My friends, this is honestly a sad video to make for me.
I spent many years being a strong advocate for Thrive Themes. Long before Thrive Suite even existed and all of their products were standalone, I used and recommended Thrive Themes. When they offered the Thrive membership (now Thrive Suite), I honestly thought it was one of the best deals available.
Sadly, things have changed.
Awesome Motive bought Thrive Themes. And with new ownership has come new, more aggressive marketing tactics.
Awesome Motive is the same company behind a number of plugins. That includes OptinMonster, MonsterInsights, WP Forms and many others. But, there’s a reason you don’t see me recommending their products. I find the tactics of this company to be… in the gray zone. While clearly AM provides a lot of value, I feel some of their marketing strategies are not in the best interest of the WordPress community.
When AM purchased Thrive Themes, the press releases always make it seem rosy. They say nothing will change. That all the good things you liked before will stay and they’re just going to make it better.
But, that hasn’t proven true at all.
Yes, the software still rocks. I still stand by my original opinions about the quality of Thrive Suite. I wouldn’t have recommended it in the first place if I didn’t believe it. But…
I would NEVER have recommended Thrive Suite to anybody if the situation were as it is today.
For one, AM has literally doubled their subscription price for Thrive Suite. They’ve doubled the price from $299/year all the way to $599/year.
That might not be very clear, though, from the way they edited the pricing page. They make it seem like you’re getting a limited discount. But, in tiny little print you will see… when your subscription price renews, it will be at the full rate of $599.
That makes Thrive Suite perhaps the most expensive collection of WordPress plugins I have ever seen.
I would never have recommended this package at this price. Ever. It is isn’t worth it.
But, it gets worse…
In the context of converting a client site away from Thrive Suite over to Kadence Theme, here’s what I was greeted to after he cancelled his Thrive subscription:
That’s right… they now give you a 14-day “grace period” and then the products literally stop working.
You will not be able to edit your site any longer or make any changes at all using Thrive products once your over-priced subscription expires.
To my knowledge, this is not how the software acted previously.
This puts Thrive Suite in direct opposition to my own principle of digital sovereignty.
One of the main principles of digital sovereignty when it comes to your online business is not to get locked into rented software that you cannot relatively easily get out of. It makes you a dependent. You are not in control any longer.
When you are using WordPress, it is code which you control on your own server. You’re paying for that hosting and you’re responsible for making sure it all works. When you use any Wordpress plugin, all that code and all the data is on YOUR hosting. This is a direct contrast to hosted, third-party applications that you pay monthly for because not only are they providing the software, but they’re hosting the whole thing as well.
For a WordPress plugin to literally disable itself – on your own server – if you stop paying a subscription is just shady. It is not in the spirit of WordPress. It is not how GPL licensing is supposed to work.
I pay for numerous plugins on a recurring basis given what I do for a living. I’m happy to do it. But, I refuse to be held hostage to such a thing.
So, this makes Thrive Suite a one-way decision.
If you decide to use Thrive Suite to build your site, you better be sure you want to use Thrive Suite forever. Otherwise, you will lose your ability to edit your site or change anything the moment you decide $599 is not something you want to pay.
For this reason, I do not recommend Thrive Suite anymore.
There are too many other really good software pakages available on WordPress that not only are better deals, perform better, and certainly won’t lock you in.
If you’re on Thrive Suite now, I would begin planning a migration to other solutions.
Frankly, even if the company reverse course on this, I’m done with them. I would much rather use and recommend products that I feel treat their customers correctly. There are plenty of them.
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