Website, Thrive Themes Tutorial

Thrive Theme Builder Release & Introduction

 September 27, 2019

By  Peter Nyiri

The next generation visual Thrive Theme Builder for WordPress is finally here. Build, edit and customize every aspect of your website with a visual drag-and-drop designer.

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).

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So far WordPress page builders were the answer, because they allow you to create, edit, and customize your website layout without writing any code.

Update: Thrive Theme Builder was launched for non-members on May 4, 2020.

1. Watch the tutorial on how to create a conversion-focused website with the Theme builder.

2. If you already have an established website, then you should check the How To Switch To TTB free mini-course (you’ll need to log-in to Thrive University or create a free account to access it) that covers how to make sure the switch from your current theme to Thrive Theme Builder is smooth.

A lot of people have been waiting for this…

What Is Thrive Theme Builder?

There are plenty of WordPress themes out there, including free ones. What’s the difference?

This is something that’s never been done before – a really fully customizable, front end editable WordPress theme.  A truly “What You See Is What You Get” experience.

First of all, you don’t need to use the WordPress customizer. You don’t need to find and go into a setting to change something like the H2 font size.

You can customize everything in the visual editor.

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 is 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 built 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 be mostly overridden by 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.

The new theme builder + Thrive Architect provide you with everything you need to build and edit every aspect of your website.


Thrive Theme Builder vs Page Builder Architect

What’s the difference between a content editor/page builder (Thrive Architect) and a visual theme builder?

The main difference is the level at which you build things.

Page builders started to go into the area of themes. Using a plugin to overwrite themes is not how it is supposed to work

In WordPress, the theme loads first and then the page builder plugin overwrites it. That is not ideal at all.

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. It’s not a paint-over.

Just think about what happens when you change themes on your blog. The entire look of it suddenly changes.

You can also 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 core functions of a theme

If you want to shape your website, it is important to understand what a theme does.

1. One template, many pages.

If you make one change to a template, that change is applied everywhere instantly.

E. g. if you want to change a sidebar, you don’t need to do it on a hundred different pages. Other examples are Category pages, archive pages, etc.

2. Automatic interlinking

When you publish a blog post, there are a bunch of things that happen in the background automatically. It goes to the top of the feed in chronological order. It shows up on your Blog page, the Recent Posts widget, gets linked to the Category Page, etc. This all happens automatically.

If you were doing this at a page builder level, you would need to do all this manually.

3. Dynamic content

When you have a Blog post title, it would have a certain font size, hover color, etc, in every instance, while the words would be totally different. That is called dynamic content.

Another example would be your featured image. It may be round, squared, a certain size – the same everywhere. However the image itself would be different.

Your theme is responsible for:

  • Header
  • Footer
  • Single blog post layout
  • Page layout
  • Blog list layout
  • Archive Pages (such as category pages)
  • Search pages
  • 404 pages
  • Author box layout
  • Comments section layout
  • Sidebar layout
  • Related Posts
  • Social Sharing (sometimes)

Content That Is Not Controlled By Your Theme

Even though your WordPress theme controls the display settings for every Post and Page published on your website, custom modifications can be made to WordPress pages to ignore your theme settings.

Since you don’t know how to code these custom modifications yourself, you’ll need a Page Builder plugin (like Thrive Architect) to create those special pages for you by dragging & dropping content elements and then and then customizing each element directly using the left sidebar.

A one-off page, such as a landing page or a sales page (see example) would be built with Thrive Architect.

The great thing is that you don’t even  have to build those single-instance pages from scratch, because Thrive Architect gives you instant access to HUNDREDS of conversion focused landing page templates you can quickly load, customize and publish.

You can also use your page builder plugin to populate the content of your blog posts and general website pages — like your About page or Contact page.

Again, your page builder plugin CAN’T be used to alter theme dependent elements (like your header, footer and sidebar)

Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Architect Go Together

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 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.

If you have been using Architect, it will be really easy for you. They have an identical interface.

In fact, you can swap between modifying your theme content (in Thrive Theme Builder) and then modifying your non-theme content (in Thrive Architect) with just a single click:


The Shapeshift Theme

What if you don’t want to build a theme from scratch?

Thrive Theme Builder comes with the Shapeshift theme (read tutorial). With Shapeshift, you’ll have your beautiful,  conversion-centric WordPress site up and running in 45 minutes or less.

The Shapeshift theme is designed to look amazing, but you can sculpt it into the website you’ve always wanted.

  • Lightweight and mobile optimized.
  • Several conversion focused homepage templates are included.
  • Pre-built design templates for all your pages, posts, and page sections.
  • Customize category pages, 404 pages, author box designs.

Who Is The Thrive Theme Builder For?

it is intended for content creators, bloggers, entrepreneurs, for the expertise vendor.

Or someone selling an online course.

People like Tim Ferris, Marie Folio when they started out.

What About Using The Existing Themes?

Your current Thrive theme will NOT automatically update to Theme Builder – you need to take action on each individual site to install Theme Builder.

Nothing will change automatically, unless you choose to install it on your website, .

The legacy themes will still be supported for the foreseeable future.

You can still download them as a Thrive Themes Member.

They will be releasing new Thrive Themes regularly. The upcoming Thrive Themes will not just be slightly different designs.

However these themes won’t be like themes you see on the Envato market or something. Those are very thin, those demos only have a few pages.

These themes will have hundreds of pre-built pages, designs and pre-built components, e. g. menus.

This is true for each landing page set.

Shane changed his test site Active Growth to the builder. It took him a couple of hours to do it.

As an example, in order to create a silo, under the main menu he added a secondary menu.

active growth website menu

Is TTB integrated with other Thrive products?

Yes, because it is built on the backbone of Architect. it is fully integrated with Thrive Leads, Quiz Builder, etc.

Is there an extra cost?

No, if you are a member, you don’t need to pay an additional fee. It is included in the cost of your membership. For non-members that want to purchase Thrive Theme Builder only, the price is the following:

1 License = $97 (Launch price = $67)
5 Licenses = $127 (Launch price = $97)
All plugins & Themes = $218

Do you still need Thrive Architect if you have the Theme Builder?

At the beginning yes, the two are built together.

When you update to the new theme builder, your Thrive Architect content won’t be affected.

Let’s say you have a page and there is a container on it, it will still be the same, because your font size, etc. is already set.

But then if you make the content box narrower, it will become narrower.

Is this an update to Rise or another theme?

No, this is not an update to anything.

Will the current themes become skins?

No, because if you want a website that has the look of the current theme, just install the theme.

Will we be able to build theme templates and export them?

This export/import function might be in the launch version, but if it isn’t, it will be added shortly after.

Should we make a child theme with the builder?


If we have lightboxes, do we need to rebuild them?

No, what you already have will stay the same.

Does it have WooCommerce support?

The launch version is incompatible with Woo. I tested it and it will break your WooCommerce store pages.

Support will be added in the near future.

There is however an easy workaround to run WooCommerce with TTB.

Is it available to members with a quarterly membership?


Is Shapeshift the theme builder?

No. It is a theme, there will be more themes like that coming out.

Can I upload over another theme and fiddle?

No, TTB will replace the active theme. You should use a staging website, tweak it, then make it go live. Don’t do it on your main site.

Are we going to do away with Thrive Architect?

No, it will also keep improving.

Is there a Schema.org markup?

There is a basic markup. At the beginning there will be no editing feature yet, but this will be included in the upcoming SEO feature set.

Since none of the available Schema/SEO plugins are perfect, they will probably build their own version, but not at launch.

How is this different from Elementor?

They actually invited people who use Elementor or Divi to test it.

Lets’ say you want to build a site look. If you do it with Elementor and you time it. There are tons of layouts that you can’t do with it. Also, building these with TTB it is a lot faster.

If you try tho build a specific layout, there are no limitations. You can find your favorite website and build it exactly.

Another difference is speed. You can build a brand new website is a couple of hours.

Are there going to be payment gateways and carts?

No, but later on there will be updates for Architect that include this.

When is Thrive Theme Builder Launching?

Thrive Theme Builder has been available, exclusively for Thrive Themes Members, since Monday the 2nd of March 2020. It will now be launched publicly on the 4th of May 2020.

Get you Thrive Theme membership now.

Peter Nyiri

Peter Nyiri

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