Designing and Incorporating a Blog with Divi

Designing and Incorporating a Blog with Divi

All websites need an active blog. Did you know a website without an active blog is a website without the voice of the business and there’s no communication? Don’t keep the blog silent.

A log time ago in 1990… (17 years) when websites first started having a blog was a luxury. This would have to be added by a developer and was expensive. WordPress started out as a blogging platform in 2003. With the option to set the home page as a static page and not the blog page websites started to be created and the blog page was included in the website. From that time on we had a website that included a blog.

A Stand Alone Blog

WordPress has the added function of creating a stand alone Blog. To do this go to the Theme Customizer area and select Homepage settings. You’re setting the Home page as the blog posts.

Blog posts are in chronological order with the most recent post on top of the list. A stand alone Blog will have all the posts on the Homepage.

Creating blog posts generates fresh content and there is a better chance for your blog to be found especially if you’re writing about updated information or a change in service. The Internet is like a library, it’s full of organized information about different subjects. Your published Blog post will exist on the Web and this enables someone searching for the topic to find the article.

A Website With a Blog

The Hompage of the website is set to a Static Page. The Blog is a page that is added to the website and is put into the Main Navigation Menu. It doesn’t have to be in the Main Menu but this depends on the style and layout of the website. 

The Blog page will show all the published Blog posts with the most recent one on the top. In the Divi Theme the Blog Module pulls in the posts in the categories selected in the settings inside the Blog module.

Blog Page layout with Divi Blog Extended Plugin

Designing the Blog Page

Create a new page and name it Blog. You can name it Articles but we’re used to the word Blog which means articles. On this page you will pull in the blog post using the Blog Module. The most recent post will be listed on top. The Blog Module has the option include categories in the display.

The Blog Page should be designed simply without too many decorative trimmings. The title of the blog post should be the main attraction and the special effects secondary. A good practice is not to override a simple layout. The purpose of having a blog is to get the articles read.

 The built in Divi Blog Module works fine but it has some limitations. You can only do two layouts, fullwidth or grid mode.

The Divi Blog Extended plugin has more options to layout the blog posts on the blog page.

The Blog Page has articles in the blog category. WordPress has the option to create categories for the blog posts. Information is easier to find when it’s arranged acording to the subject or category.

Even though we might not think about this we visit a website and appreciate the arrangement of the categories instead of searching through all the titles of the blog posts listed in the general cateogry of blog.

Adding More Blog Pages

WordPress has the option to create categories for the different topics. This organizes the content and makes it easier to locate. 

Three Categories

Website Journey
WordPress
Divi

The three categories, Website Journey, WordPress, and Divi, have their own page which functions like a blog page but isn’t titled blog. The page title is the category. 

The Scout Page Layout was developed by Divi Extended the developers of Divi Blog Extras and Divi Blog Extended plugins. This is my affiliate link. I use these plugins on my websites and refer them to cleints. They are well made, updated regularly, don’t require code, and are easy to use.

The Blog Post

Everyone relies on the Internet to get information. To cut through the noise of misinformation the blog post needs a clean layout. This means minimum popups, or mid article advertisements.

When you want to give people information about something especially if it relates to your business practice the blog post content has to deliver. In three seconds the visitor looking at the blog content decides whether they should read it or not. If there’s too much work for the reader they skip out and go somewhere else.

One problem that has emerged is too many links in one sentence. The blog post is an informative piece of information and should be interesting to read.

Here is an example: The latest news on website building predicts an increase in website integration with email services.

All these links take you to another blog post. The result is disruptive reading. Attention is distracted by the links. The links are ‘stuffed’ into the sentence. Instead of worrying about the effect on the search engine, your content should be directed to the reader.

Displaying Other Posts

The Divi Blog Extended Module is used to set create a section on the blog page to bring in other posts in a specific category. You see this on websites with the heading: You Might Like.

A Free Website

A Free Website

The Website is FREE!

Yes, you read that correctly. You pay nothing. Log in and create an account and choose a Theme. We’ve made it simple so you don’t have to do the work. The website is SEO optimized and has a top ranking status with the search engines. The FREE Theme comes with Social Media integration and Email Marketing. Go live on the web and send an email campaign to your customers. They’re the first to see your brand new website. And best of all, it’s FREE. Start now, today!

The paragraph above is the type of content specifically written to lure you into the Free Version because this is exactly what you want to do. Find a Theme that doesn’t cost anything because WordPress is technically free, then choose a Theme and send an email campaign to your customers to grow your business online. This is Copywriting. A specific style of writing meant to persuade you that this is a good idea to implement because it’s just how you want it. What isn’t written is the reality of the false claim.

It is not possible to set up a functional website to do business on the web with a built in email campaign feature. To build a functional website you will need more than a free platform to start with. Hosting Companies that offer free platforms for a website have restrictions; limited memory, no tech support for the theme,  no server access to send an email campaign, limited choice of themes, advertisements that can only be removed by upgrading to a paid account.

Only after you signed up for the FREE, do you realize the restrictions. But you ignore the problem and try to continue anyway because it’s FREE, and there’s nothing to loose. This is the rationale that is intended, to trick you into this is what you’ve been looking for.

Sold on FREE

I’ve done it many times. Fell for the free version, and then the push notices to upgrade. At first the upgrade push is subtle then it becomes aggressive. That’s when you start to get blocked and cannot accomplish what you want with the free version.

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You Will Be Persuaded

This is why I didn’t become a Copywriter after graduating from AWAI (American Writers and Artists Institute). I found I did not enjoy using persuasive techniques to sidestep the truth.

Now That You Know

You are free to get rid of buying into the free version. A website has three basic components to function on the web, a Domain Name, a Hosting Company, and a Theme. You will find offers of a free Domain when you sign up for Web Hosting. Here’s where you do the math, and work within your budget. 

The tools to create a website have been greatly improved but the underlying factor on the journey to building a website is that the free version won’t yield a fully functional website. Today, without a functioning website a business or service is not going to succeed, no matter how good the products or services are.

Many people fail to launch their business online simply because they had the wrong information when they started out with a freebie offer. 

Building a website isn’t going to be free it’s a carefully planned journey that leads to establishing an online business or service. The first three stops on this journey are in this order:

WordPress Changes

WordPress Changes

The WordPress core used to be a framework which worked in conjunction with a WordPress Theme. 

Today, we have the Gutenberg Block Editor as the default editor for WordPress. This change has brought into question that Themes are going to be outdated and won’t be needed because the Gutenberg Block Editor will allow a full front end customization. This presumes that WordPress users will want to customize their website.

There is no truth to this. It’s one of the strange elements in the world of technology the prediction of the end of something because there is a new feature introduced that makes something else supposedly obsolete.

Theme Developers Anticipated WordPress Changes

The front end design has already been implemented by Theme Developers who saw the the picture with WordPress. The user doesn’t want to be a developer, they would like to use the Theme and get on with operating their business or service.

The Theme Developer is someone who knows exactly how to code and produces a Theme which gives the user full control over putting the content onto the web page without having to know code.

The Gutenberg Editor is attempting to bypass the Theme Builders and create a fully functionng front end building system that doesn’t require a Theme. The problem with this idea; the owner of the website doesn’t want to develop the website, operate it and run a business or service all at the same time. 

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The Problem

This was the problem with WordPress in 2006 when I first starting using it for my website. It’s still the same problem today. Without the Page Builder feature built into the Divi Theme, I might not be using WordPress.

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The Solution

If WordPress continues to want to push out the Theme Developers then the Theme Developers will answer by using another core software for their Theme. They are that advanced and are not totally dependant on WordPress.

The Change Won’t Affect Theme Builders

The user-friendly interface of the Page Builders and the popular Premium WordPress Themes will not be discontinued no matter how much the Gutenberg Editor changes.

There are too many websites running on WordPress worldwide. The Gutenberg Editor isn’t going to eliminate the Developers of WordPress Themes. There is always the sensationalist who will speculate on the dire end of something. All it will do is improve the existing features to bypass the Gutenberg Editor.

WordPress does not have a design framework and this is what it is attempting to do with the Gutenberg Block Editor. Most of the Premium WordPress Themes have the design element already built in. A webpage is made up of a series of tables stacked on top of each other separated by dividers for each section.

The sections, rows, and modules have presets which just means you don’t need to adjust the width or height of a column. When you use the drag and drop modular system, you create sections, then add a row. Within the row, you choose a column layout, and then add the desired module. The module is where you enter the content and add a design if it’s not already preset.

Styling the content is one of the remarkable things about a WordPress Theme, and you can style the content yourself. This means you can style a website without the expense.

Styling A Website Without The Expense

Styling A Website Without The Expense

The style of a website means the way it looks, the design, the colors, the typography, the logo, isn’t this what the designer does for a website? Not if you have the software to style the website you don’t need a designer.

Not everyone likes to style, that’s when you find a designer but you must be prepared to pay them for their services. As you should. No one should work for free. This is if you want someone to do your website for you. 

If you want to learn how to style a website contact me and I’ll show you how it’s possible to style a website without the expense. What you need is basic knowlege because there is an initial learning curve.

Design Tools

Design tools contained within the website software are made for this purpose. Notice the heading Design Tools with the small highlight added in, this is a Design Tool. It is a plugin that is specifically made to enhance the style of the text.

I can also change the text style and make it a different color:

Change The Text Style

This is done inside the Text Module in the Design section where I can change the color, and the style of the heading. All this is done by selecting the style and the style appears. There’s no magic to it. It’s just one of the many features built into the software used to style a website.

The point of style is to showcase the content in a form that is attractive and pleasing to the visitor. If there is too much print it is tiresome to read. I’m sure you’ve noticed how different life is for us. We now consume larger quantities of information and we are often operating on information overload.

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The Images

Images are vital to the style of a website. They convey meaning without words. All the images should be compressed and resized before uploading it into the website. 

If an image file is too large it will slow the page load time. 

Styling is possible with any module. There is no limit to the design you can use. The only thing to avoid is overdoing the style.

You don’t have to follow the trend of styles. They will always change and you’ll find yourself wondering which style is the best style. There isn’t one. 

Styles

The style can always be altered and the text can change color. Even the background can be changed. 

Uniquely Different

You will stand out from the competition when you start to style a website. It will be your style and not a uniform style that looks like every other website.

Styling is effective and the choice of color for the style of the website is a matter of personal choice. You can look up the meanings of colors but it comes down to what color resonates with your idea for the website you want to create. All the styling done on this website cost $0.00 because the style elements are built into the software using the Divi Theme.

There are some developers that will tell you this kind of styling is not good for SEO because the content is placed into modules within sections and rows.

The truth is; the content on a web page is contained in dividers which are positioned inside tables of sections and rows. Inside the rows are the modules which contain the content. All web pages have the same structure regardless of the kind of content placed into them.

An ‘expert’ will tell you that you need them to do it for you, and you’re not able to do it. Why? Because they want to charge you for their service to ‘optimze for SEO.’ The way you optimize for SEO is to offer regular topical content directly on point to the subject.

A search engine crawls the website, and if your content is topical and relevant to the search query; your website will be found.

When you style a website Using Divi, which is the same Theme the designers and developers use, you can style your website without the expense.

Designing and Incorporating a Blog with Divi

Creating WordPress Pages and Posts

The WordPress software is a content management system. The content in a website is put into Pages and Posts. The two pages have different functions.

The WordPress Page

A Page is static, and remains as it was on the day it was created. Think of when you hold a single sheet of paper, this is a Page. In a website you can add as many pages as you need. They can be grouped together and arranged in a hierarchy of importance with a Parent Page and a Child Page.

All the Pages created in a website are organized in the content management system in a Page Database in alphabetical order. From the Dashboard you can see All Pages this takes you to the main Page Database. The database will show the number of pages in the website how many are published, how many drafts, and how many are in the trash.

As you can see the system is well organized so you can see at a glance the Pages that have been created. It also prevents you from creating a duplicate page. The Pages in a website are topical, relevant to the subject of the website.

Pages in a website are similar to a magazine. In the website there is a navigation feature known as the Top Menu where the Main Pages are found for easy access.

Planning the Content of the Pages

It’s important to think about what you name the page. You’ll see the usual pages in a website as in Home, About, Services, Contact, as long as the Page is descriptive in the title then the visitor to the website understands this is an About page. The About page is usually a page that explains what the website’s purpose is.

The Page must be informative and convey information. What you want to avoid is too much information or too little information. 

Don’t make the visitor have to figure out the information on the website. This is actually the title of a good book on the subject of website content; Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug. The author wrote this book out of frustration because so many websites cause the visitor to have to think their way through the website instead of accessing the information easily.

The WordPress Post

The Post is a Blog Post. The Blog is a web-log like a journal entry.  The Blog Post has graduated into a vital publishing tool for businesses and individuals beyond a journal entry. It is now one of the major ways for businesses to communicate on a regular basis as information changes and new products are developed.

As we discussed above the Page is static, but the Post is created and is listed in chronological order. The most recent Post being listed at the top on the date the Post was written.

A Post is like a Magazine Article. It is interesting and contains updates with the latest information. It is an excellent way to inform customers, and talk about new products or inventions related to the type of business or service offered.

It’s the news and everyone wants to be the first to know the news, especially if it affects a system people are using. Or there is a major change to the business as we used to do it to the ‘new normal’ which now has a new structure.

The Posts Database Page has the same layout as the Pages listing the Posts with the most recent on top, the Author, and the Categories.

Posts, or Blog Posts, are not difficult to create providing you understand how to put the content into the Post. The thing to remember about using the Editor is this; it’s just a matter of knowing how the software works, and using it. The software operates the same way all the time. Once you get used to it you’ll find the system works well.

There is an art to putting content onto a Page or a Blog Post. You always want the minimal amount of distractions when creating any content.

There are a lot of “cool” things you can do with animation, slide in, popups, but you must keep in mind these additional moving parts to a Blog Post or a Page will be an irritant to the viewer.

The Visual Builder

Putting Content Into the Page or Blog Post

The most efficient way to put content into a website Page or Blog Post is to use the Visual Builder which bypasses the Classic Editor and the Gutenberg Editor. Neither are needed because you’re working on the front end of the page.

The Visual Builder was introduced into the Divi Theme and has changed the way we build websites. The Visual Builder is an extension of the Page Builder that is built into the Divi Theme. With the Visual Builder you see your edits in real time.

The styling features are built into the modules. The Visual Builder is the most advanced tool to come out and it’s the best kept secret of designers and developers, but it’s not a mystery. Anyone can use it. The Visual Builder was desgined so you and I could enjoy creating the content for the WordPress Pages and Blog Posts in a website.

Sometimes you might not be able to find the answer to a question you have when you’re working on creating content. You’ll need to know How to Use The Divi Builder Helper.