Have you ever been in the position where you desperately want to create something amazing, but don’t know where to start?
It could be a detailed blog post with lots of content, or a web page with call-to-action buttons, testimonials, and optin forms. You long to get it looking the way it does in your head, but you lack the skills needed to turn it into reality.
It’s a nuisance isn’t it – that bridge between vision and creation. It doesn’t matter how long you fiddle with your page code. Without being able to see your page design change before your eyes, you’re working in the dark.
Thrive Content Builder Review
What if there was a tool that could create that real-time environment for you? A plugin that lets you edit and create to your heart’s content, and which shows you those changes from the front-end of your website, as they happen?
Today I’m going share with you just such a plugin. It’s called Thrive Content Builder from Thrive Themes and it will change the way you create.
Putting The Joy Back In Content Creation
The Thrive Content Builder is the brain-child of Shane Melaugh, known for his internet marketing blog IM Impact and popular products such as Hybrid Connect and WP Sharely. It’s a side-product to Thrive Themes – Shane’s conversion optimized WordPress themes and as such works seamlessly both alone and in combination with them.
As a standalone plugin it combines the functionality of a drag and drop page builder, with landing page creation, as well as lead generation with two-step optins. Essentially it’s three plugins in one feature-packed package, however that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
To really get a feel for the sheer scope of this plugin, you have to get stuck in and try it for yourself. Luckily I’ve done this for you, so you can get a good idea of what you’ll get before you make your purchase.
Getting Setup With Thrive Content Builder
To begin exploring Thrive, you’ll need to download the plugin .zip folder and upload this to your plugin area within WordPress. Click Activate to make the plugin live and ready to use.
It’s likely that if you attempt to create or edit anything straight away, you’ll meet a screen prompting you to validate your details.
Simply enter the email address you purchased the plugin with, along with your licence key to get confirm your version.
For this tutorial, I’m using a test website with zero content. Therefore in order to show you how to use Thrive and all its functions, I’ll need to create a new page.
As you can see in the above image, there are now two ways I can edit my new page. I can use the default WordPress editor, or I can edit with Thrive Content Builder. Before I choose an option, I’ll need to save my page as a draft. After that I’ll choose the Edit with Thrive Content Builder option, to edit my page in real-time.
Now it’s time to get editing. After choosing to edit with Thrive, you’ll be met with the front-end version of your page. This is where the magic will be happening. Every change you make to your page will be visible from this viewpoint. No flicking back and forth between previews.
With your new page ready to edit, let’s take a look at the types of content Thrive lets you easily create.
Simple Content Elements
Thrive Content Builder is comprised of a series of elements, grouped into three different sections. These sections are:
- Simple Content Elements
- Multi-Style Elements
- Advanced Elements
The simple content elements are things such as icons, buttons, images and text areas. They’re the simple building blocks of any blog post or page and form the core features of your content.
The Text Box element allows you to add text anywhere on your page. You can change the text color, styling and margins. You can use standard fonts or upload your own. Links can be inserted and set to open in a new tab and they can be set to no-follow should you require it.
The WP Content element lets you insert text, media and other information via the original WordPress editor, while the Image element offers a simple, intuitive way to insert images.
Buttons can be added to your page with a simple click. The button element has six button styles, six different sizes and can be completely customized to suit your branding.
If you’re in need of some icons to add variety to your page, the Icons element allows you to insert these too. Thrive integrates with the IcoMoon web app, providing access to hundreds of beautiful icons, so you’ll never be short of great visuals to use.
Similarly you can add credit card icons automatically to your page. This may seem simplistic but it’s a great way of improving trust between you and your readers when selling products from your website.
Further content elements in this category include custom HTML for easy content embedding. Custom CSS can also be added to change the styling for different pieces of content. The star ratings element is particularly useful should you publish frequent reviews. Easily choose your rating without the fuss of any extra plugins.
The next section of styling elements are a little more advanced. They add functionality that goes beyond your basic content and aid in creating a more user-friendly experience for your readers.
Column Layouts let you incorporate content in up to five columns. This removes the need for adding shortcodes into your posts or using div tags for column classes, which let’s face it, can get pretty messy if you’re not careful.
Content Boxes are like pimped up text boxes. They hold your written content but do so with style and elegance. You can change the colors of your boxes, edit the alignment of your text, as well as choosing from six different styles with or without headlines.
Symbol Boxes offer similar functionality. Instead of a fancy text box you have the option to include icons or numbers to further highlight specific content.
The Quote Share element is one of my favorites. With this handy little feature you can allow readers to Tweet a quote or section of text that resonates. Forget about pasting click-to-Tweet codes. One click is all you need to get this one set up.
Spacing your content with headings, subheadings, bullets and dividers is a great way to train your readers eye down your page. It stops their attention from wandering and makes your information easier to digest.
With the Styled Bullets and Divider elements, you can really set your content apart. Bullets come in six different styles and Dividers in four styles, all of which are editable in terms of size, style and color.
Who can resist a glowing testimonial? Make your references stand out with Testimonial elements, designed to show your best praise in its best light. Choose from nine styles of testimonial boxes both with and without user images and fully customize their look in a few seconds.
The Call-To-Action element follows a similar theme. It comes with four customizable styles, designed to prompt your readers to take immediate action.
Lastly Guarantee Boxes are a great way to close a sale. Show your readers you can be trusted with these striking styled boxes. They come in four styles and can be edited to suit the look and feel of your website.
The advanced elements in Thrive Content Builder, are for websites that need that perfect finishing touch. Most of these elements offer functionality you’d usually get from separate plugins. Not so with Thrive. They’re seamlessly built in to one single plugin, saving you space, room and money in the long-run.
Let’s start with pricing tables. Available in up to five columns, they’re the perfect way to display your subscription plans and tiered product prices. They include styled bullets, headlines and buttons for easy editing and can be tailored to suit your branding. Choose which column you wish to highlight as your most popular plan, or keep things simple.
Tabbed Content allows you to display lots of information within a small space. Usually you’d need to insert short codes or div classes to display these properly, which can be confusing to the untrained eye. With Thrive you can simply click a button to instantly add a functional tabbed element.
Feature Grids are handy if you provide various services, or have multiple features for a single product. This element can be used with or without icons and has four different styles to choose from.
Further advanced elements include:
- Content Toggles
- Google Map Embeds
- Countdown Timers
- Responsive Videos
- Table of Contents
All of which come with various style options, as well as multiple ways to customize and edit to get the look and effect you’re after.
Last of the content elements is the Lead Generation option. This simple feature could be the key to unlocking a wave of new list signups. Simply add this element to your page, edit the settings to integrate with your service provider and click save.
Landing Page Creation
One powerful feature of the Thrive Content Builder plugin which I haven’t touched upon yet, is the ability to create beautiful, professional looking landing pages with only minimal effort. With over 30 landing page templates to choose from, you can literally have a landing page built within a matter of minutes.
To create a landing page, select Thrive Landing Pages from the top of the thrive in-page editor. A light box will open, showing you the template library which can be filtered by type.
Once you’ve chosen a template, click “Load Landing Page”. Whichever page you were editing will now be transformed into the template you selected.
Probably my favourite feature of this plugin is the two-step optin process you create for your landing pages. What this does is directs your reader to take two different steps before finally signing up to your list. The benefit of this is to ensure your reader is committed to opting in. If they are, it’s more likely they’ll stay as a long-term subscriber or customer.
To demonstrate this, I’ve chosen a pre-made template that automatically has the two-step optin process built in and ready to go. As you can see from the image above, the first step involves the user clicking the call-to-action button. The second step is a lightbox popup with an optin form which confirms the user’s interest by them entering their details.
Pricing And Support
Given that the Thrive Content Builder has so much functionality packed into a single plugin, I’m surprised at how affordable it is.
For a single site license you get access to all of the features, along with unlimited updates and support for a year. The price comes in at $59 and that’s all you’ll have to pay since it’s a one-time payment only.
For unlimited use on all of your own personal sites, you’ll be looking at $87 which again, isn’t too shabby for a one-time only payment.
If you’re in need of something more than that, the agency licence might be of use to you. For $199 per year you get access to the Thrive Content Builder, all of the Thrive Themes and Plugins, as well as being able to use them on yours and your clients websites.
In terms of support both single site and unlimited site licenses get access to one year’s worth of unlimited support. Agencies will have ongoing support since theirs is a yearly subscription as opposed to a one-off payment.
There’s also a detailed FAQ section on the content builder website. This is available to view before you purchase which is ideal for getting a good overview and for checking to see if your site can use it.
I’m a big fan of Shane Melaugh’s products and Thrive is no exception. I’ve used it personally on a number of my websites and haven’t come across anything I seriously dislike yet.
One thing I have noticed is the editor tends to freeze occasionally. This may be a problem with the plugin, or it could simply be an issue with my laptop or internet. Other than that it’s been ideal for helping me create stylish content, with little effort or coding.
Thrive Content Builder is ideal for WordPress users who need beautiful pages, without paying for a web designer. It’s affordable, packed full of functionality and saves time, allowing you to enjoy the process of content creation once more.
I hope your enjoyed our review of Thrive Content Builder. If you are still looking for a landing page or content builder plugin, you may want to see our roundup of best landing page plugins.