Thrive Architect Review & Tutorial | Updated Jan. 2018

​Thrive Architect is a website page builder that allows you to create pages in WordPress that would otherwise be impossible​ unless you​ understand ​how to code a website.  It's ​replacing Thrive's first ​page builder called Thrive Content Builder.  In my opinion, this is a must for any experienced or new website creator as it allows you to​ create page designs
(just like the one you're viewing) that would otherwise cost hundreds of dollars for an outsourced website developer to ​design and complete.  This Thrive Architect review and tutorial will help you understand everything you need to know ​about this WordPress plugin and if it's the right choice for you when creating your own WordPress website.

As an FYI, this review and tutorial took about 15 hours to complete.  

Why did I do it?  Because I ​know so many people are intimidated by web design and this is the tool you need to fix that.

Usability (95%)
​​Value (100%)
​Reliability  (95%)
​Support (90%)
95%
Overall Recommendation

The Verdict?

​At a cost of $67 that includes unlimited lifetime plugin updates​, ​200+ pre-designed landing pages, and a full year of support, ​I highly recommend that you ​consider Thrive Architect as your primary website page builde​r.  

Full Video Review and Tutorial

​Though this page goes into great detail about my​ review of Thrive Architect, the best thing I can do is offer you a full video explaining everything you need to know about the plugin.  Below is my video review of Thrive Architect that explains​ everything in it's entirety and gives you some tutorials showing you how easy it is to use the plugin.  

Price Comparison to Other Page Builders

​Thrive Architect is one of many website page builders out there.  In fact, i​f you consider all of the different page builders ​on the market ​from WordPress plugins, CMS platforms, and website host​s, it's likely that you'd find a couple hundred solutions on the market.  

That said, most of those solutions are pretty crappy and generic as they are a small part of a bigger picture.  What we're going to do here is compare the prices of Thrive Architect to other website page builders built specifically for WordPress.  ​

My focus here is to point out who the main competitors are and the price differences between them.

​True Cost of ​​Website Page Builders

Considering that you're just starting to look at page builders, you may not​ realize their true cost.  But because I've seen and used almost all of them, I ​want to clear a few things up for you.

On the positive side, page builders are well worth the money.  As I said in my introduction, these plugins will save you hours of time trying to communicate with a developer and a whole lot of money for advanced design elements that you can't code yourself.

On the not-so-positive side, you're going to begin to understand that when you purchase a page builder from any of these companies, you're really just going into a funnel for a more expensive product offering

The offer differs by company, but ultimately they're trying to make more money out of you for additional tools they've developed.  

While this ​more expensive offering can seem like a negative thing, ​when I was offered to get the​ Thrive "Online Business Toolbox" for $19/month ​paid annually (their product offering) I went for it and I can't recommend it enough.

It's because of this online toolbox that I'm able to make over $9,000 monthly (Income reports here for proof) from my online business, without it I wouldn't be nearly as successful.

To be clear, you don't have to get their "online toolbox", and I beg you to only get it if you think it's worth the money, but I've had ​nothing but success with it and love how all of their products fit seamlessly together.  

If you only want to get the Thrive Architect plugin at $67 for a single website, then feel free to move on.  But, if you're curious about what their "online toolbox" is, you can find more details below and on this ​tutorial.

​The Thrive Online Toolbox contains the following:

  • Thrive Themes: This is a package of 10 different website themes you can use for your website(s).  I use these myself and love them because they make a lot of difficult tasks very easy to do.  More info ​can be found here.
  • Thrive Architect:  A page builder for your website.  You're already on the review/tutorial page for this one, so no need to talk more about it.
  • Thrive Leads: An extremely valuable plugin that I use to build my email lists.  This one allows you to make opt-in boxes all across your website and A/B test variations to grow your email list as large as possible.  More info can be found here.
  • Thrive Quiz Builder:  Grow your email list, increase product purchases, and increase user engagement by making website visitors take a quiz to qualify the best solution for themselves.  More info can be found here.
  • Thrive Ultimatum: One of the best ways to sell more products/services on your website is to add urgency.  When people see a limited supply of something or are faced with a deadline, they buy more often.  This plugin creates that urgency for you.  More info can be found here.
  • Thrive Ovation:  The easiest and most efficient way to capture and showcase testimonials has been made with this plugin.  I'm 100% sure of it and I think we all know how important testimonials are to build trust.   More info can be found here.
  • Thrive Headline Optimizer:  Every single website with a whole lot of content rejoiced when this plugin came out.  This plugin automatically swaps ​blog post headlines and tests to find the one with the most effective click through rate.  This essentially automates increased user engagement and time on site.  More info can be found here.
  • Thrive Clever Widgets:  Wouldn't it be great if you could create opt-ins for every topic category on your website?  In other words, not just one boring opt-in for everyone, but a category specific opt-in to increase opt-in rates?  This plugin handles that with ease.

So there you have it.  ​Combined, all of these plugins will cost you $536 if you put all of them on a single website.  But, if you get the full Thrive online toolbox, the cost is $2​28 per year and you can use the plugins for up to 25 total websites.

If you ​think that the online toolbox is for you, you can click right here to ​learn more about it.  If you want to keep learning about Thrive Architect, then continue below.

Importance of Plugin Updates

​Most seasoned website owners know this, but if you're just starting out it's important to understand why plugin updates are so important.  

The way I see it, plugin updates provide two functions.  

First, they eliminate any bugs that occur within a plugin and fix the product whenever a developer didn't catch a usability issue.

​Second, they keep your wordpress website secure.  

While both of these points are important, the latter point is one of the most critical things you should pay attention to with your website(s).  If a plugin doesn't provides updates regularly, it's likely that someone will find a way to exploit the code within the plugin to introduce some sort of malicious bug.

If this happens to you, your entire website might get deleted or even worse, someone else might be able to take control of it.

Because of this, receiving regular updates for your plugin is of the most utmost importance.  Knowing this, it's important to note the update policies with each of the main competitors when you purchase their plugin.

Page Builder

Update Policy

​Yearly Cost

Thrive Architect

Unlimited Free Updates Forever

$67 First Year - Nothing after that

Divi

Updates for first year included, additional years require yearly fee.

$89 First Year - $89/Year for Updates After That

Elementor

​Updates for first year included

$49 First Year - Unable to Find Cost for Updates After That

​Visual Composer

Unlimited Free Updates Forever

$59 First Year - Nothing after that

Beaver Builder

Updates for first year included, additional years require yearly fee.

$99 First Year - ​$59/Year for updates after that

Support Policy

Like the update policy, one of the other crucial areas of importance when you're choosing a website builder is how long their support is offered for on the intitial purchase.  Support is going to help you out when you get stuck with the plugin and this happens pretty often when you first are getting started out.  

Not just because of the learning curve of the plugin, but you might be putting the plugin into a WordPress theme that it's never been in before and because of this it's not uncommon for some bugs will appear.

Below is an explanation of the support policies attached to all of the major page builders on the market.

Page Builder

​Support Policy

​Yearly Cost

Thrive Architect

One Year Support Included

$67 First Year - $40/Year of Support
​ After That

Divi

One Year Support Included

$89 First Year - $​89/Year of Support
After That​

Elementor

One Year Support Included

$49 First Year - Unable to Find Cost for ​Support After That

​Visual Composer

Support Included (Doesn't say how long)

$59 First Year - ​Unable to Find Cost for ​Support After That

Beaver Builder

​Support for first year included, additional years require yearly fee.

$99 First Year - $​59/Year of Support
After That​

​Money Back Guarantee Policies

​These companies are software companies, so of course they all offer some type of money back policy to cover customers in case they don't like the software.  

Page Builder

​Money Back Policy

Thrive Architect

​Full refund within 30 days of purchase

Divi

​Full refund within 30 days of purchase

Elementor

​Full refund within 30 days of purchase

​Visual Composer

​Full refund within 15 days of purchase

Beaver Builder

​Full refund within 30 days of purchase

Lifetime Cost of Plugin

​The way I see it, you should consider the total lifetime cost of each page builder if you decide to invest in one.  My reasoning is pretty simple.  If you decide to use one of these page builders for one year, you're probably going to want to use ​it for good.  

The reason is because of how annoying/combersome it will be to move content out of the builder.  Technically you can transfer content out of​ a page builder and back to WordPress or another page builder, but it's a pain in the ​butt that you won't want to deal with.

So, ​I've created a table below which helps you understand your lifetime cost of each page builder plugin.  I included the first year and five years out because ​five years is quite far in the future from a technology standpoint and who knows what things will change.

Page Builder

​First Year Cost

​​Five Year Cost

Thrive Architect

​$67

$​227

Divi

​$89

$​445

Elementor

​$49

​???
(Can't find support fees)

​Visual Composer

​$59

​​???
(Can't find support fees)

Beaver Builder

​$99

$​335

Pros and Cons of Thrive Architect

​As much as I like Thrive Architect, of course there are both pros and cons to the plugin.  In this section I'll tell you what those pros and cons are and how they'll impact you if you purchase the plugin.

​PROS OF THRIVE ARCHITECT

​Save Time ​Designing Your Website

Thrive Architect allows you to design aspects of your page yourself.  This will save you time because you won't have to communicate with developers and go back and forth with revisions.


​S​pend Less Money on a Website Developer

​Because you can do many advanced design elements yourself, Thrive Architect will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.


​​Content Locked-in to WordPress, not Thrive Architect itself

​Thrive Architect put a large emphasis on making sure that when you​ write content, it's actually living on WordPress as opposed to the plugin itself.  This ​means your content will remain on your website if you ever transition away from using Thrive Architect.


​​​Breadcrumb Navigation

​To make navigating quicker and easier during the page design process, Thrive Architect has a breadcrumb navigation feature which is ​extremely efficient.  


​​Strong Focus on Responsive Design

​They've built three separate views into the navigation for Thrive Architect.  This makes it incredibly easy to see how your website will look on mobile, tablet, and desktop.  


​​​Easy to Modify Properties of Objects and Text

​Adding shadows, gradients, rounded corners. margins, spacing and resizing/changing text and font elements is incredibly easy with click and drag functionality.  


​Bugs and Issues are Fixed Very Quickly

​Though support at Thrive has killed most bugs introduced to the ​plugin, a few pop up still.  I've noticed that they do ​frequent updates to eliminate these bugs.


​​Updates regularly with new Landing Pages/Functions

​One of the things that I've loved about Thrive Architect since I started using it is how they frequently and consistently release new functions with video tutorials.  I'd say this happens every few weeks, so it's great to watch the plugin get better and better with time.


​Built-in CSS/HTML Editor for Advanced Users

​Though Thrive Architect makes editing your pages incredibly easy with pre-built options, they also allow custom CSS and HTML, in case you need ​something more advanced.


​CONS OF THRIVE ARCHITECT

​​Had a VERY Rough Launch

​Easily one of the biggest cons about Thrive Architect is they had a BRUTAL launch.  This has really hurt their reputation and though things have gotten infinitely better since their launch, they pissed a lot of people off.


​Not Cheap (But also not very expensive)

​First off, Thrive Architect is very affordable, $67 isn't a lot of money.  However, compared to the other options on the market they're in the middle of the pack with pricing.


​Navigation may get Cluttered

​When you are editing multiple elements and opening up a ton of areas, you can inadvertently make a clean/concise navigation become cluttered.


​Sometimes Support ​Takes Awhile to Answer

​Though support is there for you to help fix things, sometimes it can take a day or two for issues to be resolved.  This is a bit frustrating, but at the price point I think it's understandable. 


​Lack of Specific Tutorials can get Frustrating

​For newbies, one of the frustrating things is that they want to do one specific thing and may have a hard time finding the exact tutorial they need.  Usually the thing they want to complete is within a much bigger tutorial.  


​Works on WordPress Hosted Sites​ only

​Doesn't work on free WordPress.com websites, must have hosting on WordPress.  Beyond that, this plugin doesn't work with other CMS platforms like Drupal.


Using The Thrive Architect Menu

​The Thrive Architect menu is made up of four main parts.  

  1. ​Foundation Elements: These are the parts of the page that build it's overall structure and foundation.
  2. Building Blocks:  These are additional elements you can put on your page to make it look better and add some cool functionality.
  3. Thrive Integrations:  This is available to those who have purchased the Thrive Themes toolbox and allows you to integrate all of the other plugins with Thrive Architect directly.
  4. Mobile Responsiveness and Page Setup options:  This area let's you see the design in Mobile/Tablet/Desktop view and allows you to choose landing pages to use as well as other functionality.

In all of these areas I'll briefly explain what they mean, have a video showing how they work, and then break everything down with text and images.  Feel free to ​absorb the content in the way that you ​prefer.

Foundation Elements

Foundational elements are, just like the name implies, elements that will give the overall structure of the page itself.  These are typically the "guts" of the page and usually you'd want to use these elements prior to using others on the page.  The below video shows exactly how these elements work.

​Paragraph/Text: Allows you to create a new paragraph and write text.  

Heading:  ​Allows you to create a heading/header on a page.

Image:  Allows you to insert/upload an image to the page.

Button:  Allows you to create and insert a button on to the page.

Columns:  Allows you to separate the page into various vertical columns.

Background Section:  Allows you to insert a background to any area of the page.

Content Box:  Allows you to create a custom​ content box.

Content Template:  Allows you to reuse content templates that you've saved​.

Building Blocks

The "building blocks" of the Thrive menu are elements that aren't typically necessary, but will make your page look a whole lot cooler if you have them.  In my eyes, this is where the value of a page builder comes in.

These are the types of things that I would never be able to build myself on a website and would have to hire a designer for, but luckily I have Thrive Architect to make it as clicking an element and dragging it over on the page.  The videos below shows exactly how these elements work.

​More Tag: ​This allows you to choose where content cuts off on the index page.

​Click to Tweet:  ​​This will show a tweet box that people can retweet with one click.

​Content reveal:​  This item allows you to put a hidden message that will appear on the page after a pre-determined amount of time.

​Countdown:  ​This let's you set a countdown to a specific date and time.

Co​untdown Evergreen:  ​This does the same as above, but you can give a unique countdown to each website visitor based on their IP address.

​Credit Card:  ​This gives you a pre-made credit card icon to be used at checkout.

​Custom HTML:  Allows you to ​insert custom HTML to the page in a section.

Content ​Menu:  Allows you to ​create custom menus in your website using existing posts and pages.

​Disqus Comments: ​​Allows you to replace standard WordPress comments with Disqus comments.  I only use Disqus ​and highly recommended the system.

​Divider:  ​Allows you to create a ​horizontal divider on your page.

​Facebook Comments:  ​​​Allows you to replace standard WordPress comments with ​Facebook comments.

​Fill Counter:  Allows you to ​create a circle % fill counter.

​Google Map:  Allows you to ​embed a interactive Google map.  

​Icon:  Allows you to insert a​ number of graphic icons and scale them to ideal size.

​Lead Generation:  Allows you to create a custom​ ​lead generation area to collect emails and contact information.

​Post Grid:  Allows you to ​create a grid of all blog posts.

​Progress Bar: Allows you to create a ​progress bar filled to a % you decide.

​Social Share:  ​Allows you to​ social share bar with share counts and custom links.

​Star Rating:  Allows you to ​insert a star rating graphic where you choose rating.

​Styled List:  Allows you to create a list with custom icons for each line.

​Table:  Allows you to​ create a table on the page.

​Table of Contents:  Allows you to ​create a table of contents.  Great as a quick navigation for large ​pieces of content.

​Tabs:  Allows you to create a ​box with tabs.  This allows a ​large amount of content in a smaller area on the page separated by tabs.

​Testimonial:  Allows you to ​insert testimonial boxes.

​Toggle: ​A horizontal bar that people can click on to expand and read more.

Video:  ​Allows you to ​easily embed videos from numerous other platforms.

​Wordpress Content:  Allows you to insert​ a box of WordPress formatted content.

​Call to Action:  Allows you to​ insert a ​number of well-designed ​call to action buttons.

​Guarantee Box:  Allows you to ​insert a ​number of well-designed ​guarantee boxes.

​Numbered List:  Allows you to insert a ​list of numbered numbered points.

​Styled Box:  ​Allows you to ​insert a ​number of well-designed ​styled boxes.

Thrive Integrations

If you elect to get the thrive online toolbox, this section will give you options to quickly and easily add a module to capture email ​addresses with a lead form, create a quiz, and captur​e or display testimonials ​in an automated way.  The video below shows you exactly how they work.

​Thrive Leads Shortcode: Allows you to ​insert a thrive leads shortcode to insert a thrive leads ​form on the page.  

​Quiz:  ​Allows you to create a​n interactive quiz for users.

​Capture Testimonials:  Allows you to insert​ an area to collect testimonials from visitors.

​​Display Testimonials:  ​Allows you to insert​ an area to ​display the above testimonials to visitors after you approve the postings.

Responsiveness View

This area of the menu let's you see how your page will look in Desktop, Table, and Mobile devices.  This is a huge benefit when designing a website and I always tell everyone to design with a mobile-first mentality.  Below is a video of the responsive menu in action.

​Desktop View: Allows you to ​view and edit how your website looks on Desktop.

​​Tablet View:  ​​Allows you to ​view and edit how your website looks on ​Tablet.

​​Mobile View:  ​Allows you to ​view and edit how your website looks on ​Mobile.

​Page Setup View

​The page setup view is where you go to make settings changes for Thrive Architect, or choose a landing page for your page.  It's also the area where you can save content as a template, which comes in handy when creating a lot of similar pages.  The below video shows you the page setup view in greater detail.

​Page Setup View Icon: To access the page setup view, click on the icon next to the save button.

​Setup Page E​vents: Allows you to ​setup a exit intent popup or timed event.

​Edit HTML:  ​Allows you to ​access and change any of the HTML on the page.

​Custom CSS:  ​Allows you to ​access and change any of the ​CSS on the page.

​Turn on/off save reminders:  Allows you to ​turn reminders to save your work on or off.  This reminder pops every 10 minutes while editing a page.

​Switch Editor Side:  Allows you to ​change the side ​that the Thrive Architect navigation appears on in editing mode.

​Choose a Landing Page Template: Allows you ​choose a pre-designed landing page as the page itself.

​Import Landing Page:  ​Allows you to ​import any manually created landing pages.

​Save Content as Template:  Allows you to ​save all of the content on a page as a template.  Helpful if creating similar pages.

Landing Page Design Tutorial

Choosing a Landing Page

Because writing out how to choose and design a landing page doesn't make too much sense, I've instead built this into a tutorial.  Please ​watch the video below to watch how to choose one of the 200+ landing pages in Thrive Architect.

​Designing a Landing Page From Scratch

While I don't recommend that you create landing pages from scratch, sometimes you have to.  That said, the video below will show you how to do so quickly and easily.

​Final Thoughts

​Thrive Architect has a lot of competitors and there are many options are out there, but is it worth it?

In my personal opinion......YES!  ​Here's​ some reasons why;

  • It's only $67 for one website and will save you hundreds on a web developer.
  • It comes with a full year of support and unlimited updates included.
  • Will save you hours of time trying to communicate with a developer.
  • Comes with over 200 landing page templates.

​There are about 10 other reasons (see the pros/cons section) but for me, this plugin is a must have for website ​creators.