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2023 ushered in new Theme Editors

Over the years, I’ve used a few WordPress page builders (along with the built-in Editor) to make websites. I’ve never personally used Elementor by choice, but have inherited some sites over the years that were built using Elementor. Around the turn of the year 2022, I began using first Divi from Elegant Themes, and then — with encouragement from a trusted WordPress evangelist & work-friend, Topher DeRosia — I worked through a second theme called Kadence beginning in 2023. Here is my 2ยข regarding both theme platforms, as I’ve been able to use both a fair amount for the past 2+ years now.


As a personal preference, I have been looking to avoid sites that rely on Elementor for its site builder — I find Elementor invasive, clunky, and bloated. I only use Elementor when I inherit a site that is rooted in it. I have had a lifetime membership to Elegant Themes (makers of Divi) for many years after a client had used an Elegant Theme for their own site once but then handed it off for me to complete it when it got to being too much for them to get across the finish line. Elegant Themes has since discontinued the raft of themes they once produced in favor of Divi. The way Divi can then be customized is that Elegant Themes has created “Divi Layouts & Layout Packs” to give the site design a major boost in a direction of the users’ choosing. At the time of this Post, there were 359 Layout Packs (2618 Total Layouts) in a variety of Categories.

What makes Divi different from most base themes is its proprietary editor called Divi Builder. This editor is on the front-end like Elementor, but it is way less code-bloated than Elementor. And Divi developers have been touting its sleeker code for a year now, stating that its page-speed numbers (how fast a web page loads) have been greatly improved in recent updates. Overall, Divi has been a solid option and though I’ve not seen the projected page-speed numbers they suggested, there has been a noticeable uptick in load times.


After using Kadence for a simple site development, I was quite hooked from the start. The fact that it allowed me to use the native Blocks (aka. Gutenberg) Editor in any WordPress installation was the catalyst, and then its ease of use and flexibility within that setup was what brought me back for more. Kadence uses its main theme as its base, then provides KadenceWP Starter Templates (by the dozens, and in 14 categories!) to choose from in order to give you a substantial head-start on your site design.

The editing interface is not like front-facing editors like Divi or Elementor — but the use of the WordPress Editor “behind the scenes” is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), so it functions nearly the same as a front-facing editor because you see all the layout and content edits in real time just as you would if it were a front-facing editor. The previous term for the layout in the old WordPress Editor was “Visual”, with a separate tab for “Text” (aka. code) for any given Page or Post. Kadence’s use of Blocks/Gutenberg for its editing capabilities made the Visual interface truly visual, in that layout and content presents very much like it does/will on the front-page representation of each page.

All that to say, I’m making use of Kadence more than Divi these days for those reasons. As I stated in a recent eblast to clients: Divi is good – Kadence is better (IMHO!). ๐Ÿ˜€


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