The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 4 – Mastering the Final 5%: Taking Your Website from Good to Great with SJ James

Posted on September 15, 2015 by in Community | 29 comments

The Divi Nation Podcast, Episode 4 – Mastering the Final 5%: Taking Your Website from Good to Great with SJ James

In this episode of Divi Nation we sit down with WordPress designer and front end developer SJ James to talk about his approach to creating websites with Divi. Specifically, we delve into his philosophy of focusing on the last 5% (and the first 5%, as it turns out) of the design and development process that are often skipped or glossed over by others. It is this extra time and attention to detail that, he claims, can often take a merely good website and make it great.

Divi Nation Episode 04: Mastering the Final 5%: Taking Your Website from Good to Great with SJ James


Whether you like to watch or listen to Divi Nation, I hope you’ll join SJ and I for our fourth episode. I was incredibly impressed with SJ’s ability to intelligently discuss some of the most crucial aspects of putting out top quality Divi websites.

If you enjoy today’s show and would like to come back for future episodes, make sure to subscribe via your preferred method below. One of our goals with Divi Nation is to put our content where you can get the most out of it, in your own time.

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This Week in WordPress 03

This Week in WordPress our guest host SJ James and myself talk about three WordPress related articles on three very different subjects: planning, blogging, and the recent release of Divi 2.5.

Articles We Discussed:

Mastering the Final 5% with SJ James

In this interview I talk with WordPress Designer and front end developer SJ James about what he does to take his web projects from good to great.

Links Mentioned:

Divi Footer Design Challenge: Top 3 Submissions

In this video I announce our top three picks from the Divi Footer Design Challenge submissions. Again, I want to thank everyone who submitted a design. If you’d like to participate in the future, please keep an eye out for more Divi Design Challenges or Divi Site Makeovers.

Lauren K. Stein


I chose this footer because I thought they did a good job providing a lot of information in an organized manner while maintaining an aesthetic that blended very well with the rest of the site.

Visit Site

KR Digital Solutions


I chose this footer because they went off the beaten path of standard or default divi design and created something all their own.

Visit Site

Natural Instinct Healing


Finally, this footer design made the cut because not only did they do something non-standard to divi but they also did a great job of extending the mood/feel of the rest of their design/branding down into the footer in an attractive way.

(We decided not to include this link because it was to a dev/staging site. However, to give her credit, this footer was created by Madeleine Lamou.)

Production Notes

Once again, not a lot changed from last episode to this episode in terms of production. We used all of the same gear that I’ve listed before. However, for those who haven’t seen that list before, I’ll include it below:

I’m looking forward to upgrading the gear in the weeks to come but for now my biggest point of focus in simply getting a tight show put together each week in the time I have to make it.

While I loved putting together longer segments in some of the previous episodes, such as the video essay on long-form storytelling last week, I have quickly realized that those longer segments should probably be back-burner projects that get released separately. That way the longer segment doesn’t take valuable production time away from the rest of that week’s episode. I wasn’t unhappy with last week’s episode by any means, but I thought the subject matter was so rich that I could have easily spent more time on the video essay than I had available to me.

In the weeks to come I’m hoping to re-focus on the quality of the interviews themselves and make them as good as I possibly can. Then, when the new gear arrives, improve the production quality. After those things are established I may start to experiment with a wider variety of segments.

As always, your thoughts and suggestions are welcome in the comments below.

Want To Star In The Show?

We are looking for Divi enthusiasts to co-host Divi Nation each week. If you are interested in sharing your experience with the Divi community, be sure to submit your application below so that we can get in touch! We can’t wait to hear from you.

Apply To Co-host The Divi Nation Podcast

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  1. Great episode. I do need to plan on paper more and I love the thought that we should design every website like it’s our own– I totally agree. I also really appreciated the tips about checking the mobile view within Chrome inspect element and testing the throttle as well– never used that before!! Thanks 🙂

  2. Excellent show with SJ.
    Great info and I appreciate his “things you should do” list before you launch a site. Thankfully I can watch this again so I can get all this on paper.
    It would be great to have him back again in the future.

    Thanks for a great show Nathan!

    • Thanks Don, I thought SJ did a great job too!

    • Hey Don,

      Thanks very much! Glad you enjoyed the show 🙂

  3. So happy I found this. I’ve subscribed to the iTunes Podcast so I can download the podcasts and listen to them at the gym! Thanks for producing all this great content!

    • No problem Jake. If you ever have any suggestions on show topics or want to suggest a guest host just drop us a note here in the comments and I’ll see what I can do 🙂

  4. This for me is the best episode so far! Aside from your cat becoming a superstar Nathan, the flow and content of this episode felt great.

    As the majority of the episodes are composed of content from your guests the quality of the episodes are going to relate to the content and guest.

    Over the last 2 episodes I have started to enjoy the Vodcasts much more than the first 2 weeks which I struggled with. This week was fantastic and as well as learning some new things about Divi, it reinforced a lot of what I already put into practice.

    • The show is still very much an evolving work in progress. If you look at any podcast or even television talk show, you will see that they don’t always hit their stride right away.

      Sometimes they take a whole season or two to become the show that eventually takes off and becomes a big deal. So I’m in this for the long haul and hope to make it a little better each time out.

      That said, I’m really glad you enjoyed this episode…and my cat, haha.

      • Awesome Nathan! Keep up the good work. Looking forward to next week and the results of the latest challenge in October.

        (Also on an unrelated note, no matter how many times I check the “Receive notifications about our new blog posts.” I never received notifications.

        Can you let Nick or the necessary people know please?)

        • Yes I will pass that along. Thanks for letting us know.

  5. Another podcast I thoroughly enjoyed. I am more motivated to dot the ‘i’s”and cross my “t’s” I have been a web developer for 176 years and have never been sharpened up like I have in the Divi community. I love this community!

    • That’s a really long time to be developing for the web.

  6. I have enjoyed all of your podcasts, but this has been my favorite so far as I was able to take away a lot of information and ideas from this podcast that will help me to become a better designer.

    SJ is a great guy and has helped me out with Divi coding problem I was having on a couple of occasions. He goes out of his way to answer questions and share his knowledge with many people on the “Divi Theme Help & Share Group,” so it was really cool to finally see him live and hear his story.


  7. Really liked the show. Lots of useable info and strategies. Not sure how to sign up for the CSS session though. Can you help with that? Can’t wait for next week.

  8. omg! its a great show I have ever seen! waiting for the next show.

  9. Dude, update your avatar…

  10. Anyway, i really enjoy your podcasts.

    As mentioned by SJ it’s a good idea to take some of those online ‘academy’ courses on HTML, CSS and Javascript, allbeit only in basic form. Just to get to know the system you are working with every day. It might spark some great ideas too for your projects.

    I personally enjoy the complete-web-developer-course at Udemy (don’t let the prices scare you off, if you apply for their newsletter, you’ll get such courses for $10-20). Its a great introduction to various aspects of webdesign, and has a nice section on CSS too.

    Keep the podcasts coming!

  11. For someone just jumping back into the world of WP, this podcast is gold. Cheers guys

  12. hai guys, i always see the episode.and i use the eleganttheme. how to use elegantthema for blogger ?

    • All of Elegant Themes themes are for WordPress; they will not work on blogger.

  13. Hi Nathan,

    Really enjoyed this episode as it directly relates to a project I’m working on currently. Not being a developer/designer myself, I’m looking for someone who can help me take my site “from good to great” before we launch. My current developer has taken it as far as his skillset allows and recommended I find a professional who can make “Divi/WordPress not look like Divi/WordPress”, as SJ might say. Do you know a good starting point for finding someone who fits that criteria? (A US based version of SJ perhaps!)

    Any advice is greatly appreciated! And, again, really great episode. Highly informative, even for us on the “client side” of the conversation!


    • Hi Craig, there are two Facebook groups in particular that a lot of the Divi freelancer crowd hangs out in. They’re called Divi Theme Help & Share and Divi Theme Users. You can request to join those groups and then ask for help. I am sure that you will get very prompt responses.

      • Much appreciated Nathan! I’ll check out both of those groups.

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