You've set up your blog and you're looking for the perfect WordPress website builder to start your blogging journey. There are LOADS of theme options out there, along with tons of other tools.
Today, let's take a closer look at a complete solution to many of your blogging/marketing needs - Thrive Themes.
By the end of this ultimate Thrive Themes review, you'll understand just how deep the rabbit hole goes with Thrive Themes: the pros, the cons, the myriad of features, and whether or not it's the right theme option for you.
Yes, I am a Thrive Themes affiliate and there are affiliate links on this page. What does that mean?
When you purchase a Thrive Themes Membership or any of the Thrive tools, I DO earn a commission.
However, please keep in mind, that I only review & recommend tools that I have
personally vetted & have gotten results with.
* 100% No Fluff Guarantee
Undoubtedly, there are plenty of Thrive reviews out there. Why is mine any different?
First, I am currently a paying, Thrive Themes Member - working hard to honest, high-value business.
I'm going to be straight with you and tell you like it is. This is a review you can trust.
Thrive Themes At A Glance
VALUE TRUMPS PRICE
Thrive Themes is on the pricey side, especially if you decide to go with the Thrive Themes Membership.
But you do have to keep in mind that for all of the tools you get, you end up with more value than what you pay, which is always a good thing.
DEPENDS ON THE TOOL
How badly do I really need Thrive Themes for my online business?
A good theme is important, but Thrive isn't your only option.
I would say Thrive Themes is really nice to have, but not a must-have.
SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE
Is Thrive Themes easy to use?
For the most part, I'd say yes! However there are aspects of this multipurpose platform that aren't as intuitive as they could be.
We'll talk about those as we dig deeper into our review.
How's the support at Thrive Themes?
Very good. Not perfect, but whenever I've had a question, it usually gets answered within 2-3 business days.
If you're a little more on the impatient side, this might seem like an eternity for you.
What Is Thrive Themes?
Created by Shane Melaugh and Paul McCarthy in 2013,
Thrive Themes is a company that's committed to creating WordPress themes and plugins that deliver in both design & marketing functionality.
Whether you're trying to convert visitors to subscribers and/or subscribers to customers Thrive has the tools to help you reach your goal. It's like having an all-in-one, smart, marketing toolbox...on steroids.
7 PROS FOR THE THRIVE THEMES MEMBERSHIP
1. Clean, Visually Appealing Designs
This may seem like a minor issue to some, but you'd be surprised at just how much a clean design can do for easy navigation. Easy navigation could mean that more of your visitors have the chance to see more of what you want them to see before hitting that dreaded "back button."
I'm referring to some of the landing pages and popups than I am to themes. The designs were so appealing that I was delighted to put them on my site. That's how it should be.
2. Marketing Tools That Actually Work!
After hearing the consensus of several, reputable internet marketers, I decided to try Thrive for myself. Once I started implementing some of the tools (we'll talk a bit more about this later in the review) I noticed some small, consistent increases in Adsense income and email list signups.
The three tools that I swear by are Thrive Architect, Thrive's Quiz Builder and Thrive Leads
3. Eliminates the Need For Other Tools
Admittedly, I struggle with marketing tool overwhelm....
One of the reasons I love being a Thrive Themes Member is because it eliminates the need to round a hodgepodge of marketing tools.
Tell me if this sounds familiar? I think I'll use (insert company name) as my landing page builder, (insert another company name) for my theme, (insert another company name) for my popups, use (insert company name) for video hosting...the list goes on and on.
Granted, Thrive Themes can't do everything, but it can do a whole lot. It can eliminate the need to to purchase landing page software, A/B test software, headline optimizers, A/B testing alternatives, and so much more-saving you quite a bit of money in the process.
4. Thrive Themes University
Some companies like to go above and beyond. When I saw Thrive University open for its members, I realized that my membership was a smart move. Thrive has put together a FREE educational platform for its members. You get can get free lessons on everything from how to create landing pages to writing better copy, from increasing conversions to theme hacks.
I created this site because I'm a trying to take a marginally successful business and transform it into an ethical, exciting, full-time business. So, it's no surprise that one of my favorite Thrive University Lessons is titled "From Internet Rubbish" to Content Gold.
Another great thing that Thrive is doing is allowing free Thrive University access for non-members.
5. The Ability To Buy Themes & Plugins Separately
Flexible can be a good thing. For those of you who are interested in specific aspects of Thrive Themes, but don't necessarily want the commitment of being a member, you can purchase things separately in whatever way works for you. Let's say you just wanted to use Thrive Architect, Thrive Themes, and The Quiz Builder. You could do it.
Keep in mind though, that Thrive does make the membership option the most attractive value for the price. It makes sense, considering they earn more extended cashflow that way 🙂
6. Constant Innovation & Improvement
All of the snazzy tools and solutions were enough to get me to sign up for a Thrive Themes membership. But it's the company's dedication to innovating and improving its tools that keeps renewing quarter after quarter.
I really do love how Thrive is always sending out member emails to let us know about things they are working on to make Thrive better or teasers about upcoming tools that they are launching.*
Innovation is a wonderful thing by itself, but with Thrive it shows that they take the time not only to listen to their customer's issues & concerns, but they preemptively create tools to meet customers' needs.
*Hearing about the Quiz Builder when it came out was enough to almost make me have an internet marketgasm. I'm just saying...
7. Targeting, Reporting, and A/B Testing...Oh My!
Thrive Themes has some killer targeting, reporting, and A/B Testing features. It's the icing on a rather delicious internet marketing cake. You can split test headlines, landing pages, have certain content display to certain visitors (still learning how to do this), you get reports on how your forms and pop-ups are doing (i.e.-their conversion rates). There are so many details you can glean about your visitors just by using Thrive's tools.
Thrive Themes Starting To Sound Good?
If all of Thrive Themes' positives sparked an interest in a trying their platform,
You can click the button below to get it for yourself.
5 CONS FOR THRIVE THEMES
1. Membership Price
The Thrive Themes Membership can cost as much as $360/year and even more if you're on an agency plan. For some that can feel a little bit pricey. Yes, that is one of clear downsides of this platform, despite how useful it is. You have to ask yourself "what is the opportunity cost of this $360/year?"
My honest take: Only buy Thrive if you feel like you're in a place where
A) paying for it won't hurt you, and
B) you'll actually use of the tools available to you.
$360/year is a lot to pay for a tool that's going to sit around and collect e-dust.
2. Thrive Themes Templates Don't Excite Me
This con is pretty straightforward. When I browsed through the available themes after signing up, my reaction was..."Meh." I've seen better theme layouts on other platforms. Granted, these other platforms I'm talking about are completely devoted to theme design (think StudioPress, Elegant Themes, Theme Forest).
As I mentioned in the pros section, Thrive is constantly innovating. At request of many of their members, Thrive is now working on Thrive Themes 2.0, a visual theme builder. In addition to all of its other tools, might this mean Thrive will also be able to boast a drag and drop website builder?
How will this compare to the current selection of themes? I can't say until I've tried it. But if a Thrive website builder allows you to personally control what your theme looks like - without having to screw around with backend files (I'm a non-techie) - I think it's going to be a big step in the right direction.
3. Potential Analysis Paralysis
Having so many wonderful tools available to you with a Thrive Themes Membership can be a double-edged, sword. I literally could've made this ultimate Thrive Review into ten, extensive Thrive reviews - one for each of this platform's core tools!
While it's nice knowing that you have so much marketing power at your fingertips, it doesn't mean that you have to use every single tool. Trust me on this one...it's one of the first mistakes I made.
I think the best way to go about it, is to pick ONE THING about your business that you want to improve. Say for instance, it's increasing your email list. Focusing on the Thrive Leads tool and how to use it effectively cuts down on a lot of the temptation to try every tool.
Don't worry, the tools aren't going anywhere. Use them when it makes sense for you.
4. Yes, There is a Learning Curve
In an ideal world, you would open up Thrive Themes for the very first time and instantly know how to do everything. You set up all the right tools in the right way, to tie it to the perfect niche...you become rich overnight and you become a living god(dess).
Unfortunately, for most of us, that won't be the case with our online businesses, and it won't be the case for Thrive Themes. Some tools might frustrate a bit if you're new to all of this online marketing stuff.
Heck, I've had a couple of tools frustrate me...and I'm not new to this!
Some tools will be more intuitive than others. For example, Thrive Architect's learning curve probably won't be as steep as Thrive Leads because it's designed to be a WSYWIG (what you see is what you get) editor for WordPress pages.
5. Watch Out For Bugs!
One issue you can potentially face with any software platform is bugs! Thrive Themes is no exception here. Sure, it's designed to be clean and fast. But, sometimes Thrive Themes code and code from other platforms don't always play nicely with one another. When that happens you may end up with a glitch.
For example. I had an problem with Google Adsense code. It was making Thrive Architect act a bit screwy on the backend; it was causing my posts not to save :/ .
Should this happen? In a perfect world, no. Can it happen? Yes.
Luckily, Thrive has a good team and I know they work through this bug, like they do when any bug comes up.
I was glad to have a customer service help me figure out what the issue was.
Negatives Didn't Chase You Away?
There is no such thing as a perfect product...even when the product is a good one...like Thrive Themes.
But products change over time, and if it's a good team behind them, they change for the better.
If you're still interested in trying Thrive Themes, click the button below.
Who Thrive Themes
Is Perfect For...
- SCRAPPY ONLINE MARKETERS ON A BUDGET!
If your money matters to you (and it should) Thrive Themes is a great way to save money on miscellaneous services.
- CREATORS WHO LIKE CLEAN DESIGN
While Thrive Themes doesn't necessarily have the best-in-class theme templates. It's clean and professional. And that's all you need to create amazing stuff for you audience.
- PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM SOLUTION OVERWHELM
I'll admit it. This is the main reason I purchased Thrive. I just got so sick and tired of having marketing tool ADHD.
You hear about a million different tools and sometimes it's hard to discern what you need and what you don't.
A great way to handle this problem is to an "80/20 CUT THE CRAP" analysis. Scrap every tool you aren't seeing results with, and just focus on the handful you need.
- ENTREPRENEURS WHO LIKE TO PLAN, TAKE ACTION, & MAKE ADJUSTMENTS
I've been at this for years and I'm just getting to the point where I'm seeing results because I'm taking action. So, I'm in no position to preach to anyone.
However, if you're the kind of bright-eyed entrepreneur that has the courage to act on your plans to genuinely serve an audience. Thrive Themes is a great tool to support what you're trying to do...in any niche.
Who Thrive Themes
Is NOT Perfect For...
- MARKETERSS WHO THINK A TOOL IS GOING TO MAGICALLY SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS
I don't say this to put anyone down. This is what I've done for so many years. Tools can be a great excuse to spin your wheels.
If you think Thrive Themes is going to change your online business from failure to success overnight, then it's probably not right for you.
- NON-ACTION TAKERS
Why pay a quarterly or yearly fee for no reason? Letting Thrive sit around and collect e-dust makes ZERO SENSE. This platform, like so many tools, is only effective if you use it.
- SOMEONE WHO IS SERIOUSLY STRAPPED FOR CASH
If you're in financial dire straits, I wouldn't say Thrive is the way to go. Focus on work you can do to increase your income first and possibly think about Thrive later. You're business isn't going to fail because you're not using Thrive.
- THE SHORT-SIGHTED
While you can see some marked results with Thrive in relatively short periods of time (30-60 days) if you can't see the long game of your business (six months or longer), this probably ain't the tool for you either.
HOW MUCH IS THRIVE THEMES?
You have the option of buying Thrive's themes and plugins individually. You can also have access to all of Thrives plugins and tools by purchasing either a quarterly or annual membership plan. See the table below for a thrive price list of all of the membership options.
If you crunch the numbers, this annual plan works out to be the best deal on the Thrive Themes Membership.
This is the best value for the enterprise plan, if you happen to be working with clients and want to use Thrive on their sites.
This plan gives you the flexibility of paying every 3 months instead of locking yourself in for a full year. However, you do end up paying a bit more for that flexibility.
Likewise, this is the most flexible option for the enterprise plan. You get to pay once every three months instead of once a year. But you do pay a premium for the flexibility.
I am currently using the quarterly, individual membership. I pay $75.00 every three months which is $25.00/month.
If you look at the current quarterly plan, it's not $25.00/month, it's 30.00/month. Why am I paying less?
Because I purchased a quite some time ago and remained a member. Although, I will probably end up changing to the yearly plan this year (to save even more money), it's good to know that once you sign up for the Thrive Membership, you stay locked in at the price you joined.
IS THRIVE THEMES WORTH IT?
We'll answer this questions with my honest opinion. YES. Digging deeper into this question let's look at what you get with your Thrive Themes membership:
What Am I Actually Getting By Becoming A Thrive Member?
The core of a Thrive Membership is a collection of smart plugins, themes, and tools. When you become a member you have currently have access these ten tools at your fingertips:
1. Thrive Architect
- Formerly known as the Thrive Content Builder, Thrive Architect is a visual post editor. Sure you, you could write posts in WordPress and edit them there (there is absolutely nothing wrong with that), but Architect makes it simple to create the content that's in your head without having to fuss with code. Heck, you can bypass the whole WordPress dashboard as you create. The very post you're reading was made using Thrive Architect.
CORE BENEFIT - Create Content Faster & More Easily
2. Thrive Leads
- What I like to think of as a marketing "Inception" tool...yep, kinda like the movie. It's a set of tools within tool.
With Thrive Leads, you have multiple ways to capture leads and get people to sign up for your email list: Light Boxes, Sticky Ribbons, Inline Forms, Welcome Mats, A/B Testing and more!
CORE BENEFIT - Converting More Visitors to Email Subscribers
3. Thrive Ovation
- Allows you to, gather & manage testimonials on an ongoing basis. So when you need testimonials for sales pages, posts, etc., you'll have them ready. Admittedly, I haven't used this feature very much yet. But I know it's going to come in handy later; especially if I ever decide make the foray into creating my own products.
CORE BENEFIT - Social Proof Made Simple
4. Thrive Ultimatum
- Use scarcity to help you increase conversions and get more sales from your existing traffic. How does Ultimatum do this?
By allowing you to create effective, visually appealing timers. You can use these countdown timers let people know when bonuses, special deals, courses, etc. are expiring.
The fear of missing out drives higher conversions. Though this may sound like sleazy marketing to some, I really think there's a way to do it that's as ethical as it is effective.
CORE BENEFIT - Increased Conversions
5. Thrive Headline Optimizer
- Makes headline A/B testing simpler than you can imagine. Headlines are critical to getting your content read! When you read a Buzzfeed article or a Huffington Post exclusive, often times you were hooked from the headline. With the Headline Optimizer, you literally just type in the different headlines that you want to try. In the background, Thrive runs an auto split-test on which one is performing better (i.e.-which one is gathering more clicks). You can quickly and easily see which headline is kicking butt, and choose that headline as your winner.
CORE BENEFIT - More People Consuming Your Content
6. Thrive Clever Widgets
- Create a smarter widgets section! Instead of the standard, "everybody sees the same theme" widget style. You can actually get certain visitors to see what you want them to see. Is there a particular lead magnet you only want visitors of a certain post to see? You can do that with clever widgets! Loads of potential with this plugin!
CORE BENEFIT - More Engaged Visitors
7. Thrive Themes
- The flagship tool that Thrive is named after. Thrive Themes is collection of themes that you can use to style your WordPress site. Thrive themes are a way to look more professional and keep the content you create more organized.
CORE BENEFIT - Easier Site Navigation
8. Thrive Quiz Builder
- The Quiz Builder is one of Thrive's more recent additions. With this powerful plugin you can harness the power, virality, and effectiveness of quizzes for your own site. You can create an array of different of quizzes, social share badges, see reports on visitor responses, share dynamic/relevant content a visitor's responses, and even use quizzes to build your email list.
CORE BENEFIT - Increased Visitor Engagement, More Social Shares, Lower Bounce Rates, More Email Subscribers
9. Thrive Comments
- Arguably one of the most well-thought-out comments plugins that I've ever seen. For starters Thrive Comments allow commenters to like comments, get badges for comments, and share comments on social. Taking this even further, first-time commenters can be be directed to freebies, or specific content. Visitors can comment from their social accounts (like Facebook, Google+, etc. You can even choose what happens for a visitor after a comment (do you want a lightbox to pop-up? do you want to send them to a landing page? So many possibilities!
CORE BENEFIT - More engaged visitors, More Loyal fans, Stronger Community
10. Thrive Optimize
- We round out Thrive's plugins with Thrive Optimize, an A/B testing plugin that is so intuitive that it's hard not to use.
A/B testing is a critical part of iterating your site to be its best. The problem with most A/B testing software is that it can time-consuming, confusing, expensive or some combination of the three. Coupling Optimize with a straightforward visual editor like Thrive Architect, makes this process easier than you might imagine. Test more, convert more.
CORE BENEFIT - Better conversions, Optimized pages
WHERE CAN I BUY THRIVE THEMES?
ARE THERE ANY THRIVE DISCOUNTS?
You can purchase Thrive Themes directly from the Thrive Themes website. You can click right here to go there now.
As far as Thrive discounts go, I don't know of any at the time of this writing. However, when I come across any specials, I will be sure to post some kind of notification on this page so you can take full advantage of them. Deal?
WHO ARE THRIVE'S COMPETITORS?
As with most markets tied to earning a living online, there can be stiff competition. In this particular space, Thrive has some pretty heavy competition from several competitors in this space:
While there are possibly more competitors out there, these are some of the top competitors that came to mind.
I would be blatantly lying to you if I said that none of these services is better than Thrive Themes. More than likely, I'll end up doing reviews of each of these in as much detail as I have for Thrive Themes. However, Thrive is the service I'm using right now.
(Although I do have Sumo & LeadPages running on a separate site I own - I also had a good experience with both of them).
Every single company that you see listed above is a "thriving" business (see what I did there?).
When used properly, every single one can help you get better results in your business.
What Separates Thrive From It's Competitors?
When you look at the list of Thrive's competitors, what do you notice? Most of these services (with the exception of SUMO) specialize in one or two things max.
Thrive is different because it's a platform allows you do anything the services above can do - under one membership umbrella.
From what I've seen of these services, I also feel like Thrive's team separates them from the other services. Thrive goes above and beyond any of it's competitors to educate its members on being savvy, effective marketers.
Lastly, Thrive has been consistently as cutting edge as they possibly can be. This separates them from many of their competitors, too. Not all (Elegant Themes appears to really be on their game in that department, too), but many.
Choosing Thrive Over The Competition?
There is some stiff competition out there that has amazing software and even great customer service. You're working with a great company when they manage to be a well-respected, top performing service in spite of that competition. If Thrive seems like a it's cut above, and you'd like to try it, click the button below.
THREE THINGS I LOVE MOST ABOUT THRIVE THEMES
1. Thrive Architect
Architect is the Thrive tool that I use more than any other...HANDS DOWN!!! Creating content can be really time-consuming for me. Why? Because I like to really dive deep into the content I create. The last thing I want to deal with is the minutiae of trying get that post to "look right.
I've seen this platform move from the Thrive Content Builder, already a pretty awesome editor in its own right, to the insanely useful, Thrive Architect upgrade:
2. Thrive Themes Customer Service Team
You would expect customer service to be standard for all companies, but it's not guaranteed. I've encountered a couple of online businesses (who shall remain nameless) that really didn't value me. Thrive Themes has a customer service team is super helpful!
Here's An Example Of Thrive Themes' Customer Support in Action
As I mentioned in the first of my "three things," I really do like Thrive Architect. But one day I was playing Devil's Advocate, just thinking. I came up with a serious concern: What would happen if I stopped using Thrive Architect all of a sudden? What would happen to my content?
I was extremely concerned, so I asked:
The reply came a couple of hours later. It was a quick, simple, and helpful reply that answered my question:
This lead to a detailed post and video by Shane Melaugh:
As Kurt mentioned, it answered all of my questions and put me at ease. The answer is...YOU DON'T LOSE YOUR CONTENT!
Before we move on to my third and final thing I love about Thrive, I wanted to mention one more thing about getting your questions answered with Thrive Themes.
3. Thrive Leads
Using Thrive Leads has taken some time to get used to. Though I wouldn't say I'm an expert at it, by any means, I do love that it's helping me to turn more of my visitors into email subscribers. This gives me a chance to build a deeper connection with people. I'm still learning how to make that translate into a successful business, but I think it's a great start.
PERSONAL, THRIVE THEMES EXPERIENCE...MY RESULTS!
Seeing as how this is the ULTIMATE Thrive Themes Review, I can't just tell you about pros cons and features without showing you some of the results I've been getting. For this example I wanted to focus on Thrive Leads. Yes, it's little embarrassing to admit that I've been a member for almost two years and have only been using one of the Thrive Theme Templates and Thrive Architect.
I recently decided to sit my butt down and create a lead magnet for my largest website about Japan. Here's what's happened since:
What's Going On In This Convertkit Chart?
This is a look into my Convertkit dashboard. Prior to August 11th, I had no lead magnet, and I ran a contest to build more interest in my site and find more people interested in Japanese. After the contest, I FINALLY sat down and made a lead magnet for my audience. I set up automatic delivery and started using Thrive Leads right around August 11th.
At first, I really started to feel down on myself - because (as you can probably see) I got absolutely nothing for a couple of days. Not even one signup.
Then, I started to see some spikes. Not all of the spikes you see are completely from Thrive Leads, but I can attribute more than half of them to the simple, exit-intent light-box I added to my page. Despite having a pretty low conversion rate (for now)...it's comforting to know that this DOES WORK!
Now it's time to make some thoughtful tweaks and get better.
ULTIMATE THRIVE THEMES REVIEW -
OVERALL RATING & WRAP-UP
How would I personally rate the Thrive Themes Membership? If I had to give Thrive Themes a grade, A-F, like the grades we got in school. Overall, I would give it an...
This is like me saying 4.4 out of 5 stars, which means it's one hell of a tool. Being a scrappy, small-time online biz owner means that I can't afford to use every tool that I come across. The best way for me to judge which tools I try (and ultimately keep using) depends heavily on the value I get for what I'm paying.
Thrive continues to over-deliver in value, which is why I'm still a customer to this day.
Let's face it, running an online business or doing affiliate marketing can be a challenge. If you're looking for a collection of tools to help you more effectively connect with your target audience without overcomplicating things...
I confidently recommend Thrive Themes.
Is Thrive Themes The Right Fit For You?
I hope you found this Ultimate Thrive Themes Review helpful. We covered the good, the bad, the features, things that I personally like & use, and more. If Thrive feels like the right fit for you,
Click the red, "Get Thrive Themes!" button...