WordPress Designer & Developer

Divi Web Designer

Looking for a Divi Web Designer?

Welcome! I’m Tommy Oddo — a Divi web designer with over 20 years of professional graphic design, web design, and web development experience. I live and work in the USA. Small businesses hire me to design and develop custom WordPress themes and websites. If you’re in need of an experienced Divi web designer or developer — whether it’s to create a new custom website, or customize the one you already have — let’s talk!

WordPress Designer and Developer Austin TX

Divi Overview

In case you didn’t know, Divi is a poweful website building framework by Elegant Themes. Divi reduces the amount of coding that’s typically required to build and manage a WordPress theme or website. It includes a large library of pre-coded, yet highly configurable modules that can be dropped into position at will. For example, there are Code, Image, Slider, and Text modules, just to name a few. Wait. A Code module? Yes, while Divi diminishes the need for coding, it does not preclude a designer/developer like myself from writing/using custom code when necessary.

Is Divi the Best Choice for a New Website?

I began designing/developing websites in 1994. And, I have been manually coding custom WordPress themes and websites since 2010. In 2015, I began using Divi. Since 2015 alone, I have witnessed some very important developments. For example, WordPress 5, which was released at the end of 2018, included a brand new editor, referred to as Gutenberg. This was a revolutionary change for WordPress. While the Gutenberg editor continues to evolve and improve, the vast majority of my clients do not like the new editor or use it.

Divi is a different story. It does not rely on the Gutenberg editor at all. In fact, Divi allows us to edit a page on the front-end — much like using a print design app like Adobe Indesign or a word processor like Microsoft Word. Many clients find Divi to be more intuitive than WordPress’ default editor. In fact, some are comfortable rolling up their sleeves and working with me on their project if they choose.

Personally, I don’t need Divi or any other framework to create a custom WordPress theme or website. That is, I do not use it as a crutch for weak design and/or development skills as some Divi web designers do. Keep that in mind, when hiring a Divi web designer. Divi is just a tool — it cannot make critical design or development decisions. Nothing is a substitute for the experience of a seasoned pro. That said, Divi does allow me to streamline my process, and yes— ultimately produce a more cost-effective product.

Divi Websites I Designed/Developed

Already Using Divi on Your Current Website? Can’t Stand It?

Many clients first reach out to me because they simply need someone to fix a glaring issue on their existing website. While Divi can’t be all things to all people, it’s also possible (and quite likely actually) that the Divi web designer or developer who created your existing website could have done a much better job taking advanaage of all Divi has to offer. On the other hand, some clients just don’t have the time, nor the inclination, to learn how to use it (nothing wrong with that). In either case, I can help.

For example, one client had a website that was built with Divi. Out of frustration, they wanted a new website. As I worked with them and became more familiar with their website and their needs, I realized the problem wasn’t with Divi. Rather, their website was developed by an inexperienced Divi web designer. I corrected a few nagging issues and made some design and development improvements — and ultimately, I prevented them from making a $10,000 mistake on a new website!

Common Divi Complaints

Sluggish Performance

All of the performance issues I’ve seen others complain about, have nothing to do with Divi. Budget hosting; over-sized and unoptimized images; the lack of a content delivery network (CDN); the overuse of plugins; the overuse of animation; loading too many resources from other domains; and so on, all contribute to a slow-loading website. These issues are not exclusive to Divi by any stretch.

Lack of Flexibility

WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, for may good reasons — including its tremendous flexibility (source: Builtwith). And Divi happens to be the most popular WordPress framework in the world (source: Builtwith). However, if you rely solely on Divi, or any single framework to build or customize your website, you may argue that it is not very flexible. In fact, flexibility has more to do with a general lack of experience as a WordPress developer than it does with Divi.

Ugly, Bloated Code

It’s true. The front-end code that page builder frameworks like Divi spit out is generally harder to read, and verbose. If I had my way, I would manually code every site I build. After all, I love to code. But the vast majority of clients I work for, do not want to pay for something they can’t see — pretty code. Sometimes, I’ve even seen sloppier code (aka “spaghetti code”) from developer “purists” who are avers to using frameworks like Divi.

All Divi Websites Look Alike

Yes, if one is not a good Divi web designer, all websites one creates will look very similar. As a client, you get what you pay for. If you want a one-of-a-kind website (the only kind I create), Divi can (help) do that too. Again, Divi is just a tool — it’s not an experienced web designer.

Poor Support

Elegant Themes support for Divi is as good as any other I’ve sought assistance from. As a licensee, you’ll also have access to a user forum and tech support via email and chat — if you need them. However, when you hire me, there will be no need for you to reach out to Elegant Themes for assistance.

My Approach

When creating a new custom website, your Divi web designer should begin — not by launching Divi and/or picking a pretty layout — but by helping you clarify your strategic objectives. For example, a website targeting “small retailers without in-house IT personnel” will look and behave very differently than a website targeting “IT managers employed by Fortune 500 companies”.

In my case, every new website begins with my Strategy Brief — whether I use Divi or not. My Strategy Brief consists of a series of questions. Here are just a few:

  • What are your primary objectives for the new site?
  • Who are you targeting with the new site?
  • What products and/or services will be featured on the new site?
  • Who are your top competitors?
  • What are your success metrics?
  • And so on.

However, a Strategy Brief is only the first step of my custom website process. Ideally, we’ll also create a few use-case scenarios to better empathize with your target audience; and I’ll take a closer look at what your competitors are doing well, and not so well; and more — all before we begin to put “icing on the cake” (i.e., define a color palette; select fonts; add images; etc.).

For your existing Divi website, such a rigorous strategic approach may be totally unnecessary. Maybe you’d like to integrate your Divi website with a CRM. Or, you could benefit by a more advanced submission form. Or, perhaps the goal is broader — for example, to improve conversion rates. Or, speed up your website. And so on. That said, I do actually have a website customization process.

Ready to Get Started?