Elegant Themes membership comes with access to the Divi theme and the Divi Builder plugin, but what exactly is the difference between the Divi Theme and Divi plugin?

The difference between the Divi Theme and the Divi Builder plugin is that the Divi Theme is an all-in-one WordPress theme that includes the Divi Builder software by default. The Divi Builder plugin is a standalone visual page builder that allows you to use the Theme Builder on any WordPress website.

If you have the Divi theme installed you do not need to also install the Theme Builder plugin.

This post will run over the basics of the Divi Builder plugin, what it is used for, and if you actually need to install it.

Key differences between the Divi theme and Divi Builder plugin

Divi theme vs Divi Builder plugin

When you use the Divi Builder Plugin;

  • You will be able to build pages and posts using the Divi Visual Builder in the front and back-end
  • You will be able to use the Divi Library
  • You will be able to use the Divi Roll Editor
  • You will not have any of the Theme Customizer options in the top WordPress menu
  • You will not have any of the Module Customizer options in the top WordPress menu

What is The Divi Builder plugin?

The Divi Builder plugin allows you to use the Divi Builder functionality from the Divi WordPress Theme and use it as a standalone WordPress plugin on any WordPress theme. The Divi Builder plugin was released by Elegant Themes on October 7, 2015.

Do I need the Divi Builder plugin if I’m using the Divi theme?

If you have the Divi Theme running as your active WordPress Theme you do not also need to install the Divi Builder plugin as it is already built into the Divi theme already. When you use the Divi theme you will get all of the features found in the Divi Builder plugin, plus a whole lot more.

When should I use the Divi Builder plugin?

There are 2 main situations in that you would want to use the Divi Builder plugin.

1. You want to use another theme for the specific functionality it offers

divi and salient theme

Can I use divi builder with other themes? Yes, you can use the Divi Builder plugin with any WordPress theme.

If you want to use another WordPress Theme other than Divi, but still want to have the ability to use the Divi Builder to create your pages and posts, then you can install the Divi builder plugin.

There may be a theme that offers some specific functionality that you need on your websites such as a directory or an integrated portfolio system. The Divi Builder plugin will work with any WordPress theme, so it allows you to get the best of both worlds with specific non-Divi theme features along with the power of the Divi Builder system for creating your pages and post content. It may be a better idea to look for a Divi plugin that has the functionality you require rather than opting to change the theme.

The screenshot above is taken from a WordPress installation running the Salient Theme from Theme Nectar, with the Divi Builder plugin installed and activated. As you can see we have the header and footer from the Salient Theme along with the customize option in the WordPress top navigation which loads the Salient Theme options customizer. But, we also get to create the page content using the Divi Builder we know and love.

2. You want to switch themes but get a short-code mess

Divi shortcodes in page

The second reason you may want to use the Divi Builder plugin is when you decide that you want to switch WordPress themes on a site that has already been built using Divi. Like many WordPress page builders, Divi uses shortcodes to display your content on your website and it is these shortcodes that will show up, rather than your styled content, when you deactivate Divi and activate another WordPress Theme.

Did you use the Divi Builder plugin?

Personally, beyond testing the plugin on a few other WordPress Themes to see how it functions, I have not used the Divi Builder Plugin in a live website project. I like the way Divi works and for the projects, I have completed Divi fitted all of my requirements.

But, it is good to know if a plugin is there an option if I ever need to switch the theme or have a new build that requires specific functionality I want to use in another theme.

If you have a site using the Divi Builder plugin along with a non-Divi WordPress theme, drop a link in the comments below.

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