The major update of WordPress 5 on December 6th 2018 along with the update of Divi to version 3.18.xx shortly after has led to a number of important changes in the way that we build our websites using the Divi builders. The key change everyone has noticed is the fact that the back-end Divi builder is no longer available by default.

The latest version of Divi works with the latest version of WordPress, but to get it working the way you want it to may require you to take a couple of simple extra steps after making your updates.

“The latest versions of Divi, Extra, Bloom, Monarch and the Divi Builder are compatible with WordPress 5.0. It’s important that you update Divi to version 3.18+ before updating WordPress to version 5.0. ” Nick Roach. Elegant Themes

Updating to WordPress 5.0 and Divi version 3.18.xx

You do not need to update today, or next week, but at some point you will. The WordPress 5.0 update is a major one and with any major change in software there can be issues. For this reason, I personally am not updating my live Divi websites until the new year. But many people are updating and doing so with no issues. If you want to update your Divi site to the latest versions of Divi and WordPress you should do so in the following order;

  1. Make a back-up of your website
  2. Update your plugins
  3. Update your Divi Theme to 3.18.xx (make sure your username and API key are in the Divi Theme Options)
  4. Update WordPress to 5.0 (Update WordPress after your plugins and Divi Theme are updated)

Choose how to use Divi 3.18.xx with WordPress 5.0 

When you update Divi and WordPress you will have 3 choices of how to use the Divi builder.

Option 1 (Default) – Divi Front-end Visual Builder or WordPress Gutenburg Block Editor

By default in WordPress 5.0 there is no WordPress classic editor or Divi Back-end builder at all. Now that you have Divi and WordPress updated, you will see that there is a totally new editor in the back-end of your WordPress dashboard when you add a new page or post.

You can choose to use either the Divi Front-End Visual Builder or the default WordPress Gutenberg block editor in the back-end WordPress dashboard. As before you can switch between the Divi Front-end Visual Builder or the WordPress block editor.

wordpress 5.0 Divi Theme


Option 2 (Recommended): New Divi visual back-end builder

Divi version 3.18.xx update includes the new back-end Divi visual builder. This means you can now access all the extra features of the front-end visual builder via the back-end WordPress dashboard. Using the back-end visual builder is currently an opt-in feature that needs to be activated via the Divi Theme options. This will become a default setting in the future that would then need to be turned off in required.

Activate the new Divi back-end visual builder you will need to;

  1. Make sure that you have updated Divi and WordPress as described above
  2. In your WordPress dashboard Go to Divi > Theme Options
  3. Go to the tab for Builder > Advanced
  4. Enable the “Enable The Latest Divi Builder Experience” switch

activate divi backend visual builder

With these setting enabled you can click on the “use Divi builder” in the back-end and the Divi visual builder will load directly in the back-end WordPress dashboard as seen in the image below.

divi viual builder backend

OR you can also activate the new Divi back-end visual builder by;

  1. Add a new page or posts
  2. Below the classic Divi builder look for the link that says “Switch To The New Divi Builder”
  3. Click the link to load the updated back-end builder and enable the “Enable The Latest Divi Builder Experience” in the options.

Option 3 – Classic Divi back-end builder or classic WordPress editor

It is possible to update Divi and WordPress and still use the old Divi back-end builder or old WordPress editor. In the Divi Theme options you can change the settings so that the new Gutenburg editor is not loaded, which then allows you to use the classic WordPress editor or the classic back-end Divi builder. Whilst this may keep a version of the Divi builder you may be used to, it is not the best Divi experience as this old version of the Divi builder is missing a number of key features that have been added to the visual builders, such as copy/paste styles, extend styles and hover effects.

To continue using the classic Divi builder or classic WordPress editor you will need to;

  1. Update Divi and WordPress as described above
  2. In your WordPress dashboard Go to Divi > Theme Options
  3. Go to the tab for Builder > Advanced
  4. Enable the “Enable Classic Editor” switch

activate divi classic builder WP5

With the “Enable Classic Editor” enabled, clicking on the “Use Divi Builder” will load the old back-end Divi builder as you can see in the screenshot below.

divi classic builder wordpress 5

Should I install the Classic Editor Plugin?

No, when you update to Divi version 3.18.xx you do not need the Classic Editor Plugin as the option to enable the classic editor is build into the Divi Theme Options. The Classic Editor Plugin was released to give users the ability to update to WordPress 5.0, but continue to load the classic WordPress editor rather than the Gutenburg Block editor.

Watch the Divi, WordPress 5.0 + Gutenburg video

What do you think of Divi, WordPress 5.0 + Gutenburg? 

I have updated a number of test sites (as you can see in the video above) but am yet to update my live sites. There is no great rush to update and I am happy to wait whilst bugs and fixes are found and implemented over the coming days and weeks. When I do update I will be most likely be clicking those 2 switches and using the classic editor and the visual backend builder.