New Thrive Plugin: Clever Widgets

If you're a Thrive Member, the Clever Widgets plugin has been available to you for a while. Now, we're happy to announce that our latest plugin is also available for non-members as an individual purchase, so it's time to up your game with the best  WordPress widgets.

In this post, we take a quick look at what this plugin is all about.​


The Power of Relevance

During the research and development phase for our Thrive Leads plugin, one of the things that stood out was the importance of relevance on a website.

Here's an illustration of what I mean. This next image shows the conversion rate of a Thrive Leads opt-in form:

Converting at less than 2%, this form is not doing terribly well.

In contrast, here are the stats of a similar form on the same website:

This one is converting almost 20% of visitors. As a result, it has put more subscribers onto a mailing list after 1,500 people have seen it than the prior form managed with over 10,000 visitors!

So, what's the big difference between these two forms? Does the second one have far superior copy, a more captivating design, a clever multi-step setup?​

The answer is: none of the above!​

The main difference is that the first form is the "catch-all" form which is shown on every post on the site. It's the generic offer.

The second set of stats are from a content upgrade, which is an offer made specifically for one particular post.​

In short, this massive difference in performance is due to relevance.​ The form that converts less than 2% of visitors is generic, while the form that converts at almost 20% is ultra-relevant to readers of that one particular post.

In Thrive Leads, we've got many tools that allow you to create highly targeted opt-in offers, so you can use the power of relevance to your advantage. Many of our users have embraced this strategy and are seeing stellar results.

So, that's list building taken care of, but what about other parts of your website?

Enter Clever Widgets

Clever Widgets WordPress Plugin allows you to apply the power of relevance to another part of your WordPress website: the widget areas.

WordPress Widget areas are most typically used in a website's sidebar and footer. And usually, whatever you add to a widget area will show up everywhere on your site (e.g. you have the same sidebar content showing on each blog post).

With Clever Widgets, we take the powerful targeting options that are available in Thrive Leads and apply them to the widget options. This way, you can create highly targeted, highly relevant widget content that shows in specific posts, categories, tags, post types etc.

Here's a video that explains the whole thing:​

Click to Play

Level Up Your Clever Widgets

You can use Clever Widgets to customize and target widget content in any widget area on your site, just as it's shown in the video above.

Personally, I have used it to create relevant content to add to a site's sidebar. Here are two tips that I've found useful in getting even more out of this strategy:

1) Floating Sidebar Widgets

​In my testing, I've found that a sidebar widget gets way more attention if it "floats" next to the content as the user scrolls down. Here's how to make that happen:

  1. Download the free Q2W3 Fixed Widget plugin.
  2. Decide what the most important widget content on your site looks like (in my case, it's an ad for one of my products).
  3. Place that widget at the bottom and make it float with the Q2W3 plugin feature.
  4. With Clever Widgets, you can now add multiple additional plugins that will show a different ad/different content, depending on which post a visitor is looking at.

2) Simple Click Tracking

​A lot can be said about setting up correct tracking for all the links on your site and if you know your way around your analytics tool, I recommend you do just that. However, if all you want to do is keep an eye on which widget links get the most clicks and you don't want to learn the ins and outs of Google Analytics or something similar first, I recommend this plugin: Pretty Link Lite.

​It lets you easily set up tracking links (e.g. "Sidebar Ad 1", "Sidebar Ad 2") and shows you basic stats about how many people clicked on each one. Extra tip: make sure to set it to filter out clicks from bots and crawlers in the plugin settings, otherwise your numbers will be bloated.

Make Your Website Smarter

Widget areas are, by their very nature, secondary areas on your site. Clever Widgets is not as complex or as involved as Thrive Leads, since it doesn't serve as central a purpose. But it is a useful plugin that can make your website smarter and more relevant in a small way and it's quick and easy to set up.

Take a look at your site's sidebar and ask yourself: is there something there that's overly generic? Would a more specific offer perform better?

If the answer is "yes", then Clever Widgets was made for you!

Take a look at how to get started with Thrive Clever Widgets in this post

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below!


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.

  • Jimmy says:

    Shane, I have tried using the Q2W3 Fixed Widget plugin and it doesn’t stop floating. Even into the footer. Any idea on how I might be able to fix this? Can you integrate this into your themes going forward?

    • Kingsley F says:

      Change the margin, found in the plugin setting page

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      I think the trick is just to keep the content in the widget relatively short. The widget will just keep floating all the way down the page, but if it’s not too long, you’ll reach the bottom of the website before it overlaps anything.

      We do plan to make floating widgets a theme feature at some point in the future, yes.

  • Ilya says:

    Good post, Shane. Wonder what video program was used to create this video?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      This was created in After Effects. However, the software you use to create videos is massively overrated in the video marketing space. You can make a super-effective sales video using OpenOffice, Google Docs or any among dozens of other free tools.

  • Kim C says:

    Love the video, and of course the product. I don’t know how I could live without your products now that I have used them for a while.

    PS: Not that it concerns me, but if the Agency License also gives access to all your other plugins/themes, wouldn’t it be better if it said so in the pricing table?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks, Kim! You’re right, the pricing table needs some more work.

  • John says:

    Clever-er, great and nicely done! Imperatively useful!

    May I ask what was the video tool use to create?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks, John! This particular video was created using After Effects.

  • Karim A says:

    Shane it’s a part of Thrive Themes memberships, and is not offered as a separate plugin, am I right?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Karim, you can also get Clever Widgets as a single purchase, here.

      • Karim A says:

        Hi Shane, thank you for the link.

        I just checked and agency license is $247. I already have thrive themes agency license so I don’t think I need this, do I?

        Is there a one time agency / developer license?


      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Hello Karim,

        If you are an Agency member or a regular Thrive member, you get access to all of our products as soon as we release them. No additional purchases necessary.

  • sanjay s says:

    Great Plugin. Your every plugin is awesome. Thanks for these golden helpful nuggets.

    Your video is great. Can you please tell us that what video software you use to make this video. I am curious.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Sanjay! The video was made in After Effects.

  • Kingsley F says:


    I know of a free plugin that does this, so can you tell me;

    1. What make your plugin different from others with same feature?

    2. What if i have category “WordPress” and i want all articles under that category to display a widget, can the plugin do that?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      The main difference is the level of detail in the targeting options. You can set your targeting (for where the widget is displayed) by every possible factor known to wordpress, whereas most competing products are limited to some basics like targeting by category.

      The answer to your second question is: yes. :)

  • Awesome! I was using the Sidebars plugin which does something similar but your plugin looks way simpler and more powerful. Less work for me as I only have to set the setting on each widget – instead of creating different sidebars which often will have common widgets. Thanks for explaining this, I saw the Clever Widgets plugin some time ago in my member’s area and didn’t know what it was about :p

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Glad you like it, Maricarmen!

  • David says:

    Hello, just a few remarks :
    – as asked before, which software is used for such videos ?
    – I have been using another WP plugin for the floating widget:
    It hasn’t been updated since more than 2 years, is quite clumsy to configurate (you have to look for the right css property if your theme is not using canonical ones) BUT it is coming with an animation you can configure : the widget comes with a slight delay just after the user has stopped scrolling. This is (imho) a killer feature as it grabs the attention much (much !) more than the plugin mentioned here. Give it a try !

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for the tip, David.

      The video was created in After Effects.

  • Greg M says:

    Hi Shane, I love it if you can get this plugin or the new list building one to not display once it converts? so basically if someone has already opt-ed in then they don’t need to see an opt-in page or if someone has already bought a product then they do not need to see the ad? Hope that makes sense – so it will be a clever plugin

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      You can set the Thrive Leads forms to not display once someone converts, yes. We’re also going to release some more advanced options for that in the near future. For Clever Widgets, we won’t have such an option, as it would be much more difficult to track conversions.

  • Dean says:

    Shane, is your webinar eclipse product still up to date or would you change your webinar stuff these days?!

    Was looking at grabbing it,

    Also any cool WP Sharely features coming in thrives direction?!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Dean,

      Yes, Webinar Eclipse still represents the best of my knowledge about crushing it with webinars. :)

      Can’t comment on the second question (yet).

  • Does this plugin works on pages and not only on posts?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      It works on posts, pages as well as any custom post types you may be using.

  • Do says:

    Is there also a simpler version? This looks very heavy, all I want is ability to chose on which posts which ads are shown. Not more.

  • alberto says:

    Is it possible to use multiple forms on a page at the same time? For example have the a constant sidebar widget, and also trigger a slide-in, popup or sticky ribbon.

  • Maha says:

    Is it sticky?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      There’s no stickyness or floating feature built into Clever Widgets, but it is compatible with plugins that make a widget float.

  • Jeremiah S says:

    Just gotten this plugin :) Looking forward to implementing this strategy to our site!

  • David says:


    Does this product work based on geo IP detection too?

    So I can show a different widget to different people based on what location they are in.

    widget 1 – USA
    widget 2 – UK

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      No, we don’t have such a feature.

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