WordPress page builders allow you to create, edit, and customize your website layout without writing any code. While a lot of premium WordPress themes come with different page layouts, most of them are extremely hard to customize for anyone who does not know code (HTML / CSS).
This is why users often ask us questions like: “how can we make WordPress drag and drop?” or “is there an easy drag and drop page builder for WordPress?”
What you see in the below preview video is a first look at a new product the Thrive Themes team has been working on behind the scenes for a long time. It will be a completely new product that replaces your WordPress theme. Although the editor in the video looks like Thrive Architect, this is not Thrive Architect. This is a theme, not a plugin and it’s a separate product, not a feature added to Thrive Architect.
There are several reasons why they’re building this as a theme. The primary one is that WordPress is built to operate with a theme as the basis and in fact, it can’t run without one. Loading a theme only to override most or all of that theme with a Thrive Architect components wouldn’t be ideal.
The end goal is to bring instant, truly visual front end editing to your whole website. To start, you’ll be able to customize your page templates and dynamic content. Then there will be custom post types and support for popular plugins like WooCommerce.
Eventually, the new theme builder + Thrive Architect will provide you with everything you need to build and edit every aspect of your website.
In other words, what’s the difference between a content editor (Thrive Architect) and a visual theme builder?
The main difference is the level at which you build stuff. With Thrive Architect, you’re building at the immediate, individual page level. Changes you make affect the page you’re looking at.
With the theme builder, what you’re looking at in the editor is a layout that is used on hundreds of pages on your site and the changes you’re making affect all of them. Just think about what happens when you change themes on your blog. The entire look of it suddenly changes.
And you can use dynamic content, which means you aren’t editing specific words or images on the page, but placeholders which basically say “featured image goes here, the title goes there”. This way each individual page or post will have the same layout but different content.
The very nature of Thrive Theme Builder is founded upon Thrive Architect. The editor looks nearly identical, functions exactly the same way, and will feel just like Thrive Architect has felt in these latest updates.
If you do not have Thrive Architect already, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with how it works so that you’re a Thrive Architect expert before it launches.
This will be a first usable version of the new theme builder. It will have all of the basic features needed for a theme and the dynamic content and page template editing, as shown in the video.
What it won’t have is all the integrations, bells and whistles and refinement for a full, live website. This will be a version that’s not suited for deployment on live sites yet.
The goal of the beta testing is to get enough feedback to make the theme builder solid and stable as quickly as possible.
At the moment, they are in advanced Beta testing. This means that they’re starting to install Thrive Theme Builder on live websites under developer supervision.
With Thrive Theme Builder, they’re trying to build something that’s never been done before.
The goal is to have a real WordPress Theme Builder with full WYSIWYG front-end editing functionality (just like you’re used from Thrive Architect), but the interactions between content, templates, post formats, and other critical components… make the development extremely complex.
We do not have a specific date yet, but a Thrive Team member had this to say on their forums:
The launch of the theme took more than expected, but I can assure you that most of our team has been focused on working on developing and testing the theme. The launch of Thrive Theme Builder is still the focus of the company and actually as soon as it passes through our last development phases and testing, it should be ready to be released.
I hope that means within the next few months.