Some weeks ago, I was approached by Rico Toet a young, brash, enthusiastic web developer who lives in Amsterdam, Holland. Rico had an idea, nay a fully-fledged concept and working model of a child theme that contained layouts, modules, sections and rows from all the various ‘free’ layouts that were out there in the Divi Community. Rico was using it in his development environment and his business was growing rapidly because of it.

Rico’s idea was to sell this child theme as a go to resource for developers and designers to use as a resource to fulfil their clients design desires. By accessing parts of the layouts, saving them to the library and then importing them into your pages – the design process was faster, better and more importantly – easier! He approached me to become a vendor on Elegant Marketplace – little did he know what would become of that approach.

I immediately saw the potential and arranged that day to meet up with Rico in his home town to get a better idea of what this concept was and to make a decision to invest on behalf of Elegant Marketplace and the community to make Rico’s dream come true – or not.

Any of you that follow me either on my personal Facebook page or in the Divi Theme Users group, knew that I was visiting Holland and that the visit was littered with flight delays and, the weather was pretty hairy for flights, even one that lasted only 35 minutes from London to Amsterdam.

I could have cancelled the meeting due to bad weather and over 4 hours delay on my flight to Schipol. I could have decided to just do the meeting remotely. But, I knew that a face to face with Rico was essential if we were to decide to back this venture and, no Storm – especially one called ‘Doris’ was going to interrupt my trip.

Whilst in Amsterdam I had decided to meet up with Helen Bakker, a child theme developer and resident of Amsterdam who kindly offered to meet me and take me to my meeting with Rico – without that kind offer, I would not have made it – so, thanks to Helen, this project had a great start – I could get to where I needed to be, albeit delayed by hours and, the concept of providing an easy way for developers and designers to access layouts easily, got under way.

After looking at the concept of the child theme, one thing struck me – it was an immediate reaction due to the amount of content the child theme contained. It just would not work as a viable installation.

With over 233 pages of content made up of every free layout  out there it would be a nightmare to install on various servers with varying degrees of capacity – most users would fail to install it due to restriction on bandwidth, upload limits and let’s face it – patience whilst waiting for it all to get on the WordPress installation.

Notwithstanding the fact that the content was garnered from the community shares that developers do to get signups and to promote their premium items – which is an issue within itself – just because its free, doesn’t mean that we can put them into a paid product -yes, there are websites that ‘share’ free layouts – one particular ‘educator’ even lists these free items on his website and ‘sells’ them via a Woocommerce application to get sign ups – but, this was not the right way to go – they may be free, but frankly, they are not ours to share. So, had I wasted my time by visiting Amsterdam, had the delays and the late-night meetings been in vain?

No.

From this meeting came Divi Cloud – the decision is based upon something I saw a while back whilst using Slider Revolution. As a premium user of SR, you can install sliders and elements straight from Theme Punch servers right into your installation and start working on them immediately. There had been musings within the Divi Community of a Divi Cloud Solution but nothing was out there and as a page builder, Elementor was making great strides  into this arena AND it had the ability to install layouts straight from its own application – it was a simple decision – WE HAVE TO DO THIS!

WOW! Could we possibly build an application like that, make it a plugin and align that with a membership model?

Damn right we could.

But, what about content?

We decided early on that we could not use the ‘free’ layouts from the developer community without permission even though they are issued with various license terms that would allow us to share freely.

So, off Rico went and developed layouts, modules, rows and sections that could act as a repository. Eileen my long suffering business partner in Elegant Marketplace and I committed Elegant Marketplace to a budget to develop the concept of Divi Cloud.

On my return to the UK, I hooked up with my developers – these are high end server, javascript and programming guys that I have worked with for years – I told them the concept and the pricing came back – some were fine, most were so outrageous it kind of told me that they did not want to do the job.

The underlying issue though was that in most of the quotes, the timeline was months – frankly, we needed this out in weeks – the concept is so good that we could not possibly be the only ones to have thought of it so we needed to implement our idea ASAP!

We know a fantastic developer called… Sean Barton. He understands WordPress, system integration, memberships and of course Divi. 48 hours after landing back in London I took the long drive to see him and pitched the idea over a long lunch. By the end, we had developed a road map to launch!

To say we were excited is the understatement of the decade!

Sean got it immediately, he understands me completely, we have worked together for over 12 years as Client and Developer and as a Divi Developer we brought him into EMP as an exclusive vendor – he is without doubt one of the best Divi plugin developers out there and we just had to have him on the Divi Cloud team.

So, what have we got now just a few weeks after meeting with Rico?

We have built the site Divi United, set up the memberships from Personal, Freelancer and Agency.  We’ve loaded the first of many unique layouts and we are continuing to work on modules, rows and sections.

Sean has built the 3rd iteration of The Divi Cloud Plugin and –  it works. A few well known Divi developers have expressed an interest and committed to supplying unique layouts to the site.

So, what’s in the Divi Cloud Plugin?

  • The plugin is available for purchase on Elegant Marketplace and on Divi United
  • Free membership will automatically be assigned and an API issued to each user via Divi United (the platform where Divi Cloud sits) on purchase of the plugin which will give you access to over 25 layouts immediately.
  • An upgrade path to premium memberships is available within the plugin so that you can take advantage of more layout content and have the ability to save your work to your cloud account.
  • Saving to the cloud will be for premium members only and depending on levels, some restriction on capacity will be applied. For Agency, this has been set at UNLIMITED STORAGE!
  • Sharing to the DIVI CLOUD Member community of both free and premium layouts that you develop will be made available soon – this means every member can become a vendor and benefit from and give to the Divi Cloud Membership community
  • Inclusion of royalty free background videos, gifs and images that Divi Cloud make available
  • Some layouts may include the use of plugins available on the Elegant Marketplace Store and you will be able to purchase these within the application if you do not already own them
  • The ability to purchase child themes, plugins and premium learning will be made available through the Divi Cloud Plugin
  • At the time of writing there are more than 85 layouts and over 30 sections, modules and rows available. Not a bad start!

All these benefits and more will be included in various premium level memberships and can only help you become a better, faster more informed web designer.

Divi Cloud IS changing the way we all work with Divi – It already has the resources of Elegant Marketplace and the Team members of Rico Toet, Sean Barton and Andrew and Eileen – its a dream team – and we are building something fantastic!

Imagine…working in your development site and having layouts, sections, modules and other elements immediately available for importing directly in the page you are working on, saving those layouts to your cloud account once you have adapted them for use for your client site.

Every time you start a new development, you install Divi Cloud and all your previous work is right there, ready to use, no hunting for that pricing table, no more searching various folders on your computer or websites for your favourite page layouts, no more HEADACHES!

Take a look at what we have achieved in a few short weeks and join the hundreds of members who are now taking advantage of this premium membership cloud solution.