What is Thrive Themes?
Thrive themes is a theme and plugins suite, optimized for the selling of digital products such as online courses or memberships.
In this review, I will talk about the Thrive Membership and it's full suite of products, but you can purchase these individually too.
There are 9 plugins and 1 theme builder currently available, but for the context of this review I won't talk about the theme builder as it is it's own entity and you can use any theme to sell your online courses with the rest.
Features: What Can You Do With Thrive Themes?
As a WordPress LMS, thrive themes has possibility one of the most complete set of capabilities you could choose from:
This incredible suite of tools is why we've ranked Thrive Themes #1 for WordPress LMS
Although there is a lot you can with the Thrive suite, in this review we'll focus on the main tools and feature for course creators.
Page & Funnel Building: Thrive Architect
Thrive Architect is my personal favorite of ANY funnel builder out there. It's a very easy to use front-end drag&drop and has some of the most advanced features and customization capabilities.
Anything from shadows, fancy divider, dynamic background, animations, scroll behaviour,... the list goes on!
In short, you will be able to easily and quickly make your page look exactly how you want!
And on top of that, and this is why I love it so much, you have access to library of preset templates optimized for conversions and any type of pages you may want:
You can easily save blocks or section to re-use for future pages too.
This is a lot more flexible that popular funnel builders such as Elementor, Clickfunnels,etc.
On top of whole pages templates, you can also find specific sections templates, very useful for course creators to build their sales pages
In short this is the easiest way to create beautiful pages and funnels!
Course Building: Thrive Apprentice
To put together your online course with Thrive Themes you will use Thrive Apprentice.
Note here, like most LMS WordPress plugin, this is a little different that self-hosted platforms. You will need an external video hosting platform like Vimeo or Wistia to build video courses within Thrive Apprentice.
But with decent web hosting, you should be able to upload other course materials (downloadables, worksheets, audio,etc.) directly in your WordPress
That being said, let's take a look at the course designer that Apprentice is.
From inside the WordPress Thrive Apprentice dashboard, you'll start by building your own school template through the wizard.
This is very easy and will allow you to customize the student experience each step of the way - which you can't do with SaaS platforms (like Kajabi, Teachable,etc.).
Now here is where it gets VERY cool! You can edit and customize any lesson the way you want. You're free to use the different templates available, but if you wanted to have a different feel for a particular module or lesson, depending on what you're teaching, you can customize every part of it:
This is of course to sell a standard online course but you can also build a full membership website by protecting some pages, or simply sell blog posts, videos, worksheets, downloads, ultimate guide,etc.
The last major feature to note in Thrive Apprentice is the advance drip system available.
You can fully customized the drop schedule of your course for different cohort, offers, time schedule,etc.
This is the most advanced drip system available to course creators right now!
In terms of leaning tools, you will be able to integrate another tool of the Thrive Themes suite for quizzes and assessment: Thrive Quiz.
This come in different types and allows for a custom flow of questions (depending on previous answers) and to gamify the learning experience for your students.
If you want to learn more about Thrive Apprentice, check out our dedicated review.
Urgency & Deadlines: Thrive Ultimatum
There's a lot of things you can do with Thrive Themes membership, with Thrive Ovation to collect testimonials, Thrive Leads to take your list building to the next level, Thrive Optimize for A/B testing or Thrive Comments.
But I want to focus on 1 in particular to wrap up this feature review: Thrive Ultimatum.
If you've ever used or heard about Deadline Funnel, that's what Thrive Ultimatum does in a nutshell.
If you haven't let me give you a brief description:
With this tool, you can put together evergreen campaign with built in scarcity features at the campaign or user level.
In plain, you can automatically run open and close cart campaigns, taking advantage of the power of time-limited offers, for a each specific users depending on when they entered your funnel for example!
That means timers and expiring sales page, popup and banners, all tailored to different behaviors you choose (eg: non-buyers, upsells, cart abandonment,...).
This is the only tool I'm aware of that can do that natively in WordPress and the rest of your funnel. A marketers dream!
To end on a more conservative note, and it's important to mention for WordPress LMS, this is not everything you need to sell courses (like an all-in-one can be).
Thrive Themes does not have a cart (although it integrates with any) and it does not have an email system.
Which to be fair, is the case for most WordPress LMS...
User Experience: Is Thrive Themes Easy To Use?
Sometimes with WordPress plugin, things get messy in the back-end?
But Thrive themes tools are really well thought and integrate easily with each other and the rest of most theme or plugin you may already have (some conflict may still happen of course).
With a dedicated dashboard you'll be able to easily navigate the different tools and the numerous tutorials will make things very clear.
But a real strength of the Thrive suite is its focus on making things quick to implement. You can use a variety of templates and pre-set for different part of the page building process or lead generation efforts?
Essentially the tool was built to appeal to both customization nerds and total newbies, just trying to set something that works!
And to help you automate and make the different tools of the suite work together, Thrive Automator can be extremely helpful:
This can also help connecting 3rd party tools and software to your WordPress in just a few clicks, similarly to what Zapier might do!
Now of course the very non-techie can still find themselves confused and lost, just like they would with most new tools.
But Thrive themes still set itself apart with it's design both in the back-end and on the end use side.
Pricing: How Much Is Thrive Themes?
Another big upside of the brand is that this is very affordable WordPress plugin!
Whether you choose to go for the full suite or buy plugins separately
Now, we've been reviewing the full membership giving access to all the tools so far (so $24/mo) , but you can buy each individual tools for a one-off purchase of only $97/year.
Even if again you will still need an email provider and a cart and maybe a video host provider to make this whole thing work to sell courses, the membership is a steal.
How is the Support & Community for Thrive Themes?
Thrive themes is made by course creators and for course creators! So the community it's gathered is a great one to be a part of for you if you're one too.
You can either join their Facebook group or contact their very reactive live support.
But if you have any questions, you will find not only answers to technical questions, but also best practices and advanced strategies on selling digital products through Thrive's articles and well put together videos and their University.
Our Overall Rate: 4.5
Community & Support Rating:
Thrive Themes membership is a very compelling product as a course creator.
Not only does it have all the features you want from a WordPress LMS, pioneering a lot of advances with plugins, it also does everything with extreme care to ease of use and design.
There's really not much else you could ask for such a tool!