How to Build a Conversion Focused Coaching Website – Step-by-Step

Hanne   82

If you're convinced now is a good time to create an online presence for your coaching activity, this is the video you're looking for.

In this video, I guide you step-by-step through building a complete, conversion focused coaching website.

Check it out!


How So "Conversion Focused"?

Our goal is to help you get more clients through your website. That's why having a site that not only looks good but also helps turn visitors into leads is essential. 

In his tutorial you'll see how we've:

  • Added several call-to-action buttons in strategic places to guide your visitors to your lead generation landing page.
  • Connected all the lead generation forms with our email marketing provider.
  • Created a lead generation landing page that matches our site in just a few minutes.
  • Activated a full screen overlay lead generation form on all blog posts.
  • And many more little tips and tricks to make your site do all the hard lifting for you!

Full Tutorial: Build Your Site Step-by-Step

Preparing the Assets 

At the beginning of the video, we'll go over the assets that you need to build your website.
This includes you logo, the favicon (that little image in the tab of your site) and the photos. 

Basics WordPress Setup (8:46 min)

WordPress settings are pretty good from the start, but there are a few things you want to do to improve the readability (and SEO) of your website.

Essential Plugins (including Thrive Theme Builder) (10.25 min)

Now it's time to install the essential plugins. You'll see that we only need 3 plugins:

  • Antispam bee: Against spam comments
  • SEO Press (or Yoast SEO): For SEO purposes
  • Thrive Product Manager: to easily install any Thrive Themes product including Thrive Theme Builder and the Shapeshift theme.

Setting up Your Site (12.14 min)

With Shapeshift and Thrive Theme Builder it's ridiculously easy to set up the basic templates of your website.

Though the site setup wizard you'll choose your:

  • Header
  • Footer
  • Homepage Design
  • Single Blog Post Layout
  • Blog Post Layout
  • Single Page Layout

After just a few short minutes you'll have your basic website layout set up and you'll ready to start tweaking.

Connecting your Email Service, Analytics Code & Social Media Data (20:42 min)

Thrive Theme Builder is powerful and it's even more powerful with the right integrations.

In this part of the video, we'll show you how to connect your email marketing service (in this case ConvertKit, but we have tutorials on how to integrate any of them).

Where to put your tracking scripts such as the Google Analytics script.

And how to connect the Global Fields elements that are used all throughout ShapeShift for things like social follow buttons, telephone number, address, ...

Setting Up Your Homepage (24:19 min)

Here, we cover in detail:

  • how to connect the menu,
  • how to connect the buttons to your lead generation page,
  • how to add your own photos,
  • how to connect the contact form
  • and much more. 

Creating Website Content (40:31 min) 

But there are more pages on your site than just your homepage and building them can be a challenge...

Not with Shapeshift though.

We just released Page Blocks for Shapeshift, which means that you can choose from over 150+ pre-designed blocks to enrich your homepage OR to build any page on your site.

We'll be making specific tutorials for this feature, but here you can already see how to use them and how awesome they are!

If you already had Thrive Theme Builder and Shapeshift installed don't forget to update Thrive Theme Builder. To do so go to Appearances >> Themes >> Thrive Theme Builder and click the update notification. This is not going to affect any changes you already made in the Shapeshift theme.

And if you're looking to learn how to write a good about page, you can follow this free Thrive University course.

Make Your Comments Irresistibly Engaging With Thrive Comments (59:49 min)

Let's be honest, the commenting feature of WordPress is a bit boring and lacking behind on the latest engagement options.

By activating Thrive Comments you'll add cool options to your site such as up voting and down voting, commenter badges, etc. 

Create Landing Pages in No Time With Thrive Architect (1:02:48 min)

Thrive Theme Builder and the Shapeshift theme come packaged with Thrive Architect Light. This is what allows you to create basic page and post content. 

Activating Thrive Architect (the full version) will add a bunch of extra options including new elements, element templates and 300+ landing pages templates.

Add Any Lead Form to Your Site With Thrive Leads (1:07:45 min)

Thrive Theme Builder and Shapeshift as well as Thrive Architect come with an impressive arsenal of lead generation options already, but that's nothing compared to Thrive Leads.

Thrive Leads, our dedicated lead generation plugin, allows to add any opt-in form type to your site (from ribbon to welcome mat to exit intent lightboxes to overlays and more), see the statistics of the number of leads you collect right in your WordPress dashboard and A/B test all of your forms. 

Capture Testimonials, the Easy Way With Thrive Ovation (1:13:20 min) 

And last but not least we'll install a testimonial capture form on the site using Thrive Ovation.

You can use this page to send to customers and collect testimonials that will be saved in one dashboard. 

If that's something you're interested in, we've written a full tutorial on how to collect testimonials on autopilot.

Ready to Build Your Coaching Website?

All of the tools used in the tutorial are part of Thrive Suite. 

Get access to Thrive Suite today.

And let me know if this tutorial was helpful for you. What was confusing? Which step would need an in-depth tutorial? Let me know in the comments below!

by Hanne  March 20, 2020


Enjoyed this article ?

You might also like:

Leave a Comment

  • Please use Tools > Usage Rights when accessing Google search for Images to be sure to use images that may be shared, even for commercial reuse.

    • That’s an option. Personally I find that the results are very average though compared to a specific website like Unsplash or Pixabay.

  • Amazing! Couldn’t come at a better time. I watched Shane’s Thrive Themes Builder how to build a website video yesterday, this is a great follow-up for me! Many thanks!!

  • Hi! I really noticed that the website was missing. Thank you very much for the excellent work, really step by step, and for the final result! Congratulations!

  • Awesome tutorial, but it leaves me with a question:

    How do you reduce the padding in the header and the top?

    There’s a huge white space below my header menu, and a large green space at the top of the “top” section, before the title of a page/post is seen.

    Adsense likes to put an ad in that whitespace; I’m OK with that, but there’s still a large swath of green space after that. Seems like unnecessary space that takes away from the User experience, but if I alter the margins (under “layout & position” for both sections), the ad fades into the green, and the title is still well below the ad.

    Any suggestions?

    • Hi Justin,

      Reading your comment if feels like you have some kind of plugin installed for ads?
      I can’t help you out here, but please contact our support team. They will be able to have a look at your site and see what’s causing the “green space” you’re talking about.

  • Just a humble wish for the next fantastic walkthrough: A better mike or at least one that does not pick up so much keyboard sound and a hum from the building.
    Small things, the walkthrough itself is amazing, thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing Hanne. I am a coach and recently became a Thrive member. My current website while nice is way too busy and doesn’t convert.

    I am working on my staging site now using the same theme used in your demo. My logo /trademark is registered, but I am thinking the homepage is a bit busy with photos? The other pages are temp from the original site and will be changed.

    Please share your thoughts in re: the staging site’s homepage

  • Hi Hanne – Thank you. Great job. I always learn a great deal from your tutorials and I did wonder why you didn’t include a ‘before and after’ intro in the first video.

    Can’t wait to see what other tutorials you produce to show us how to use/implement the other elements available. I’d like to see more tutorials on actually using/adapting the content blocks that are available and how those can be saved as templates for future use etc.

    I have been through the wizard tutorial just using the demo set up so far and nowhere near ready to go live or launch the site. However, despite the site being set as ‘coming soon’, the demo ‘generated homepage’ is still showing as live when I use the sites main URL in Google search bar …….but all other demo pages/posts are showing as ‘Coming Soon’. How do I get the homepage to also show as ‘Coming Soon’?

    I also don’t have those two blue arrows that let me switch between header/menu sections in the wizard.

    • Hi Jonah,

      Sorry but without knowing what you use to put your site as “coming soon” I’m not sure I can help you…

      • Hi Hanne. The ‘coming soon’ page I used was the generic ‘coming soon’ page set through my hosting company (Bluehost) but it wasn’t showing as active on the ‘homepage’ that I created using the Theme Builder wizard and your tutorial.

        However, the generic ‘coming soon’ page was showing on all other pages that I create using the wizard (About/Blog/Contact etc.) I wasn’t sure if that was a Thrive Theme Builder issue or a hosting issue, so I asked here first.

        So i contacted my hosting company, who initially said it was an issue with the ‘theme cache’ and some ‘code missing from the index file’. (I’ve no idea what that actually means or if it was a Bluehost issue or Thrive Theme Builder issue).

        They told me that they had fixed the ‘cache and index file’ issue and that they had also added a ‘custom coded coming soon page’……………and completely screwed up the work I had done so far using the Thrive Theme Builder wizard.

        Now I have a site wide ‘custom coded coming soon page’ (uploaded by Bluehost) and I can’t access the Thrive Theme Builder wizard or Templates at all and I can’t find the pages/header/footer that I had created and customised using the wizard.

        I have no idea what has happened and I don’t think Bluehost know either. To say that I am annoyed is an understatement.

        So it’s back to the drawing board with a fresh install of everything!!

        Not sure if a child theme/coming soon/maintenance mode used through Thrive Theme Builder would have prevented any of this.

      • I’m sorry to hear.

        ATM we don’t have an in-build coming soon mode but I can see how that would be helpful for sure.

  • Fantastic tutorial! Thanks, Hanne.

    How seamless is the Thrive Theme Builder when applied to an existing WP site? Meaning, if my site isn’t a fresh WP install, will the Thrive Theme Builder still ‘play nicely’?

    • Hi Dino,

      It’s super easy to integrate a Thrive Theme Builder website with a payment system like PayPal. What are you using as payment system?

  • Hi Hanne,

    In Canva, I did what you did.
    But I cannot add the text to page. It simply does not work.
    When I open another template, then it works fine.
    But not when I work with custom dimensions.
    Maybe you know, where it is going wrong

    Thanks in advance

  • Great Tutorial! Is it planned that Contact Form is getting some new features? I live in germany and its unfortunately not possible to change the outcome of contact request in email. For example.. if i use phone number i cant use “Telefonnummer” (thats the german version). Doenst look so professional if i answer a client and he is watching english requesting tool. Thanks alot! 🙂

  • I need to change my Wix website for my holistic therapies business to a WordPress site – will this Thrive Themes template be suitable? I will use / integrate the Fresha booking system to take bookings and payments. Thank you!

    • I’m not familiar with Freshna but a quick search taught me they have a link to their online booking page. So you could simply link your buttons to that page.
      And this templates would be perfect for your business 🙂

  • Hi Hanne,

    Your email (introducing the 2nd video) made me laugh! You’re definitely not a “rookie” but a total professional! 😉

    Between this tutorial & Shane’s introducing TTB, I have learned so much! <3

    But, of course…I have *another* question: regarding custom menus — I had never used them before (I know, resisting something new to learn 😉 LoL!) — but found your illustration so helpful & clear.

    My question is about what takes precedence in WP (or maybe TTB). I have default WP menus created already. When I followed your above tutorial, I didn't get the Home page header menu to populate **across the entire site**…

    Is that because you didn't have ANY existing WP menus already created? I'm guessing so, but just wanted to confirm my suspicions…

    You are SO correct that custom menus are the way to go! They are so much easier & more feature-rich to "edit" than default WP menus! 😀

    Thank you again for such a great duo of tutorials!

    • Hmm not entirely sure to be honest. If you choose the wp menu in the wizard than that will definitely take precedent.

      • Gotcha! Thanks!

        I’ll experiment on my ‘training’ site & report back here! 😉

        I think going forward with TTB, that “preferred priority” would be good to know…

  • I have been a Thrive Theme user for years and love it. I love the new Thrive Theme Builder, but I see one flaw that might be really easy to correct.

    Why can’t we choose the TTB Home Page template and then add Page Blocks to that? It just doesn’t make sense to me that in order to use Page Blocks, I have to overwrite the TTB Home Page template that I like and use a Landing Page first. There are so many good Page Blocks available with the Landing Pages…why not make them available to use with the TTB templates? Now that would be good integration.

    • I love it when I can give an answer like this:

      Of course you can 😀 When you choose a homepage, you’ll see the “add blocks” button and you can choose from over 160 blocks to add 🙂
      For the about page it was just easier to start from the blank template rather than the homepage template because it’s different content.

      • Sorry Hanne, can you explain more. I see where I can add the blocks that are listed…mine shows 125 I can add. But I would like to add the Page Blocks that are available for all the different Smart Landing pages. When you have that available, then it will make building pages like plug and play.

      • Hi Michael,

        Because the blocks are made in a specific design style, each landing page set has it’s own blocks. And as you can see there are a ton of them!

        So if you’re on a homepage from the Shapeshift set, you have access to the Shapeshift blocks.

      • I understand blocks are made in a specific style, but my point is, that is limiting and there’s no reason to limit things. Just think how powerful it would be if I could choose any Page Block, regardless of style and add it to my Home page and the colors would automatically be adapted to the colors set for the Home page. Having thousands to choose from is better than 125. For instance, there are lots of good Page Block elements like pricing tables and testimonials that can easily fit any style of Home Page but we can’t use them. I really hope you take this into account and at least discuss the possibility.

  • Awesome content! It really shows you how fast and fabulous Thrive Architect + TTB work together. Quick question are there any plans to make the contact forms more customizable? Like multiple message fields, and customizing the message in the email sent? that would be awesome!

  • Hello Hanne, I have a stupid question – but really it would save time if you could tell me. As a Thrive member, how do I access Thrive Theme, if I want to install it on my site ? I need a .zip file, no ? I am confused about that, can you tell where it’s explained ? Thanks a lot !

    • Hi Emanuelle,

      If you look at the step-by-step video in the middle of the page you can see me do it… around the 12 min mark.

  • Hanne, is there a way to build a site like this with [] TTB? Also, to be able to have a gallery of some sort as well. I’m attempting to build a photography site and wanted to give TTB a shot at creating it. Thanks in advance

    • Hi Jerry, we don’t have a gallery element so you would need to integrate with a separate plugin to get that functionality.

  • I’ve just tried 4 times to contact you via your contact page on your website and each time the green whirligig has timed out and no message was sent. I’ve tried using Safari and Chrome. I’m fed up of typing the same thing over and over again! Plus no option to message you on Facebook. How is someone supposed to contact you?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Sorry about that, we tested it from our side and it seems to work.

      To answer your question:

      Our comments section on the site is ideal if you have questions about the topic in the article.
      For pre-sales question you can send an email to support [at]
      For support issues, the forum is the best way to get help asap.

      Hope that helps.

  • Hello Hanne

    First of all I want to thank your tutorial.

    I Have a big problem with Thrive Leads and lead generation, and GDPR Explicit Consent Checkbox, I’m desperate.

    In Spain is required to put always this Explicit Consent Checkbox. But I’m trying to put it on my opt-in form like you teached (in another tutorial), and it doesn’t work, because something is going wrong.

    When I’m goint to main option/ ad API connection / Advanced / and I click on “Explicit Consent Checkbox” in my lead generation appears: “Checkbox label”, (and in another line: appear a checkbox with this text beside “Insert details about how the information is going to be processed” And I can’t modify this last text.

    It’s driving me crasy!!! and I hope you can help me, please

    Here you have an Screenshot

      • Hanne,
        Thank you very much… I love you all you team.
        You are right, I didn’t think about it before.
        I want to take the opportunity to ask you, why don’t you put the same checkbox on the “contact form item”? As I told you before, here in Spain is obligated to put it on as well.
        Again, thank you so much…

      • Hi Deborah,

        We’re currently working on that 🙂 So it will be an option soon!

      • That’s GREAT!!!!
        I can’t hardly wait to the next upgrade!!!
        Another thing that I think could be interesting, is to put more fields in the contact form, in order to could take more information from our visitor.
        Thank you so much

      • Hi Deborah,

        Happy to tell you that you can now add as many fields as you want in the contact form! (make sure to create a NEW contact form because it became a whole new element)

  • Hi Hanne, thank you for this tutorial, I am having trouble with the global settings, I just seted uo social media and when Im back to set uo my privacy policies I cant access it as before, it looks like a worpress site thing… and I modified my menu and I wanted to change the links and just doesnt appear as a choice I watched the video many times to see what might be wrong but I just cant find the way
    Cheers…. Im almost done with the page hopefullky go live soon

  • Dear Hanne
    Can you please write down all the details, as mentioned in the video? i am unable to implement it properly. Support tickets generally take a lot of time – these days…..if you write it in text form -it will save a lot of money for thrive themes Organisation

    • I genuinely don’t know how I could do better than:
      – Having a video showing you STEP BY STEP how to do it
      – Having this blog post that details all of it in text…

  • I am following the video and building my site with the ShapeShift theme. When I attempt to change the header labels I get a message that says “Forbidden 403”. I’ve removed and added the header back in but still get the same message. What am I doing wrong? Site is currently not visible since it is “under construction”.


    • Hi Linda,
      I’m sorry but that’s not a common error for which I have an answer. Please open a support ticket so that our team can check out your site and see what causes this to happen (most likely it’s a conflict with another plugin or configuration specific to your site).

  • Hi Hanne, thank you for the excellent tutoria. What if I accidentally deleted one of the templates – Featured Image Narrow Content – the template for Blog Post. Is there any way to get it back? Thanks Hannah

    • The only way to get it back would be to reload the theme from the cloud (but that would delete all the customizations you made)

  • Thank you for this post. It has helped me in sharing how my client can use Thrive Themes to build out her coaching website. She has purchased Thrive Themes and I will be coaching a coach on her site (no pun intended 😉

  • Hey guys do I need to run the Shapeshifter Theme with a child theme or is this step not necessary? What about updates for Shapeshifter? Do they affect my website? If I need to install a child theme for shapeshifter, can you tell how this works or where I can find a tutorial for fixing this issue?
    Thanks for your upcoming answer! 🙂

    • Hi there,

      You will not need to create a childtheme for shapeshift unless you want to add advanced custom coding (in which case you can learn how to make a childtheme here).
      If you simply want to make text and layout edits then a childtheme is not necessary. When you update, you will update Thrive Theme Builder (under appearances >> themes) this will not affect the changes you made to Shapeshift.

  • Thanks, Hanne, I am following very slowly… got stuck on creating content for the home page. In hindsight, I should have just built the other pages, too, and then add my content…
    I came to the section where you build the About page. (44 min)
    First, when I wanted to choose the “blank page” in the Shapeshift landing page theme, it said I had to upgrade. So I installed Thrive Architect, chose the blank page, and did NOT have the “main Options” I see on your video where you select the default header and the footer.
    I looked back several times and slowed the video down to see if I maybe missed something: why the sidebar with the main options doesn’t show up for me, but I couldn’t detect what I’m doing wrong.
    Can you help me with that step, please?

    Thanking you,

    • Hi Ildiko,

      This happens when Thrive Architect and Thrive Theme Builder are not running the same version.
      Please update Thrive Theme Builder to the latest version going to appearances >> Themes and then update.
      If this doesn’t fix the issue, please contact our support team so they can have a look and help you out.

  • Great stuff Hanne! As always. Just a note I was having issues with one of our TT/TA built sites and after going back and forth a bit with your support team discovered Antispam Bee was causing the issues. Too bad as I prefer Antispam Bee over others but unfortunately they do not seem to play nicely together.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}