Thrive Themes is dead to me

Here’s what’s on the menu for this issue…

Sadly, I’ve had to do a complete reversal on my past recommendations of Thrive Themes. It pains me, really. Details below.

Honestly, I feel like they kinda rug-pulled me. But, I know it isn’t the same people. It isn’t the same Thrive Themes as it was then.

So, one of the things I need to do is revise any recommendation I had across Blog Marketing Academy about Thrive Themes. People need to know.

And frankly, even if they reverse course on this, I just don’t recommend it anymore.

So, let’s dive in…

Stay Away From Thrive Themes. 😫

Poll Results

Posting Your Links To Social Media Doesn’t Work Anymore.

Stay tuned for Fluent Booking!

Featured This Week

Stay Away From Thrive Themes

I absolutely HATE to have to say this, but… I would not recommend anybody use Thrive Themes products anymore. And frankly, if you’re still using them, I would begin to plan an exit.

It really pains me. I was a strong user and advocate of Thrive Themes for several years. I know people likely reading this right now who are using Thrive Themes because of my recommendation. So, this sucks. I kinda feel bad about it, but truth is… the new owners have pulled a fast one on everybody.

Awesome Motive acquired the company at the beginning of the year. The original owners are now long gone. Shane has moved onto other things.

And despite all the usual promises that they’re not going to change very much and they’re going to let Thrive Themes run as a separate company… that sure doesn’t seem to be the case from the outside.

There are two major factors that go into my reversal of opinion about Thrive Themes. They are:

The doubled the price from $299/year to $599/year. With the usual tactic they often do on their pricing page by trying to make it look like a discount, but your first annual renewal will be at the full rate.

They now disable the software if you don’t renew the subscription.

Look, $599/year for Thrive Suite is pretty steep. I just think it is too expensive and the last thing I’m going to do is put my recommendation behind something that costs that much. But…

Disabling the software if you don’t pay? That’s… unethical.

Within their right? Yeah, I guess. But, shady.

Basically, if you don’t keep your Thrive Themes subscription active and it expires, the products disable. You will not be able to edit your own website. The things you build previously will still function, but you are unable to make any changes.

Basically, they’re holding you hostage unless you pay. That’s how I look at it. You are RENTING that software, even though it is on YOUR server.

This is software that you are hosting on your own server and are responsible for ensuring it runs. This is not hosted software. So, for them to disable it violates the entire point of self-hosting your own website.

So, Thrive Themes is now basically a one-way street. If you’re going to use it, you’re basically STUCK with them. If you don’t pay, your site remains stuck in time. Because you cannot edit it.

This violates the basic tenant of digital sovereignty.

Own and control your own software and your own data. Well, with Thrive Themes, you’re still responsible for all the hosting and the data, but they’ll block you from doing anything.

No thanks.

So, Thrive Themes is now dead to me. I would not recommend it.

Frankly, I would stay away from any product owned by Awesome Motive.

Look, I know they’re a smart company. Some of their software is even pretty good. And I respect Syed (the CEO) a lot. But, the company’s tactics are, in my opinion, contrary to the spirit of WordPress itself. And clearly, they’re not beyond holding their customers hostage for renewal fees. And for that, they do not deserve your business.

So, what about those of you who are using Thrive Themes? Now what?

Well, I feel rug-pulled by this one. It is one of the reason I’m so pissed off about it. I literally have people using Thrive Themes because of me. Some of them… I even built their site! But, this is where we’re at.

If you have your own Thrive Suite membership, your rate is locked in. They’re not going to double your price. But, if you DO cancel and let it expire, you’re going to be locked out of your pages.

So, you can either just keep the subscription active and do nothing…

… or you can migrate out of Thrive Themes and do it before your subscription expires.

I’ve migrated several clients out of Thrive Themes. In fact, I completed two clients just last week. Both are now running on the Kadence Theme.

In some cases, it is a real pain to switch. Many times, though, it is a lot faster than you probably think. But, if you’d like to talk to me about it and explore your options, just book a quick 15-minute call with me and let’s see what your best path forward may be.

POLL RESULTS: Daily Email?

Last week, I did an audience poll here in the newsletter about the idea of offering up a weekday morning email. Higher frequency. And here are the results:

Basically, 95% of you guys are quite open to the idea of a much more frequent email. However, you guys definitely want control.

Totally understood! 🙂 And I would have done that anyway.

But, here’s a small issue…

As of now BeeHiiv (the platform I am using for this newsletter) does not offer any good way to allow people to choose. It would need to be this roundabout way and I don’t like it. I know enhancements are coming in this regard (since BeeHiiv is evolving quickly), but I might need to wait a few months. I’m not sure.

So, I need to figure out the best way to do this. Some options are:

Just wait until BeeHiiv makes it easier.

Do it the janky way with BeeHiiv now… then just improve it when they make it more capable.

Do it from FluentCRM, like I was before.

So, we shall see. 🙂 But, I appreciate all the feedback!

Much Harder To Promote Your Content On Social Media. What To Do.

Last week, Elon Musk clearly stated what many have known for awhile…


Our algorithm tries to optimize time spent on X, so links don’t get as much attention, because there is less time spent if people click away.

Best thing is to post content in long form on this platform.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
Oct 3, 2023

Basically, the old days of posting your blog post links to social media in the hopes of getting traffic…. are over.

They’re all doing it… not just X. If you post external links to your own stuff on your social media profiles, engagement is much lower. Sometimes, it looks like nobody has even seen your link. And, most likely didn’t because the algorithms are definitely downplaying your stuff.

As Elon has said, the interest is to maximize their time on site. Not your’s.

So, it generally isn’t worth your time to post your latest blog post links on social media. It isn’t really going to move the needle much… even if you have a big following.

You need to create content in context of the social network you’re posting on.

For X, they clearly are trying to move the needle toward long-form content, videos and streaming. So, give it to them.

If you have created a video for Youtube, don’t just post the Youtube video on X or Facebook. Instead, post it natively. Upload the video to X or to Facebook directly.

For new posts on your blog, you probably want to create a few different versions of long-form content natively on X and post them. Part of the thread or part of the video could be to promote your latest blog post. But, you definitely can’t just link drop. It isn’t effective.

This stuff takes time. And for that reason, don’t try to do it all. If you’re going to bother much with social media, pick one platform you really click with and just go “all in”. Master it and focus on it. You can’t effectively be everywhere.

And most importantly, never EVER forget that building up your email list is – by far – the more important thing. Always concentrate on growing your list, not your social media following.

WordPress Quick Bits…

My friends at WPManage Ninja have a new trick up their sleeves… and it is called Fluent Booking. This will be one to watch…

Basically, it will be a way to have people book appointments or book other types of events. A way to book webinars, sales calls, coaching calls, you name it. But, what is going to make this so interesting is the TIGHT integration with Fluent Forms and FluentCRM. In my view, this is going to put Fluent Booking at the top of my list in terms of scheduling.

As of this writing, Fluent Booking is not live and instead has a waiting list. It’s coming pretty shortly, tho. And heads up, these guys almost always launch products with a lifetime deal and then… you don’t see the LTD ever again. So, if this is something you think you’re going to want, pay attention.

Oh, and Concierge clients, I’m planning to buy it. Which means Fluent Booking is going to be part of the plugin bundle available to my clients who need it. Stay tuned!

On a related note, FluentCRM just officially turned 3.

And lastly… and related to my “beef” regarding Thrive Themes, but Awesome Motive has acquired Envira Gallery, NextGen Gallery, Photocrati Theme and Soliloquy Slider. Guess those plugins are dead to me now, too. 🤷‍♂️

Whenever you’re ready, here’s how I can help you:

Concierge: I’ll be your “web guy”, helping to maintain your site for you do you don’t have to think about it. Also includes access to my agency plugin licenses, site analytics, and a massive discount on any potential project work on your site.

I’ll Do It For You: Via my technical services, I can dive into your site and take care of the complex stuff for you. Whether it be just some tweaks… or building out a full membership site and marketing automation funnel, I can ensure your WordPress site is working for you and not the other way around.

Book A Call Anytime. Via a private one-on-one call, I’ll make your business… my business. Easy peasy.

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