Elegant Themes announced the upcoming release of Divi 3.1 last year, and since then the excitement from developers has been building. Coined as “The Developer Release” by Elegant Themes, this update has been promised to deliver a clear path for developers who want to extend Divi by modifying existing modules or adding new modules to the Divi Page Builder and Visual Builder. Here’s what Elegant Themes had to say about Divi 3.1 in their blog post:
“Divi 3.1 will be remembered as one of the most important updates to Divi ever, laying the groundwork for a vibrant development community.”
Elegant Themes doesn’t appear to be holding back on their hopes for Divi 3.1. “One of the most important updates to Divi ever” is strong language. We at diviplugins.com have our fingers crossed that they can deliver! It’s important to note that Elegant Themes made it clear this update will not bring any new features to Divi, going as far as to say most people probably won’t even notice any change at all after updating. So why are developers so excited about Divi 3.1?
Currently the only way to create a custom Divi module is to reverse engineer the built-in modules that come with Divi (or use our Divi Module Builder plugin). Many modules have hundreds or even thousands of lines of code. Creating a module that actually works and displays correctly in the Page Builder is no small endeavor.
Divi 3.1 should change that. This is what Elegant Themes had to say about developer documentation:
“We will be adding more hooks and filters, documenting all functions and creating clear paths for extending modules and creating custom modules. We will be taking all of these updates and creating developer documentation that anyone can use to learn about Divi and how to customize it.”
Developer documentation is sorely needed. Without it, we as developers are left to implement our own best solutions for extending Divi. Once the documentation is released, we can all get on the same page and Divi and third party plugins will benefit.
Visual Builder Compatibility
Anyone who has attempted to add custom modules to the Divi Visual Builder can attest that it’s not possible without changing core Divi files. And anyone who knows anything about WordPress and maintaining compatibility using child themes knows that editing core theme files is always a bad idea. In the next Divi update, all of your changes would be overwritten and your custom module would no longer work in the Visual Builder.
For many, custom module compatibility in the Visual Builder is not that important. In fact, many developers prefer to work in the Divi Page Builder. However, if you have clients using the Divi theme, it won’t take long to realize most users LOVE the Visual Builder and are completely lost without it.
If Divi 3.1 brings nothing else but compatibility with custom modules and the Visual Builder, a lot of developers would still be happy.
Preparing for Divi 3.1
We know 3.1 is coming soon. We know it is built for developers. And we know it will provide documentation for creating custom modules that will work in both the Page Builder and Visual Builder. But what can we do to prepare? Nick Roach recently gave us a clue for just that in a Facebook post on March 6th, 2018. Here’s what he had to say:
“Calling all third party Divi developers! If you haven’t noticed, it has been 3 weeks since our last feature release. That’s because we are busy working on Divi 3.1, the focus of which will be creating a clear path for developers to easily build third party Divi Builder modules that are compatible with the Visual Builder (including new APIs and new developer documentation). This will be a really important part of the Divi community moving forward, and it’s just the first of many developer-centric updates that we hope to release in the future.
Creating Visual Builder modules will require some effort from developers (current third party modules won’t automatically work in the Visual Builder completely). However, we are working on some creative ways to automatically enable “limited support” for modules that have not yet been updated with Visual Builder support. This would mean that custom modules without “Visual” support could still be rendered in the Visual Builder in “block” mode and their settings would still be editable. There will also be an option to enabled “partial rendering support” which will let unsupported modules re-render using an Ajax request.
Will our modules be compatible with Divi 3.1?
If you are a diviplugins.com customer wanting to know if a plugin you downloaded from our website will be compatible with Divi 3.1, rest assured. We have submitted our plugins to Elegant Themes so they can review them and help with maintaining compatibility with existing plugins.
We believe the biggest question in the upcoming developer release is not whether existing modules will still work, but whether they will work in the Visual Builder. It’s encouraging to hear that the Divi developers believe most third party modules will work and be editable. They just won’t render live on the page until developers integrate React JS code.
We are doing everything we can to prepare for the update so our modules are compatible in the Visual Builder. This has been a highly requested feature we’ve wanted to deliver for a long time!
Thank you Elegant Themes and Nick Roach for your openness and willingness to allow third part developers such as ourselves to develop and extend the Divi theme. Going a big step further and actually providing documentation and clear paths for module development is above and beyond. I think I speak for the entire Divi developer community – we are very grateful and excited for Divi 3.1!