Thrive Themes Review (5 Reasons to Make the Switch)

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Last updated: May 24, 2021

Having used several Thrive Themes products for my websites over the years, I thought it would be good to write a review about their WordPress themes, page builders and plugins.

I can honestly say that discovering Thrive Themes several years ago was a turning point in my online business. Things have evolved since then, but I am still a happy user of various Thrive products.

This Thrive Themes review takes you through the company and their products, followed by five reasons why I believe you should consider making the switch to this well established WordPress developer.

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Who is Thrive Themes?

In operation since 2013, Thrive Themes is a WordPress software development company founded by Shane Melaugh and Paul McCarthy. Both Shane and Paul have a long history in creating online businesses, with Shane being the marketing guru and Paul the tech head.

The core idea behind Thrive Themes was to develop WordPress themes and plugins with a focus on conversion. At the time, the market was flooded with fancy looking themes with tons of features, most of which the average blogger would never use. What was missing in the marketplace was simple, conversion focused themes.

Thrive Themes

The other issue Thrive Themes wanted to address was the limitations of the WordPress editor. Thrive’s mission was to develop a true WYSIWYG editor allowing users to create content quickly and creatively.

As such, Thrive Content Builder was born, later rebranded to Thrive Architect. It’s currently one of the most popular and most advanced WordPress page builders around.

With quality products on offer and a solid marketing strategy in place, Thrive Themes has since its inception grown to become one of the more respected WordPress developers in the industry.

Thrive Themes Products

Let’s quickly run through the core products offered by Thrive, starting with their latest theme builder.

1. Thrive Theme Builder

If you’ve been around for a few years, you will know that Thrive was once one of the most popular WordPress theme builders. Their flagship themes FocusBlog and Rise were super popular, especially in the affiliate marketing world.

I was also a huge fan and I had most of sites running on FocusBlog. It was a lightweight theme that was very easy to configure, free from unnecessary bells and whistles, and had a simple yet professional look and feel.

A few years ago, Thrive made the business decision to stop selling their individual themes, and instead they developed a theme builder product. This product, Thrive Theme Builder is now available, and has so far proven to be a success.

Thrive Theme Builder

Thrive Theme Builder is a visual theme builder that lets you build, edit and customize all aspects of your WordPress website with a visual drag-and-drop designer.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t had a chance yet to try it out. I switched all of my sites over to GeneratePress a while back, and I have no reason to invest in a new theme or theme builder.

All that said, based on the reviews I’ve been reading and the feedback I’ve been hearing, the new Thrive Theme Builder is a great product. It comes with a pre-designed theme called Shapeshift that you can use and customize to the way you want you WordPress blog to be.

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Looking for a new lightweight theme and prefer not to invest in Thrive Theme Builder? Check out my in-depth review of GeneratePress and find out why I am such a big fan of this theme.

2. Thrive Architect

Their flagship product is Thrive Architect, a WordPress page builder that is currently one of the best in the market for various reasons.

Formerly known as Thrive Content Builder, Architect provides a true WYSIWYG editor, meaning that you can see exactly what your page will look like in real-life while in design mode.

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect has an incredible set of features, which requires a bit of getting used to. But with a very intuitive user interface and tons of helpful how-to videos at your disposal, it doesn’t take long for any user to turn into a savvy web designer.

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3. Thrive Leads

One of Thrive’s most popular and most successful premium WordPress plugins is Thrive Leads, a powerful conversion-focused lead generation plugin that provides a complete list building and conversion solution.

I have been using Thrive Leads on two of my websites (including Blog Pioneer) for over a year now and am super impressed by its capabilities and performance. It truly is a one-stop shop when it comes to list building.

Thrive Leads reporting

Thrive Leads also includes an A/B testing module and an advanced reporting and insights module, which really helps fine-tuning your list building campaigns for even better conversions.

I strongly recommend Thrive Leads if you’re looking for a solution that allows you to create great looking popups and other opt-in forms that actually convert. The powerful customization options and excellent reporting modules are an invaluable bonus.

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Check out my comprehensive review of Thrive Leads for a more detailed outline of the features of this product.

4. Other WordPress Plugins

Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect are their biggest WordPress plugins, but Thrive has lots of other successful plugins, all with a focus on increasing conversions.

Thrive Quiz Builder

You can get access to all of these plugins by purchasing a Thrive Suite license. As a Thrive Suite member you will get access to all their WordPress themes, plugins, and also Leads and Architect.

Examples of other popular Thrive plugins are Quiz Builder, Ultimatum and Apprentice.

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5 Reasons to Make the Switch to Thrive Themes

Here are 5 good reasons why you should consider switching your WordPress website over to Thrive Themes and use their products.

1. Continuous Updates

Have you ever purchased a WordPress theme or plugin and have never, or hardly, received any updates after installing? Not even after several years of using it?

You might not realize but it’s so important that WordPress themes and plugins are always in ongoing maintenance, with continuous updates being released.


The Internet changes everyday; HTML, CSS and JavaScript standards evolve; WordPress comes up with regular updates to stay ahead; etc. If you use a theme or plugin that doesn’t get updated, then there is something wrong. This means the development team behind that theme is not looking after their product.

Thrive WordPress themes and plugins

Over time, this can potentially have serious consequences. Not only can your theme quickly get a dated look and feel, not updating it may also result in compatibility issues with WordPress, plugins, and HTML and CSS standards.

With Thrive Themes, as long as you have a valid Thrive Suite license, you will continuously receive new updates to Thrive products you’re using, whether this be Thrive Theme builder, Thrive Architect, Thrive Leads, or another Thrive plugin.

It’s reassuring to know that Thrive Themes will never stop improving and updating their products.

2. A One-Stop Shop

Thrive Themes provides all the tools you need as a WordPress blogger to set up and build out your website. And while their themes and plugins also work really well with tools provided by other developers, it’s just as easy to stick with Thrive and have everything from one and the same reliable developer.

A theme, a landing page builder and a lead generation plugin are for many the core foundation tools needed to set up a professional WordPress blog or website. To get access to all of their products, you will need to purchase a Thrive Suite license.

Thrive Suite

With Thrive Suite you get access to all of their themes and plugins, to be used on 25 of your own websites for a very affordable price of $19 per month, if paid annually. Thrive also offers a more expensive agency package that allows you to use their tools on websites of clients.

The conversion-focused tools developed by Thrive will suit any type of blogger, but in particular affiliate marketers and sellers of digital products will greatly benefit from using the Thrive Themes product suite.

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3. Great Support + Tutorials

For a software development company such as Thrive Themes it’s extremely important to have a solid and well-functioning support system in place.

I have always found Thrive’s customer support to be very good. The response time is usually acceptable and most support issues get resolved in a timely manner.

One of the criticisms I’ve heard and read a number of times is that their support team too easily refers users to the knowledge base or tutorials in order to get things resolved quickly, without actually properly looking into the issue that was reported.

Thrive Themes products

I’ve never had this experience myself but I can understand that this can sometimes happen, especially during busy times. What works best in these cases is to always explain your issue as detailed as possible, ideally supported by screenshots.

Member Dashboard

As a new Thrive customer you will get access to the Member Dashboard via the Thrive Themes website where you can find your license keys, download items and product tutorials.

The Member Dashboard is also home to the Support Forum where you can submit support tickets and read support tickets submitter by other users. Support tickets are grouped by product, making it easier to navigate through them.

Also accessible via the dashboard is Thrive University, an extensive library of useful courses around building successful online businesses (see below).

In addition, the Knowledge Base within your dashboard is a huge resource of tutorials, general documentation and troubleshooting tips.

In addition to all of the above, Thrive Themes also an active blog that regularly gets updated with new content. And most of Thrive’s blog articles are actually very informative and practical.

4. Thrive University

How many WordPress theme developers also give you access to a huge library of online marketing courses in the form of videos and guides? Not many.

Thrive University is exactly that. The courses in this library are not so much focused on Thrive’s products. Instead they dive deep into all aspects involved in building successful online businesses.

Thrive University

It’s an excellent place to learn everything you need to know about things like website design, list building, landing pages, effective copy writing, building a sales funnel, maximizing conversions, and much more.

So much work must have gone into building this University, and as a Thrive customer you get access to all of this at no extra cost.

5. The Best WordPress Page Builder on the Market

As most WordPress bloggers will know, the default editor in WordPress is fairly basic and is not able to show you exactly what your page will look while in design mode.

Thrive resolves this problem by offering a WYSIWYG WordPress page builder that essentially replaces the default WordPress editor.

This may be a big call, but Thrive Architect is arguably the best WordPress page builder that you can currently find. There are a handful of big players in the market, such as Elementor and Visual Composer, but Architect definitely stands out in terms of user-friendliness, robustness, set of features and performance.

Thrive Architect

Thrive has managed to create a true WYSIWYG WordPress editor that is fast, reasonably lightweight and easy to use. There is definitely a learning curve, but that applies to all page builders out there. It simply comes with the territory.

Landing Page Templates

One of the best features of Thrive Architect is that it comes with a great amount of ready-to-go templates for landing pages. Choose a template, make some adjustments, change the wordings and you can have a professional looking page within 30 minutes.

What’s great is that Architect’s user interface has become a lot more intuitive and easier to use since the upgrade from Thrive Content Builder (TCB) in 2017.

While already powerful, TCB’s user interface did look somewhat dated. And in order to stay competitive in this tight market, a re-build was needed.

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Subscribe now and learn how to grow your blog into a thriving business with effective blogging, SEO and monetization strategies.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this Thrive Themes review has given you some useful insights. Thrive offers a suite of WordPress products that truly add value and can make your life as a WordPress blogger so much easier.

Once you’re a Thrive user you will be in good hands for a long time to come, with continuous updates being delivered based on real user feedback.

Browse Thrive Products

Review Thrive Themes
Summary Thrive Themes are the WordPress theme and plugin developer behind revolutionary WordPress products such as Thrive Leads and Thrive Architect. Their products can be purchased as a bundle in the form of a subscription. As a Thrive customer you will get access to a Member Dashboard where you can download products, submit support tickets and browse the knowledge base for product information and tips.
Author AJ Mens
Rating 4.5 (out of 5)

Review of Thrive Themes

AJ Mens

I am a corporate IT nerd turned digital marketing enthusiast, specializing in SEO and content strategy. I have been blogging since 2015, and my aim with Blog Pioneer is to help you achieve success online. Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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