Thrive Theme Builder Review 2020: A New Simple Way To Build WordPress Sites

Last Updated on May 4, 2020 by Fabrizio Van Marciano

Thrive Themes have finally released it's long-awaited new visual WordPress Theme Builder. So, was it worth the wait? Is it all that it's cooped up to be? Is this the best theme builder now available for WordPress? Or, is it just another 'brick in the wall' - Let's find out!

I remember the first time I discovered Thrive Themes for myself way back in late 2014. I didn't really pay much attention to them then. My first real experience with a Thrive Themes product came with the launch of Thrive Content Builder. I instantly fell in love with them.

Thrive Content Builder was an early version of what is now known as Thrive Architect.

Since that time, the company has gone on to create and release a suite of amazing, conversion-focused marketing tools for bloggers and online businesses. Thrive Themes seem to be going from strength to strength.

Over the years, I've built all of my online business ventures with Thrive Themes products, and I couldn't be happier. One of the best decisions I ever made was to invest in their tools.

When I heard that Thrive Themes were working on a Theme Builder, almost two years ago, I got very excited. I was a massive fan of Thrive Content Builder, and then Thrive Architect came along and blew me away, and so I fell in love all over again.

Now that Thrive Theme Builder is finally released, I've had a few solid days playing around with it. Am I as excited still as I were two years ago? And should you be too?

Well, I'll be honest with you. I'm somewhat excited, but, I think you should be very excited.

Thrive Theme Builder Review 2020

Why I'm only 'somewhat' excited about using Thrive Theme Builder?

Well, I've used quite a few WordPress theme builders and drag-and-drop website tools over the years. I've tried Beaver Builder, DIVI and Elementor.

These days, I tend to only stick with one, and for me, that's Oxygen Builder. However, as a designer and developer, it's always nice to have those extra tools in your kit. So I wasn't hesitant to include Thrive Theme Builder.

And, the other reason I'm only 'somewhat' excited about Thrive Theme Builder, is because I'm pretty savvy when it comes to WordPress anyway.

Not to blow my own horn, of course, but I like to write code and combine my workflow with visual design, which is why I'm a big fan of Oxygen Builder.

That said, if you're totally new to website design and WordPress, you should be very excited about Thrive Theme Builder.

Why?

Well, this tool was obviously designed for the none-techy. At least that's the impression I get when using it. But I also think that techies, designers, developers will also enjoy using Thrive Theme Builder.

Thrive Theme Builder is, by far, one of the easiest website builder tools to use for WordPress. Yes, there's a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to using anything new for the first time, but I'm pretty positive that you'll get to navigate this new theme builder in no time.

OK, let's start this review properly, shall we?

What is Thrive Theme Builder

It's in the name. Thrive Theme Builder, or TTB for short is a full-blown WordPress theme builder tool.

It was created by Thrive Themes, a reputable WordPress software company based somewhere in Europe.

Thrive Theme Builder has been in the works for almost two years, whilst other similar software such as Elementor, Divi, and Oxygen Builder has been out for some time gaining traction and momentum.

I remember first hearing about TTB and being part of the Alpha Team testing the software on some dummy sites in the early stages. It was a lot of fun and I got the chance to watch the software transform to what is the final release now.

Thrive, Theme Builder, brings you the technology and familiarity of Thrive Architect into a super user-friendly drag-and-drop front-end visual theme builder. One of a kind I would say.

Literally, every aspect, every page of your WordPress website can be built and customized using drag and drop editing. TTB is truly the WYSIWYG design tool for WordPress websites.

Thrive Theme Builder works with WordPress hosted sites and not WordPress.com sites.

What problems will this software help YOU solve?

Firstly, and probably the most important factor is that Thrive Theme Builder can be used by anyone.

None-techies will find this theme builder very appealing and a huge time saver. It's user-friendly and intuitive interface boasts all of the features you need to create a personalized website or blog from complete scratch.

This solves a second problem. You won't have to fork out thousands of dollars to hire a designer to build your website, you can do it all yourself without waiting around.

So, to recap. Thrive Theme Builder will -

  1. Make it very easy for you to design and build your WordPress website from complete scratch. Or you can use a ready-made, customizable theme. At the moment there's only one complete template, the Shapeshift theme which we'll talk about later.
  2. Save time and money by not having to hire and wait around for a web designer or developer. If you have the time, you can do it yourself.

What are the main features of Thrive Theme Builder?

Now, let's take a quick look at the awesome features that Thrive Theme Builder has to offer -

  • It's User-friendly - Yep, now even your grandma can start building websites, instead of knitting.
  • Lightweight - TTB is built predominantly on CSS for optimum performance and fast loading.
  • Friendly User-interface - Beautiful and clutter-free, simple-to-use interface.
  • Feature Packed - Thrive Theme Builder boasts all the tools and options you need to build a fully-functional professional website or blog for your business.
  • Pre-designed Theme - So far, only one, which is the Shapeshift theme. This theme provides all the page components such as post, page, error-404 page, archives page, the home page, etc.
  • Content block feature - Packed with lots of block types including a content marketing pack.
  • Site Creation Wizard - A step-by-step guide to customizing global elements such as the header, sidebar, etc.
  • Front-End Visual Design - A true WYSIWYG, front-end, theme builder using the same technology found in Thrive Architect.
  • Non-destructive design - The undo and redo features allows you to have full control over your design. There is also a
  • Dev Tools - Some simple blocks for adding custom HTML, CSS, class, and IDs.
  • Seamless workflow with other Thrive products - With Thrive Architect installed, you have complete control and power over the overall design of your site, and the design and layout of your content.
  • Great Support - One of the best support and knowledge base in the business of WordPress themes.

Core features

Now, let's take a closer look at Thrive Theme Builder's core features.

1. Site Wizard

ttb wizard 1
ttb wizard 2
ttb wizard options

Thrive Theme builder comes with a powerful site wizard feature, perfect for none-techies. This feature alone puts it in a class of its own.

You first begin with the 'Site Structure'. You can upload a logo, then choose a predesigned header, followed by a footer. Next is the homepage and for this, you have several options -

  1. Choose from ready-made home pages.
  2. Display one of your existing pages.
  3. Display your blog as homepage.

Next step in the Site Wizard you can select Single Blog Post Template and the Blog Post List (Archives). After this, you can select a template design for your page.

Finally, the Wizard will walk you through selecting menus for the header and footer.

You're done! Your site is ready for launch.

Again, for none-techies and business owners that don't want to spend a great deal of time getting their site up and running, this is ideal.

2. Branding

Next up is the branding feature.

ttb branding

Branding is an important element of making your website or blog unique. A lot of bog-standard WordPress themes make it difficult to customize simple things like colors and backgrounds.

With Thrive Theme Builder, you can easily set your theme colors, as well as add a dark and light version of your logo, and a Favicon with just a few clicks.

3. Typography

ttb typography

In the typography options tab, you can create and edit your website's typography. You can edit every part of your typography -

  • Headings
  • Paragraph
  • Lists
  • Hyperlinks
  • Blockquotes
  • Plain text
  • Preformatted text

You can also select the font style from web-safe fonts and a full library of Google fonts.

4. Templates

ttb templates

Templates is another one of Thrive Theme Builder's core features. Here you can manage your theme's templates all in one place. All of the pages used on your site, essentially.

The Shapeshift theme comes with essential pre-designed templates for you to use. These are also customizable, or you can create your own from scratch. The custom templates you create can be used on different types of posts, as well as pages and list pages.

ttb add new temp

5. Template Editor

The template editor is where all the magic happens. Thrive Theme builder's visual editor takes the technology and familiarity of Thrive Architect. All of the essential building blocks are included here, and many more new additions.

You can click on any of the pre-designed templates in your template manager to customize, or you can create your own from scratch.

ttb template editor
ttb template editor 2

Once again, if you are familiar with Thrive Architect, then you'll find your way around TTB's editor quickly. If you are brand new to the software, the editor is very user-friendly.

On the right-hand side of the screen, you have your main tabs for accessing the elements and blocks, as well as the style editor and reset button.

On the left-hand side, you have the edit options tab for each element. Depending on which element you click on, the design options will change accordingly.

Here is a full list of design blocks included in Thrive Theme Builder -

Content Block - Content block is a new feature that allows you to easily add a custom block with a pre-designed conversion or CTA element. The shapeshift theme includes a 'Content Marketing Pack'. This is a large library of blocks ready for you to drop into your page. You can also customize these blocks to match the branding and goal of your site.

ttb content mark pack

Thrive Theme Builder elements are organized in categories -

Theme Elements category includes -

  • About the author
  • Business social links
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Calendar widget
  • Widget area
  • Dynamic styled list

Article Components category includes -

  • Post title
  • Featured image
  • Post content
  • Author name
  • Author image
  • Post date
  • Post categories
  • Post tags
  • Author social links
  • Post meta

Foundation category includes -

  • Text
  • Image
  • Button
  • Columns
  • Background section
  • Content box
  • Templates and symbols
  • Logo

Building Blocks category includes -

  • Custom HTML
  • Custom menu
  • Disqus Comments
  • Divider
  • Facebook Comments
  • Icon
  • Lead Generation
  • Social share
  • Star rating
  • Styled list
  • Tabs
  • Testimonial
  • Toggle
  • Video
  • WordPress content
  • Audio
  • Contact form
  • Numbered list
  • Post list
  • Search
  • Styled box
ttb elements

The categories that are available depends on which template you are editing.

It's also worth noting that if you don't have the full version of Thrive Architect installed, you won't be able to access some of the pre-designed elements, such as testimonials, tabs, etc.

6. Theme Manager

Theme Manager is a useful feature that gives you options to duplicate, export and preview the currently active theme. You can also add a new theme.

ttb template manager

Likes and don't likes

OK, so there's a lot to get excited about when it comes to this new Theme builder. Having used it for only a few days testing out the features, there's not much I can say that I don't like.

It is, however, very early days and I plan to build a full-blown personal website with Thrive Theme Builder in the coming months.

That said, here are a few things that I like and don't like about Thrive Theme Builder, so far.

Likes -

  • It's brand new - It's always a joy to add another website builder tool to your toolbox.
  • It's so easy to use - This is really a theme builder that everyone can use. Anyone familiar with Thrive Architect, will find using Thrive Theme Builder a breeze. The Site Wizard is a unique feature that will get new users set up quickly and effortlessly. Having only spent a few days using it, I'm already starting to like it, a lot.
  • Intuitive UI - The user-interface is remarkable. It's intuitive and makes for easy navigation around all of the essential options and features.
  • Thrive Architect ready - If you have the Thrive Architect plugin installed, you have the option to edit content using TA. It is also beneficial in order to access some of the predesigned elements.
  • Fast and responsive - This went beyond my expectations. Navigating around the options and even loading up and using the template editor was lightning fast. Customizing a website has never been so much fun!
  • Good choice of elements - Thrive Theme Builder includes everything you need to build your website. The four main categories include many customizable components, and knowing the Thrive team, they'll just keep adding new stuff in time.
  • Good choice of templates - As a starting point, the page template library that comes with the Shapeshift theme is good and I'm sure more will be added in the future.
  • Great support - Having been a Thrive Themes member since 2015, I know just how wonderful and knowledgable their customer support team is.

Don't like (This was hard, but here goes) -

  • Poor choice of themes - OK, so The Shapeshift Theme is the only theme available, but I'm sure more will be added in the future.
  • Lack of sitewide layout options - Unsure about this one, I could not see where I could make changes to sitewide layout such as page width, container width, etc. I will have to explore deeper I think and update this review in the future.
  • Few responsive design options - Not enough breakpoints for mobile responsive design. You get the basic screen sizes and that's about it. I would love to see more responsive menu design templates for mobile too. Also, some template elements for responsive menus would be nice.
  • No WooCommerce integration - Maybe in the future?

Where can I get Thrive Theme Builder?

Thrive Theme Builder is available exclusively to Thrive Themes Members, so if you're not yet a member, you'd better hit the button below to signup.

There are three ways you can get hold of Thrive Theme Builder -

You can become a Thrive Themes member and get access to not only the theme builder, but all of the Thrive Theme's conversion tools.

Membership starts from just $19 per month (Paid Annually), but for that price, you get more than just a theme builder. You get access to the full suite of Thrive Themes Conversion Tools, including the awesome Thrive Architect and powerful Thrive Leads.

If you don't want to become a member of Thrive Themes, you can purchase Thrive Theme Builder on it's own -

1 License @ $67 $97 (Limited time deal)
5 Licences @ $97 $127 (Limited time deal)

theme builder price

The price, at the time of updating this post, is a limited time launch discounted price.

Recommended Post: Thrive Theme Membership Review: Powerful Conversion Tools To Grow Your Business

Thrive Theme Builder Review: Thoughts and Verdict?

So, to wrap up this review of Thrive Theme Builder, this is a super positive start. Things can only get better from here on, and no doubt that the Thrive Themes team will make small improvements in good time.

The ability to customize pages and posts via the Site Wizard is not available at this time, but it's coming soon it would appear.

I, personally, would like to see more options added for responsive design and additional breakpoints for screens. In particular, a landscape mode.

Working with the Thrive Theme Builder installed on a local WordPress test site, with no other plugins active is fine, and I ran into no bugs or lag issues.

It will be interesting to see, however, how stable and compatible Thrive Theme Builder will be in the real world. Installed on a site with other plugins active, and also, the page load time as well.

I'll be sure to update this review in the near future, especially as I use Thrive Theme Builder more.

I will also be creating a bunch of brand new tutorial videos in the coming months, so if you're not subscribed to my YouTube channel, be sure to do so.

FABZ ROUND

My verdict?

Thrive Theme Builder is a rock-solid theme builder for none-techies wanting to create and launch a custom website quickly and effortlessly. It's a great start.

Recent Updates to Thrive Theme Builder

  1. Page Blocks Feature - You can now access all the landing page templates for the Shapeshift Theme in Thrive Theme Builder using the Page Block's feature. This feature was originally added to Thrive Architect, it is now also available in Thrive Theme Builder.

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3 comments on “Thrive Theme Builder Review 2020: A New Simple Way To Build WordPress Sites”

  1. Hello Fabrizio,

    I am currently using Elementor for my blog and find it very easy to design and implement. However, Thrive is indeed a great page builder tool for WordPress. Though, I haven't tried them out. I will definitely use Thrive in my upcoming project. Fab post 🙂

    Regards,
    Vishwajeet Kumar

  2. Hello Fabrizio,

    Thanks for the great in-depth review - it's really nice to see that you took the time to research the product fully.

    My name's Paul, I'm the co-founder of Thrive Themes and have been leading the TTB project for the past 6 months or so.

    I wanted to add a few points to help clarify a few of the finer points you've raised.

    - Regarding site-wide layout options:- We have a fairly advanced feature that allows you to the save and update layouts centrally, and then apply that to any template. You can find the options in the template editor by clicking on the first breadcrumb and opening up the "Content and Sidebar Layout" panel (screenshot here:- https://bit.ly/2yv9H4G)

    You can save and load layouts from this panel to ensure consistency across templates.

    - Good point about adding custom breakpoints for smaller screen sizes. That's been on the radar for a while now and something we'd like to add this year.

    - We will be working on WooCommerce integration after finishing an initial "Speed" project, whereby we address items such as image optimization, resizing, compression, deep integration with recommended plugins for caching and lazy loading of content. We're also looking into incorporating AMP.

    By the way, I was wondering if you found the template sections library that's available in the template editor? We have over 150 pre-built sections that can be loaded directly from the template editor. Here's a screenshot of our pre-built top sections:- https://bit.ly/2zTjkKR

    I'm asking because it's quite an important part of the product and it wasn't featured in your review, which leads me to believe that the feature is not discoverable enough (something that I'd like to address).

    Thanks again for the feedback and review - it really helps us develop and improve the product!

    Paul

    1. Thanks, Paul, I really appreciate your comment outlining some of the things I may have overlooked. I've had some time to play with Thrive thrive Theme Builder and found the template sections library. My bad I should have looked more closely. The more I use it the more I'm loving it. Keep up the awesome work at Thrive 🙂

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