The Best Online Course Plugin Gets Even Better: Thrive Apprentice News

David Gavrilut   83

If you want to create an online course on your own WordPress website, Thrive Apprentice is the perfect tool for you!

Our design and development teams are constantly adding new features to this plugin…

So buckle up and let me take you through the latest additions to Thrive Apprentice!


1. Set Up an Author Box Without Using WordPress

Author Box example from the Thrive Themes Blog

The Author box is an element that shows up on a blog post or an online course, informing students who the teacher is.

The WordPress author box feature usually contains the teacher’s name, their image and a description about themselves.

But this creates a problem for online course creators because it only allows you to set up a single author box for multiple online courses.

Which is no bueno…

Because what if the same teacher has multiple online courses on completely different topics?

You wouldn’t want to display the same description for all of them. How would that look...

I am a specialized certified nutritionist, but I’m also passionate about guitar lessons, public speaking, fishing, and hiking. I’m also volunteering in 5 different places and I speak fluent Mandarin.

If your online course is about guitar lessons, your students don’t really care that your main profession is SEO marketer and that you speak fluent Mandarin.

That’s where Thrive Apprentice comes in:

You can set up custom author boxes for each individual course.

This means that your guitar instruction online course can have a separate description from that of your other course(s):

Two separate author boxes for each online course

2. Font Awesome Course Topics

The Thrive Apprentice course topics (used to sort online courses by topic)

The course topics can be used by your visitors as filters - If you have multiple online courses on different topics, they can sort out online courses by the topic of their choosing.

And with Thrive Apprentice, you can set up multiple topic choices…

The course topic symbol can be displayed either as an image, that you simply upload and choose from your Media Library:

You can display any image from your WordPress media library as a course topic symbol

Or, as a Font Awesome Icon!

This means that you can choose from over 3600 icons and select the one that you like best:

Behold, the vast collection of Font Awesome Icons

3. Collapsible Modules and Chapters

Your Modules and Chapters can be collapsed, using this cool animation

Looks pretty cool, right?

The new Collapsable Modules and Chapters feature also comes in handy if you feel that the structure of your online course is taking up too much space in your visitor’s viewport.

This is how the structure might look for an average sized online course without collapsing it:

An average sized online course that ends up taking way too much space...

It still looks cool, but it probably takes up too much space. In that case, you’ll want to make the modules and/or chapters collapsible.

If you go to Template Settings > Advanced Settings > Course Structure, you’ll see that you can make both the modules and chapters collapsible:

Use the Course Structure option to set up collapsible modules and chapters 

Wondering how to build an online course?

If you want to create an online course, but you’re not exactly sure what this entails, we have a training system that will walk you through every single step of this process.

Find out what kind of website tools you’ll need, how to create an irresistibly marketable course in your niche, how to get paid, how to structure your course, and much more...

Check out Course Craft - The proven system to create, launch and sell high-quality, high-value online courses.

4. 100% Customizable Checkout Page

The SendOwl checkout page for your premium online course can be fully customized with our drag and drop editor

If you’re using Thrive Apprentice together with SendOwl to a premium online course, you can fully customize your checkout page with our drag and drop editor!

This means that you have a range of pre-made templates at your disposal to customize that were made by our professional design team.

Modify anything you want, and in typical Thrive Themes fashion, everything happens right in front of your eyes!

So go ahead and “checkout” this feature too!

Join the Thrive Apprentice Family!

If you haven’t done so already, make sure to get your copy of Thrive Apprentice so you can build a stunning looking online course on your own WordPress website!

I’d also love to hear your take on Thrive Apprentice and its newly added features - So see you in the comments!

by David Gavrilut  May 24, 2019


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  • Hi Matt

    How can you integrate with other cart like Thrivecart? and secure the content at the same time?


  • Thanks for the great updates!
    Is it possible to have 2 author boxes? I make a course with a partner and we are both authors.

    • Easier solution is to setup one profile called “Erik and Robert” and then share the description for the both of you. The photo also can be a single picture with both of your faces.

    • Raj is right, for the moment, you cannot have 2 separate author boxes and that is a good walkaround 🙂

  • Awesome as always !!! thanks to all the team of programmers that make all these wonders possible to simplify our lives and since I am a fan of thrivethemes I will never regret having made me a full member 🙂 a few years ago. Thanks again to you David for this excellent article and the whole team for surprising me every day, keep it up !!!

  • Hi David, thank you for this stuff – great!
    I want to completely hide the course structure, not just “collapse”, how do I do that?
    And one more question, I have to activate the modules at a different time, how does that work?
    Thank you and all the best!

      • My guess is Matthias is asking what many are… which is… how does this plugin protect content that is only for paid customers?!

        – Matthias J phrased it like this: “how do we hide the course structure…”

        – Nigel M phrased it like this: “I honestly think you should allow us to COMPLETELY shut down the course page…”

        – David O phrased it like this: “sometimes you don’t want customers to see your entire course layout…”

        – Joel phrased it like this: “but the rest of the modules are locked for the registered users…”

        – I phrase it like this: “paid content needs to only be available to paying customers, pick what phrase you want: Hide, completely shut down, limit, lock-down, protect content… etc.

        ~ ~ ~

        It is as if you guys are politely ignoring this most basic element. The long answer is the plugin does not lock/protect/limit content for paid users… but it takes a technology stack to make that happen.

        What we are asking is to put the content protection part of the stack into your plugin.

        This would streamline the course development process and eliminate yet another plugin… which… is the brilliance of what you guys do at Thrive and we have come to know and LOVE!! 🙂

        Thrive = Eliminates the need for yet another plugin!! 🙂

      • I think I understood the question…
        Example: If I want that the client can access to the next lesson only a week later, how can I make the access impossible until the end of that week?

      • Hi Viviane,
        At the moment we don’t have a drip feature in Thrive Apprentice.

  • Hi David! That’s GREAT! The only thing I’m missing in this video is where can I find the checkout templates to build that page? I looked in the blocks and I can’t find it. I’d like to build a LOG IN page. IS it possible to do so if I’m not with Sendowl? I use WishList member. Thanks!

    • Unfortunately, for the moment they only work if you’re using Thrive Apprentice with SendOwl…

  • Still need to make it so that the text part of the lessons is not seen by the public, I have very detailed instructions I don’t want seen by the public. I honestly think you should allow us to COMPLETELY shut down the course page so no one but people who purchase the course can see.

    I don’t think you should dictate to us that it’s fair for OUR customers to see our content before they buy. That’s honestly none of your business. Please create a private course page so only logged users can see it.

    I have to add download files into it where the regular public can access.

    It’s absolutely insane.

    • Hi Nigel,

      We always keep our customers in mind when offering solutions and features.

      I’m sorry to hear this specific way of displaying the lesson overview page is not the way you think about communicating with your audience.

      One of the advantages (and one of the reasons we created it this way) is that it allows for potential customers to get an overview of the course and you can give them a call to action in the course description.

      Just to be clear, if you set up your course correctly, non-customers can not actually access any of your content (other than the course overview). So I’m not sure if I understand why you would have downloadable files that are publicly accessible.

      In any case, I took note of your suggestion of making the course overview page only view able for customers.

      • To be honest, Nigel does voice a legitimate concern (albeit voiced somewhat strongly lol).

        It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes you don’t want customers to see your entire course layout. It’d be nice to be able to send potential customers to a sales page when they click the “details” button on the apprentice course card, rather than sending them directly to your course.

        Is there a way to do this in Apprentice that I don’t know about?

      • Hi David,

        I can see how that could be useful and added it as a future improvement suggestion.

      • Nigel makes a valid point that seems glossed over or at the very least misunderstood.

        Let’s be clear, most of us using the plugin are running a business not a charity.

        Courses we create are going to be *sold* versus given away.

        I know of few if any businesses creating courses merely to give away. You yourselves don’t. You have Thrive University that contains courses that are paid access only = protected content.

        Sure courses are free as well to create good-will and pull people into your world.

        But paid courseware by default needs to be protected and NOT freely available for public viewing.

        The Apprentice plugin unfortunately does not protect content. Why not do this?

        I had hoped that with the new updates to Apprentice that Thrive would have added this basic function.

        It seems incomplete to create a course creating plugin and… NOT have it protect content.

        Why? Because we are running for-profit businesses not charities.

        Please, please, please create the ability to hide/protect/limit access by credentialed authentication. 3rd party the payment of the course… not the protection of the content. This will simplify the technology stack for creating a course.

        This would be innovative… like the Thrive brand you have created and we have come to know and love!!

        Joel down below asks for the same thing.

        Does it get more into the LMS space?!… sure, but that is what you are doing anyways. 🙂

  • Great tweaks!
    How’s the integration with Thrive Cart going? 🙂
    And is the Woocommerce integration on a horizon?

      • For the moment the Woocommerce integration is not on the roadmap, but I’ll log this as a feature request 🙂

      • Hi David!
        Thanks for checking in. Hopefully Woocommerce integration will come to Thrive Apprentice. With release of CartFlows last Nov, it is pretty straightforward now to build woocommerce based funnels – streamlined check out, order bumps, upsells/downsells; and you can use your page builder of choice to do that (including Thrive Architect!).

    • Hey, Russell! I just confirmed with our Thrive Apprentice development lead and the Thrive Cart integration is in progress and it will be available in one of the next updates 🙂

      • That’s a good news David!
        Looking forward your video walkthrough on this integration!

  • I’m still looking for a Theive Cart integration for Apprentice, otherwise it’s useless for me.

    • It’s in progress, Umberto. The development team is preparing it for one of the releases in the near future.

  • The course craft tease is frustrating since it is still closed. Will that be open again soon? Why mention it in the pos

  • I am currently using the LMS (online school) Ultimate Learning Pro plugin. These plugins add more freedom to the administrator than membership plugins. This is a real combine, but there is something to modify.
    If your plugin could do something similar (in the simplicity of the front-end interface, your plugin wins) + the ability to integrate with WooCommerce (this gives you complete freedom to connect to various payment gateways). I myself am from Russia and I can’t use the narrow list of payment gateways offered by foreign developers, for example you, and WooCommerce allows you to connect Russian payment gateways. And again, the Ultimate Learning Pro plugin lacks regional translation files (the plugin was not correctly prepared by the developer for translation into other languages).

    • Thanks for the comment, Sergey. The development team are working on a Thrive Cart integration with Thrive Apprentice and also we’ve already gotten a few Woocommerce requests for which I’ll log a feature request right away 🙂

  • Hello. Thank you so much for the updates, it makes the plugin much more professional. Although, I still have one more really needed upgrade. Could you make the “index” page of the courses (which lists all of the courses) totally customizable?
    Same question for the Course’s single index page.
    Thank you. 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment, Balazs! That would be a great addition to the plugin. I’m adding it as a feature request right away 🙂

  • Hi… regarding the Author Box, can this be used to replace the WP box at the bottom of Blog Posts? If not, is there a way to do this?

    • What you could do in this case is disable the default WP author box from your blog posts and then design a new one in Thrive Architect and display that one. You can even save it as a Symbol and apply it on all your blog posts 🙂

  • Hey David,

    I have a question, is the “thrive apprentice plugin” the same one as the one that comes with any Thrive WordPress template?

    I have access to Apprentice on my site but I don’t know if it’s the same or not.

    Thanks so much,

  • Nice tut David. A question: how do you get the structure on RHS menu to collapse? Note in your video the modules are collapsed with ‘+’ icons next to them.

    • Hey, Nigel! For that, you need to go to the Widgets area in your WP Dashboard – In the Thrive Apprentice Course Sidebar, access “Thrive Apprentice Lessons List”, and there you will have the collapse options again.

      Thanks for reminding me this, I’ll add a note in the post about this 🙂

      • Thank you David! Drove myself crazy for a couple of hours trying to work that out and failed.

        OK, so now I am looking for my forehead slap emoji because it’s so obvious now you mentioned it lol!

  • Very happy to see that there are now collapsible modules and chapters, both as a buyer of your course as well as the seller, I just find it makes navigation cleaner and simpler. Thanks so much. Also love the new author feature, it makes sense to have a separate author box for the course compared to the regular WordPress site.

  • Wow! Very nice!
    What I like the most is when you collapse a module or chapter and to the right, you can see the number of chapters (for the module) and the number of lessons (for the chapters). Nicely done!

  • Very excited to start using Apprentice, especially with the new added features. One other comment though: please stop teasing us with the Course Craft promos and mentions only to find out that it is closed :/

    • It’s not entirely closed, we plan on reopening it and on that page you can stay up to date with the reopening of the course.

  • Now, this all great and exciting updates! However, my question is about log in/membership issue. I plan to make a module available for everyone, but the rest of the modules are locked for the registered users. I do not see where these members’ credentials are saved. Is there a way to manage this without buying $200-$400 membership plugin?

    • Hey, Joel. In Thrive Apprentice you have the “Access Restrictions”, which will be available even if you don’t have a membership plugin. There you can select which of the user roles will have access to the course. Then, you can exclude the first x number of lessons from the protection rules.

  • It is great to see the potential applications where Thrive Apprentice can be used….

    That said, we found that completing 80% of the layout was accomplished in relatively short order… the remaining 20% was a different story. For example – there are some limiting omissions… When considering portable devices (smartphones and tablets) you can adapt your design and verify it (to a reasonable level of confidence) when viewed in Portrait but there is no means to simulate portable devices in Landscape… These only became apparent when actually viewing the page on a mobile.

    Also, selecting elements to adjust size and position can be very tricky… selecting one element and attempting to move it did not always yield expected results…

  • These are great! I am currently using Teachable and just curious before I consider moving to Apprentice. Where do you recommend we host our videos? That is an extra cost that no one talks about with Apprentice compared to an LMS like Teachable.

  • Hey David. I’ve read the Thrive Apprentice sales page and it states that ‘Drip fed content’ isn’t something that Thrive Apprentice can do. However, on SendOwl it states that drip fed content is possible?

    If I go the full deep integration route with Thrive Apprentice and SendOwl, will drip fed content be possible?

    Thanks for your time.

    Rowan Clifford.

  • Hello guys,

    many users (including myself) asked MANY times if you will ever integrate a API for Digistore24. Please let us know.



    • It’s on our integrations list, but it won’t happen over night, even if users ask many times…

  • I love not going to Gravatar to set up bios for courses. Will you also be doing that with thrive for things like blog or pages?

  • hey there. Love Apprentice but for me I’ve built my membership using Memberium membership plugin. I cannot secure the pages correctly with Apprentice.

    I see you’re working on adding Thrive Cart. How would that help me overcome the members page access?

    thanks for all the upgrades x

  • Can you tell me please which is the size of the video embed on a lesson? because if it is small or something like 1170X400px it doesn’t work for me. If the videos embed are like your videos on “Univertsity” it is good for me. But I need to know that before buy the pluging “thrive apprentice”
    Thank you very much for your help.

    • Videos are shown in the proportions of the uploaded video (usually 16:9) and as wide as the visitor’s device allows, up to a maximum width of 1170px. So, on a large screen, the video will typically show at 1170x658px. That’s what you see in Thrive University, as well. This is a good cut-off point because if the video goes wider than this, it starts taking up too much vertical space. As comparison, this is very similar to the default dimensions and scaling of videos that you see on YouTube, if you choose the “Theater Mode” view.

  • Is the drip lesson feature available yet? How about dripping the content using the send owl integration? Is it possible? This is what send owl says in their page:
    ”Instead of releasing your product all at once, you can instead release it over a number of weeks, months or years to keep your customers hooked. Drip functionality is available for subscriptions, one-off payment products and bundles”

  • Question: how do I customise my checkout page? Is that the registration page? Or the actual sendowl checkout page?

    • The customer sees both in the purchase process. You can customize the registration page in Thrive Architect and the payment page in the SendOwl settings.

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