Thrive Architect is the core page builder of the Thrive Suite ecosystem. How does it stack up when viewed as a standalone tool outside of the context of the full Thrive Suite?
- Streamlined and fast to use.
- True front-end editing (what you see is truly what you get)
- Templates and blocks pretty purpose-built for info marketers
- No expansion with third-party enhancements (like Elementor has)
- No theme builder (requires the full Thrive Theme Builder for that)
- Too expensive (in my opinion) unless part of the entire Thrive Suite
Thrive Architect is the core page builder of the Thrive Suite ecosystem. As such, it sits at the core of how many of their other products work, including Thrive Theme Builder and Thrive Leads. When you are working with those products, you are basically using the core functionality of Thrive Architect to make edits. But, Thrive Architect is also available as a standalone plugin for creating landing pages.
Simply put, Thrive Architect is a really good page builder. I find it to be more streamlined and faster to use than something like Elementor.
It has a number of page elements you can use as well as a library of pre-designed landing pages for various marketing purposes that you can use to speed up your workflow. Thrive Architect is a little more purpose-built for info marketers than something like Elementor.
The interface is quite similar to Elementor. The main difference is that your available blocks are on the right side of the screen rather than the left. But, those blocks look essentially the same. Drag them in and set them up using the block settings on the left side.
But, you’re not reading this in order to see a rundown of Architect’s features. You can see that on their sales page. Instead, let me just give you my two cents on how this editor compares to other tools and whether it is worth it for you. Also, the bad parts. 🙂
How Thrive Architect Stacks Up To The Competition
I spent a LOT of time with Thrive Architect on my own sites as well as clients before I began using Elementor. Now I have quite a bit of experience with both.
In my view, Thrive Architect is still faster to use. The workflow is a little more streamlined and it doesn’t take quite as many clicks to get around and do things as it does with Elementor. That said…
Thrive Architect is quite a bit more limited than Elementor. That is because Thrive Architect has no support for third-party add-ons. There is no ability to expand the editor with dedicated blocks.
For instance, I use Fluent Forms. With Elementor, I like that there’s a Fluent Forms block right in the editor which allows me to take a ton of styling control over the form itself in Elementor. However, there’s nothing of the sort with Thrive Themes. My way of embedding a Fluent Form is a short code. It works, but it doesn’t show up in the editor, has no styling options, and is a real step down once you’ve gotten used to an editor with third-party support.
I also think some of the ways Architect codes the pages aren’t quite as modern. For instance, Elementor has now given the option to use flexboxes for rows and columns. It is much easier to use and adapt for different screen sizes. Architect has no support for that (yet) and is still doing everything with DIVs and CSS to style everything.
In terms of performance, Thrive Architect (like all page builders) is going to insert a lot of code into the page. Sometimes that code can slow down the site and have a negative effect on your core web vitals. Again, Architect is not unique in this and this would be the case with any page builder without optimizations in place. I will say, though, that I think Elementor has more developer-friendly options in place in it’s settings to tweak it’s performance than Architect. Thrive offers a few options via it’s Project Lightspeed, but overall you will be relying on other performance tweaks to speed things up.
Is Thrive Architect A Good Deal?
As I said at the beginning, Thrive Architect is part of the Thrive Suite and is embedded into many of their other tools. Frankly, that’s the only context in which I would use Thrive Architect.
As a standalone product, Thrive Architect no longer compares favorably to it’s competition. It has no ability to take control of your theme (you need Thrive Theme Builder for that). It has no support for third-party tools. It is a little island to itself. A nice island which is easy to use and does a good job as long as you want nothing beyond what Thrive Themes builds for you, but still… an island.
When you compare that to Elementor Pro which has full Theme support already baked in, a much more powerful popup manager, built-in third-party support… Elementor Pro is a much better deal than Thrive Architect.
Plus, Architect as a standalone buy will run you $99/year whereas Elementor Pro will only run you $59. So, you get more for less money with Elementor.
The situation changes when you jump up into the full Thrive Suite of tools. With the Suite, you get Architect along with their Theme Builder, Apprentice, Leads, Quiz Builder and many others. The full suite will run you $299/year. When you consider the full capability of the entire suite, it is actually a pretty good deal.
I won’t say that Thrive Suite is your best possible option. Frankly, I used to be a bigger fan of the tools than I am today. This is primarily because I have more experience with other tools that I’ve found to offer way more flexibility. However, if anything, the Thrive Suite has only gotten better since I stopped using it on my own sites. It has gotten far more capable and I’m seeing a definite move toward opening up to third-parties via Thrive Automator and other enhancements.
In my view, Thrive Suite is a good deal as long as you stay within Thrive’s ecosystem. The moment you want to start bringing in other options, however, you may begin to find Thrive a little limiting.
But, that’s Thrive Suite. This review is about Thrive Architect itself.
And the verdict is….
Good page builder. Easy to use. However, too limited due to lack of third-party expansion capability and too expensive compared to it’s competition.
Only consider Architect if you are going to go all in with Thrive Suite. And frankly…
These days, I think I’d recommend just building your pages using Gutenberg blocks anyway so that everything is much, MUCH faster. Plus, if you go with a block-based theme, they’re almost all going to work nicely with Elementor if you choose to go that route. But, Thrive Architect? Not so much. Again, with Thrive Themes, you better be using all Thrive Themes otherwise it just isn’t worth it anymore.