Is Divi Good or Bad for SEO?

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 your 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.

How to speed up your Divi website using free plugins

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.

Best paid plugin to speed up your Divi website

As mentioned above, you can certainly accomplish the “A” grade with a 90% PageSpeed Score on GTmetrix using free plugins. However, if you have a Divi website with a lot of plugins that are CSS and JavaScript heavy, and you want to accomplish 100% PageSpeed Score, you need to invest some money on it. You can hire a website developer with experience in improving page load speed or you can use a “magical” plugin called WP Rocket!
Checkout how much my website scores after switching to WP Rocket:
How To Speed Up Divi Website

Conclusion

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.

Freelance Web Designer

By Tiago Lavis-Fernandes

Tiago is a Portuguese freelance web designer living and working in Manchester for over ten years. Fascinated by WordPress and the Divi Builder, he helps clients achieve success through UX/UI website design and search engine optimisation. If you're looking for someone to help with your online marketing, look no further.

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7 Comments

  1. Michael Smith

    This is an interesting article – thanks. It looks at something I consider to be a hot potato, but I know that people will continue to disagree as to whether Divi is the best theme to use, particularly in relation to SEO

    Reply
    • Freelance Web Designer

      I know, it’s a shame because in the meantime, me and my clients will keep beating them on Google’s rankings 😂 Thanks for leaving a comment pal.

      Reply
  2. Web Designer in London

    I like thee valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog aand check again here regularly.

    I am quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good
    luck for the next!

    Reply
    • Web Designer in London

      I also think this article is a good one and is relevant to us, London web designers. I just wish I’d found it sooner. Also bookmarking!

      Reply
    • Freelance Web Designer

      Thank you, it will be good to see more comments from you.

      Reply
  3. Web Dev

    This is again another interesting article that offers some good information. You summarize everything well, so I’ll be coming back in the future for more info. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. North London web design services

    Saved as a favourite, I really like your website!

    Reply

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. This website is run by Tiago Lavis-Fernandes and not associated, or act on behalf of Elegant Themes. Divi is a registered trademark of Elegant Themes, inc.
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