If you are an avid WordPress fan (and you should be, considering it is one of my favorite tools for digital marketing and web development), you may have already heard about Thrive Themes.
I won’t lie; it can be a bit of a challenge to find honest reviews on the internet. Everyone seems to have a vested interest in a company failing or thriving (forgive the pun).
However, my goal as a reviewer is only to educate, inform, and empower. I’m going to be exploring Thrive Themes, a leading provider of themes, plugins, and templates for WordPress sites.
Thrive Themes has been growing in popularity in recent years, with lots of positive reception floating around online. But how, exactly, does the real thing live up to its hype?
I get that it can be a real challenge to choose the best tools and programs for your business. The truth is, there are just so many products available on the market.
But that doesn’t mean that the right product for your business isn’t already out there − and it might just be Thrive Themes.
The Benefits of WordPress
Before understanding why Thrive Themes is a useful product, you first need to understand exactly why it is your business needs a WordPress-hosted site.
After all, Thrive Themes essentially acts as a number of plugins that can amplify your experience using WordPress. You can’t have Thrive Themes without WordPress at the core of it all.
Although there are a lot of competitors out there, WordPress is the most popular CRM in the world, and it’s very easy to see why.
WordPress is very user-friendly and allows businesses and individuals with no web design and development experience to create attractive, high-quality layouts.
A lot of people think that WordPress is nothing more than a typical blogging program, which could not be further from the truth. Using WordPress, businesses can manage every type of content, from videos and audio files to mailing lists.
WordPress is free to use, but for reasons we will outline below, many people still opt to pay for additional packages, plugins, and third-party web hosting.
The Limitations of WordPress
Although WordPress is a very versatile and popular Content Management System (CRM), many of the 75 million websites that are using it today are not using just the free features available to them.
More often than not, businesses can still expect to pay some money for a high-quality WordPress-operated website, even though the CRM is free to use.
These businesses might buy additional plugins and anti-spam software, or they might pay a third party to host their website instead of using WordPress.com.
Although WordPress is free, it is also well-known for having slower connections, annoying advertising, and a pretty big spam problem when a third-party web hosting provider is not in use.
With the help of a third-party web hosting, business users can reap all the benefits of WordPress with faster speeds and advertising on their own terms (or a completely ad-free experience).
WordPress is typically quite straightforward for beginners to use, but that does not mean that it is always easy to select the perfect theme or plugin.
The theme and plugins that you choose for your WordPress site will ultimately affect the way your site looks, the quality of its performance, and the user experience your customers can expect.
Perfect For Newbies
If this sounds like a lot of pressure, that’s because it is. It should be a thoughtful and purposeful choice, which can be stressful if this will be your first time running your own website.
There are lots of themes and plugins available directly through WordPress, but many businesses still want to invest in third-party options that are conversion oriented and catered to their unique business needs.
Thrive Themes is one of the most popular third-party options available for WordPress plugins and themes. By focusing entirely on WordPress as a CRM, inexperienced businesses do not have to worry about making choices incompatible for their site.
Although a lot of WordPress websites are ultimately just for fun-- personal blogs and the like − Thrive Themes is really best-suited for those of us who mean business.
Look over my shoulder as I build a landing page on Thrive here.
Many of the plugins available through a Thrive Themes membership are focused on directly impacting the success of your business, whether it’s helping you increase your digital engagements, organize your content more effectively or creating effective targeted marketing campaigns.
Reviewing a program like Thrive Themes can be a little bit tough because you are never really reviewing just one thing.
As a subscriber to Thrive Themes, you have access to a series of advanced marketing plugins designed and powered by Thrive Themes, many of which are catered to one specific business-related need.
One of the worst things about using Thrive Themes is that you can expect there to be some sort of trial and error period while using it.
This, however, is a pretty small issue, especially if you enjoy creating websites and experimenting with all of the different visuals and plugins. In fact, you might even find this trial and error period to be a fun experience.
After all, no two websites have identical needs, and they certainly should not look identical, either. So, it might take some time to find the right themes and plugins for your business’ needs while maintaining a website that reflects your own unique flair.
However, once you’ve gotten used to the program, you’ll realize that it’s hard to make a wrong turn when using it: every single theme is established and specifically designed for better engagement, better conversion, and better business.
Thrive Theme Builder
When it comes to the internet, every business seems to have its own strategy.
Some businesses want all the hassles and headaches associated with creating a website to be gone, and they are ready to pass off a lot of the web design and development work to someone who knows what they are doing.
Other businesses want to maintain as much control as possible in creating their website, which might make it hard to accept the “help” of pre-programmed themes.
If you have a bit of a creative side and want to show it off, Thrive has developed a theme builder that allows businesses to take a little more control in creating their own theme.
However, this tool has not been fully released to Thrive Themes subscribers yet, so it was not reviewed along with the rest of the Thrive Themes features.
That being said, the tool seems to be a smart option for businesses who are passionate about breaking the mold and creating a website that reflects their own unique ideas.
Essentially, what I’m saying is that, even if you have no desire to access pre-programmed themes, Thrive might still be able to provide you with what you need through their unique page builder option.
If you are already a little bit familiar with Thrive Themes, you may have also heard the term Thrive Architect floating around the Internet as well.
Thrive Architect and Thrive Themes are two distinct tools. Thrive Architect is just one of the many plugins available with a Thrive Themes membership so it would not be fair to say that the two programs are one and the same.
That said, Thrive Architect is a very popular choice among subscribers, and it is a chief plugin available through your membership.
Thrive Architect acts as a content editor. Although it can help you adjust your page design and upload content, it is simply not as flexible and versatile a tool as Thrive Themes.
By now, you should already know why mailing lists are key to succeeding in the world of online business.
If you want genuine customer engagement, you need to interact with your customer base more than just when they visit your website or come to you.
Email lists are great ways to build a brand, increase web traffic, and keep people thinking about your business long after they’ve logged off your site.
Thrive Leads is a plugin that is completely focused on mailing lists and encouraging your site visitors to opt into them.
You can also choose your style when it comes to asking for email addresses.
Some of you are direct and want to get straight to the point. In this case, a pop-up adds a sense of immediacy and legitimacy to your website.
Here’s how easy it is to build a popup on Thrive Themes.
However, if you are a more reserved business owner, you might want to play it coy with your visitors. In this case, a sidebar widget allows the truly dedicated web surfers to reach out to you and sign up on their own.
With Thrive Leads, you also have the opportunity to change things up as things work or don’t work.
Finally, the plugin will provide insights and data along the way, and I cannot stress enough how useful this is.
Many of you are experts in your business, be it designing gorgeous clothing or creating healthy meal plans. To be a marketing expert on top of it all is a lot to expect.
Thrive Leads takes a lot of guesswork out of mailing lists, which can be one of the more stressful aspects of marketing your business online.
A lot of people claim that they find it difficult to build their mailing list and feel uncomfortable with the idea of jumping into it as an essential marketing strategy.
Thrive Leads makes the process easier than ever.
No matter what your business is, you can benefit from building a mailing list. Now, Thrive Leads can make this process smoother and more insightful than ever before
If you have used WordPress in the past, you may have come to the unfortunate realization that a lot of website comments are just spam.
This can be frustrating when building your business for a lot of reasons.
Firstly, it looks entirely unprofessional to have web pages marked by poorly translated or even crude spam comments. Secondly, it takes away an opportunity for your real customers to chime in and provide you with real insights.
Sometimes, you do not need to review the data. Your own customers are a great tool to help you reflect on your strengths and weaknesses.
On top of providing real reviews and testimonials, having well-written and thoughtful comments can be a powerful tool for search engine optimization (SEO).
Thrive Comments takes advantage of this by encouraging user engagement and finding ways to incorporate great comments into your SEO strategy and testimonials.
It has to be said again: the most powerful marketing tool out there is the customers you already have.
Customer reviews and testimonials can be a game-changer, especially if you are an emerging business.
A lot of customers have an uncanny ability to look through the glitz and glamour of most marketing techniques. But they do trust their peers and are willing to support businesses that have the support of people who are like them.
Thrive Ovation is a plugin that makes testimonial displays automatic and easy. The system will collect and display positive reviews on your site to help improve conversion and drive engagement.
Countdowns are funny, they are trendy, and they are completely optimistic in nature.
Whether you are counting down to an annual holiday sale or the launch of a new product, countdowns are great in the sense that they are able to keep your customers looking forward to something.
Thrive Ultimatum makes it easy to display countdowns on your website, as well as customize and edit them as you go along.
You would be surprised by how people act when they are on a time constraint − seeing a countdown clock could be the exact motivation your customers to go from your shopping cart to the checkout.
Thrive Headline Optimizer
Choosing headlines and titles can be a challenge. This handy plugin makes the process a little bit easier.
It allows you to maintain creative control, as you get to submit versions of the headlines you want. The optimizer then displays these various headlines and lets the data make the final call.
That’s right, as it displays your headlines, it’s tracking user engagement and making a decision on which headlines are the highest performers.
It’s so easy, and yet so effective.
Headlines are the first thing people are going to see when reading your content. If making a good first impression is a priority of yours, this plugin is a lifesaver.
Hopefully, you were already applying AB split testing into your website.
After all, it is one of the most popular and effective tools to determine what is working and what is not.
If this is all news to you, do not panic. Thrive Optimize has got you covered.
This lightweight plugin is great in the sense that it automates this process, saving you time and energy and giving you accurate results without any real guesswork.
Thrive Quiz Builder
Quizzes aren’t just for personality tests you find on blogs and in teen magazines. Quizzes can provide real insights if they are designed in the form of feedback surveys.
But on top of that, they can also just be a lot of fun.
If writing high-quality blog content is a key tool your business is using to build your brand and market yourself, consider adding quizzes to your content strategy.
After all, people really like quizzes. There’s a reason many sites have built great success by only doing quizzes.
Quizzes probably shouldn’t replace your blog posts and YouTube videos though. But, they can diversify the content you publish and allow you to have a bit of fun when interacting with your web visitors.
Thrive Quiz Builder helps you design great quizzes without any hassle or annoying glitches.
Thrive Landing Pages
Thrive Landing Pages helps you create landing pages that are both gorgeous and focused on conversion.
The right landing page means a good first impression and a higher likelihood of potential customers sticking around and seeing what it is that you have to offer.
Like a lot of Thrive plugins, Landing Pages offers you the most creative control while also doing more of the dirty work for you. It allows you to lead with your own ideas, but easily translate them into landing pages that look great and work.
Thrive Clever Widgets
This is one of Thrive Themes’ most beloved features and for great reason.
Widgets can be a nightmare, or a dream come true. They can either completely change the way you organize your website or make everything sloppier than it was before.
Thrive Clever Widgets is a plugin that makes sure you get the former without any of the latter. They allow you to easily divide your content into distinct widgets that make it easier for your visitors to find it, (and makes it a lot easier for you to measure the progress of certain content).
One of my favorite things about Thrive Themes is the easy integration aspect of it. When you already have a website, you can be nervous about making too many edits.
After all, it was probably stressful enough you to launch your website in the first place. The idea of going back and adding different plugins and features could honestly end up being a recipe for disaster.
Thrive Themes make it easier by integrating new plugins really well into your current website. You can add a lot of features and improve engagement without ruining your visuals and drastically changing the way your site functions and feels.
Thrive Architect vs. Thrive Content Builder
So, Theme offers Architect, a plugin that allows you to build distinct pages. This feature is a very popular and a frequently used tool to create beautiful and functional pages, but it wasn’t always an aspect of Thrive Themes.
At one point, Thrive was using a content builder and visual editor that had some limitations and downfalls. It was ultimately very limited in terms of features and made it hard for newbies to take over on the design aspects of their site.
Thrive Architect, on the other hand, is a great replacement feature. It is very user-friendly and welcoming towards beginners.
However, it will not automatically be included in your membership to Thrive Themes. This is a bit of a bummer but is overall fairly affordable for the quality it provides.
You can get the Thrive Architect for a one-time fee of $70. This is a nice change from a lot of web-related expenses, which are monthly.
It is definitely nice to pay for something and always have access to it − and Thrive Architect is the kind of super helpful tool you will want to have forever.
Standing out from the Competition
Like in most industries, Thrive Themes does not stand alone.
Thrive does have its fair share of competitors, and I’m sure many of them also provide services with similar price ranges and levels of quality.
I can’t necessarily speak for everything else out there. But I can speak for Thrive Themes when I say that the program stands out and is sure to be of help to your business, regardless of your niche needs.
Yes, you’re probably thinking, Thrive Themes has a lot of good stuff to offer.
But eventually, we have to talk about money. Thrive Themes has a lot of very helpful tools but is it worth it when you factor in the costs?
That’s up to you, but overall, I feel that Thrive Themes is worth the investment, especially when you factor in the increased engagement and conversion you can expect using their business-focused tools.
Membership pricing for Thrive is fairly low, all things considered. It’s $20 a month, which is fairly reasonable in the world of web design and development.
However, it is important to note that there are individual programs and plugins under the Thrive umbrella can be purchased on their own.
Memberships Vs. Individual Plans
Both of these options are ways you can access Thrive Themes, but one choice is clearly the winner, at least in my opinion.
The Flexibility Of Memberships
Memberships are truly great options in most cases because you can take what you need without stressing about what you’ve paid for everything else.
Think of it this way: if you bought a single plugin, and it ended up being a bad fit on your site, you would probably be a little upset that you invested money in it.
With a membership, you will never have to worry about whether you are making the most out of say, Quiz Builder, because you’ll be too busy making the most of Clever Widgets (or vice versa, depending on your needs and preferences).
When to Choose an Individual Plan
If you can list the exact features you want off the top of your head, it might be best to go with specific plugins.
There is a downside to memberships after all: you have to keep paying every month.
If you want only a couple of important features, it is definitely nice to pay for it once and then never worry about it again.
It is also important to note that the membership package allows you to use your Thrive Themes account for up to fifty websites. This is a great choice for anyone who manages multiple sites.
I mean, consider it like this: if you manage fifty different sites, you are really paying under fifty cents a month for access to such a diverse range of features.
Coupons and Discounts
Everyone is always looking for a great discount or coupon when it comes to web-related expenses.
Sadly, unlike other products and programs out there, there aren’t any discounts or coupon codes associated with Thrive Themes.
However, if getting a great deal is your top priority, simply getting a membership for full access to plugins is probably the best way to go.
Once you have purchased your membership, or just the individual plugins you want access to, our best advice is to just start.
There will be a lot to get started with, and the first few days will be full of experimenting with countdowns and widgets and landing pages.
In the end, the best way to make the most out of Thrive Themes is to have some fun and really allow yourself to explore what they have to offer. If you don’t like something, the program makes it very easy to change things up.
It is hard to say just one thing about Thrive Themes because the program is ultimately many things all at once.
It is truly a complete toolbox, something that can benefit virtually each and every business.
I’m going to tell you this right now: you will likely not use every single plugin available to you. Virtually nobody will have a website that requires every individual plugin.
But that’s the beauty of it: Thrive Themes has everything you need and then more.
It might take a bit of time to play around with things and have fun with it. But once you find the perfect combo of plugins for your site, I promise you that you will find Thrive Themes to be worth it.