In 2020, the Divi theme is more popular than ever! This rise in popularity has led to a surge of new debates between “conservative” and “keep up with the times” web designers around the world. But in every argument there is one question that is always brought to the table – is Divi any good for SEO? Given the importance that SEO plays on website visibility, traffic, leads and conversion, this is a priority when it comes to choosing the right WordPress theme for your website – but is Divi really as bad for SEO as some of the “old-fashioned” web designers are claiming? Before we get there, let’s understand what is the Divi theme.
What is Divi in Web Design?
Known for simplifying website design by using a drag and drop system, Divi offers a framework that allows designers to use shortcodes and modules (rather than writing the code themselves) to incorporate various features onto the web pages, making the design process much easier and more streamlined with less chance for mistakes in the code. Web designers don’t need to spend time and effort changing thousands of code lines anymore, as Divi and its add-ons provide a lot of flexibility and innovation.
Is Divi any Good for SEO?
There is a big myth surrounding Divi and SEO, with some web designers claiming that Divi is bad for SEO, which is a common argument made against most types of page builders anyway. When it comes to the issues that they claim Divi has with SEO, it’s always the same two problems you will hear about – shortcodes and a slow website.
Divi Shortcodes – Bad for SEO or a Complete Myth?
Divi uses shortcodes to make the entire design process much faster and valuable. This is why so many awesome Divi websites are appearing every day. Yet, the process of using shortcodes does often lead to bloating on the site, with coding from scratch being a lot cleaner -although coding also increases the chances of mistakes and takes much longer to complete!
The idea that shortcodes are bad for SEO is a complete myth. The fact is that search engines will only see whatever is inside the shortcode, rather than the entire shortcode itself. So, the only real SEO problem that arises from using shortcodes is that they often cause some issues with meta descriptions.
This is easy to overcome though! Simply use an SEO plugin (such as SEOpress) with Divi and you will have complete control over meta descriptions while improving site accessibility on search engines. Sorted!
Does Divi really slow down a website?
Another big argument against Divi is the fact that it usually makes a website slower. All those shortcodes can add up when you overload the site with different functions.
If a theme is overloaded with shortcodes, it forces bots to comb through even more code than normal to pick out the important parts such as meta descriptions, title tags and site content. However, this only affects websites with an insane amount of flash elements and other outdated platforms. For instance, most Divi sites are averaging around 2-4MB, which is certainly nothing to get worried about.
How to speed up Divi and WordPress?
Even if the Divi theme is slowing down the site and impacting SEO, there is a quick fix that you can find for free – use cache plugins to help the site loading faster and always present the latest version to the viewer.
When it comes to speeding up your Divi website, there is a really effective combination of plugins which always helps me to bring page speed scores to grade A (90%+) on GTmetrix:
- Hummingbird (gzip compression + page cache + browser caching + database cleanup + general optimisation)
- Fast Velocity Minify (HTML, CSS & JS optimisation)
- Smush (image optimisation with lazy load feature included)
- Use Google Libraries (load common libraries directly from Google to free up some server usage)
Fast Velocity & Use Google Libraries are plug&play.
Configuring the Hummingbird Plugin
Go to caching, activate page cache, set browser caching with the recommendations (1 year) and check if gzip is working well. Your hosting company can assist you if you struggle with any of these settings.
Configuring the Smush plugin
Go to Smush’s dashboard, activate “automatically smush images on upload”, “strip my image metadata” and “resize my full size images” to 1920px*1920px. Press “Bulk Smush” to start optimising your images.
As you can see, a lot of the concern about how Divi is bad for SEO is mostly a myth. While there are instances where the builder doesn’t offer the best SEO, it’s very easy to find solutions. Plus, Divi is SEO friendly and it has plenty of other features that make it better for your SEO than most WordPress themes around!
For example, you can, use schema mark-ups and canonical URL, take advantage of efficient site structures, and customise all meta titles, descriptions and keywords.
You don’t even require SEO plugins to take advantage of these – although when combined with Divi (affiliate link – 20% OFF) you have one of the quickest and simplest theme builders on WordPress that you can use to improve your SEO rankings.