If you’re looking for the best WordPress theme for your new or refurbished website, then this is my qualified recommendation. This “best WordPress theme” is called Divi and I have used it to build 12 websites over the past year (see bottom of this post) – during which time the Divi theme has only gotten better. (They added a front-end visual editor – awesome!).
The Divi WordPress theme is a stellar foundational theme for building modern, mobile-friendly WordPress based websites – whether you’ve never built a website before or you are a seasoned web designer and developer like myself. In fact I prefer this theme because it’s fast, easy and fun to build websites with – and because it provides a simple yet powerful interface for both me and my clients to modify, update and extend their websites as their ideas change and their businesses evolve. That’s Divi.
And that’s why I am calling this the best WordPress theme for 2017. Because for me, a web designer and developer of primarily WordPress based websites for small to medium sized business and organizations – from simple to complex websites – this is absolutely the best WordPress theme I know of going into 2017. And I have checked out a lot of Premium WordPress themes and free WordPress themes.
Now, let me will tell you WHY I think it’s the best WordPress theme for 2017 and WHO I think this theme is ideal for.
Additionally, if any of the below topics speak to you, then this might be your theme.
You Want to Create Your Vision.
If you can envision what you want and want to create that vision, and tweak it as you go, then this theme is a great option for you. What many people do is look at other websites, looking for what they like and believe will work for them, and then they craft what they want. Others just simply know what they want because they have thought about it for some time, refining their ideas as they have searched the internet looking at other websites.
Conversely, if you are not good at envisioning what you want but want a theme that has a set layout and look and you just want to fill in your information and be done with it, then this would not be the best WordPress theme for you.
You Want to Create Modern, Mobile-Friendly Layouts.
The included page builder is easy and intuitive to use and yet optional on a page by page basis for when you want a simple layout. The Divi page builder makes it not only fast and easy to create complex multi-column, multi-section layouts that are ideal for todays modern mobile-friendly websites – but it also makes it super easy to change layouts on the fly. Just drag and drop parts of a page to different locations; or duplicate and tweak repeating similar content; or change a section from 2 columns to 3 columns in seconds.
And visitors view your web pages, all of those various sections and columns adjust automatically to the device they are viewing. It all just works.
You Want a Theme that Can Evolve with Ease.
As just stated, if you want the flexibility to easily tweak or revamp the layout and look of any page, then this is a good theme for you because you can literally drag and drop areas of your website around in seconds; change background colors or background images, font sizes and colors and so on with speed and ease. (I did not mention changing content because most themes, including this one, will allow you to change the actual words and pictures and other media elements.)
You Want to Customize the Look Without Knowing Code.
This awesome Divi theme comes with extensive theme customization options – way more than your typical theme, making it fast and convenient for me and my clients to customize the look of their site or the default characteristics of the site (i.e. colors, spacing, fonts, etc.) – without touching a line of code. Additionally you can customize the default look and layout of each “module” of content which is the name of their blocks of content that you build your page layouts with, (i.e. Text, Images, Author, Slideshow, Testimonials, Cal to Action Buttons, etc).
You Want to Customize the Look with Code.
And yet if you want to go beyond the extensive controls the theme provides in its user-friendly way, you can assign a class or id to almost anything and customize is further using CSS.
Front End Visual Editor.
This theme comes with a front-end editor so that you can be looking at the presentation of your web page as your visitors see it and change it as you look at it, (rather than have to go to the admin area for a page and edit it there). This is fantastic and state of the art!
You Want to Save Time with Repeatable and Global Content.
If you want to be able to copy a section or a whole page and duplicate it elsewhere, you can. You can even create a section and make it a “Global” section so that when you update it in one place, it updates everywhere else on your website where you have it. For example it you have your address and phone number repeated on many pages – you could use this feature and then when you need to update your phone number, change it once to update it everywhere on your website.
You Want a Theme Built with Quality and Compatibility.
This theme has been coded professionally, according to standards and is very up to date. The developers have thought out this theme down to the fine details and are constantly tweaking it and improving it to make it better – unlike many themes. This theme integrates well with plugins to extend functionality, and specifically with WooCommerce if you are looking to sell anything directly on your website.
If you want to create unique complex landing pages, then this theme is perfect for that. It actually comes with a large assortment of page templates already that you can modify to your delight. And you can clear off the header and footer to control the content on the whole page, which is common for landing pages.
You Want Modern Special Effects.
The Divi theme comes with lots of fun. Slideshows that can be full width or just a part of a page; images that animate in from the side; toggling content; animated counters; tabs; circle counters; call to action buttons; and more. All included and easy to customize and add anywhere on your site.
Speed and Search Engine Friendly
Divi is built to be fast and search engine friendly, both super important for reaching your future clients and customers.
Long Lasting Solution
I want to comment on something that has been pointed out in a popular blog writer’s post about Divi, that if you use a theme like this which will insert shortcode in order to accomplish the layouts you want, that you are stuck with it if you want to change your theme in the future. I disagree with his opinion that this is a concern.
WordPress is built to have one main content area and sidebars for content by default. If you want a modern website that has layouts that include vertical sections and columns of content that responsively adjust for mobile devices, than some code will have to be inserted to create those layouts. Weather you use a plugin or a theme to accomplish this, some code is needed to accomplish this, whether it be shortcode or div tags.
So if you want a modern layout with WordPress, and want to consider the day when you want to switch themes, then you are going to have to deal with that code no matter what form it is in. However what I like about Divi is that it has a solid long-term company behind it so I feel comfortable it will not go away anytime soon; and the theme is built such that you can create pretty much any design and layout you want, so when you want to redesign your site, you can just do it within Divi – huge plus that other sites do not offer; and the price is great in that you can pay once and have it forever.
All this and More.
Unlike most themes that are developed at a certain period of time and only updated to keep it technically functional with newer versions of WordPress, the makers of the Divi theme are constantly improving this theme by adding new features and improving on the existing ones, keeping pace with the times. Just this past year they added a front-end visual editor that allows you to edit your content while looking at what you are editing live; and they also integrated a Leads split testing feature allowing you to easily test out various versions of content on your site to find out which one drives more conversations. Wow!
So is this the best WordPress theme for 2017? I would say if you’re planning on using WordPress for your website (and there is good reason to); and you are looking for a powerful and yet intuitive WordPress theme to build your website with – I definitely recommend you check out Divi, because to me, it is the best WordPress theme for 2017.
P.S. And if you head down that road, I have a free Divi child theme you can download and use.