Does Thrive Content Builder Support Genesis Themes?
Update: This article isn’t relevant anymore, as Thrive Architect update fixed all the issues mentioned below.
Thrive content builder works well with most well coded themes. Genesis is highly known for its code quality, its extensibility and developer support. So naturally Thrive Content Builder plays pretty good with Genesis themes or its child themes… for the most part. But there are things you should be aware of which we discuss in this post to avoid disappointment.
There are 2 modes of using Thrive Content Builder.
Method 1: Using it with one of the built-in landing page templates
Method 2: Or we could use it to design a page that is part of the theme
With method #2 you get
- Theme header / footer.
- Fonts, colors, spacing and styles of your theme.
- Looks more seamless and have lesser need to be customised to fit your site’s design.
With method #1 you get
- Loads of editable readymade templates (landing pages, sales pages, lead generation pages etc.)
- But it would take time to modify them according to your site’s style.
- This is how most hosted tools work too – clickfunnels, instapage, leadpages etc.
- Remember that when you use their templates of pages, not everything will fit your site’s style. For instance they let you change the font, font-spacing, h1, h2, h3 and paragraph. But there are other elements which will bother the s*** out of you, if you have design OCD.
But there are even more things, where the devil is in the details that you will never discover unless you experience using thrive content builder yourself.
Things to consider when using Thrive Content Builder with Genesis Themes (using Method #2 especially)
1) You don’t get page sections
Yes, this was a major concern for one of my clients who was using genesis child theme. Who doesn’t want a full-width page section on their pages? Having full-width sections helps you give a clear differentiation of content sections in your pages, especially long form sales pages. They look great too.
2) Your custom header will look broken on mobile and responsive resolutions (or you need heavy CSS modifications to fix it)
For example take a look at this simple page I built with center aligned custom menu and a text logo below it.
Inspite of having the custom menu center aligned, it always goes to the right. But that is not the problem. Problem is it never appears on the right of the logo. Even if you use columns and get them to be side by side on desktop resolution. When you resize it jumps to the next row. Pretty annoying and looks broken.
Of course again, this can be fixed with custom CSS, but we expect basic elements to work out of the box without needing custom CSS.
Industry leaders like Blog Marketing Academy’s David Risley, have gotten this working, by making heavy modifications to their CSS, so that they can use method #2, and yet get things working like a nice header, that will align well on mobile devices.
3) When you use their templates for Thrive Content Builder, it strips out the scripts which have been inserted in your site’s header and footer
This was annoying. Yes, its not a big thing to fix, but its something we expect out of a theme. And when we don’t notice this, it costs a lot of time and effort. It affects our business.
Of course, you can insert custom scripts on each page of their template. But it also means there is no one place to manage them when you change them. You will need to maintain a checklist or keep one extra thing in your memory when you make new pages or install a new script like a tracker.
4) The designs produced in thrive content builder from scratch or manually, don’t look professional on mobile out of the box.
We expect, everything we throw in to align well on mobile / tablet. But I can assure you that you will have to make compromises. I have written loads of custom CSS for clients who wanted important pages to look neat, have optimum spacing and align correctly on mobile and tablet.
I have a love / hate relationship with Thrive themes and their products. Love them because they are priced cheaper compared to their counterparts, and do shine in a lot of places. I love their content marketing and their CEO Shane is a very inspiring mentor. Basic users/customisability support is fast and excellent.
Hate them because I have worked with 20+ clients using Thrive themes, and almost always they believe it does things which seem obvious, but they don’t. Their marketing is so good that their products sometimes don’t live up to it. Plus often they seem to add things and don’t continue to maintain them. Developer support is almost non-existent. A basic support query with any kind of development question took 6-8 days on average. And to add to that, it looks like its always some junior developer replying with no clue about what was being asked, and usually gives an answer which isn’t that useful. Consistency in quality among different areas in their products frustrates me a lot.
But again, they are a young company who are growing really fast, so all these problems are bound to come along I guess. I am still looking forward to their next version, the Thrive content builder 2.0 nonetheless.
I find it weird that no one seems to talk about these issues online. I know almost all my clients have. A part of me says, most people who review thrive content builder a) don’t use it extensively, and just make reviews to get affiliate commissions b) expect a different quality of design standards when they build pages with thrive content builder.