12 Mega Updates at Thrive Themes – Late April 2020
This update is huge.
I'm talking pour-a-coffee, shut-the-door, turn-your-phone-to-silent kind of huge. Your jaw is going to drop so hard there'll be a dent in your desk.
Read on to see all 12 updates available to you as soon as you hit that update button.
1. Radio Buttons for Opt-In Forms
What's a Radio Button? You've seen them in the wild before. They look like this:
Radio buttons are used on forms and allow a visitor to select a single option. Clicking a new radio deselects the last option.
To access this new form field type, simply add it from the Lead Generation element.
In true Thrive Themes styles, we've made our Radios ridiculously easy to edit and to style.
You can drag to re-order them, click the [+] icon to add a new option, or duplicate and trash them from the canvas.
When you select one of the radios on the canvas, you'll have some color and style settings available in the Architect sidebar.
Rather than boring old dots, our design team have taken it to the next level with 8 radio styles that you can choose from.
Just look at them!
What happens when a Radio is selected?
At the moment, you have 2 options for processing the Radio button selection.
- Pass the selection to a custom field in your email marketing tool
In this situation, you can create a custom field in your email marketing tool (such as MailChimp) to store the information. Then when you setup your API connection on the Lead Generation form, you can map the Radio button choice to that custom field.
That means you can collect an email address as well as the subscriber's Radio button choice and save it on their contact record.
- Send the selection in an email from your website
You can include a visitor's Radio button selection in an automated email sent from your website to any email address you nominate, as well as to the visitor themselves. We have more information about this in update #3 below.
(By the way... A third option for Radio buttons will become available soon).
Editing the Value that will be sent
Let's say your visitor selects Radio button #3, that says 'Endurance' as their fitness goal. By default, the text on the button is what will be sent on form submit.
But if you'd like to send a different text value than what is written on the button itself, you can uncheck 'Use label as value' and define a new phrase.
That means the user can select 'Endurance' but you can update their custom field with alternative text such as 'Cardio'.
2. Dropdown for Opt-In Forms
Radios are nice... but we can do more.
In this update we've added Dropdowns, also known as a Select.
Just as with Radio Buttons above, Dropdown is a new Field Type you'll find available on your Lead Generation Forms.
Once you enter Edit Mode, you can click twice on your Dropdown field to open it up. Editing the options is easy as clicking [+], typing into the text field and dragging to reorder.
The Main Options panel for your Dropdown will let you set how many rows are open by default, if you would like a placeholder, and the icon and opening animation.
If you have more options than rows opened, your visitors can scroll up and down to see the other choices.
Dropdowns have a few more options in the Architect sidebar:
Just like Radio buttons, your Dropdown is smart color enabled and includes pre-built styles. Check them out!
Combine Radio Buttons with Dropdowns and what do you get?
Powerful Lead Generation forms that allow you to collect more data from your visitors!
And Dropdowns pass values in the exact same way as Radio Buttons, either through Custom Fields or directly in an email sent from your site.
Speaking of website emails...
3. Email Notification Editor
In 2018, we released a Contact Form element.
It was incredibly popular, but we heard from you that you also wanted to add people to your mailing list from your Contact Forms... and that you would like more text fields, radios, dropdowns, etc.
Instead of adding these features to Contact Forms, we went the other way:
We added Contact Form features to the Lead Generation element.
To make our Lead Generation element more useful as a Contact Form, we've built a new Email Notification editor. You'll find it when you add 'Email' as a connection inside of the Lead Generation element.
When you click 'Compose', you'll be presented with a new Email editor that looks like this.
With a few clicks, you can fire off an email whenever someone submits your form. This can be done at the same time as the visitor subscribes, or you can use it for email only.
The primary email is your own notification, usually sent to yourself or someone on your team.
Toggle on a Confirmation email, and you can also send a thank you email to the submitter.
To help you write a customized confirmation email, you can add shortcodes to your email.
Shortcodes will be auto-filled with any values from your form. In the example below, it takes just a few clicks to add a First Name shortcode and personalize the email.
"My emails are going to the spam folder!"
If you test out this feature and find emails are hitting your spam folder, it's worth looking at a Transactional Email tool.
Transactional Emails are different to those sent by mailing list. Transactional Emails are sent on a specific, highly important trigger such as password reset, sending a receipt, or a form submit email. WordPress can send these emails from your website but inboxes might reject them.
Fortunately, you can integrate with a 3rd party Transactional Email service such as PostMark via API. They are easy to setup and send your WordPress emails from a reliable server that inboxes won't be afraid of.
We integrate with 9 Transactional Email services: PostMark, Amazon SES, Campaign Monitor, MailGun, MailRelay, Mandrill, Sendgrid, SendInBlue, and Sparkpost.
4. New Login Form Element
Say Goodbye to ugly WordPress login forms... and hello to a new element in Thrive Architect: The Login Form.
Not only is this visually editable, but once again our designers have pre-built beautiful templates to get you started.
In the Login Form options, you can choose the template, edit the form, add or remove labels, enable a 'remember me' checkbox and a password reset link...
...and you can customize what happens to a visitor after successful login.
(Thrive Apprentice users take note: you can redirect your online course customers straight to the Apprentice course index.)
The catch with a Login form is that there can be multiple actions managed on a single form. Users should be able to reset their password without interrupting those that remembered theirs.
Now when you're in edit mode, you'll find a dropdown on the Edit notice bar.
With this dropdown, you can choose between the Login Form (above) and the Password Reset state, Reset Confirmation and the Already Logged In states.
Simple go to Apprentice > Settings > Customize Login Page.
5. Site Speed Optimization
Starting with... a built-in Site Speed Optimization Panel.
There's no doubt about it: Website speed affects conversions because first-time visitors have no patience.
However, speed is a delicate topic. And there is no one-trick-fixes-all solution.
Many factors affect website speed and it can get complex very quickly.
Speed optimization freaks can sink hours running tests and tweaking settings, with no promise of improvements or minuscule changes that don't move the dial.
We know you don't want to go down that rabbit hole.
So we did it for you.
The Site Speed panel in Thrive Theme Builder can pre-load the exact plugins and speed settings we recommend for a website running our theme builder.
If you're unsure how to optimize your site, simply follow our recommendations, click once to configure the correct settings with 3rd party services, and be done with it.
Here are the 3 options you'll find in the Site Speed panel.
Minification and Caching
Caching plugins can make a big difference to your website speed. But you'll be dealing with over 100+ options and the wrong settings can cause all kinds of problems.
We have tested many plugins with Theme Builder and recommend either WP Fastest Cache or W3 Total Cache. From the Site Speed panel you can click to install either of these plugins, then one click on 'Configure for Optimal Caching with Thrive' and we'll instantly change hundreds of settings to the optimal setup for your website.
Although we recommend Optimole, it's free for up to 5,000 hits per month. If you have a high traffic site but you're still budget conscious, then choose the No Cost option and use Smush.
Once again, set it and forget it, knowing that your images are served at their ideal compression and size.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (Beta)
AMP technology helps websites load blazingly fast on mobile devices.
However, it's tricky to setup.
Please note that our Accelerated Mobiles Pages feature is currently in Beta, meaning we don't recommend it for live business websites.
For those of you familiar with AMP, we encourage you to try it out, play around with it and report back with your experiences. Hearing from you will help us improve this feature until we're ready to fully release it into the wild.
6. Customizable Breadcrumbs
Also for Thrive Theme Builder, we have some kick-ass improvements to the Breadcrumbs element.
If you're not sure what we mean by breadcrumbs, we're talking about this list of navigation links that shows the user where they are:
When you place Breadcrumbs inside your Theme Templates, you'll see some new options in the sidebar.
The Display Categories toggle adds or removes the blog post category from the breadcrumb listing.
Expanding the Customize Labels tab will let you overwrite the WordPress default names for your Breadcrumbs too.
Don't forget, Breadcrumbs are dynamic meaning the text will update to suit the posts displayed with that template.
7. Shapeshift's New Blank Page Template
Shapeshift is our first 100% malleable theme built with Thrive Theme Builder and it's driven by a library of designer-made templates.
A few weeks ago, we created a Blank Page template for it.
"What's so special about a blank page?", you say.
Well, this blank page is linked to the library of 130+ Page Blocks. Here's how it works:
Start by loading a WordPress page, importing a template and choose the Blank Page in the Shapeshift Theme set.
When you open this page, your default Header and Footer will load and you'll have the empty space in between ready for Page Blocks.
Hit that [+] icon and you can quickly add any pre-made page block right between the header and footer that will immediately inherit your brand colors.
It's the fastest way to build from scratch.
8. Shapeshift SILO Pages
If a Blank Page template doesn't excite you, then... this next one will.
This week, we've also expanded the Shapeshift page template library with pre-made SILO templates... 7 of them!
Students of SEO Sprint will know what a SILO page is.
To summarize it quickly, it's an SEO strategy to help your website category pages rank in Google.
To a search engine, a SILO category page looks like a self-contained website tightly optimized around a specific search term. It includes sub-category post lists and some search-friendly headings and paragraphs.
Now you can load pre-made SILO pages in Thrive Theme Builder with a few clicks. They're not just functional... they look great! Look at this example:
9. Redirect to Custom Category Page
For the new SILO pages to be effective, you need to replace the WordPress default blog category pages.
This usually takes a bit of WordPress sorcery, but in Thrive Theme Builder we've made a change inside of your website that makes it super easy.
Navigate to Posts > Categories inside of your WordPress dashboard.
In the next window, look at your categories on the right and click 'Edit' for a specific category.
In the category customization screen, you'll see we've added a Redirect option at the bottom of the page.
From here, you can select any WordPress page you've created.
Now whenever your website visitors navigate to a Category page from anywhere on your site, instead of seeing the WordPress default, they'll see the page you have prepared for them.
If you're using SILO pages, this is exactly where to setup the redirect.
10. Filter On Default Blog List
We heard from some of you that you want to exclude categories from your default blog page.
By default, the blog page shows all blog content that is published, but on occasion you might want to hide a specific category. An example of this would be a subscriber-only category or perhaps a Podcast category that you want to manage separately.
Now you can.
In Thrive Theme Builder, when you edit your default blog page, you'll have a filter like the Post List element that lets you hide categories.
11. Dynamic Table of Contents
For some websites, you may want to add a Table of Contents to your theme templates. Perhaps you want to put it in the sidebar of a particular Blog post template like this:
However, as this sidebar is used across multiple posts, it's a theme element and needs to dynamically update to match each specific blog post.
In the latest release, we've added dynamic support for the Table of Contents.
When you're building in Thrive Theme Builder and you add a Table of Contents to a template, you'll see a new notice in the sidebar.
You are still able to preview your posts inside of Thrive Theme Builder to see how the Table of Contents will populate for each post.
12. Clone Feature
Back by popular demand, it's our Clone feature.
This button was in our legacy themes and now we've added it to your websites built with Thrive Theme Builder.
Whenever you are previewing pages or posts inside of your WordPress dashboard, you can click that button and instantly duplicate your post or page. The duplicate won't be published and will contain all of the content from the original post.
Share Your Feedback Below!
What a huge release, especially for our users of Thrive Theme Builder.
Thrive Theme Builder is an evolving product and we are absolutely committed to making it the best website building experience for WordPress.
For those of you that are not yet Thrive Suite customers, we'll have some big news for you very soon.
As always, we'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions in the comments below.