Important Notice: Thrive Content Builder is no longer available. The plugin has been superseded by Thrive Architect. You can read my full review of Thrive Architect here.
I don’t need to remind you just how awesome WordPress is. You know this already.
I can clearly remember the first time I started using WordPress myself back in 2009.
It was a daunting experience at first, but I soon discovered just how powerful the platform really was.
Since discovering WordPress for myself, along with all the cool plugins and awesome themes available for it, I have built every single site that I own, including my client's websites with it.
Yep, I love WordPress, however, there is one small part of WordPress that I think sucks. Actually, it’s a pretty big part.
I'm talking about the editor in WordPress.
I appreciate that WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform, but people use WordPress to now build websites for their businesses.
And these days, creating linear content is boring. And with the current post or page editor in WordPress, that's all you can do with it, is create linear content.
Before now, I struggled to make my static pages, website homepage looks even semi-professional using the default editor in WordPress.
Well, that struggle came to an end when I discovered Thrive Content Builder, and boy if you haven’t come across this plugin yet, you’re going to love it.
This is my personal and detailed 2017 review of Thrive Content Builder, so let's get cracking.
The Thrive Content Builder, also known as the Visual Editor, is a powerful WordPress plugin created by Thrive Themes.
It was designed to make creating attractive custom page layouts inside of WordPress, easier.
Before this plugin became available, to build any type of page in WordPress other than simple linear content, was almost impossible.
You just couldn't do it without having some knowledge of HTML or CSS. And then there's the time factor. You could spend hours trying to create the ideal page you were looking for, for your website.
The Thrive Content Builder plugin is a simple point, drag and drop editor that allows even a complete beginner, to place elements inside any area of a page or blog post within WordPress and make it look awesome, and without touching a single line of code.
And that's just the start.
Using the Thrive Content Builder plugin truly gives you a WYSIWYG experience.
WYSIWYG = What You See Is What You Get.
All of the page-editing is carried out front-end, using click, drag, and drop.
In addition to being able to create custom page layouts from complete scratch, Thrive Content Builder comes with many pre-designed page templates installed. These include:
So as you can clearly see, there’s a lot of different page layouts and templates ready for you to start using.
In fact, there are currently over 120 page-templates to choose from in total.
And the other beauty is that these page templates can be customized even further using the front-end content builder editor.
OK, so now let’s look at some of the other key features in the Content Builder plugin in more detail.
The front-end editor is a very simple layout. You simply see the page as it would appear to your visitors, only in editing mode.
Thrive Content Builder is crammed with tons of cool and useful design elements to help you create the perfect custom page layout and design.
Here is a screengrab my website's homepage in 'edit mode' being built using the Thrive Visual Editor plugin.
By the way, the editor can be easily collapsed giving you more on-screen space to work around.
As you can see from the image above, all of the tools and elements are located in the right sidebar.
This is particularly useful if you are right-handed like most people are.
At the top of the editor you have "Save Changes" and "Preview" so you can check on the page you're working on in real-time.
You also have a drop-down menu to access page settings and of course to access the built-in landing page and other page templates, which you can load immediately to begin working on.
Here's a list of things that are also included in the editor elements column -
If you look closely at the image above, you'll see at the bottom of the editor you have options to collapse the editor. You can also make changes to the global design settings here. Currently, there are three design settings to choose from:
What makes the Thrive Content Builder plugin truly a standout design tool, is the generous library of built-in elements.
You will notice from the list below that the multi-style elements have sub-elements as well, meaning, even more, design and creative options are given.
The elements inside of the Simple Content Elements tab is pretty self-explanatory I think. I won't go into detail with those.
You simply have all the basic elements you need, many of which you'll be familiar with by using the default WordPress editor.
So let me share with you all of the elements inside the Multi-Style Elements Tab first so that you can see what they look like inside a post or page.
Content templates - This is where your saved content templates are kept so that you can use them on other pages on your website, a huge time saver.
Column layouts - This is by far one of the coolest features in the Thrive Content Builder plugin.
You can add a variety of column layouts, up to 5 columns inside any page or post.
Technically you could also add a 10-column layout simply by adding two 5 columns inside a 2 column layout. See image below for columns options.
I should also mention, with the latest update of Thrive Content Builder, you can now adjust each section in the layout by dragging the green vertical line between the sections. See image below.
Content boxes - Allows you to add customizable content boxes with or without headline titles.
Symbol box - Allows you to add a numbered or icon box with custom content placed inside. The perfect element for adding to your sales page or pillar blog posts. See image below.
Social share buttons - You can add customizable or simple social share buttons to any page using Content Builder.
There are additional options for changing the settings and behavior of your social buttons too.
Social Share Buttons currently supports Facebook Share, Google Share, Twitter Tweet, LinkedIn Share, Pinterest Pin, and Xing Share. See images below.
Quote share - Allows you to add tweetable quotes inside your content, great for boosting engagement on blog posts or testimonial pages.
Styled lists - Allows you to add styled bullet-point lists inside your content. Check out some of the examples below.
Dividers - Pretty self-explanatory, some dividers to help keep your content organized.
Testimonial - Another one of my favorite design elements, perfect for landing pages and creating a client testimonial page on your site.
You can choose from 5 styles with an image or 4 styles with no image. Here's a sample.
Call to action - Adding call-to-action is a great way to engage with your audience on your sales pages and other landing pages.
There are currently 5 styles of CTA's to choose from, here's one example of a CTA.
Guarantee box - No sales page is complete without a money-back guarantee box, right? And again there are 5 styles to choose from in the Content Builder multi-styled elements. Here's a sample.
Here's a list of the advanced elements inside the Content Builder plugin. You'll really love these ones.
Widgets - allows you to add a custom navigational menu anywhere inside a page. Very useful if you're building a custom homepage for your WordPress site.
Pricing table - Allows you to insert a fully customizable pricing table, perfect for those sales landing pages.
Here's an example of a 3-column pricing table. You can create up to 5-columns per pricing table.
Tabbed content - Allows you to create tabs with specific content inside each tab. Can you imagine trying to code something like this up using the normal WordPress editor?
A very useful feature for creating content with options on sales pages, product information pages, product reviews and more. See image below.
Feature grid - The Content Builder provides you with up to 4-columns layout feature grids. These are particularly useful for highlighting key features of your products on sales pages, or services on your website's homepage like I have used below.
You can currently add a feature grid with icons or with images.
Content toggle - Content toggles are great for creating content using minimal space on your web page, keeping your site clean and easy to navigate around.
Each toggle can have its own unique headline, content complete with images, videos, links and more.
You can see an example of a content toggle element being used in my Website Design page here.
Table - If you need to add a table to your landing page or sales page, it's easy with Content Builder. You just drag the element where you want it and begin editing the number of rows and columns you want to add to your table.
Data elements - These are some very useful elements for adding to your coming soon pages, email opt-in pages or for adding social proof to your opt-in pages. Currently, you can add a progress bar, fill counter and number counter to pages. See image below.
Google Maps - Need to add a location of your business premises or offices for your customers to see? The Google Maps element makes it really easy to embed maps into your custom pages.
You can also resize your map to fit in nicely with the design of your page.
Countdown timer - Another useful feature for adding to coming soon pages, time-sensitive offer pages, course enrolment pages and more.
Responsive video - This element makes it easy videos to your page, and make your videos responsive too.
Table of contents - Perfect element for adding to your long-form pillar articles, course pages and more.
Lead generation - Perfect for adding opt-in forms to your email landing pages.
Post grid - Another feature recently added is the post grid element. Perfect for displaying your latest or specific blog articles on any static page. Ideal for custom homepages. See image below.
Thrive Leads forms - Another lead generation feature that allows you to add forms designed in Thrive Leads list building plugin, into your custom pages and opt-in pages.
Comments - Finally we get to comments, and this is another recently added feature to the content builder plugin. You can currently integrate Facebook or Disqus comments right into any page you want.
Page sections - Perhaps one of the most used elements in Thrive Content Builder for me is the Page section element.
Because these are customizable with images, textured or colored backgrounds, its the perfect element for creating hero sections on landing pages or your homepage, and more.
Other elements include:
I want to make it very clear that every single element available in the content builder plugin is customizable, giving you the power to truly create content pages that not only look great but also converts like a boss too.
Setting up this plugin is so easy, once you've purchased the plugin, you can access your license key inside of your Thrive Themes account. See image below.
Once you've activated the software inside your WordPress dashboard, you can then start to create your custom page layouts and designs.
To get started you simply create a post or page in the same way as you would normally. You have to give the page a title first, then hit the save drafts button.
Once the page is saved, you simply click on the "Edit Using Thrive Content Builder" button to get started. See image below.
A new tab will load in your browser displaying the front of the page. That's the actual page complete with the design tools and elements on the right-hand side, as shown in the image at the start of this review.
The price for a single site license is just $67, which gives you unlimited updates and 1 year of unlimited support.
The price of an unlimited site license will set you back $97, which will give you unlimited updates again, and 1 year of unlimited support. You can use this license on as many sites that you own.
There's also an Agency license which will allow you to use Thrive Content Builder on your own sites and your client's site. Once again complete with full set of features and unlimited updates and support for 1 year.
The Agency license will set you back $49 per month (paid annually) and will give you access to all of the Thrive products, including Thrive themes and plugins, and future releases of Thrive conversion-focused products too.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, I love WordPress and I love creating great content with WordPress. This plugin makes me love WordPress and creating great content even more.
The plugin is fun and easy to use, and once you get to grips with it, it can become quite addictive.
This is a marvel of a plugin from the Thrive team, and if anyone wants to be able to create great-looking pages without having to learn HTML or CSS or any other code, this is perfect for you!
I absolutely do recommend trying out the Thrive Content Builder plugin, you'll enjoy using it and enjoy creating beautiful, well-organized content-rich pages and posts for your WordPress site. Definitely, a tool worth having in your online business toolbox in 2017 and beyond!
I've been a very satisfied user of the content builder plugin since 2015.
Here's a quick tutorial video showing how the plugin can be used to build a landing page.
The video is a good few years old now, but the plugin hasn't changed much, apart from that it's had lots of awesome updates and new featured added to it.