Just over seven years ago I made a decision that changed my WordPress career drastically. I bought a lifetime license to Elegant Themes which includes their powerful Divi theme. Today I’m going to share information on Elegant Themes Black Friday sale. This could be a great way for you to get your own license or other tools to extend Divi in a wide variety of ways. Many of the links I include will be affiliate links that earn me a commission. But keep in mind that I’m writing about tools that I own (I’ll note a couple of exceptions) and rely upon as I build WordPress sites for clients.
Let’s start with a video that explains the sale. Keep in mind that the sale prices start on November 22, 2022 at 7 am Pacific time. If you read this post before then, the sale prices (and prizes) won’t be available yet.
The most important thing is you need an Elegant Themes Membership to take advantage of all the other things I’ll discuss in this email. You can purchase yearly access or lifetime access. Each of them include the same things, the difference is how long you have access to updates and support. You’ll get the Divi theme, the Divi Builder plugin, Bloom plugin, Monarch plugin, hundreds of Web site layout packs and more that can be used on an unlimited number of Web sites. With the Black Friday sale pricing, you really should go for the lifetime membership.
In the last year, Elegant Themes has announced two services that are separate from the main subscription. First was Divi Cloud which allows you to access, organize and share your Divi assets. I signed up for the service when it was initially released and they offered a nice discount that will remain in place for my annual renewals. Their Black Friday pricing will also include future renewals and it is discounted by 44%!
Divi Teams allows you to build a team who each have access to your Elegant Themes subscription and the benefits it includes. This means they can access products and get support. Each team member requires a separate Divi Teams seat and you can purchase as many or as few as you need. I have not yet purchased any seats, though it is quite possible I’ll add some in the near future. In my case, I’d buy the seats for my Web design clients so they could directly contact support. Just as with Divi Cloud, adding seats is 44% off during the sale and that price will also apply to future renewals.
One of the things I love about Divi is the very active third-party community. They add new modules, new layouts, new child themes and much more. The Divi Marketplace is a central location that allows third-parties to offer their products so they are available directly from Elegant Themes. I encourage you to visit Divi Marketplace and find products that solve your needs. In addition, I’m going to list below some of the products I personally use. Descriptions are from the creators of the tools.
Divi Events Calendar – Our bestselling Divi Events Calendar plugin adds custom Divi modules that allow you to display, customize, and style events from The Events Calendar in the Divi Visual Builder. This is the only way to integrate Divi and The Events Calendar with custom Divi modules! If you use the popular free The Events Calendar plugin and want to show the events in Divi, then this plugin is the perfect solution for you!
Divi Social Sharing Buttons – Did you realize that Divi does not have any social sharing module? Every website needs this important social feature, but it is missing on many sites. So we are pleased to introduce to you the first ever module for adding social sharing buttons in Divi!
Divi Contact Form Helper – Upgrade the Divi Contact Form with tons of new settings and premium features like file uploads, date & time picker, custom subject line, confirmation emails, Zapier integration, save submissions to database, SMTP, icons, new merge tags, dashboard stats, and so much more!
Divi Tabs Maker – Easily create beautiful and functional advanced tabs in Divi with hundreds of custom content and design settings!
Divi Headers Pack – This product comes with 960+ Modern & Creative Header Layouts with 40 Easy-Headers built just with Divi’s default settings. Perfect pack for Freelancers. You can choose any layout and customize it to work with your or your Client’s website.
Divi Plus – Divi Plus is a premium multipurpose plugin that comes with multiple exceptional modules. Using these unique and powerful modules, you’ll be able to create different web page elements that would increase your site’s functionality as well as appearance.
Divi Gallery Extended – Add masonry images to your Divi Theme website with the all-new Divi Gallery Extended plugin. Now, you can present users with engaging and beautiful masonry image galleries without using any masonry gallery CSS. All you need to do is, install this Divi masonry gallery plugin. Enable the Divi Gallery Extended module by inserting it on a page, then add images to it, and you’ll get your beautiful image gallery in a masonry grid formation.
DiviFlash – DiviFlash offers 40+ powerful Divi modules to build websites fastest than ever that will reliably attract and converts traffic. Each Divi builder module provides you countless options to take any Divi theme website’s design to the next level without any coding skills.
Divi Supreme Pro – Unlike other Divi plugins, the Divi Supreme comes with many creative and useful yet powerful Divi modules and Divi extensions. Stand out from the crowd by implementing our innovative Divi modules not found anywhere else. No coding needed and no additional skills are required if you’ve worked with Divi or Extra themes before.
Divi Blog Extras – An easy-to-use Divi plugin that has a fast and intuitive blog module to create beautiful & attractive blog archive pages without writing any code. It includes 8 different blog layouts with several layout variations that support creating archive pages of Category, Tag, Author, Date, Custom Post Type, and Custom Taxonomies. Plus, using its highly customizable options, you can add a category filter bar on top of the blog pages to make it easy for users to browse content from different categories. Moreover, it could also be used in Divi Theme Builder for Archive templates.
Divi Toolbox – Have you ever spent hours looking for a Divi tutorial to achieve a really cool effect on your website? Or experimenting with code, trying to make it work and never getting it completely perfect? It’s so frustrating! When you sweat over one bit of customization and it doesn’t come out right, no matter what you try…What if you could achieve these advanced effects in Divi with just a few clicks? What if you could make these changes easily in your Theme Customizer? Think of all the time you would save! And how much more awesome your website could be – with just a few clicks!
Divi WooCommerce Extended – Build a highly functional and extraordinary Divi store by spending less time using the WooCommerce Extended plugin. It includes multiple intuitive and innovative Divi modules that furnish you with the power to shape your Divi eCommerce store magnificently per your liking. The Divi shop modules available in this plugin even provide you with more options and functions to optimize its use and the Divi store’s ability to perform. Try WooCommerce Extended risk-free for 30 days to discover the best!
Divi Ajax Search – The Divi Ajax Search plugin adds an advanced search bar to your Divi theme website that allows you to display live search results right under the search field. Using this plugin, you can allow users to search Posts, Pages, Projects, and WooCommerce products with their Title, Excerpt, and Featured Image. Moreover, with faster result delivery, you can also customize its look and feel to make it engaging.
Divi Flexile Headers – Make it easy and exciting for your website visitors to explore the site with exceptionally unique and user-friendly header menus. The Divi headers pack provides over 80 unique Divi header layouts that you can apply to the website using the Theme Builder in no time. All header layouts are designed keeping the latest design trends in mind and can fit perfectly to any website regardless of the business industry.
Divi Restro Menu – Using the Divi Restro Menu plugin, a user can easily create attractive and delicious food item menus in no time. No coding or extra effort is required. Its custom post type support for food items and categories, allows a user to make changes to the food items’ information easily. Such as price, ingredients, description, and more without going to the page and launching the Divi builder where the layout was used.
Divi Flexile Hero Sections – What do visitors see on a website at first? The hero section, and if it’s not eye-catching, they’ll return without scrolling. Fortunately, with Hero Sections available in the Divi Flexile Hero Sections, they’d scroll, interact and like to see more on the site every time they’ll have a visit. You can catch users attention on the first visit and make a long-lasting impression till they remain on the site because it’s important as the saying goes, “The First Impression is the Last Impression.”
Divi Mega Menu Pro – Divi Mega Pro taps into the power of Divi to allow you to create any kind of Mega Menu you desire. Use the Divi Builder to easily craft your Mega Menu and have full control over the design and content like never before.
Divi Overlays Popups – Divi Overlays is the original, most powerful, and most popular popup builder for Divi! 😍
Divi Blurb Extended – With Divi Blurb Extended, you get dual Divi blurb modules with additional blurb layouts and customizations. The available layouts in the Divi Blurb Extended module make it possible to create blurbs that are informative, interactive, and power-packed with lots of functionalities that stand them out.
Divi Testimonial Extended – Using the Divi Testimonial Extended plugin, you’ll be able to create testimonials that are unique, impressive, and rich in design. It adds a testimonial slider to the website that can display multiple numbers of testimonials without any problem. Plus, multiple layouts and customization options make Divi Testimonial Extended the #1 choice of designers and web developers for adding testimonials on the website. Compatible with Divi ( earlier versions than 2020), Divi 4.0, and its both page builders: Visual and Classic.
Divi Flexile Footers – Not just the header menu but also the footer on a website also plays a significant role in providing users an improved way to navigate from one page to another. And with the Divi footers available in this pack, you’re going to achieve that in a lesser time and minimum effort. These footer layouts for the Divi theme can become your last and forever choice to design engaging, beautiful, and useful bottom of websites.
Free Stuff Included With Purchases
Everyone who buys any of the products listed above will get a free prize. Even the smallest purchase is eligible and prices can be worth more than $100. There are a limited number of prizes so buy early in the sale to get your favorite prize.
You can also download exclusive Divi Theme Builder Packs that are only available during Black Friday. Once the sale is over, the downloads are gone forever.
Our Seamless Textures Unleashed site has thousands of images that can be seamlessly tiled in most all graphics software and for Web site backgrounds. Yes, they work great in Divi! Everything is 35% off until the end of November 2022.
Earlier in my career, I focused much of my energy on the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. You’ll find books I wrote, tutorials, an add-on and some clipart (that doesn’t require CorelDRAW) on my Foster’s Favorites site. All of these products are also 35% off until the end of November 2022.
I can’t believe it has been almost a month since I attended WordCamp US 2022 in San Diego. Life has been a blur since leaving for San Diego. I’d going to share some of what I got out of the conference that will improve my skills and benefit my clients. Where possible, I share links to the sessions and/or the presenters so you can do a deeper dive.
Fun Before WordCamp
Due to Hurricane Kay, I arrived in San Diego earlier than expected. This allowed me to have a little fun before the learning began. I knew I wanted to go to the Kansas City BBQ in downtown San Diego. Yes, of course they have yummy barbeque. But many of you know it is as the home of “Top Gun sleazy bar scenes” as they call it. Remember when Goose was playing piano at the bar? That’s the place and the piano is still there! I also love that they feature lots of Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas City Chiefs swag.
The next day started with getting work done and then running some errands. That evening we went to Mission Beach known for the Big Dipper roller coaster. No, I didn’t ride it. I had a tasty dinner, a nice walk along the beach and then some gelato to finish off the evening.
It was a rainy morning (darned Hurricane Kay followed me) so we had to have the event inside. Yummy hot coffee and pastries were enjoyed as I got to know members of the Elegant team and other Divi users. This was also the first chance to get some swag (t-shirt, pin and sticker). Since getting to know the team, I’ve already been in contact about some potential new collaboration in the future.
Now that I had some caffeine flowing in my veins, it was time to go to the Town and Country Resort where WordCamp US 2022 would take place. I got checked in and found my way to a seat for the welcome session. It just so happened I sat behind some friends/colleagues. I had met Cami several years back at another event, but I only knew Ann Marie and Philip from monthly Zoom meetings. Soon after I sat, I got a message from Cami asking if I was there and I told her to turn around. She was nice enough to give me some WebCami Cafe swag and we knew the group of us would spend more time together throughout the conference. Cami has written two recaps of WordCamp that you can read at What I learned at WordCamp US (for my clients) and What I learned at WordCamp US 2022 (for my business). Yes, you’ll see me in a few of her photos.
After the quick opening session, it was time to visit the sponsor hall to learn more about their offerings and to get some swag. I met with hosting companies that I work with currently such as GoDaddy, WP Engine and Siteground as well as some other hosting companies that I may consider in the future. There were also providers of plugins I currently use and a few that were of interest to me (or my clients) in the future. Overall it was time well spent for the connections at valued vendors and the swag I got. Some of the my swag haul from that initial session is shown below.
For my first session, I chose Embracing Minds of All Kinds: Making Digital Content Usable for People with Cognitive Disabilities presented by Christina Deemer. Many designers (and clients) want to create something that looks really cool, but that could be done to the detriment of those with cognitive disabilities. Make it easy for all users to find what they don’t. Try to use a login that won’t require remembering something. In short, put yourselves in the place of others and try to create an experience that works for them.
One more session definitely stood out to me on the first day and that was Gamify Your Content presented by Ronnie Burt. While it may sound like we are trying to make WordPress sites into a video game, that isn’t really the goal. Instead we want to create pages that are designed for visitors to not only interact with the site, but have a desire to interact as much as possible. Sometimes that can be as simple as having a better label on a link!
While those were the sessions that stood out to me, there was just as much learned in what WordCamp refers to as the “hallway track”. This is where attendees interact with each other. It may be purely getting to know others or it could be a deep dive into the best way to accomplish a task. Overall, I felt very good with what I learned on day one and the day still wasn’t over.
We had full run of the museum, a taco bar, a nacho bar, an ice cream bar and even a bar for drinks. Of course there was even more swag to be had (see photo below of the GoDaddy swag). Most of all it was a time to sit down with Cami, Ann Marie and Philip to talk about our businesses. Yes, my fiancée Katie was also there and her digital marketing business was included in the discussion.
After we had filled our bellies with yummy food, it was time to explore the museum. There were planes and helicopters from many eras, flight simulators, a 4D theater, spacecraft and even an astronaut who posed with our group. OK, it was just a space suit.
By the time I returned to the hotel after the party, I was absolutely exhausted. At least the second day wouldn’t start as early as the first day!
Day Two of WordCamp
One of my favorite things to do on WordPress sites is e-commerce so I definitely wanted to see Connected Commerce: Evolving to Multichannel Selling presented by Beka Rice. My own sites sell in a single channel, online. Multichannel means selling products online and at retail or even on a variety of online platforms. Companies who sell multichannel easily outperform those who don’t. Definitely something to explore for my own products and great info to pass along to my clients who are already online and at retail.
One of the biggest topics these days in WordPress is accessibility and so I was pretty excited for Designing for Accessibility presented by Sara Cannon. I knew Alt tags were important and she mentioned how to best use them. From my CorelDRAW days, I had a good handle on typography. Too many Web sites have small text or use frilly fonts that may look “cool” but make the site harder to use and/or read. One of the biggest things I got from the talk was using tools to measure contrast ratios so a color palette works for everyone, even those who are color blind.
Next up for me were three shorter talks and I found all of them filled with good information. George Woodard shared Build Your Social Media Posting Application with WordPress and Zapier. He created custom fields for blog posts that include social media posts and then automates those posts using Zapier. I don’t know that his exact tactic is the right strategy for me, but it definitely gave me some good ideas for ways I could do things differently.
How Live Streaming Can Level Up Your Career presented by Ebonie Butler was just plain interesting. She shared how she had live streamed while writing code and it had helped her get a great job and write better code. Again, not something that directly relates to me though it can help me to look at some things differently going forward to see how I can enhance my own career.
I really enjoyed Images on the Web — past present and future presented by Adam Silverstein. Parts of it were very similar to what I’ve presented numerous times at my CorelDRAW Unleashed seminars and Boot Camps. But Adam also covered some newer image formats and other ways to optimize how images are presented on a Web site.
My last session was A Chat with Matt Mullenweg. For those who don’t know anything about Matt, he describes himself with “I am a founding developer of WordPress, the Open Source software used by over 40% of the web, including this site.” on his personal site. Probably the hottest topic he discussed was the fate of Classic Editor. WordPress has been trying to move everyone to their “Gutenberg” editor for several years now and not all users want to do that. I detest Gutenberg and disable it on almost every site I build. Why? Because I use the Divi Builder instead of Gutenberg. Other users rely on Elementor, Beaver Builder and other more powerful builders. Matt said support for Classic Editor would end before much longer. As the classic editor is built into the core of WordPress and I don’t use the Classic Editor plugin, I doubt this end of support will affect my sites. Divi is fully compatible with Gutenberg and it is their options that allow me to disable it.
There was also talk about new features being released as plugins rather than being added in WordPress core. Great, I love that idea. If we don’t want a new feature, we don’t have to have it bloating our sites. Matt answered questions for about an hour and then the second day of content was over.
WCUS Social…or Not
The last part of day two was the WCUS Social, otherwise known as the after party. I had planned to go, but instead went with Cami, Ann Marie and Philip for dinner at another restaurant. This gave us more of a chance to chat amongst ourselves and we definitely got a better dinner that way. We did return to WordCamp after dinner and I spent maybe ten minutes at the social. After two long days and given that it was a less than ideal setting, I decided it was time to end my time at WordCamp and returned to my hotel.
Overall it was a great experience. I learned a lot that will help me to build better sites and that helps my clients to be more successful. Spending time with my existing network of contacts allowed us to get to know more about each other and this allows us to share our knowledge if we run into something in the future. Many new contacts were made and I’m excited at what will come from them. My closet definitely got an overhaul from all the swag. I don’t know when I’ll attend my next WordCamp, but I know I’m looking forward to the next one whenever that may be.
Three months ago we told you about WP User Avatar Plugin Ruined by ProfilePress. The WordPress community has had a massive response to this plugin being hijacked and the original plugin has been flooded with one-star reviews. Strangely there are also some new five-star reviews though many of those seem sketchy at best.
Not only was the original plugin hijacked and changed drastically, the new version also had major security issues. While those issues have been fixed for now, it still shines a poor light on the new developers. These new developers have also had a very poor attitude when confronted with the hijacking and security problems.
Personally we feel the developer should be banned from the WordPress repository for their behavior. Whether that truly happens or not, we don’t know. Regardless, those who simply want a plugin to handle avatars need a new solution since the new developer has ruined the once popular plugin.
One option is that some other developers have taken the old WP User Avatar plugin (prior to its hijacking) and forked it under new names. In other words, the same old functionality is available under a new name. When we needed an alternative, those forks didn’t yet exist. Our solution was the WP User Avatars plugin. The only name difference is the “plural” of avatar. On each of the sites where we have used WP User Avatar, it took maybe 5-10 minutes to make the switched. Granted, we only had 3-4 users on each site so it wasn’t a big deal. If you have a lot of users with custom avatars, one of the forks may be a better answer.
Regardless of your choice, please avoid ProfilePress at all costs. They are not a developer that can be trusted.
The core of WordPress links user profiles to a “gravatar” for their image. In some ways this does simplify things as my email is linked to any WordPress site where I have a user account. If I changed the picture stored at gravatar.com, it automatically changes on all sites. This meets my needs and those of my clients in the majority of sites I build.
There are other sites where I need more. Typically I need a higher-resolution avatar on blog sites so that it looks good on author pages and in the bio of authors. Many years ago I found the perfect solution in a plugin named WP User Avatar. It had one basic function in using locally-stored files for a user’s avatar. If you didn’t load one, it used the Gravatar version. It did the job well until a new company bought the plugin and completely destroyed it on May 16, 2021 when an update gave it a new name with vastly different functionality.
A notice appeared telling me the name had been changed from WP User Avatar to ProfilePress. The name change isn’t that important to me but the other message telling me I have to create at least five more pages on each site for the plugin to work properly was very concerning. As I looked closer, it was now a full-blown membership system. If I had wanted a membership system, I would have installed that in the first place.
Prior to the change, the WP User Avatar plugin was rated very highly. As of this writing, it has 158 five star reviews. It also has 135 one star reviews, most of which were added after the plugin was so drastically changed. Many of the reviews talk of the plugin being hijacked or users feeling it was a bait and switch. That’s definitely understandable. Others say this action is a blatant violation of the WordPress Terms of Service. I don’t know the TOS rules well enough to say if it is truly in violation. But it is definitely not the actions of an ethical company.
For some users, this broke their sites due to conflicts with other plugins and required many hours of work to undo the damage. Luckily I was able to reinstall the previous version of the plugin as a quick fix that only wasted a few minutes of my time for each site. It is still wasted time, just not as much as others have reported.
I will look at alternative plugins to use going forward and WP User Avatars looks promising. At least two people have taken the previous version (legally) of WP User Avatar plugin and developed it without all the extra bloat. So I’ll wait for at least a couple of weeks before I determine how I’ll move forward.
Why Was This Done?
There is no way to truly know the developers intentions. ProfilePress has been listed as a separate plugin with 4000 active installs. That plugin was removed and then ProfilePress took over the WP User Avatar plugin with more than 400,000 installs. So a guess would be the developer thought that having that many installs would help to sell premium versions of the plugin. I would also guess they felt the damage inflicted on users was worth the profits they might reap from this stunt.
Prior to the infamous press conference on November 7, 2020; Four Seasons Total Landscaping had a Web site with a small following and a very basic Web page describing their services. It was around 11pm that night that the owner decided they needed to do something because of all the press coverage (both very positive and very negative) the company was receiving. They next morning (Sunday, November 8) they posted a message on their Facebook page and by that afternoon they were making plans to sell t-shirts. Twitter and Instagram accounts were also created.
Here we are less than a month later and they have more than 33,000 fans on Facebook, 27,000 followers on Instagram and 18,000 followers on Twitter. Their Web site did not have e-commerce and it was quickly added. They’ve already received more than 35,000 orders for t-shirts, ugly Christmas sweaters and face masks. In total, it brought it more than $1.3 million in sales!
The demand for merchandise and the social media followings will undoubtedly wane in the coming months as the time since the press conference is longer. In the long term, their focus will be back on landscaping and there is no doubt the extra exposure will allow them to build their business.
What would you do if your business had such an opportunity? Is your Web site ready for the world to visit? I have to admit the Four Seasons Total Landscaping site could use a lot of improvements. Yet I will give them kudos for adding e-commerce almost overnight.