I've written a review of both Instabuilder 2.0 and Thrive Content Builder (now called Thrive Architect) in the past. Both WordPress plugins have a very responsive landing page builder function, and both are very popular among internet marketers, but I often get asked which one I'd recommend more. Instabuilder or Thrive Architect? My answer is that it depends what kind of products you're looking to promote, and how you're going to promote, i.e. what kind of website you wish to build.
...in all honesty, these plugins are two different things - I use them both and love them both! So today I'll tell you why and share my thoughts with you.
I've just said I use them both but you can't create a page using both the plugins. Once you've started to use one, you can't open the same page with the other one. Nor with WordPress Visual Editor. Both the plugins can only be initiated from a blank page.
- On a draft page using WordPress visual editor: The page will be "view only" in Thrive Architect, you can't add contents. If you load Instabuilder, it will only prompt you to choose a new landing page template.
- On a draft page using Thrive Architect: If you load Instabuilder, it will only prompt you to choose a new landing page template. If you add any contents in WordPress Visual Editor, the contents will appear at the bottom of the page (after the contents created using Thrive).
- On a draft page using Instabuilder: You cannot open the page in Thrive (black screen). You must not add any contents in WordPress Visual Editor - as soon as you add a single letter and "save", the original work done by Instabuilder will be wiped out.
"Responsive" specifically refers to the fast loading speed and the conversion focused concept that both plugins have, and they're brilliant in these areas. In terms of the loading speed I've tested several of my sites before & after the installation of both the plugins.
The above is one of my loading speed tests on Pingdom tool. A site speed is always affected by various other factors such as the time of day and image/media rendering in the particular page, so I can only say this was one of the typical results.
This site originally had one image background and a few words displayed - it took 0.774 second to load. I installed Thrive Architect and also Instabuilder 2.0, activated both the plugins, loaded one of the Thrive's landing page templates, edited a little, and ran the speed test gain. It took 0.92 second to load...virtually with milliseconds of difference showing that the activation of these plugins will not affect the loading speed.
Instabuilder or Thrive Architect?
Sorry, I've dragged. I should really get to the point now - which one is better, and why am I using both?
Instabuilder is a landing page builder with 100+ templates. Whereas Thrive Architect allows you to create webpages in any format (e.g. with sidebar, full width, etc) and it also offers 150+ landing page templates.
You can create a beautiful blog of your choice using Thrive, plus as many landing pages as you like. Whereas Instabuilder is a pure landing page creator, only allows you to create sales pages, opt-in pages, and "thank you" (for signing up!) pages.
There's one supposedly "effective" function that Instabuilder equips. So does Thrive but not quite the same.
"Are-you-sure-you-want-to-leave" message popup. As a reader nothing's more annoying than a page you're about to leave who dares to ask you to "think again". The only time the message comes in useful is with a lengthy web application form, where it can stop you from closing the tab accidentally in the midst of filling in.
But that's my (and a lot of others') opinion as a reader. The message is one last attempt by the site owner to trap exiting readers for a half more second. Some may actually click "stay" and have another look at the sales page. So this is supposed to be effective, however I've tried this popup in my sales campaigns many times and have not seen any clear improvements in opt-in rates. The trick can be old & tacky, there's no point having it if there's no clear advantage to the site owner, so I can only suggest that you try the feature and test yourself.
Thrive has a "lightbox" feature instead, a smaller box to slide in (or zoom in or out) to the middle of the browser which is much more sophisticated design-wise. (Also another amazing product Thrive Leads that offers variety of in-page campaigns.)
You can get this box to popup when a visitor is about to leave the page. A slight problem with Thrive Lightbox's exit feature is that, it cannot pop up when a visitor attempts to close the tab, but it pops up when the mouse hovers outside the browser window any time.
An automatic new tab popup is another function that Instabuilder equips but Thrive doesn't. For example when a visitor leaves a page, a new page will automatically open up to say "by the way, we also have this product".
This can be another spammy feature but I actually find this to be effective. Quite often the visitors would take a look at the extra page shown up unexpectedly, whether they're annoyed by it or not, they would read it and often opt in. Depending on the context of the page, and the relevance to the previous page, I find 25% - 50% of the readers click and scroll.
Again you can have a similar feature with Thrive using the "Lightbox". A box will pop up to say "Do you want to view another page?" It's the user's choice whether to open a new tab or not. Alternatively with the Lightbox, you can display another campaign within the box itself.
Quality Of Templates
In a sense you don't need the most modern, cutting-edge landing page "in order to sell". All you need is to keep your prospect buyers interested and a good call-to-action.
I'd say Thrive has a superior quality and wider range of landing page templates. Especially for a segmented page where you need several ways to promote, for example a diagram, followed by testimonials, followed by FAQ. It's suitable for promoting any products with a lot to offer in multiple dimension.
Whereas Instabuilder is more straight-forward and in-your-face. Therefore I'd say it's suitable for promoting simpler products.
I recommend Thrive Architect to anyone thoroughly for building any kind of websites - blogs, e-commerce, news sites, the possibility is endless. But of course you can do without; if you're looking to create a simple sale funnel, Instabuilder 2.0 is an essential addition to your existing WordPress website.
The Price Comparison
3 Site License
- Install on 3 domains that you own
- One year support & update
- Install on unlimited domains that you own
- One year support & update
For $228/year or $90/quarter
Thrive Suite Includes: