* Note that Thrive Content Builder is now Thrive Architect, which is available as part of the annual membership (Thrive Suite). The content of this page is now outdated - check the updated review here.
Here's another one of my Thrive reviews. Content writing "WYSIWYG website builder software" with free landing page templates - Thrive Content Builder. I think this drag and drop website builder is one of the best internet marketing tools around. If you are looking to make a difference with your WordPress website, this plugin is my #1 recommendation. So what is Thrive Content Builder? How does it work? How easy is it? Responsive? What are pro's and con's? I will explain them all, and how the plugin will help your site posts stand out and ultimately increase the conversion rates.
How Does It Work?
This drag and drop website builder has a real WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) interface. You access it from WordPress, it's within WordPress, but create your posts/pages directly on the screen rather than typing in the conventional WordPress visual editor. So here's how you start;
- Add New Post/or Page in WordPress editor as normal.
- Type in the headline (can change later, as normal)
- Immediately Save Draft.
- Click "Edit with Thrive Content Builder" button.
The new tab with WYSIWYG opens up, where you can drag & drop everything to create and edit your content directly. When finished, save and close the screen which takes you back to the WordPress editor. Click Publish as normal.
The beauty of this product is the number of customisable features and versatility. But "how you actually use" is all about drag & drop. I'll show you a quick video to demonstrate how easy it is to manoeuvre.
Quick Video Demonstration
Here's my 3-minute quick video how to start - add texts, images, icons, buttons and call-to-action template all by drag and drop.
Who Is The Plugin For?
Use of Thrive Content Builder is beneficial for majority of WordPress users. It all depends which elements you want to use;
- It's primarily suitable for any web marketers - Call-to-Action, Testimonial, Guarantee Box, Credit Card Icons, Pricing Table, Data/Graph Elements, Countdown Timer, Lead Generation & Sign Up Forms, Click To Call, Google Map Embed feature. Plus free Landing Page Templates.
- Bloggers to make a difference - Buttons, Thousands of Icons to choose from, Social Share Buttons, Quote Share, Styled List (like this one), Various Dividers, Column Layout, Table Of Contents, Post Grid (listing other blog pages), Video Embedding, Star Rating for Reviews.
All these can be dragged and dropped in a second, and fully customisable. There's no other WordPress website plugins on the market to have so many great features in one place. I can think of very few types of people who are not suitable to use Thrive Content Builder;
Who Is The Plugin NOT For?
Site Loading Speed
You would think that if there are so many functions in one plugin, surely it would affect the loading speed negatively...
Believe me, it doesn't. Don't ask me why, something to do with how the scripts are run. I'm not a developer and neither is the Thrive's co-founder Shane Melaugh. But Shane repeatedly says he's obsessed with the site speed, he and his team "never shut up about it".
I can only say there was no change in loading speed of all my websites before and after the plugin installation. I didn't particularly think the installation or use of the plugin had made it faster, but definitely not slower!
I will now list up some of the many features either by actually using them, or with a screenshot. I'm just going to make it "graphic-rich" so whoever is wondering "What is Thrive Content Builder?" will get the feel of it. So here we go.
Variety of three countdown timers are available on Thrive Content Builder. You can either set the timer by the actual deadline (e.g. December 25th 2016), or set it evergreen (3 days, 5 hours & 10 minutes left). Evergreen timer is cookie based.
Thrive has recently come up with a separate plugin for countdown timers, Thrive Ultimatum. Needless to say this plugin is much more advanced (See my previous post "Thrive Ultimatum Review – Ultimate Countdown Timers!" if you're interested).
All-animated Progress Bar, Fill Counter and Number Counter. All you have to do is to change the numbers and units.
I've put those in a separate page to show how they're animated - take a look.
Call-To-Action / Tabbed Content Box (Horizontal)
There are four different styles of Call-To-Action available - I've put each one in a separate tab using the Tabbed Content Box, as below. Click each tab to check it out.
- Template 1
- Template 2
- Template 3
- Template 4
This is Call-To-Action Template 1
All you have to do is drag this template from the menu bar to your page. Font size, colour, box margins & paddings, button colour, height and width are all customisable.
This is Call-To-Action Template 3
Because you can add as many text boxes, images etc, you can actually create a whole page within this box.
"Money Back Guarantee" Box / Tabbed Content Box (Vertical)
Four different styles of Guarantee Box - I've put each one in a separate tab using the Tabbed Content Box, as below. Click each tab to check it out.
- template 1
- Template 2
- Template 3
- Template 4
100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!
Here is one Money Back Guarantee example. You can change the text, add extra text, add images or icons. Badge colour can be changed but the design is fixed. The words "Money back - 100% - Guarantee" on the badge cannot be changed.
Money back Guarantee!
You can have the badge in one colour, ribbon in another colour.
100% Money Back!
This one's only slightly different from Template 2. All the templates are mobile responsive, of course.
100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
This is the last one of the four guarantee box templates. Can be added to squeeze page or a normal blog post.
5 x testimonial templates with an image box, and 4 x templates without are available. You can view the examples on this page.
Lead Generation feature is another one that's very easy to add.
- Drag and drop the template to your page just like above.
- Customise (horizontally or vertically, change text, size etc).
- Click a button to connect to your email service. (choose of connection by API or copy & paste HTML code)
- Only then you can customise the form boxes - email, first name, phone number, etc.
As you can see above - set the rating how many stars out of maximum numbers, the colour of the stars and where you want to place it can all be done easily.
Short Code Option
I've previously written about using the short code (using WordPress editor rather than using the Content Builder interface). Thrive Content Builder Review – Awesome Short Codes
Landing Page Templates
Okay, what is Thrive Content builder? It's a plugin in designed to boost a conversion rate. Therefore of course, it comes with landing page templates. In WordPress you need to use a "page" function to create a squeeze page, not a "post".
- In WordPress editor, add a new page.
- Name the Headline, and save draft.
- Press "Edit with Thrive Content Builder" button. The new tab will open up.
- Click "Thrive Landing Pages". You can either import your own landing page template, or choose Thrive's pre-designed template.
- Start editing!
There are 149 pre-designed templates - last added in October 2014 and still 149 to this date, therefore some more updates can be expected this year. Fully customisable - add a 2-step opt-in form, videos, images, icons etc.
OK I think I've shown enough features now. Using a pricing Table option, here's the Thrive Content Builder's Price Plan.
For $299/year or $99/quarter
Thrive Suite Includes:
Recommended Alternative: Thrive Architect Plugin Only - $97 per year
OK so I recommend the annual membership option, because you'll receive ALL the Thrive products;
- Totally conversion-focused Thrive Themes
- Lead generation plugin Thrive Leads,
- Countdown plugin Thrive Ultimatum,
- Headline testing plugin Headline Optimizer
- User-personalised option maker Thrive Clever Widgets
- As well as this one!
If they come up with more new plugins during the year, you'll get those for free as well.
But in case not to mislead you - $19 per month for annual membership cannot be paid monthly. You need to pay for 12 months in advance = $228.
You can however pay quarterly; $90 per quarter, which works out as $30 per month, $360 per annum.
You can cancel the membership before the next renewal - then you'll still get to keep all their products and continue to receive the current version's updates. Obviously the support desk will close on you and you won't receive their new products.
Single or Multiple Licence
Here's a suggestion if you're considering about purchasing Thrive Content Builder, but never interested in their other products. Then get a single licence first and see if you like it. Because you can upgrade your licence at a later date, i.e. pay $67 for your single website, then $30 to be able to use it on 4 more of your other websites.
However this upgrade-later option does not apply to the all-products membership. If you pay $67 single licence now, and want to get all other Thrive's products later, you need to pay the full $228 again.
See why I strongly recommend the membership option now?
Compatibility With WordPress Visual Editor
Something you should be aware of - you cannot edit your existing content created on WordPress visual editor. This is essential for Thrive to avoid any conflicts. You can add short codes instead.
However you can add contents in the WordPress editor to your post already created using Thrive editor... Like the image below; this is the editor of the very page you're looking at right now. The box is blank, apart from one line that I've added as you can see.
Any content that you add in the WordPress visual editor window will show underneath the post created by Thrive editor. Can you see this sentence at the end of this article?
Thrive Content Builder Pro's and Con's
- So many features in one plugin that are all customisable.
- Big plugin, but does not affect the site loading speed.
- You can't get anything like this elsewhere. You'd have to get several (paid) plugins, which could slow down your website.
- Support team is very helpful. Working with their developers, they respond with any technical questions.
- Visually quite amazing.
- The plugin has a large file size (just under 20Mb), it may take a long time to install. You may need to use FTP rather than uploading directly on WordPress.
- Cannot edit your existing posts/pages.
- No free trial.
- Sometimes it gets "stuck" - you can't drag & drop. All you have to do when it happens is to click Save Changes, then refresh the screen.
- If you're continuously using it for long hours, it seems to take up your CPU memory and goes slightly sluggish. I'd have to restart my desktop after several hours of use. Which would normally not the case with conventional WordPress visual editor.
Do I Recommend Thrive Content Builder?
I can't imagine updating my websites without using it now. Whether online sales owners, marketers or bloggers, if you're looking for some cutting-edge features, I'd definitely recommend it to you.
One Last Thing..... "3 Products in One". Really?
Thrive claims this plugin is a "3 Products in 1". Okay there are;
(1) Landing Pages
(2) Thrive Lightbox - Opt-in form
But the 3rd one, this very "Content Builder" - all the functions are put in one bracket. To sum it up and list them up, there are;
(3) Call-toAction templates
(4) Testimonial templates
(5) Table (Column layout)
(6) Social share buttons
(7) Button templates ("Add to cart" "Access Now!")
(8) Pricing Table templates
(9) Quote share boxes
(10) Coloured content boxes
(11) Styled list (bullet-points)
(12) Styled dividers
(13) Guarantee box templates
(14) Tabbed content
(15) Content toggle
(16) Feature grid templates
(17) Countdown timer templates
(18) Table of Contents
(19) Click to Call (phone) button
(20) Data elements
(21) Star rating
(22) Icon stocks
(23) Google Map embed, Responsive YouTube embed, and more...
Really, you would normally have to have 20+ separate plugins installed in order to have all these features, which (I can't emphasise enough that...) would slow your site speed right down. This product has them all, and maintains your site speed super-fast.
Yes it's a premium plugin, you'll have to pay. But it's absolutely invaluable. I believe it, I love it, and thoroughly recommend it to you. Check it out.
What Is Thrive Content Builder? – prices shown are as of January 2017.