Thrive Architect Review (August 2019) Is It Time To Fire Your Web Designer?

Creating WordPress content is a heck of a lot more fun when you're using Thrive Architect. What's more, you don't need a web design degree to use it. So, what is this amazing tool and what can you do with it? Well, the question really is, what can't you do with it? Let's take a closer look.

Way, way back in 2015, I made a purchase of a WordPress plugin that was still quite under the radar.

That plugin has since become a game-changer for WordPress and has been one of the best WordPress tool's I've ever used.

Thrive Content Builder, what it was called at the time, is now Thrive Architect.

Above: The old Thrive Content Builder Plugin was an amazing early phase page builder tool when I discovered it in 2015!

Above: The New Thrive Architect Plugin Interface 2019

My journey with this plugin

Like I said, I started using Thrive Content Builder when it was in its infancy, which over the years have gotten better and then eventually transitioned into what is now known as Thrive Architect.


This plugin has made so many things possible, for me, at least. Thrive Architect has helped me to transform my online business. It truly has been a huge part of my small online success.

As a freelance web designer, Thrive Architect is one of the tools I love having in my toolkit.

So - the burning question is this - is Thrive Architect really that good and should YOU consider investing in it?

The short answer is... f**k yes! But we'll dive deeper as to why.

What is Thrive Architect?

If you're just stumbling upon this review for the first time, and have no idea what Thrice Architect is or what I'm even talking about, here's the quick low down -

Thrive Architect is a powerful, stand-alone front-end, drag-and-drop page builder plugin for WordPress.

So, what this means is that you can build any type of page in WordPress using simple drag-and-drop. No coding is required.

All of the design elements, options, and features that you can think of using in your content or landing page is available right here in this plugin.

We'll look at the various types of pages you can create with TA later on in this review.

Thrive Architect was created by Thrive Themes. A digital products and services company that also provides a wide range of high-quality, conversion-focused tools for WordPress.

How are YOU going to benefit from using Thrive Architect on your website?

Essentially, you're going to be able to solve three problems.

  1. You're no longer going to have to rely on your web designer to get your pages looking the way you want them to look.
  2. By not using a web designer or developer, you're going to save time and money.
  3. You can create any, absolutely any, type of page you want for your business.

Almost everything you dreamed of ever doing with your WordPress site, from creating a custom homepage, detailed product pages, sales landing pages, lead generation pages, podcast pages, video archive pages, custom blog posts, and everything else in between, is possible with Thrive Architect.

I know what you're thinking, why haven't you come across this plugin earlier, right?

Because nothing like this was remotely available back in the day.

OK, so how do I use Thrive Architect in my business myself?

I want to quickly explain how using Thrive Architect is helping me right now in my business, even as I am updating this post in August 2019.

As you know, I use Thrive Architect on my client projects. I also use it for my own websites, and here are some of the pages I have created with this plugin.

  1. Homepage design. (view here)
  2. eBook sales page design. (view here)
  3. Signup thank you page designs. (view here)
  4. Video landing page design (view here)

In the video tutorial below, I even show you how to create a custom blog homepage design from complete scratching using Thrive Architect. Take a look.

Thrive Architect User-Interface

The UI in Thrive Architect is one of the best in any plugin of this type.

It has a clean and simple layout. Navigating around the various elements and options is a real pleasure too.

Over the years, the interface has improved dramatically, and it's really nice to see the Thrive Team take into consideration user-feedback.

And yes, there are quite a few elements to choose from, and if you can't find what you're looking for, you can use the nifty Search Elements box at the top.

When you launch Thrive Architect from any page or static post, a new tab opens with the editor. See images below.

Thrive Architect is a pleasure to work with on larger screen sizes. I use a 27" monitor so I have plenty of screen space to play with, however, if you're on smaller screen sizes, I'd recommend minimizing the main editor sidebar to give you more screen space.

To start editing a page, all you do is find and add an element from the right sidebar, and drop it into the canvas. You'll notice the left sidebar options will open up in order for you to edit that particular element. See images above again.

The UI also has a useful navigational breadcrumb feature at the top of the page to let you know what element you're working and also where.

This is extremely useful when you're working with multiple elements inside of content boxes inside of multiple columns within a background. See image below.

Settings and template setup

Before you build any kind of page with Thrive Architect, you have the option to make some changes to the default settings according to your preferences.

Under Settings, you have some global options which include -

  • Global settings - (For changing fonts, header, and footer)
  • Landing page settings - (Able or disable theme CSS, revert to the theme)
  • Advanced settings - (View page HTML, custom CSS, page events, custom scripts, CSS in <head> section, turn off reminders)
  • Save/Import/Export landing page

If for any reasons you don't see some of the features displayed above in your version of Thrive Architect, it may be that the Thrive Team has decided to make them redundant, or you don't have the latest updated version.

A full suite of design options and elements

Before we look at the elements and design options, with Thrive Architect, you get access to the landing page template library, which is f**king awesome if I may say so!

All you have to do is pick one, customize it, and you're ready to rock and roll.

To add a pre-designed template to your page, you simply click on the small cloud icon in the right sidebar menu, you'll see a pop-up with a bunch of templates for you to choose from.

These templates are stored in the Thrive Template Cloud.

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, I'll leave you to discover them for yourself.

Foundation Elements -

  • Paragraph / Text
  • Heading
  • Image
  • Button
  • Columns
  • Background Section / video backgrounds
  • Content Box
  • Templates & Symbols

Building Blocks -

  • Click To Tweet
  • Content Reveal
  • Countdown
  • Countdown Evergreen
  • Credit Card
  • Custom HTML
  • Custom Menu
  • Disqus Comments
  • Divider
  • Facebook Comments
  • Fill Counter
  • Google Map
  • Icon
  • Lead Generation (Integrates with most major email marketing tools)
  • Plain Text
  • Post Grid
  • Progress Bar
  • Social Share
  • Star Rating
  • Styled List
  • Table
  • Table Of Contents
  • Tabs
  • Testimonial
  • Toggle
  • Video
  • WordPress Content
  • Call To Action
  • Contact Form
  • Guarantee Box
  • Numbered List
  • Pricing Table
  • Styled Box

Thrive Integrations

  • Thrive Leads Shortcode (For Thrive Leads plugin)

Important notice - Please note that whilst I've done my best to keep this review fresh and updated, there will be many more features added to Thrive Architect that hasn't been mentioned here.


Once again, with almost all of the elements in Thrive Architect, you have options to customize them even further, giving you complete creative freedom and control over the entire design and layout of your pages and content.

Custom HTML and CSS

One of my favorite features in Thrive Architect is the Custom CSS and HTML boxes.

Why?

I love to code, simples.

As a web designer and front-end dev working with WordPress, I love having the best of both worlds - In this case, using visual front-end design with custom code implementation.

Using the HTML and CSS features is really easy and fun as they also support Syntax. See image below.

Custom HTML added to the Custom HTML building block element.

Custom CSS added to the CSS feature under settings > advanced settings

Preview screens for mobile responsive design

Another powerful feature in Thrive Architect is the mobile responsive design modes. This is located at the bottom of the screen along with the review option. See image below.

Whilst still 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, move elements around, and literally create a completely separate design style for mobile devices. See image below.

What can Thrive Architect be used for other than creating landing pages?

Here is a list of the types of landing pages you can create with Thrive Architect.

  1. Custom homepage 
  2. Content-rich blog posts.
  3. Sales landing pages. (Like this one.)
  4. Product information pages with pricing table.
  5. Lead generation pages.
  6. Testimonials pages.
  7. Video landing page. (Like this one.)
  8. Course content pages.
  9. Custom services page.
  10. Product review pages.
  11. Product download pages.
  12. Podcast signup landing page.
  13. Podcast episodes page.
  14. Mini squeeze pages.
  15. Webinar landing pages
  16. Thank you pages, and more.

Addon A/B split testing plugin available for Thrive Architect (Thrive Optimize)

OK, now for another bit of awesomeness.

What makes this plugin complete is the add-on plugin that is available from Thrive called Optimize.

With the Thrive Optimize plugin you can perform simple but effective A/B split testing campaigns for every landing page you create using Thrive Architect.

Check out my review of Thrive Optimize Add-on plugin.

How do you use Thrive Architect?

OK, time to have some fun, especially if you're new to this plugin.

To create a new page or post, you simply go to page/post > add new > add a title and save draft > click on the green Edit with Thrive Architect button.

A new tab will open up and you'll see the front end of your page or blog post - you're now ready to start adding elements and creating your content. See image below.

Adjusting the layout and position of your elements is easy too. With each element, you can open up the Layout & Position tab adjust both margins and paddings. See image below.

If you want to get a better idea of how to use some of the elements in Thrive Architect, check out the video tutorial above where I use this plugin to create a custom blog style homepage in WordPress.

How much does Thrive Architect cost?

Here are the pricing options for this plugin alone -

For Membership licenses -

Thrive Membership will give you access to not only Thrive Architect but all of the conversion optimization plugins too

Pros and cons

Now, let me finish this review by sharing what I love and what I hate about Thrive Architect.

As I said at the start, I started with the original Thrive Content Builder plugin back in 2015, so I've kind of gone through the journey as a user.

Of course, Thrive Architect is a huge leap forward from those early days.

And sure, there are a few small niggles here and there that still need ironing out, not from a technology standpoint, but more from usability.

Something I should have mentioned earlier, in this review, is the Thrive team's ability to provide exceptional support, updates, and fixes for its software when it's really needed.

You can't fault this company at all in this particular area, and that's another HUGE reason why I love using Thrive products in my business.

They understand their customers more than any other WordPress software company I've come across.

Pros -

  1. Affordable.
  2. Easy to install and configure.
  3. Clean, responsive user-friendly interface.
  4. Fully loaded with tons of design elements.
  5. Tons of customization options.
  6. Built-in HTML and CSS syntax editor for adding your own custom code.
  7. Access to over 120 pre-designed landing page templates.
  8. Import and export feature.
  9. Unlimited plugin updates and they're quite frequent too.
  10. Thrive Optimize Add-on plugin available to help you do A/B split testing for your landing pages.
  11. A resource packed knowledge base with tutorials and an active forum for members.
  12. A rock-solid team behind the Thrive Themes company.
  13. Massive time and money saver.

Cons -

  1. Does not work with free WordPress.com websites. Maybe it's time to move to a hosted WordPress site.
  2. Code heavy, especially if you add a lot of features and custom CSS to your landing pages. Keep an eye on that page load time.
  3. Not enough screen-size options for mobile customization.

And my verdict on Thrive Architect?

I was excited when I first discovered Thrive Content Builder in 2015, and I'm even more excited now as the plugin has just received several big updates, and I'm looking forward to in seeing what the Thrive Team will do next with Thrive Architect.

This is by far the most advanced front-end visual page editor plugin for WordPress, period.

A lot of folks might disagree, and there are plenty of other alternatives out there to choose from for sure, but speaking from personal experience, only a few of those alternatives offer complete flexibility and the level of customization and ease-of-use, and the support, of Thrive Architect.

Is it time to fire your web designer?

Only if you are 100% confident in your knowledge and skills of using this plugin in your web design projects. If you're not, then perhaps consider hiring a designer that is.


Thrive Architect Tutorials

If you've just purchased Thrive Architect for yourself and are in need of some practical tutorials, check out my YouTube channel as I frequently add new Thrive tutorial videos there.

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.

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7 comments on “Thrive Architect Review (August 2019) Is It Time To Fire Your Web Designer?”

  1. Hello Fabrizio,

    Great piece of information over here 🙂

    Indeed Thrive architect comes with the power pack features all along, with a quality one like page builder for wordpress.

    They too offer Vertical split and one can edit previous articles too.

    Inspite of that they are pricing quite a bit, for some new bies.

    Thanks for the share.

    Shantanu.

  2. Thrive Architect is right now not usable due to the mass of technical problems. A lot of common functions from the predecessor doesn´t work or exist at all, e.g. pricing element, content boxes with/without header/icon a.s.o.

    After a couple of hours of testing, I went back to Thrive Content Builder. Glad to had a backup (which I recommend before upgrading).

    1. Hi John,

      Thank you for your comment and feedback. I am testing Thrive Architect every day since I upgraded it on my site, and I too have found a very small handful of issues with certain elements and features. Some of those elements and features, as you rightly said, either don't work, load, or as I've found freezes my site/page altogether.

      I am updating this review as and when I find issues worth mentioning to my readers and customers here.

      I have been a Thrive customer for a long time now and I've used all of their products of which I've never had a major problem with in the past. However, from time to time there are bound to be a few issues and I know that the team always work hard to fix and resolve those issues promptly, ahead of the official release of the plugin.

      Thanks again for your comment.

  3. Hi Fabrizio,

    Just picking up on one point about the missing 'Content Container' element from TCB as I liked and used that too. From my first dabble with Thrive Architect (and watching the Quick Start Tutorial), I think you'll find that the 'Content Box' element is the replacement for our beloved 'Container'. You can do a lot more things with the 'Content Box', and I guess it doubles up as the 'Container + Box' elements from TCB.

    I've not upgraded my previous TCB content yet. Just testing a new install of Thrive Architect.

    Thanks,
    - David

    1. Yo David, mate thanks for the update on that one. When I tried dragging the content box to my page earlier it wasn't working whilst testing each element, so I'll give it another swirl later on.

      Fabrizio 🙂

  4. Hey thanks for the honest review and mentioning about the bugs.

    Wanted to make sure I can update all my client's sites to use the new update. As the same thing happened when they rolled out v1.5 update and so many bugs interrupted productivity.

    I see you have striked-off the last paragraph on bugs, does that mean its safe to update now?

    1. Hi Rajavanya,

      Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it. I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

      I've striked off the last paragraph because those issues appear to be fixed, at least for me anyway, they don't seem to be there anymore when I'm using it myself. I left the paragraph for people to read just in case those bugs might still be an issue for them.

      The more I use Thrive Architect the more tiny bugs I find, but the Thrive team appear to be doing a great job fixing them 🙂

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