Thrive Themes Review

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Table of Contents

Have you ever wondered if WordPress can be used as a sales funnel builder, learning management system, email optin form, urgency and scarcity notifications and more?

In this Thrive Suite (Formerly Thrive Themes) review, I'll how it can be done with just one set of WordPress plugins…

Let's get started.

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.7 out of 5 stars

Thrive Theme Builder is NOW LIVE!

It’s a NEW product, totally different from the previous set of themes from the Thrive Team. It is to be first launched to the public on March 2, 2020, first to the members of the ANNUAL subscription, then will be later on rolled to those without the annual plans.

If you’re worried about this switch, there’s no need to worry because the theme is totally Cross-compatible.

It is 100% visual, drag-and-drop editing for your entire website. It’s the same way as editable in Thrive Architect.

This includes areas like:

  • Header
  • Footer
  • Single Post
  • Single Page
  • Blog Page
  • Archive Pages
  • 404 Pages
  • Content Area
  • Page layout
  • Sidebar
  • Author box
  • Post meta
  • Related posts
  • Social sharing

It removes the complexity of editing your entire website.

It’s not just a UI layer like most WordPress page builder. It’s kinda like Thrive Architect. As you know Thrive Architect is all about the unique page and unique content on your blog page.

The Thrive Theme Builder is where you can edit your main theme template and it will reflect on ALL the posts and pages it’s configured to.

Thrive Theme Builder is NOT a plugin for two reasons

  1. You can install it as a plugin, but you need to install it as a THEME
  2. Using a plugin to edit the theme is actually not how WordPress is designed to run.

Theme Builder is installed as a WordPress theme so that the theme can cover what the core WordPress platform should do (single posts, single products, etc).

Thrive Theme Builder Example

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Shane Melaugh’s Active Growth is an example of a site built on Thrive Theme Builder

Who should be using Thrive Theme Builder? Who should switch?

The target audience for the Thrive Theme Builder is an “Online Course Creator” who has a one-or-two person team or a small team that manages their website and content.

How can we buy Thrive Theme Builder?

You can only buy Thrive Theme Builder if you subscribe to the Annual Thrive Membership access which is currently $228/year software.

According to Adobe, up to 38% of website users leave and stop engaging with a website with a cluttered design or website layout.

Does your site look like it was last updated in the 90’s?

Are you here because you want to have a beautiful website without hiring expensive website developers?

Are you considering Thrive Themes because you have heard that it contains a lot of “plugins” that can enhance the capability and functionality of your website for a low monthly/annual cost?

Are you here because you want to capture more email subscribers?

Or maybe you want to create beautiful and engaging blog posts?

And most of all, are you here because you want to create and build websites that the search engines would love so that you’ll get more free traffic from the search engines?

Ready for this?

Let’s get started.

What is Thrive Themes?

​Thrive Themes is a set of powerful WordPress Themes and Plugins created by Shane Melaugh (the creator of SE Cockpit, Hybrid Connect, and the blogger behind ActiveGrowth).

These are the current list of Plugins included when you purchase a Thrive Themes membership: (save more than $700 by using this affiliate link and when you get the annual plan (recommended).

  • Thrive Architect – this plugin allows you to build landing pages and create beautiful posts like this.
  • Thrive Leads – this is SUPER useful as it allows you to capture email subscribers in many ways
  • Thrive Ovation – capture and display customer testimonials on your website
  • Thrive Ultimatum – this is a countdown timer with evergreen functionalities and more
  • Thrive Headline Optimizer – this allows you to test which article headline works best
  • Thrive Clever Widgets – this allows you to customize the content of your sidebars and widgets
  • Thrive Quiz Builder – want to create quizzes on your site? This tool does that and more
  • Thrive Apprentice – build membership blogs and offer paid access to content using this plugin
  • Thrive Comments – a new way to attract and upvote comments on your website
  • Thrive Optimize – Run A/B split-testing on your pages and website

​I’ve been using it for more than 2 years and I’ve used it for this website as well as my other niche sites.

I’ve also ranked websites created with Thrive Themes to the top of the search results (yes, sites built on Thrive Themes get free traffic from Google and other search engines).

But rather than repeating the information that’s already available on the official website, I’ll share my personal favorites and frustrations when using Thrive Themes.

Disclosure: This website is using most of the Thrive Themes plugins available. You’ll discover my top Thrive plugin favorites (and why) as well as those that I avoid using or didn’t have time to use.

Plugin #1 – Thrive Architect

Just in case you didn’t know it yet, Thrive Architect used to be Thrive Content Builder. Actually, it had the same purpose, but Thrive Architect was completely re-coded (read my full review) and very much differ from how you use Thrive Content builder.

So if you’re using Thrive Content Builder before and have planned to migrate to Thrive Architect, you might encounter some incompatibility issues.

Why use an editor like Thrive Architect?

That’s a very good question. The reason you want to use a visual editor is to help you design better and more engaging content. If your content appeals to your readers because of design and it’s aesthetic beauty then you’ll have higher conversions as more people would stay longer and engage on your website.

You might be wondering, why not design your WordPress posts and pages with Photoshop or HTML? You can, but that would definitely take longer.

Thrive Architect allows you to quickly design your posts and pages without the need for third-party design and graphic tools like Adobe Photoshop. And there’s no coding too* as Thrive Architect is a FULL Drag-and-Drop plugin! 

*You can still write code like HTML but that’s entirely optional, but it’s available if you want to use it.

Plugin #2 – Thrive Leads

If you’re building your email list of subscribers who said “YES” to receive your marketing materials then you’re ahead of the game. Most website owners are not even doing email marketing. 

Research shows that email marketing is still ONE, if not the channel that brings the highest ROI when it comes to online marketing efforts and campaigns.

And while there are many ways to capture and get more email subscribers, I don’t know of any other tool like Thrive Leads that matches it’s capabilities, features, and function at the price point it provides.

If you’re subscribed to the monthly or annual membership of Thrive Themes, you’ll even get Thrive Leads for FREE!

Here’s a FUN FACT about me. At first, I’ve hesitated to purchase Thrive Themes because most of the plugins back then are already duplicate functions of what I already have (from Free and Paid Plugins).

But when I saw the video about Thrive Leads, I didn’t hesitate and purchased it immediately.

I got a really great deal for it but after a few months, I saw the additional improvements and plugins in Thrive Themes, that I’ve now purchased the entire suite: Thrive Themes. (screenshot here).

How I get more leads with Thrive leads

​Thrive Leads has very advanced targeting and design capabilities. 

The challenge is NOT being able to find what you need. The challenge is being able to DECIDE on what to use. Resist the temptation of using everything, because TOO much “popups” will ANNOY your readers.

Here’s what I used for my own websites (you should try them too).

1. Popup Lightbox – Some people don’t like this because it annoys some readers. But this is also one of the best ways to grab the attention of your website visitors.

PRO Tip – Use popups with EXIT INTENT (when they are thinking of leaving your page) as you can recapture people before they leave your site for good.

2. Two-Step Optin Form – On Clickfunnels, it’s called Click Pop, on Leadpages, it’s called a Lead box, but the idea and strategy is the same. Click and then another Popup shows. I believe there are some research that shows that these are converting much better than regular optin forms because of the principle of “micro commitments” which says that people are more willing to take positive action if the commitments are smaller (clicking on a YES button instead of an OPTIN form).

PRO Tip – Use these on your sidebar, buttons, and images as well.

There are more ways to grow your email subscribers with Thrive Leads. And it’s best that you check out the entire list of features inside Thrive Leads. 

​PRO Tip – With the addition of Thrive Architect as the built-in editor of Thrive Leads, you can now optimize your Optin forms in different devices: Desktop, Tablet or Mobile.

This is important because if you want higher conversions, your Optin forms should look great on ANY device.

Plugin #3 – Thrive Comments

Thrive Comments is a plugin that handles comments on your blog. You can use this plugin to allow upvotes on comments and increase the engagement of people visiting your blogs.

Plugin #4 – Thrive Ovation

​In 1995, Jeff Bezos (from Amazon) change the way the world perceived reviews when they’ve made customer reviews and testimonials available publicly. They weren’t received favorably in the industry at first, but look at us now… 

Consumers are looking at Testimonials and Reviews before they make a purchase.

Before Thrive Ovation, it’s really hard to collect and display customer testimonials in your WordPress blogs. But that is NOW going to change because of this plugin.

I use Thrive Ovation to capture and collect feedback and testimonial. I also use Thrive Ovation to display these reviews in my sales pages.

Plugin #5 – Thrive Ultimatum

Urgency and Scarcity are great ways to increase conversions on your website because of the principle of Loss-Aversion. We humans are more likely to take action if we know that we’ll lose something important if we don’t take action. 

​If you want to implement this principle on your landing pages and website, then you’ll be able to do that with the Thrive Ultimatum plugin.

The major difference of Thrive Ultimatum over other countdown timers is that it can create standard and evergreen countdown timers.It also has powerful expiring links and bulletproof tracking to prevent people from gaming your “scarcity offers”.

That means that you can run visitor specific countdown timers and it will be different per person. It’s a great way to automate the sales of your products and services.

Plugin #6 – Thrive Headline

​Thrive Headline is a plugin that you can use to split-test headlines. The idea here is that you could increase your clicks through increasing the CTR (click through rates) of your articles through split-testing headline ideas. 

This is one of the plugins that I have really used extensively on my own website. Again, it’s simply because I didn’t have enough time to try all of the features inside the suite of Thrive Themes plugins.

Plugin #7 – Thrive Clever Widgets

​This plugin is only relevant for those people who are going to implement sidebars on their website. From now on (2018), I’m going to implement a full width blog on my sites, starting with TRAFFICSALAD.

​I love sidebars, but I’ve also noticed that my traffic from mobile devices have increased significantly in the previous months.

So sidebars would not even be noticeable. I’d rather format my site as a mobile-first design as Google has decided to do a mobile-first indexing as it responds to consumer behavior changes.

But just in case you’re still using Side bars and you have different topics or categories you should be using Thrive Clever Widgets. Here’s how it would look like.

PRO TIP: For those who are using Full-width designs on their website, you can still use Thrive Clever Widgets on your Footer widgets. Some ideas would be to have different widgets based on the awareness level of your customer (are they browsing, hunting or buying).

Plugin #8 – Thrive Apprentice

Ever wanted to create your own membership site and sell online courses? With Thrive Apprentice you can do that. It is Thrive Themes’ built-in membership and course plugin.

I liked it, but I didn’t fully implement it on my websites because I already have a membership plugin that I’m using. It does look promising because it contains various features that can help with motivating your customers to finish your courses. 

Plugin #9 – Thrive Quiz Builder

And the next plugin is Thrive Quiz Builder.

I’m really excited for this plugin, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to create a lot of these quizzes. This is a great way to engage your readers with your content and brand.

It’s also a great way to start segmenting your readers based on the topics they are interested in.

Plugin #10 – Thrive Optimize

And the last plugin (for now at least) is Thrive Optimize.

If you’ve been wondering how you can split-test and analyze traffic to your landing pages just like those built with Clickfunnels and Leadpages, you can now do that (sort of) with Thrive Optimize.

IMPORTANT: As of this moment, you can only use Thrive Optimize on WordPress Pages and not on your regular blog posts. 

Let’s take a quick look inside Thrive Optimize:

Do I use the themes from Thrive Themes suite?

I’m personally NOT using the themes from THRIVE THEMES on this website. I prefer to use a more robust framework like Astra or Optimize Press 3.

But the Thrive Themes Builder is different and I’ll be using that for another website that I have.

For this website: TrafficSalad, I’m using Smart Themes by Optimize Press 3 as it’s part of Optimize Funnels.

But I’m using the Thrive Architect Plugin to format ALL my posts, pages and landing pages.

It’s a powerful combo because you get the benefit of both worlds. The Powerful Capabilities of Elementor PRO and the Visual Editing (WYSIWYG) capabilities of Thrive Architect.

If you decide to go with Thrive Themes, check out the Focus Theme which is a popular theme for bloggers and niche site builders.