The Easiest Way to Make Your WordPress Divi Accordion Module Start Out Closed

Many people who use the WordPress Divi Accordion Module want it to start out closed by default. Every WordPress client I have who uses the Divi Accordion has asked for it, and there are many people online asking about it.

The way it works now is that the first element of the accordion defaults to open, which looks about as strange as always having one of your dresser drawer open in your bedroom. I have a solution that uses no JavaScript – only Divi elements and some CSS!

Existing Solutions

One way around this is to use multiple Divi Toggle Modules, but that doesn’t behave exactly the same as an accordion, as they don’t close automatically when another is opened.

If you look for other solutions online, you’ll find a bunch of JavaScript fixes to make the accordion default to closed. That was my first approach as well. But, some of these solutions don’t work anymore (broken in an update), and any JavaScript solution that works today is in danger of going obsolete in a future Divi update.

I’ve found a drop-dead simple solution that does not involve JavaScript (or any other programming) and will never go out of date!

After I wrote this article, Elegant Themes has published a JavaScript method to make the accordion default to closed. See the story here and jump to “Close Accordions by Default”. Note, you still might want to use my solution because it uses no JavaScript!

The Solution: Make an Invisible First Row!

The solution I came up with is to make a dummy first row which is invisible!

After you create your regular accordion items, create one with the title of “Invisible” (actually, it can be called whatever you want).

Go to the Custom CSS tab for that item and scroll down to Toggle Title. Enter “display: none;” here as shown below.

Divi Accordion CSS

Save the item.

Next, drag it to the top of the Item list so that it is first as shown below:

Divi Accordion

Save the module and the page.

Voila! The accordion should appear closed when you go to your site!  Check out this screenshot:

Divi Accordion with all items closed!

Now, depending on your theme’s styling, there might be some padding that is present in the invisible first row. Use CSS to set padding, height, etc. to zero in the first row’s CSS section if necessary.

How it Works

In reality, the first item of the accordion is open. But, it’s invisible, so the real accordion elements that you care about all look closed!

Clicking any visible element will open it as usual.  No one will know there’s an invisible one there!

As a bonus, you get a line on top, which is something that I think makes it look nicer.  If you don’t like it, you can “display:none” the entire first row (not just the text).

Bonus – How to Make a “Close Accordion” Button

The other thing that everyone asks for is the ability to close an accordion element by clicking it again. Right now, the only way to close one is to open another. There’s no way to close all elements in the default accordion once you’ve opened one.

There is a paid plugin called Divi Booster that lets you close an open accordion item by clicking it again (which is really what we want), but I haven’t tried it yet. They also supply the code to do it yourself.

You can also use a variation of the technique I described above to create a “close all” button.  Simply create an accordion item with no content, but with the title, “Close All” (or whatever you want the button to be called).

I recommend styling it differently to make it look more like a button.  I added CSS to the Toggle Title area of the Custom CSS section to make the font smaller and lighter than the other accordion titles.

Finally, hide the plus button by adding “display:none;” to the Toggle Icon area of the Custom CSS section of the item.

Voila! This accordion item will behave just like a “close accordion” button.  But, all it is is an accordion item with no content!

Increasing Accordion Open/Close Speed

This is another huge problem with the Divi Accordion and Toggle modules – they open way way too slowly! Unfortunately, these times are not adjustable in the admin, and they are in fact hard-coded in JavaScript files, so they can’t be overridden with CSS.

There is a hack but it’s not pretty.  Please get on chat with Elegant Themes to request adjustable open/close times!

Elegant Themes, please get on this! Until then, hope these hacks are helpful.

Let me know in the comments what you think. – Brian

21 thoughts on “The Easiest Way to Make Your WordPress Divi Accordion Module Start Out Closed”

  1. This didn’t quite work for me. I still get a border around the invisible toggle. I’ve tried adding “border: 0;”. But this doesn’t seem to have any effect. I also tried “border: none;”. No effect either.

    Please advise. Many thanks.

  2. Thank you!

    This actually lead me to making the following related customizations to use the top row as a Header.

    In the “header” row, set Icon, open and closed backgrounds to the same color. Then added the custom CSS Border: none; to Main Element (thanks, Alyssa below!) and both text-align: center; and font-size: 200%;

    With all that set, your first row will now act as a header and the accordion will appear to start closed!

    Thanks again!


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