Where’s the Ultra-Multi-Purpose Chameleon Thrive Theme?

Take a look at the current state of the WordPress themes marketplace and you quickly come away with one conclusion: if you want to sell a premium WordPress theme, it should be ultra-customizable. In fact, it should appeal to everyone and be suitable for every type of website imaginable.

​With Thrive Themes, we are deliberately not getting on board with this trend and here are the top 5 reasons why not.

More...

Watch the video to get all the details and read below for the summary.

Reason 1: The Pen & Paper Problem

If​ someone hands you a blank piece of paper and a pencil, can you create a sketch for a beautiful and functional website?

Unless you're a professional designer, the answer is probably going to be "no".

A theme that gives you a blank template and a million design options is not that different from a blank page and a pencil. It's asking you to do design work and unless you're a professional designer there are two issues with that:

  1. ​Your time is not best spent doing design work.
  2. The results of your design work are not going to be very good (no offense, but most of us simply don't have the skills required to create good web design).

In the video, I also mention the Dunning-Kruger Effect, so here's a link if you want to learn more about that.

Reason 2: Not Really That Customizable

​Many themes seem like they can be customized to suit any need and create any design you want, but this usually doesn't hold true.

Some theme really are like a blank canvas and you need to write your own CSS to make significant design changes and your own PHP to change anything about the functionality. In other words: you need to be a professional or hire one or several professionals to do this work.

Most themes just have many different elements and design options to choose from (as well as an abundance of color pickers). That's really just like rolling many designs into a single theme and giving you the option to blend them all together. Unless all the components are generic and replaceable, the end result will usually look horrible.

Reason 3: Unclean Tech

From a technical viewpoint, the result of a theme that has all these customization options is not optimal (or absolutely horrific, in some cases).

There will be much more code on the page than there needs to be and there will be larger chunks of code that are not cacheable. Even worse, the theme will often load a lot of data that you don't need. For example, I've seen many themes that will load a huge file with hundreds of icons (on every page load), even if you're only using a couple of them on your site.​

Reason 4: Just a Little More to the Left...

Value Alert: if you're only skimming through this post, read this section. It contains the most important message.

A theme with a thousand design options inevitably pulls your focus away from what really matters in your business.

Your website is supposed to serve your business​ goals. How effectively it does that is determined by many things, but whether your content area is 810px or 816px wide is not one of them.

There's a real danger in spending too much time tweaking small things, making the button corners a little more or a little less rounded, moving something just a little more to the left... the impact of all this tweaking on your business is zero, but you lose hours of your time and you lose sight of what truly matters.​

This is why we believe you are better served by taking a theme that's the result of a design expert and a conversion expert working together and implementing it as quickly as possible.​

Leave design work to designers and focus on doing work that will actually drive your business forward.​

Reason 5: Race to the Bottom

Trying to make a single theme appeal to everyone and adding more and more design options results in a race to the bottom. The only way it can work is by making all the designs more and more generic and all resulting websites more and more forgettable.

More importantly, at Thrive Themes we believe that theme functionality is far more important than theme design. Sure, we invest a lot in design as well, but the core of what makes a theme useful (and what makes it serve your business) is the functionality.

That's why we emphasize speed optimization, build features that let you replace bulky plugins, create elements that are not just empty gimmicks but help you get more traffic or boost conversions and it's why ​we create ready-made, optimized landing pages that you can deploy as quickly as possible.

This is also the reason why we work together with experts to create specialized themes, such as Performag, for authority magazine sites and increased ad revenue.​

In the future, you can expect us to deliver more of the same: specialized, well thought-out themes and plugins that are built to serve a very specific business purpose instead of one-size-fits-all solutions.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know by leaving a comment!​

Shane

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder and the CEO of Thrive Themes. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

  • John F says:

    Thank goodness Thrive will NOT be doing this! Chameleon themes are oftentimes bloated and follow the “Big Mac” principle of ‘something for everyone’, which more often results in, ‘nothing for anybody’.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, exactly. Trying to be everything to everyone is a great way to be not much of anything and we want to avoid that with our products.

  • Andre L says:

    Yes. Yes. And yes. You are so right Shane.

    The question is always: What is the goal here?

    And the goal is to deliver value, get people excited, get subscribers and sell awesome products.

    After all, that is what it’s all about. Not about rounded corners. ;-)

    By the way: LOVE your value alert! You caught me skimming – afterwards I was reading. ;-)

    Take care,

    André

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Andre! It’s one of the things I wish I knew earlier on in this business: always keep the goal in mind.

  • David C says:

    Amen, Shane!

    Couldn’t agree more. Especially with the problem of slow sites and code bloat.

    You also mentioned the problem of having to load css for EVERYTHING on every page, whether that css will be used by the page or not. That’s where I love Thrive’s ability to add specific css to specific pages.

    Well said!

    David Coleman

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, David! Glad to know you see it this way as well.

  • Kudos! Thinking before following the buffalo off the edge of the cliff!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Haha, well put. :)

  • Robert B says:

    Shane, I couldn’t agree with you more. My time is valuable, not only in my professional life but private. The hours we spend on something has to have value or you end up wasting it. From the old design programs I have used and switching over to WordPress has, and still is, a learning process. Being able to have Content Builder is a good thing. But having too many “vegetables in the soup” only makes you feel bloated when you finish with it. And rarely can you taste all the ingredients. So, in the end , make it functional, make it easy and fun to make, and get repeat customers.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Robert! I love the vegetable soup analogy. :)

  • Brad B says:

    Thank you for your direct and upfront thoughts with upgrading etc. As a beginner in marketing but experienced with enough knowledge to get sucked into the wrong path and off track from the main purpose of websites as you mentioned. I appreciate your upfront approach and I look forward to more valuable insight with building a strong business!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Brad! We will be adding more educational and tutorial content on this blog and aim to provide more value outside of the products we sell.

  • Rudolf says:

    Funny coincidence.
    On my walk to the gym this morning I was listening to “Essentials of Website Design for Business Builders” from Chase Reeves over at Fizzle.co which emphasized exactly the same view like your “Reason #4”, which, by the way, actually should be more like Reason #1…!

    I myself was chasing the “prettiest website” for far too long until I realized that there are plenty of “perfect” designed websites around which nobody gives a sh*t about whereas some very “crappy” sites are perfectly resonating with their audience and are crazy successful.

    Create your ideal customer/client avatar, concentrate on resonating with your audience, shoot for providing value and establishing long time relationships and only then start “designing” your site around that – that is very sound advice. At least it resonates with me… ;-)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Rudolf,

      I agree that reason #4 is the most important point (and most dangerous pitfall) in this post. Maybe I should have structured it differently.
      I also made this mistake for a long time, especially when I was starting out. I had no idea about where to set priorities and it’s dreadful to think how many hours I spent on work that had literally zero impact on anything…

  • Joerg U says:

    I fully agree with that, but is has two sides. It’s so important to keep focus of the most important elements on your Business. A theme that has all options to make everything is for the most of Peoples only a Toy that cost Time and can’t help. On the other Side, if you really clear now what you want , a Theme that has all Options can help you to make what you really want. But for me the most of Time is the best way i use the tested Templates with a little of customizing. It cost not to much Time and im already on focus. Its hard enough to sitting on a white Paper without knowing what you want. In this Moment a Toy can only completing the Disaster. If you following your very good straight Business Strategie, you never give Peoples a Toy for Playing. You now it, you can’t make it 100 Percent of peoples right, but you can help these Peoples there following you making the right steps in their Business. Less is more is a good strategy!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Joerg,

      Yes, I think that many themes and plugins are loaded with gimmicks and they end up being more like toys than business tools. We’re steering in the opposite direction of this kind of thing.

  • Miles Austin says:

    Great points and reminders on the value of Focus. Shane, what did you use to create your lower-thirds on this video. Like the look and the effect of flying in and out.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks, Miles!

      I think those are made with the tools in Adobe Premiere. I don’t know for sure, though, since I’ve recently started handing my videos over to an editor who actually knows what he’s doing. ;)

  • Thanasi says:

    Solid points, agreed.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Glad you’re on board with our vision, Thanasi. :)

  • Alex Makarski says:

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of majority, it is time to pause and reflect” (Mark Twain).

    I thought this swiss-army-knife-type theme business was getting a bit out of hand. Thank you for being the voice of sanity, Shane.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      I love that quote. Thanks for that, Alex!

  • Dan F says:

    I have purchased several themes and have been given many others as a bonus with another product. I cannot design the perfect website and most of these themes are marketed to people such as myself. They appear to provide you the tools to create that perfect website. However, as you rightly point out, you wind up spending days figuring out what you can change and then tinkering with that for more days.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Dan,

      A fellow theme addict, I see. :)
      I know that these do-it-all themes are really seductive and I fell for them as well, for a time. But I realized that using them resulted in no additional value for my business. They just added more busy-work for me.

  • Michel says:

    I have been trying (and buying!) a lot, yes a lot of wp themes and yes, also the extreme x-theme.
    I am also a member of several other wp-themesites. I am tending more and more towards Thrivethemes as I appreciate the clear and function oriented approach. The builder is great with its inmediate see what you get function and I love to have not to learn where to find all these different options with every new wp-theme again and again. So I can agree with this post, be it that there must be (still created) a very good choice for the different needs of a website OR a very good integration with existing plugins for membersites etc. I would love to see Trivethemes further develop in this direction and so freeing me from the need to “research the market” and spend far too much time and money in search for good wp-themes.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Michel!

      Please let us know your specific needs and we’ll do our best to help out. Either by pointing you in a good direction or by building something you can use. :)

  • Dave Bell says:

    You are 100% right. It is a horror show with all these DIVI and X Themes and the like. (I own both, of course) I hate it when for possible page layouts are loaded and of course only one is being used. Load 5 sliders and actually use none on the site. Yes, I hate stuff like that.

    Bloated code and generic sites with useless features are the end result of the race to the bottom.

    What to do about it other than what you are already doing is a harder question. I think what you are doing with Thrive is off the scale fantastic. True outside the box thinking. That said, I would still like to see a page template called “services” or the like. Because I need to do sites that are more small business focused, an offering of services type of site rather than a email list conversion site.

    I waffle like a yo-yo between Thrive and Beaver Builder. Both solve unique problems and both are well supported well thought out products. I own both, of course.
    Thanks for listening, HUGE FAN, Dave

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your comment! I’d love to know you what you personally like about the Beaver Builder and what areas you think it’s more useful for than Thrive Content Builder. Please be brutally honest, so we can make our product that much better. :)

      • David B says:

        Hi Shane, I love to give my feedback. I think as a full time WordPress user and lover and having spent thousand’s of dollars on themes (most of which I never use) that I can often provide valuable insights.

        As one person mentioned, a template/theme/page for “micro businesses” would be most helpful. Everyone calls them something different, but they are usually a one to three person operation with no budget for website. And yet they need one. So the quicker I can get them up a sharp looking site that offers their contact info, services, office hours, etc, the happier we all are. The biggest advantage that Beaver Builder has is true one click templates that instantly off that exact type of site. And some engaging variations of that type of site. (yes, that happens to mesh with the type of site I just mentioned above and which is also my main type of client. I

        I get the type of site that Thrive is geared towards, it is just that I do not have many clients who want or can afford to go down that road. That said, currently my own site is using your Minus theme http://www.capewp.com although I am thinking of switching to Focus Blog theme for that site. The circles are a bit too big for me.

        A quick down and dirty tip would be to offer different credit card graphics and maybe let us add out own to the mix. This would also have the benefit of someone seeing that particular credit card graphic and “branding” the site as a Thrive site.

        I LOVE your callout boxes and such. Big, Bold, and very configurable. Same with fonts and icons. Nicely done. You did not reinvent the wheel. No need.

        I have this seemingly insane desire to “go deep”. By that I mean hitch my cart to ONE particular way of doing things, like I did with WordPress. NOT using WordPress for a website is simply not an option for me. I have learned ALOT about it. And just as I was coming up with the idea that an easier way was really necessary for WordPress (The Options panel on, say, Genesis, is a bit thin, after all :) ) then along comes all the DIVI type drag and drop themes. And the best thing about them is that they FORCED the WordPress community to take drag and drop seriously.

        Yourself and Beaver take drag and drop up to a level never before known. I MAY have to accept the fact that both are in my tool box. Beaver for micro biz sites and Thrive for more advanced high conversion type of site. I do understand that it is certainly possible to build the Micro Biz site that I speak of with Thrive. But what I am trying to express in a post reply is hard to do. It would be best done with us sitting side by side and each software open :)

        You asked for straight shooting, and rest assured, I rarely hold back. Ask Microsoft about my numerous posts/rants telling them they had made the biggest mistake of their life with trying to force Windows 8 upon us. I really thought that was one of the biggest corporate blunders of all time and should have resulted in a large class action suit. They are finally “listening to me” but after years of lowered productivity due to a diabolical learning curve where none was necessary.

        But I digress. What I wanted to say was that I really do try and give positive feedback to developers when I can. It benefits us all. It is my hope that even one thing I have mentioned is helpful to you. I think you have a unique opportunity to build a truly excellent software company. Congrats! Dave

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thanks, David!

        Themes for local businesses are on the roadmap. Just like we did with Performag, the goal is to create a theme with a set of features built specifically for this business purpose.

        Credit card icons are available as a TCB element, although there’s only one set of them available. You can activate and deactivate individual ones, though.

        I’ll have a look at the templates thing in Beaver Builder. Let’s see if we can’t out-do them on that front as well. :)

    • Emil says:

      Hi David,
      As an owner of one website with some more to come, I have the same dillema of which theme/framework to choose. I also own some themes, one framework (Thesis) and try to find the best fit for me.
      What I’m curious now, because you used a lot of themes (more than I used), is: 1. Are the two listed above (Divi and X theme) not so well optimized for speed and performance? Because it appears so from what you’re saying, and I want to be sure I’m not spending money on something which gives me design options but hurts me on performance.
      2. Other question is if you tried to use something like Genesis framework with Dynamik website builder (or without it), or the Thesis framework with its inbuilt template editor.
      If you’re willing to share your experience with me, I will be grateful.
      Hope to not upset anybody here by mentioning other products. I just want to have fair opinions coming from experience about some product I’m using or I might try in the future.
      Thanks,
      Emil

      • David B says:

        Hi Emil, I own alot of themes, but that does not mean I have used them :) Also, I would not feel right discussing the other themes in this forum. Except as an example to help Shane. It is his Forum, after all :)

        Check out the forums for those themes if you have some questions. I am sure they would have more specific answers than me.

        Thanks, Dave

      • Emil says:

        Hi David,
        Thaks for your answers. I surely understand you position. But on no forum of any theme they will not say that their own theme has a bloated code and it loads slowly, etc. This is what I wanted to know from you, at least about Divi and X theme, which you own. After all, Shane says Thrive themes are better optimized than others. I just wanted to hear another opinion supporting his, with facts.
        Thanks,
        Emil

  • Aaron says:

    I agree with all of this. I’d be totally happy using your themes for myself. The problem is when I do client work on WordPress. Often times, there are strong opinions over how the site should look. I’d like to use one of your themes in that case, but with the degree of customizations I might as well just start with a framework.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Aaron,

      That’s a great point and I understand where you’re coming from, concerning client requirements and wishes. We’ll keep building out our library of themes so that over time, your chances of finding a match among our themes will increase. We might also eventually create a framework, but the way I see it, I want myself and my team to gain a lot more experience before we do that. If/when we tackle this task, I want us to be so advanced at WordPress theme creation that we can create something truly stunning and something that is perfect for developers.

  • Stephen G says:

    Great Job Guys as always. KEEP GOING the way you are, there is a place for all in one themes, but for someone really trying to do it right, there is no substitute for quality, focus and speed.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Stephen!

  • vincent says:

    These are exactly the reasons I always ended up either using another cms or using a basic theme with plugins adding functionalities, slowing the site and/or creating conflicts.

    So, I always had to make choices, none of them satisfying.

    Then, when I discovered Thrivethemes and TCB: integrated functionalities I needed. Speed to get my site up and running, with just the design options that are useful to me.

    Obviously, I’m not a designer, and I don’t want to deny the quality of designers works.
    That’s simply not what I’m looking for with WordPress.
    I don’t want a design that helps to sell but the drawbacks are more hurting than helping.
    I just want to sell.

    Thanks to thrivethemes, I now feel I got exactly what I need to create efficient websites quickly.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s great to hear, Vincent! This is exactly how I felt before I started Thrive Themes, looking at the choices out there. I just wanted to sell effectively and couldn’t find anything that made that easy for me.

  • Michael D says:

    Shane,

    What annoys me the most about plugins and themes has been keeping up with updates.

    But truthfully, I’m always excited and relieved to see how frequently you keep your themes fast and clean.

    Yours is the only theme that give me a sense of security and calm due to how frequently you do it.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Michael! We try to keep our update process as simple and rewarding as possible, so you don’t have to waste a lot of time and you get really cool updates in return. :)

  • David says:

    I agree but my language seems to be different. I think that “functionality” should not be in the theme itself. I prefer it to be in PlugIns. I know themes are w-a-y branching out beyond what a theme was for into performing all sorts of functions.

    The LinkedIn WordPress forums show how this is getting really hard to manage, as in: “I am looking for a theme that does bed and breakfast bookings”…

    I create my own themes using Artisteer which provides for granular control of every element on a WP Page or Post. I tend to keep them clean and simple and add design functionality using Plugins. I’ve been using Artisteer for a long time and know it well.

    Then there is a Plugin called “Page Theme” (found on WP.Org under that name.) It enables me to assign a totally different theme per Page or Post (not a child theme, not a template… a totally different theme.)

    Then there are two other Plugins: your Thrive Themes page builder and http://www.wpbeaverbuilder.com/ which is a wonderful Page Design plugin with all the design functionality you could ask fore.

    All of that works ON TOP of the theme.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello David,

      Thanks or your comment!

      The plugins vs. themes thing is quite tricky, from a development perspective. The reasons you’re seeing a lot of features built into themes is because creating them as plugins comes with many more restrictions. If something is built into a theme, it can be integrated tightly and be made “just right” for that theme. As a plugin, you always have to consider that the functionality needs to somehow work with every theme out there, within the templates of those themes.

  • pete says:

    I tried one of those swiss army knife themes. It was highly rated by several reviewers & cost me $60 bucks. But I couldn’t unzip the download file, had to search the internet for a solution to that problem, then WordPress couldn’t load it. The company that took my money was totally indifferent and very defensive.
    Fortunately I found you guys. Keep doing what you are doing.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Sorry to hear that, Pete. That seems to be mainly a support issue and good support is very important to us as well.

  • Jerry R says:

    Hi Shane…I bought in to Thrive recently and I’m still getting acclimated. I’ve made all the mistakes imaginable over time, as you discuss in this post.

    I’m happy to see that you’ve got a group on your support forum that is responsive. So far, that’s a plus. However, some of us will need a little extra help and would like to pay someone who is intimately familiar with your product rather than hire someone from a freelancer’s site.

    I may have missed it, but is there a place to request paid help from one of your mods, etc? I have a couple of relatively simple things I want to get done and it’s probably better to put a few bucks into someone’s pocket, rather than have them try to tell me what to do over a series of posts.

    Thanks.

    Jerry

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Jerry,

      Thanks for your reply. Currently, we don’t offer a service like that yet. It’s something I’d love to add in the future, along with some customization services, but at this point in our company’s growth, we can’t make this happen yet.

  • Darin J says:

    I think that you are right about this as with too many options I find I do not do anything. Having less options I find I will make more and do more with Thrive Themes. I would say with the more complicated Themes to customize would be where do I begin. Thrive Themes is the first Theme that I find works much better for me where I can start to implement small things and do what is important to my business.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Darin! I’m very happy to hear that you’re getting along so well with our themes.

  • John says:

    I totally agree with your opposition to the idea of the Chameleon’ theme Shane.
    Liking the themes you are coming up with, however I would like to see (1) a membership theme and (2) a really simple theme geared towards micro businesses. A theme that would provide me the ability to create a clean and simple website for the micro business owner quickly. Entry level website if you like.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi John,

      Both of those wishes will be granted. The membership one is coming soon, the micro business (I’m assuming you’re talking about local businesses) will come next year. :)

      • John says:

        I might have known that you would be a step ahead of me Shane.

        Have you an ETA for the membership site theme?

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        We’re planning to release the first version early next week.

  • steve p says:

    Hi Shane

    Two key points.

    1. I’ve paid for very expensive lessons over the years. These lessons have cost me money and time.

    As someone who has a high sense of self agency (I can learn and do anything I want), I’ve spent countless hours playing around with themes, plugins, graphic programs, etc, etc…

    The solution is straightforward enough. Focus on what I’m good at and where I don’t need to try too hard and leverage other people’s expertise. So I trust in you and Thrive and I trust in people who have shown me they understand for example conversions.

    2. It’s always be so tough to create great graphics and get good images without spending a ton of money and or time in trying to do it myself.

    Places like Pixabay have been so helpful in finding really great quality images and save me time as well as money.

    All the best and keep it up.

    steve

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Steve!
      I’ve paid for such lessons as well, yes. :)

      And I second your recommendation of Pixabay as a great source of free images. I use them all the time.

  • Nick S says:

    As the owner of several of these ‘do-anything’ themes, including the market leader (Divi), I’d have to agree with you.

    Whilst they may appear to offer the broadest possible appeal from a sales point of view, their complexity makes can make them a pain to use in the real world, particularly custom CSS that is not provided for by a simple control or option built into the theme.

    Also, I find it quite time-consuming making a site built with these themes not look exactly the same as thousands of others built with the same theme.

    In addition, many of the built-in modules (Google maps and pricing tables are good examples), whilst useful, are not as good as the best third-party plugins, so I tend to install these plugins anyway, thus negating one of the main selling points of the theme!

    I like the path chosen by Thrive Themes; it makes more sense to me as a fairly experienced WP user. There are some good things, though, in these other themes, that I’d really like to see implemented by Thrive Themes; can I make some suggestions? :-)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Nick,

      Yes, I’d love to hear the suggestions you have. We’re always looking for ways to make our products more useful.

      • Nick S says:

        Hi Shane,

        I’d agree with other comments regarding color pickers instead of 5 preset color options – a much more flexible solution.

        My idea of a perfect theme, or group of themes would include:-

        1. Simple control over every editable property, not just some of them. The CSS Hero plugin does a great job with this for an indication of what I mean (it doesn’t work out of the box with Thrive Themes, though)
        2. A really simple way of creating a child theme from a main theme
        3. Control over all aspects of the navigation menu/s, including placement and orientation, as well as margins, padding, and all states for the links (normal, hover, active)
        4. Built-in functions to replace separate plugins should include adding Google and Typekit fonts (Thrive can add Google fonts), smooth scrolling to page anchors and back to top (this would replace 2 plugins for me), plus probably a few more I can’t think of right now!
        5. More granular control over widths of columns in page sections
        6. Zero use of the !important tag anywhere…ever! I believe offering only one color option, but adding a color picker, would reduce the use of !important considerably, so this is another benefit of a color picker!
        7. A killer social media plugin (like Elegant Themes’ Monarch)
        8. Full-width content sections for adding actual content like a gallery that spans the entire width of the screen
        9. Add an ID field to page sections (it’s already been added to other modules, so why not page sections?)
        10. Regarding plugins vs. built-in functionality, I think all ‘creative’ plugins that create or style content should be kept as separate plugins (I use Foo Gallery, Foo Box and a few others on nearly every site, as they’re much better than similar functions built into themes). Same with Google maps, pricing tables and various other things – with the added bonus that your content should remain intact, even if switching to another theme author. So, for me, you can safely delete this functionality from the themes, as I never use it.

        I’m sure there’s a few things I’ve missed, but these represent some of the issues I face regularly, when attempting to craft the perfect webpage. Overall, I like your approach, though, and am very happy to use and recommend Thrive Themes, so keep up the good work!

        Nick

      • Miles Austin says:

        Nick nailed a very key differentiator you can offer – easy or automatic Child theme creator. It is one of the most frustrating requirements for many of us, and frankly, even the consultants that offer their services for this are usually inadequate. Child Theme Creator- priceless!

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Alright, noted!

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thanks for your feedback, Nick.

        1) That’s not going to happen, see reasons above.
        2) This is something I’ve got on our development roadmap.
        3) We don’t have plans for this.
        4) We have Google fonts and page anchors but no smooth scrolling yet.
        5) This might happen – not sure yet.
        6) I can’t comment on this and would have to ask one of our front end developers about it.
        7) We don’t have plans for that at the moment, since we have a built-in social sharing feature in our themes.
        8) We also don’t have plans for this at the moment. This would be a theme specific feature.
        9) I’ll have to ask about that (see if there’s a technical constraint in adding IDs to a page section).
        10) I get your point of view on this. There are pros and cons for both sides when it comes to themes vs. plugins. I can’t say there’s really an ideal solution, in many cases.

  • Emil says:

    Hi Shane,

    I agree with you on the most points you make in this article. I own TCB, Hybrid Connect, Viral Quiz Builder and WP Sharely. That is to say I like your products, admire your work and the way you treat your clients. I even bought the Thrive membership (discounted offer) but asked for a refund afterwards. Not that the Themes were not good, but at that point I wasn’t ready to cut from the design I developed to make it fit into one of the themes. I don’t say that was a good decision, and for the next projects (or redesigns) I will for approach things differently, going for quick implementation rather than spending a lot of time on design and design implementation.
    However, I tend to be a little on the DIY side. I like to be able to implement the design on my website, if posible. And I like that the theme or framework to give me some flexibility in adding something I think is important for my website to my Homepage for example.
    I think a key point for any website is the Home page. At least for me, this is the page I feel the need to make it the way I want. I think it woul be a nice addition for the Thrive Themes the ability to modify the Home Page by adding/removing/rearranging different elements. This could be done different ways, maybe like Dynamik child Theme for Genesis does it, or offering different premade layouts for the Home page like Divi theme does, or maybe like Thesis framework does with editing the templates. Probably the Divi approach is easier to implement. I’m sure this thing can be done without compromising speed and optimization.
    So, I’m with you totally speaking businesswise, but nevertheless I would like to have more control over the functionality of the Home page.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Emil,

      Thank you for your reply!

      Our themes do come with several homepage templates that you can deploy using the page generator feature. Another way to get a completely custom homepage is to build it as a landing page in TCB. Or, you can just create a full width page with the title hidden, so you have an almost blank canvas to create your content in, using TCB elements and theme short codes. We’re also shortly releasing a few new elements that will be interesting to use on homepage layouts.

      With these combinations, there really isn’t much you can’t do on your site’s homepage.

  • David B says:

    Hi again Shane, I almost forgot! Two very important things to me are easy integration with Gravity Forms and also WooCommerce. You know, just a few items for sale type of thing. Not necessarily a 10K item ecommerce site.

    And although I think Thrive is already fine with SEO Yoast, I mention it just in case :)

    And also very important to me is the ability to add a different sidebar to a page. There, I think that is all the things I need to mention for now.

    You are getting some great feedback from others on this blog as well. Glad to see that many are big fans like myself.

    It is my dream to “launch” a service that allows me to quickly give people a great looking workable site where it is easy for THEM to make changes. I will charge for coaching if they want it. And Thrive is like 97% of the way there to allow me this. I am very excited. Thanks for listening. Dave

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yoast’s SEO plugin is the one we recommend, yes.

      Customizable sidebars will become a reality with our next plugin release.

  • Stephen P says:

    Hi,

    While I’m loving Thrive – I’m surprised that there are ZERO decenters here on this post. Gotta have at least one! :)

    Shane – I agree with about 90% of all your previous video posts, but on this one have strong reservations with fundamentals in several areas.

    I hope you’ll hear and consider this different view.

    Please know – I’m only taking the time to write this because I love what you’ve done so far and hope you’ll grow to a super powerhouse and be my theme vendor for a long time. So I hope this message gets through and makes a difference.

    The $120 investment is trivial compared to the amount of time I spend working with building themes… my main intent is to work with, to partner with the ‘right’ company that’s going the right direction and not need to ‘switch horses’ in 6 months – or next week.

    You make a few valid points of course, but hit some triggers with me… the analogy of a blank sheet is taken beyond usefulness or accuracy.

    No one gives a blank sheet. No theme is trying to do that or coming close. I’ve worked with every theme I can find and have not found one that comes close to the picture you paint of flexibility to morph into anything.

    My concern is that Thrive is currently missing and apparently planning to leave out what I consider highly important features which will have an impact is exactly the opposite of the stated intention – leaving these features out FORCES US TO BECOME CSS hackers and coders to make up for the missing needed and SIMPLE functionality left out. I don’t want to spend my time in CSS, html, php, and jquery… I’m not an expert in those areas so it takes a lot of time. I want a theme vendor to do that work for me – as much as possible, so I can work on what’s important. So, please don’t leave out what’s important!

    A couple of examples from this post:
    Color Pickers everywhere…

    Thrive decided 5 colors is all we need. Did an expert really decide this is best for us all and we should just accept it? Big giant ugly dropdown menus with no modifications? For me to select from 4 or 5 styles of buttons of dropdowns doesn’t mean I’m spending too much time making a theme look good… that 3 minutes of time is well spent.

    Color is very important on a site and has a HUGE impact on conversion and no performance impact – you have the colors mapped anyway, why not let them be pretty? And again, by not allowing color choice we’re forced to spend hours piling on tons of css. Now that is a performance hit – and opens to error.

    Why is color so important?
    a) What if you’re moving a legacy site and all of the graphics are nicely coordinated? We should redo all of our graphics because Thrive decided we should only have 5 colors? Of course not… instead of spending 5 minutes as we’d do in another theme we spend hours in Thrive.

    b) Photos – Some simple sites use a stunning photo or artwork… complementing the colors in the photo image can be very important to conversion – 5 colors won’t do it. Put another way, having a beautiful photo with site colors that are grossly at odds looks ugly and is a negative for conversion.

    So – we have to learn css and bug your tech support for help.

    Wouldn’t it save us all a lot of money and time if you just created a color picker tool? I’d spend 5 minutes and the site colors are done – vs hours and oops there’s another one over and over.

    Go further! Build the best color picking tool on the market. Make it a separate product that other theme builders could integrate with an api. If you hire an expert on color they could help you coordinate color schemes… a set of predefined color schemes with ability to tweak at a master level and individual level – it’s not that hard of an implementation project and customers would love it…. The site would be consistent instead of a hacked up hit or miss css scramble. And it would not take our mind of business, it would help us be more productive by not wasting time patching css code.

    Allowing flexible colors is not opening pandoras box – it’s something most site developers need and it should be in available Thrive (the key is starting with a master color scheme).

    Resizing a page or choosing 2 columns on one side or one on either side… these are basic layout considerations that most site developers need. Why require us to hunt CSS elements and custom tweak for hours just to move a few things around? On top of this do advanced guesswork to understand the implications on responsive behavior when we’re mucking with making what should be a simple user level adjustment…

    So – there’s a website with over 1000 graphic images for ads and offers all set to go in a 200px wide column…. but, we get 350px column which looks terrible – we can resize 1000 images, or spend a few hours tweaking to make what should be a trivial change to column width (without destroying the site)… or Thrive could implement the ability to change a sidebar width.

    The comment of spending all this time tweaking sizes – it’s a couple of minutes in other themes, so it’s a nobrainer to spend a few minutes to dial in the site and have it look proportional or whatever look is needed. In Thrive it’s not a nobrainer – I have to decide is it worth spending 10 hours to customize a theme that would take 15 minutes in another theme to do the same thing.

    At the moment, I think the other benefits of Thrive are worth spending the 10 hours of extra time… but I’d love if you’d let me be productive by adding these basic features.

    In one of my niche markets, 80-90% of the users are on smaller screens so a page width of 1200 isn’t going to work. Since I already know that 960px is a good fit- why not let me make that change? Easily? Not everyone has two 27” monitors that they work on where 1200 is a great size. I don’t care if it’s 16 pixels off as you noted… but 200 pixels off is huge.
    Next, it’s incredibly rare to find a theme that has everything you need. Specifically all of the page layout options… and you obviously realize this because you created an incredible content builder.

    So even a theme that’s nearly perfect needs modification – maybe it only needs 1 new page layout. How is that best done? Is it by hacking css and php or by allowing a few more options in the theme? What would be more efficient? Often the answer is adding the options.

    Lastly, the message of this post appears inconsistent with the hottest lure of your product offering Thrive Content Builder.

    TCB Offers tons of bells/whistles with unsurpassed ease and flexibility to design the layout exactly the way you want it – but that’s opposite of what this blog posts suggests we should be doing.

    It’s okay to have complete freedom in the Big area of the site… go wild, create anything you want here… here in the land of TCB we can make rounded buttons to our hearts content and change the layout anyway we want!… just not 10 pixels over there… that’s off limits.

    I like your marketing message of “conversion focused themes”… I like the cool features in the themes, I like that you want to create a focal point to work on what’s important.

    And, I hope you understand that Thrive is currently missing some very important features (like color schemes, resizing, and layouts) that if they were present would not divert attention, but make your customers much more productive, make the websites more profitable, and make thrive a zillion dollars more in revenue as the #1 theme vendor in the world.

    You guys are smart and you’re doing a great job. I’m rooting for you to win.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Stephen Pierce

    Oh yes… almost forgot… theme requests:
    1) How a theme for Membership sites – there are lot of things needed, so this theme would need a lot of page layout options because each membership is different. Dashboard, Video, audio, text, forums, tests, on and on.
    2) Theme for tourism marketing (hotels, restaurants, featured attractions) – haven’t found a theme that does this well anywhere and my 25+ sites in this niche are pretty hacky. I’d love to drop one of your themes in without changing a think.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your reply, Stephen.

      As you’ll see in the theme customizer and in many TCB elements, we do have color pickers. We just don’t have a color picker for every single element in the theme. And this is not a choice made out of laziness, it’s because we want to focus this kind of feature on where it matters most and at the same time, keep code bloat at bay.

      Some kind of customizable column would be nice, I agree with you there. That’s something we just haven’t gotten around to yet.

      Content width: I can’t agree with you there. Every one of our themes looks perfectly fine on a 960px wide screen. I don’t see what anyone would gain from adding more code to the page just so that the layout doesn’t go wider on a larger screen. But I also have to say that I’ve never come across a site that has such a specific typical screen width among it’s visitors, so maybe I don’t understand the requirement you mention here. In my experience, screen sizes are so diverse now that you just have to assume every width between 320px and 2000px+ needs to be served.

      The membership theme thing is coming soon. Something suitable for tourism won’t be happening until Q3 of next year, I’m afraid. But it is an area we’ve set our sights on.

      • Stephen says:

        Hi Shane,

        Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

        I don’t really care if my theme is exactly 960px or 940 or 1000… but 1200 is too big for many of our sites.

        A big percentage of my customers are on screen size width 800-1100. We changed our product dimension to fit their needs – much happier customers and fewer support tickets (interesting demographic of age and skillset).

        We changed the width of our websites width as well… for us 960 is a good compromise where we can offer primary content easily within the 800 size, and have room for a bit of the R sidebar to be visible – less important info, but visible enough for scrolling over if desired.

        If we went a little larger/smaller, no big deal. But 200+ pixels is significant to force upon our users.

        The biggest issue/problem is having big fat width sidebar that can’t be changed easily.

        btw – how about the size of the affiliate images you offer for ThriveThemes? Have you tried putting them inside a ThriveTheme? The more narrow widths don’t look so good.

        To the ThriveThemes don’t look good at 960 on the tests for our content. The proportions are off to my sensibilities and none of my colleagues liked it either.

        I don’t want to spend my time being a theme developer or spending hours hacking away to patch up the look of theme. I prefer to work on my products and marketing, just like you suggest.

        Let me set a good default width, proportion the sidebar, and color scheme and I’m pretty happy.

        Even if the theme comes with big fat ugly menus and buttons, those are easy to replace.

        I bought because of TCB – very nice tool.

        I bought your themes also because I like the feature set – but, have yet to use any of them because they lack what I consider to be basic customization options and don’t look good out of the box.

        I hope that you may enable a few more customization options such as page width,sidebar size, and color scheme.

        Thanks for your consideration,

        Stephen

      • Erun A says:

        I totally agree with these major needs. I’d like to switch to Thrive Themes for a time now, but these are what is holding me back big time.

        Hope you consider these, Shane…especially the color scheme and page width-sidebar size..

  • Bob Richardson says:

    I need to train my clients better on using Themes. As a designer that got into the web business, I’m one of those tweakers you talked about. Every time I’ve used a theme, seems like the client wants to change something that takes me hours to figure out how to do it. Example, “Can you put the top menu under the slider?”, “Can you move the social widgets to the top left?”, “I want to show my 4 latest posts – all in one row on the home page… can you center the post image over the post?”, “Can we put lines between the posts to separate them?”, “Can we change the color of that?”, and on and on.
    On one hand, the client is paying for their site. I’m supposed to be the “expert”. They don’t need to know that it takes 20 minutes to figure out a CSS change for one little thing. So, I’ve resorted to Divi and Ultimatum to build client sites… most are small businesses with limited budgets. TCB really helps. I also use Microthemer CSS for easier CSS changes. And I end up with a bloated site… but it is the site the client wanted… but it loads slow….
    So I need to better train my clients to advantages of using Thrive Themes “if” they stick to the theme parameters and make their content fit the theme vs. the theme fitting their content.
    Thanks, Shane, for all your helpful and insightful posts.

    I haven’t yet bought into Thrive Theme subscription… never been sure I wanted to spend even more money on themes… I do own TCB. Any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals coming up on subscription price? :-)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Bob!

      Working with clients always adds an extra layer of complexity. Like you say, they’ll always have special requirements and how closely you have to follow those depends a lot on the expectations you set up (and the service you sell) from the outset.

      On our roadmap is also a set of features that will make the themes more developer friendly, but the way I see it, we’re still working on getting the basics down, before moving on to something like that.

  • Robert B says:

    Some good comments as far as color is concerned. The proper color can mean a lot in getting that split second get the “second glance” your sight from the customer. Progress is always made by the “correct changes”. Your company has made some of them.

    “Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction.”
    Al Bernstein

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanky for your comment, Robert! We do have various color options as well as custom color options. If they don’t cover what you need, it’s best to ask in the support forum. Not only do you get help there, but it also allows us to see where the needs of our customers lie.

  • Sandra T says:

    I found this an interesting post. Being new to Thrive themes, I haven’t actually used one yet although I have used TCB on some existing sites – replacing Page Builder (SiteOrigin).
    So, what I would find helpful is a guide to the suitable (or intended) uses of each of the existing thrive themes and ideally a video tutorial showing how that type of site was built from scratch. (Kind of like the Tyler Moore YouTube videos where he builds a website from scratch using a particular theme).
    And it would also be helpful to have a direct link to the theme resource files from the main membership page where the available themes are listed.
    Now, this may seem a tad basic, but this is my perspective as a non-expert new user.

    Having said all that, I do like the extensive tutorials, instructions and videos that are provided – just need a bit more indexing to find specific information as and when needed please!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for this comment, Sandra!

      One of my goals is to have a clearer separation between different themes for different purposes or business models and also instructions on how to use them. That’s for the tip with the videos. I love that idea. I don’t think we can do that for each theme, but we could certainly do it for each type of theme.

      By the way, if you like this kind of video, have a look at this webinar replay: how to build a conversion focused website from scratch.

      • Sandra T says:

        Thanks Shane – Yes, I’ve watched the webinar replay and am part way through the TCB webinar at the moment.
        What would be helpful though is an overview of the different features and design elements of each theme – e.g. theme colours, prebuilt pages & post layouts, other elements that are particular to each theme etc.
        For example, if I want to use a Thrive theme for an amazon review site, which theme would be best and why? Does the answer change for different types of products (e.g. colour choices, styling options suited to particular products – electronics, toys, kitchen equipment etc.).
        So, I am looking for a way that I can differentiate between the best use of available thrive themes.
        I understand that there is a lot of customisability available both within the themes and with TCB. But, taking the premise of the post, I would hope you feel able to recommend or suggest one or two of your themes that would be better suited than others?

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thanks for the clarification, Sandra.

        This is something we’ll try to better communicate in the future.

        For your specific request: we don’t have any theme that’s particularly made with a review site in mind. But you can use any of the themes to create a review site, of course, there just aren’t any specific features for it.

        Personally, I would pick FocusBlog or Ignition, just because I think the style of those themes is a good fit for a review site.

  • Shaun says:

    Well said, and this is why I ended up choosing Thrive Builder over other page builders. Just by listening to Shane’s blog post, you can tell that this is a company that cares about the the customer and product. Thank you for your continuing support and advice!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for this comment, Shaun!

  • Klaus S says:

    So many things i totally agree – except the color schemes.
    You are so right, to focus on business, on content and not on programming and tweaks. But there is no other way so far to set corporate colors – wich is so essential important as you know.
    So what happens now is to get lost in programming skills to follow your CSS guidance with SASS, Ruby, grunt, compass … or to slow down the site with lots of custom CSS, important! overwriting statements and lots of pitfalls to jump into …
    The un-customizable color scheme is such a bad match to all the other excellent, well-conceived features – it’s so unbelievable to me, that it should be nearly impossible, to simply setup individual global colors to match my corporate identity.
    I strongly hope, this will be fixed in the next updates to to smooth out this final weak point in thrivethemes :-)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Setting some global colors would be great, yes. Unfortunately, that’s a lot more complicated to implement than it might seem. It’s something that I hope we can come up with a solution for, at some point.

      To be clear, there are ways to do this and I’ve seen it in some themes, but I have not found any clean solution for it yet, that would be up to the coding standards we want to adhere to.

      • Emil says:

        I think that it will be a good idea if you could make all themes to have the option to be fullwidth or boxed, and let us select that from the admin panel. I say that because from the themes you actually have I would like to use FocusBlog, but I would like it to be fullwidth, or at least to have the option to have the Home page to be fullwidth. I don’t know how difficult is this to implement, just expressing one of my needs.
        Best,
        Emil

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thanks for the suggestion! We’ll look into it.

      • Klaus S says:

        Thanks Shane for this response. Could you please help me to understand something:
        If the guide to customize the color scheme colors is easy enough for us, how could this be so hard for your skilled programmers?
        Why not simply replace add one more color scheme using variables you could define in the theme options?

        I think this needs to be a top prio because most of us have specific ‘brand colors’ that must be matched. If a specific orange is your brand color and you get a sandy yellow, thats a big no-go and results in choosing another theme, or adding lots of css code (with the risk of adding lots of problems) or getting lost by following the instructions, to re-compile the SASS and CSS files – with much more risk of instability. Not to forget the time :-(

      • Stephen P says:

        Hi Shane,
        I am very happy to hear this.

        I had previously mis-understood that Thrive’s position was that this color scheme was unnecessary – eg, “we’re the experts and you should be happy with the 8 colors we’ve deemed are all that you need”…

        It makes a lot of sense that this could be a more complex task than it appears to end users… the concept of “include files” and code variables don’t work so well in html…

        So – here’s to you finding a color scheme solution FAST that also meets your high coding standards!

        Stephen

  • Emil says:

    I tried to post a reply to one of Shane’s posts in a thread, but it didn’t work. So I post it as a separate comment. It’s about the colour options.
    I think something like the Colour Scheme Generator in Thesis framework would be a posible solution. Thesis themes are considered well optimized, as far as I know.
    Best,
    Emil

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      I’ll have a look at how it’s done in Thesis. Hopefully, we can learn something from it. :)

  • Carthage B says:

    I just started using my theme membership this week. I am certainly not a designer so I find it very helpful to have my options limited. Otherwise I would have a Website that looks like Joseph’s technicolor dreamcoat.

    I think this is where all of your content marketing pays off Shane. Because you have spent a great deal of theme building trust with your subscribers, we are more than willing to trust your design decisions.
    i.e. you would only allow your choices to be limited if you trust the judgement of the person who is making the decisions.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much! I’m happy to know that you have this level of trust in what we produce.

  • Veit M says:

    Generally I do agree with you, yet there are things that need to be tweakable for various markets.

    Themes must be clean, yet you must be able to tweak the femininity and masculinity for your audience.

    For example: the natural/alternative health market is very feminine, but the fitness market is more masculine (in the emotions that drive the purchasing decision!).

    If you study Neuromarketing, then you know that purchasing decision are made emotionally, and a large part of that decision is an unconscious decision about the design.

    I think you are right on track about the speed optimization, so what I don’t understand is why ThriveThemes are loading the custom CSS right into the source code.

    I think ultimately a modular interchangeability of ThriveTheme options would be great.

    Like using Theme A, but the navigation from B, and the floating sharing button from C.

    => Exp: the floating bar on here looks very easy to understand to people who are not that familiar with the internet. The one on the Thrive theme requires much more in-depth knowledge to understand what that bar is.

    So, what if I think that theme is awesome for my audience, but I know they are not savvy enough to get that sharing bar?

    And some elements should definitely be movable, like the author and category meta-data to the bottom of the post.

    In a niche where you are the authority the name under the title may be great, but in a niche where you are facing a ton of skepticism it’s better to draw the reader in without interrupting.

    But that info may be very relevant at the end of the content to boost credibility and stick rate!

    So, I think moving into a modular direction and taking the CSS out of the source code would be even better.

    And for ultimate speed to develop a page chaching system where the server serves pre-saved html files from the Database and no DB calls are necessary anymore.

    In a similar way to how you handle the Related Post loading speed issues.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Veit,

      I understand the appeal of your idea of having a modular theme like that, but there are two big issues with this. The first is that if you build all theme elements in a modular fashion like this, they also become more generic. There’s no way to combine some of the unique design choices with each other, without it looking very strange or without things breaking in some way.

      The bigger issue though, is code bloat. It’s a technical problem that I so far haven’t seen any good way around. All of the options and features and modules that you aren’t using in your particular configuration are still represented in the code that’s needed to load pages on your site, in one way or another.

      To give a very practical example: I tested a very minimal, full-width page with one paragraph of text in FocusBlog (one of our themes) vs. one of the most popular “customize-everything” themes available for WordPress. In our theme, the source code for this simple page contains about 240 lines of code. In the comparison theme, the very same page contained more than 2,600 lines of code.

      In theory, I know that for some people it would be nice to just be able to mix and match from an unlimited pool of design choices, features and modules. In practice, a theme that allows this kind of customization will suffer from terrible code bloat and unless we find a clear solution for that, we’ll always stay away from it.

      At the end of the day, small design variations just don’t matter that much. If you’re building a million-dollar business, the exact width of a page or whether the social icons float in one way or the other won’t be the crucial factors in reaching your goal.

  • Ross says:

    Completely agree with this, my brother is wasting a lot of time with a ‘well known’ customisable theme that actually breaks with well known plugins (e.g. Polylang) in the hope he can reuse and adapt said theme to other websites and purposes – I know from experience that he will run out of road v.quickly the code bloat on the css is frankly unwieldy and bewildering as you-know-who steps in to tweak his ‘designs’ – don’t get me started on the layout/div builder the guys implemented in his ‘theme’ which is starting to look like cobbled together plugins and duct-taped with nested divs and multiple css classes. Either you want to learn design/css or you you want to bodge it! Choose wisely, or just buy a theme that works (and gives you a reasonable level of support (and regular updates that don’t break your site)).

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      My sentiment exactly, Ross! Too much design work is being done by people who aren’t designers and the results are never good. To me, what’s even worse is when you have someone spending hours tweaking tiny details on a site instead of actually driving their business forward…

  • Walter J says:

    Although I am late to the party with this comment, Shane really nailed my issue. In fact I would get frustrated when a theme was not ‘easy enough’ to make what I thought were masterpieces which did very little except to bring comments about how nice the site looked.
    So thanks, I might actually build a good looking site that does something like … oh… communicate a message and make a sale. Imagine! I feel like I have found a home here.

    I do have one little comment … after reading the board a lot more, it seems as if a lot people come in looking for color changes. A little feature bone in that area may free up support time?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Walter!

      Yes, supporting more flexibility in colors is high on our list of priorities. We are still looking for that perfect way to bridge the gap between “too much” and “not enough” customizability.

  • Ron Smart says:

    Shane, you are dead on bud.

    One thing about the content builder is you have complete freedom to do what you want.

    I’ve built a few websites this way and they convert like crazy.

    Best of all, speed to market.

    The only thing I would say you are missing is a theme targeted towards local business. One where the mobile phone number is prominent for click to call without having to hit the menu first.

    With that said I’ve used your content builder to create full sites to get around this.

    Great work on everything you guys do.

    Thank you

  • Bruce B says:

    I’ve just had a help ticket bounced back with a link to this post. My ticket was about the inability to change the colour of sub-menu items. I was given the custom css to achieve what I wanted so problem solved – but that is not my point.

    Although I understand and agree with where you are coming from in general, it seems that you need to be careful about where you draw the line.

    In the video you made the point about doing just enough to match your design without expending too much time and effort. This is exactly what I was trying to do; to have the menu colours match the colour palette that I had chosen.

    Yet I was not able to do this because the issue of menu colour choices was comprehensively covered at main menu and Highlighted menu font colour and hover background colour – but the colour of the sub-menu items immediately below – and potentially clashing with the adjacent colours – was fixed and can only be changed with custom css.

    My opinion: once you decide that the ability to change menu colours is part of the customisable options you want to make available then you should do the whole job.

    I appreciate that this can be seen as labouring in the 80% unproductive area of the 80/20 rule – exactly as you describe in this post. Alternatively, you might see it as a reminder that when you make the decision of where to draw the line of what is customisable it should be done in a consistent and logical way.

    I still love Thrive – just giving honest feedback in the hope of helping you towards consistent improvement.

    • Hello Bruce – thanks for the feedback with this. We’ll be addressing these points in Thrive 2.0 themes that we’ll be building later on this year as this has been a point of contention for a number of users and so it’s something that we’ve been trying to address.

  • Peter A says:

    Well…
    We still need to be able to configure the colors, so they match our company colors..

    • Wendi L says:

      I couldn’t agree more Peter. People need to be able to take a theme and apply their own branding with their own custom colors at the least. Unfortunately 6 colors supplied by a theme don’t really work well for everyone.

  • Johnny says:

    I believe you should just keep doing what you’re doing. Nothing from my experience can compare to the awesome power and perfection that is Thrive Themes. You guys are absolutely phenomenal in everything you do, and offer.

  • tjth2000 says:

    100% Agree. I’m enjoying getting to know Performag at the moment. It’s an incredible theme, but I’m glad I’m not trying to create the Performag effect with another theme.

    Ironically, I found myself “unrounding” all of my corners last night across a website. Talk about low on the list of priorities!

    Great insights as always, Shane.

  • Susan L says:

    Meh. Think you’re disregarding this thing called branding. At least the ability to change the main color of a theme would make it easier to match the brand colors. Especially when your “orange” is actually yellow. I’m bummed because I love your plugins and love Pressive but the inability to change the main color in css sitewide means I’m going to have to look for another theme. And that bums me out.

  • Dorthea H says:

    Thank you so much. I already set of down the road of customization. This video was an important eye-opener to me, and I will focus on what is important to my business right now: Building great content! Than you so much.

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