I've been using Elementor Pro now for almost a year and I love having it in my blog arsenal. I've used it on about half of my blog posts and the majority of my pages mainly for extra decoration and efficiency. However, for a number of reasons listed below I decided to pick up Thrive Architect and try it out. Here is my Thrive Architect review.
A brief qualification
Page Builders are the future - as much as I love coding WordPress themes and pages, it is becoming less and less efficient. I have a custom Genesis starter theme spun up with SASS, Gulp, etc. and I really like building custom themes and pages with it.
But here's the bottom line:
Aside from the header, footer, blog page, archive pages, and any custom code functionality, websites can be built much, much faster, and just as stable with page builders. This leaves more time for design, strategy, marketing, etc.
For example, say your client wants some accordions or a grid of their latest posts on a page. You can either jump into some jQuery toggle features and a custom WordPress loop, OR you could simply drag them in. In both instances the client sees the same thing, both examples are responsive and beautiful, and the client could care less how they happened.
I could go on, but I will leave it at this: Page builders are not cheapening web development, or diminishing design and clean code. They are the future....accept it or be left behind.
Trying out Thrive Architect was not a random occurrence or a desire to "try something new." Let me explain the growing situation:
1. First, I have decided to incorporate page builders into my business. They are efficient, they produce high-quality code, and they allow for the client (if you choose to let them) to change things on their site in the future without having to create custom fields for them, etc.
2. Next, and here is the dilemma: If I decide to incorporate Elementor into my process, how do I go about providing it to clients? With Elementor, it is a yearly (very affordable) subscription. This means either my client has to agree to pay an ongoing yearly subscription, or I have to have some package that allows me to handle the license for them.
Elementor actually allows unlimited licenses to use on client sites for $199/yr. But who pays that? I suppose if the client is on a care plan it can be part of that? However, if I was a client, I would probably want the developer to not use a page builder to avoid any yearly subscriptions.
In short, I just can't justify how to do this on a yearly subscription.
3. Thrive Architect is not a yearly subscription, but a one-time purchase. This was one of the main reasons I pulled the trigger.
This allows me a few options: First, I can add the $67 to the invoice and the client can just pay the one time fee. For $30 more, I can install it on up to 5 websites. For $50 more I can install it on up to 15!
As you see, this would allow for a win-win for the client and the developer. Most clients will be happy to pay $67 for a page builder. And if you manage their site for them, you can give them one of your licenses AND make a profit from it, even if you give them a discount.
In addition to all of this, there is a Thrive Member option that allows you to install it on up to 50 websites, AND use ALL of the Thrive products for $50/month. Perhaps this can be worked into a care plan, but I'm not seeing the value in it yet at least for my own business.
So based on the above, I wanted to try out Thrive Architect and see if it is a good solution for my clients. Financially it is, but is it functionally? Being a dedicated Elementor user, could Thrive Architect actually provide a better solution?
Thrive Architect Review
Now there will be no comparison chart displaying the functionality and features of each. There are LOTS of articles doing this already (here's a good one).
I want to simply share my experience in this Thrive Architect review.
Here is the main difference between the two:
Elementor has become a powerful tool not only for building quality pages but is an entire Theme Builder with the release of version 2.0. It is great for people looking for the whole package or for those with limited coding skills.
Thrive Architect, on the other hand, is a powerful tool not only for building quality pages, but a tool focused intently (but not exclusively) on the marketing and conversion aspects of websites....thus the additional Thrive tools available.
In my scenario, I have no need for a page builder that builds themes. I use Genesis themes and I love to customize the header, footer, blog page, archives, etc., myself.
Given these differences, there is actually very little difference between the two. I have used Elementor for a while now, and Thrive Architect is very similar in functionality, design and cuts no corners in comparison. There are fewer features with Thrive Architect, but nothing that I really used anyways (remember that Thrive has fewer features not because it can't keep up, but because it has a different focus).
The Overall Functionality
So let's talk about functionality in this Thrive architect review.
Elementor is a clean plugin and offers a pleasant experience. I can confidently say that.
My experience with Thrive Architect has been the same, no less. In fact, Elementor had this quirk where you could edit the text and boxes on the page, but it was often buggy. Sometimes you would select a word, and when you start typing it would jump to the bottom of the paragraph and start typing there, and ultimately it would leave you having to edit content in the tiny text box in the panel.....which is not a pleasant experience.
Thrive Architect doesn't give you any text box in the admin panel....but forces you to type right there on the page. I LOVE IT. And it is smooth as ever.
As for how the options are laid out, the amount of options for each element, etc. there is very little difference. I can jump back and forth from Elementor to Thrive with very little problem or disruption at all.
This will be brief and may come off a bit odd in a review, but I find Shane from Thrive Architect quite a fascinating and knowledgeable guy.
The Thrive Themes blog is filled with loads and loads of extremely valuable content. The content written by Shane is golden and it follows that his products reflect the value that he brings to web design, marketing, lead generation, etc.
You don't buy Thrive Architect, Thrive Leads, etc. without receiving a handful of followup emails and tutorials that are very helpful, not only for the Thrive product but in marketing and design in general.
So all that is to say, I've come to trust the Thrive products not because they are fun to play with, or developers are extending it with all kinds of add-ons, but because the products are backed up with a team that continues to provide relevant value to people like me.
My Overall Conclusion
So here's the thing: I love Elementor, mainly because I've used it for a while now and have grown to understand it well.
But as my business grows and I look to use a page builder on my clients' sites, Thrive Architect's pricing provides a much better solution at this point.
So it follows: Does Thrive Architect provide enough value that I could consider replacing Elementor with it?
Based on my use of it, its clean code and interface, its similarity to Elementor, its integration with Thrive Leads (a wonderful product), its philosophy, and its one-time fee instead of a subscription, I am deciding to make the switch.
If you are looking for a rock solid page builder for your own site, or to use for your growing client list, go ahead and pick up Thrive Architect. It's a one-time fee of $67, and it's yours for life...upgrades and all. Also consider its cousin, Thrive Leads for all your lead generation, opt-ins, etc.
I hope this brief Thrive Architect review was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or opinions!
Do you use a page builder? Which one? Have you tried Thrive Architect and if so how was your experience with it?