Thrive Architect is an amazing WordPress page builder, its user interface is top-notch and it is easy to use. It is an absolute joy to customize an existing pre-made template or even build one from scratch. There is only one word to describe Thrive Architect, which is AWESOME.
I have been using Thrive Architect to make websites for my clients for about 1.5 years. In this time I have watched Thrive Architect grow and improve drastically. But at the end of the day, it is not totally good, there are some flaws or issues. As I have worked closely with Thrive Architect for a very long time, I have discovered some of its major flaws. These problems or issues are extremely frustrating. I have seen many of my clients who just started to work with WordPress, with Thrive Architect as their main page builder get frustrated and simply give up on their dreams!
But why do people buy Thrive Architect in the first place while there are other better alternatives like Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Divi? It is mainly because of the marketing expertise of Thrive Themes, who are the developers of Thrive Architect. They show off Thrive Architect on Youtube with their high-quality tutorials, on how to make websites and landing pages using their Thrive Visual Builder. So people who are completely new to WordPress fall for the trap and end up buying it.
So below, I have listed down five super annoying issues or problems with Thrive Architect. You should seriously read it before you consider buying it for a steep price of about $69, which is only for a single site license.
If you are a Thrive Themes user and having issues with setting up your gravatar image then please check out this helpful blog. This blog is written in German, so please use the auto Google translate in your browser to turn it into English if needed.
Problem 1: No Slider or Image carousel elements in Thrive Architect
Okay, that is fine. The problem begins when you need to show a lot of images in a limited space on the web page. You can’t just go ahead and embed 25-30 images on the site.
Plus, when you need to show your client logos, there are no elements for that too!
No testimonial carousel too! Unless you install their plugin called Thrive Ovation. But using that you cannot fully edit the design of the testimonial carousel to your heart’s content.
For all forms of sliders and carousels, I would recommend you purchase and use the Slider Revolution plugin. It costs only $29 for a single site license and provides lifetime updates and new features. It will solve all of your issues regarding sliders, plus there are many advanced options present.
You can easily embed the sliders or carousels on Thrive Architect using shortcodes.
Problem 2: No Image Gallery Element
For some kinds of websites, a beautiful image gallery is very important. A good image gallery will lazy load the images to reduce load time. It will show the images in an attractive way in a grid or masonry layout. It will have a neat hover effect, and will show the image title or caption on hover.
An image gallery is extremely important, especially for sites like real estate, where you would need to show the interior or exterior parts of the images. Plus people will also need to be able to see information about the property image when they hover over it. It is also important for wedding or food websites.
I remember working for a client who embedded each of the images manually on a Thrive Architect page, as there is no image gallery element in Thrive Architect. Finally, the client just ended up buying a separate plugin for the image gallery.
To have a nice-looking image gallery on your Thrive Architect page builder you can use the Envira Gallery plugin. It is the best WordPress image and video gallery plugin. It also integrates with Social Media platforms like Instagram.
You can easily embed galleries on Thrive Architect using shortcodes
Problem 3: Importing a Landing page template removes the theme header and footer
Importing and customizing page templates is one of the most importing things when building out a website or landing page using WordPress. Because designing or building a website completely from scratch is a major waste of time. Most of the time it is not necessary to make everything from scratch, just customizing a page template properly may save several hours of time and also look good too! Plus people who are new with Thrive Architect probably do not even know how to design a page from scratch in the first place! And why not use the beautiful pre-made page templates in Thrive Architect library?
But the massive issue is, all the Thrive Architect page templates are landing page templates. Whenever you import a template, the theme header and footer is automatically removed. So there goes your theme header navigation and your footer widgets. So you are in quite a bit of sticky situation if you are going to build out a basic five pages website. You can separately add a custom menu, but that won’t look the same as the theme header and footer. Plus, you cannot change the theme header and footer in the posts page and single post page.
So what’s the work around? I can suggest you to do three things:
i) Build the pages from scratch and take help from content blocks: This solution is probably not so attractive for someone who is a beginner with Thrive Architect. In my case, as I have been working with Thrive Architect for a very long time, I do not have any problem designing a page from scratch, this keeps the Thrive Theme header and footer intact. You can make use of the footer widget areas and insert some useful widgets there. Sometimes I make use of the new “Content Block” element of Thrive Architect to build out the middle sections, that saves a lot of time.
ii) Import the Landing page template in a separate page and then save each section as a template: In some cases, I do love some of the landing page templates in Thrive Architect and I want to include them in my design while keeping the theme header and footer. I can do that, but it is a kind of hassle. What I do is create a separate test page, import the landing page template I want to use in that page. After importing the template, I save each section of the template. Then later on I insert the section template in the main page I am working on using the element called “Template and Symbols” in Thrive Architect.
iii) Make custom header and footer and then add it to all of the pages: I usually do not prefer this option. In this case I make a custom header and footer after importing the landing page template and then paste those in rest of the pages. It may work if the site has a few pages with little to no chances of future expansion. But the single post page will have the theme header and footer, no matter what. Definitely not a good practice, and also it will be a massive pain for your client if he or she is going to create a new page.
Problem 4: Conflict with “Wordfence” Security plugin
Wordfence is one of the most popular free WordPress security plugin available. Most WordPress users use Wordfence to prevent brute force attack in the WordPress login page or to scan and clean up any malware in their website. But Thrive Architect have some serious conflicts with Wordfence, it is again related to templates. In most of the cases when I worked on sites having Wordfence installed, I couldn’t save any Thrive Architect templates or even export them. When I tried to save templates, it just kept of loading forever, when I tried to export the page templates it showed me an error in red, showing a message that the file size is too big.
So what can you do if you are facing this issue?
If you are a Wordfence user, and facing this issue with Thrive Architect, there are two things you can do.
i) Deactivate Wordfence Temporarily: For a established site I wouldn’t suggest this because an established has a lot of traffic, tons of bot are trying to break into that WordPress site every single second using brute force attack. But if your site is completely new, you can simply deactivate Wordfence temporarily and do your work with Thrive Architect. Also you may consider other security plugins instead of Wordfence, such as ithemes security, that is also free.
ii) Switch from “Firewall Mode” to “Learning Mode”: If your Thrive Architect templates are not saving, and you are a Wordfence user, in Wordfence settings, switching from Firewall mode to Learning Mode will most probably solve the issue. I do not have clear ideas how these modes are different, but switching this mode solved the problem for me. You should switch to Learning mode temporarily while you are working with Thrive Architect, after you are done working with Thrive Architect to create new posts and pages, you should again enable the Firewall mode. Because I believe the “Learning Mode” is a much lighter security mode and it might leave your WordPress site vulnerable to attackers. If you need step by step instructions of how to switch on Learning Mode in Wordfence, then please read my article “Thrive Architect Template not Saving“.
Problem 5: Updating Thrive Architect breaks website
I absolutely hate this problem with Thrive Architect. Me and my clients faced this issue a lot! This problem gave me many sleepless night and also frustrated my clients. In many cases, when I tried to update Thrive Architect, it simply broke the WordPress website, ending up with an HTTP Error 500 in a white blank page. There were no way to access the WordPress login page, nothing is accessible. To fix it you will have to either delete the Thrive Architect plugin via FTP or cPanel, or you will have to rollback to previous backups if your hosting provides that. Well, I may know how to fix it, but it was a nightmare for my clients who were completely new to WordPress. Some of my clients broke the site while updating Thrive Architect and reached out to me to fix it. While in some cases I visit their site occasionally to check whether everything is fine or not. If you broke your WordPress site while updating Thrive Architect, then you can read by blog “Fix HTTP 500 Error Caused by Thrive Architect Update“. In this blog I have shown how to get out of this HTTP 500 error, step by step.
So what can you do to update Thrive Architect safely without breaking the website?
To update Thrive Architect safely you can make use of the “Product Manager” plugin provided by Thrive.
Firstly, make sure you have your whole website backed up. You can use a free WordPress backup plugin called Updraft Plus. But if your hosting keeps regular backup of your entire site then you do not have to worry about backing up the site.
Then simply deactivate Thrive Architect plugin, delete it and then reinstall it using the “Product Manager” plugin. The reinstalled version will be the updated version of Thrive Architect. Your posts and pages made with Thrive Architect will look messed up while you do this. So please make sure to setup maintenance mode on while you do it. If you want to read the full step by step procedure for this, then please read my blog “How to Update Thrive Architect safely, avoid HTTP Error 500“.
Bonus Problem 1: Thrive Architect shows image file name on hover
This issue isn’t so big but it is very annoying. Whenever I embed an image using Thrive Architect and then hover over it, it shows the image file name as a tool tip. Please have a look at the image below to understand what I mean. This is a screenshot which I have taken from my recent Thrive Architect project.
Why is this so annoying? Because the image can have a random file name, consisting of dates, the camera model, and other sort of random info. For example, the image above has an odd file name, the image file name contains the dimensions of the image 225 x 225. So it is doesn’t look good when someone hovers over a nice looking image, just to see a bunch of messed up name.
So how can you solve this annoying issue and remove the annoying tooltip from the image on hover?
When you upload an image in WordPress media library, WordPress assigns the file name of the image as the “Title” of the image. And Thrive Architect directly shows the title of that image as a tooltip when you hover over it. So to remove that annoying tool tip, select the image and then simply remove whatever is in the title field. Please have a look at the image below.
Bonus Problem 2: Thrive Architect Landing page template size is too big
I am again coming back to to the template issues because using templates in page builders efficiently is extremely important, it saves time and that’s what page builders are all about! Templates! But whenever I export a landing page template in Thrive, I find that the template size turns up to be quite big around 4.5-8 megabytes. Sometimes it conflicts with hosting or security plugins such as Wordfence while exporting it due to it’s bigger file size, shows an error of the size being too big. Not only that, you might also get an error while importing the template in another WordPress website with Thrive Architect. This is a serious issue because if you are unable to export and import the template, then you will have to re do the whole thing, which is a massive waste of time. On the other hand the template size of other page builders such as Elementor is extremely small, in the kilobytes region.
So what can you do to work around this issue?
The only thing you can do is make sure that the final template size is small enough, so that it exports and imports properly. Make sure you resize the images first before you use them. Use JPG images instead of PNG. This would help to keep the template export zip file managable.
Bonus Problem 3: No Maintenance Mode or Coming Soon
Thrive Architect or Thrive Themes does not have any maintenance mode or coming soon mode. It got a few coming soon templates which you can import on a page and set it as the front page. But that is not a real coming soon/maintenance mode. When people will add a wrong slug to your URL they will end up in a page not found page. From there they will be able to access the header/footer menu, they can see your work in progress.
Plus when google bots come to your website they won’t get the proper message that the website is under construction.
Solution: the best solution in my opinion is that you use a good coming soon/maintenance mode plugin. You can check out this cool Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode plugin on CodeCanyon. It has got some very good user reviews.
Without any doubt Thrive Architect is an awesome WordPress front-end editor. It’s user interface is top-notch and easy to use. I have been using Thrive Architect for about 1.5 years and I have never been bored. There are always some new exciting features along with each update. So should you buy Thrive Architect? It depends.
When you should buy Thrive Architect
If you build funnels regularly: If you are someone who build different kind of funnels, such as lead generation funnel, sales funnel etc. then definitely Thrive Architect is for you. There are over 270+ gorgeous landing page templates especially for funnels which includes templates for sales page, lead generation page, thank you page, webinar page. It also includes other kind of page templates such as Homepage, about etc.
If you are a blogger or content creator: It is also great for bloggers. The Thrive visual editor is absolutely amazing, it is a joy to use. The text editor if Thrive is quite good, you can select and edit the texts right in the editor. You can easily select text and make them bold, italicize, change colors, make them bigger or smaller. Not only that, they have some amazing pre-made block templates especially for content creators. The blocks have a very good sequence which helps to increase the conversion rates.
When you should NOT buy Thrive Architect
If you are building a multiple pages site with custom header and footer design: If you are someone who builds a site with several pages, such as Home, About, Services, Contact and Blog, then Thrive Architect is not a good choice. Because with Thrive you cannot make custom headers and footers which will replace the theme header and footer, and will remain consistent throughout the entire site automatically, so that you won’t have to insert those manually every single time you create a new page. Plus it becomes a HUGE pain if there are a lot of sub-pages. The header and footer remaining consistent is one of the most important factor in user interface.
If you are building a custom designed blog website: Obviously if you are a serious blogger, you might want a completely custom designed blog website. Custom designed blog page and most importantly, as custom designed Single Blog Post page. Thrive completely overlooks the Single Blog Post template, you will have to be happy what their themes provide, you cannot change it. But in reality, it is the single blog post template which is the most important, it is where visitors come eventually and read your post.
If you are building a custom designed Woocommerce website: If you want a custom designed ecommerce website with custom designed products page and single products page, then once again Thrive Architect is not the answer. You cannot change the theme product page and single product page design, you will have to stay content with whatever the theme is providing.
So what can you use if you can’t use Thrive Architect in these cases? Instead of using Thrive you can use Elementor, along with their pro extension called Elementor Pro. For the theme, you can use some very good themes such as Astra or OceanWP.
So in this blog, I have discussed in-depth about the issues of Thrive Architect and some possible solutions or work around. I have also discussed in-depth of when to use Thrive and when not to. If you have found this blog post helpful, then please share it with your friends. Also please have a look at other blog posts I have written, you may find something useful.
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