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Nick Wharton By
Posted 28 May, 2019 | One Comment
Posted in: Travel Blogging, Travel Blogs

A little over a year ago a friend of mine introduced me to Thrive Themes and it totally changed the way we design, collect emails, create pages, and optimize conversions on this blog. If you have a WordPress website and you’ve never heard of Thrive before, prepare to have your mind blown.

First of all, while this post is going to sound like I’m a spokesperson for Thrive Themes, I’m not. I’m not paid to say this and I paid for their products just like everyone else.

I have, however, included a few affiliate links in this post, which means if you purchase Thrive products using my links, I get a small kickback, but that’s not why I am writing this. I’m writing this post because I honestly believe that Thrive Themes makes the best suite of plugins ever created for WordPress.

I tell my blogging friends and colleagues about Thrive in private conversations with the same over-the-top passion and they always say “What, are you sponsored by Thrive?”

No!

I just believe that they changed the way I use WordPress and I want to share with bloggers and website owners the power of these incredible plugins. Thrive’s suite of plugins is an absolute game-changer for WordPress websites and in this post I’m going to explain why.

What is Thrive?

Thrive Themes started as just that, a bunch of premium themes for WordPress blogs and websites. But I’m not actually recommending that you purchase and download one of their WordPress themes today because you don’t have to.

No matter what theme you have on your site, their plugins will work on your blog and if there are any compatibility issues, they have a great customer service team to help you work out the kinks.

Of course, if they use their themes with their own plugins, the integration will be seamless. If you are a new blogger or aren’t totally happy with your theme, you can check out their themes if you want.

To me, Thrive Themes isn’t about themes at all. It’s about beautiful blog design, email list growing, AB testing, quiz building, course creation and much more.

Thrive has nearly a dozen awesome plugins to help your blog to accomplish lots of different things. Their plugins aren’t just for beginners. Even though Dariece and I have been blogging for 7 years, we’re still just starting to be able to take advantage of some of the features offered by these products.

Why Consider Thrive?

I’ve personally used Divi, Beaver Builder and other page builders to create professional looking landing pages in the past. I’ve also tried pretty much every popup creator / lead generating plugin on the market including MailPoet, MailMunch, MailChimp & OptinMonster and none of them have been nearly as good as Thrive. 

Thrive Themes Logo

Not only does Thrive do opt-ins and design better than any other plugin I’ve used, they also have a ton of other products and features that can help grow a business quickly and make a website look amazing.

One of the best parts about their products is the amount of video training and usage tutorials they have for each plugin on their site. You can literally learn every feature available in a section that they call “Thrive University”.

Not only is this area great for learning about their products, but as a Thrive Member, I’ve actually learned a lot of valuable information about design, blog post optimizing, sales funnels, marketing and product launching from this section, and it’s free with the membership.

What Plugins Are There?


Currently on their site, Thrive lists 10 different plugins for WordPress blogs, but they also have more coming out. I’m going to list all of the plugins that they have launched so far, as well as those still in beta.

Basically, each plugin is available for around $39 – $67 (one-time payment for life), or you can purchase Thrive Membership and have access to all of the plugins for $19 / month.

Here are the plugins Thrive offers, the first 4 of which we personally use on this blog and love.

Thrive Membership

As I mentioned above, every one of these plugins is available for $67 individually, but we decided to purchase all of them and become members of Thrive for $19 / month.

We wanted at least 4 of these plugins, so the membership already paid for itself, but we also knew that eventually as our business grew we would continue to use more and more Thrive products, so we just decided to become members.

Plus, we get access to all of their premium themes and any cool new products they have before they even launch to the public. And with all Thrive purchases we get great customer service and we can cancel at any time.

I still can’t believe that we only pay $19 / month for all of the things we get with Thrive. I wouldn’t be surprised if this price goes up when people start understanding how valuable the suite of products is for their online businesses. To me, this is the best deal they offer and I do recommend being a part of this membership community.

Check out thrive membership

Thrive Theme Builder

This is going to be the most game-changing plugin of all, and it’s not even available yet. This is one of those awesome perks of being a Thrive Member — you get early access to beta products like this.

Thrive Theme Builder basically gives you the ability to have drag-and-drop customization of your entire WordPress website. You can choose how big your sidebar is, edit the archive / category pages, customize the header and footer and build a beautiful looking menu. It will do it all.

Unlike Thrive Architect (more on that below) which is only for landing pages, Thrive Theme Builder will help you build an entire custom blog design from scratch. As a member, I have early access and I can’t wait to test it on one of our demo sites.

Get Thrive Membership For Early Access

Thrive Architect

This is the grand-daddy of all currently available Thrive plugins. It’s an extremely easy-to-use page builder, but it does so much more.

If you really want to have the freedom to design landing pages on your blog exactly how you want, then this plugin will change the way you look at web design. It’s super simple to use, the pages load very fast, and there are a ton of amazing page templates — pre-built and ready to go.

As of now, Thrive Architect is only for landing pages, meaning you’ll easily be able to design a professional looking home page, start here page, about page, destination page etc., but you won’t be able to design the overall theme of your site using Thrive Architect. For that you would need the membership and the Theme Builder installed when it’s fully available.

Thrive Architect Page Builder

I’ve used Thrive architect for all of our sales and course pages on this site (like this one) and I love it! You can drag and drop elements wherever you want on the page, there are pre-designed templates, cool-looking icons, easy columns, buttons, tables, opt-in forms and so much more. 

I spent years trying to design this blog before finally hiring a developer and designer in 2016. We’ve spent over $5,000 on this design so far, but if I had Thrive Architect when we started out, I could’ve had very similar looking landing pages with the same functionality for $67.

I’m not saying that we wouldn’t have still hired a developer eventually, but we could’ve had a much nicer looking site in the meantime.

Thrive Architect also has a bunch of fully pre-designed landing pages to choose from, so you can literally just pick a template, change all of the images and text and you can have a professional looking site in no time. The best part is that they have live mobile & tablet editing so you can easily make sure that your site looks good on all devices and screen sizes.

Check out Thrive Architect

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is a plugin that helps you build up an email list by using beautifully designed pop-ups, banners, widgets and embedded opt-ins.

Since we implemented it last year, we’ve more than tripled our email list to over 25,000 subscribers and we’ve been able to segment our subscribers better, so that we are able to send them relevant emails that they are actually interested in.

I’ve used lots of different opt-in plugins like MailMunch, MailPoet and OptinMonster, but none of them even come close to Thrive Leads. This plugin makes it super easy to design professional looking pop-ups for desktop, mobile and tablet. It uses the same design interface as Thrive Architect, so once you know how to design on Architect, you can easily design amazing looking opt-ins in Leads.

Thrive Leads Email List Building Plugin

Thrive Leads also has a bunch of advanced features like targeting and segmenting, popups on specific categories, pages and posts, A/B testing and great analytics and reporting. By getting more emails, we’ve been able to better serve our audience the content they want and we’ve been able to earn more income by only giving offers to those who are potentially interested, both on our website and in our email list.

Check out Thrive Leads

Thrive Optimize

The single best and easiest-to-use plugin I’ve found for A/B testing landing pages. This one is a bit more advanced, but if you have sales pages, or even high-performing affiliate posts on your site, you can use Thrive Optimize to A/B test different elements of the page to see if a different button colour, a larger opt-in form, or pretty much any other aspect of the design will help you increase your overall conversions.

I’ve used Thrive Optimize for some of our sales pages and affiliate pages, but to be honest I haven’t even scratched the surface on what you can do with this plugin. For $67, this plugin should easily be able to pay for itself with just a few extra sales from A/B testing what works best.

Check Out Thrive Optimize

Thrive Ultimatum

I’ve just started using Thrive Ultimatum and it’s super handy for allowing us to give special offers and limited time deals for our products and some relevant affiliates. Just like the rest of the Thrive Products, it’s easy to use and they have a ton of easy-to-follow training videos. We’ve set up an evergreen funnel using this plugin and it’s already accounted for many product sales. This plugin has paid for itself 100 times over.

Check Out Thrive Ultimatum


The plugins I haven’t used yet…


Even though we’ve been blogging for 7 years, we’re still not at the stage for some of the plugins that Thrive offers, which is great. Only now am I really getting into the capabilities of Thrive Ultimatum and Thrive Optimize, which means that as our business has grown, my membership at Thrive just becomes more and more valuable.

Here are some more plugins that they have which we haven’t even had time to test yet:

Thrive Ovation

Thrive Ovation allows you to easily gather and display testimonials for social proof. I will definitely be using this with my courses as up until now I’ve been trying to organize all of the testimonials I get from comments, emails and our Facebook group and it’s been difficult to do. Thrive Ovation will make it much easier for me to collect and display these great testimonials, rather than trying to do it all manually.

Check OUt THrive Ovation

Thrive Quiz Builder

This is another plugin that I definitely want to start using ASAP. By giving your users a quiz when they first come to your blog, you can gather valuable information about what they’re looking for on your site, and then serve them relevant content based on how they answer your quiz.

Thrive Quiz Builder Plugin

Because it integrates with Thrive Leads, Quiz Builder is also great for building mailing lists. You can have personality quizzes on your site and set it up so that your readers have to enter their email in order to see the results. Plus you can segment them in your email list based on how they answered! Brilliant. Don’t be surprised if you see a quiz on Goats On The Road soon.

Check Out Thrive Quiz Builder

Thrive Clever Widgets

As you can see, we don’t have a sidebar on this site (as of the time of writing), so we haven’t used this plugin yet. But we’re considering putting a sidebar back and if we do, I’ll definitely utilize Thrive Clever Widgets to help display different widgets depending on what pages, posts and categories the user is on. 

This can help us to display the most relevant content, deals and affiliates based on where the user is on our blog. This plugin is only $39 one-time, or comes free with Thrive Membership.

Check Out Thrive CLever Widgets

Thrive Headline Optimizer

As bloggers, we all know how important it is to write killer headlines, or blog post titles, in order to get people to click on our posts and read our content. On average, you only get 2.6 seconds of a users attention span and in that time they decide whether or not to click on your blog post, so if the title isn’t good, they’ll scroll or click away.

Thrive Headline Optimizer allows you to test different headlines for your blog posts to see if you can increase CTR (Click Through Rate), either from links on your own site or from Google search results.

The plugin automatically tests as many different headlines as you can think of, and picks a winner based on which ones were clicked the most. I think I’ve been missing out on some serious traffic by not using this plugin yet, but I simply haven’t had time to play around with it yet.

Check Out Thrive Headline Optimizer

Thrive Comments

Thrive Comments provides an advanced commenting section for your blog which will help your posts get more engagement. You can integrate it with Thrive Leads to get more emails, you can custom design everything and you can have your readers amplify the comments by sharing them on social media.

Thrive Comments WordPress Plugin

This is another one that I just haven’t had time to mess around with yet, but I think it could be a great way to better interact with readers on our blog.

Check Out Thrive COmments

Thrive Apprentice

Thrive Apprentice makes it super easy to create beautiful online courses. I used Thrive Architect to create our current courses and I love it, but Thrive Apprentice wasn’t fully launched when I created them, so for our next courses I’ll definitely check out Apprentice.

But if you use Thrive Apprentice to create courses, it gives you a fully interactive LMS (Learning Management System) on your WordPress blog so that you can create a useful course on your blog quickly. You’ll still need to download a membership plugin like MemberMouse in order to block the content for students only and handle payments, but Thrive Apprentice will help with the design and organization of the course.

GET THRIVE MEMBERSHIP FOR EARLY ACCESS

My Overall Opinion

I still can’t believe that I went through 6 years of blogging without knowing about or using Thrive products. It’s kind of like when you see a new product on Shark Tank and you wonder how nobody thought of it before. I feel like that with Thrive Themes, but the only difference is that I’ve already wasted hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars trying to hire people or it myself.


Thrive Architect Full-Width Gif

Get Access To All Plugins With Thrive Membership


I know this sounds like a massive sales pitch, but I’m honestly not sorry about it. I simply love these products this much. When I talk to my blogging friends and colleagues, I explain Thrive with the same passion, so whether you use the affiliate links in this post or not to purchase your Thrive products, I think you should.

The four Thrive products that I’ve used so far have helped us to keep new readers on our site by having beautiful landing pages, earn more money through more professional-looking sales pages, build our email list through relevant and well-designed popups, banners and widgets, and AB test what works on our blog.

If you’re a blogger and you want to take your blog to the next level without spending a fortune on a developer, page builders or email marketing plugins, then Thrive can do it all for you for less than $20 / month. At the very least I think you should get Thrive Architect. I love it and I’m sure you will too.

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Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!

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Nick Wharton

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Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. Nick’s advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes and he spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

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