Today I´m revealing something I´ve been working on for the last seven months: Engined, a Divi child theme that comes packed with options to make customizing your Divi site a breeze.
This is not exactly a release post because I would like some users to test the new theme before its final release, so you can take this article as both a sneak peek and a call for test drivers. The release of Engined, however, will follow shortly.
The origin of Engined
Many of you are aware of the extremely long time it´s taking me to release the new version of my Divi Children plugin. I first presented a sneak peak of version 2.1 back in October 29, only to apologize by the end of the year when I announced that the update would go directly for a mayor release with Divi Children 3.0. Four more months have gone by and version 3.0 is not out yet. Why? Because a lot more of work, time and effort has been put into it since then.
Divi Children is a plugin that automates the process of creating child themes for Divi, and it has some cool features. But since the introduction of the Divi Children Engine with the 2.0 release, the real power of the plugin does not reside in the plugin itself, but in every Divi child theme it creates. The Divi Children Engine included in each child theme lets you customize Divi very easily, without having to touch a single line of code and previewing all your changes as you make them via the WordPress Customizer. Anybody can create a new Divi child theme manually by following several not too complicated steps instead of using the Divi Children plugin, but the beauty of Divi Children is that the child themes it creates are very easy and fast to customize without having to code a lot of things by yourself.
So, as I was finishing the master Divi child theme that will be used for Divi Children version 3.0 and wrapping up the completely revamped Divi Children Engine that will power the child theme, I thought it would be a good idea to release also a similar child theme ready to be downloaded and put to work, just like any other readily available child theme.
And that is what Engined really is: a Divi child theme with exactly the same features you would find in any child theme created by the next versions of the Divi Children plugin, including the renewed Divi Children Engine, but directly available to be downloaded and installed in your Divi site like any other theme, without using any plugin.
More than 500 customizing settings
Yes you read that right, Engined comes packed with more than 500 hundred settings to help you customize your Divi site.
Some of the options are easy, straightforward CSS tweaks (for example changing the size of a particular text), but all of them are implemented in a easy and intuitive way via the WordPress Customizer (for example by means of slider controls and help tooltips). And remember that you´ll always be able to preview all your changes as you make them:
On the other hand, some options that look pretty simple, and that will be set just via a checkbox or by clicking on a button, did indeed involve a lot of development time and additional coding.
Take for example the following feature: a simple click on the checkbox of the Hide header on homepage load option will produce this cool effect (other tweaks are also shown in this image, such as the semitransparent header, the logo size or the shrunken header height, but all of them were quickly done via Engined settings in the Customizer) :
Some other settings needed to take responsiveness into account, which also meant a lot of development and testing time, even for apparently easy tweaks.
That´s why, all in all, it took me so long to have all those settings ready for this prerelease. That and some other factors, like changes brought by new WordPress or Divi version releases during the development which made me revise parts of the code that I had considered finished before, and also my willingness to make the revamped Divi Children Engine a consistent and flexible framework prepared for easy future additions and improvements. In this sense, I could say I reinvented the Divi Children Engine several times during the past months.
And, since with Engined some Divi modules can be customized separately (for example you will be able to style two different Call to Action modules in two completely different ways, even if they are on the same page), those +500 settings can easily grow to a much larger number of available customizing options.
Did I mention it´s going to be free?
Oh, yes, by the way, I forgot to mention it so far: Since Engined is exactly like any child theme you´ll be able to create with Divi Children 3.0, and since the Divi Children plugin was conceived as a free product since its inception, Engined can´t help but be free as well.
Let me tell you that, after all the tons of hours I finally had to put into it, I´ve been tempted to release it as a premium product, especially now that some people had started selling Divi child themes and plugins, many of them less costly to develop than Engined. But did I say a premium product? I do consider Engined a premium product (and I hope you will, too), only that it will be completely free.
Do you want to test Engined?
Like I said at the beginning of this post, I want some people to test drive the new Engined Divi child theme before it is officially released. After such a long time involved in its development, and after so many changes, I may have overlooked some things. And even if you don´t find any bug, I could have used for example setting names or descriptions that are not sufficiently self-explanatory.
So if you are interested in testing Engined and providing some feedback, just say so in the comments of this post. I´ll really appreciate your help. I will send a prerelease copy of this child theme to the first 10 people who ask for it.
If you are just interested in seeing how the theme is like and are not willing to spend some time testing it, please refrain from asking for test driving it and let other people do it. You´ll have the chance to download it for free in a few days anyway 🙂 , as soon as I get some feedback and prepare the final release,
A final note
This final paragraph was not supposed to be on this post. But it so happened that as I was writing it I´ve just received an email from Elegant Themes announcing the Sneak Peak of Divi 2.4 on their blog. After reading it, I´ve realized that a great part of my hard work on Engined and Divi Children will be in vain, because it looks like many of the features I´ve been working on will be included in Divi 2.4. Oh well, these things happen. I guess I should had released a not so wonderful product earlier. As my mother used to say, “The best is enemy of the good”, meaning that many times it is better to finish something sooner, even if is not perfect yet. I guess you were right once again, Mom.
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