Where should I store my premade Divi layouts?

Aloha, everyone! The Divi Designer’s Guide has been getting a lot of traffic recently, and I’m starting to get questions from some of its wonderful readers. In the second part of The Guide, I discuss creating reusable premade layouts so you can do faster work with your clients. Someone recently asked a great question: where and how should you store these layouts?

The underlying theme of this blog post is organization. And just like organizing a room in your house, there are many ways to tackle this problem, and it really comes down to how you feel most comfortable. One of the ways that makes the most sense to me is using a separate WordPress install to house your designs.

Basically, this means that you separate your online efforts into two places:

YourPractice.com

Your front-facing website used for business purposes. It attracts clients, showcases your portfolio, highlights testimonials, hosts your blog, and so on.

YourPractice.com/design or YourPracticeDesigns.com

Your premade toolbox. A separate WordPress install where you develop, showcase, and host your premade layouts.

While this decision is completely up to you, separating your business website and your “design toolbox” provides a few great benefits. First things first, you’ll be able to use the Theme Customizer with your new premade layouts without disrupting the global design of your front-facing site. Also, you’ll be more organized on the backend of your main website (WordPress installs with lots of pages can quickly get unruly!). Finally, you can style the core WordPress elements, such as the site menu, to be more suitable for your clients’ demonstration purposes – for instance, you’ll be able to add your client’s logo to the mockup without affecting your main website.

What this looks like in action

Let’s say I wanted to showcase the free Team layout from Day Two:

To do this, I would use my WordPress for premade designs to create a new page with a custom permalink like “team” and add it there. The final URL would be fairly simple: depending on your setup, either you.com/examples/team or youdesign.com/team. Or, if you used a subdomain, examples.you.com/team.

How you can do this

  1. Create a separate WordPress install where you can house your designs. You can buy a new domain and host it there, or if your host allows it, you can host a separate WordPress install in a subdirectory on your own website (like YourSite.com/examples).
  2. Install the necessary plugins to the new site, like Divi and Elegant Themes Updater. I also recommend installing a bit of security, like Limit Login Attempts, Sucuri, or Wordfence.
  3. From now on, design your premade Divi layouts on this “demo” site.
  4. When allowing clients to choose different layouts for their site, send them a link to each individual layout.
  5. When the client finds a layout they like, simply export it from this new install and import it into theirs. You can do this in less than a minute with Divi!

And to the asker: thanks for the great question! I really enjoyed writing this, and hope it can be of some help to you and your practice. If you or anyone else has questions, feel free to email them to instructor @ this domain!

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