I make most of my living out of Thrive themes and their plugins.
Almost all of my clients use it.
But even after my 3rd renewal of my annual subscription with Thrive themes, I still will NOT call them one word – reliable. Time and time again, since their early versions, they have been consistently overselling their capabilities, and shipping products that are buggy.
Perhaps its because I use it to manage multiple clients’ online businesses at a time. And an average user would use it only on 1 website at a time. Maybe, I’m a minority.
Naturally, I always keep an eye open for another, more reliable tool that could potentially save a lot of my headaches from Thrive Themes.
Experience with Divi
I tried Divi builder once (before Thrive Architect came out), and definitely found my first experience delightful. It was perfect to build beautiful websites, without having to adjust things like padding, margins as their default settings were perfectly designed.
Looks like one of Divi’s core goal was aesthetics, and hence many of the design decisions has been already made for you, by adapting best design practices out of the box. Of course they allow you to change all of it. But I hardly did. I built a beautiful webpage pretty fast.
And more surprisingly I didn’t run into a single bug. You might laugh reading this, but for me, after working with Thrive Content Builder for so long, this was a luxurious experience.
But why haven’t I switched to Divi yet you ask?
Two reasons – Familiarity and Cost of Change. You see Thrive themes as a company is building a platform. They are a platform like Amazon, Google, Apple or Microsoft is. They don’t consider themselves a software or a tools company. Shane is someone I respect and learn from. He is very smart and right about this strategy.
Their platform design and strategy will seduce and attract every online marketing business out there. And make them marry their platform, not just have casual no-string-attached fun.
And when you break off a marriage, its going to cost you. In various multiple ways.
Their plugins are designed to be used with each other seamlessly.
Once you are in, you find yourself using all or most of their plugins – Thrive Comments, Thrive Architect, Thrive Ultimatum, Thrive Leads, Thrive Ovation, Apprentice, Quiz Builder, Headline Optimizer and Clever Widgets.
And even when your experience isn’t great, they still do work and you find your business depending on it. (again marriage analogy)
Now let’s say someone like me updates a client’s website to Thrive architect 2.0 and all hell breaks lose.
What do I do?
I write a blog post bitching about it, share my frustration with clients on project update calls, and then… go back to continue fixing the bug, finding workarounds and then do intensive yoga at the end of the day to get rid of all the stress caused during my work day.
Because, its not just a matter of finding a replacement for Thrive Architect. I can’t just swap Thrive Architect with Divi Page Builder. No.
There are 15 lead groups with multiple optins, 6 Thrive light boxes and few Thrive Lead short codes with content locking setup on my client’s website. Buttons on various Thrive Architect pages launch many of them.
Is Divi Builder going to be able to launch a Thrive Leads popup by a button press? Noooo…
The Thrive Comments plugin is already linked to Thrive Ovation. And my Thrive Architect page displays the Thrive Ovation testimonials with features supported only by Thrive Architect. Is Divi Page Builder going to display those? Noooo….
And what about Thrive Ultimatum and its integrations with Thrive Architect and Thrive Leads?
You get the point.
So switching to any of the alternatives will mean, finding a replacement for all the rest of their plugins.
Yes, they advertise that their plugins work independently blah, blah, blah. Devil is in the fine-print here.
And they have been unstoppable. Plugins like Thrive Apprentice and Thrive Comments are perfect examples of their company’s long term strategy.
Is it really that bad
Their tools have been improving. Given their recent, finally, some good looking templates for Thrive Architect, they seem to be getting good with design as a company. I just found ways to adjust by making rules like – “Never ever update a major version of their plugin, until 3-4 weeks after release and the bugs get sorted out”
And even after all this complaining, I haven’t found a company at their price point, with tools like theirs that covers most aspects of a web business and their amazing marketing methods. Companies like Elementor, Beaver Builder and Divi are far behind in terms of marketing skills compared to Thrive themes’ Shane Melaugh. I doubt they will ever catch up. (Divi calls their Thrive Leads competitor – “Bloom Email Opt-ins”. Thrive sells you leads, while Divi sells you Email Opt-ins. Rookie marketing mistake of selling features vs benefits)
This means their customer base is growing faster than ever. They have been eating market shares of other competitors. And that ultimately translates to more business and clients for consultants like me.
So will I switch from their tools? You tell me.