The release of the new version of my Divi child theme creation plugin is coming soon. This post is a sneak peek of what you´ll find in Divi Children 2.0.
Some of you may be wondering why the plugin version will jump directly from 1.0 to 2.0, without intermediate steps. But if you keep reading this post, you´ll understand why: I´m taking the Divi Children plugin to a higher level.
Why I wanted to extend the options for customizing Divi
No WordPress theme, not even one as flexible as Divi, comes with an infinite set of options (nor it should, by the way).
One of the key points about Divi is its flexibility. However, there is a risk involved in a theme becoming very popular: so many sites are using the same theme out there that most of them could be looking pretty much the same.
This happens because any combination of the available options always carries some things in common. I mean, the number of possible combinations can be infinite, but the elements being combined will almost always resemble those used in other websites that are using the same theme.
So how to make your site look different? By customizing it, of course. Now you can accomplish that either by directly customizing Divi (which is always a bad idea because of the theme updates) or by means of a child theme. In any case, you would need to add your own code if you want to get a different look and feel for your site.
And here is where Divi Children 2.0 comes to help you: The plugin will allow you to further customize Divi directly from the Theme Customizer, among other things.
So Divi Children will make Divi an even more flexible WordPress theme than it already is.
What this means is that, by increasing the number of available customization options, you will be able to develop a new site that looks different without having to write any code at all. Or, if you want to do more drastic customizations on your own, at least part of the job will be done for you and you´ll have to develop less new code. How would you like that?
The main motivation for developing Divi Children
Some of you might have found strange that I cared to develop a plugin intended to automatically create a child theme, but just for one and only one possible parent theme: Divi. Why not make a more flexible plugin, so it could make child themes for any parent theme?
In the first place, there are several good plugins out there that will create a child theme for any parent theme. I´ve talked about them and I´ve recommended them in my Child Theme Tutorial Series at the WPThemeDetector Blog.
But the main reason is not only that one: When I decided to develop Divi Children, I had in mind to include within the child themes created by the plugin a lot of functionalities which only make sense for that particular parent theme!
How I´m deciding what features to include within the new release
Like everything in life, there is no WordPress theme which is perfect enough, or at least not for everyone. There are always some things you would like to see in your theme or you would like your theme to do that you´re missing. What I´ve been doing is a process that involves several steps:
- Take note of some things I would like to be different in Divi, as a Divi user.
- Try to spot things that, though being good as they are right now in Divi, could make different websites look alike.
- Develop customizing alternatives that could be included in a child theme to overcome both categories above.
- Decide which of them would become the first new features to be released.
- Test them on a Divi child theme.
- And finally, include all that new code as part of the child themes to be created by the Divi Children plugin.
By the way, I´m not going to ask you to develop new features for me, but for future releases you could help me a lot with the first two points above: Identifying new interesting options to further customize Divi (Any feedback would be welcome, so please help me help you!)
Customizing Divi further through your Divi child theme
The first step towards the new direction of Divi Children has been to support the Theme Customizer for the new features included in every child theme to be created by the plugin.
That way you will not only get some new features not available in the Divi parent theme, but you will also get the potential for customizing them in the best possible manner (by watching the changes live with the Customizer).
Other upcoming options will take advantage of the Divi modules ability to include your own custom CSS IDs or classes. What am I doing about this? I´m creating some custom selectors that you´ll only have to copy and paste on your Divi modules, and for which the appropriate settings will be available in the Theme Customizer as well.
What you can expect in the next release
The plugin itself will show little changes over the current 1.0 version. For example, a new option for including your name and link on child theme footers will be included.
But the real power of this version 2.0 will reside in the code that will be automatically added to every child theme created by Divi Children. All that code is being developed to make customizing Divi a breeze.
For instance, have you noticed the way post meta data is being displayed on this blog now? I didn´t like the way Divi displays author, date, categories and comments on posts, so I changed it to a new arrangement using icons, and I also added tags at the end of each post. Do you like it? If you do, I´ve got goods news for you: for every child theme created with Divi Children 2.0 you´re going to be able to choose between the Divi default meta data presentation or one with icons like I´m using here. Not only that, you´re even going to be able to customize the colors of the icons or to choose whether you want to show tags or not, directly from the Theme Customizer!
And there will be some other new setting sections available in the Theme Customizer for your child themes, so stay tuned because very soon you´ll be ready for customizing Divi even further without writting a single line of code.