Thrive Content Builder Review: A Front End Drag and Drop Editor for WordPress

Thrive Content Builder
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
$59 to $199
  • 80%

  • Ease of Use
    Editor: 90%
  • Functionality
    Editor: 95%
  • Value for Money
    Editor: 90%
  • Documentation and Support
    Editor: 85%

The Thrive Content Builder from Thrive Themes has been built to give the WordPress editor an overhaul and change the way you create content for your website.

If you want to eliminate the disconnect between how the post editor works and how your content looks, then the Thrive Content Builder could be just the tool you are looking for.

Read on to find out what this plugin can do and how it works in our Thrive Content Builder review.

Thrive Content Builder Features

When creating this WordPress builder plugin, the developers focused on two key areas: speed and abstraction.

Speed refers to how long it takes to create a page layout with the tool, while abstraction relates to how closely the content in the editor resembles the front end view when that content is published.

The developers wanted to remove the need to constantly switch between tabs, refresh pages, and then wait for them to load that was necessary just to see how the small change you made in the editor will actually look to your visitors.

With the goal of removing the endless rounds of tab switching, as well as the need to do a mental translation between the post editor view and how the post will actually look when published, the core feature of the Thrive Content Builder was born: the front end editor.

Some other WordPress page builders rely on dragging and dropping building blocks around the page to create the custom layouts. This plugin however, aims to make the whole experience more user friendly by removing the abstract interfaces and multi-step processes of adding page elements to a layout that are common with other plugins of this type.

When using the Thrive Content Builder, you can simply click on the posts and pages you’ve created with this tool and start editing them in real time, on the front end of your website. This even stretches to dragging and dropping elements around a page and creating custom layouts.

Some of the most notable features of this front end content editor plugin for WordPress include:

  • Front end post and page builder tool with drag and drop interface
  • Click-to-edit, in-line front end content editor
  • Edit and build content in real time
  • Switch to HTML view to edit the content and layout with more precision
  • Create fully responsive column based layouts
  • Collection of design elements to use in your layouts
  • Create lightbox windows with custom content
  • Launch lightboxes with custom triggers
  • Tools for creating marketing and sales pages
  • Full suite of pre-designed, customisable, full-width landing pages included
  • Works with any WordPress theme

A good portion of the features of this plugin are aimed at marketers and website owners who want to optimize their website and increase conversions.

However, even if you don’t fall into that category, this builder still has the potential to be a very useful addition to your WordPress site, thanks to its front end, content editing abilities.

Available Content Elements

The Thrive Content Builder comes loaded with lots of content elements that can be dragged and dropped into your page layouts. These elements can then be customised to suit your requirements and tastes. Highlights from the available elements include:

  • Text, paragraphs, and images
  • Buttons and calls to actions
  • Custom icons and credit card icons
  • Custom HTML and CSS
  • Content reveal
  • Star ratings
  • Testimonials
  • Pricing tables
  • Sign up optin forms

Most of the elements come in multiple variations and styles, giving you a few different options for how each one will look on your site.

Call to Action Example

Each element can also be customised once it’s been added to your site, giving you even more options for creating a personalised design for your pages.

Call to Action Editor

It’s worth pointing out that the Thrive Content Builder isn’t a theme editor or a tool that will let you customise the layout and appearance of the theme you are using.

Instead it is a post and page layout builder that allows you to create posts and pages with advanced layouts and content. These post and page layouts can then be built and edited through the front end, in-line content editor.

Using the Thrive Content Builder

Once you’ve purchased the plugin it can be accessed and downloaded from the members area on the Thrive Themes website. After uploading the plugin to your WordPress site and activating at it, you must then enter your email address and license key to start using it.

Once everything is validated and up and running, you can begin using the builder to start editing your posts and pages.

Launch Builder 01

There are a number of ways to launch the builder. You can either click on the new link that is added to the post or page list screen in WordPress, use the new button that is added to the default WordPress editor screen, or click on the Edit with Thrive Content Builder menu item that is displayed when viewing your content from the front end of your website.

Launch Builder 02

Whichever option you choose to launch the builder, doing so will open the front end view of the post or page. However, now thanks to this plugin you can start editing the content directly on the front end view of the post or page. This gives you a live, real time preview of how your post will look as you work on it.

There is now no longer a need to keep switching between tabs, and reloading pages, in order to see how each of your changes will appear to your visitors. Even though you do get a live preview of your changes as you are making them, they aren’t visible to your site visitors until you re-publish your page.

Creating Your Page Layout

Once the builder has launched, a sidebar is displayed alongside the front end view of the post you are going to be editing. From the sidebar you can choose from the available elements, and click on them to insert them into your layout, or drag and drop them into the post content area.

Content Builder 01

For example if you want to add some text to your layout, it’s simply a case of dragging and dropping the paragraph/text element into place and then entering the text in-line.

Edit Text In-Line

When you do edit the text in-line, or any other element on your page, a context sensitive control panel is displayed which gives you access to all the controls for editing that element and its contents. This allows you to change many attributes of the element including the fonts, colours, margins, alignment, and more.

Adding Custom Column Layouts

If you want to add a column layout to the post you are working on, you can drag and drop one of the many pre-configured column layouts on to the page.

Adding Content Elements

The layouts can then be populated with other elements from the builder, allowing you to easily create advanced layouts for your posts and pages.

Button Editor

Once you’ve created an element, you can quickly make a copy of it by clicking on the duplicate icon. The new element can then be dragged and dropped into place, and then edited to meet your needs.

Copy Element

Each element can be also be saved as a template for re-use again in the post you are working on, or elsewhere on your site. This is very useful and has the potential to save you a lot of time when creating multiple layouts and pages with this tool.

Launching Lightbox Windows

When adding buttons, calls to actions, and other elements to your page layout, you can use the Event Manager feature of the builder to apply an event to the button.

The events can have one of three triggers: click, mouse over, or comes into view port. After selecting a trigger for the event, you can then set an action: open thrive lightbox or animation.

Add New Event

The lightbox action allows you to create a lightbox, which is then displayed, with an optional animation when the trigger is activated. For example, if a visitor clicks on the button, the lightbox overlay window is displayed, containing the custom content you have specified.

That content could include any of the available elements, such as text, images, or the lead generation optin form element that comes with the Thrive Builder. This allows you to build two-step optin forms very easily.

Lightbox

The lightboxes and their contents can be created through the event manager. Alternatively they can be created and managed through the back end of your site, by using the Thrive Lightboxes section that is added to your dashboard area.

Thrive Lightboxes

Once the builder has launched, you can then add any of the available elements to the lightbox area to create the custom content.

Creating a Landing Page

While most of the features of the Thrive Content Builder work on both posts and pages, if you want to create a landing page you must do so using a WordPress page.

After creating the new page and giving it a title, you can launch the builder as usual. Now from the builder panel, as you are editing a page, you will be able to use the dropdown menu to select the choose landing page option.

Enable Landing Pages

Now from the window that is displayed you can choose from the available landing page designs. At the time of writing there were 30 different landing pages to choose from.

Each template can be edited using the builder tools, just like the custom posts and pages you create yourself. You can view the templates that are come with this plugin on the landing pages section of the website.

Landing Page Templates

The available templates can be filtered according to their attributes, and once you’ve found the right one for your project, you can click the load landing page button to start work on it.

Landing Page Editor

All the regular features and elements of the builder tool are available to help you edit the landing page. You can also save any landing pages you create as templates for later use.

If you want to create a full-width landing page with no sidebars or other theme elements, such as the menu or header areas, you will need to be using a theme that comes with a full-width template. Alternatively you can create one yourself by modifying the existing page templates that come with your theme.

Full Width Template

If at any point you want to go back to using the styling of your theme, rather than the landing page template, you can click on the revert to theme menu item to do so.

Previewing and Publishing Your Pages

Although you get a very realistic view of how your post will appear to your visitors as you build it, you can also click on the preview button on the builder panel. This allows you to really see your content as a visitor would, without the builder controls and menus.

When you are happy with the design you can click the save button to commit the changes, before publishing the post or page to make it ready for public consumption.

With the Thrive Content Builder it is worth noting that while you can open existing posts and pages for editing with the plugin, any content that wasn’t created with the builder cannot be edited using this tool.  However, you can add additional content to those posts and pages, which will go alongside the pre-existing content.

That about covers the features and functionality of the Thrive Content Builder drag and drop page editor plugin.

Support and Documentation

When you purchase this plugin you will receive one year of support, and as a Thrive Themes customer you also get access the online tutorials, walkthrough videos, knowledge base, and support forums.

Most of the features of the builder are documented using the video walkthroughs. These short videos cover the individual features of the plugin, helping you to both get started, and then understand the more advanced features of the Thrive Content Builder.

There are also a number of webinar recordings in the members area. These webinars cover topics such as building a conversion focused website, getting the most out of the Thrive Builder, and building a lead generation landing page.

Pricing

The Thrive Content Builder plugin is available on three pricing plans:

  • Single site license: $59
  • Unlimited sites license: $87
  • Agency license: $199 (for use on client sites)

Each license includes unlimited updates and one year of unlimited support. The Thrive team also offer a full refund within 30 days of your purchase.

You can view the full details of the pricing options on the payment plans page.

Conclusion

The Thrive Content Builder does a great job of standing apart from many of the other WordPress page builders that are available today.

The fact that it works on both posts and pages, as well as the all-important ability to allow you to edit content in-line on the front end of your website, makes it very useful and intuitive to use.

The large number of page elements that you can drag and drop into your custom layouts means you can use this builder plugin to create pretty much any type of website content. Also, as you can then edit the elements that you add to your posts and pages, you really can personalise your creations to give then an individual twist.

The event manager that allows you to set triggers that will load lightbox windows with custom content is a really useful feature that will give website owners who want to increase their goal conversion rates an extra tool to have at their disposal. Being able to quickly add items such as two-step optin forms to your custom page layouts isn’t something that is often seen elsewhere.

Combining those lead generation and goal conversion features with the included 30 landing page templates makes the Thrive Content Builder plugin a tool that will appeal especially to marketers and those offering products and services to their audience from their website. However, due to the wealth of features and ease of use, anyone looking for an intuitive page builder tool for WordPress will find value with this plugin.

If you’ve been disappointed by other WordPress page builders, or are yet to start using a tool like this, the Thrive Content Builder has the potential to really surprise you.

Pros

  • Intuitive front end editor
  • Drag and drop page builder
  • Lots of useful page elements
  • Works with posts and pages
  • Includes 30 landing page templates
  • Helpful video documentation
  • Easy way to launch lightbox windows
  • Fair price

Cons

  • Lots of competition from other similar plugins

Thrive Content Builder

Summary: Thrive Content Builder is a drag and drop, front end, in line content editor and page builder plugin for WordPress that comes with 30 landing page templates.

$59 to $199
Rating
Rated 4.5 stars

Joe Fylan

Joe has been using WordPress for many years, building many different types of websites along the way. Joe now enjoys working as a freelance content writer and is available for hire.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission. All opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

2 comments

  1. First let me say that I am a complete newbie when it comes to building websites etc. My website vapespin.com is my first attempt at building a site ever. I found TCB (Thrive Content Builder) and watched a couple videos of it in action and decided to try it out. I absolutely love this thing! It really is amazing and makes the whole process really easy. I would absolutely recommend anyone getting this. It has incredible versatility and there is so much to be said for being able to edit in real time. It makes everything much faster and you don’t have to keep hitting the reload button everytime you make a change!

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *