Thrive Architect Review

Thrive Architect Review – The BEST WordPress Page Builder

You’re a marketer, right? Then you should have a website. If you have a website then it’s probably based on WordPress. Today I’m going to tell you about the best WordPress page builder in this Thrive Architect Review.

WordPress is one of your best options for a website since it’s dirt cheap to simply buy a domain and hosting. Once you get that out of the way you need to install WordPress and find a theme. There’s an ocean of both free and paid themes to choose from (I recommend the free Astra theme, I use it on this site). Then you need to create pages and posts for your site.

If all you plan to do is create a simple blog then your all set. You don’t really  need much else. But you’re pretty much limited to just that: a blog.

If you want to have a nice sales page, landing page, opt-in page, or any other type of marketing pages you need something more. The default WordPress editor just allows you to edit basic text and add some images like you’re using a word processor. If you want to make a pages look like any of the above you need a page builder.

What Is A Page Builder

You have a few choices when it comes to page builders but I’m going to tell you upfront the best one hands down for your marketing needs is Thrive Architect.

Thrive Architect Page

Page editors for WordPress come in two forms: Back End and Front End. Back end builders are like the default page editor, you can design a page but you have to save and preview it to see what it looks like. This is a major time suck and not very intuitive.

On the other hand, front end page builders let you work on the page and see how it looks as your visitors will see it. You have much more control about how things look and changes are made in real-time as you make them. This makes designing a page MUCH easier and faster.

There are a bunch of good front end page builders out there like Elementor, OptimizePress, and Beaver Builder, but none of them are quite as good as Thrive Architect and in this review I’ll reveal why.

Thrive Architect – Features

Thrive Architect is part of the Thrive Themes suite of WordPress plugins. They have quite a few plugins to choose from but today we’re focusing on their page builder. Formally called Thrive Content Builder (TCB), Thrive Architect is the second iteration of the product. Instead of just calling it TCB 2.0, the new plugin featured so many upgrades over the original they decided to re-brand it.

When you install the plugin you’ll have two new options on your WordPress side menu: Thrive Dashboard for settings and API connections, and Thrive Lightboxes for the lightbox editor. More on that later.

When you go to make a new post or page you will see a big green button under the title that says “Edit with Thrive Architect”. First enter a title and save it as a draft or publish it, and hit that button.

Edit With Thrive Architect Button

You will then be presented with a normal looking blog page for your site, except you will have the Thrive Architect panel on the left-hand side.

Thrive Architect Panel

This panel holds the various elements you can add to your pages like Text boxes, Images ,Buttons, Columns, Countdown Timers, Google Maps, Progress Bars, Star Ratings, Styled Lists, Tables, Videos and so much more! Just drag-and-drop an element where you want it to be, or click to have it appear wherever your cursor lies.  You can use any of these components with your regular pages and posts within your current theme, but the real power comes from their page templates!

Click on the gear icon in the top left corner and click on the Template Setup tab. Then click Choose a Landing Page Template.

Template Setup

You will now be presented with a huge selection of really nicely designed pre-built pages to choose from including a clean slate blank page. New pages get added once in a while. They all have their own different styles. You can search for the one you like or filter to just the type of page you want.

Template Selection

These aren’t just single pages either. These are entire sets of pages! Click on one of them and it will expand the set to reveal multiple pages made in that style.

Template Sets

Every set will have at least 3 pages designed in it’s theme. Anything from lead generation, webinar pages, sales pages, download pages, landing pages, and more! This way you can create several pages with a consistent look. Choose a page you like to get started. In this example I’m going to choose the “Bright Short Video Sales Page”

Bright Short Video Sales Page

 

It only takes a few seconds to load the template. This is how this page looks as is. You have to admit it looks pretty good, right? That’s because it was made by marketers for marketers. Even the dummy text is a lesson in copy writing, not just lorem ipsum!

Now that you have a page loaded up you can edit it to fit your needs. Everything is in sections. Hovering over an item highlights that element and clicking allows you to edit it immediately. If you want to rearrange things you can easily drag and drop it to a different part of the page.

One extremely handy feature is the breadcrumbs trail at the top of the page. When you click an item it tells you the name of the component, as well as the hierarchy for how it is nested.

Breadcrumbs

This makes selecting the right component super easy and intuitive. In the above screenshot I selected the text of the button, but if needed I could select the button itself, the content box, or the background section container with a single click from the breadcrumbs!

Once you click on something you get all the appropriate editing options available for it in the side panel. You get a lot of options on how to tweak things just the way you want such as colors, fonts, sliders for resizing, padding and margins, drop shadows, rounding corners, and animations and responsiveness.

Responsive Options

A websites responsiveness is key in this day and age as more and more people are viewing things on mobile devices like phones and tablets. This is truly one of the standout features Thrive Architect. You can choose which elements show up on which devices.

TA goes a step further to let you edit how the entire page looks in each mode: Desktop, Tablet, and Phone, and make it look just right for each device. A large 72 point heading might look great on desktop but would take up too much screen space on mobile. Choose the device type and adjust things to look just right.

Device Selection

Mobile Editing

I should point out that editing something in desktop mode overrides the tablet and phone views. So if you’ve made some changes to a headline in phone view, then change it’s size and style in desktop view, you might have to re-edit it in phone view.

I should also note that all the template pages are already mobile optimized! So if you’re working on a template page, just edit the text, colors, replace the images and videos, and add or remove any sections to suit your needs. Editing is very fast, with a super responsive interface. Once you’re familiar with things you can whip a template page into shape in mere minutes!

Did I mention that editing text in Thrive Architect much easier than most other page editors? That’s because you just click and type. This simple thing is something many editors do wrong. Most editors will make you type your text in a popup window, or on the side panel, but with TA you start typing directly on the page where the text is.

TA lets you save parts of your pages as content templates. This is great because you don’t have to spend time recreating that element. Just style an element the way you want, then with it selected go down to Styles and Templates at the bottom of the panel and give it a name and click on Save Template.

Create Content Template

Then when you want to use that component again just drag the Content Template element onto your page and choose it from the drop-down menu. The great thing is you can use these content templates on any of your pages!

Select Content Template

I mentioned that there are blank page templates. If you don’t want to use one of the beautiful pre-made templates you can start from scratch and truly make things your own.

Blank Page Templates

You might notice there are actually three different blank templates. This might seem a bit confusing but it makes sense. Blank Page v2 is a straight up full-width blank page. Blank Page – Boxed keeps things in a container. While the newly added Blank Page – Styled has several components like headings pre-styled for you. You can keep them the way they are, or easily change those defaults.

As TA is marketing focused you’d better bet you your sweet petuti they’d include some great lead generating features.

Lead Generation

The Lead Generation component will add an opt-in form to your page! You can style it anyway you want from colors, button size, change the default text in the form fields, button text and more. You can also connect it to your email marketing service.

Connect To Service

Choose A Service

Thrive Architect lets you connect to a large number email marketing services through API connections. If your service isn’t listed you can also choose HTML integration.

If you prefer a two-step opt-in they’ve got you covered. Create a button and in the side panel scroll down to Animation & Action and choose Open Thrive Lightbox. You’ll be given a list of whatever lightboxes you’ve created, but oddly you have to create them first from the main WordPress side bar as mentioned earlier. It would be nice to have the option to create a new one from within the page your in. In fact I thought you could… maybe that was with Thrive Content Builder… Well maybe that will get fixed in an update.

Animations and Actions

When you create a new lightbox you start out like you’re creating a new page/post with the same green Edit with Thrive Architect Button. Again you have to give your lightbox a name and save/publish it. When you click the big green button you’ll be presented with a dark screen with an empty ligthbox in the middle. You use the same panel to design your lightbox as you do pages.

Turn this…

Blank Lightbox

Into this!

Thrive Lightbox

Their API connections aren’t just limited to email marketing. They also let you easily connect to social media like Facebook and Twitter, as well as Webinar services like GoToWebinar and Webinar JamStudio. Very handy indeed!

Now there’s nothing worse than losing your hard work, editing a page and your browser crashes before you save your work. The plugin will remind you to save every ten minutes. This is handy as you might get distracted and forget to save. While an auto-save feature would be ideal at least this keeps you on point.

Thrive Architect Support

One of the great things about Thrive Architect is it works with ANY WordPress theme! Many builders restrict you to a specific handful of themes. While Thrive Themes does have a great selection of amazing themes of their own (it’s in their name after all) they allow you the freedom of choice.

Once concern you might have is about content lock. This relates to how closely tied your content is with the plugin. This is another area where Thrive Architect thrives! If you ever deactivate or delete the plugin your text and image content is safe. With other editors you would be left with a big mess of shortcodes and your content might disappear completely! Not with Thrive Architect. While it might not be formatted the same it will still be there. They won’t keep your content hostage.

The plugin is not completely perfect. I’ve had a few hiccups here and there. I’ve had issues where it wouldn’t save the page. That turned out to be a compatibility issue with the WordFence plugin (TIP: you have to put WF in Learning Mode). And sometimes elements glitch and stop working. But it’s usually fixed by refreshing your browser tab.

If I’ve been stuck on something I take a quick look through the extensive forums or knowledge base. If I can’t find the answer I need their support team is fairly quick to respond. There are also some great, active Facebook groups that are very helpful.

The plugin is updated quite frequently, often a couple times a week. The development team really takes things seriously and tries to squash bugs and add features on a regular basis.

Shane Melaugh, Hanne Vervaeck, and the rest of the team produce some great content on marketing updates to the product. They produce some great videos demonstrating how to use the plugin, creating various pages, showing off new templates and more. They make you feel like part of the family.

 

Thrive Architect – Pricing

Now I hope I’ve sold you on the benefits of using Thrive Architect. But you’re probably wondering how much it costs. Well that is another area the don’t disappoint.

Pricing is $67 for one site, $97 for five sites, $147 for 15 sites. These are one time costs. The great thing is you get one year of support and unlimited updates to the plugin for LIFE! Compare that with most other plugins where the updates stop at the same times as the one year of support, and it easily seems like a win to me. This includes any major updates to the plugin like when they updated from Thrive Content Builder to Thrive Architect!

There is another option. You could also go for a Thrive membership for $19/month for 25 sites or $49/month for 50 sites. Not only do you get the Thrive Architect plugin, but the ENTIRE SUITE of Thrive Themes and Plugins! As I mentioned they make some incredible themes, and some of their other plugins like Thrive Leads and the newly released Thrive Optimize are the best in the biz!

Unfortunately there are no free versions or free trials available. But they back everything up with a 30 day, 100% money back satisfaction guarantee!

When you think about all the value you get with the membership they really can’t be beat. But even the pricing for the standalone TA plugin is a great deal.

Thrive Architect Conclusion

With Thrive Architect you can design almost any page you can think of! It gives you an amazing amount options to play with, while never seeming overwhelming. Coined as the fastest, most conversion focused page builder for WordPress, I’d have to agree.

There is no coding involved. Everything is simply drag-and-drop and click-to-edit. It is all very visual and you can make some quite stunning pages with it. It comes with over 200 (TWO-HUNDRED!) beautifully designed conversion optimized landing page templates for you to tweak to your hearts content. Or of course you can start from scratch and build the page of your dreams.

I have to say that I’m in love with this plugin. It allows me to whip up great looking pages of any type in no time at all. The learning curve is very short and the support both official and unofficial is second to none!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Thrive Architect review. If you want the best WordPress page builder look no further than Thrive Architect.

Get Thrive Architect Now!

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