I wanted to give you a complete Thrive Themes membership review – I have been using them every day for the past two years and built all my sites with them.
Founded by Shane Melaugh & Paul McCarthy in 2013, Thrive Themes’ conversion-focused WordPress themes and plugins are being used by more than 40,000 customers.
(This post contains affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links. There is no additional cost to you, but it enables me to provide you information like this for free. Please read my disclosure for more info.)
Shane is a marketer and is the brains behind the marketing aspect and conversion elements of the themes.
- In 2010, he created his first online course. It sold over 2,000 copies, bringing in 6 figures in revenue.
- He co-founded Swiss-Made Marketing (creators of SECockpit) with Sam Hänni. They took the product from zero to the 7-figures in 15 months.
- He also created many smaller software businesses around WordPress plugins such as Hybrid Connect, Viral Quiz Builder.
Since he spent most of his life building online businesses, Thrive products are designed to get your website’s visitors becomes your client. The high number of users is a testimony, they have become one of the most trusted vendors in digital marketing, affiliate marketing and page builders.
Paul is the the developer behind the products.
Thrive Themes Membership Products
The membership package includes the following products:
- Thrive Themes – 10 WordPress templates designed with conversions in mind
- Theme Builder – Soon to be released
- Architect – drag and drop page builder
- Leads – lead generation plugin
- Quiz Builder – generate leads with engaging quizzes
- Ultimatum – create countdown campaigns
- Ovation – testimonials and social proof
- Comments – engagement through comments
- Optimize – A/B testing designs
- Headline Optimizer – A/B testing headlines
- Clever Widgets – show widgets based on criteria
- Apprentice – build professional online courses on your blog.
All of the above products are focused towards increasing your sales and revenue.
The 10 Thrive Themes
Rise is one of the original themes offered with the Thrive Themes package.
The origin of the Rise theme was a simple question: “What does the ideal blogging theme look like?”
The key to what makes Rise tick lies in whom we asked this question… Zac Johnson has been a successful affiliate marketer for longer than most of us have even known the Internet existed. Together with him, we came up with the concept for Rise and kept refining it until the theme beat everything else available by miles, for this specific purpose.
Storied is a story-driven design that was primarily built for running a blog, as its name implies. As a blogger you have a story to tell and the theme uses a tiled layout ideal for multimedia posts while offering marketing and conversion elements as options. Therefore the business aspect regarding your blog is also kept in mind. Its attractive layout helps you connect with your readers and build your audience. It looks pretty good.
Pressive is a stylish WordPress theme that I accidentally used for building this blog.
Performag is a magazine theme that concentrates on the money-making side of magazines. It’s a simple yet effective theme that is designed specifically to increase user engagement on the site, so that you can get more page views and more impressions for display advertising.
Voice is a theme for showcasing writers, authors and content creators. The headerless layout doesn’t use traditional header type as seen with all regular WordPress themes. The content centric layout will shine your blog articles with big featured images and headings that attracts reader’s attention.
The Squared Thrive theme is a flat design multi-purpose theme. It is excellent for creating beautiful sales pages, landing pages and marketing sites, but it will also serve brilliantly as a blogging theme. It’s simple and to the point and isn’t showy or flashy but just gets on with delivering a good design quickly.
Minus is minimalist but in a good way. The central image and content boxes allow you to showcase a business quickly and without any extras. Simple menus, flat design and overall simplicity makes this web theme work on any screen at any size.
Ignition is ideal for selling products or services or general marketing. With its full-width style and design choices made for some elements, marketing pages and landing pages look especially good when built with Ignition. If you need a highly flexible digital marketing platform to promote books, mobile apps, software or services then here is great product. This single WordPress theme package includes everything that a professional online marketer or blogger would require.
Luxe is another less is more design that works impressively well. With a simple overall design and fully customizable pages you can do as much or as little as you like with it. We love this WordPress blogging theme for its minimalist layout. It’s dark and white color skin provides a feeling of calmness which is good for mystic bloggers. People who love to write on spirituality, fashion, art, and passion should love this Thrive Themes template. Though you can also switch over other color skins styles that match to your brand or niche requirement.
Focusblog keeps the focus on your blog posts. It’s a great design for both blog-led marketing sites or even business sites with a strong blog element. All with the standard Thrive elements and conversion features you might need to make money.
The above themes are no longer available for individual purchase, but they are included in the membership package. Instead of the separate themes, there is a plan to launch what they call Thrive Visual Theme Builder, which is currently in its beta testing.
Do not confuse the theme builder with Thrive Architect, which is a page builder plugin. Thrive theme builder works at theme level. It isn’t just about readjusting a page design. When you change something in the theme builder, it changes that element on your entire website.
Option: Building Your Site From Scratch
If you choose, you can also build your site from scratch with the drag & drop style editor (requires Thrive Architect plugin.)
(If you need a domain, get one from NameSilo, use coupon code funnelx to get your .com domain for $7.99)
I am sure you have heard about Neil Patel, the legendary online marketer who has a million dollar blog.
He also recommends Thrive and in this video you can take a look at how you can create a homepage (which is really a landing page) just like his.
Thrive Themes Options
The theme also has different options, here is a tutorial:
In Thrive you can determine the the size and type of your fonts.
There is a setting for H1 and another setting for body text.
You can select “Show All Fonts” to list more than 600 fonts, available via Google Fonts. If you don’t have a specific font in mind yet, the sheer number of the available fonts here can be overwhelming. In this case, you can leave “Recommended Fonts Only” selected, which will display a shorter list of high-quality selected fonts.
Reasons To Use Thrive Themes
1. Built for speed
Automatic image compression and lightweight code makes it these themes a fast, speed optimized theme.
2. Built in conversion elements
The opt-in elements make it very easy to grow your email list.
3. User engagement
Great readability, multiple choice of fonts, beautifully presented images engage your visitors.
4. Create your important pages
The built in page generator creates your most important pages (Home, Privacy, landing pages, opt-in page, etc.) with a single click, then you just need to modify the text.
5. Fully mobile responsive
The themes adapt any screen size and makes it possible to show or omit elements on different screens.
6. Thrive plugins
Thrive offers a toolbox of plugins that target engagement and conversion. They integrate smoothly into any theme. It is a best practice to get as many plugins as possible from the same vendor so that you minimize the chance of plugin conflicts.
1. Thrive Architect WordPress Page Builder
Thrive Architect is a visual editor for WordPress that enables anyone to make high quality web pages from existing templates. It offers optimized landing pages as part of its package.
Using the front end drag and drop editor you can easily create effective landing pages to your website.
Once you have some practice, you can even build your own designs. using drag and drop functionality. You can create a blank page, add page elements, customize them, add content and see it live without using HTML or CSS.
The page designs are such that you can add conversion elements seamlessly into a page, or delete them out. Add them to second level pages, create specific landing or funnel pages or not. Add opt-ins, use popups, slider menus or other neat tricks to engage, capture email addresses and convert users.
I need to mention that the amount of features and options in the editor can overwhelm and there is a steep learning curve. It is easy to get lost in the details until you learn your way around. To balance this out, there are built-in tutorials available at every step of the way and also Googling delivers answers either on the product website or other websites.
2. Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is a lead generation plugin that easily adds email collection elements to your posts and pages.
You can select from a large number of templates to create a footer, ribbon, popup box, screen filler, slider and others and sends the email addresses to your email tool of choice. There are around 40 integrations available.
3. Thrive Apprentice
Thrive Apprentice is the course platform I am using on FunnelXpert. The plugin will work with your current theme, which means you don’t have to overhaul your entire site, set up another site just or pay for an external platform to host your e-course. Just install the Thrive Apprentice plugin and get started creating your first e-course!
4. Quiz Builder
Quizzes are an awesome way to get engagement and leads.
Quiz Builder is a pro solution to create engaging quizzes or questionnaires to increase engagement and signups. Check out my Blog Earnings Quiz as an example. You can use one of several built-in defaults or create your own and it works well. You can add the participants straight to your email list using Thrive Leads opt-in forms.
Optimize is a tool for A/B testing and helps you increase conversions through refinement. The plugin allows you to split test ideas to see which works best and make data-driven decisions about the form your website will take. I have not used this tool yet, because I am not at that level.
6. Clever Widgets
Clever Widgets is a plugin that customizes the content shown to your reader. As an example, you can choose not to show an opt-in form to a visitor that is already signed up for your email list, but you can show them a different offer. I have not used this plugin yet, it’s a bit advanced for me.
7. Headline Optimizer
You know how important headlines are. Headline Optimizer is a plugin that helps you write better headlines. It brings you the detailed analytics and A/B testing that you already saw in Thrive Leads to optimize your post titles.
Ultimatum is a plugin for time-sensitive offers to call to action. You can use it to put timers on your page.
It also has advanced options, such as identifying your visitors by email address and not showing them an offer that already expired. To tell you the truth, for me it was too complicated. The regular IP based timer is not perfect, but more simple.
9. Thrive Comments
This is a plugin that is supposed to create more engagement with your comments, such as giving the ability to like them, etc. With low engagement on a blog this function is not that useful.
10. Thrive Ovation
Thrive Ovation is a tool for collecting testimonials. This is useful if you have a lot of traffic and you have a product you are selling.
Courses By Thrive Themes
Since Shane is an expert in marketing online courses, he also created several courses using Thrive Apprentice. These course are part of Thrive University.
(Premium) Course Craft is a program that teaches you how to create online courses. Discover the exact, proven system to create, launch and sell high-quality, high-value online courses.
(Premium) SEO Sprint is their in-house SEO crash course for learning and implementing an 80/20 SEO strategy for entrepreneurs who just don’t have time to do SEO.
They also have several free courses – you just need to sign up for a free account.
- Web Design Crash Course
- RAPID Blog Post Method
- The About Page Formula
- Rapid Landing Page Building
- MailChimp Made Easy
- Landing Page Copywriting Course
- How to Set Up a Complete List Building Funnel
- How to Create Persuasive Opt-in Forms
- etc, etc, etc
Pros and Cons of Thrive Themes
Thrive Themes is awesome but may not be right for everyone. It offers a huge amount in terms of quality and functions, but there are areas of improvement.
Pros of Thrive Themes
- It’s a complete system for creating websites – The themes, page builder and plugins, created by the same team, all work together to enable you to design profitable websites with marketing and conversion already built in.
- Pick what you need – Install the plugins or themes you need, use as few or as many as you need. I use 4 of the plugins, the rest are switched off. I am simply not ready for A/B testing.
- Good quality & customization – The 10 themes are of a high quality and anyone can find one that fits. Also, from over 270 templates you will find what you need for your landing pages, opt-ins, etc.
- Fully responsive – In the age of mobile no tool can be taken seriously if it isn’t fully adaptable to all devices. You get that along with efficient coding and speed.
Cons of Thrive Themes
As with any product, there are always areas of improvement.
- Themes are no longer available to purchase separately as Thrive Theme Builder 2.0 is in development and taking longer to release than expected. You can only get them with the full membership.
- I (and probably beginners) mostly use Leads and Architect together, but there is no package just to buy these two plugins
- Learning curve – I already mentioned this. There is a lot of documentation, instructional videos, but expect to do a lot of gradual learning.
- Bugs – Page builder can conflict with your cache plugin, I often have to turn caching off while I create a landing page, because some element disappears…
- Integration bugs – I had to contact support a few times because an integrated service, e.g. MailPoet updated their API connection and the updated plugin suddenly wasn’t working with Thrive any more.
- Translations are not included. While you can take any plugin or theme and translate it using PO Edit, it is strange that no translations are included in the package. (I translated several plugins into my language and they work well in my foreign language store.)
Thrive does not offer discounts or coupons, in fact these are against their terms of service. There isn’t even a Black Friday sale. There is a 30-day no-question asked refund policy.
You can buy plugins separately with a pricing like this:
- 1 License $67
- 5 Licenses $97
- 15 Licenses $147
There are currently two subscriptions for Thrive products, one for individual users and one for agencies. They are Thrive Themes Membership and Agency Membership.
Thrive Membership is for individuals and is priced at $19 a month, paid at $218 yearly. While that sounds a lot, there are lots of features included.
- Use all Thrive products on up to 25 websites.
- Free product updates as they are released (you won’t pay extra for the theme builder once it is released).
- One year of customer support.
- Free lifetime updates even if subscription expired.
The Agency Membership costs $49 a month (paid annually) and includes the same benefits as the regular membership, but you can use the products on 50 websites.
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