Divi Theme How Fast Is It

Divi is one of the most popular multipurpose WordPress themes out there. While Elegant Themes, the developer, doesn’t publish public usage stats, Divi is definitely up there with other big names like Avada, the best-selling theme of all time at ThemeForest.

Divi is both a flexible theme and a visual, drag-and-drop page builder plugin, which means you can build out your entire site design using a simple visual interface. The fact that anyone, even non-developers, can build a custom website with Divi plays a big role in its popularity.

However, popular as those features might be, they’re not the main focus of our Divi theme review.

We will briefly touch on them at the end, but we’re mainly focused on how Divi performs from a page speed perspective. After all, we do make a WordPress performance plugin, so page speed is our main focus.

To help you understand how Divi performs, we’ve set up a test site that includes several pages built with the Divi theme/page builder. For each page, we’re going to test it in both an “out-of-the-box” and “optimized scenario”:

  1. We’ll test the Divi theme in its naked state, with no performance tweaks added.
  2. We’ll install the WP Rocket plugin and re-run all of those tests to see how Divi performs after you implement WordPress performance best practices.

How We’re Testing Divi’s Performance

Before getting to the performance data, let’s run through the testing environment so that you know exactly where this data comes from.

Our Divi test site is hosted on a cheap $5 per month droplet from DigitalOcean using PHP 7.4. Our droplet is hosted on DigitalOcean’s New York City location (NYC1).

To set up a realistic Divi website, we installed the Divi theme and then imported a set of themed templates from the Divi Den layout pack collection (which is built with the bundled Divi Builder). The site has four pages:

Depending on how you use Divi, your actual website might be “heavier” or “lighter” than our test page, but setting it up like this should create a pretty representative example of the average Divi website because most Divi users will use the builder to design their content. Additionally, the test templates include all the content elements that you’d expect on a real-world website.

Here’s what the homepage looks like:

Divi Theme Homepage Example

To collect performance data for each type of test page, we’ll use WebPageTest and the following testing configuration:

By testing this way, we’ll naturally get slightly “slower” numbers than a tool like Pingdom that uses an unthrottled connection, which is something to keep in mind. But this approach should be more accurate to what your real-life human visitors will experience when they visit your Divi website.

For each page, we’ll run two test scenarios.

First, we’ll test just the Divi content by itself, with no outside performance optimizations.

Then, we’ll re-test all of those pages after installing and activating WP Rocket. By default, WP Rocket enables page caching, Gzip compression, browser caching, and some other improvements. Beyond that, we’ll also enable file optimization for HTML and Google Fonts, as well as lazy loading.

Let’s dig into the data!

Divi WordPress Theme Performance Review

Below, you’ll find the data for the first test configuration, which is just the four core Divi pages (built with the Divi Builder) and no performance optimizations:

No performance optimizations:

PageRequestsSizeLoad Time
Home351.852 KB1.822 s
Blog31751 KB1.531 s
About381.878 KB2.010 s
Contact542.579 KB3.013 s

Overall, these numbers are solid for pages that are built using a visual, drag-and-drop editor.

Yes, you can certainly find faster WordPress themes, but Divi gives you a lot of flexibility and still offers adequate page load times. Elegant Themes released a big performance upgrade for Divi in June 2019, so this might play a role in why Divi performs better than some people give it credit for.

You might experience weighter pages if you load them up with slider modules and other “heavy” modules, but ~35 HTTP requests and under 2 MB is not bad for a page builder page, especially compared to some of the other popular multipurpose themes out there. For example, if you look at our Avada performance tests, you’ll see that those pages are quite a bit larger.

However, you can speed things up a good bit if you pair WP Rocket with Divi. How much? Here’s the data after activating WP Rocket on our Divi test site:

With WP Rocket:

PageRequestsSizeLoad Time
Home331.848 KB1.376 s
Blog30748 KB1.229 s
About261.439 KB1.084 s
Contact532.575 KB2.718 s

To help you visualize the differences between the two test scenarios, we’ll combine the median load times into a single table:


HomepageBlogAboutContact
Just Divi1.822 s1.531 s2.010 s3.013 s
With WP Rocket1.376 s1.229 s1.084 s2.718 s

While WP Rocket was able to shave a few requests off each page and slightly reduce the page size, you can see the biggest reduction in the median page load times.

Depending on the page, WP Rocket reduced the page load times by between 46% (the About page) and 10% (the Contact page).

Getting three of the pages under 1.5 seconds is great for user experience and shows that you certainly can get a fast-loading Divi site when combined with WP Rocket.

There are some things to consider when using WP Rocket with Divi, though. For example, Divi’s built-in A/B testing feature will not work with WP Rocket’s page caching because A/B testing relies on PHP. Similarly, you may need to make some tweaks to file optimization in either WP Rocket or Divi (which includes some of its own file optimization features).

You can learn more about using Divi with WP Rocket in this help article.

Pros & Cons of Using Divi

Divi Homepage

As you saw above, it’s quite possible to get respectable, or even fast, page load times when using Divi. But let’s quickly run over some other pros and cons of the Divi theme beyond performance:

Pros

Cons

Final Thoughts

Divi is not the absolute fastest WordPress theme out there, but it’s more than adequate and does well when you consider the flexibility that you get with the Divi Builder.

Out of the box, the page load times for pages built with Divi Builder and the Divi theme are solid. On just a cheap $5 per month DigitalOcean droplet, the page load times for “real-world” page designs built with Divi and the Divi Builder hovered around ~2 seconds, which is fine for most sites.

If you combine Divi with WP Rocket, you can probably get those page load times down under the ~1.5-second mark, which is definitely fast enough.

So if you like the multipurpose flexibility and bundled Divi Builder, you can still create a quick-loading website with Divi.

Have you had a chance to use Divi with WP Rocket? Or do you have additional questions? Feel free to leave a comment.

Author's avatar

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer who spends his days inside the WordPress dashboard. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi.

50 comments

Did you try Divi builder on any of these pages? It would be interesting to see the results with heavy customizations using Divi builder.

How about the latest version of Headway Themes being v4 ?

Have to turn of lazyload if that page has Parallax background too

If you try to use the A/B testing feature of Divi it's the same: no pache caching possible.
So ET's expertise is NOT pagespeed, and this is exactly what almost all of designers do: ignore pagespeed and sell good looking stuff.
What's really a pity on the other hand because ET seem to be familiar with Javascript ...

But who cares, this is WP rockets business right? The unawareness regarding pagespeed is characteristic for themers.

Hi,

I'm using the Divi theme and found this article when searching for speed tips for Divi. I used to use WP-Rocket before, but I stopped using it when I switched hosting to FlyWheel, as they building caching into their hosting.

But I think WP-Rocket might still be useful for minification and a few other tweaks.

Can I suggest that you consider an article for anyone who has FlyWheel as their host? If not an article, do you have any general tips about compatibility between FlyWheel inherent caching and using WP-Rocket?

Cheers,

Aidan Sweeney

    Hi Aidan,

    WP Rocket is 100% compatible with Flywheel.

    Here our documentation for all details:
    http://docs.wp-rocket.me/article/670-hosting-compatibility#flywheel

I would LOVE to see the speed and optimization tests on the Beaver Builder theme and page builder!!

Impreza please
https://themeforest.net/item/impreza-retina-responsive-wordpress-theme/6434280/comments

As you have covered Avada, The X ... what's about the great Enfold Theme ?

    @Martin: Enfold is on your TO-DO list :)

Awesome !

i am using divi theme in one of my site and surely gonna try wp rocket to boost site speed.
Thanks for this post

Regards
Chris

@Jonathan: you mean your TODO list, not mine right ? :)
Because i already use Enfold with WP Rocket.

Interesting test, I use all the mentioned themes, and looking to purchase your plugin.

One question, can you tell us how did you test the website speed (pingdoom, gtmetrix? or something else)
the location of the server and the location of the speed test server and show us a the actual demo website you have tested?

+1 for Beaver Builder Theme and Page Builder.

+1 for ENFOLD

How about flatsome? Very popular theme for WooCommerce.

Flatsome
Impreza
Upfront (wpmudev)

I have older client sites in Headway 2 & 3 as well as Pagelines DMS. I'm wondering if WPRocket will work well with them too. Thanks.

Great article. Would you please cover the Bridge theme by Qode? Thanks!

+1 for Enfold & Goodstore
+0.5 for Flatsome & Stockholm :-D

+1 for Beaver

Very interesting, I use Divi in lot of projects so I Would try your tips. Thanks!

+1 Enfold ;-)

For the sake of perspective, the Chris Lema post about "Divi Forever" referenced in this article is now 2 years old (despite the date at the top). He has since changed his views of Divi somewhat. In all fairness, though, there are still Divi detractors with current articles, just as with any theme. :)

I vote for testing Enfold - +1 Enfold!

We have been doing some tests on clients' websites built with Headway Themes. WP Rocket and HT go very well together, in case someone is interested.

Best,
Milena

This is a really great case study. I don't use the Divi Theme but I could see more of these studies for other WP Themes being helpful.

Very good article!

I also would appreciate some tests with pages that are created by the Divi Builder to see if the use of the builder has any impact on the page speed.

+ 1 for Beaver Builder

I'd love to see the Salient theme being reviewed. You can find it here: https://themeforest.net/item/salient-responsive-multipurpose-theme/4363266. It's one of the top sellers at Themeforest.net.

THNX

Just took over a DIVI themed website and looking to get the speed setup to fully optimise the website.

I'm not sure that DIVI is really that great of theme though with most things considered though.

I have couple of suggestions for speed test setup: https://themeforest.net/item/enfold-responsive-multipurpose-theme/4519990 and https://themeforest.net/item/newspaper/5489609?s_rank=1

When you use the Divi Theme today (3.0 release) I believe it makes for a hell of a theme, almost like a framework. Adding WP Rocket to an already fast website hosted on Flywheel makes for an interesting case.

A quick note: that link to Chris Lema's post on Divi is an outdated one. He wrote that in 2014 and Divi has come a long way since then.

Ash

Thanks for sharing, its indeed really good

Hi,
Snyone had tried wp rocket with newspaper theme from TagDiv?
regards
midronepro.com

Will your plugin also speed up Newspaper theme?

    @ingilizcecin WP Rocket helps to speed up all WordPress themes!

Hi, interesting! I propose a genesis template based on the famework http://my.studiopress.com/themes/genesis/

Par example http://zigzagpress.com/portfolio/mindfulness-theme/ I recommand using the genesis framework with a good theme from studiopress itself of a third party supplier like zigzagpress.

Hope you can do a review of the benefits of WP rocket and genesis?

I loyal costumer...

Waiting for Themify Ultra theme

This is awesome case study! Will use divi theme for my other venture. Thanks :)

Hello! You should definitely test Uncode theme. It's one of the best ok the market right now!

Awesome idea :) i will try your plugin. Please test it on UNCODE theme from ThemeForest, they have beautiful design but poor performance.

can we say the same thing about EXTRA theme ?!

Hello,

Since the last update of Divi (3), a new and interesting feature have been released : CSS minification and built-in cache plugin. These two options may speed up Divi !

Hi, it would be valuable to get an updated article that shows the best configuration to use, plus comparison of results, now that Divi has been updated to provide CSS and JS minify.

I wish you could compare the top themes as of 2017. The theme of a website really matters in terms of speed. Also, things have really changed since 2015. Will really help everyone if the top themes are tested again as of 2017.

Genesis and any of the child themes, please!

CSS minification in Divi still not working good. On mobile Divi is very slow.

The objective downsides component of the story has been 'bought out' by Elegant Themes.

The link "Of course, there are downsides to using Divi" now redirects to DIVI sales page.

    Thanks for letting us know, Katw, we'll fix that! :)

We have several websites created with Divi that are optimized with the WP-Rocket plugin. We are enthusiastic about WP-Rocket.
Now Elegantthemes promotes the Divi Rocket Plugin: https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/divi-resources/divi-plugin-highlight-divi-rocket
Do you know this and have already done a feature comparison. At WP-Rocket we have an Infinite license for unlimited websites. We have the impression that with Divi Rocket a company wants to jump on the WP Rocket bandwagon with simple means

I use Divi with WP rocket and Siteground, and 99% of my pages are under 2 secondes, and most of them under 1 sec.

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