Today I am going to talk about some of the big Divi updates that we have been working on. This is going to be a long post with a lot of information! If you just want the cliff notes, here they are:
- We are working on Divi 5.0, a rewrite of Divi’s core technologies that will serve as our springboard into the future.
- Divi 5.0 is a foundational update focused on performance, stability, scalability and extend-ability.
- It will ship with a new API that will empower our team and the Divi development community to build better features, faster, and with fewer bugs.
- In the meantime, we are expanding our team to provide you with even more value during this transition.
Now for all the details 👇
We Are Building A New Foundation For Divi
About a year ago we began transitioning our development team over to a multi-year project, Divi 5.0. Right now the majority of our team is focused on this momentous endeavor that will define the future of Divi.
You might have noticed that Divi’s feature development pace has slowed down over the past year. That’s because as each new feature for the current version of Divi was finished, the team members involved were transitioned to the Divi 5.0 team. A project with a much longer time horizon.
Divi 5.0 is what we are calling the “Foundation Update.” It’s a complete rewrite of Divi’s core technologies, re-imagined for the future and built using all of the knowledge and experience our team has acquired over the last nine years building Divi.
Now, as Divi inches towards its 10th birthday, it’s time to take a step back and build a new foundation that we can propel ourselves forward from once again into the next decade.
Divi 5.0 is focused on performance, stability, scalability and extend-ability. It’s going to be a lot faster. It’s going to be future-proof and built for the direction that WordPress is heading. It’s going to ship with an API that gives developers incredible freedom. It’s also going to be backwards compatible and non-disruptive to Divi users.
In fact, when you update to Divi 5.0, you won’t notice much of a change from a UI perspective. We aren’t adding a bunch of new features in Divi 5.0. That’s not the goal. At first glance, the Divi Builder is going to look and function the same way that it does now (with maybe a few cool new things snuck in here and there), but everything behind the scenes is going to be vastly improved, and those improvements will manifest themselves in several significant ways.
Improved Performance And Scalability
Performance and scalability are the focus of Divi 5.0. We are greatly improving the snappiness of the Visual Builder, the speed of front-end page loads, and the ability of Divi to handle very large and complex designs.
Recreating the Visual Builder gives us the opportunity to make fundamental changes to how interactions work and the way the application renders updates as you design your website, speeding things up from every angle. We are committed to making the Visual Builder extremely fast and for it to never get bogged down, no matter what you throw at it.
The speed of your website will also improve with Divi 5.0. We are recreating Divi’s backend framework, cleaning up years of technical debt, changing Divi’s storage format and improving its rendering mechanism. This new version of Divi will be able to processes design settings much more quickly.
No More Shortcodes
One of the biggest changes that will come with Divi 5.0 is the migration away from shortcodes and towards a more modern storage format. Migrating away from shortcodes has several benefits.
- It will allow for faster and more streamlined processing of your Divi pages and all of their design settings.
- It will result in fewer bugs born from the complexity involved in the way shortcodes and shortcode attributes are nested in the post content.
- It will make it easier for us to build a system for enabling nested content of our own (such as rows within rows).
Most importantly, this change will bring Divi into alignment with the future of WordPress, which is evolving in a new direction.
The New Builder API
Probably the most exciting part of Divi 5.0 is a paradigm shift in the way we are approaching its development. It’s going to open up so many new possibilities for third party developers. The new Divi Builder will be completely customizable. Developers will be able to use the Divi API to create anything they want. Not only will developers be able to create new and amazing modules, but they will also be able to create new types of settings and completely new features of their own. In order to explain the difference between the current Divi API and the Divi 5.0 API (from one non-developer to another), let me make an analogy.
Let’s imagine that the Visual Builder is a house. We built that house and it was set in stone. Later on down the road, we wanted to give people the option to build their own modules, or in the case of this analogy, the ability to customize their house. Since the house was already set in stone, the ways that we could allow for customization were limited. We were only able to open up small specific ways to customize the house. We hammered a nail into one wall and said, “Here is a place where you can customize. You can hang a picture from that nail, just make sure the picture is the right size and that there is a wire that is compatible with the nail from which it hangs.”
That’s nice, but there isn’t very much room for innovation! Novel ideas are hindered by the rigid structure of Divi’s current API.
In the new version of the Divi Builder, we aren’t just going to give you a nail on the wall. We are going to give you the blueprints, the lumber, the hammer and the nails. In the current version of the Divi Builder, you can hang your own pictures on the wall. In the new version of the Divi Builder, you will be able to remodel the ground floor or even add a second story.
Empowering The Community
We are taking all of the “third party developers” in the community and elevating them to “1st party developers.” The tools you will have to customize the builder will be the exact same tools our team uses to build the builder in the first place. Our own interests as the creators of Divi and the interests of the development community, will be one and the same.
The future of Divi is as the foundation of a broader ecosystem. We want that ecosystem to thrive, just like WordPress has. In fact, developers familiar with creating blocks for WordPress will find a lot of similarities in the Divi 5.0 module API. WordPress blocks will be more easily adapted to Divi and WordPress developers will be able to jump head first into building things for our community. We are building this new version of Divi to work in harmony with WordPress.
If you are a developer, you are going to love these changes. If you aren’t a developer, you are going to love all the amazing modules and tools that developers from the community will be able to create for you.
Empowering Our Team
The new API won’t just be useful for developers in the community, it’s going to be useful for our own team as well. That’s because Divi will be built using the API that we create. Furthermore, we are building this new version of Divi with extend-ability as a core value. We are recreating everything we created in the past, but we are doing so while thinking much more deeply about how each feature might change and expand in unforeseen ways, allowing for less friction in future development.
Divi 5.0 is an investment into our own future. We are building ourselves the tools we need to build great software. While it will take a time to finish, once it’s done, it will be the springboard that allows us to sprint forward again, creating wonderful new features much faster than before, and with many fewer bugs along the way.
We are setting ourselves up so that we can outpace the competition and fulfill more of your requests.
Exciting New Projects Along The Way
While we work on Divi 5.0, we won’t be releasing a bunch of new features for the Divi Builder. If we did, they would need to be recreated all over again by the Divi 5.0 team, resulting in a never-ending development cycle 😵. That’s why our feature development pace has slowed down recently. But don’t worry…we aren’t going to leave you hanging! We plan to do the opposite.
This year we doubled down on Divi, hired more developers and expanded our team so that we could work on new Divi-integrated tools and resources on our website that will add even more value to your membership and improve your web design workflow. We are going to keep building things that will make Divi better, without disrupting Divi 5.0 development.
In fact, we already launched a couple of these new projects. The first example was Divi Cloud and the second example was Divi Teams. These features are different than other Divi features. They are independent applications that work with Divi and make Divi better, but they can be developed on their own and are supported by their own freemium models.
You are going to be surprised and delighted with the new stuff we continue to launch this year and next year, even while Divi 5.0 is in development. We are going to keep releasing new things that make Divi better, but we are going to focus on things around the builder and things that integrate with the builder, rather than on the builder itself. Once Divi 5.0 is released, it’s full steam ahead on all fronts!
When Will Divi 5.0 Be Ready?
You might be asking yourself, “when is Divi 5.0 going to be released?” That’s a question that is hard to answer at this stage of development. We have already been working on Divi 5.0 for over a year, and there is a lot left to finish. Our goal is to release a beta version sometime next year that everyone will be able to test. After that, the official release will completely depend on user feedback. This is a very big update and we won’t be rushing into it. You can expect Divi 5.0 to take a while to finish, but for that wait to be worth it. In the meantime, you can trust that we are planning for the future and that we have your best interests at heart.
Our tentative plan is to release Divi 5.0 in several stages:
- Phase 1: Developer Alpha – This will be an unfinished version of the Divi 5.0 API. It will give developers a glimpse into the future of Divi so that they can start making plans on how their current Divi extensions will need to be adapted.
- Phase 2: Developer Beta – This will be an unfinished version of Divi 5.0 with a finished version of the Divi 5.0 API. This will allow developers to start updating their extensions early, way before the official Divi 5.0 release.
- Phase 3: Public Alpha – We will start the public alpha with a “lite” version of Divi 5.0. This will be a fully-functional version of Divi 5.0, but it will be lacking some of Divi’s current features and modules. It will allow a large portion of our community to use Divi 5.0 and give us feedback. This will be suitable for building new Divi sites and for testing, but it won’t be suitable for use on existing Divi websites due to its lack of features.
- Phase 4: Public Beta – The public beta will start once all Divi features have been added to the public alpha and all feedback from the alpha has been addressed. This will be the finished version of Divi 5.0, pending any bug fixes found during the beta.
- Phase 5: Official Release – We will officially release Divi 5.0, as a normal update in the WordPress dashboard, once all feedback from the public beta has been addressed.
We’re Still Here, Working Harder Than Ever
Don’t worry, there is a good reason we have been a bit quiet lately. We have had our heads down, working harder than ever on a new foundation for Divi, and on new projects built by new teams that will stretch us in exciting new directions. If you have any questions, please leave a comment! I’ll be reading every single comment and I look forward to chatting with you.