Some people are not happy with Engined being free… wonder why

Some people are not happy with Engined being free… wonder why

I wish I´d never had to write a post like this. And somehow I feel I´m wasting a precious time I should be devoting to help Engined users with their questions and issues.

But I also feel I´m obliged to tell my little horror story here, you´ll understand why later.

My horror story

I don´t want to create more controversy than needed, so I won´t use real names here. But everything I´ll tell here are real facts, except for the conclusion I draw from them (which is my own opinion) and for the names I´ll be using. Here are the players in this story:

  • Ffff: A Facebook closed group.
  • Wwww: A commercial website where stuff is sold and affiliate links are used.
  • Aaaa: One of the owners of the Wwww business and, as I´ve just learned today, an administrator of Ffff as well.
  • Bbbb: One of the owners of the Wwww business and, as I´ve learned last Friday, an administrator of Ffff as well.
  • Luis Alejandre: That´s me, and it´s the only real name I´ll be using on this post.

It all started when last Friday I released the Engined child theme. A few minutes after I posted in the Ffff about the Engined release, Bbbb got to me through a Facebook message. Here is the complete conversation:


What happened afterwards was:

  • I didn´t make it to the concert I was getting ready to go to.
  • Immediately after my last message, I got kicked out of the Ffff group.
  • My wife got upset with me (and I don´t blame her).
  • I learned from other Ffff users that even their posts about Engined had disappeared.

A little background

For you to fully understand what was going on behind that conversation, you need a little more information. Here it is:

A few weeks back, Aaaa was one of the persons who volunteered to test drive Engined before its release. He never really provided any test feedback, but as soon as he saw what Engined was, he emailed me on these terms:

Hi Luis, I developed a one page site for a client. I really think you should charge for this and here’s my proposal. 60/40 split put it on slae for $15 and market it exclusively on (Wwww) – you do lots of marketing to generate leads to yoru own website for your own affiliate links and just put a link to engine to (Wwww)…

I love Engined and want to do a post in the FB group to say this:

I was lucky enough to test drive engine, along with divi module editor and divi booster (although I did nto need them specifically but I wanted to see how they played together) I converted this site (image) to this site (image) and launched in less than an hour.

Using Engined and the other plugins the client is delighted with the end result of a simple, clear and attractive website.

It would be great if I could say, ‘Engined’ will be available on the (Wwww) store soon.

For the second time I told him that I wanted Engined to be a free product. So he went ahead and posted on the Ffff group what he said he would… except that he didn´t even mention Engined on it! True he said something about Divi Children, but the real thing is that he mentioned Divi Module Editor and Divi Booster but not a word about Engined. And he was actually using Engined on that site, I even had to check it out to make sure, because I couldn´t believe the way he behaved.

So I wasn´t too surprised when his partner tried to make me remove my post about the release of Engined on the Ffff group for absurd reasons, I instantly knew what it was all about.

I was really disappointed and very sad, and I couldn´t believe all what was happening to me but, to tell you the truth, it didn´t really surprise me. I´d already had enough hints.

Some facts

  • Engined is a FREE child theme. Period. Free as in beer, free as in gratis, free in any sense, as free as the Ffff group is not free at all.
  • I do use affiliate links on this site, I did never hid it. It is not a sin. I have an affiliate disclosure page, and I include a disclosure notice if I use affiliate links within the content of a post (I haven´t used affiliate links that way for months, by the way).
  • After a year of offering free tools for the Divi users, I decided some weeks ago to put a donation button on this site. That´s not a sin either.
  • I clearly stated this on my Engined release post last Friday: “you don´t need to pay anything for it and you can use it as you wish, on any number of sites“. So who´s this Bbbb guy to tell me “you aren’t offering it for free, you have a site loaded with affiliate links and a donate button“? God?
  • My affiliate links and my new donation button will never pay for the hundreds of hours I´ve been devoting to this site and to the free products I offer on it. And you know what? I don´t mind. Yes, I´ve said hundreds, and I´m afraid I´m being too conservative. But, contrary to what other people might think, I believe that money is not everything.
  • The Wwww site contains affiliate links.
  • Wwww owners are constantly posting on the Ffff group about their site, without a single statement about their using affiliate links.
  • Most (if not all) of the rest of group users never include such an statement on their posts (and I never minded, and I bet nobody else minded).
  • My affiliate links on this site are ET links. People who find my free Divi products useful are already Divi users, so they don´t need to buy from my affiliate links anyway. Would you really think people would actually bother to ask for my Facebook post removal because I´m using affiliate links or because I have a donate button? I´m not stating here that such requests didn´t exist. I really think they did, but they were coming from their own partnership environment.
  • I´ve been regularly getting marketing emails from the Wwww site, and those emails do not include a single reference to their affiliation (so, should I consider their emails as span, then?).

This is why I said I felt obliged to tell my horror story: I told Bbbb I´d forget about it if the absurd request I received from him was not withdrawn. It wasn´t, so I must speak about it. Otherwise nobody would take me seriously next time (though I really hope there won´t be a next time).

The bottomline

To me it looks quite clear: People who are constantly boasting they´re there to help others tried to make you pay for something I wanted to give you for free, so they could get a profit out of it. Once they´ve realized they wouldn´t, they´re doing whatever they can in order to prevent you from getting to know you finally have the product available for free.

If you think I´m getting it wrong, please let me know. I don´t expect to have many comments on this post and I feel you shouldn´t get too exposed to this kind of things anyway. I´ve given you the facts, so I only want you to draw your own conclusions and to act accordingly.

But, like I said, I just had to post this. I hated doing it, but I had to.

Now that I´ve done with it, I can finally forget about it. I found another Facebook group where I feel I´m welcome, I´ve spent most of the weekend with my family happily away from all this before facing the bitter moments of having to write this post (that´s why I haven´t been able to get back to many of you yet, sorry about that, I´ll try to catch up during next week), it´s very late at Sunday night in my side of the world and now I´m ready to get some rest I think I deserve.

Here´s to the future. Tomorrow I´ll be back here, ready to help you with anything you might need from me.

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.
Liked this? Please share it!


  1. I had to comment, I have considered the donate button, not because I feel pressured or obligated but because you have done a huge amount of work to make my life easier. I have not yet tried the latest but will shortly. Your track record is proven to me. If they have a problem with the donate button move on, you know your integrity they clearly don’t.
    Thank you for all you do, it has helped me a lot.

  2. Hey Luis,
    sorry to hear about the problems – I was not aware of your engined development until last friday, I had no idea about the dramas unfolding at all. I went ahead and downloaded your work because it looked intriguing, and potentially very useful – I am developing a poetry/music magazine site for people to be able to publish their work and I thought Divi was a good choice – versatile and quick. your ‘Engined’ certainly adds a lot of adjustment options and i have been using it to quickly get my literary/music magazine site up and ready for submissions. Personalities can clash, and it is a bummer because what we all want to achieve is positive, creative work to help others. So hang in there buddy, I love your work so-far and once I am a bit more established I will be donating because i think your work is deserving of merit.

    • Hi, Michael.

      I´m glad Engined was fit for your needs. You know you don´t need to donate, don´t feel obliged in any way. I didn´t develop Engined because that way I would get donations. I didn´t have a donation button during the first year of this site´s life, but I just thought a few weeks back that including a donation button would be a good idea because I do like donating myself when I can and I believe the recipient deserves it.

  3. Dear Luis,

    What you put out was excellent. I am so very glad I am on your email subscribers list, since I probably would not have been able to see it since they took the link down. I think I know who you are speaking of here because I saw some a post about this very thing.
    Anyway, you did a great job. I am very appreciative of your work.


  4. Love your work, love your product, have a few beers on me, leave the donate button! Thank you for making Divi easier to use.

    • Thanks a lot, Susan.

      I´m planning to have a few beers in one of the places where I best enjoy them next weekend. I promise I´ll have you in mind and say “these ones are on Susan, here´s to her!”

      You´ve always been a great supporter, with or without donations. Thanks again.

  5. Hi Luis

    I didn’t try Engined yet, but sure sounds like a great piece of work.

    I’m using your child theme plugin, which did its job perfectly.

    I have absolutely no problem with your donation button, actually right now I feel sorry for not using it earlier.

    I encourage you to keep up your great work…

    Warm regards

  6. Hey Luis
    Thanks for the work you do for nothing. I haven’t tried Engine yet but I loved the Child Theme and it made life so much easier. I have no idea who the parties are you are talking about, however it sounds like they don’t deserve the time of day. I have always thought you should have a donation button though! Thanks for the hard work.

  7. Hi Luis, the entire WordPress community was built by dedicated people like you who contribute their time and talent freely for the entire community. That makes possible a wide variety of acceptable business models and variations in the WordPress world — yours included.

    Like many others with lessor talent, I appreciate your contributions – thank you for creating Engined. From what I’ve seen so far, Engined is truly awesome!


  8. Hi Luis!
    It was a sad story. It sounds like good old mafia traditions. Let’s make money on your business, otherwise you get problems.
    Keep on your good work man.

  9. Hi Luis,
    I am sorry to hear of the issues you have had with Engined! I am very new to the Divi Facebook group and only recently built a site with Divi.
    Your software looked great even to me with limited experience! I am looking forward to using your Engined software and Would be happy to Donate after I used it and felt I had benefitted from it!
    Please do not be deterred by the negative people out there.

  10. Right on brother. It’s nice to see you stand by your word and have morales. Let the bully’s look like fools…greedy fools.

    You are the man! Thank you for Engined I love it.

  11. Hard to believe that complaints about affiliate links/donations lead to take-down requests. Coming from a ‘closed group’ the request smacks of cronyism and regulatory policies, so maybe it’s a good thing that you are no longer in that ‘closed’ environment. I admire your work and am excited to use Engined. Thank you Luis. I

  12. Luis, a passionate post. There are some things in here that make me want to yell “Glory, Hallelujah!!” and others that make me want to give you a big hug and say “Hey, man, think about it for a couple of days and see if you want to say the same thing.”

    Give your wife a big hug. No matter what time you were able to spend with your family this weekend, just do that again. She deserves it. Yes, you’ve sacrificed a lot, but hasn’t she? I only say this because I find myself in that same boat. 🙂 But yeah, that spousal thing comes in way ahead of business.

    Focus on the big fish, the positive ones. It feels like being decimated and disrespected by a small fish is a big fish, but put into context it’s not. I encourage you to look up TedX talks from Tai Lopez and others. Put it behind you, yet keep it in you as a learning experience. You have a stupendous geek power that I truly admire and can respect (and my own wife thinks it’s a sexy trait and my kids learn a lot – you might also be a dirt bike riding, bow and arrow kind of guy, I don’t know), but I find myself, as well as you, being disconcerted by the whole money accusation thing.

    We spend hours upon hours on a passion that when presented to the public is interpreted as a money garnering scheme.

    What?! No, well, yeah, dollars are good, but that wasn’t my *real* intent. Sure I gotta make a few bucks, but satisfaction in helping others is worth a bit of wampum as well.

    So, if I can’t turn my passion of teaching into some yen, then why am I doing this?

    Deep, deep questions.

    For what it’s worth, I’m going to take Engined and redo my own site. It’s sorely overdue. Plus, when the time comes (no commitments on my part), I will be doing a review of Engined on at least two sites.

    Hang in there! Family: #1.

    • Hi, Terry.

      You´re absolutely right. As I implied on the post, I was obliged to write it even if I had a hard time while doing it, so I could forget about it as soon as possible.

      The main reason I used fictional names on the post was to avoid spreading bad feelings to people who don´t need nor deserve them. It´s something like: if you know who I´m talking about, I´m sorry to bring you bad news but I think I should warn you, and I promised I would. If you don´t know, great for you!. I´m glad there was already somebody commenting here who said had no idea about who the parties I was talking about were.

      I´ll follow your advice because, besides the big hugs I give her as much as I can, I´m taking my lovely wife to wonderful Lisbon for a long weekend, including next Friday! 🙂 We love that city and I´m sure we´re going to have the greatest time.

      If you ever feel like doing it, I would love to publish your review of Engined on this blog. Of course I´m talking about an independent, non biased, absolutely free review, without the slightest editing from my side. It would be great to have a review done from the user´s point of view, saying what you like and what you don´t about the child theme. Just an idea, I understand that when you said no commitments on my part it´s because you must be short of time.

      Thanks for everything, Terry.

  13. Hard to believe (not). 😐 (can’t people be honest for a change?…)
    Keep going. In the end you’ll prove your business skills to the ones that matter (not that it’s needed by now) and success will prevail and increase. BTW, I’m sure the message is passing, even if there won’t be many open comments.
    TY for all, TY for the clearness of what you say, TY for providing us with useful and powerful tools to make us work better and, in the end, have a better life.

  14. Luis Alejandre,

    That is a sad story. I say keep everything the way it is. You have made my life easier as well. I’m glad you found a better group to be with.

    Keep it strong my friend!

  15. Luis,

    You have my full support my friend. They way they handled this is very poor and unfair. It’s a shame as that group used to be a great place.

  16. Hi Luis,
    I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your work a lot, Divi children is great and I will try Engined soon. Everyone who’s following discussions in online communities gets in touch with people who are just striking sourly notes at developers, especially at those developers working on free projects and sharing there skills and spare time. Maybe those people are just being eaten up with envy or tired from working…Anyhow, don’t let yourself being annoyed or even discouraged. I’m convinced that there are lots of people like me, who are appreciating your work. So keep up your good work and next time, just go to the concert and enjoy your life!

  17. Hey Luis,

    Once again, I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. I was one of the privileged ones to test ENGINED and it is AMAZING! Divi Children saved my life when I moved to the Divi theme and I have built all of my websites with the exception of the first one using it, which is how I know that it saved my life. I’m not offended by the donation button at all because what we donate could never repay you for all of the work, time, energy and heart that you put into your themes and plugins because you love what you do. I’m a newbie to the world, but I hope there are more people out there like you who are genuinely will to help us less technically developed designers out because without you, it would be a lot more difficult.

    Many blessings to you and your family. I applaud you for taking the high road.


  18. i can imagine that this issue had given you a lot of frustration. It must be so hard to deal with this not honest approach.

    So i am glad to reed that you had the power to stay with yourself and keep your own values upright. I fully agree; there are more values in life than (hunting for lots of) money.

    Thanks for sharing this story.
    Keep up doing your beautifull job Luis!

  19. OMG! I am so sorry to read this. Crazy ppl and you have all the hard work and give your time for free. Thank you for this!!!!
    It is absolute ok to have a donate button or affiliate links on the web site. you do not force anyone to use it.

  20. Hi, Luis. There are so many predatory, self-righteous idiots out there. I am really sorry you had to go this round with these two. Your work and your generosity are invaluable and add to the store of good things in the world. F*** them. Carry on. Rational, fair, good people will follow you. Cheers.

  21. Hi Luis,

    I am not surprised, I have watched how certain individuals have developed the group. Apologies I never got to test your Engined; life has been a bit up and down of late. Leave the donate button, I will be donating after I have written my comments. You are only doing what everyone else discusses on the group and a lot are already doing. Your work speaks for itself, quality!! You offer it for free, no one is made to pay you anything. An apology is in order from certain folk.

  22. I’m absolutely disgusted to read this, but I’m not entirely surprised.

    The Facebook group exists as a support forum for their marketplace, which of course your free theme was a huge competitor to. After all, your child theme seems to render many of their products null and void. I find it strange that your donate button isn’t allowed when there is one on Geno’s site, and his tutorials are posted in the group.

    I’d quit the group but I have a feeling that I’ll be removed after voicing my disgust at your shoddy treatment.

    I’m glad I donated to you, your child theme will save a friend and I a huge amount of time, and if I use it on another site I’ll be back to donate more.

    Send me a link to the other facebook group if you have the time.

    • Thanks, Craig.

      You don´t have to donate again, to me donation means a way of appreciating (not even the only way, for that matter), and you´ve already done that. I´m not selling Engined, so you don´t need to think you should pay for it.

      I´ll send you the link in a private email, I don´t want anybody to think I posted this to make people move from one group to other. It was just a warning for anybody who didn´t notice yet, but there are many lovely and helpful persons in both groups.

  23. People like you are what helps open source communities thrive and continue to expand and make other applications more useful. Dont let one bad experience stop you from doing what you do. People donate for good products and asking for donations is totally acceptable. I have not looked at your product yet, but since Wwww seems threatened by you, I can only assume it is pretty good. I will be checking it out this week!

  24. Hey Luis, just seen this on the group and I left a comment in your support. I’ve never used your stuff and I’m on a mobile at the minute so haven’t explored in detail but I’m completely dumbfounded by this.
    The fact that the people in question didn’t have enough about them to know that this was a massive No no really shocked and disappointed me. I could see these things happening. Manipulation, continuous plugging and selling and gurus going mad but the fact that it’s at this level leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Such a shame. If they are good people deep down and not just fuelled by greed they will realise their error of judgement and take back their words and actions and reinstate you. You have kept your cool and I applaud that. I don’t think I could have done the same. It’s morally reprehensible what they have done.

    I will copy my comment now in case it gets deleted from the group:
    “Have read the post and I have to say it is extremely out of order behaviour. The trouble is, they know it is, it is not an accident, it is not a mistake. It is intentional “censorship” of the group. As a watcher of the group and a keen observer of human behaviour it’s not at all surprising to me. I could see a mile off how this group is developing into what it has become. Money is addictive and greed powerful. This Facebook group has turned itself into an incredibly valuable, monetisable asset- to its detriment.
    Not for one minute am I saying these people don’t work hard, that these people don’t provide value, or that these people don’t make useful or helpful things. I AM saying, that I can see manipulation; that I can see influence and bias being used in ways that make me feel uneasy; and that I feel like some people are being unconsciously “preyed” on for business.
    None of this means anything to me. I have no vested interest. I’m a complete beginner. I can’t code. I can’t design. I can barely even write. I don’t know anybody in this group and I’ve never spoken to anybody on this group. I just wanted to call it as I see it, this really struck a chord with me because I can just imagine how infuriating these actions must have been to the guy that this happened to. Completely helpless and thrown out of the back door.

    And yes, I know that the majority of you are really great people and TON of help is provided in this community. It’s fantastic, but that’s doesn’t mean the negative aspects aren’t there, but the question is do you let one person be treated in a quite awful way or do you stop and think “how would I feel if that was me? Is that the right thing to do? Should I speak up about this?”
    I hope the answer is as obvious as I see it, but of course it’s not as easy for the rest of you, because you do have existing ties here. This group does matter to you. And difficult conversations are hard to have.


    • Thanks, Adam.

      And you´re absolutely right when you say “I know that the majority of you are really great people and TON of help is provided in this community“.

  25. Luis,
    If these folks who don’t like your buttons, they don’t need your help and then that needs to be their problem and not make it yours. I, for one, appreciate all you have done for the Divi community. Heh, I am trying to keep this civil (not my true nature). All I ask is that you reconsider rejoining the group and say to h**l with the individual people who have a problem with what you do.


    • Thank you for all your support, Michael.

      But rejoining the group is out of the question for me. For one thing nobody has apologized but just the opposite, they´ve even replied saying things like I wasn´t that helpful after all or that I´ve being copying code from others. Also, we have this saying in Spain: “Man is the only animal that stumbles twice over the same stone“, but I don´t feel like contributing to making it true.

  26. Hi Luis,

    Whatever was done in that FB group is unethical, and would have incurred a law suit if it happened in real corporate world. I stand with you. Maybe its time to have a FB group of your own ?


    • Thanks, Puru.

      There´s no need to create yet another new group. I´m happy being just a member of the new group I found, at least while whoever the admins are behave with fairness and transparency in mind.

  27. Luis,

    I’m sorry to hear this sad story.
    Many are still commenting in that group and are disappointed like me because of the censorship and the silence of alla the admins.

    You said in the post you have founded a new group: I will be pleased and honored to join it. Which is the name? Can you add me?

    I’m considering leaving the other group after this.

    • Hi, Claudio.

      I haven´t founded a new group, I joined an existing one. I´ll send you the link in a private email because, as I told Craig in another comment, I don´t want anybody to think I posted this to make people move from one group to other. Before leaving the group, please consider there are tons of great and helpful people in it.

  28. You got screwed, dude. Sorry you had to be the sacrificial lamb. But pointing out what’s really going on here was truly worth it. If i can use your theme (and by use i mean understand), I owe ya one. If you need any copy written, a sexy headline, or an script polish you let me know.

    Really sorry , man u got a raw deal.

    • Thank you for your offer to help, Steven.

      And hey, if there´s anything you don´t understand about Engined, just ask me.

  29. I am so sorry to read this post and see what is going on behind the scenes. The decision to remove you from the group is completely out of order and I wanted to say thank you for all the support you offer novices such as myself.

    Please found a new group so I can join.

  30. literally just found and joined the group, saw your post last week, and thought i’m so glad to have found people who are working on the same project and helping each other because i’ve been learning wordpress and css on my own for a little over a year now and it’s been frustrating to say the least… let me just tell you: i am really looking forward to trying your engined theme now! it must be something special and its free

    inviting you to promote your product if they are selling it and receiving commission, and then removing your post due to affiliate links and a donation button is so absurd no wonder you’re frustrated – honestly they should have just told you that they preferred you not promote your free product on the forum because it would be in direct competition with their sales; they could have even tried to meet you in the middle with a free version and premium version proposal. they are obviously not thinking this through because now they have one less contributor to their forum that attracts visitors and potential clients by having people like you there to interact with people like me (everyone has noticed and will start to be annoyed by the paid/sponsored content if all the free stuff disappears that’s a given)

    personally i think its perfectly fine to have sponsors, use affiliate links, sell things, accept donations, etc. as long as it isn’t overwhelming and compliments the content – it’s always optional; if someone is spending money, why not contribute to a project they enjoy and help it grow. i’ve bought the premium version of plugins after using the free version and loving it, it’s a system that benefits the user and the developer and shows confidence in the product.

    i am looking forward to trying your theme because i have many customizations in mind as an artist, but no idea how to do them as a new wordpress user. i’ll keep you posted on my attempts (a.k.a. writing for help lol). aslo please email me the other group name, i’d like to join.

  31. What new FB group have you joined. This thread and removing you from the FB group is very sad and makes me question my association with a group that would act like this. I’m so sorry that you have had to go through this.

    • Hi, Karen.

      Same thing I´ve already told others: “I´ll send you the link in a private email, I don´t want anybody to think I posted this to make people move from one group to other. It was just a warning for anybody who didn´t notice yet, but there are many lovely and helpful persons in both groups.

  32. Hola Luis, mi nombre es Facu y soy de Argentina, he leído todo acerca del grupo Divi en Fcbk. Estoy contigo, si necesitas algo desde esta parte del mundo no dudes en avisarme, tienen mi email con este comentario. Saludos.

    • Hi, Facu.

      You´re showing your support and offering help if needed, so thanks a lot. But please let´s keep this conversation in English because otherwise others won´t get to know what you´re saying.

      That said, Muchas gracias, Facu.

  33. You should post the names of those people and the website they run, I have brought up questions before on that group on how much those child themes are and my comments have actually been deleted too, All they do is want to sell you the crap they have on there own site. I tried your child theme and i think its great!!

  34. Luis Alejandre, i am speechless and shocked i am member of that FB group and i saw your post last week and for some odd reason i saved your website to my list (after reading your post i am so happy i did ) i just hate how people bully good people that want to make change in the world, your contribution is really appreciated.

    one stupid Door closed, brighter Door has just opened. we all are behind you !!!!!!

  35. Hi
    I use the child theme plugin and love it
    How can i use engin together with the plugin?

    • Hi, Michael.

      Using both together doesn´t make sense because Divi Children is a plugin used to create child themes while Engined is a child theme already created. Eventually all child themes created by Divi Children will have all the customizing options included in Engined, if that´s what you´re looking for.

      I haven´t updated Divi Children to have all the features of Engined yet, but only for one reason: Divi 2.4 will bring many changes, so I want to see what all the new things are about before I release Divi Children 3.0. Updating a downloadable child theme with a particular name and slug (as in the case of Engined) will be much easier than trying to make all the existing child themes created by Divi Children compatible with the new Divi features, some of which will be redundant with the features I´ve developed. Take into account that Divi Children downloads have already surpassed 10,000.

  36. Heya Luis! Can you please shoot me a message with the new fb group? I was sad to see that group deteriorate with the constant battering with EMP advertising and crap, but this is just… ugh.. Kudos to you for keeping your integrity, sadly the next dev who makes something awesome to share for free may not be so strong.

  37. Not sure if the Group in question has been closed or I have just been kicked for voicing my opinion 🙂

    • You bet is the second, if you did voice it and they didn´t like it.

  38. Yeah, dude, I’m a newbie to that group and while i thought the feed was really helpful, i kept getting this creepy vibe like it was dressed up as a charity but then you wound up paying cover and the drink prices were steep. and then the Engined debacle was so blatantly a shakedown i couldn’t believe they were that stupid. Worse, when they realized everyone was on to them, it STILL took ’em a few days to make any kind of statement adn when they did it was some palmy , ego-stroking “you’ve (the members) been heard!” announcement of a vague policy shift. That and countless quotes about “putting it all behind”. Well I guess so when the “it” is the fact they totally fucked you over.

    Which is why I got a private message saying that she would appreciate it if i would refrain from using such language. She would have to ask me to leave or shut up or whatever. But we all know it wasn’t the “fuck” that offended her, but the fact she was being called out for fucking you over.

    You’re a class act and I hope you know over 50% of that gang was beating the drum for you. Engined looks great but it really doesn’t matter if it is the second coming of Christ or the buggiest thing since malware, the bonus plugin that Engined came with was a little swatch code that revealed deceptive business practices, a dishonest bait and switch marketplace, and refusal to admit any true culpability. And that’s a pretty powerful program, if you ask me.

    Wish you all the best and if there’s anything you need written–tagline, headline, article, dirty limerick (i’m kidding), it’s gratis. Just a way of saying thank you for showing me how to handle a public lynching with class.

    Which you did sublimely.

    Very truly yours,

    • Hi Steven, and sorry I didn´t reply earlier. Thanks a lot for your support, your kind words and your offer to help.

  39. Hi Luis, I’m sorry to hear about your experience. It is hard to do, but in cases like this the best thing is to ignore the trolls and move on. Focus on the positive so that you don’t get an ulcer and your family stays happy.

  40. Hi Luis,

    I would be very interested in joining your new group.

    Keep up the great work, I have learnt so much from you and your excellent products.

    Kind regards,


  41. Hi Luis,

    I also would be interested in joining your new group.

    Keep up the good work. My clients and I would not have such a good product if it wasn’t for your Divi add on’s.

    Kind regards,


  42. I am very sorry, You had to hear this.
    After putting all your hard work on a Child Theme and Releasing it for Free!!!
    Good Things Never go unpunished 🙁

    Some People just can’t take the fact that your theme is awesome so people will use your affiliate links and you earn money.

    Keep the Good Work Going…Thanks Again for Engined 🙂

  43. I left the group after reading this. Granted, I did give them a chance to respond. Since I saw nothing I would consider acceptable, I took off.

    You fought the good fight. Whether you know it or not, you won.

    Keep doing what’s right and kick the trash to the curb.

  44. Sad to see. I haven’t personally used engined, but seen all of this while stumbling across the web this morning. I guess I know now what all those FB notifications were about. I’ve left several facebook groups because of their deceptive “we are here to help you” mentality while constantly plugging their own interests in the background, what’s one more.

    Maybe one day I’ll find a group where I can casually offer CSS advice when I have time and not have to eventually see all of the seedy underpinnings.

  45. Hello Luis
    I have not used any of your products but believe in my heart that you are a good person. I will advice you to listen to your heart. There is always blessing in giving especially if you have a genuine heart. I have a feeling that even if you sell your products people will buy because of your generosity. I will donate to help fund a good cause.

  46. Hi Luis,
    I use your great products, just got Engined thanks.
    I’m happy to donate – I just did!
    All the best,

  47. Hello Luis,

    I was busy going through a WordPress theme development online class around the time you wrote this blog post and haven’t been active on Facebook for months now, so I have been out of touch. I just happened to come back here to see if there were any news/updates regarding the upcoming Divi Children 3.0 plugin (I did comment here before asking about a particular feature of the plugin before), then that’s when I learned about Engined and then this post. It’s very shocking and I am in disbelief that something like this can happen in a Facebook group that’s supposed to be an open and free community (if you know what I mean)… well, that’s what I think anyway.

    I won’t leave the group though because I have made friends with many of the members there (who are probably just as clueless about this issue as I am), but I’m also interested in the new group you joined. Sometimes I don’t get the immediate help/attention I need from there as I am building a site for my friend that’s due in July using Divi. I use the known Divi-related plugins, like the module editor and the booster and of course, Divi Children.

    I mainly visit the marketplace for the plugins. Their child themes being sold there are in really ridiculous prices, they’re even more expensive than the Developer Subscription of Elegant Themes (and I’m just a poor and budding web developer still trying to grasp on the “fundamentals” of WordPress theme development). If they have a problem with you providing an awesome, full-functioned child theme for free, then I don’t understand why they’re also offering a couple of their child themes in their marketplace for free also (probably doesn’t have that much other features included, but all the same). Sounds hypocritical.

    With that being said, I know this is a very late comment, but I would like to drop in and say hello. Glad to hear you’re in a better community now and you have truly done such awesome work for the Divi users all around, especially for “newbies” like myself. I will definitely used Engined for my future projects sometime (like my portfolio redesigning, for example). I would definitely donate when I have more funds lol.

    Hope to hear from you sometime Luis. 🙂

  48. Well history seems to have repeated itself Luis.

    After a few high-profile members criticised the group and how it is being mis-managed by the admins (favouring their marketplace with promotional links in the group, banning people for advertising competing products etc) there has been a cull, and dissenters have now been removed, myself included. 😀

    The group has now become a herd of cows, specifically for the admins to milk and cream off the cash, whilst doing very little!

    • I´m sorry to hear that you´ve also been removed, Craig. But that is something that couldn´t have evolved in a different way; they´re not interested in valuable people once the scheme behind that group gets obvious to them.

      Perhaps it is time to do something about it. What do you think?

  49. I know you feel, they’ve been kicking a lot of people out of that group this week, never saw this post until now.

    • Well, you see it´s news again, James. Craig Knighton just told us he has been kicked out of the group as well, as you can see in the comment just above yours.

  50. Luis, I a with you, with all my hart!
    Go bless!

  51. Disturbing story for sure, Luis.

    Could you shoot me an email with the new FB group? I’m just getting going with Divi and had joined the other one but haven’t been all that involved. Based on the info I’ve read here, I don’t think I want to be.

    Cheers to you. I’m going to give Engine a whirl in the next few weeks when I do a site makeover for a friend.

  52. Hey Luis,
    I have read about incidents much like this, so I can guess which group that was. Haven’t tried Engined yet, but will do. I have been helped so many timws by DIVI users, even if my questions wefe beginners. I Love the way this community shares info and like you believe money isn’t everything. Do not remove your donation button. This is a way for people to say thank you for sharing!
    P.S: in which FB group are you sharing the love now?

    • Thanks, Inger. I´m in all the other FB groups (there are too many of them, I think).

  53. Hi Luis,

    It felt really bad learning the incident. We all need money to survive and lead our lives but that doesn’t mean that we have to leave our identity. I always got good support from all those Divi Facebook and I very rarely purchase from affiliate link.

    I have seen Engined reference but never used it. Now surely I am going to use it in my next project. It is an universal truth that when you do something good, you are going to get a lot of resistance from those who do not / can not do something like that.

  54. Sorry you had this negative experience Luis. I use your Engined child theme, and have for a while. I happen to do mostly pro bono work for non profits and others who need some help with sites, and the theme is a great asset. It’s too bad that the fact that you chose to freely share something is seen as a threat to those who want to make money, but that’s the world we live in. Keep the faith and stand your ground. You’ve made the web a better place. Money is overrated.

  55. Wow! I’m just shaking my head. I don’t know what to say except, my stomach feels sick. I’m very grateful to all the great Divi lovers who share so openly.

  56. Dear Luis,

    French users are with you 😉


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get the new Divi 3.0... With a special membership discount for our readers! Get a DISCOUNT on Elegant Themes membership