Install Divi Theme & Avoid Errors

Have you ever heard of the Divi Cocktail?

You probably haven’t.. 

That’s because I made it up! 

Over the years I had created what I called the ‘Divi cocktail’, (changes I made to both WordPress files and regular hosting files so that Divi would run smoother).  But how exactly does this fit into this article about solving Divi Theme errors?

I’ll tell you:

These errors are caused by settings on your hosting that are intentionally set low.  Unfortunately, these are too low for Divi, so follow these steps to fix your Divi Theme errors!

One problem seen on a regular basis, is ‘Divi Timeout Error’.   It can happen just once, or up to hundreds of times, which is very frustrating!

In this article, I am going to teach you how to make one minor change to a file in your root folder (where your website lives), that will not only fix this error, but will help stop other errors in the future. 

Learn how to install Divi theme without errors, and learn how make a site run fast using Divi Theme

If you are looking for how to create a Child Theme in WordPress, I wrote an step-by-step guide on creating a Child Theme featuring Divi!  Make sure you set one up for yourself, find out why its important in the article.

Divi Installation

Divi is big.

It has more running pieces than any other typical WordPress themes. 

For example, the Divi Page Builder comes built into the Theme, instead of coming separately.  All these parts add up.  

Divi is powerful.

It can be used to design a layout (template) from scratch, which is why it is so popular. 

If you do not already have Divi Theme, you must buy it.  Please visit Elegant Themes website here and purchase the theme before moving on.

Step 1. Download from Elegant Themes

a guide to installing Divi WordPress theme

Now that you have Divi, click on My Downloads in the top right.  Click ‘Download the Divi Theme’.

Once downloaded, login to your hosting.  We need to make some changes inside your file manager, so Divi runs smoothly.

Step 2. The Divi Cocktail

Login to your hosting provider.  We are going to check out a couple things to make sure Divi will run smoothly.  

PHP Version

First, make sure PHP is set to 7.2.  WordPress can run on PHP 5.6, but that does not mean it should.  7.2 and higher will have a faster experience and is more secure as the code is still updated.  At the time of this writing, I do not think 7.3 or 7.4 is a good idea yet, I have seen it slow down too many sites.

PHP Settings

This step is important.  Divi will often time out due to not enough Memory Limit.  Other times it will fail during initial upload because ‘max_execution_time’ is not high enough.  This where the ‘Divi Recipe’ comes in.

For linux hostings, go to your File manager in your websites root, or FTP into the root folder of your website.  Make sure to check the setting to ‘Show All Hidden Files’.  In Filezilla this is available under Server -> Force show hidden files.

Filezilla show hidden files


Once you make sure you can see hidden files, look for the .ini file. 

There are 2 types of .ini files.  php.ini, which is the most known, and .user.ini.   php.ini makes a change that will affect all sites on your hosting.   .user.ini will only affect the website you are working on. 

If there is not a .user.ini file already, create one.  Just click create file, name it “.user.ini”, and start editing the empty file.

You will want to copy and paste the following code into your file:

memory_limit = 256M
max_upload_filesize = 256M
post_max_size = 256M
max_execution_time = 300
max_input_vars = 3000

We have changed the php settings to match what Divi documentation asks for, and in some cases more.

This sets:

memory_limit = 256M – this is the #1 reason your Divi Theme is erroring out.  Not enough memory.   This alone takes care of the majority of issues.

Max_upload_filesize = 256M – works in tandem with post_max_size below, meaning only the lowest value of the two will be allowed, both need to be the same.  This defines the size of how large your posts can be, and your upload limit is.

post_max_size = 256M – works in tandem with post_max_size below, meaning only the lowest value of the two will be allowed, both need to be the same.  This defines the size of how large your posts can be, and your upload limit is.  

max_execution_time = 300 is the number of seconds a program is allowed to run for, before it triggers a failure.  Divi is big, so we set this to 300 seconds..

max_input_vars = 3000 – represents the number of variables your server can use in a single function.  That’s nerd talk for how many lines of code are allowed.  Since Divi is a larger theme, it needs a higher value.


The last item to change is going to be the WordPress memory limit.  WordPress runs off of a different definition of Memory Limit than php.ini, which is set in WordPress itself.

It is set to a low value of 40M-64M.

It is important for WP_MEMORY_LIMIT to match memory_limit (which we just changed) from your .ini file.  This will be changed inside the wp-config.php file.

In file manager, in the root of your website, find the file wp-config.php, and edit it.  Find the line that reads  “/* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */“ and hit return after it, creating some space under it.

Copy/paste the following code into the wp-config.php file:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');

After making these changes, you are now ready to install Divi onto your WordPress.

Step 3. Upload Divi Theme to WordPress

Divi theme should be uploaded through file manager or FTP using filezilla. Upload the zipped folder and extract inside of file manager, inside of the themes folder.

Now that you have prepared your hosting, you are less likely to run into an error during install.  Upload the theme using your file manager, into the wp-content/themes folder.  

File manager only allows you to upload 1 file at a time, so just grab the folder on your computer and upload it.  Once it has been uploaded, right-click on it and select ‘Extract’. 

The pop up will display the folder to extract it to:  ‘/public_html/wp-content/themes’.  Click ‘Extract Files’, and Divi will now be a folder inside of Themes.

Step 4. Activate Divi in WordPress

Now that Divi has been uploaded, you should be able to find Divi as a useable theme inside of WordPress.  Login to WordPress, and jump down to the section Appearance -> Themes.  When you see Divi, hover over it and click on Activate.

That’s it!  you have successfully installed Divi Theme, which should be running smoothly.  Hopefully this helped out in some little way!

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