Thrive Themes Review

Behind every great WordPress website is a quality theme. The problem is that there are tens of thousands of different WordPress themes on the market to choose from, and they vary in price from free to thousands of dollars for custom themes.

One theme set that is frequently touted as one of the best available presently, is Thrive Themes. In this Thrive Themes review, I’m going to look at what all the hype is about and if subscribing to Thrive is the best option for your online business.

What Is Thrive Themes?

Normally, when you pay money for a premium WordPress theme, you get exactly that. Thrive Themes is a little bit different though.

Rather than paying a one-time flat fee to have a premium WordPress theme, you are paying an annual membership fee that allows you access to multiple themes and additional plug-ins.

Thrive Themes Plugins

With a Thrive Themes annual membership you gain access to many different products. First, you get access to the following themes:

  1. Rise
    Rise focuses on having a clean layout and is designed to be a blogging theme for use with affiliate marketing and product sales.
  2. Storied
    Storied is another blogging theme that puts a bit more emphasis on media-rich elements such as images, videos, and audio.
  3. Pressive
    Pressive is a blogging theme that is more focused on creating marketing websites that feature large amounts of multimedia.
  4. Performag
    Performag is the first magazine theme by Thrive Themes. It is specifically designed for magazine style sites and is highly optimized for ad revenue, social sharing, and user engagement.
  5. Voice
    Voice features a unique header-less design and focuses on blogging and podcasting.
  6. Squared
    Squared is a multipurpose theme that is designed to be bold and eye-catching. From the ground up, every element is designed to try and catch your reader’s eye.
  7. Minus
    Minus is a minimal theme that tries to put your content front and center. It features a lot of white space with minimal distractions.
  8. Ignition
    Ignition places most of its’ emphasis on creating sales pages and product pages. Basically, if you’re wanting to run an e-commerce store with Thrive Themes, this is the one you’re going to go with.
  9. Luxe
    Luxe looks and feel like a modern-day fashion magazine. If you’re trying to sell luxurious products or services, and want to use a Thrive theme, this is the one you’re going with.
  10. FocusBlog
    FocusBlog is a kind of hybrid between blogging and modern multimedia websites. It is designed to try and combine the best of both worlds while putting a strong emphasis on your written content.

As you can see, you get quite a few different themes with your Thrive Themes membership. However, that’s not all that you receive. What really puts Thrive Themes on the map are the plugins that come with the membership including:

  1. Thrive Architect
    This is a drag-and-drop page builder and content editor exclusive to Thrive Themes. While this may sound like a wonderful option, there’s a bit more on this below.
  2. Thrive Landing Pages
    A Thrive Themes membership comes with multiple pre-done landing page templates. This plugin also allows you to create your own landing pages and save them for easy editing in the future.
  3. Thrive Leads
    A plugin that focuses on helping you to build your email list. It has a lot of features, and offers many different options that are designed to try and get your website visitors to opt in to your email list.
  4. Thrive Ovations
    Testimonials can really make or break your business. Especially if you’re running a local business. Thrive Ovation is designed to help you gather and display testimonials on your website for social proof.
  5. Thrive Ultimatum
    This plugin focuses on creating limited time offers on sales and opt in pages. It’s designed to help you create time sensitive offers and promotions a little bit quicker.
  6. Thrive Headline Optimizer
    This plugin allows you to create multiple headlines and split test them to see which ones perform the best.
  7. Thrive Clever Widgets
    If you’re wanting to build a silo site, or a large authority site, Thrive Clever Widgets can be one of the best tools in your marketing toolbox. It allows you to show unique widgets based on categories, tags, and more to try to provide your website visitors with an experience tailored specifically to what they’re interested in.
  8. Thrive Quiz Builder
    As marketers, we all understand exactly how important it is to get more website engagement with our posts and pages. The Thrive Quiz Builder plug-in is designed to create quick quizzes that will help you to tailor custom content for your visitors as well as increase their time on page.

As you can see, you get quite a bit of value for the price that you’re paying for your Thrive Themes membership. The bottom line is however, are these tools worth the money that you’re going to be investing annually for your membership?

Thrive Themes Review

When it comes right down to it, the themes that are offered inside of Thrive Themes are really nothing special. Yes, they’re touted to be designed from the ground up with conversion optimization at the forefront, but you can honestly accomplish the same thing with just a little bit of tweaking and various plug-ins that are available for free online.

Optimizing for conversions is something that should be done on marketing level, and not within the theme itself. That’s not to say that these themes are not high quality. It’s just saying that there really isn’t anything special about them beyond the fact that they are average premium WordPress themes.

What really is impressive about Thrive Themes are the plugins that they offer. That’s what really sets them apart from many of the other WordPress theme packages available on the Internet. However, for this a great Internet connection is necessary, you can check to find some assistance.

The thing is though, you really don’t have to have a Thrive Theme to use any of the plug-ins that are available inside of your membership. This is actually a really good thing. Why?

Well, for starters, this allows you to be able to take an existing website that you may have created when you are in your beginning stages of Internet marketing and turn it into a really advanced authority website later on down the road when money isn’t as much of an issue and you can afford to invest in some higher-quality tools.

Thrive Clever Widgets

Using a plugin such as Thrive Clever Widgets, for example, will allow you to custom tailor a specific section of your website for your audience that is wanting more information about that specific topic.

So, for example if you have a website all about dogs, someone who is looking for a quality dog house isn’t going to see advertisements in your sidebar for dog food.

You can custom tailor your entire doghouse category to only show products and posts relating specifically to dog houses. As you can imagine, this allows you to create some great relevant offers specific to individual categories and tags within your website.

While this isn’t necessarily something that is needed when you are first getting started with affiliate marketing, it can come in handy once your site has hundreds of pages relating to many different topics.

The one plug-in that really isn’t that beneficial however, is the Thrive Architect plug-in.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Thrive Architect

A prime example of exactly why you shouldn’t use Thrive Architect is the fact that they are currently upgrading it from what has previously been known as the Thrive Content Builder.

Currently, this upgrade has yet to be released, but it is scheduled to happen soon. Hopefully, everything will go off without a hitch, but if it doesn’t you could be left with a website full of content that is impossible to read.

This is because content builders use a lot of shortcodes and other custom elements that are specific only to the individual content builder that you’re using. For example, if you choose to go with a different content builder, or simply change your site and remove Thrive Architect, then you can be left with an unreadable website that is full of random shortcodes and page elements. It’s easy to get caught up in all the design aesthetics of website, and not publish content as often as you should. The bottom line is that most of your success online is determined by the quality of your content and how often you are publishing that content, rather than how your website looks.

Sadly, many people get far too involved with the aesthetics of their websites and fail to publish enough content to successfully run an online business. Plug-ins like Thrive Architect put even more emphasis on aesthetics and many marketers will get far too caught up on making pages look pretty, rather than creating more content for their sites.

In short, if you decide to use Thrive Architect, you are stuck with it. Once you have started using it, you will find it is very difficult to stop using it. Depending on how much content you have created with it, you may find that it would take months to re-create the content without the editor.

Pros Of Thrive Themes

As you can see above, you get quite a bit of value with Thrive Themes. Some of the pros that you can expect to find inside of a membership with Thrive Themes include:

  • Good Value For What You Get
    As mentioned above, you get quite a few different themes to choose from as well as multiple plug-ins that are designed for experienced Internet marketers. Overall, it’s a good value if you want a large selection of themes to choose from.
  • Superior Plugin Options
    If you’re an advanced Internet marketer and you’re wanting to take your marketing efforts the next level, the plug-ins offered inside of Thrive Themes can help you do that a little bit easier. With tools like the headline optimizer and the Thrive Leads plugin, you can bridge the gap from affiliate marketing to generating your own email list and developing your own products and client base.
  • Fast Loading Themes With Impressive Design
    One thing that I do have to give Thrive Themes credit for is the fact that all of their themes load very quickly. This is especially true if you are not using the Thrive Architect plug-in. They are all very minimal, and feature impressive design aesthetics straight out of the box.
  • Phenomenal Support
    The problem with many premium WordPress themes is that they do not offer very much customer support in the backend. If you have questions, it’s often difficult to receive answers. This is not the case with Thrive Themes. You can contact support via email, or if you have a question you need answered faster, you can contact experienced members as well as team members inside of their forum community. There’s a forum available for every single plugin and theme that Thrive offers, and they’re jam packed with information based on the problems that other members have had in the past. Typically, if you need help, then you will often find that someone else has had the same issue and your problem has already been solved in the past.

Cons of Thrive Themes

While there are a lot of good points about Thrive Themes, there are also a few bad. Some of the cons with using Thrive Themes include:

  • Minimal Beginner Support
    If you’re just getting started with Internet marketing, many of the themes and tools available at Thrive Themes will be far above your current knowledge level. They are designed to be used by marketers with a significant amount of experience who are ready to go from affiliate marketing to building their own email lists and selling their own products.
  • Locked Into Thrive Architect
    From the sales page to the members area, you can easily tell that there’s quite a bit of emphasis placed on using Thrive Architect. For those people who decide to use Thrive Architect to create their own affiliate websites, you’ll find that you are locked into using it permanently, or else you will have to invest a significant amount of time to re-create your content and clear up all the short codes and coding that the Architect creates.
  • Auto Renewals
    Let’s face it, while Thrive Themes gives a good amount of value for the price you pay for membership, it’s also fairly expensive. With that said, unless you change settings manually, you will find that you are billed every year for an annual membership. If you forget to turn off auto renewal and decide you no longer want Thrive Themes, once it is billed for renewal, they will not issue a refund for any reason whatsoever.

Final Thoughts On Thrive Themes

If you’re just getting started with Internet marketing, and you’re still learning the ropes, then you really need to avoid Thrive Themes. I say this not because it’s a bad product, but instead because it can become very overwhelming and there are a lot of tools inside of Thrive Themes that if used incorrectly, could potentially harm your website.

This is not because they are poorly designed, but if they are used improperly, you can potentially harm your SEO efforts when you’re first getting started. Once you understand how internet marketing works, have created a couple of successful small affiliate sites, or are ready to take your website to the next level and try to do things such as optimize your headings, build your own email list, or sell your own products, then Thrive Themes is a very good option.

Also, if you’re someone who is running a local business, then Thrive Themes can really help you to increase your overall conversions and reach your audience more easily.

In closing, if you’re new to Internet marketing, there are several more affordable alternatives out there that will help you to succeed online. If you’re wanting to take your Internet marketing efforts to the next level, and you already have an established website that is making money for you month after month, then Thrive Themes may be a strong option thanks to their impressive array of conversion optimized plugins and themes.

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  1. Hey Jay,
    The article is very true as I started blogging, I found their plugins and themes somewhat difficult to use. Thrive themes are primarily good looking themes but I feel they are quite heavy and takes longer time to load.
    Pagespeed is one of the highest ranking criterions of Google nowadays and this factor alone is defintiely going to hurt your rankings. But on the flipside, if Pagespeed is not the only criteria, Thrive themes have one of the best designs and advanced features that you ask from a Theme or a plugin.
    This is truly an unbiased review of Thrive themes and anyone reading this will value the advice as a goldmine to take an informed decision.
    Looking forward to more such articles from You Jay. more power to you!!

  2. The support requests seems to be up to their eyeballs. The content previously created with Content builder and even whats created with Thrive Architect is really in a bad shape with a lot of bugs. The support too isn’t of much help. The upgrade to Thrive Architect seems to be the worst thing they could have ever done

  3. Great content. I just want to thank youyou. Can’t agree more with you about why you shouldn’t use Thrive Architect. After the update, everything seems to be in a mush. The support requests seem to be up to their eyeballs. The upgrade to Thrive, Architect, seems to be the worst thing they could have ever done!

  4. Excellent information and yes you are absolutely correct, I have also used and is best practice for SEO. The article will be most helpful for bloggers and beginners too…


  5. I’m a user of Thrive and have a mixed review.

    The products have the potential to be great however, it is buggy as hell!

    It’s like playing whack bc a mole! You fix one thing, then bc another breaks.

    You raise a support ticket and they don’t answer properly, they just throw it back at you as ‘it appears to be working our end!’

    It’s a great product none the less but the support needs to improve and bugs need addressing and testing properly before releasing ‘updates!’

    (Name and company redacted)

  6. yes, thrive themes are one the fastest theme for SEO perspective. Genesis is also great and if you used thrive builder on genesis then it will be better :)

  7. Hello Jay,
    Thanks for the great information. Currently, I am using generatepress and was thinking about the Thrive theme. Now I think Thrive can be a good option for my blog. Thanks again for the useful review.

  8. I love the Thrive theme. It is very popular and easy to optimize. In my knowledge one of the best theme for wordpress.

    I have been watching many videos about this themes and learning more about it how to use it.

    I am looking forward to buy this theme. Thanks for the review Jay.

  9. Hi Jay,
    this is a great an article on thrive theme. I usually use genesis theme on my blog. Both Thrive and genesis themes are very light weighted and optimized theme. Thrive is best option if you have to free hand. Really very useful post. Thanks for sharing this information.

  10. I have found the site very informative! I only recently came upon it, and wish I’d seen it sooner. something unique and valuable here. Thanks — hope you keep it up!

  11. Thanks, Jay for a great article. Genesis and Thrive are one of the most popular light-weighted and optimized themes in the WordPress industry. Although Genesis customization is quite difficult but when it comes to thrive you have free hand do whatever you want :) that’s the beauty of thrive

  12. Hello Jay,
    The Article on Thrive Themes Review is amazing, Actually I was using Genisis themes and Generatepress on my Blog I was looking for the Other theme Option too. So I was checking for the Thrive Review Thanks for Sharing the Information . For Next Time I will be using the Thrive Theme Do you Have any offer Discount for Paid Theme to buy ,Looking forward for your Positive response

  13. I’ve been working with Thrive Architect for two weeks now. I hate it. It’s ridiculously buggy, nothing works properly. Elements become unselectable, layers are a nightmare to work with due to lack of layers navigator, and the architect iteself has a strong tendency to glitch. e.g. at the moment the elements I’ve set to hidden in responsive modes are showing in the builder even when “show hidden elements” is disabled.

    Let me clarify: The key element of the responsive design feature, the abilty show/hide stuff so you can actually design the page, is broken by the builder’s horrible tendency to glitch display. So I can’t work. It’s like this, a new version of this, every work session, every day.

    As I said: hate it. Worst product ever, bar none. The devs released a beta and bribed a bunch of affiliate scammers to recruit a bunch of unwilling beta testers like me, who pay through the nose to send their bug reports into a seeming vacuum…

    You try troubleshooting even the most basic problem, go on I dare you. If you can find documentation that contains actual useful technical information and isn’t just more sales nonsense, I’ll send you a box of chocolates.

    Melaugh, you should not be running things this way. Sort your house out boy.

  14. I have been using thrive architect for about 3 months and built a whole website with it. It is a really amazing page builder.

    Their is one big flaw and I’m wondering if you have a suggestion to get around it.

    You can’t build any global elements like a header, navigation or footer that gets updated globally. You can make templates and use those, but they are not connected so if you want to change something, you have to make that change everywhere you used that template.

  15. We’ve used Thrive themes since they first came out and over the last 3 years have built 42 websites of all types and markets using Thrive.

    Our extensive experience with the Thrive team in development, support, responses, troubleshooting etc has always been good. Not perfect… wordpress is an extremely complex beastie that can be munged by a huge number of variables – plugins, web server configuration, software updates on webserver, etc. etc.

    Thrive does provide an abundant amount of training that once used, makes dev time quick. Free themes provide that?

    Our experience is that sticking as much as is practicable within the Thrive theme and plugin set, equals a fast, high converting website. Your guess on using all the plugins on a site bogging things down is a poor guess. It doesn’t. We’ve tested it.

    Bottom line; we build sites that are quick, effective and make money in less time. Plus we can easily split test and improve conversion results. Nothing else that we’ve found comes close.

  16. My experience with Thrive Leads has been a large loss of time, conversions and money.

    I spent 5 to 6 weeks going back and forth with Thrive customer service, trying to get the plugin to work consistently and completely. At each turn, their advice was useless and can be boiled down to : “it’s your problem, the plugin works for thousands of other customers, you figure it out.”

    After a lull during the Christmas/New Years holidays, I re-contacted them and continued my efforts. Finally, having wasted many hours that I don’t have to waste, I simply asked for a refund. Their response: No. I’d gone beyond their 30 day money-back period.

    The fact that I’d bent over backwards trying to work with them from the week I purchased their misleading product was irrelevant to them. The fact that it had never worked as advertised for me, yet I was overly patient, meant nothing. They have my money and have every intention of keeping it. For me, it’s the principle and not so much the money. And the cost in lost hours and potential customers for me is much larger than the cost of the product.

    My recommendation: obviously, avoid this incompetent, unethical company and products.

  17. Cant agree more with you about why you shouldn’t use Thrive Architect. After the update, everything seems to be in a mush. The support requests seems to be up to their eyeballs. The content previously created with Content builder and even whats created with Thrive Architect is really in a bad shape with a lot of bugs. The support too isn’t of much help. The upgrade to Thrive Architect seems to be the worst thing they could have ever done!

  18. Hello there, Jay.
    Thank you for such a concise article about Thrive Themes. I have heard about this theme before but not in so many words as you have so aptly outlined.

    I know that you are able to pay for themes and you will own them, but this annual membership is new to me.
    I loved the way you dissected the concept of membership, the pros, and the cons.

    I must say that after having read your review, there is no doubt in my mind as to what my decision concerning the Thrive Themes will be. You have provided more than enough ‘ammunition to make a stand’ or to put a twist on it – ‘to leave no man standing’.

    Thanks so much for sharing your nuggets of information.


  19. That has to be one of the most thorough theme reviews I’ve come across. Thanks! And I take the advice to heart – I think unless I had a very specific purpose in mind for this particular subscription-based theme, I’d end up getting lost playing with all the variables, and messing up a perfectly good thing with one too many tweaks.

  20. You make a good point here Jay. If you have multiple websites that can benefit from the added plugins, it could be worth signing up to get these extras that can be used on all your websites. I also take you point on the Architect website builder. I use Divi Theme from Elegant Themes. I have used the Divi builder to make the site look pleasing to the eye with transitions etc. But if I ever wanted to change theme I’d be in strife! Cheers

  21. Aloha Jay! WOW. I’m glad I came across your blog today! I am just getting started in blogging myself and have successfully become overwhelmed by the sheer number of WordPress themes that I get to choose from! It’s literally insane and I wonder when I will finally get my hands on “the one.” Thanks for all the information, I also really like how everything is clean and organized. Your blog is easy to read. :)

  22. Hey Jay, first off I love the flow of your site. Being greener than Kermit the frog in this online marketing world.

    You are definitely right about us beginners getting locked into the aesthetics of the site. I over research and even worse forget what to do with what I learned. I looked into some of these theme packs from several different studios and developers and here is what I found.

    For less money, I could have access to more themes, more plug-ins and more importantly the greatest support tool I have found in what is known as the Wealthy Affiliate or as the WA. I did all this on next to no expense which is great for me as I am so poor, my wallet has been closed together longer than The Rolling Stones which is why at this point, I am not a fan of yearly billing.

    I do have one question for you. I am as inexperienced as they come, when I got this laptop, I had to be shown how to turn it on. The whole “code” world blows my mind. I have been trying to learn some basics at codeacademy with HTTP, CSS & JS. I struggled so much that I found a page builder that was designed for people who can’t or hate to code, that’s the Elementor Page Builder. In your opinion, is it worthwhile to learn code or is this industry moving and advancing so quickly like with Divi3 and others, that code will become strictly a developer thing. So my question is, should I even worry about trying to learn code or should I try my luck at learning Japanese as code will become almost non-existent in the future for the online Marketer?

    Thanks for the great info and the way you have colloquially written the content. You should do webinars!! Now back to reading and learning more, knowledge, knowledge, knowledge!!

  23. I am in the mode of set it, forget it, and keep creating as much content as possible. Once you have it set, then hopefully that’s of course what you’ll have a good shot to keep focused on for years. What though would you say, Jay about changing your theme if you’ve had it for a year or more? If trying to update?

  24. Thank you for this review.
    I am just starting, and on one of my sites, I had Thrive themes pre-installed (inside marketing training program).
    I do agree that there are good and easy to use opt-in forms, and they look nice.
    But you are right, when there is no traffic, all these things just take much time to learn how to use and are not necessary.
    There is one question I would like to ask. You wrote about many useful plugins Thrive theme offer. But I have heard many times from many experts that you should use as few plugins as possible. Some say that five is the max.
    So the question, how many plugins there should be, and what happens if somebody installs and use all Thrive Theme plugins, for example?

    1. Hey Andrey,

      I personally think having up to 10 plugins is fine, but less is certainly better because it reduces the load time on your site.

      I would imagine if someone installs and use all Thrive Theme plugins, it would slow their site down dramatically.

      1. Jay,
        thank you very much for your answer. Just one more thing to make it absolutely clear – when you say maximum 10 plugins does this number include Yoast (or All-In-One-SEO) and WordFence, for example?
        Thank you once again!

  25. Hi Jay,

    Thank you for the nice review, definitely was a good and informative read!

    I am not a huge fan of annual payments but the wordpress plugins sure a an eye-catcher! :)
    I would like to use them but to pay the annual fee for the plugin alone, is too much for me at the moment.

    When you choose to suspend your annual subscription, does your website (on the premise it is using the plugins) just plainly not work anymore?

    Being the more graphical type, I do find myself getting into the aesthetics sink, were I am solely focused on fixing/polishing my site. Great thing to point out. Have to keep that in mind to stay on track with pushing out content :)


    1. Hi David,

      Active plugins and themes on your site will continue to work fine and will continue to update, but you will no longer have access to the membership portal to download and install new plugins or themes.

  26. Hi Jay,

    Cheers for the detailed look into Thrive Themes. It seems like the package has a lot to offer and I did see it come up more often than other themes in my research.

    I steered away from it though due to the cost. My tendency is to look for free themes that offer great features, speed and aren’t bad in the looks department. This is to start of at least, like you recommended… and then I may upgrade to the premium level to gain some extra features.

    Excellent point on suggesting beginners steer away from these themes early, their focus should be less on the theme and features, and definitely more on content creation.

    Thrive Themes is something to consider for the future, and it will be interesting to see how their popularity fairs over time!

  27. Even with the annual expense, it seems like you would have access to a lot of great themes and resources!

    I really like the fact that you can have multiple themes, so if you decide later on that one isn’t working for you, you could potentially change it and it won’t make you feel as if you’ve spent money on something you’re no longer using.

    Are you restricted to ONE website per membership or can you utilize multiple websites with the different themes? It seems like the cost would be worth it if you could set up multiple websites under one membership.

    I agree that CONTENT and QUALITY outweigh aesthetics – that is a GREAT point you brought up.

    Thanks for this great eye-opener! It is something to look into for sure!

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