Full function WordPress page builder with plenty of features and elements
Ease of use
Easy to use after a few quick tutorials (text and video tutorials available)
Excellent value for money for a one time cost of $67 (single website license)
Helpful support staff. Support is only through web. No phone support.
Summary: Thrive Content Builder is, hands down, the best WordPress page builder ever made. I've built this awesome website using TCB and it has never failed to impress. This review itself won't have been possible without Thrive Content Builder.
In this review you will see various elements of TCB in use you'll also get a look "under the hood". I'll also compare Thrive Content Builder with its alternatives. Keep reading or get TCB now. Either way you won't regret it.
$67 one time payment (single site license)
(Spinning button made with Thrive Content Builder)
First things first, Thrive Content Builder is a WordPress plugin for self hosted WordPress websites. It cannot be used on non WordPress websites and cannot be used with websites hosted on wordpress.com
Second, the plugin comes with a huge list of 150+ professionally designed templates for easy implementation. All templates are fully editable using TCB and are fully mobile responsive.
Third, TCB is not available via the WordPress plugin repository but can be updated like any other plugin from within the WordPress admin panel. Thrive Themes, the creator of Thrive Content Builder currently does not offer a demo for hands on experience.
Fourth, is a disclaimer: Almost everything you see on this page is made using Thrive Content Builder but some elements, notably the opt in form at page load and the the opt in box in the post footer, have been created using Thrive Leads (read review). The elements you see on this page will change from time to time as I continue to test and optimize this website.
So now that’s out of the way, let’s talk about what TCB can do for your website:
You can use Thrive Content Builder to create post and pages for your website which look exactly the same when you publish them, as they looked when you were creating the post or page.
While you can use several WordPress shortcodes (using several plugins) to create many of the same elements that you can build with TCB (stuff like pricing tables), you don’t get to see what they will look like when you are placing the shortcodes in WordPress.
It’s also a major pain to use HTML with your standard WordPress editor, especially when switching between the WYSIWYG editor mode and text editor mode. And switching between editor modes in WordPress can make you lose the edits you made.
Don’t you dare switch modes, EVER!
TCB supports WordPress content including shortcodes and you can also input HTML into the editor making it possible for you to get the best of both worlds.
Since I don’t know any HTML or CSS, Thrive Content Builder is an awesome way for me to create awesome posts like this one without anyone knowing 😉
And I don’t have to scour the internet for hours looking for the perfect CSS codes or HTML scripts to get the effects I want. It’s all drag & drop here, click a checkbox there and voila, the post is ready 🙂
It allows me to create post design in minutes; stuff that used to take me hours with the standard WordPress editor.
WordPress Content (including shortcodes), Custom HTML and Custom CSS supported
Let’s take a quick look at what you can create with TCB:
We won’t be discussing each and every element inside TCB in this review because that would make it too long. I will add a video below in which you can see a landing page being designed from scratch.
Sorry, but there’s way too much in TCB to be covered in one review. That said, I will still try to explain things as much as possible.
One of the best things about TCB is that you can place an element inside another and still have everything be fully functional and mobile responsive.
To demonstrate this I have placed a standard testimonial box below. This testimonial resides in the left of a 3/4 and 1/4 column layout with 3/4 text on the left and 1/4 image on the right.
Remove all distractions from your landing page.
Make it as clean and simple as you can while still providing all the information a visitor needs in order to trust you enough to make the decision to convert.
Don’t use flashy animations or worthless stock photos. Just get to the point.
Another great thing that you can do is easily duplicate content or entire elements or even elements within elements. This is a little confusing to explain via text, but you'll be able to see this feature in action in the video below.
If I want to move several elements at the same time, all I have to do is hold down the CTRL key on my PC (Command key on Mac) and select the elements. When I’m happy with my selection I just drag and drop all where I want them to be. All elements come to rest in the same order.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve used this feature to save myself loads of time 🙂
Some of the most used elements of TCB are:
Here's what each tool looks like in action:
Paragraph/Text element is the main text editing tool
The Paragraph/Text Element encompasses all the text editing tools available in the standard WordPress editor and also adds the following functionality:
The drawback is that there's no inbuilt support for special characters and emoticons, however the Thrive Themes team has assured me that this is currently under development.
Thrive Themes elements are only available when using a Thrive Theme
Adding and resizing images is a breeze
Images can be added using the drag and drop image element. Images are uploaded via the standard WordPress media library interface. For customers using Thrive Themes for their WordPress theme, the images are automatically optimized for file size reduction. Thrive Themes have tied up with Kraken to provide free image optimization to its themes customers.
Uploaded images can be resized on the fly using the image size slider and pre-defined styles can also be applied to the images. On this page I've used one image style on all images to make them "pop up" a bit.
I'm also using a "comes into viewport" event to make the images fade into view once you scroll to each image. It gives the images a nice loading effect which I quite like 🙂
TCB button options
Just like any other element, TCB allows you to customize the colour of the box element to whichever colour you choose. You can also define your favourite colours and TCB will remember them.
Buttons can be big, small or normal and each can be set to the full width of the page. Square and rounded styles (with or without embedded icons) are available. A credit card icons checkbox allows you to add pre-defined credit card logos easily. Clicking on the credit card icons allows you to remove any card icons you do not wish to display.
You can also choose your own image as a button and get the same functionality.
Below is an example of a full width, normal size button with a custom icon and credit card images. This button also has an animation which occurs when the button comes into view.
The styled list element contains 6 elements (more on their way as confirmed to me by Thrive Themes) as of now. Two have already been showcases in the summary box above and here are the rest:
As usual, the colours of the elements can be changed.
No sales page is complete without a guarantee box to demonstrate the confidence in the product and its pricing. TCB includes 4 styles of 100% money back guarantee boxes.
The only issue I have with the TCB Guarantee Box is that the image isn't customizable, so no matter which guarantee box you choose, it always reads 100% Money Back Guarantee so it can't be used to call attention with some other text. That said, TCB makes it very easy to design a box with a custom image.
TCB Pricing Tables
TCB can create 1 to 5 column pricing tables and any column can be highlighted as desired. The pricing tables are fully editable and the buttons at the bottom can be customized like a regular button (explained above).
Adding Responsive Videos is easy
As the name suggests, the responsive video element allows you to embed a mobile responsive video into your content. It also comes with a neat bag of tricks which allows you to choose a style surrounding the video, choose video start time, hide related videos, auto hide logo, hide player controls, hide title bar and hide the full screen button. You can also set the video to autoplay (which I find very annoying so I won't do it here).
The player supports video from Youtube, Vimeo, Wistia and also has the ability to embed self hosted videos and you can also choose a custom thumbnail for the video.
Below is an embedded Thrive Themes video which is a Thrive Content Builder tutorial video. It's a fairly fast paced video so you might want to slow it down.
Black monitor frame around the video is one of the 14 style options available
A word about the video: The video above is from September 2014 and all the features mentioned as "upcoming" are now a part of Thrive Content Builder
Start with a landing page. Blank is preferred.
Add an offer and some way to take action, a button or form is typical.
To overcome the abandonment, slather on persuasive copy. Show the product with an image.
Add some trust symbols, sprinkle in some proof, and, voila! You have a landing page.
TCB margin and padding controls
Thrive Themes provides margin (spacing outside the element) and padding (spacing inside the element) controls to allow pin point positioning of any element anywhere inside the page. Margin and padding settings are available for all elements in Thrive Content Builder.
TCB currently comes with 150+ pre-designed landing pages. More landing pages are added regularly via the Thrive Template Cloud. These can be previewed and downloaded as desired.
Thrive Template Cloud and Landing Pages filters
I think the best part about the landing pages is that they are tutorialized, this means that when you select a landing page it will contain helpful tips on what to place where. Of course you can choose to design the page in whichever way you want, but for non-designers like me it makes designing awesome landing pages that much easier.
Thrive Landing Pages are designed by professional designers and the philosophy of the whole Thrive Themes approach is conversion optimization at every step.
You can even create your own landing page from scratch. Just start off with a blank template and create to your heart’s desire. I usually pick a design that’s close to what I want and just edit it. Yep, I’m lazy and I’m proud of it 🙂
A note about Thrive Landing Pages: Thrive Content Builder and Thrive Landing Pages are NOT two separate products. This is a mess up by the Thrive Themes marketing department. Thrive Landing Pages are a part of Thrive Content Builder and they do not need to be purchased separately.
Currently 150+ templates are available
Remember the spinning button from the summary box above?
That was made using TCB events function. And here’s what you can do with it:
Click an image to trigger a lightbox with zoom animation
The event manager can be used to create events based on when an element comes into view or when a visitor moves their mouse over an element or when they click on it.
It can be used to display animations (useful for catching the attention of the visitor), mouseover effects (to display things like tooltips) and on-click events. You can also use events manager to trigger lightboxes, zoom images or trigger Wistia lightboxes.
In TCB, text can be displayed in typefocus to draw the attention of the visitor. Here’s an example:
This is TypeFocus
I use a lot of components regularly in my posts, an example is the social sharing options at the end of each blog post. And since I use this component a lot, I have added it as a content template inside the content builder. This allows me to reuse this component without adding it new every single time and configuring the social sharing options from scratch.
You can create content templates consisting of multiple elements nested inside each other and you can also create a content template for an entire page itself. This is especially useful if you plan to reuse a large number of elements from the page.
For example, we reuse the review page template for all the product reviews on this site.
Save frequently used elements with their options intact
All Thrive Themes products are built for speed and don’t slow down your website. TCB doesn’t need to be loaded when someone views a page. It’s only active when you are editing your post.
The way TCB creates content is that it auto generates all the HTML and CSS you need to display the post for a visitor. It creates valid HTML code while you are editing your post so you can make changes directly to the code and they will reflect in your editor while you are still in editing mode.
If you choose to save the post, the manual changes you made to the HTML code will be saved too. This is great for advanced users who might want to make changes directly to the HTML itself.
If you’re serious about conversions, your landing pages have to give visitors ONE or TWO options. Every additional option eats away at your page’s conversions.
Most content builders only allow you to create content in one style. But your website might want to use flat, rich or minimal styles and TCB supports that. You can change the look and feel of you entire page with just one change of style.
Change the look and feel of the whole page with a single option
The only issue is that you can only change the look of the whole page at once and not for each element in the page. The thinking behind this is that using different styles on the same page can make the page look ugly. But I believe that choice should rest with the content creator.
That said, I’ve never used any other style than flat.
Restore to any saved revision
Just like the standard WordPress editor allows you to roll back to a previous version of your content even after you have saved changes, TCB also allows you to make the same changes. And just like the standard WordPress editor, it displays the username of the user who saved each version.
Thrive Content Builder doesn’t natively support A/B split testing but you can always utilize the A/B testing facility from Google Analytics. I use the Better Analytics plugin by Digital Point to accomplish this. It’s super easy 🙂
Update: Shane Melaugh, Thrive Themes CEO has confirmed that work has begun on including A/B Testing feature into Thrive Content Builder. No date has yet been announced for the release of this feature. Click here to know more.
Overwhelmed by the number of options available in TCB?
Wondering if you’ll know how to use each element?
Don’t worry, when you purchase Thrive Content Builder you get access to big list of short video tutorials which demonstrate the use of each element included in TCB and also give you helpful hints about how to use them.
Tutorials can be found inside the member's area
If you prefer text then you can head over to the extensive Knowledge Base in the member’s area which provides information in text, screenshots and videos.
Support for all Thrive Themes products is provided via the members only the support forums where they have a number of support staff who I’ve found to be quite helpful. And I should know, I have created more than 20 queries for the staff (admittedly most of them being super specific feature requests which most people would never ask for) and they have responded very well each time.
The support staff also login to your WordPress website and fix issues for you. You need to provide them with your WordPress admin login details each issue separately and that’s fine for me. I prefer to know in advance when someone from support plans to login to my website and I also like that they provide me with complete details of what they changed every time they make a change.
Support response time is usually less than 4 hours, although in some cases I have received replies within minutes.
Your landing page pretty much determines the success of your ad campaign. Good landing page = good ROI. Crappy landing page and you have just (needlessly) wasted your money.
As far as I'm concerned, there's no WordPress page builder which can hold a candle to Thrive Content Builder, but for the sake of fairness, let's explore a few content creator options:
EDIT: WP Profit Builder is a new plugin which was released after this review was published. It offers lots of features and is quite easy to use. It's the only WordPress page builder which can compete with Thrive Content Builder.
Like TCB, WP Profit Builder is a front end WordPress editor and comes with a large number of templates included. It offers similar features to TCB but is not quite as polished and refined as TCB. This means you are likely to run into minor issues from time to time and in my tests I have yet to come across any major issues which would be "deal breakers".
Of course, the clear advantage with TCB is that it integrates with other Thrive Themes products (Themes, Leads, Ultimatum, Headline Optimizer & Ovation). So if you plan on using any of these products on your site at any time, you'll want to get the editor designed to work with them.
On the other hand, WP Profit Builder is priced more competitively. So if you are looking to save a bit of money, it may be the better choice for you.
WP Profit Builder is also offering TONs of bonuses for new customers for a limited time only, as a part of their launch promotion.
To get these offers you must buy either by clicking the link on the right or by clicking this affiliate link.
Once you do, email me your receipt at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll arrange for the bonuses to be sent to you within 24 hours.
Now let's discuss other Thrive Content Builder alternatives:
LeadPages offers flexibility but not that much. It’s not possible to move elements around and place them anywhere you want on the page. You can only change images, text etc but not their placement on the page. And it’s a hosted solution and I’ll explain why that’s bad after we discuss the next major competitor, ClickFunnels.
LeadPages Pricing: Recurring charge: $300 per annum minimum.
ClickFunnels integrates too many things (like autoresponders, A.K.A. marketing emails service) into one service so it’s not a direct comparison. That said, it too is a hosted service.
ClickFunnels Pricing: Recurring charge: $97 per month minimum but any serious marketer would probably want the $297 per month plan.
The problem with hosted solutions is that first, they are hosted on their domains so whatever you create in your account, don’t count towards the SEO of your own website. That’s a bummer because when I create things on my own website I want Google to recognize those keywords on my domain.
Second, is that I cringe every time an opt-in form takes me to any of these services because I can see clickfunnels or leadpages in the domain name.
Now, I’m not stupid and I know that when I give my email address in exchange for a free book, I’m actually subscribing to an email list through which the author will try to sell me stuff (usually things I’m not really interested in). But it’s reading clickfunnels and leadpages in the domain names that really gets me. I feel like I’m being led into a sales funnel or I’m just another lead for someone who’s essentially, no disrespect intended, a salesman (or salesperson?)
And finally, there’s the flexibility. While both Leadpages and Clickfunnels allow you to change headings, images, text and allow you to add and create rows, you essentially have to stick to what they think is a good opt in form design.
With TCB, I know I can move around whatever I want and place it wherever I want. And while I’m not a designer, I have found that the ability to move things around gives me the satisfaction of making sure I have designed the best pages and opt in forms I can create with my (extremely) limited talent.
Thrive Themes don’t allow any coupons to be used for the purchase of their products. In fact when there’s no space on their payment page where a coupon code can be entered.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a discount for Thrive Content Builder.
Here are your options:
If you have more than one website you would like to use TCB on, you can get the unlimited websites or the agency license. Both options get you a cheaper per installation cost than a single website license.
If you are as impressed with the other Thrive Themes products like Thrive Leads, Headline Optimizer, Thrive Ultimatum and mobile responsive themes, you can get the full membership package for just $19 a month.
I purchased the membership before Headline Optimizer and Thrive Ultimatum were released and I got them at no extra cost.
And I love the fact that whatever price someone pays for a Thrive Themes Membership, that’s the highest price they will ever pay for full access to their entire suite of products (including future products) with full access to updates and support till the time they keep their membership active.
I live in comfort knowing I will never pay more than price which I signed up at.
$19/month (paid annually) or $25 per month (paid quarterly), Unlimited Personal Site License
(30 day money back guarantee)
Thrive Content Builder is the best visual editor for WordPress ever, at any price. There’s no WordPress content building plugin available in today that can match the features, ease of use and pricing of Thrive Content Builder.
I have been using it on my WordPress websites for almost a year now and I can confidently say that I’m never going to settle for anything less than what Thrive Content Builder offers.
That said, I did find it a lot cheaper to get the full membership which allows me to use Thrive Leads, Headline Optimizer and Thrive Ultimatum for a much lower price. Frankly, the amount of time I’ve saved using these plugins has already paid for the price of the membership. And now I can’t wait for the next plugin Thrive Themes is set to release soon which I will get without any extra charges 🙂
I couldn’t be happier with Thrive Themes.
I suggest you get take it for a test drive today. You have a solid 30 day money back guarantee in case you change your mind.
I wish you all the best for your content creation efforts.
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