This is my personal and professional review of the Thrive Architect plugin, probably the best drag and drop, front-end page builder plugin for WordPress right now.
Many moons ago I gave you my honest review of a front-end page builder plugin for WordPress called Thrive Content Builder.
Also known to many users as Thrive Visual Editor, the plugin has become one of the most used tools in my website building tool kit.
Honestly, I cannot even begin to imagine or explain to you what I would have done without the Thrive Content Builder plugin over the years. It truly has been a huge part of my online business success.
Anyhow, there’s a brand new drag-and-drop, front-end page builder plugin in town by the same amazing company that brought us the Content Builder plugin.
In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the all-new user interface, full options, and features, what this plugin can be used for, pros and cons, price and availability, bugs and issues, all the rest of it, so let’s begin.
What is Thrive Architect?
Thrive Architect is a powerful, stand-alone front-end drag-and-drop page builder plugin for WordPress.
It comes equipped with a ton of awesome design options, elements and features which you can use to help you build the most amazing, conversion focused, professional looking content-rich pages for your WordPress website or blog.
Thrive Architect was created by Thrive Themes, a digital products and services company that create and provides an array of quality, conversion optimization tools for WordPress.
You can learn more about Thrive Themes here.
What can you do with Thrive Architect?
Almost everything you dreamed of ever doing with your WordPress landing pages, homepage, product pages, sales pages, lead generation pages, blog posts, and everything else in between, is possible with Thrive Architect.
Thrive Architect User-Interface
So let’s first look at the user interface.
The UI has a very simple and clean layout. Navigating around the different elements and options is a real pleasure. It makes light work of page building on the fly.
In addition, there’s a lot of new options and elements to play around with, however, some elements appear to be missing entirely that were present in the old Thrive Content Builder plugin.
I can only anticipate that some of these features will be added back into the plugin before its official launch on 29th August 2017.
Here is a screenshot of the Thrive Architect UI main page.
As you can see the design options sidebar is located on the left hand of the screen by default. You can switch this to the right if you wish to by going to Settings > Switch Editor Side.This sidebar can be minimized to give you more on-screen space to work around.
The sidebar can be minimized to give you more on-screen space to work around if you need it.
Like the previous Content Builder plugin, with Thrive Architect you can click, drag and drop any element anywhere on your page or post.
When you do drag a new element to your page, or click on an element that’s already in place on your page, the sidebar options will change accordingly giving your more editing and customization options.
For instance, if I dragged and dropped a Background Section element into my sample page, the toolbar options changes specifically for that element. See below.
You also have navigational breadcrumbs feature at the top of the page to let you know what element you’re currently working on and where. This also makes navigating back to the elements homepage simple.
I really love what Thrive has done overall with the new user-interface in this plugin, this feels so much more like a professional front-end software for developing web pages. Which it is, without a doubt.
Settings and Template Setup
Before you build any kind of page with Thrive Architect, you can make some changes to the default settings according to your preference. Under settings, you have some global options which include –
- Setup page events – (For adding a timer to your landing page or Exit Intent event)
- Edit HTML – (For adding custom HTML such as custom CTA buttons, forms, etc)
- Custom CSS (For adding your own styling)
- Turn Off Save Reminders (If it gets too annoying for you)
- Switch Editor Side (As mentioned above)
Under Template, you have the following options –
- Landing page settings (For changing and adding background style, fonts, custom scripts, etc)
- Save landing page (Useful if you want to use the landing page design on another page on your website)
- Change landing page template (For adding one of the many hundreds of landing page design templates that come with Thrive Architect)
- Import and export landing page (Useful if you want to use the same landing page on another site, or import another design from another site)
- Revert to theme (Reverts back to your default WP theme)
- Reset to default (Resets the page to default design)
Design options and features
Before I dive into all of the design options, elements, and features, I want to talk to you about the template library.
Like the previous Content Builder plugin, Thrive Architect comes with many landing page templates to choose from. Most of these were already available the TCB.
This is one of the features that make this plugin a stand-out above its competitors.
Each template is fully customizable to your heart’s content, which will save you hours trying to build a landing page from total scratch.
To add a pre-designed template to your page, you simply click on the settings symbol, then Template Setup > Choose Landing Page Template. See image below.
OK so let’s now look at the full list of design options and features in the Thrive Architect plugin.
I won’t dive too deep into each of these elements otherwise this review would be excessively long.
Foundation Elements –
- Paragraph / Text
- Background Section / video backgrounds
- Content Box
- Content Template
Building Blocks –
- Click To Tweet
- Content Reveal
- Countdown Evergreen
- Credit Card
- Custom HTML
- Custom Menu
- Disqus Comments
- Facebook Comments
- Fill Counter
- Google Map
- Lead Generation
- Post Grid
- Progress Bar
- Social Share
- Star Rating
- Styled List
- Table Of Contents
- WordPress Content
- Thrive Leads Shortcode
As I mentioned earlier, some of the elements that were present in Thrive Content Builder appears to be missing in the Architect plugin.
For example, the ‘Content Container’ is most definitely missing, as so is the ‘Pricing Table’.
I personally used to use the ‘Content Container’ quite a bit, so here’s to hoping this comes back soon in the new plugin.
Again, with most of the elements in Thrive Architect, you have options to customize them even further, giving you complete creative freedom.
Custom HTML and CSS
One of the features I personally loved and used the most of in the old Thrive Content Builder plugin was the Custom HTML and CSS options, and I’m so glad this is also available in the new Thrive Architect plugin. In fact, it’s even better than before.
Both Custom HTML and CSS boxes are now mini Syntax editors. See image below.
Preview screens for mobile responsive design
When working on a landing page design, one of the things that used to frustrate me a lot with Thrive Content Builder was having to use page inspect tools in Chrome to view the mobile layout. Just to make sure everything was aligned the way it should be.
This is no longer a problem, or chore, with Thrive Architect. In the footer of the Side toolbar, I can simply click on Responsive View to view the layout of tablet and smartphone layouts for my page. See image below.
Whilst on the subject of responsive design, many of the design elements come with a Responsive option. In other words, you can switch certain elements off so that they don’t appear on mobile devices. See image below.
What can Thrive Architect be used for other than building landing pages?
Landing pages are just the start of what you can use this plugin for, seriously.
Thrive Architect works for both static pages and blog posts in WordPress so you can create content rich blog posts with it.
Here are some of the example pages you can create with Thrive Architect.
- Custom homepage (The front page of this website was created using Thrive Architect)
- Custom blog posts
- Sales landing pages.
- Product information pages.
- Lead capture pages.
- Testimonials pages.
- Video landing page.
- Course content pages.
- Custom services page.
- Digital product review pages.
- Product download pages.
- Podcast landing page.
- Podcast episodes page.
- Mini squeeze pages and more.
How do you use this plugin?
If you’ve used the Thrive Content Builder plugin before, you should be familiar with most of the design elements and features in Thrive Architect, even though the UI and layout are completely different, and actually using the software takes some getting used to I think.
When you want to create a page or blog post using the Thrive Architect editor, you simply open up the page or post you want to edit as normal in WordPress and then hit the Edit with Thrive Architect button. See image below.
A new tab will open up in your browser where you’ll see the front-end of your page with the editor in the sidebar.
One of the features that are new in Thrive Architect is the way you can adjust the margins and paddings of some of the design elements.
Instead of adding px values in boxes, you can now just click and drag up or down to increase or decrease the values of either the padding or margin. See image below.
Pros and cons
Having used the Thrive Content Builder plugin for so many years now, that plugin was very tough to fault.
Thrive Architect is even tougher to fault because the team over at Thrive Themes have answered so many questions from users of the original Thrive Content Builder plugin by adding many anticipated new features into Thrive Architect.
- Easy to install.
- Clean, responsive user-friendly UI.
- Fully loaded with tons of installed design elements.
- Tons of customization options.
- Built in HTML and CSS syntax editor for further page development.
- Access to over 120 pre-designed landing page templates.
- Import and export feature.
- Unlimited plugin updates.
- A resource packed knowledge base with tutorials and an active forum.
- Buggy at times and issues with certain elements and features not working or loading properly. Since this is a brand new plugin, there are still some creases that need to be ironed out.
- Some design elements are missing from the Content Builder plugin that should definitely be placed back in the Architect plugin.
- Works only with WordPress hosted website, not free WordPress.com websites.
Price and availability?
If you’re already a Thrive Themes Member or have the Content Builder plugin on your website, you can upgrade to the pre-release version for free.
Thrive Architect is officially released on their site on the 29th August 2017.
Add this date to your calendar. Here are the pricing options for the plugin –
- Single product License for Thrive Architect – $67
- 5 Product License Pack for Thrive Architect – $97
- 15 Product License Pack for Thrive Architect – $147
For Membership licenses –
- Thrive Membership for individuals and entrepreneurs – $30 per month (Paid quarterly) or, $19 per month (Paid annually).
- Thrive Membership for agencies and web designers – $69 per month (Paid quarterly) or, $49 per month (Paid annually).
Thrive Membership will give you access to not only Thrive Architect but all of the conversion optimization plugins too, this includes –
- Thrive Themes
- Thrive Leads
- Thrive Ultimatum
- Thrive Ovation
- Thrive Headline Optimizer
- Thrive Quiz Builder
- Thrive Landing Pages
- Thrive Clever Widgets and more…
This is by far the most promising looking front-end visual editor plugin for WordPress I’ve ever seen or used.
I really thought that the Thrive Content Builder plugin was an amazing tool when it was originally launched back in 2015, however, this is something else entirely.
Being a complete overhaul to its predecessor, I think users of the Content Builder plugin will find using Architect a little bit of a challenge at first, and some may even hate it, I don’t know.
I personally love it myself, and once all of the creases have been ironed out and the issues with some of the elements not existing, working, loading properly dealt with (see below), Thrive Architect will be a force to be reckoned with.
Issues and bugs
Thrive Architect appears to have a few bugs and issues that need ironing out, and I know the team over at Thrive are working hard towards fixing those issues. Updates are appearing almost on a daily basis since I upgraded the plugin from Content Builder earlier this week. I’ve noticed myself that some of the features, including elements, are not working or loading correctly. In addition, I’ve had a few issues with the plugin freezing on occasions where I’ve needed to refresh the page to resolve. I will continue to test the plugin on my developer website and report back here with any other issues I’ve personally found.
In the near future, I will also add a couple of tutorial videos of my own, in the meantime let’s look forward to the official and final release of Thrive Architect, and with most of the bugs and issues I mentioned fixed.
Generally, though, great work Thrive Team, very well done, I look forward to more updates on the new plugin.
Affiliate disclaimer: Please note that this post contains affiliate links to the Thrive Architect plugin. Should you use one of my affiliate links to purchase this product I will be paid a small commission at NO additional cost to you. I appreciate your support always, and I want you to know that I never use, review, or recommend tools or services that I do NOT trust. Read my full disclaimer here.