As a company who has been in the web design niche, for most of our lives, we are used to vendors overselling their capabilites. So is Thrive Themes the same? Or are they really a vendor which goes above and beyond, a cut above the rest.
Well, let's just say that this vendor has carved a niche for themselves with a very select group of people. Those who are looking to sell something.
But isn't everybody really and truly trying to sell? Not really. Bloggers don't really have specific products to sell, while non-profits are not looking to sell either.
Yet, as somebody who is looking to pitch products, finding a great theme which is specfically designed for conversion will immediately help you get a head-start on your competitors.
Let's discover what this vendor is all about.
Thrive Themes are some of the most recognised WordPress designs available. If you read my Thrive Architect review, you will already know I rate the developers behind the brand for excellent tools, great design and for enabling anyone to build great websites with little or no coding knowledge. Thrive Themes are no different.
|Free Trial||No but 30-day full money back guarantee.|
|Pros||Conversion focus - few vendors have such a vast portfolio focuse on marketing / lead gen|
Over 276 templates available for creating pages quickly
Great User Experience, easy to use.
Great integration with other services (e.g. mailers) / plugins.
Great functions for creating affiliate / marketing sites.
Focused primarily on marketing, but this is understandable, it's their niche
Learning curve, vast number of products
Not sure where one products starts and another ends
Themes are no longer available to buy by themselves
Ease of use
|Visit website now to learn more|
Who are Thrive Themes?
Thrive themes is a company who creates conversion-focused WordPress themes and plugins. All of the products are designed around the concept of making sure your websites's visitor becomes a client. The company, founded by Shane Melaugh and Paul McCarthy in 2013 has quickly become one of the most trusted vendors in the digital marketing and affiliate marketing space.
Shane is a marketer and is the brains behind the marketing aspect and conversion elements of the themes. Paul is the tech and the developer who lives behind the scenes. Both realised they required the strengths the other had so decided to partner up and combine forces.
The result is Thrive.
The company includes in their portfolio:
- Thrive Themes - WordPress templates which are designed with conversions in mind,
- Thrive Architect - a popular pagebuilder which allows drag and drop designs without any code,
- Thrive Leads - a plugin designed for lead generation,
- Thrive Quiz Builder - a product to create quizzes,
- Thrive Membership - access to all of the products from Thrive
- Ultimatum - a tool to create countdown campaigns to generate scarcity,
- Ovation - designed to generate and display testimonials and social proof,
- Comments - to create engagement and sticky visitors,
- Optimize - to help with A/B testing of landing pages,
- Clever Widgets - designed to show widgets under specific criteria
- Apprentice - a plugin to build professional online courses.
As you can see, all of the above products are strictly focused towards those who want to increase their sales and bottom-line revenue through various strategies and techniques.
We'll be looking at some of the most popular products sold by this company, starting by taking a look at some of the products which have built their solid reputation - the conversion-focused themes.
Incidentally, if you like WordPress themes or are looking for other options, we feature the best products here on Collectiveray.com.
10 Thrive Themes we love
There are plenty of Thrive Themes to choose from, but we've taken a selection of the few which really stand out for us. These ten are a snapshot of what’s on offer.
Rise is one of the original themes offered with the Thrive Themes package.
It’s a basic but very smooth blogging template that was built for speed and usability with a healthy dose of marketing thrown in. The theme provides the ideal base for conversion pages that sell products and services but also works totally as a blog theme too.
Storied is a story-driven page design as its name implies. It uses a tiled layout ideal for multimedia posts while offering marketing and conversion elements as options. It’s an attractive layout that reflects many blog designs of the moment and looks pretty good.
Pressive is a stylish WordPress theme that tries to strike the balance between being feature-rich without overdoing it. It’s a decent theme but doesn’t stand out for any particular element. It’s easy to use and to make your own though which is where its true strength lies.
Perfomag is a magazine theme that does shine. It’s a simple yet effective theme that works well in WordPress and combines the attractiveness of the style with the smoothness and fast loading we expect of a Thrive theme. This is an excellent option for news sites or magazine-style blogs.
Voice is an okay theme. It says it’s for showcasing authors and content creators and that’s fine but we don’t visit websites for the authors or content creators. We visit because we want to read their stuff.
While the design is attractive, this one isn’t for me and while there are options to dial back the author side of things, I much prefer Pressive and Performag for showcasing content.
The Squared Thrive theme is a business website design that works well. It’s simple and to the point and isn’t showy or flashy but just gets on with delivering a good design quickly and without fuss. It is less about marketing and conversion and more about calls to action but still delivers what you want from such a page.
Minus is minimalist but in a good way. The central image and content boxes allow you to showcase a business quickly and without any extra flourishes. 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. The simple home page can lead to detailed product or service pages and on into sales funnels or other conversion pages depending on what you’re looking for. There are a range of elements you can add that include everything from video to blog posts so can customise as much as you like.
Luxe is another less is more design that works impressively well. With a simple overall design and fully customisable pages you can do as much or as little as you like with it. The default scheme works well and would likely need very little tweaking except for branding.
Otherwise, the usual customisable elements are all there.
Focusblog does exactly that. 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.
Thrive Architect WordPress Page Builder
As we have seem above, the templates are actually separate from the Thrive Architect product. While the actual Thrive Themes are no longer available while the team work on Thrive Themes 2.0, the Thrive Architect plugin is still available.
As a quick overview, Thrive Architect is a visual editor for WordPress that enables anyone to make web pages of the quality of those above with a bit of practice. You could be publishing basic pages in less than an hour and within a day or two of solid practice, there is no reason why you couldn’t be publishing those of a quality of Luxe or Minus.
Using drag and drop functionality and intuitive navigation, you can create a blank page, add page elements, customise them, add content and see it live without typing a single word of HTML or CSS. As page builders go, Thrive Architect is one of the most powerful out there.
The entire premise of Thrive is conversion optimisation.
Whether by page design, specific conversion elements or plugins like Thrive Leads, Optimize, Headline Optimizer or Ultimatum. You can use as much of this or as little as you like and the overall look and feel of your website will still work.
The page designs are such that you can add conversion elements seamlessly into a page, or leave 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.
The Thrive plugins have been designed to slide into a Thrive Theme with the minimum of fuss and just work. Each does something a little different and adds another conversion method to your pages. Use one, or use them all and then use Thrive Optimize to A/B test to keep pushing for better CRO (conversion rate optimization).
There is a strong marketing drive to all Thrive products but that doesn’t mean you have to shoehorn them in if you’re not a pure marketer. Many non-converting websites use Thrive Themes but marketing is definitely the strength.
You will still get great value if you’re not a marketing but you won’t get the superb value that you would get if you are a marketer.
Landing Page Optimized Templates
Thrive Themes offer Thrive Architect as part of their subscription package which is able to deliver optimised landing pages as part of its featureset. If you’re in marketing, you don’t need me to tell you how important a good landing page can be. Thrive Architect makes them simple.
Using the same front end editor as you use to make standard pages, or pre-built landing page themes, you can deliver effective landing pages to any of your websites. There are currently 276 landing page templates available, many of them included with the plugin and more are added regularly.
Thrive Themes price themselves on ease of use and they deliver. However, the power and sheer volume of features and options can overwhelm. So while using the products is very straightforward, it is easy to become lost in the minutiae until you learn your way around.
There is also a steep learning curve in what to use and where but that’s outside the scope of Thrive Themes. To get the most out of the products you will need to know how and where to place popups, best practices for using them, know how to use email lists with email marketing apps and the fundamentals of page design. You will not need to know anything about coding, CSS, HTML or how a CMS works.
Once installed, you use the page builder from within a new page in WordPress. As long as your plugins are also installed, they are available as page elements within the builder. All you need to do is drag and drop each page element onto the page, customise it, add content, modify the design to suit and you’ll see it live on screen.
Elements are added in order they would be seen on the page but you can move them around as you see fit. As you add an element, the customisation menu for that element is opened automatically and you can flow from one to the other with ease. Once complete you can save your page as a template and just load it to continue populating your website.
Thrive Plugins can be configured separately too and will integrate into existing designs as well as new ones built with Thrive Architect.
Thrive offers a selection of plugins built around engagement and conversion. Each integrates seamlessly into a Thrive Theme or a page built with Thrive Architect.
Thrive Leads is a lead generator that adds email collection elements to your web pages. You can select from a range of formats from a footer, ribbon, popup box, screen filter, slider and others and sends the addresses collected to your email tool of choice.
Optimize is invaluable for A/B testing and helps you increase conversions through refinement and steady improvement. 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. It requires a lot of work but is well worth the investment.
Clever Widgets is a related content plugin that shows the reader links to content it thinks relevant to the content they are reading. It’s a neat plugin that needs careful configuration but once done, is another form of engagement that can cross-pollinate your website pages.
Headline Optimizer is just that, a plugin that helps you write better headlines. I naturally distrust apps or plugins that aim to tell me how to write but this one works better than most. You write a headline, have the plugin come up with variations and then it will show all of them to your audience and track which works best.
Ultimatum is a plugin built around FOMO and uses time-sensitive offers to call to action. There are a series of elements you can use with this plugin and inject them into a page to create those specials or discounts that few people can resist.
6. Quiz Builder
Quiz Builder lets you create engaging quizzes or questionnaires to help increase engagement and time on page. You can use one of several built-in defaults or create your own and it works well.
Pros and Cons of Thrive Themes
Thrive Themes is excellent but not perfect. It offers a huge amount in terms of quality and utility but there are areas of improvement.
Pros of Thrive Themes
Fully rounded ecosystem for creating amazing websites – The templates, page editor and plugins all work together to help you design unique, fully functional websites with as much marketing as you need.
Works perfectly with WordPress – Install the plugins you need, register them and you’re up and running. No fuss, no dependencies and no complicated installations.
Lots of plugin options – Use as few or as many of the included plugins as you require.
Genuinely good quality templates – The majority of the templates from Thrive Themes are of a high quality. There are a few low points but in the main, quality is top class.
Fully responsive – No page builder or template selection could be taken seriously if it wasn’t fully responsive. You get that and more here.
Cons of Thrive Themes
There are always areas of improvement and while none of these are showstoppers, they are areas where it could do better.
Mainly for marketing – While anyone can use Thrive Themes for any kind of website, everything is tuned towards marketers. You don’t get quite the same value if you don’t use any of the plugins.
Templates no longer available – Some of the templates are no longer available as Thrive Themes 2.0 is in development.
Only works with WordPress –It would be perfect if there was a Joomla or Drupal version of Thrive Themes. I use all three CMS and cannot use a single plugin with all of them.
Learning curve – While everything is explained, there is a steep learning curve involved here. There is a lot of documentation, some instructional videos and some help to be had but expect to do a lot of research.
Thrive have their pricing nailed perfectly. For what are undoubtedly premium products, you’re not paying over the top for them. There are currently two subscriptions for Thrive products, one for individual users and one for agencies. They are Thrive Membership and Agency Membership.
Thrive Membership is for individuals and is priced at $19 a month. While that sounds a lot, just wait to see what’s included.
- Use of all Thrive themes on up to 25 websites.
- Use of all Thrive Plugins.
- Free product updates as they are released.
- One year of customer support.
Thrive provides lifetime free updates for the life of your subscription along with access to tech support and the freedom to use products on any website you own to a maximum of 25 unique sites.
Agency Membership is for agencies as the name implies. It costs $49 a month if paid annually and includes the same benefits as Thrive Memberships but increases the website count to 50.
- Use of all Thrive themes on up to 50 websites.
- Use of all Thrive Plugins.
- Free product updates as they are released.
- One year of customer support.
While I think Thrive Membership is good value, I’m not so sure about Agency Membership. How many web designers or agencies would only use their favourite page builder on just 50 sites? While I can appreciate that there has to be a limit, doubling the number of websites you can use Thrive products on while increasing the price by more than double doesn’t make much sense.
Aside from that, the pricing for Thrive compares well to the competition.
Discounts / Coupons
Thrive does not often offer discounts or coupons for their products but if I find any I’ll put them here. If anyone offers discounts it is usually Thrive themselves and they are only available direct.
I have spent almost 3000 word waxing lyrical about Thrive Themes and what it offers so if you’re tired of hearing my voice, here are some other opinions on the subject.
Joe Fylan from WinningWP had this to say:
‘If you’re looking for a suite of tools to help you create well-optimized websites, then you’re part of the Thrive Themes target audience. Although the individual themes aren’t that impressive on their own, when you consider all the themes, plugins, and educational content on offer to Thrive members, the whole of the Thrive Themes portfolio is greater than the sum of its parts.’
‘As you can see, the Thrive Membership Scheme offers great value for money. You’ll be able to save lots of money with the membership plans compared to buying their plugins and themes individually. However, the pricing is not the only attractive feature.
Thrive developed an excellent membership dashboard that it’s very easy to navigate – and it gives you access to all the relevant information, from licenses to documentation/tutorials. There are no mistakes in the Thrive Themes product suite. All of the plugins and themes are built to the highest standard and are continually updated. Therefore, I’ll urge you to try Thrive Themes today, and you won’t regret it.’
‘Thrive Themes is a rising giant. They have their upcoming Thrive Theme Builder. Don't get fooled by people who do marketing solely in the name of SEO. If you ask me, I'm currently 100% satisfied with the features offered by the Thrive Themes. The Thrive Themes has enabled me to increase the affiliate conversions drastically on my blog.
On my affiliate sites, I'm also using the Thrive Themes as I described earlier. I'll stick with them at least for the next 2 years.’
There is a lot of competition in all the markets Thrive operates in, themes, landing pages, plugins and front end page builders. It compares well to all of them including Divi Builder, Elegant Themes and others. All of the competition is very credible and takes the fight directly to Thrive. A couple do better in some aspects but Thrive Themes more than holds its own in terms of quality, pricing and features.
Thrive Themes is a coherent package of all the tools you need to build a great looking website and convert your users. It may be aimed squarely at marketers but most of the tools offer value to all kinds of websites whether you’re selling or not.
I say coherent because the Thrive plugins all work together to give you conversions. They also work seamlessly with Thrive Themes to provide attractive page elements that deliver the goods while not interfering in the user experience. Then you have the ability to A/B test for data-driven design decision making. All wrapped up in a well-designed, well-conceived package.
Sure, Thrive Themes are not cheap but considering what you get for your money, the packages offer value and compare well to competing offerings elsewhere. Finally, Thrive Themes includes Thrive Architect which is the daddy of all page builders as far as I’m concerned. If that isn’t reason enough to invest, I don’t know what is!
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