Welcome to my Thrive Themes review.
In this review, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about their core offering – Thrive Suite.
Thrive Suite is a collection of WordPress themes and plugins designed to help you build a conversion focused website.
But will this collection of tools be a good fit for your needs?
Let’s find out in this Thrive Suite review:
What is Thrive Suite? And who are Thrive Themes?
Thrive Themes have been building WordPress products for years and they have a very specific focus.
Their suite of products, known as Thrive Suite, includes the following:
- Thrive Theme Builder (includes several companion themes)
- Thrive Architect & Thrive Optimize
- Thrive Leads
- Thrive Quiz Builder
- Thrive Ultimatum
- Thrive Apprentice
- Thrive Comments
- Thrive Ovation
- Thrive Automator (completely free)
This all adds up to a rather complete bundle for running an online business.
Note: You can now purchase each one as a standalone product from $47-$167/year. However best value for money is via the Thrive Suite.
What products are included in Thrive Suite?
Now, let’s take a closer look at each product offered in Thrive Suite.
Thrive Theme Builder
Thrive Theme Builder is a fantastic WordPress theme that allows you to create the website you’ve always wanted.
I’ve used plenty of WordPress page builders but Thrive Theme Builder is the only one that has managed to simplify the process of designing a conversion-focused website.
To get you started, there is a site setup wizard to walk you through the process fast:
The included Shapeshift, Bookwise, Omni, and Kwik companion themes come with various templates for each area of your site. Once you’ve completed the setup wizard, you can then customize each of these templates using a drag & drop visual editor.
You can further customize your WordPress site with the help of over 130 pre-made content blocks. Just add the block and customize it.
What’s more is that when you add a block, it’ll be customized to your main brand colour that was selected during the setup wizard. Nice!
And for those of you publishing other forms of content such as videos or podcasts, you’ll be happy to know that these content types have been considered.
So, for example, you can select a blog post to be a “video post” and add your YouTube URL. Then, it’ll display your video in a sort of theater mode:
I especially like that performance has been a big consideration. For example, you get built-in support for WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache, and W3 Total Cache. The big three WordPress performance plugins.
There’s also integrations with image optimization platforms such as Optimole and Smush. As well as support for AMP (accelerated mobile pages).
And thanks to their Project Lightspeed feature, you can run a quick optimization that dramatically speeds up page load times.
Note: Kwik is the fastest of Thrive Theme Builder’s companion themes. It was designed purely with Web Page Vitals in mind.
Thrive Architect + Thrive Optimize
Thrive Architect is a page builder plugin that also makes it easy to create conversion-focused landing pages.
You can use it to create custom layouts for blog posts, or any other types of pages.
Choose from a normal page that fits with the rest of your website, a blank page with your header and footer, a completely blank page, or a pre-built landing page.
Once you’ve chosen the page you want to create, you can customize it using a drag & drop visual editor.
One neat feature is that all Thrive Themes products are based on this editor so you’ll feel right at home with all of their other products.
So, adding page elements works in the same way. You can add individual elements such as buttons, forms, images, videos, etc. Or you can add pre-designed block templates.
Now to my favorite part of this plugin: landing pages.
Thrive Themes know what they’re doing when it comes to landing page design and conversion rate optimization, so this is baked right into the plugin.
In total, there are around 300 templates. And the neat thing is that they’re grouped into themed sets. So you can design an entire sales funnel without having to design additional pages from scratch.
For example, in the Hydrogen Smart template set, you’ll find a home page template, upsell page, lead generation page, sales page, event page, confirmation page, upsell page, and more.
Newer landing page templates are known as “smart landing pages” – this means that instead of individually changing the colours for each element on a page, you can change all accent colours in a single click. Cool right?
And thanks to the Thrive Optimize add-on, you can easily run A/B tests on your pages to improve conversions.
Thrive Leads is an extremely popular lead generation plugin that makes it easy to deploy conversion-focused opt-in forms on your website.
The choice of opt-in form types you have available to you is extensive. Whether you want to display a popover, slide-in, notification bar, screen filler, scroll mat, etc. You can.
You can target your forms based on tags, categories, specific pages, specific posts, and more. You can even add forms via shortcodes, widgets, and PHP code (should you need it).
The drag & drop visual editor allows you to customize forms to your heart’s content. You can even create more complex forms such as 2-step forms, or multiple choice forms. And there are plenty of templates for each form type.
When it comes to integrating forms with your email service provider, you’ll find plenty of API integrations. ConvertKit, Drip, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, MailChimp, and more. Even providers that I rarely see other opt-in form tools integrate with such as Sendfox are included. And HTML forms are available for any that don’t have a dedicated API integration.
Thrive Quiz Builder
Thrive Quiz Builder is the best quiz plugin available for WordPress.
Quizzes are a great way to build an audience, drive traffic, and build a social media following. And they’re one of the quickest content types to create.
A buddy of mine launched a vintage car site and launched a bunch of quizzes. With a small audience and relying only on sharing quizzes to his Facebook friends, he racked up 6,000 visitors in month 2. Crazy, right?
You can choose your quizzes based on goals. Choose from building your email list, getting social shares, or gaining customer insights. You can also choose to build yours from scratch if you prefer.
Then, you’ll choose from several design styles and start customizing your quiz.
There’s also helpful reporting that’ll give you insights about how well your quiz performs.
There’s also another way you can use quizzes – generator style tools. For example, our editor, Nicola used Thrive Quiz Builder to create a song topic generator. So far, over 10,000 people have used it.
Thrive Ultimatum is the only WordPress plugin of it’s kind. Props to Thrive Themes for coming up with this. Expensive SaaS platforms were the only option before this.
This plugin allows you to create timed marketing campaigns that leverage the power of scarcity. One of the best ways to improve conversions.
Several campaign templates are included. 7 day offers, Christmas specials, and end of month specials. You can create your own too.
But, let’s say you wanted to run a 7-day special offer to promote a course.
You’d use this plugin to display calls to action (CTAs) with a countdown timer on your site. These run automatically so you can stop access to your special offer page once the timer runs out.
And, you can add different events to your offer timeline. This would allow you to automatically change to different designs as your campaign reached it’s end date.
Several CTA (call to action) types are included so you can display your offer as a notification bar, within a widget area (e.g. sidebar) or as a shortcode.
Each CTA comes with a bunch of pre-designed templates, that you can customize with the same editor as most other Thrive Themes products.
Helpful reporting is also included to tell you how well your campaigns are doing.
Thrive Apprentice is a learning management plugin that makes it easy to create online courses.
Just upload your course content, tweak your course settings, adjust your layout, and you’ll have a fully functional learning platform for your audience.
While the learning curve is a little higher than some other online course platforms, you’re not restricted on the number of courses or students since this is a WordPress plugin.
And it gets even better because Thrive Apprentice supports full drag & drop visual editing to make sure you can create the course website you want – without restrictions.
In a recent release, Thrive released several new features making this plugin better than ever. You can now sell other products, not just courses. There’s conditional display so you can customize the experience for every customer.
And advanced content drip functionality that goes beyond any other learning management plugin that we’ve tested.
There’s support for WooCommerce, ThriveCart, and SendOwl.
Thrive Comments is a commenting plugin like no other. It’ll replace the native WordPress comments and offer something far better.
What I particularly love is that you get the option to decide what happens after someone leaves a comment.
Do you want to encourage them to share your post, view an opt-in form, see related posts, or be redirected to another post? You can choose.
You can even choose different actions based on whether someone is a first time commenter, or a returning visitor.
Voting and badges can be enabled to boost engagement.
And you can customize comment notifications, how comments will be moderated, and more. Essentially, you get a whole lot of control over your blog comments.
Social proof drives conversions and that’s exactly what Thrive Ovation will help you with.
This plugin makes it easy to both collect testimonials and display them on your website.
You can use this plugin on its own using WordPress shortcodes. Alternatively, you can integrate with Thrive Architect to create a dedicated testimonial page.
When it comes to capturing testimonials, you can integrate with Thrive Architect, Thrive Leads, or simply import testimonials from social media.
This is a huge time saver that will allow you to display testimonials at scale for maximum social proof.
Thrive Automator makes it easy and affordable to automate your marketing efforts, and without limits on the number of times automations can run.
It’s one of the hidden gems in the Thrive Suite bundle of products.
And the best part? It’s offered as a free plugin.
The layout of these automations is similar to what you would find in marketing automation platforms such as ActiveCampaign.
They allow you to automate all sorts of tasks between Thrive products, WordPress products, WooCommerce, and your email marketing platform of choice.
For example, when someone purchases your course, you can set up a rule to add the customer to your email marketing tool.
Or you could add a tag to your email tool once someone purchases from your WooCommerce store. There is so much potential here!
Now, it is early days for Thrive Automator. So expect more features and integrations to be rolled out in the future. There are also plans for a third-party app library and a lot more.
In fact, Thrive Themes are actively encouraging feedback to help them shape the future of this tool. So, get in touch with them if you have suggestions.
Looking at the roadmap for Thrive Automator, I can see it becoming a serious WordPress alternative to Zapier. And it will work out a lot more affordable.
Thrive Suite pricing
So how much does Thrive Suite cost?
Thrive Suite is $299 for the first year, and renews at $599/year thereafter. You can also pay quarterly for $149.
This includes support, updates, and the ability to use them on up to 5 websites.
There’s also access to Thrive University which includes a number of training courses to help you get the most out of your website.
I’ve paid more than that per year just for a WordPress theme with a whole lot less in the way of features.
For those who have clients, there is an agency plan that costs $49/month when billed annually. This covers you for your own sites and client websites.
Thrive Suite pros and cons
There’s a lot to love about Thrive Themes:
The visual editor that comes with products like Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect allows for a significant level of customization.
This means you can create a website that looks exactly how you want it to. Without running into roadblocks or having to hire a developer.
All Thrive Themes products are well maintained and regularly updated. Not just to ensure compatibility but also to add new features based on customer feedback.
The tools are interconnected and work together. For example, I can drop a Thrive Quiz Builder block into a landing page built with Thrive Architect, or I can add Thrive Ovation’s testimonial capture tool within a Thrive Leads form.
There are API integrations aplenty. Some WordPress plugins I’ve tried will integrate with MailChimp and call it a day. While others will support a handful more of the other popular platforms.
Thrive Themes are different – they have a huge selection of API integrations. Sendfox is one email marketing provider that I never usually see integrations for but it’s there. Whether that be for Thrive Leads, Thrive Architect, or any of the other Thrive Themes products that include opt-in forms.
And Thrive Automator opens up lots of possibilities. In the future, this plugin will become worth the price of admission on its own.
But what I love most of all is that they’re not just there to help you make a website that looks pretty. Their products are designed with conversions in mind.
After all, what good is a pretty looking website if it doesn’t allow you to grow your business?
What I didn’t like about Thrive Themes/Thrive Suite:
No software is perfect and don’t let anyone tell you differently.
The main issue I have is that some of the templates look a bit dated. Particularly with the older opt-in form templates in Thrive Leads.
But this is understandable given how long Thrive Themes has been in business.
The good news is that they’re rolling out new templates every so often. And compared to other brands, they’ve been doing a damn good job. Especially with their new block templates and landing page sets.
And for the legacy templates, some of them can be brought up to modern design standards with a few quick tweaks like removing drop shadows from buttons, tweaking typography, etc.
Now, onto the next major issue. And depending on your personal preferences this can be a good thing or a bad thing.
I’m talking about the double edged sword of the customization available within the Thrive Architect visual editor used throughout Thrive Suite.
You can do so much with the editor that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or get tripped up. There’s a more significant learning curve compared to SaaS platforms, or regular WordPress themes.
Will this be good for you? Or a bad thing?
For me, it can be a bit of both. For example, with my last website redesign, I opted for the more simple approach of using Gutenberg and a simple WordPress theme.
It was fine at first but I soon started running into creative roadblocks that I had no way of overcoming.
Let’s wrap up this Thrive Suite review:
Thrive Themes offer a fairly complete toolkit for building an online business.
Every product is maintained and new features are rolled out every so often.
More templates, more integrations, more unique features not found in other tools. It’s fantastic.
But, is Thrive Suite right for everyone? No.
Thrive Themes aim their products more towards solopreneurs, bloggers, content creators, and personal brands.
Their development roadmap, templates, and functionality reflect that focus.
If you’re running a local business such as a restaurant – you likely won’t find it a good fit for your needs.
And their membership offering offering does work out best when you can use a good number of their tools.
Fortunately, given their price point, you don’t need to use all of them to get your money’s worth.
For example, the SaaS equivalent to products like Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads are far more expensive by comparison.
SaaS alternatives are easier from a technical perspective but there are also limits on numbers of customers, courses, landing pages, forms, etc. And even on traffic.
With WordPress and Thrive Suite – you don’t have those limitations.
But the good news is that you can now purchase Thrive’s products individually so if you don’t see the need to get all of them – you don’t have to.
Now it’s time to figure out whether Thrive Suite is right for your needs.
The best way is to try them for yourself. And to help you with that, Thrive Themes offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
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