6 New Features that Make Thrive Architect Easier & Faster to Use

Shane Melaugh   241

Updated on December 31, 2019

In the last two updates that we released for the Thrive Architect plugin, we included several new features and usability improvements.

Here's a quick tour of these new features, so you can get the most out of the plugin and build your content and pages even faster.


Here's a quick summary of the improvements:

1) Background Image Positioning

When you add a background image to a content box or background section, you can now choose how to align it:

The blue dot represents where the background image is "anchored". This alignment option is especially important for mobile responsiveness. For example: if you set the anchor point to the top left corner, that means the top left part of the background image will always be visible. The parts of the image towards the bottom and right will disappear, once the visitor's screen size is too small to accommodate the entire image.

2) Click Outside to Save

Whenever you are adjusting settings in an options box (the boxes with the dark background in the sidebar) you can apply those changes by clicking the green "Apply" button. The new improvement is that you no longer have to click this green button to apply the change. If you click outside of the options box, the box is closed and the change is applied.

You can use undo (Ctrl + Z) to revert the change or click on "Cancel" to close the box without saving the change.

3) Improved Drag & Drop

Every element that isn't a text element can now be dragged from anywhere. That means you no longer have to use the "drag handle" on the outline of  the element. You can just click and drag anywhere inside the element to initiate drag and drop.

4) Alt + Drag to Duplicate

If you've used professional screen design tools, this feature is one you might already be familiar with: hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and drag & drop and element.

Instead of moving the element to the new location, this will create a duplicate of the element in the new location. This makes building layouts that feature a lot of duplication faster and more convenient.

5) Improved Button Options

We've cleaned up the options for the button element. The new layout looks like this:

Notable changes:

  • Button size slider has been replaced with pre-set sizes.
  • It's easier to add an icon to your button.
  • The button icon can be edited directly, as a separate element. This opens up many new design possibilities.
  • The "divider" option has been removed. You can still add a divider, for example by adding a side border to the icon.
  • The options take up less vertical space than before.

6) New Vertical Alignment Options

When adding a column layout to your pages, you've always been able to choose vertical alignment for the content inside those columns. Many of you have been asking us to make such alignment options available outside of columns as well.

In the latest version of Thrive Architect, you can choose top, center and bottom vertical alignments for content boxes and background sections as well.

Please note: vertical alignments are incompatible with the "float" attribute. If you want to float elements, you need to place them in a container that doesn't have vertical alignment applied.

That's the overview of our latest set of updates. Many more are in the works and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you soon!

What do you think of these latest improvements? Let me know by leaving a comment below!


by Shane Melaugh  October 24, 2017


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    • Amen . I want some CPTs in my Thrive Themes, as I need a couple of standard content boxes etc. And so a Themer like a solution.

      Explicit support outside of Thrive’s ecosystem. Explicit support for video post types that Thrive people don’t build.

    • Me too! I am currently building my marketing site with Thrive and my membership site with Beaver builder for this reason, but would MUCH prefer to keep everything in the Thrive universe… I’ve spoken with Amir from Toolset just this past Friday about them doing a custom integration with Thrive Architect. He said they are VERY happy to do it right away – they will put in the work but need a clear go ahead and from Thrive/Shane. I’ve submitted a more detailed request/proposal just yesterday in the Thrive Architect Support ticket system. Feel free to add your thoughts and votes to it there Henrik!
      Shane – any thoughts on this?

      • Thank you for your input on this topic, Dylan! I will talk to our developers about this. It’s mainly a question of resources and priorities. We have an unlimited amount of work already, so it’s really a question of how much resource something like this takes and where it fits in our infinite to-do list.

    • Thank you for your suggestion, Henrik. And also everyone who replied here. This is really valuable feedback for us to get.

      In general, we are open to allowing extensions and 3rd party tools for our products. I will talk to the team about this, to see what this would involve and how it might fit into our roadmap.

  • Shane, you and your team continue to deliver and exceed expectations. Thanks for your continual delivery of value!

  • All of these changes seem great. One improvement I would like to see is more control over videos used as background images. They don’t seem to work properly with Safari in regards to videos going backwards, starting midway through or running well past the point I wanted them to run too.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Tony. We’ve got some improvements for video backgrounds in the works. I agree that currently, there are still some things about the feature that aren’t ideal.

  • Wow, can Thrive Architect get any better? Knowing the dedication of the staff at Thrive Themes, I suspect the answer is absolutely.

    Keep up the great work.

  • Hey Shane,

    I was using Thrive for one of my clients and I was really happy to see the changes coming.

    The background image positioning is always helpful. For non-techie people, it can be pretty hard to do such things.

    Like the buttons.
    Looking for more upgrades.

  • Some of these improvements have me saying ‘Oh YAY!’ out loud to myself 🙂 Thank you for always moving this fabulous set of tools forward!

  • Nice updates and good video overview! Shane, you do a great job with video content. Under Construction, Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode would be nice features to add. I use those with another page builder. Thanks

  • DANG! As always, you guys just keep making the amazing even better!
    Love these new updates. ESPECIALLY the “auto” save!

    So…when are some new Themes coming?

  • Thanks for improvements.

    Requests for interface improvements:
    1) For me the scrollbar within the architect tools is a bit too hard to hit on a laptop while working on a train with trackpad. Hit or miss a lot…
    Would like option to make it a little wider or something easier to select.
    Or if there was a key combo to scroll up and down without selecting.

    2) Also I can’t scroll to see the top and bottom of a content box, or similar, when it extends outside the current view. Because if I click to scroll it deselects. So I would like to be able to have some way to lock that in while I scroll. So I can tell which elements are included and which arent.

    3) a bit more complicated request, might be a tree view. To see what is nested under these content containers and select those. Maybe this is something that I can just do under the html code/view. Sometimes you can’t tell how things are stacked, especially on the premade templates.

    • Thank you for your comment, TJ!

      1) Is there a specific reason you don’t use a 2-finger scroll gesture to scroll in the sidebar? The scroll bar there is meant as an indicator, not an input device. The idea is that you’d use 2-finger scrolling or a mouse wheel…

      2) Basically the same thing as I wrote above.

      3) We have a plan to implement such a view. 🙂

    • I’d love to know how to do parallax effects on a landing page. Do you have a tutorial on that? (I’ve just searched the Thrive Knowledge Base and couldn’t find anything on it.) Many thanks.

      • We don’t have a “real” parallax effect, but you can set a background image to “static” in the background image options, which will keep it in place as the rest of the content scrolls by.

    • I’m with Roger.

      Love all the new stuff, but my biggest request is for making Quiz Builder functional, as it is currently very buggy. Particularly the dynamic results (the reason for having a quiz 🙂 ), as can be seen in the support forums.

      So +1 for duplicating quizzes, but for a different reason than you might think: backing up quizzes. I have lost a ton of work when Quiz Builder auto-save overwrites dynamic results. Thx!

      • Hi Guy,
        Duplicating full quizzes is something that’s on the road map for Thrive Quiz Builder (but not super high up for the moment).
        If you’re having trouble with the dynamic results I suggest opening a support ticket (because this shouldn’t happen) so there might be a conflict with another plugin/setting on your site.

  • I love the Architect – great work!
    And that´s really great but since the last update static background does`nt work 🙁

    In one of my sites there are 30 pages now without static background…it looks bad…

    I don`t want to make the update now at my customers sites.
    Could you please check that?


  • Awesome improvements Shane. Looking forward to even more tweaks like this. Are you planning to offer any more decoration effects to background sections, such as one might find in other page builders esp. Elementor?

    • I have this request also. Curves are so nice! I used to use curves a lot in visual composer. They also have a cool cloud decoration but I didn’t use it much. The left and right curves and being able to change angle and size would be fabulous!

      • Thanks for your input, Jaya!

        If you like curve, check out the semi-circles decoration we have now and set the width to 100%. 😉

    • Yeah, I think we can do that in the future. For “fancier” decorations, we’d use SVG paths, which is a bit different from the current decorations and only works with solid colors. The cool thing about the current decorations is that you can have ANYTHING on either side of the decoration. Background images, gradients, background videos… you name it. 🙂

  • All good improvements! And the hook email to get me to click through and check these out was great!
    “Have a look at these 6 new features in Thrive Architect and you might understand why I couldn’t wait to send this email.

    My favorite new feature is number 4. What’s yours?”

    • Oh, now that I read that back, I realize that I did a Buzzfeed… wasn’t my intention, but apparently it worked. 🙂

  • Great timesaving improvements! I’d love to see the Font Manager updated. I realize that Google Fonts are available and expanding but as a designer, I also like to work with other fonts that l’ve bought or will buy for my clients. Would be absolutely fantastic!

    • +1 on custom font upload, this would be really useful to webdesigners or bloggers like me who want to use an on-brand heading font!

  • These new features are awesome! Thanks a lot, guys!! 😀

    A feature I would to see in the future is the possibility to copy/paste Thrive Architect elements from one page or opt-in form to another.

    OptimizePress lets you do this with columns, and I find it very useful.

    • Hi Angel,
      For now, the easiest way to do that would be to safe the column element as a content template 🙂 (Then you can paste it on any page)

      • Hi Hanne,

        What about the ability to export content templates from one site and import them into another site? That would be a huge help (or is that already possible?).

      • For the moment only on landing pages (but you can put content templates on a landing page and export that one 🙂 )

  • I’d say #3 is my fav…I was regularly screwing up what I was duplicating ‘cuz I didn’t get the right handle first! Thanks for the updates. Hugs&Blessings. MamaRed

  • These are great updates, thank you! I especially love the alt+drag/drop and the vertical alignment.

    It should be noted that if you do it with text elements that you have to alt+drag by clicking on the actual move icon of that element. If it can be done without conflict, I’d like to see that work the same as image elements (anywhere in the box).

    Also, while I’m commenting, I miss back in the day when I could hold Shift so that the outside of an element (an outside column box for example) would stay highlighted so I could hit the duplicate button easy. For some reason, sometimes it’s super hard for me to get to it because it’ll “deselect” as I move my cursor towards the right corner.
    Hope that makes sense? I’m still on my first coffee. 😉

    Either way, thanks for always improving this. I use it daily 🙂

    • Thanks for your feedback, Jay!

      If you click on an element to select it, the controls on the element frame will stay visible as you move your mouse out of the frame. Does that help?

  • Seems that Architect is the flagship plugin & Thrive Themes. Lot’s of love and highly focused updates. And for as new of a plugin this is, the lack of bugs is impressive. I’m super happy to be a client Shane. Great work as always.

    • Thank you, Jason! It’s indeed our flagship product, especially since almost all the other products depend on it for editing templates and such.

  • Thanks a lot! I needed those New Vertical Alignment Options for my website where i had a title in the middle of my background.

      • More and more clients are asking for one page sites, it seems. And it’s important that smooth anchor scrolling option becomes available instead of just a clunky jump.

  • Nice updates! Please add the option to use images instead of icons next to styled list items and also the option to use an image instead of a button in a lead generation element.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Dustin! What’s the use case for using images instead of icons or images instead of buttons?

    • Hi Mike,

      Are you referring to the scroll indicator in the Thrive Architect sidebar? If so, is there any reason you’re not using either a scroll wheel on a mouse or a 2-finger scroll gesture on a trackpad?

  • Hello Shane,
    Thank you for the updates and the explanation. I have been working on my WP site and noticed some of the new features you mention, but now that they have been explained, I have clearer picture.

    On a separate subject, I have a request for help, perhaps a video tutorial to be published as a new blog post from the Thrive Themes team. This is my request:
    I have noticed that WP allows you to redirect category links to custom landing pages. I would like to learn how to build a beautiful and conversion focused optimized landing page for each of my categories. Could you, Hanne or someone from the team show us the best way to accomplish this?

    Thank you so much in advance,

    • That’s a great suggestion, yes. Category landing pages have been kind of a hidden feature in our themes for a long time (I don’t think it’s a core WordPress feature yet). We’ve been wanting to create some content about this, but the time hasn’t been right. It’s definitely on our to-do list, though.

  • These are great, I especially like the drag and drop thing. Actually, anything that allows us to work without having to hit very small areas with the pointer is a very welcome improvement.

    You have been implementing some “fancier” functions lately (see magazine style typography), and I for one welcome the fact that you keep improving the basic functions as well. Those are the ones we used most often, thus the ones where improvements save us most time.

    Speaking of which, I was very surprised to find that such a great update (Architect) failed to speed up my work. This is entirely due to one single element: the text element. It should go without saying that text is the most used element, especially when working with blog posts rather than elaborate sales pages and the like.

    Now here’s the thing. TCB allowed me to copy-paste a whole article into the text element and show up as separate elements/paragraphs, which meant I could further refine each of them individually and insert other elements such as pictures, boxes etc in between.

    This doesn’t seem to be possible in Architect, where pasting results in a single huge text element. That forces me to copy-paste EVERY PARAGRAPH INDIVIDUALLY, which is a major, major time drain.

    I imagine some like the Architect mode better. It would be great if you could give us a choice though, let us choose which “paste modality” we want to work with. I was so looking forward to working with Architect on the posts, and it ended up destroying my usual workflow. Such a shame. And honestly, it should be one of the most flexible elements, I mean, if you have a blog, clearly you need to publish posts more often than you need to build a new sales page.

    The other thing with text is that, while I like the formatting “tooltip” window much better than what we had in TCB, it pops up BELOW the line you’re working on, which means that it invariably covers the area where you would need to read next. I have to click to close it every single time. Super annoying and time wasting.

    So those are at the top of my wish list. I mean, come on guys, it’s the TEXT element, you know?

    Other than that, what I look forward to the most is page A/B testing. Say it will be out soon 🙂

    • Lorenzo and I must have the exact same workflow, because I, too, would prefer to have both of those things that he listed VERY MUCH (the pasting of long articles auto-creating separate elements again and the formatting bar being on next line changed — for the exact same reasons). 🙂

    • I agree about where the text element shows up. As for the pasting thing, I actually like it better to paste it all in one element. It used to drive me crazy in TCB that it all pasted into different text elements. I like to be able to format multiple paragraphs at once and not have them all be a separate element. It would also drive me crazy when I would hit enter and a whole new text element would be created! This is much better for me. When I’m doing a lot of copy/paste, I just use a plain text doc and copy however many paragraphs I need into a new element. Then go back to the plain text doc and do it again. I guess for me most blog posts are pretty simple without a bunch of extra elements. It’s the sales pages and main content pages of the site that need more elements and such so this new functionality suits my needs well.

      • Right. Like I said, I’m sure many like the Architect mode better, otherwise they wouldn’t have made the change. Still, there are also many others who would rather have a paste result in separate paragraphs for the reasons mentioned above, and since this is the element used most frequently, it may be possible to have some kind of switch to activate/deactivate the two pasting modalities.

        I distinctly remember Shane pushing us to use TCB for blog posts as well as pages. This very blog often displays posts full of pictures, boxes, animations, and whatnot. Unless you actually come up with the content as you type it in the post in Architect, clearly pasting as separate paragraphs would be the preferable choice in such cases.

        Also, getting a new text element when pressing enter allowed you to choose the margin between paragraphs, which again you can’t do within the single text element in Architect, which inherits the margins from the theme.

        And since we are talking text, I can’t help but notice it is now impossible – unlike in TCB – to animate a text selection (or the whole text element, for that matter) with a tooltip, which was super useful.

    • Lorenzo, the text tooltip covering the text I want to edit/read next is really a pain. I click on another word just to “clear the view” of the tooltip and then click again on the text I want to edit. This needs to be improved.

    • Thanks for all the feedback here! Copy-paste for text is definitely something we will keep working on, to improve the workflow of those who rely on other tools to do the writing.

      • There are shortcut keys for most of the text styling and the styling box is often in the way. Option to hide it or have it in the sidebar.
        Not creating separate text blocks for each paragraph is much better for me. Was annoying in TCB.

  • Love the update guys. Number 2 is definitely my favourite. I always forget to hit the apply button! Would love to see the contact form element, global elements, and the ability to customize headers & widgets with Thrive Architect.

    • Thank you, David! Can you be more specific about what you’d like to see, to be able to be more creative with Thrive Architect?

  • Great stuff!!! I am glad I got to thrive, because I am a designer not a programer. I can finally built sites in WP with amost no limits!

  • These are great guys, thank you!

    To answer your question, I would love to see more flexibility for creating post grids. It seems like I’m pretty limited by the Thrive Theme I’m using. It would be awesome to create designed post grids in Thrive Architect so I could replicate the really nice, clean, interactive look of modern tiled displays. Getting a nice tile display plugin is virtually the only design plugin I use outside of Thrive.

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • Hi David,

      Thank you for your feedback! Agreed that the post grid feature is quite limited, compared to other elements. This is a carry-over from the old TCB. We just haven’t gotten to updating the post grid element yet. But it’s coming!

  • The 6 new features are really awesome.

    Thanks for your great effort to make from Thrives Architect the best content builder.

    I would like to request something if possible.

    I would like to make a template from the social sharing elements that I customize so I don’t need to customize the elements every time I am using them in a different post or page.

    • Thank you for your comment, Paulo! Making the social buttons more customizable is on the development roadmap!

  • Great new features! Especially liked the improved drag/drop/duplicate functions. What I would like to see would be to have the regular image editing options(resizing, opacity, blur etc.) available for background images as well. This would make it easier to experiment with different designs without having to shuttle back and forth between Thrive Architect and Canva, Photoshop, Desygner etc.

  • So awesome Shane! Love what you guys are doing to Thrive Architect.

    Any chance you guys ever plan on adding triggering by utm variable or source for thriveleads?

    That would be a game-changer.

    • We don’t have this planned yet, but we will revisit Thrive Leads and make some further improvements, during the course of next year.

  • Awesome improvements. I’m writing here because I received a database connection error when I tried submitting a comment.

    Here is my feature requests….

    More Screen Sizes

    I’d love it if you could add the option to enable custom screen widths as new screen sizes so we don’t have to manually create our own media queries. I’d like to see two additional “in-between” screen widths added. One in between Desktop and Tablet and another between Tablet and Mobile. When enabled at the bottom of the page, we can adjust the canvas around just like Desktop, Tablet and Mobile. Depending upon how each page layout looks we can disable and enable them like normal. Just feel like when I scale my website up or down in the browser the design does not always look good and breaks between screen sizes and I want it to gracefully scale down or up.

    Built-in Form Builder

    I really feel like Thrive needs a Form Builder built-in (Check out Elegant Themes) Their form even has conditional logic built in. Rather than just the email subscribe generic form that has to be connected to a service. This would open up a word of possibilities.
    The don’t just add the form functionality, allow us to customize the appearance of the form inputs and checkboxes headlines. Also, allow to create an auto-response message upon form submission along with a thank you page redirect.

  • TA community rumbling.
    Add at least a basic “sticky header” asap. You can make it fancier and more feature rich later.

    • Thank you for your feedback, Harvey. We’re working on a header/footer feature that will include sticky headers.

  • Keep killing it guys…your seriously allowing me to slam dunk my super teaching fitness super coaching website..

    modern and meaningful self test tools
    Exercise short codes(tm)
    originally mastered lesson plans..Im so pumped

    thanks for the fitness super teaching battle axe sharpener you’ve equipped me with..

  • I love the improvements, all of them! But there are still areas I wish you would give urgent attention: (1) possibility of putting woocommerce in a section of the front page and (2) the ability to use the pre-designed landing /home pages without obliterating the menus.

  • These new updates/additions are all great! I would like to see a tutorial (Thrive University course?) on using Architect for posts! I’m currently using it for my cornerstone content posts (“epic content” ) but it’s pretty cumbersome. I’m sure it’s **me** still in the Architect learning curve! I think “work flow” is what comes into play here! And, as Mark Weinberger said (below) I’d like some way to add block quotes & pull quotes to my posts… My website is all about content (I teach WP through my articles), and for text-heavy/post-centric websites, these typography features are realy important. So far, I’ve been “jury-rigging” them by way of Content Boxes (for different magins, colored backgrounds, borders, icons, etc.) I know some themes employ these at the theme level, and that would be fine too. So, if you are adding to those new Thrive themes, that could go on that wish list as well!

    Thanks for always thinking about your customers! You guys do it better than anyone else!

    • Thank you for the suggestion, Karen! I’ll see what we can do, for adding a tutorial or course on this topic.

      For now, have you seen the “blog content” lesson in the Website from Scratch course we have? This is the one I mean. I think it’s the closest thing we have, to what you are describing.

  • Awesome little tweaks, guys! I love your dedication to efficiency. As a designer, I can really appreciate little time saves like clicking anywhere on an element to drag instead of having to hover over just the perfect drag spot. Also, the Alt drag option to copy an element is amazing! (another case where I don’t like having to go to that one tiny spot to duplicate.) Also the click outside the options box is cool too.

    The button changes are nice. I think it’s really helpful to establish sm, med, large, huge sizes for standard elements like buttons, title bars, columns, as well as have options to scale like you’ve done with the button. The reason I like the sm, med, large, etc is because it makes it easier to create a standardized button size throughout the site. (same for columns, etc.) It could even be cool to have some parameters you can set up in the Thrive Options where the user can set the standard sizes for various things, then when they click to do a small button, they know that it will be the 100px size that they set up already in the site-wide Thrive options.

    Keep up the good work! I’ve recently switched from Visual Composer, which I was using at an agency and am loving coming back to this better than ever Thrive Architect! While I still miss some of the fancy animations and decorations and such with VC, the experience and overall versatility with Thrive Architect blows VC out of the water!

    • Thank you for your detailed feedback, Jaya!

      We were thinking the same thing, regarding the button sizes. This just makes it way easier to have unified sizes. And since you can still adjust everything via width and padding if you want to, no functionality goes lost with this change.

      Regarding columns, in case you didn’t know yet: you can press Ctrl (or Cmd on a Mac) and drag the column divider to get changes in 5% increments. I usually use this, to get nice and even spaces on my columns.

      I’m very happy to hear that your experience with Thrive Architect is better than what you had with VC.