Introducing Thrive Apprentice

Today, we're rolling out a new feature in several of our themes. The feature is called Thrive Apprentice and it's perfect for anyone who wants to create a course, information product or any other kind of well organized membership content.

Watch the video for a tour of the new feature.​


Supported Themes

​Apprentice is a feature that can be activated within some of our themes. The supported themes are:

For detailed tutorials on how to use Apprentice features, there's a knowledge base section here. There's also a customer support forum section for the Apprentice feature.

Some of the feature highlights in Apprentice include:

Create Useful Lesson Structures With Drag and Drop Ease

​Use a drag and drop interface to create your course structure, whether it's just a series of lessons or whether it's multiple chapters and modules within multiple different products.

Automatic Navigation Structure​

Without doing any manual work, you can string all the lessons in your course together, so that your members only have to click on a "next lesson" link when they're done with any individual lesson.

Your whole course will also be laid out for members and a simple overview in the Apprentice Navigation Widget.​

​Simple Progress Tracking for Your Members

​Your members can mark lessons as completed and see which lessons are new, which are in progress and which ones are done, in the lesson navigation.

Separate Menu, Widget Areas and Logo

Create a distinct look and navigation for your member's area, which is different from your front-facing website.​ Without having to install separate instances of WordPress or use complicated plugins, you can create a different navigation menu and different widgets in your member's area.

"Welcome Back" Short Code

The welcome back short code, best placed on your member homepage, is a call to action that automatically links to the lesson the member last looked at. This makes your course material more convenient for members to navigate, as they can pick up where they left off with just one click.

Let us know your thoughts about the new feature by leaving 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.

  • Marcin H says:

    Dude, you guys are awesome!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Marcin!

  • Joffry A says:

    Wow! This is really amazing! Absolutely great!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Glad you like it, Joffry!

  • Mark W says:

    Man, that’s going to be so useful. I hope everyone realises Shane is clearly on a mission to make every other WordPress theme and plugin redundant!!!

  • Joffry says:

    Hoi Shane, Which possibilities would you have when you use apprentice without a membership?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      You can still do everything I showed in the video, but anyone will be able to access your course/lesson pages. So, you can still use this for a free course, for example.
      Also, the “Welcome Back” short code won’t work when you add the name tag, because the name can only be displayed for logged in users.

  • One word Shane – Amazing

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Albert!

  • Tomaz M says:

    Looks great, Shane, just what I was waiting for. One question: assuming I have multiple products / courses, I would actually like a different header and color scheme for each course. Is that doable? I am able to customize the Pressive theme with Apprentice in that way? Thanks.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Tomaz,

      We don’t have an option for that, no. If you want a different look and feel for each product, I recommend using a different theme or each one (this is what I did with many of my products). If you want them all under one roof, the visuals will be the same for each one.

    • Don d says:

      Hi Tomaz! You are probably better off creating custom page templates in Thrive Content Builder for each course.

      It might be fun to toy with a plugin like — but you’d lose Apprentice functionality.

      By the way, thank you for your great contributions on your tennis site. I’m a frequent follower of your content.

      • Tomaz M says:

        Thanks for the idea, Don, I’ll check the Help section if that’s possible. I appreciate your feedback on the tennis site. If you can help me out with setting up the site, please contact me through my site.

  • Detlev says:

    Unbelievable what you guys come up with!
    Thanks, Shane.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Detlev!

  • Mike says:

    Great stuff Shane. This is exactly what I needed. I am in the process of building a membership site with Pressive which has over 20 Courses and this couldn’t come at a better time.

    One thing I would ask is that with someone like me, who has so many products and some of my courses have 40 lessons, could you create a widget which only shows the navigation for the Course members are currently viewing and then maybe have the navigation link back to a Course/ Product page? That way the Nav Widget wouldn’t take up so much sidebar space.

    Along with that, having a shortcode which could display Course Featured Images in a grid or with a post archive look so we could display all the current courses automatically without having to build it out.

    Just my 2 cents. I love the new new addition. Great stuff. Keep it coming!

    • Paul B says:

      Great ideas Michael! I would find those feature requests useful as well, as I have many courses too. I also currently use a 3rd party plugin to display a grid of featured images, but it would be great to have it all integrated in the theme.

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thanks for your addition, Paul. I’ll see what we can do. :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s an interesting situation. Yes, I’d like to make some changes that make the tool better for this many courses and lessons in one place.

      As for your second question: that’s already possible. You can use a short code to display Apprentice lessons and there’s also a nicely designed index view which works for any category. So you can link to the index of each product separately, from the member homepage.

      • Mike says:

        Excellent. Good stuff Shane. I look forward to everything you guys do.


      • John F says:

        Awesome! I am in need of that as well, so this is very much appreciated. :-) Overall, brilliant idea for a theme add-on!

  • chris c says:

    I changed to Thrive because I wanted us to be up to speed with website developments without having to add various extras along the way. I wanted a full package in one place. I really did not expect so much ‘added value’, you guys really do provide far more than promised. When i signed up I had no real intention of continuing next year as i couldn’t see why it would be necessary…now I understand why you will be very successful in retaining members.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Chris! I’m happy to know that we won you over. :)

  • Mark W says:

    Let me revise my earlier comment. I’m struggling to find words for how impresses I am. Other businesses would be charing $97 at least for this! It is absolutely superb. Thank you so much guys.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for the high praise, Mark!

  • Marcus B says:

    Is this feature to be implemented in other themes, especially Performag, as well?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      It will be added to several of our upcoming themes, but we don’t have any plans to add it to a magazine theme like Performag.

      • Paul B says:

        Too bad it won’t be added to Performag, as that would save me having to setup a separate WordPress site just for members. Hopefully you’ll reconsider? :)

        I’ve seen a few people ask for it, and it makes sense because you’ve already got landing page and sales page examples on the demo theme (not to mention Thrive Landing Pages). Once a visitor has purchased a product, it would be nice to send them to a members area within the same site.

      • Cathy D says:

        Is there a reason you won’t be adding it to Performag?

        I could really use this feature (and a few of my clients could too)…changing themes is not in my plan :-)

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        The new version of Thrive Apprentice is a plugin, which works with any theme. :)

  • Kim C says:

    You amaze me again and again, not only are you adding some great features, but it’s incredible how fast they come out.

    Is this something that will become available on all themes, or only a selection?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your comment!
      The feature won’t be added to all themes, but it will be part of several of our upcoming themes.

  • Lewis E says:

    Yet another winner! I am already thinking I can use that on three websites I have built in Thrive!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s great to hear, Lewis!

  • Michael D says:

    Shane, you’re making me nervous…

    I have been successfully using a learning management system with your themes, and I’m hoping there will be no conflicts.

    This particular upgrade is pretty amazing, and you have certainly made membership sites more valuable.

    But full learning management platforms that separate training material into courses and units, include testing and tracking of quiz/test questions, and reporting of grades are pretty complex.

    I’m wondering what impact your Product/chapter structure will have on the traditional Course/Unit structure that learning management systems use. I’m hoping that if I leave your apprentice function alone, I’ll still be ok…

    I can only imagine that your customers will ask for additional functionality such as quizzing, and not allowing members to continue until they “pass.”

    Regardless, this is an exciting upgrade and I’m anxious to start testing things.

    Thanks again for another amazing function.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Michael,

      There shouldn’t be any conflicts with 3rd party plugins. And if there are, just let us know.

      Depending on the demand we see for the Apprentice feature, we are looking at the possibility of extending it over time and building out a fully fledged LMS. However, we’ve got some other things to take care of first. ;)

  • Paul B says:

    Shane, I’m very impressed with the quality of the products you and your team produce, as well as the features you keep adding. Great job!!

    This new Apprentice feature looks fantastic! Now I can finally ditch OptimizePress :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Paul!

  • Miles says:

    AWESOME…but don’t make me change themes Shane!!! Please enable Apprentice for FOCUSBLOG. I need this and want this so please tell me that this can happen.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Miles,

      We might be able to add it to FocusBlog in the near future, yes.

      • Miles A says:

        Great news Shane. I like your other themes but switching themes with all the content I already have over the last 8 years would be daunting.

        By the way, your support team is outstanding! They never disappoint. Sergiu and Lorant are valued parts of your team. Please pass along my virtual high-five.

      • Johnn F says:

        Woohoo! I use the Focus theme and am about halfway done shooting a course. So here’s another vote for Focus. :)

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Alright, noted. Thanks, Johnn!

      • Gael says:

        +1 on the Focus Blog integration

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Noted. I guess you can say there’s real demand for a FocusBlog integration. :)

    • Adrian B says:

      A vote from me for that!

    • Steve D says:

      +1 for Focus Blog theme and apprentice (although a bit late to the party :) )

  • Durante P says:

    So now you’ve really raised the bar Shane.
    This Is REALLY BIG for me.

    No More Sensi!

    It changes everything….

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Durante!

  • Curt E says:

    Holy Crap! Unbelievable value. Thank you Shane!!!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      It’s our pleasure, Curt! :)

  • Steven says:

    Hi Shane,

    The new Apprentice capability is tremendous. Thanks for all that you and your team do each and every day.

    Best Regards,


    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your reply, Steven!

  • Lauren C says:

    Shane, This is so cool! You all amaze me with every update. Can’t wait to try this one out.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Lauren. I’m happy you like this new feature.

  • Jerry Roberts says:

    I haven’t even looked yet, but this is the one thing I thought you lacked when I signed up last month. You said you were working on it and here it is. Boo-yah! Thanks.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Always happy to deliver, Jerry!

  • Bill Cobb says:

    WOW! Thank you so much! And, thank you for your email to us offering great tips and content on Friday after Thanksgiving!

    We talked about the need for an FAQ feature / Page within Thrive Themes and how that is currently lacking. Could this new Apprentice feature be used to create a Real Estate 101 education series without having viewers have to become “Members” to view the content?

    Thank you.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, absolutely. Apprentice just creates content and a navigation structure. While the intention is for it to be used with a membership plugin, you can use this content any way you like. :)

  • Sarah A says:

    Shane, this is fantastic. It’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of for a theme (I know, I should be dreaming about puppies and kittens instead of themes). so glad it’s in Minus, which is just my fave theme ever. Can’t wait to activate the Apprentice part.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s great to hear, Sarah! As for dreaming about WordPress themes: seems like we have something in common, there. :)

  • Jerry Roberts says:

    Hi Shane,

    For those of us who drip content, is this considered in Apprentice? I like the navigation feature but once we get through the dripped course the first time it will be “evergreen” and won’t want all content available immediately for new subscribers. Will Apprentice work with the membership plugin’s drip control features or eventually have its own?


    • Lewis E says:

      Very good point, Jerry. I look forward to hearing about this one.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      The drip functionality is left up to the membership plugin you use. Most membership plugins should be capable of doing this and making it evergreen.

      • Stephen P says:

        Most of the drip implementation is at a page or post level.

        Apprentice looks like Pages and Posts… but are they? Will the membership programs be able to see them as such?

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        We use custom post types, which is a core WordPress function. Any decent membership plugin should be able to recognize and work its logic on a custom post type.

      • Ed F says:

        I know WishList does for sure.

  • Mind is spinning re how I might use this. Glad you made it!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Good to know that you’re seeing the possibilities already, Joe. :)

  • Joerg says:

    It must christmas day right now!? ;-) This is so awesome helpful option that im searched for in last Time. Guys you made my Day, thanks!
    But i have two Questions.
    1. Can i make more than One Welcome Pages for separate Products?
    2. How is the Link Structure of this Lession Pages/Articles? What i mean, can i make a separate Category for each Product thats inside my Link Structure?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      1) Yes, you can do that. However, it would be up to your membership plugin to send people to the correct page after login.

      2) Yes, you can use categories for that. We don’t have any further level of separation (above categories, so to speak), but I’m starting to think that maybe we should have…

  • Jim says:

    Nice! I’m looking forward to redoing a few of my sites that were using Thrive Themes and the apprentice option.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s great to hear, Jim!

  • Wow. Mind. Blown.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks, Trevor! Glad you’re impressed with this. :)

  • Paul W says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you ~ Great work guys

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      You’re very welcome, Paul!

  • John N says:

    Awesome Shane.

    I have been waiting for this feature since you indicated it would be arriving this week.

    Initially I just want to use it to welcome new members to my site.

    The site will not have any courses at this stage.
    Just an eBook (maybe more than one or a choice).

    I don’t need to receive payments.

    Will it work to do this if I don’t use a plugin.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, that should work just fine.

      Even with just a single product, you can use this to create a nice page with your download links etc.

  • Graeme C says:

    Fantastic addition again from the Thrive team. I have been stalling renewing my OP subscription knowing that you weren’t far away from a solution which could only be better.
    Shane, you didn’t cover off plugin integration for payments in your video, so I’m expecting that you are preparing info for that?
    I now have the dilemma of choosing a plugin until you are able to provide the payment portal as well and would be keen to have guidance.


    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Graeme,

      I’m planning on doing a video or live webinar where I walk through the entire process of setting up a site with Apprentice and a membership plugin, yes. Coming soon!

  • Juan C says:

    Very nice and useful as always – any plans on developing a Thrive membership product :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Plans: yes. Plans for the near future: no.

      I would quite like to take on the membership market (especially since I haven’t been 100% happy with any of the solutions I’ve tried), but it’s a big project and I don’t know when we’ll do this, what form it will take and whether it will be part of the Thrive brand or not. In other words, we’re interested, but don’t hold your breath for us to release something.

      • Ed F says:

        As you study options look at LearnDash. Self contained, doesn’t need membership software, can easily have more that one course, 3 levels deep (make yours at least 4 or more please), has a progression bar, naturally progresses to the next lesson, protects the next lesson until you complete the current lesson, etc. Worth looking at for ideas.

  • Hazel says:

    This is so powerful! I believe Derek Halpern from Social Trigger has released a similar plugin to organise the members content but you guys are killing it.

    Thrive Themes and Content Builder is seriously my best investment this year.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Hazel!

  • chris l says:

    Perfect timing ! I’m switching to this right now !!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Glad you like the new feature, Chris!

  • Vimlaksh G says:

    I am speechless. Its A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Good bye WPCourseware! Another less plugin and headache to deal with. Thank You guys. You made my year!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Vimlaksh!

  • Paul W says:

    I’m using Focus too so would be interested to know if I need to change or just be patient

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      I can’t give you an ETA yet. We were planning to have it ready for FocusBlog, but we were missing some designs. Shouldn’t take too long, though.

    • Ariesz Pratama Putra says:

      I will immediately purchase Thrive Themes as soon as Apprentice is available for FocusBlog themes. *I am still sitting on the fence, now. :p

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Alright, good to know. Keep your eyes out for it. Shouldn’t be too long before we have that ready.

  • carlito says:

    This is fantastic, I’m glad I stumbled across you guys. Quick question, what do you use for your website graphics, facebook graphics / timeline graphics, and slider/header graphics. I’ve seen a couple such as from laughing bird software and from the same lady that created instatheme and instabuilder. Thanks for any advice

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Carlito. For our graphics, we use Photoshop and a designer (in most cases). I sometimes also get things from Fotolia or Graphicriver.

  • Prashanth V says:

    Wow, I have been waiting for this. Thanks a lot Shane!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      It’s our pleasure, Prashanth!

  • Malcolm I says:

    Shane, you guys never fail to know and understand what your customers want or need. You care far more about your customers than your competition, in my honest opinion, and you never fail to blow my mind with your products and your updates. You exemplify Jay Abraham’s strategy of preeminence. You will be justly rewarded. By the way, do you have an opinion on what the best WordPress membership site plug-ins are? And while I’m at it, best WordPress e-commerce plug-ins? Thanks again.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Malcolm!

      I can’t make any recommendations for membership or ecommerce plugins at the moment. I haven’t spent enough time testing and researching yet.

  • Adrian B says:

    Just ‘wow’! It never ceases to amaze me how much you guys are over delivering. Thanks Thrive Team.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Adrian!

  • Whoah, fantastic new addition Shane. Anybody looking at sharing information through an online education site should put this top of their list.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Phil!

  • Stephen P says:

    Insane! Beautiful! Just what I was looking for!

    Really like the clean simple look…

    1) My lessons are roughly 10% text, 0-75% video, the rest audio. Looks like I’d use Video as the default and just drop audio in as a 2ndary… but thought Id mention this in case it makes senes to expand the model to support all 3 types in the design.

    2) download links in a resource area – looks sharp… saving me some time here!

    3) is there a clean way to use my existing content which are in posts? I’ve sorta created my own adhoc courses that are already in place. Would I need to copy everything over or is there a way to link to and suck in the content I have? I can see advantages to that…

    4) Is there a means to link to the lessons? Assuming there is, but have used some systems that made this difficult… for example, I might want to create a custom table that organizes the lessons based on some criteria… so students can click from the table rather than just a chronological list.

    5) Do you expect to expand this? make a full blown courseware? Or just a bit on the simpler side?

    For me it has 90% of what I would want…

    quizes could be nice…
    STATUS/Progress bars in the widget area also nice to have

    lastly – are these essentially posts and pages and could they be visible or usable without Apprentice? and is there any risk of the Apprentice Wrapper failing, thereby rendering all of the content inaccessible?

    Asking because because of a recent situation with a well known courseware plugin on Black Friday. Stopped working an hour before launch when the plugin had a licensing glitch. It resolved itself 5 days later, but that was after the biggest 4 days of online sales for the year. I’m wanting to avoid that type of risk.

    You guys know what you’re doing, so expect this is covered.

    Can’t wait to try it out… time to stop reading/writing and download the latest!

    I’m thrilled, excited! Have been looking for a replacement all week and this looks perfect for what I need!

    Thank you Shane. Thank you Thrive Developers!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      1) Yes, that’s no problem. You also don’t actually need to use the audio/video post types, you can just add your content to the content area as usual. The types are more of a design thing.

      3) There are plugins you can use for this. Here’s one for example. I remember seeing one that could also do this in bulk, but I can’t remember what it was called.

      4) There are nicely styled index pages for your categories and there’s a short code you can use to display a list or gallery of lessons. We’re also working on an update that will give you more flexibility in exactly how you can display lists or galleries of the lessons.

      5) That depends on customer feedback and demand. If there’s demand for it, we will probably revisit Apprentice in the near future and invest some more time into turning it into a more extensive learning management system.

      Considering your question about the feature failing: there’s no dependency, so even if our servers go down or something like that, it will not have any effect on your own site. If you have a working Apprentice setup now, the only way something can break is if you make a change to it. The best practice here is to always create a backup before you update your theme, any plugin, install a new plugin, remove a plugin or make any other major change on the site.

      • Stephen P says:

        Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful replies.

        A bit busy now, but will test this out in the next couple of weeks.

        Sounds like a perfectly naturally thing to include at the Theme level… though if it spun to be simple plugin that would be great too.

        thanks again! Stephen

  • Dan S says:

    I am with Paul, I love the features in performag. could use the apprentice feature in it. too many things going on to get what I need, an LMS, an academy website in Fedora, and my blog, and ending up with yet another site to work on for one guy is a bit over the top? Any ideas, or is performing going to get the apprentice at some point?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Sorry, Dan, but brining Apprentice to Performag is not on our roadmap.

  • Lamont P says:

    Just saw this…great! Any chance of adding it to Focusblog?

  • Lamont P says:

    Disregard, just saw your previous responses.

  • John Z says:

    When I was royally stuffed by my previous wp provider I scrambled around the net looking for a new home. I found Shane telling me NOT to watch a video… which I did of course – and it was great – but the number of people gushing over and over with happiness looked very suspicious ($300 bucks in India will buy thousands of fakers :) but it turns out genuine, now I would like to gush a little but words like awesome , wow great and thanks pale in comparison to your great work – thank god my previous home screwed me so bad I left.

    Not forgetting the support team and all at TT are equally great!

    Can’t wait to implement Apprentice!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi John,

      Happy to know that we managed to win you over. :)

  • James says:


    Your videos embedded from Wistia do not appear to offer a full-screen option in the video player! UGH!!

    Can you PLEASE make sure you offer such an option? Watching videos in a limited window is hard on the eyes when seeking to see detail and hence the need for a FULL SCREEN option.


  • Ben Yost says:

    Awesome! Great addition – Thanks!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ben!

  • Ethan says:

    A wonderful addition that will be very useful for me. A feature that I needed that I had not thought about.

    I think it’s great that the themes are being updated along with the plugin and the focus is not solely on one or the other.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Ethan,

      We have separate teams working on themes and plugins, so both will continue to be steadily updated and improved. :)

  • John Z says:

    Hi Shane, just wondering. Can I use this to contain a book? You created chapters and I thought “book” (novel) with many chapters and sub-chapters etc?

    Also, is it practical to set up (book or standard apprentice setup) without applying a membership plugin at first and can apply membership some time later without any penalty or backflip?

    Awe sum !

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, it’s no problem using this to create content and then switching membership protection on or off as you see fit. The membership component, since it comes from a different plugin, is completely independent from the content.

  • Michael W says:

    Is this already included in the membership, I can’t seem to find it?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Michael,

      The feature is built into several of our themes. See the list in the post to see the supported themes.

      • Michael W says:

        Shane, I have another major question. I saw in a help article somewhere a discussion about protecting Apprentice content. I’ve spent the last several hours since purchasing your membership working with different membership programs as I’ve purchased several, and NONE of them are able to protect the Apprentice Content.

        Generally one has to enable protection from within the post/page. Since these are custom posts/pages, the enable membership level/protection is not present.

        I assumed that this functionality would be present as I absolutely LOVE the design of this for my courses. I’m currently trying out wpcourseware and have tried virtually all of the other elearning plugins as well.

        Is there anyway to properly integrate this with your average membership plugins? An integration plugin would work. However, that may not be a priority for you, so I would like to know how I can protect my courses now.

        Thanks in advance.

      • Lamont P says:


        It will depend if your membership software will recognize “customer post types”. The developer of the membership modules I currently use (Zaxaa and Easy Quick Member) just updated this functionality a few days ago. Initially it didn’t work. You’ll need to check to see if your software accepts custom post types.

        Which one(s) are you using?


      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Thanks for your reply, Lamont!

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Hello Michael,

        Can you tell me which membership plugins you tried?

        I know that protecting Apprentice pages is possible with Wishlist Member, MemberMouse, Zaxaa Member, S2Member (via a URI protection option), MagicMembers, WP Member, Digital Access Pass and WPMUdev Protected Content.

        These are just the ones I know of – I assume there are many more. My impression is that any decent membership plugin will be able to protect Apprentice pages since they are custom post types and custom post types are a core WordPress feature.

      • Hyen C says:

        Hi Shane. I love Apprentice pages but protect using Digital Access Pass. Seems like DAP do not recognize custom pages. If somebody is protecting Apprentice pages using DAP, I will appreciate any idea.

      • Julius K says:

        Hey Hyen, did you work this out? I’m about to sign up with DAP to do this

      • Ed F says:

        Do not recommend DAP. Poor support and VERY difficult to understand especially if problems start showing up after your initial install. Too hard to remember the complexity of it. If I can pass my license to you I’ll give you mine….

  • Doug says:

    I’m not a fan of layering too many programs together. Instead of integrating with Wishlist, can the portal to the apprentice simply be a password protected WP page?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      You could do that, yes. But then the password will be the same for every member and you won’t have any member management.

  • Rudy M says:

    Already using the very awesome Content Builder. Whenever you do have time to debut a membership theme will it hopefully be easy to migrate content from one of the Thrive Themes that contains Apprentice to the new membership theme? Or will you update these themes with what I assume will be a very powerful membership plugin? Any timeline on that? Thank you in advance.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Rudy,

      The timeline is “sometime in the unknown future”. It’s something we want to do and (probably) will do, but at this time, it’s impossible to say when we’ll even start.

  • Hi Shane,
    I am wondering if we can rename “lessons” to something else? I would love to use this for one of my clients for their Agent portal. But I don’t want to have it say “I have completed this “lesson” to the agents reading each part. Is that editable?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Charra,

      Yes, you can rename that easily. It’s one of the options in the Apprentice settings. :)

  • Roger H says:

    Great new addition to Thrive Themes.

    Just wondering if you have any special features or ideas on building a beautiful member dashboard for the members area?

    Right now I’m looking at using something like Sonic Dashboard Pro or using Tablepress to create tables and then add custom icons to the tables.

    The key being to increase perceived value of the content and make it easier for members to find all of their content.



    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Roger,

      We’re working on 2 features that have this in mind, so you can have more control over what you want to display on the member homepage.

      • Roger H says:

        Thanks for letting me know. I really want to improve the look and usability of my membership site. And having a nice dashboard or first page the members see is a big key along with your new Apprentice feature.


  • Klaus S says:

    does the Apprentice Feature use custom Posts or just normal wordpress pages/posts? here in germany, is a very attractive provider to protect pages, handling memberships and in combination with DigiStore24, does all the payment, invoice and law stuff.
    So my final question is: will all three work seamless together?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Klaus,

      We use custom post types for Apprentice lessons and pages. I’m not familiar with the digimember product, so I can’t say whether it will work. The requirement is that it can protect custom post types, that’s it.

      • Julius M says:

        Unfortunately, does NOT support customs post types, so it doesn’t work with Apprentice, and it doesn’t work with Thrive Content Builder.

      • Klaus S says:

        That sounds terrible to me. What exactly does not work with TCB and what with Apprentice? Did you ask Digimember to solve this?

      • Julius M says:

        Update: Digimember v2.0 DOES support custom most types. There was a problem with TCB, because TCB stores data different than wp-editor. But the Digimember developer was very cooperative, and added the missing code. Now Digimimber protects Apprentice and TCB content also. (There are a few small issues, for example the “Resources” section and the Apprentice Navigation are still are visible to non logged in users. But we expect this to be fixed soon )

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        This is great to hear! Thanks for the update!

  • David A says:

    Hi Shane,

    This looks awesome! I’m not currently in the market for a new theme at this time. Any chance of this being turned into a plugin at some point? Also, is it possible to use the Content Builder plugin to create pages that looks similar to these apprentice pages?

    Finally, which membership plugins does this integrate with? I’m assuming a user registers for an membership account using something like s2members, and then apprentice automatically tracks that and keeps a record of each members progress. Correct? If I just put a course on a page without requiring a membership, apprentice couldn’t keep track of course progress over multiple sessions. Is that right?

    Also, question on Thrive Themes pricing. If we purchase for a year, and then decide to cancel, do we lose access to the them completely? Or do we just lose access to future updates but get to keep the theme as it is?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello David,

      The nature of this feature makes it quite unsuitable for a plugin, I’m afraid. It wouldn’t work very well without the various templates we can use (such as lesson index pages/lists) and it’s not possible to control templates from a plugin.

      You can recreate something similar to this with TCB, yes.

      And yes, your assumption about the membership plugins is correct. It works with any membership plugin that recognizes custom post types.

      If you become a member and cancel your membership, you can still use any products you’ve already activated on your site. But you can’t activate new ones and you won’t get access to future releases anymore.

  • Erik H says:

    Any chance you’d consider making a membership plugin with your own brand of special? From what I’m seeing you guys have just saved me a ton of cash already on other plugins. Thank you!

  • Steve D says:

    The Thrive Team is Terrific!

    This is an extremely valuable feature set to be included with themes. I have been using the Focus Blog theme since day 1 and didn’t realize other themes had the Apprentice feature until now.

    So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE add this to Focus.

    (note to self: read EVERYTHING Thrive Themes posts on their blog, EVERYTHING forever…) <— tape to screen

  • Gav says:

    Great to see this. In LMS / Course sites a feature I consider almost as important as lesson navigation is note taking features for members. On each page the user should be able to enter notes or responses to the course material. This makes it interactive. And then the notes to be easily retrievable for them to review or export. I think that would make Apprentice a killer application.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s a very interesting idea. Thanks, Gav!

      Do you know any LMS product that has a good note taking feature? I’d love to see an example or two.

  • Ed H says:


    Great stuff, really impressive! I am also voting for a Focusblog theme with Apprentice. Is there a way of making these courses password protected within Thrive themes without having to pay for eg. Wishlist Member?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Ed,

      You can password protect your posts in WordPress, but that’s a password for each post, rather than a unique password for each user. You can also check out S2Member and PaidMembershipsPro, both of which have a generous free tier.

  • Ernesto says:

    This is awesome!!!. Does this work only with your themes or can I use it on any other theme? I am building a website where I will sell a course and I was looking for this but It is going to be hard for me to dismiss all the hard work I have put into that web. Thanks.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Ernesto,

      This is a feature specific to our themes.

  • Alex says:

    If we subscribe membership and later on quit it, the installed thrive product won’t work anymore, right ?
    So a solution for avoiding this would be to buy all the products first, then to subscribe membership?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Alex,

      Any product that you’ve already installed and activated will keep working, even if you stop being a member.

  • Paul says:

    Does Thrive Content Builder have Apprentice functionality please?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Apprentice is a theme feature and it isn’t something that can be added to the Content Builder. Here’s a post that goes into more detail on the difference between things that are page specific and things that are site-wide (and for the role of themes).

  • Paul says:

    Has Apprentice functionality been added to Thrive Content Builder? Thanks in advance!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Apprentice is a theme feature and it isn’t something that can be added to the Content Builder. Here’s a post that goes into more detail on the difference between things that are page specific and things that are site-wide (and for the role of themes).

  • Lisa says:

    Do you have a demo of this anywhere, so we can actually see the pages, not just a video?

    • Ed F says:

      Lisa, it’s super simple to set up. I’d recommend playing with it if you have installed Thrive Editor.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      We don’t have a demo of this available, unfortunately.

  • Ed F says:

    Love it! But I hope you expand it! I set the whole thing up not realizing until later it can only handle one course. I need more than one course with different logo’s and protection. I also found navigating the menu system a little wonky. Click in the middle of the bar opens all courses and leaves the page I was on and shows all lessons. Keep it simple. If they click “anywhere” on the bar it expands downward or collapses period! Also, add a progression bar across the top and rewards for completing content. I think its off to a great start but needs a little more meat to it!

  • Danette L says:

    I’ve read through most of this and am still not sure if you can
    1. Have / Sell more than one “product”?
    2. Have one sign on per user that feeds to a single “home” and allows the user to choose which of the products they’ve purchased that they want to work on.

    I’m a newbie – so maybe this has more to do with the protect plugs ins.

    Also – can you go in the “back end” as an admin to see where individual users are in completing their learning sequence?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Danette,

      You can use this for multiple products if you want, yes. However, you can’t have different branding/headers for different products. The different products will just be listed as navigation elements in the sidebar.

      You can customize the member homepage with any content you like.

  • khaiyam says:

    Hey , can you tell me how to make the content centered with thrive builder like we do in bootstrap (e . g how i can do this with thrive , please give me a reply as soon as possible . and thanks in advance

  • Ronn Y says:

    So happy to be part of your community. forward thinking and practical.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Ronn!

  • Dana L says:

    Hi Shane – I’m just about to get started with an online course.. Ive been looking at different options – so i found this at exactly the right time – it looks BEAUTIFUL. what im wondering is – can i create 4 or 5 different courses? I would want people to have to purchase each course separately to gain access – could i do this with membermouse or wishlist member? And could all the courses be on one subdomain or one site? Thanks! Dana

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Dana,

      You can use the category tree for lessons to split them up into different groups, including splitting them up into different products. They would all be on the same site and accessible through the same login.

  • Veit says:

    Hi Shane, first of all thanks for your great work! I love Thrive! Now, I have a question related to the apprentice navigation widget. I also have 4 products, but don’t want all products/lessons to be shown in the same widget (f.e. I don’t want to show product 1 lessons in the widget of product 2 lessons). As far as I can see, there is no way to do this. My 4 products contain 52 lessons each. In the moment I would have to display 208 lessons in the widget using Category level 1. That’s why I only can use a standard Wp Menu widget which does not look as fancy. Any ideas?

  • Warren M says:


    I just discovered “Apprentice” feature tonight. This is absolutely unbelievable! The more I dig into my membership, the more I realize how much value is packed in everything you guys release.


    -Warren M.

  • Chantal B says:

    Wow! I didn’t know about the apprentice feature when I bought my Thrive membership a few days ago. What a bonus! Huge thank you!!

    I’d love to see more functionality added in the future so I wouldn’t have to bother with an external LMS WordPress plug-in. In particular:

    – All my courses’ lessons are being created with Articulate Storyline, (#1 rapid elearning authoring tool). Is there any way to upload the output?

    – I’d really like to make the apprentice lesson pages interactive so students could answer questions, take notes, give feedback, etc. It would be even more awesome if they also had their own page with a consolidated view of their answers, notes, etc.

    – The Experience API / Tin Can API support. See:

    Looking forward to all the goodness you guys create!

    P.S. If you have any recommendations for a membership plug-in, I’d love to know. Hopefully you will eventually create or tightly integrate with one that rocks!

  • Gerard says:

    Looks like a great feature, but I can’t see it for the Rise theme? Any plans to apply for this theme any time soon?

    • I am also interested in knowing if this feature will be available for the Rise theme. As for now, is there a way to apply a separate theme that is compatible with Thrive Apprentice on a subdomain?

  • Femke Mortimore says:

    Hi Shane,

    From reading through the comments there are more people like me who’d love to have Apprentice handle more than 1 product (and not show up in 1 sidebar). Any chance that will happen in the near future?

  • Jane B says:

    Brilliant thank you. What membership/forum plugins do you guys use?

  • mike s says:

    Shane, I love the curcular webcam overlay you have in your screencasts. What screencast tool do you use?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Mike,

      I use Camtasia for screen recordings. The “bubble” effect is a completely custom made effect, though. Not part of any video editing software I know of.


    Question: Can this have a page with all of the courses on it to chose from, instead of a side widget?

  • Bref says:


    I am using the Rise theme. Any plans to add Apprentice functionality to this theme? Or can you recommend a workaround?

    I would like to set up a course or mini-course.



  • John M says:

    You guys should develop your own membership plugin. :)

  • Mahendra R says:

    Any plan to add quiz/grading system?

  • Rita S says:

    I LOVE the apprentice feature. It helps me so much to put together my first online course. easy and nice and now need to leave the thrivethemes envirorment. Thanks a lot for that one!

  • Katharina says:

    When will this be available for the Rise theme? I put a lot of work into making it look good and I really don’t want to switch themes in order to use the Apprentice feature.

  • kathy says:

    Is Thrive Theme compatible with MemberPress membership plugin?

  • Preston H says:

    Hi Shane! Will Thrive Themes be creating a membership plugin in the future as well?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      We’re getting many requests for this, so it’s quite likely that there will be a membership solution from us at some point in the future.

  • Bill P says:

    I love the features of Apprentice, but for those of us with multiple courses, I can’t see any real value. Are there plans to make it available for multiple courses? Apprentice is feature rich enough that I would be willing to pay for such a plugin/addition. Right now I have to decide about using a different plugin. Thx.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Bill,

      We do plan to extend what Apprentice can do, but updating our theme framework in general takes priority over this. Apprentice has a lot of potential, but we currently aren’t in a position where we can invest more resource into developing it.

  • Adeon says:

    This is great.. Any plans for a testing and award certificates?

  • Sreejan Niyogi says:

    Adding to my previous comment, the problem can still be solved in normal WordPress pages can be added as lessons in Manage Content. In such a case:

    1. Normal pages can be protected by Instamember
    2. The lessons can be organised using Manage Content.

    Is there any way to add the WordPress pages ( and not the Apprentice Lesson Pages) in Manage Content tab?

  • jitesh says:

    Hey, If someone uses this apprentice feature. Student saves or marks the lesson as complete.

    Now the same student do get any signin or signup?

  • David C says:

    Hello Shane,
    First things first, ” thank you and the Thrive Themes team for caring about the success of my online home based business and I just have to say ” you and the Thrive Themes team put out the best themes, plugins, tools and tutorials I have ever seen and used online.” ( I have been working from home online since 2008 so I’ve seen a few. LOL ) In my opinion, no one even comes close to what you and the Thrive Themes team are doing and I wish everyone cared as much as you all do about the ease of use of their products for their customers. Keep on keeping on my friend and for the record… I am a loyal customer for life. ” Thanks again.”

  • AnamKaral F says:

    will Apprentice support rise theme in the future?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      The new Thrive Apprentice plugin will work with any theme, including Rise.

  • Nerob says:

    Is there any integration between infusionsoft and the new Thrive Apprentice course management plugin?

  • Cathy D says:

    Please, please please make it available for Performag Theme! (Pretty please).

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Cathy,

      The new Thrive Apprentice plugin (currently only available to members) is compatible with all themes. :)

      We’ll be releasing it in the near future.

  • Michael says:

    Hi Shane, does Apprentice work with the Dash membership plugin?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Michael,

      No, we don’t have a LearnDash integration.

  • Dushan J says:

    Okay, this was posted in 2014 and we’re almost in 2018 ! This product looks AWESOME, but where is it ? I cannot find it, 4 years after a demo of a product that seems quite finished already.

    3 questions while I’m at it :

    1. Will it be translateable with .po files ? If so, I’d be willing to translate it in French for you (I’ll need that for myself).

    2. Will it work with outside themes (not specifically made for this) ?

    3. Will it allow people who completed a course to get a certificate and/or badge

    4. Will it allow quizzes (maybe somehow linked with Thrive Quizzes)

    This seems like a great addition to Thrive products, looking forward to hear more news about it !

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Dushan,

      The new Thrive Apprentice plugin is available, but currently only for Thrive Members. It will be released to the public early next year.

      1) The front end is fully translatable, but the admin interface isn’t.
      2) Yes, it works as a plugin, independently from your theme.
      3) We don’t have a feature for that yet, but it is planned for a future update.
      4) We will create an integration with Thrive Quiz Builder, yes.

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