The requirements for online content are much higher than they used to be.
Years ago, you could get away with text and some images, and your visitors were satisfied.
Nowadays, your readers want more.
On top of producing high-quality content, you also want to include the content elements that make it even more valuable in the eyes of your readers.
Previously, adding these elements required coding skills or messing around with shortcode plugins. Fortunately, this is not the case anymore since there are tools like Thrive Architect that make this process much more comfortable.
In this Thrive Architect review, I’ll share my thoughts on the plugin and show you how you can use it to build eye-catching page layouts, and conversion-focused landing pages.
Overview of Thrive Architect
Thrive Architect is a drag-and-drop web page builder for WordPress, developed by Thrive Themes. There are two primary ways to use the tool:
- By creating blog posts.
- By creating pages.
Let’s break these two categories into smaller pieces:
Enhance your content by choosing from 40+ formatting elements for your posts.
- Static pages: Build regular pages with the elements that Thrive Architect provides.
- Landing pages: Create pages that make the user take action (for instance, by making him/her join your mailing list).
- Specific content pages: Create other specialized pages, like sales pages, webinar pages, or product launch pages.
Now that you know what you can do with Thrive Architect, I’ll show you how to use the tool.
Let’s get started!
Creating a blog post with Thrive Architect
When you create a new blog post with Thrive Architect, you’ll notice a green Launch Thrive Architect button placed at the top of the Add New page in WordPress:
Once you click the button, you see Thrive Architect’s editor view in its whole beauty:
What I want you to do next is to focus on what’s on the right side of the screen:
Once you click the plus sign, you’ll see the elements that Thrive Architect can offer you. There are quite a few of them to choose from, and you’ll have to scroll down a bit to see all of them.
When you drag an element from the elements bar, and you are about to drop it on the content area, Thrive Architect indicates where the component is going to be placed:
Once you have placed an element on the page, you get more styling properties to choose from. These properties depend on the component. For instance, with the text element, you see the following options appearing on the left, on the Element Style Options view:
The location of the element properties view is convenient. Before the current version of Thrive Architect, elements and their properties were all crammed on the left side of the screen, making the list of components too cluttered.
An element also exposes inline styling properties that depend on the chosen item.
In the case of the text element, the location for the inline styling toolbar was surprising since I expected to see it close to the text element itself. However, you can always drag it closer to the main element, if you wish.
The workflow for a text element is simple: You drag the component from the elements bar, drop it on the page and modify its properties. This same workflow works with the rest of the elements as well.
It’s also a relief to learn that Thrive Architect can produce content that is viewable on various devices, not just on the desktop. To see how your content looks on other devices, take a look at the toolbar at the bottom:
Then choose the device you’d like to view your content with, and you see it in the preview window:
Speeding up your future content creation
I’m all about being productive, and what warms my middle-aged heart is that there are a couple of helpful ways to improve your effectiveness when creating content.
One way is to use the pre-designed elements. For instance, the Content Block component gives you pre-designed blocks of content that you can add to your page.
Resource List? Added! Product Rating? Already on the page. Pros and Cons? Yep, there it is:
These pre-designed elements give you a head start, and all you have to do is modify the element to meet your needs.
Another great time-saver is the use of templates and symbols.
Saving a customized element as a template is easy with the click of a button. For instance, if you add a text element and customize it, you can then turn it into a template by clicking the disc icon:
You can also turn a full page as a template by clicking on the Settings (the gear icon) on the right and choosing Save as Template. This functionality is great, especially if you want to create a blog post template that you’ll use for your future posts.
You can also access all the templates that are available by clicking the Templates & Symbols icon on the right:
You’ll then see all your saved templates and symbols in one place:
Wait, symbols? What are they?
Well, templates and symbols are both reusable pieces of content that you can use to build your pages or posts. The difference between them is that a template is a static piece of content, whereas the symbol is dynamic.
In other words, when you edit a template on one page, the changes are applied only to that page. However, when you edit a symbol, it’s updated on every page on where it’s included.
Getting started with the landing page builder
Another area where Thrive Architect is strong is the landing page creation. In fact, it’s one of the best WordPress landing page plugins on the market.
Currently, there are 40+ template sets available. One set contains a couple of variations of the template, so the total number of templates is higher.
You can access the landing page functionality by creating a new page in WordPress. Then click a green Launch Thrive Architect button, and you are taken into the design view.
So far, the process is the same as when creating a new blog post. However, there is one small difference between these two, and it’s the icon that you can find on the right sidebar:
When you click the Change Template icon (the one with the cloud), you’ll see a selection of landing page templates. Here, I would like you to pay attention to two different types of pages:
- The blank.
- “The rest.”
The blank template gives you the option to start designing your landing page from scratch. It’s the right choice if you think that none of the existing landing page designs is a perfect fit for you.
The blank template, like the rest of the templates, is a set, and you can choose from three different variations:
So go ahead, pick one, click the Choose Template button, and let your artistic, yet conversion-optimized juices flow freely:
You are probably already familiar with the landing page workflow. In other words, drag the elements you want to the design area, and finally click the green Save Work button at the bottom:
You can also go to the Settings menu (the gear icon) on the right and choose Save Landing Page. This way, you can reuse your landing page template in your future projects:
And speaking of the Settings menu, it is different when compared to the blog post equivalent. In other words, under this menu, you can find other useful actions that you can use when you are working with landing pages:
For instance, you can switch back to the theme template, if you want to, by going to Landing Page Settings > Revert to Theme:
Or, if you want to turn your existing WordPress page into a landing page, that can be done too. The process is the same as creating a new landing page. Just click the Change Template icon on the right, pick the template you like, and then save your page.
If starting a landing page design from scratch is too much work, you can modify any of the pre-defined templates and save it to your template library:
Two types of elements
Thrive Architect contains plenty of elements that you can use with your content. You can split them into two categories: The conversion-focused and the page-building ones.
There are currently 12 elements that help you boost your conversions and build your online business. Some of these elements are:
- Call-to-action buttons: Entice your visitor to take action with the appealing buttons.
- Styled lists: Highlight the features of your product or service with this old but trustworthy element.
- Guarantee boxes: Enforce the trust of your customers by showing the guarantee information of your product or service.
- Contact Form: Give your visitors an option to contact you.
Page building blocks
In addition to conversion-focused elements, you can also use other components to build your content. This list is just a sample of blocks you get with Thrive Architect:
- Tabs: Organize your content under various tabs to save your screen space and make your content more user-friendly.
- Icon: Add more style and details to your pages by adding icons to them. Choose from thousands of icons, provided by FontAwesome.
- Lead Generation: Add a lead generation form to your website. Then hook it up with your auto-responder service. MailChimp, GetResponse, ConvertKit, Drip, and plenty of other integrations are provided.
- Table of Contents: A great way to improve your content’s user experience is to add a Table of Contents element at the top of the page or post.
With Thrive Architect, you can choose from three pricing models.
The Single License costs $67, and you can install Thrive Architect on one website. You get support for one year, although you can extend this period with a small fee.
The 5 License Pack costs $97 at the time of writing, and it includes the same features and support coverage as the single license version. However, with the 5 License Pack, you can install Thrive Architect on five different websites.
Finally, you have the Thrive Membership option. This package is the most comprehensive one that Thrive Themes offers, and it’s subscription-based.
Naturally, you get Thrive Architect as part of the Thrive Membership package, and you can install the page builder plugin on 25 websites. However, you also get access to the full suite of Thrive Themes plugins, and themes.
The annual price for the membership is $228, which equals $19 per month. This price excludes VAT, which adds extra to the yearly cost (the amount of VAT depends on the country you live in).
If you are unhappy with Thrive Architect, you can get a full refund within 30 days of the purchase.
Thrive Architect Pros and Cons
Every product has both pros and cons. Here are the ones with Thrive Architect:
- It is regularly updated.
- Templates and symbols speed up your content creation.
- It’s possible to purchase it with a one-time fee (support is for 1 year and can be extended if you wish).
- It is also a landing page tool with over 270 templates available.
- The tool creates mobile-responsive pages by default.
- Plenty of elements that make your content stand out.
- The tool can replace some of your existing WordPress plugins.
- No content lock-in In other words, if you decide to switch to another page builder in the future, your existing blog posts are not full of WordPress shortcodes that don’t make sense to your visitors.
- It only works on self-hosted WordPress platforms, not on WordPress.com.
- No auto-save functionality on the pages or posts.
- No theme builder (they are working on one).
Wrapping up this Thrive Architect review
Although Thrive Architect has many competitors, it’s still a great choice for any serious online business builder.
It brings a lot of functionality out-of-the-box, and the current development cycle keeps the product up-to-date, while new features are added frequently.
The user interface may take a bit of getting used to, mainly if you have used the older version of the product. However, those new to Thrive Architect do not have this “burden” since the user interface has improved significantly from the previous version.
Thrive Architect is a one-stop solution to your page building needs, whether you build static pages, blog posts, landing pages, or any other content that’s on your website.