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. They aim to provide an ‘all-in-one’ online business 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?
Thrive membership includes:
- Thrive Product Manager
- Thrive Plugins
- Thrive Theme Builder (plus companion themes)
- Thrive Dashboard
Let’s take a look at each one:
Thrive Product Manager
The Thrive Product Manager plugin allows you to install and license the Thrive products you want on each website.
You simply download the plugin from the members’ area, upload it to your website, sign in with your membership credentials, and install the products you need.
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 one.
- 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 Theme Builder
Thrive Theme Builder lets you visually design, build, edit, and customize every aspect of your WordPress website with a visual drag-and-drop builder.
The theme builder is installed as a theme rather than a plugin.
Thrive Theme Builder Theme
The Theme Builder comes packaged with Shapeshift, the first companion theme.
Shapeshift is a multi-purpose Thrive Theme Builder theme, designed with the solopreneur in mind. In the future, we should see more companion themes being released with different use cases in mind.
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 three plugins and the theme builder 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:
- User Access Manager – Used to set access permissions.
- API Connections – Used to connect Thrive Leads to your email marketing system, reCaptcha, email delivery services, etc.
- 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.
- Analytics and Scripts – Used to add and edit custom scripts on your website.
- Smart Site – Used to define sitewide variables when building content; e.g. company info and social media accounts.
- Global Elements – Used to create and manage templates, symbols, headers, and footers; e.g. create once and use in many places.
- 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 on the homepage are instructions on how to install the products on your WordPress site with the Thrive Product Manager:
Followed by a video on how the Product Manager works:
Directly underneath the video is a link to further detailed instructions in a knowledge base article.
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 and installations
This page provides all the details of your Thrive account, including invoices, product details, order history, and contact information.
In this example, you can see which sites are connected to your account via the Product Manager plugin:
The Getting Started section includes a welcome video from the Thrive team which covers basics on:
- How to Get Help with Technical Issues
- How to Use a Particular Function or Feature
- Marketing, Conversion and Website Building Help
Thrive University launched in December 2016. It’s a platform to access all of their courses, guides, and training material in a straightforward interface.
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.
The University is not exclusive to the Thrive Membership scheme. Anyone can create an account to access the content, but there are member-exclusive courses:
Members Only Content
The Members Only Content area is an exclusive resource for members that contains templates, courses, and contests:
If you’d like the Thrive Themes team to review your website and give you personalized advice, then this is the place to submit your details.
If your website is selected, it’ll be featured in a blog post or a live webinar with practical and actionable tips on how to improve it.
The Product Tutorials page provides a central repository of tutorials for each theme and plugin.
When you click on a product, you can see its list of 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:
Theme Demo Website
The Theme Demo Website takes you to the demo page of the Thrive Theme Builder and its Shapeshift theme. Again, this is not a membership exclusive, but merely a quick way of accessing the Theme Builder demo from the Membership Dashboard.
If you want to check out a particular feature, such as one of the Design Elements, 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 and related notes:
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 Products Change Log tracks all changes for all products in one convenient location. Here’s an example of a changelog for Thrive Optimize:
The final menu item is the Support Forum, where you can 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 queries. 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, you can see requests for Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect:
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.
There are two membership levels:
- Thrive Membership – $19/month (annually) or $30/month (quarterly)
- Use all of the plugins and themes on 25 of your own websites.
- Agency Membership – $49/month (annually) or $69/month (quarterly)
- Use all of the plugins and themes on 50 of your sites and clients’ websites.
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 pros and cons
- 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 the 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 scheme isn’t suitable
- 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 has constructed a well-thought-out membership dashboard that’s easy to navigate and gives you quick access to all the relevant information.
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 all-in-one toolbox. All of the products are developed to the highest standard and continually updated.