Thrive Themes Membership Review: Bloatware or Awesomeness?
In this Thrive Themes Membership review you're going to learn exactly what is Thrive Membership and how to use their tools to dramatically increase your website's conversion rates.
Thrive Themes is a membership based service that provides you access to over 11 conversion-focused tools.
These tools are designed to increase conversion rates by improving the look of your website and the flow of your sales funnels.
Some people say it is the best WordPress-based funnel builder, while others say it's not worth the trouble.
We decided to revamp this entire website with Thrive Theme products, using one of their iconic themes, and most of the plugins.
After a couple months of testing and tweaking I feel we're qualified to write this review. So if you want to know the honest truth about Thrive Themes Membership, downsides and all, continue reading this review.
No sugar-coating here.
Thrive Membership Review Summary:
Product Name: Thrive Membership
Product Type: Online Business Tools (& Education)
Best For: Marketers
Summary: Collection of awesome tools designed to improve website visuals, sales and email optin conversions. There's plenty of training material to improve your website sales content (copy-writing) too. One of the best "conversion based" internet marketing products out there for a really cheap price. Nothing but value with Thrive.
What is Thrive Membership?
Thrive Membership unlocks unlimited access to every product from the Thrive Themes company. With Thrive Themes, you can choose to purchase each product separately, or purchase them all through Thrive Membership.
I recommend the membership as it is cheaper in the long run and you get a lot more value out of it. One of the great things about Thrive tools is they always include video tutorials on how to use the features.
Here's what you get.
Thrive membership includes:
- Thrive Architect (Our recommended visual-editor)
- Thrive Leads
- Headline Optimizer
- Clever Widgets
- Quiz Builder
- Thrive Themes (Conversion-optimized WordPress Themes)
- Thrive Optimize
- Thrive Apprentice (BETA)
You're probably thinking:
11 WordPress plugins? Doesn't that make things a bit messy?
Won't it slow down my website?
Thankfully, Thrive Themes anticipated this problem. The way it works is instead of installing each individual plugin, there's one product installer that you need in order to access everything.
This product installer is called Thrive Product Manager.
Just install Thrive Product Manager, and from there you can decide which other tools to use. This makes things really simple, basically like an all-in-one plugin.
Thrive's Optimized for Speed:
As for speed...
Contrary to what you might think, Thrive plugins can actually improve your website's load time. Not only are the scripts extremely compact and optimized, but they also include features such as Lazy Loading which speed up load time for your website's most important elements.
For example: The comment section. Instead of loading all the comments at the same time, Thrive Theme's Lazy Loading will only load comments when someone scrolls to the bottom of the article. On posts with a lot of comments, this feature can cut a couple seconds of page-load time.
Each second counts!
With the Thrive Membership you will have unlimited access to all of the tools mentioned above, as well as customer support for each tool. But you're probably wondering how these tools can benefit your business.
We'll get into that in a second.
First, you should know that a Thrive Membership not only includes access to all 11 plugins mentioned earlier, but also five WordPress themes.
These WordPress themes are specifically designed to support all Thrive Products, and they work - and look - absolutely incredible.
Of course, there are a few downsides, which we'll mention later on.
Does Bounce Rate Matter?
If you add Google Analytics to your website, you'll see a graph labeled "Bounce Rate" but what does this mean? and how can you improve it?
Bounce rate is the rate people leave your website after visiting one page. If people are leaving your website after visiting one page, that's not a good sign. Ideally you want each visitor to check out a few pages on your site (and one of those should be a sales page!).
Disclaimer: there are some cases where a high-bounce rate is a good sign. It could mean people find the information they need on that one-page, so they don't need to check out anything else. It is not set in stone. Read Google's official description here.
But not everyone has such luck. Even websites with high-quality content that deliver an immense amount of value struggle with high bounce rate. If you're certain the bounce rate issue is not related to the quality of your content, there's another aspect of your website that might be source of the problem.
Even fortune 500 companies run into this issue. Their websites are confusing and the message is overly-complicated. Nobody knows what the website is about - or more importantly - what they're trying to do.
Visuals are important, now more than ever. With 24/7 internet access, people's overall attention span has dropped dramatically.
We only have a few seconds to capture people's attention or they're off to the next website. Most people spend less than 15 seconds
How Thrive Products Help:
Thrive allows you to create brilliant...
- Landing and Sales pages.
- Email Optin Forms.
- And A/B test every post/page/optin.
In short, Thrive is the Ultimate Conversion Platform and Product. Plus, the Thrive Themes create minimalist products design for speed and results.
Thrive's approach; short and sweet, and to the point.
See how easy it is to build an awesome Homepage that focuses on converting sales
So when someone lands on your website they know exactly what it's about, and what you offer.
But its not only about the overall design of the website. Individual post design matters too. With Thrive Themes you can build attractive posts for practically any purpose.
Overall, Thrive Themes Tools make it easy for you to create a website that captures people's attention, right from the very first visit. When you do that, visitors will stick around, and the chances of them buying something increase ten fold.
Now that you understand the importance of first impressions, lets talk about how these tools - specifically - can benefit your website.
Of course, bounce rates are a bit more complicated than that, and the rules vary depending on the industry, website design, and niche.
But the point still stands; the purpose of your website needs to be crystal clear.
Payment Processed. Now What?
In some cases, when you buy new products or tools, they don't really tell you what to do right after you complete the purchase.
You're left on your own to figure out where the files are, how to install things, and how to make the most of what you just bought.
Thankfully, Thrive Membership is not like that.
As soon as you complete the payment process you'll see the Thrive Themes dashboard, complete with a member's navigation section on the right hand side.
Obviously, the first step is to download Thrive Product Manager. It is a ZIP file, and you have to manually install it on your WordPress website. Not to worry, the process is really simple.
Installing Thrive Product Manager:
Just head over to the Plugins section on your WordPress website, and click add new, there will be an option to upload a file, near the top of the screen. Upload Thrive Product Manager and activate it. Done.
From there, navigate to Thrive Product Manager in your WordPress dashboard, and enable to features or tools you want to use. Very easy.
But lets take a closer look at the Thrive Themes Membership dashboard.
This is what you see when you login to Thrive Themes.
From here you can see what is included in the member's area. Most of the pages are self-explanatory, but there are a few worth talking about. One of the most important pages is Thrive University.
Thrive Member's Only Content:
Thrive University is an incredibly useful training-center, and we'll talk more about it in the section below. It has a bunch of detailed lessons on a wide variety of topics. Skip to Thrive University section.
The Member's Only section is rather interesting and I almost missed it. In this page you'll find six members-only exclusive modules:
- Exclusive Training Material
- Members Only Thrive University Courses
- Submit Your Site
Thrive's Exclusive Templates:
Templates are particularly useful. With tools like Thrive Architect you have access to a ton of building blocks and it can take a long time to combine the right blocks to design the page you need.
These templates, in the member's only area, include a bunch of already-made pages, so you don't need to build anything from scratch.
You can see how this will save you a lot of time. Personally, I think these templates are extremely useful, and I was quite surprised they're included for free.
You can find some other templates too, such as an Online Course design template (for Thrive Apprentice) and a few other templates that can be customized for any purpose.
Exclusive Training Material:
Thrive Themes is not primarily a training center, but it does have some great training videos and audio files in their library.
Most of these come in the form of Live webinars. Still, there are some videos in the member's only area that can really benefit your business.
Here is a peak at some of the modules:
- Facebook Ad Interview with Facebook Specialists
- Interview with Justin Cooke, Founder of Empire Flippers
- Pricing Mistakes Interview
- How to Use Quizzes for Marketing
- And we can't spoil the rest.
Website review is a cool feature. You have the chance to submit your website to the Thrive Themes team to use as an example in upcoming blog post or webinars. But there is no guarantee your website will be accepted, and there's no guarantee you'll get feedback on it either.
If you run into an issue with one of the products, one option you have is to post about it in the Support Forum. The forum offers support for every individual plugin but you can also use the General Discussion section. I noticed the forum is not super-active, but the mods do their best to reply to threads.
Of course, if you need more detailed support, you can submit a ticket to the team, and they'll get back to you as soon as possible. In my opinion, their support is excellent. I submitted a ticket and got a response in a matter of hours.
Thrive Membership (BEST) Products:
Let's run through each tool and see how they work:
(We'll start with the big ones)
1. Thrive Architect:
Overall, Thrive Architect is one the most useful tools of the Thrive Themes collection. It adds an entirely new visual post editor to WordPress.
With Thrive Architect you can build some beautiful posts and pages. If you need to add an extra pinch of spice to your website's design, this tool is perfect.
In most cases, people use Thrive Architect to build landing pages to promote their offers. You can make some really nice looking landing pages with this tool.
Update: WordPress 5.0 adds a similar visual editor as the default post-builder, but Thrive Architect still offers much more features and configuration options.
One more point worth talking about is you can now view how the page looks on various devices, such as mobile, tablets, and PC's. You can also adjust the size of elements to suit specific devices only. Really useful.
2: Thrive Leads:
Thrive Leads is a smaller plugin with less features, but it provides a ton of incredible lead-gen features, such as:
- A/B Split Tests
- Detailed Reporting
- Targeting Based on User Behavior
- Drag & Drop Form Editor
With Thrive Leads you can create practically any kind of opt-in form and have it up and running in a matter of seconds.
Thrive Leads also has an advanced targeting feature that is exceptionally useful. It allows you to show certain ads on certain pages or categories, to create relevant offers that are much more likely to convert.
You can target ads with:
And there's even a Custom section where you can create new rules for practically anything on your site. If you're looking to build an email list (and you should!) Thrive Leads is one of the most useful tools you can use.
3: Thrive University
At first, I didn't think much of Thrive University.
But after digging through some of their tutorials, I discovered the value is almost equal to my number one recommended training center.
Thrive University is a platform where you can find courses, training material, and guides, for pretty much everything related to online business.
The library is not just a collection of tutorials on how to use Thrive products, but rather actual courses on how to build a successful online business. From designing a website, to building a list, driving traffic, and everything in between.
The following are some topics covered in Thrive University:
- Grow Your List
- Create Landing Pages
- Write Better Copy
- Build a Website
- Increase Conversions
- Create a Funnel
- Build an Online Course
As you can see, Thrive University has a lot to offer. If you sign up for Thrive Themes Membership I highly recommend going through the courses in Thrive University, it is free after all (with membership).
Thrive University is constantly updated as well, so you can expect new content from time to time. Highly recommended!
4: Thrive Apprentice (BETA):
Ever want to make and sell your own online course or build a membership website, but can't figure out how to accomplish that with WordPress?
Thrive Apprentice is a new product and it is still in beta stages at the moment. But from what we've seen from the product so far, it has the potential to dramatically increase your online income and take your online business to the next level.
What you need to know:
First of all, Thrive Apprentice is not - technically - a plugin. It is more like a feature built into certain themes. At the moment, Thrive Apprentice is supported on the following themes:
- Focus Blog
If you own one of the above themes, there will be an option to Activate Thrive Apprentice. Once activated, it will allow you to start building an online course, on any page inside WordPress.
With Thrive Apprentice you can make extremely detailed courses, either free or paid, and advertise them on your website with ease.
The following are some features included:
- Create a Structure for Your Course
- Set a Lesson Level (Similar to Modules)
- Add New Lessons, Drag and Drop to Organize
- Download links, Embed Videos, and Other Resources
- Create a Membership Homepage
- Add navigation Widgets
- And much more.
Using Thrive Apprentice to build an online course is a great way to engage with your readers and fans. Creating courses can be a new stream of income for your website as well.
Who can say no to extra income?
Overall, Thrive Apprentice is still in beta stages, and the current state doesn't represent the final version. Features might be removed, and new ones will be added. In the meantime, the core features it does offer have incredible potential, and I highly recommend checking it out.
I mean, it is included for free, so might as well use it.
5 WordPress Themes
As mentioned earlier, Thrive Membership includes the same themes mentioned earlier, as well as a few new ones. When you secure a membership you can use all of the above themes, or switch between them, until you find one that best suits your website.
Thrive Themes offer more features than regular WordPress themes, even premium themes. The themes also include performance features, such as Lazy Loading we talked about earlier, and many customization options.
The best part:
They're built for speed. No need to user other third-party plugins to speed up the site. Every Thrive theme comes with a Performance section where you can tweak various settings to drastically increase website speed. There's even an option to delay loading comment profile pictures, not to mention the cache system.
These are the top five best products, and you can make a high-converting site by using these products alone. The other products have their uses too, but these are the core ones you'll be using as a Thrive member.
How Much is Thrive Membership?
Products like these often cost hundreds of dollars, for each one. With Thrive Membership, everything is included in the package, no up-sells or hidden fees.
To clarify, Thrive Membership costs $19/month. The only difference between these two options are the amount of websites you can install the themes and plugins on. With the regular membership you can install the tools on 25 websites, while on the Agency membership it doubles to 50 websites.
As you know by now, the membership includes access to all five themes, all 11 plugins, full-customer support, exclusive member's only content, and all new future updates. That is a lot of value.
The best part about this is the team behind Thrive Themes are not idle. They're always working hard to improve the products and services. So you can expect new products to be added in the near future.
Take a look at some of my favorite things about Thrive Membership:
What We Love:
Out of all the features, these are what we love the most:
Design Beautiful Landing Pages with No Tech-Skills:
No need to be a website design wiz. With Thrive Tools you can transform any ordinary website into a high-converting beast, in a matter of minutes.
You can turn a boring landing page into a flashy sales page that will make veteran copywriters nod their head in approval.
With the drag-and-drop editor, anyone can make awesome pages, without seeing a single line of code!
In-Depth Tutorials for Each Product:
As I mentioned earlier, each tool has tutorial data-base that teaches you how to use the tool to its full potential. The videos are very well made and show you exactly how to use the products. If you ever get confused, visit the Product Tutorial section in the Thrive Membership dashboard.
I'm not trying to build hype here, if you read this far, it is clear there is plenty of value inside the membership dashboard. I'm still amazed the membership is so cheap, especially considering it gives you 11 products, a forum, support, a training center, tutorials, and more. Everything for only $19/month. That is crazy.
The best part is you're locked in at this price. Even if the company decides to increase the price in the future (and it might) you will always pay the same. Current members will always be charged the price they originally paid.
Regular Webinars and Webinar Recordings:
Remember the Website Review section from earlier? The team at Thrive Themes regularly host webinars, and they often use member's websites as examples.
I think the webinars are awesome because they usually interview experts, so it provides an interesting insight into the industry.
Even better, if you can't watch the webinar live, don't sweat it. Every webinar is saved as a recording in the member's area. You can jump in there now and watch all the old webinar recordings.
Thrive Membership Cons:
Everything is not perfect. There are some downsides you should know about.
1. The Amount of Tools Can be Overwhelming:
Thrive Membership includes 11 tools, but most people stick to the top 5 we talked about earlier. I noticed some members complain that there are too many tools, and learning how to use each one is a hassle. That may be the case, but you don't necessarily have to use all of them.
Just stick to the ones you need. Not to mention each tool has a host of features too, learning about them all can be nerve-wracking.
2. No Word Count:
As a writer, this bothers me a bit. Word Count is not that important but it is nice to get an idea of how many words are in a piece of content. Currently, there is no word counter in the Thrive Architect dashboard. To view the word count you have to go back to the WordPress dashboard and look for it in there.
3. Exit Thrive to View YOAST Data:
YOAST SEO is probably the best WordPress plugin out there. Normally, when writing a regular post in WordPress editor, the YOAST plugin below the dashboard will show you different stats in real time, and you can edit the post to match the suggestions.
I noticed Thrive Architect doesn't play well with YOAST because you have to keep switching and refreshing tabs to see the YOAST data.
Not to mention the Highlight Content on YOAST feature does not work on Thrive Architect because Thrive needs a whole window. I found myself switching between the two multiple times until I got the right results, a bit of a hassle.
But overall, there aren't many cons, and I think the membership is well worth it.
Our Conclusion on Thrive Membership:
So now you know what is Thrive Membership and how you can use it to turn your website into a high-converting money-machine. Remember, there are a lot of different ways to make money online.
Collecting leads is one method every online market should use.
In my opinion, Thrive tools are awesome, but I do feel like there are a bit too many features. Nevertheless, the membership is crazy-cheap, and it includes an enormous amount of value. The training alone is well worth it.
Plus you don't need to use their themes to take advantage of their products.
But if you're happy with the themes and tools you have now, and you just want to learn how to make money online, visit my recommended program below.
Thanks for taking the time to read this Thrive Themes Membership review. I hope it helped clear up some of the confusion surrounding the product. Leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!