You are about to learn the differences between the Divi Theme and The Divi plug-in. We will take a look at what they both have in common and what their differences are so that you can determine which one you should use on your next website.

Below are the topics of discussion in this article. Feel free to click on any one of the following links to skip to that section.

What is the Divi Theme?

The Divi theme is the foundation for which you can build your entire website from scratch, just the way you want. When using the Divi Theme, you determine everything. Not only can you create sections, rows and columns, but you get to customize your theme’s settings as well.

When applied, the Divi Theme serves as a blank canvas, allowing you the freedom to build your masterpiece. There are no boundaries, and you are only limited by your own imagination.

 

What is the Divi Plugin?

The Divi Plugin allows you to take your existing WordPress website and apply Divi to it. This means that you can enjoy everything that your current WordPress theme offers, and yet have the freedom to create new sections, rows and columns. You can even apply any of the 46 Divi modules to your existing site!

At the same time, the Divi plugin will respect all of your current theme’s customization settings, giving you complete control over the look and layout of your existing website.

 

What Do They Both Have in Common?

One of the first questions that people want to know about Divi, is the difference between the Divi theme, and the Divi Plugin. This is a great question, and I will answer that in a minute, but to appreciate the differences, let’s first take a look at what they both have in common.

Everything related to building a site with Divi can be found in both the Divi Theme and the Divi plugin. Both provide the core functionality of what makes Divi, Divi. Both the Divi Theme and the Divi Builder provide the backend Divi Builder and the frontend Visual Builder. They both also provide sections, rows, columns, modules, layouts and settings that you can play with.

Additionally, they both allow you to use any one of the 46 modules offered by Elegant Themes. These modules are built right into both the plugin and Divi theme.

Moreover, both the theme and the plugin grant you complete access to the over 100 (and growing), Divi Layout Packs as well! This means that you can apply any one of the Divi Layout Packs, (or combination of Divi Layout Packs), to the site that you are developing.

 

What Are The Differences?

There are differences, but I don’t know that they would be considered disadvantages. Remember, the Divi plugin is not a watered down version of the Divi Theme. Rather, the Divi plugin respects the custom settings offered by the WordPress theme that it is applied to.

That being said, the Divi Theme does offer several things that the Divi plug-in does not offer, but these are things that you would expect a WordPress theme to have.

For example, in the WordPress dashboard on the left hand side, you’ll find a DIVI section. Within the Divi Theme Dashboard, you will find 5 sections. They include the following:

  1. Theme Options
  2. Theme Customizer
  3. Module Customizer
  4. Role Editor
  5. Divi Library

The dashboard menu for the Divi plug-in only has the 3 sections. These include:

  1. Plugin Options
  2. Library
  3. Role Editor

Again, the Divi Plugin does not have the Theme Options, Theme Customizer or Module Customizer because the Divi plug-in steps aside, and lets the WordPress theme take care of those settings.

Both the Divi Theme and the Divi Plug-in allow for Post Settings and Page Settings, but these settings are limited with the Divi Plug-in for the same reason. The Divi plug-in goes out of its way not to interfere with the settings of the given WordPress theme. It truly is there to support the theme that it is applied to.

A note should be made about Widgets and Child Themes. The Divi Theme offers the following widgets that you won’t find with the Divi Plug-in:

  • Advertisement
  • Adsense
  • About Me
  • Sidebar
  • Footer areas (4)
  • The option to create your own widget areas

Divi child themes require the Divi Theme because child themes inherit all the features from the parent theme. So, if you want to use a child theme, you must use the Divi Theme.

 

Do I Need to Install the Divi Plug-in in the Divi Theme?

This question comes up a lot. When I first started using Divi, I was not sure as to which I should use, the Divi Theme or the Divi Plug-in. “Isn’t the “Theme” better than the Plug-in?”, I thought. No, it is not. They are different only in that the Plug-in will respect all of the WordPress configuration settings.

In short, if you use the Divi Theme, there is no need to install the Divi Plug-in, because it’s already built into the Divi Theme.

 

Which One Should I Use?

It honestly does not matter if you use the Divi theme or the Divi plug-in. Both are going to deliver stellar results.

If you are building a site from scratch, use the Divi theme. If you are want to use Divi on an existing site, use the Divi plug-in. It’s not any more complicated than that. In using one, you are not missing out by not using the other.

 

Quick Summary

As a quick review, below you will find a quick summary of what each offers.

The Divi Theme includes all of the following:

  • The Divi Builder
  • Theme Customizer
  • Module Customizer
  • Page Layout Options
  • Blank page template
  • 3 widgets
  • Create Widget Area
  • Support for Child Themes
  • Theme Options
  • The Divi library

The Divi Plugin includes all fo the following:

  • The Divi builder
  • Page Layout Options (limited)
  • Post Layout Options (limited)
  • Divi layout Packs
  • The Divi library

Even after having read this article, when looking at the list above, the temptation is to believe that the Divi Theme offers more than the Divi Plug-in. It does, but only because the Divi Plug-in lets the WordPress theme take care of those settings for you. If the Divi Plug-in did offer those settings, it would be redundant.

You don’t need to concern yourself with the debate of “Divi Theme vs. Divi Plug-in”. There is no debate. The question really is, “Should I use Divi on my next website?” I address that very question in, “Why You Should Use Divi to Build Your Next WordPress Website”.