd-rebrand-de

So, as you can see here and as you can test by yourself at WPThemeDetector, none of these plugins serve to hide Divi as promised.

Don´t make a fool of yourself

Now, let´s imagine the following scenario: You develop a client site with Divi but hide it by means of a plugin. You even check it against online theme detectors today and they don´t seem to notice Divi, so you finally deliver the site to your client with a theme you named after your agency, for example, and with you as the theme developer. But your client happens to check the site on a theme detector tomorrow. And it so happens that that particular theme detector is more efficient tomorrow than it was today, so it tells your client that you´ve used Divi, and therefore that you´ve cheated and that you´ve concealed Divi behind a name you´ve invented, trying to make it look like a theme developed by you when that´s not true at all.

Is that what you want?

Wouldn´t it be better to stop worrying about concealing Divi and start focussing on the value of your work instead, no matter what tools you might be using to develop it?

I´d love to hear your opinions through the comments.

Divi Ghoster, Rebrand DE, WPTD, WPThemeDetector

Luis Alejandre

Luis is the creator of Divi4u and the editor of this blog. You can read more about Luis in his About page. Luis also created and runs the free online WordPress tool WPThemeDetector.
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19 Comments

  1. I bought Ghoster thinking it would be a nice idea but then had thoughts like you about the “why”. Besides it not being able to hide perfectly it is also one more thing I have to think about and one more plugin to install. I too like to tout the versatility of Divi and clients may ask “What theme are you using?” So am I going to lie to them or just forget the whole hiding part. I vote for forgetting the whole hiding part.
    Thanks for you post.

    Reply
  2. I love divi, 90% of the sites I do are on it now. And I love the diversity. I show clients this link http://geekfairy.co.uk/divi-theme/ to show all the different looks I’ve created using it. It is very easy way to show it doesn’t have to look the same.

    And I think this hiding it comes down to the usual snobbishness of (some) web designers. That is using WordPress and probably divi aren’t real designers.

    But actually they’re probably just pissed I can create a great looking site fast and for a fraction of what they charge. I might not be able to code a whole site, but I am also not going to quote £10,000 for a site (client came to me last week and told me that’s what they’d been quoted) and told it would take weeks. I used divi and had the fairly simple (their brief) site up and ready in 2 days.

    So whose sore now 😉

    I have on occasion fallen into the thing of not giving myself credit for what I do. Saying well I’m not a proper designer, I’m not as good as others etc. But for my clients I am just what they want price and skills wise. Sure there are many others way better but that’s irrelevant.

    Said it before but divi has transformed by (little) business. Love it and will always be proud to use it and have it not hidden!

    Reply
    • Nice portfolio. Lots of variety.

      Reply
  3. Personally, I like to hide Divi from these theme detectors because I make incredibly custom designs with child themes, which the theme detectors never seem to notice. They look absolutely nothing like the vanilla Divi. I only use Divi as purely backend coding, similar to how WordPress itself is just a platform. So when somebody tries to sniff my theme, I want it to have the name of the child theme, which is the actual *design*.

    Reply
    • That´s a good point, Malachi. As long as the detectors don´t notice your child theme, you have a good reason.

      Reply
  4. Speaking of Divi, do you think Divi Children will work with 3.0 when comes out?

    Reply
    • I had begun the development of a new version of Divi Children just a few days before ET announced the famous Divi 100 days and the release of Divi 3.0 in September, so I had to stop everything in order to make sure there won´t be any compatibility issue or any duplicity of features, as it happened with Divi 2.4.

      But at any rate, don´t worry. I´ll make sure it works, as I did last year with Divi 2.4.

      Reply
  5. About time an article such as this one has come out, Luis. However, it seems like the obvious is tactfully being “overlooked” and I can appreciate the fact that quite a few of these are probably customers Luis.
    It has been needed to be said (for years, actually), that, since the birth of Divi, and other inclusive and crazily flexible themes, EVERYONE has become “web developers”and “web designers!” Lol New ones crop up every day, because of this very thing; Divi can make ANYONE look good…(well, ALMOST! Lol)
    Now, I know, this is not everyones train of thought, but doesn’t it irk a few of the actual, long term and TRAINED, developers that there are so many now out there telling clients they can make their website dreams all come true for a nominal fee?
    I use a number of themes, depending on folks’ needs, but I’m always quite upfront on what I’m going to base their vision on. Believe me, Divi DOES give an edge because of its versatility, but if you don’t have the design chops, it WILL show, no matter what theme or add-ons one installs…
    I just hope that CLIENTS can understand that it takes more than a great theme to make a great website, and research things carefully before hiring a developer/web designer, because not all of these overnight ‘Picassos’ can create a successful, smoothly functioning website, no matter what engine is under the hood

    Reply
  6. Hi Luis, Ghoster 2.0 has been re-coded and much improved from the 1.0 version which I will admit had it’s faults. That’s why we as developers are always aiming to improve. As far as the theme detectors go, our plugin DOES hide Divi from theme detectors and perhaps you tested our demo site at a time the plugin was inactive? Please notice the url and realize that it is used for tutorial purposes and we are constantly adding/removing items and wiping the DB. If you would like to make a fair assessment of our plugin I will gladly send you a copy, but I feel you are attacking us for no apparent reason. Actually I know the reason and it’s because you have a beef with David over EMP related issues that stem wayyyy back.

    Reply
    • As I´ve told you on Facebook, Cory, I´m not attacking you. I´ve nothing against you at all, so please don´t take it personally. As for the other person, I wouldn´t waste my time writing an article because of that.

      Now, about your plugin hiding Divi from WPTD, I don´t know whether your plugin is active right now, but the stylesheet on that site reads:

      /*
      Theme Name: Acme Web
      Version: 2.7.8
      License: GNU General Public License v2
      License URI: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html
      */

      While WPTD detects Divi on that site. Is your plugin not doing its job or am I missing anything?

      Reply
  7. Good article Luis. As I’ve said to those who requested this feature in Rebrand DE, hiding your theme from theme detectors is only good for as long as the theme detector’s next update. All it takes is the theme detectors algorithms to be updated and your fix is bypassed.

    While we are on the topic of hiding, there is also good reason to not try and hide the fact that you are using WordPress. Mostly clients want to hide WordPress and Divi from the world because they are scared that it will increase their chances of being hacked. This article by a WordPress core developer blows that idea straight out of the water. https://kovshenin.com/2013/dont-hide-the-fact-that-youre-using-wordpress/

    It’s like the sites who disable right click in order to prevent you viewing their source, they’ve clearly never heard of inspector tools!

    The reality however is that sometimes there are cases where a site builder would like to hide what tools are being used on their sites. For this reason plugins like Divi Ghoster and Rebrand DE exist. Who are we to question the steps they might choose to take in order to protect their work or their livelihood?

    Reply
    • Thank you, Jonathan. I didn´t realize you were the developer of Rebrand DE, even though I´ve been following your personal blog for a month or so. Good stuff, by the way, as I´ve already told you on a comment.

      Thanks for stopping by and for letting us know about your point of view.

      Reply
      • Hi Luis

        My pleasure, I’m always available for healthy, open debate about WordPress and Divi development.

        I don’t tend to talk about my plugins on my personal blog much as the blog is aimed at being more of a sharing of knowledge resource. There is however a ‘small’ clue on the home page of my site 😉

        Reply
  8. I have been out of touch with the Divi Community as of late but I am in the process of creating my brother’s wedding website using Divi. I will admit though, that even though I have the certification to build my own WordPress themes, it’s still a very difficult task to create one from scratch (plus, I still suck at PHP). I rely a lot on frameworks (like Divi and sometimes Genesis) and child themes to build my own sites, as well as sites for others.

    Why people want to hide the fact that they’re using Divi is a million dollar question to me. Maybe it doesn’t happen to every client, but for the ones I’ve built sites for, they don’t really care what methods I use, as long as I’m able to make a website that looks good and works well in all functions. Is it because of some “web developer pride” that some people want to hide that they’re using Divi for their (client) sites?

    Reply
  9. nice article here. Personally (as a designer) what i try to accomplish by whitelabelling is just to align all the branding with the clients brand, so it’s more of an aesthetic value, whether that’s wp or divi, without any intention of “hiding” them from clients/visitors. The same reason why I edit the footer credit in the front end.

    Reply
  10. Why would I hide WP or Divi? I make and sell products that are meant to be used with both, that would make no sense to hide them from a marketing standpoint. I don’t appreciate you naming me or my business in your article, it implies that you had my permission, or at the very least that you asked me personally why I didn’t hide Divi, and you did not.

    Reply
    • Sorry, Leslie, but I can´t agree. It just implies that you don´t hide Divi, not that I asked you for any permission or that I asked you anything at all. If I talked about your reasons for not hiding Divi, them it would imply I´d asked you. I was just talking about a fact.

      But don´t worry, I´m deleting all references to you or your business on the article, since you don´t appreciate it. I really thought you would. Besides not hiding Divi, I only implied you were a great Divi professional. My fault.

      Reply
  11. Interesting thread with good comments for and against white labelling.

    Reply
  12. We are having a new website and we are considering dive for it. Will test it soon. Can anyone see our site and tell us, whether we shall go for dive or not?

    Reply

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