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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.
With a Thrive Themes annual membership you gain access to many different products. First, you get access to the following themes:
Rise focuses on having a clean layout and is designed to be a blogging theme for use with affiliate marketing and product sales.
Storied is another blogging theme that puts a bit more emphasis on media-rich elements such as images, videos, and audio.
Pressive is a blogging theme that is more focused on creating marketing websites that feature large amounts of multimedia.
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.
Voice features a unique header-less design and focuses on blogging and podcasting.
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.
Minus is a minimal theme that tries to put your content front and center. It features a lot of white space with minimal distractions.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thrive Headline Optimizer
This plugin allows you to create multiple headlines and split test them to see which ones perform the best.
- 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.
- 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 factschronicle.com 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.
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.