Thrive Themes was founded in early 2013 by the ideal match: marketing expert Shane Melaugh and tech fanatic Paul McCarthy. But their journeys before they met were testing.
Thrive Themes produce conversion focused themes and plugins for WordPress. Their aim is to provide an ‘all-in-one’ toolbox that lets you build a website and start converting visitors into subscribers and customers.
Each theme and plugin are available to buy individually, or you can join the Thrive Membership offering and get access to all of their themes and plugins.
In this review, we’ll see what the Thrive Membership offering has to offer.
So, let’s start by taking a look at the products in the all-in-one toolbox.
What products are included in the membership?
There are currently ten WordPress themes in the range:
Thrive Themes are built for speed, readability and clarity. That’s not to say they look ugly; it’s just that Thrive places more emphasis on conversion elements rather than design aesthetics.
Some themes are geared towards magazine-style blogs while others are more suitable for selling products and services. There are themes to suit both individuals and organizations.
Thrive has included a few standard features in all their themes that are worth highlighting:
- Focus Areas – These show offers most relevant to your visitors, so you get more clicks and more sales.
- Landing Page Template – A page that removes header navigation links, sidebars, footer widgets and anything else that could distract a visitor.
- Built-In Plugins – These include social sharing buttons, related posts, optimized image galleries, a font manager and more.
- Easy Page Generator – Create sample sales pages, opt-in pages, legal pages and more with just a few clicks.
There are a bunch of great WordPress plugins in the range:
- Thrive Architect – Create drag-and-drop layouts, add buttons and advanced content elements and much more with the visual editor. Comes with 150+ landing page templates that you can use for opt-in pages, sales pages, webinar registration pages, and more.
- Thrive Leads – Create and design every type of opt-in form, run A/B tests and more to build your mailing list.
- Thrive Clever Widgets – Display different content in your widget areas, based on posts, pages, categories, tags and advanced targeting rules.
- Thrive Headline Optimizer – Test different headlines against each other and show only the highest performing ones.
- Thrive Ultimatum – Add countdown timers, run complex evergreen scarcity campaigns and much more.
- Thrive Ovation – Collect and display testimonials on your landing pages, sales pages and more.
- Thrive Quiz Builder – Run viral style quizzes to generate social traffic and grow your email list.
- Thrive Comments – Conversion focused comments plugin designed to boost engagement.
- Thrive Apprentice – Learning management plugin you can use to offer your own courses.
- Thrive Optimize – A/B split testing for Thrive Architect.
Thrive has also developed a central dashboard inside WordPress where you can manage and configure settings for the Thrive product suite.
The Thrive Dashboard divides into two parts:
- Installed products
- Thrive features
The upper half of the Thrive Dashboard will grow as you install more Thrive products. In this example you can see there are four plugins and a theme installed:
Each product has a mini-drop-down menu which links directly to the relevant Knowledge Base and Support Forum (more on this later) inside the members’ area:
The lower half of the Thrive Dashboard contains general settings applicable to all of Thrive’s products:
- API Connections – Used to connect Thrive Leads to your email marketing system, reCaptcha, email delivery services, etc.
- Custom Fonts – Used to add and edit Google Fonts and other custom fonts to use in your Thrive products.
- Retina Icons – Used to add and edit fully scalable icons with the font icon manager to use in the visual editor on several plugins.
- General Settings – Used for shared settings between multiple themes and plugins; e.g. Facebook App ID.
- Notification Manager – Option to receive notifications when certain events occur on your site; e.g. an A/B Test ends in Thrive Headline Optimizer, someone opts into your Thrive Leads.
Aside from the products and dashboard, what else do you get in your Thrive Membership?
Let’s take a look inside the membership area.
What’s inside the membership area?
The first thing you see is a Welcome Video:
Thrive love producing videos. And in true Shane Melaugh style, you get a quick video tour of how to navigate around the membership area.
Directly underneath the Welcome Video is a listing of all the plugins and themes.
For each plugin you have quick access buttons to Download, Tutorials, and Forum:
For each theme you also have a link to view its demo:
On the right-hand side of the page is a Member Navigation menu listing all your options:
Let’s take a look inside each option.
This option brings you back to the main member homepage from anywhere inside the membership area.
My account & license keys
This page provides all the details of your Thrive account including invoices and contact information.
You’ll also find your license key details, which you’ll need to activate your products in WordPress.
In this example, you can see the different levels of membership and how many times each license key has been used:
Thrive University launched in December 2016. It’s a platform to access all of their courses, guides and training material in one simple interface.
This is not exclusive to the Thrive Membership scheme; anyone can create an account to access the content. But it’s easily accessed from the membership dashboard.
Thrive operates an excellent blog where they share loads of useful information as well as product updates. For example, they run a series called “The Landing Page From Scratch” where they demonstrate how you can emulate landing pages found on the web using their Landing Page plugin.
Inside the University you’ll find courses and guides that will help you create better landing pages, build an engaged mailing list, create better content and much more.
Here’s a snippet from the main page:
The Product Tutorials page provides a central repository of tutorials for each theme and plugin.
When you click on a product, then you can see its list of tutorials. And underneath you can access individual video tutorials.
The Knowledge Base includes documentation and troubleshooting tips for all of the Thrive products.
You can use the search bar for specific queries or find the applicable product section and search there:
The Knowledge Base also addresses non-product topics like WordPress Basics; e.g. How to Set a Separate Homepage and Blog Page:
And Developer Resources; e.g. Adding Dynamic Data to your Autoresponder Code:
Thrive Theme Demos
The Thrive Theme Demos section is a link to the demo pages of each of its themes. Again, this is not a membership exclusive, but merely a quick way of accessing the theme demos from the Membership Dashboard.
If you’re thinking of switching themes or want to check out a particular feature, then it’s a useful place to try things out.
From time to time Thrive runs live webinars on a variety of WordPress and marketing topics. Some are product launches, and others are tutorials to help you use a Thrive product to its full potential.
The Webinar Recordings section contains the recordings of previous webinars:
Each topic includes the webinar recording and related notes:
And you will get access to monthly member-only webinars where Thrive share strategies and insider tips from their marketing team.
Thrive Products Change Log
Thrive are continually adding new enhancements and fixing bugs in their products. You’ll get the standard plugin or theme update available notification in your WordPress admin dashboard when a new release is available.
The Thrive Themes Change Log tracks all changes for all products in one convenient location. Here’s an example of a change log issued for all themes:
The final menu item is the Support Forum. This is an excellent place to track your own issues and those reported by other customers.
The forum divides into five sections:
- General Discussion – For general non-specific product issues
- Plugins – For plugin related issues
- Showcase – For broadcasting how you’ve used a Thrive product
- Themes – For theme related issues
- Affiliate, Account and Presales Support – For administration requests
Unfortunately, customers don’t always use the right section to submit their requests. A smarter support software tool would force a user to select the correct category when logging an issue.
For example, in the General Discussion section is this request reporting a problem with Pressive, which is one of the Thrive themes:
Clearly, this should be in the Themes-Pressive section:
Issues reported in the wrong section are more challenging for other customers to locate.
So, there’s room for improvement in the reporting software.
But when it comes to answering support questions, then the Thrive support team provide an excellent service level. They update the ticket conversations promptly and clearly.
Whenever you decide to purchase your Thrive Membership, you lock in your subscription price for life. That’s a great incentive to ‘buy now’ because Thrive is always adding new products to the range. For example, in 2016 alone, the company released three new plugins.
There are two membership levels:
- Thrive Membership – $19/month (annually) or $25/month (quarterly)
- Use all of the plugins and themes on all of your own sites
- Agency Membership – $49/month (annually) or $59/month (quarterly)
- Use all of the plugins and themes on your sites and clients’
Membership includes all the current and future products, plus enhancements and updates, plus ongoing support.
Note: If you decide to buy individual products now and want to become a member later, the single purchases you make are NOT credited towards your membership.
Thrive Themes pro’s and con’s
- Easy to navigate menu
- Excellent support service
- Comprehensive knowledge base
- Full range of product video tutorials
- Additional webinars and advanced tutorials
- Continued support even after initial warranty period
- Access to all current themes and plugins, plus any future products
- Locked in price when you join, so great value as more products are added
- Products can be purchased individually if the membership offering isn’t your thing
- The Support Forum software does not force users to categorize requests correctly
- Can be expensive compared to a single theme or plugin if you have a small budget
The Thrive Membership Scheme offers excellent value for money. You’ll save hundreds of dollars compared to buying their themes and plugins individually.
But it’s not just the pricing that is attractive.
Thrive have constructed a well-thought out membership dashboard that it’s easy to navigate. It gives you quick access to all the relevant information, from licenses to tutorials. The one area for improvement is the support forum software. But that’s a minor drawback compared to the excellent support service they provide.
There are no weak links in the product suite. All of the themes and plugins are developed to the highest standard and continually updated.