You know how every major TV show has a flashback episode?
Buckle up as we take you through the past, present and future of Thrive Apprentice, our online course builder for WordPress.
Thrive Apprentice? ... Yes, that’s right. Today’s post is exclusively about Thrive Apprentice!
You’re about to learn what’s just over the horizon for WordPress course creators everywhere. It’ll be game-changing. It’ll be trailblazing. It’ll be all yours with Thrive Suite!
Looking Back at Thrive Apprentice
A long time ago...
... in a crowded WordPress theme market far away...
We launched a few WordPress themes with a powerful feature built right in: a way to add an online course to your WordPress blog.
We called this feature Apprentice.
This allowed anyone to build an online course for their audience using WordPress, and with a little marketing know-how, they could sell it too. For 2014, it was really neat.
However – sad piano music – as our focus moved away from individual themes, and more towards creating conversion-focused plugins, the Apprentice feature slipped further from our priorities. Eventually, we stopped selling those original themes entirely.
Then, when all hope seemed lost, Apprentice was reborn from the ashes as its own WordPress plugin: Thrive Apprentice!
Free from the constraints of any particular theme, Thrive Apprentice was finally able to grow and develop.
As we added more and more features, it became clear that Thrive Apprentice had so much more potential to disrupt the online course scene by giving everyone the opportunity to build a successful course-based business.
Let’s jump ahead to when things started to get really interesting for Thrive Apprentice.
Sell your Thrive Apprentice online courses through ThriveCart* without any need for a 3rd party membership tool.
Improved Your Customer List
An expanded Customer List feature to provide more versatility across your course products. The improvements allow you to add and revoke access to specific courses, batch import customers, and manage your students better.
Hybrid Login / Registration Form Element
This new hybrid Login & Registration Form element comes with a library of Smart Color enabled designer-made templates, and support for all our popular 3rd party integrations. Oh, and it's also compatible with 3rd party user roles too!Learn more
Student Login Screen Styling
Powerful customization options for the default WordPress login screen, so you can design a login experience that matches your brand. Think of it as a professional paint job, meaning no matter how unique make your login screen and website, the functionality of this form will remain the same.Learn more
WordPress User Data and Field Mapping
Embrace custom fields to get more data into a WordPress user profile... and you can display that data dynamically whenever you need it too. Capture additional fields via registration or sign up forms, and recall it dynamically onto any page created in Thrive Architect or Thrive Theme Builder.Learn more
New User Interface for Thrive Apprentice
A refreshed user interface makes building and managing your courses cleaner, sharper and leaves even more room for Thrive Apprentice dashboard expandability.Learn more
Login / Logout Menu Options
Magically show or hide WordPress menu items based on whether a user is logged in or logged out. This update also adds a Log In / Log Out link that automatically changes based on the context of a user's status on your website.Learn more
Professional Login Screen Templates
20 beautiful login screen templates to get started with. Pick the one that suits you and customize it to your heart's content!Learn more
Dynamic Course Labels
Add dynamic labels to your Thrive Apprentice courses, allowing you to show different messages for restricted access (e.g. Free, Subscriber-Only, Premium), course status (e.g. In Progress, Completed), and even custom calls to action (e.g. Learn More, Buy Now!).Learn more
Online Course Smart Landing Page Set
Another Smart Landing Page Set for Thrive Architect — specifically for online course creators — to make the intimidating business of launching & selling your courses easy. Just follow the tutorialized copy to know exactly what to write in every headline, paragraph & bullet point of your sales funnel.Learn more
New Apprentice Lesson List Element
A new Lesson List element based on the ground-breaking technology behind our Post List element. Use it with Thrive Apprentice or Thrive Architect to display visually editable, interactive course outlines. Of course, it comes with professionally designed templates too!Learn more
Improvements to Customer List & Access Rights
Easier student access management, with quick links to remove users from courses, or add new and existing users in seconds.Learn more
New Restricted Content Control
Visually edit and customize what visitors see when they try to access online course content without permission. Display custom content, redirect to a registration page, a login screen, or even a custom URL.Learn more
Course Bundles for ThriveCart
You can now create course bundles in Thrive Apprentice when you sell them with our ThriveCart* integration. And what's more, when a customer buys a bundle, they will have their access immediately updated when courses are added or removed from the bundle.Learn more
Stunning New Course List Element
Now you have a Course List element that can be added & customized anywhere on your website, with full visual editing capabilities! It supports powerful filter and search options, all matched to your choice of super flexible designer-made template.Learn more
Visually Edit the Course Overview
The Course Overview page is now fully visually editable. Add anything you want between the 'About this course' title and the call-to-action button —including our pre-made Block template designs.Learn more
Duplicate Courses & Lessons
Now you can duplicate entire courses and specific lessons. This feature is perfect for creating variations on your existing courses quickly and accurately. Duplicating a course will duplicate all of the modules, chapters and lessons contained within, including all of their content, titles, images and media.Learn more
Change URLs for Courses & Lessons
Reset or edit the URLs for both your courses and individual lessons with just a few clicks. Old URLs are automatically redirected so your visitors find their content. This is a great feature to pair with duplicating your courses.Learn more
Add Learning Resources to Your Lessons
Want to add learning materials, homework, and other study resources to your course lessons? The Resources feature supports adding links to URLs, file uploads (like PDFs and audio files), as well as internal site content. You also have total visual design control over how your Resources area appears on lessons!Learn more
WooCommerce Integration with Apprentice
This full integration with WooCommerce now allows you to sell your Thrive Apprentice courses without ever having to buy or subscribe to expensive checkout cart tools and membership plugins! This update is a game-changer for anyone wanting to get started selling their online courses quickly!Learn more
* ThriveCart is not a Thrive Themes plugin. It’s an entirely different company that offers an excellent checkout and payment management tool.
The Present Day Thrive Apprentice
Looking back, I think you’ll agree that Thrive Apprentice is now a very different tool than when it was first launched.
Better features, better customization, better integrations, better UI.
It’s simply better in every single way!
Thousands of people are now building online course businesses using Thrive Apprentice — all with TOTAL entrepreneurial control inside WordPress.
Already, Thrive Apprentice is gearing up to be the only WordPress online course builder you’ll ever need.
Excuse us as we bask in the warm glow of these satisfied comments…
So many excellent features. Grateful that my faith many months ago in going with Apprentice over other dedicated course plugins – on the basis that you would deliver on your promises in due course – has been borne out.
Cannot wait to put these new tools and features into action!
Rob ‧ Thrive User
Just..... unbelievable. You guys are AMAZING. You have created a set of tools so that little guys like me can create a fully functioning online business, AND make it look good! I am so proud to be a Thrive member. Sending lots of gratitude your way.
Andy ‧ Thrive User
Thank you very much. I've spun my wheels for months to understand how to do all of this. In just 1 day I created everything I needed to sell my courses.
behappy ‧ Thrive User
But we can’t stand around patting ourselves on the back for too long. Our arms will get tired and we still have lots of great features to add to Thrive Apprentice!
Over the past few months, our development team has been busy taking it apart, putting it back together again, polishing, augmenting, enhancing, breaking, fixing, and laying the groundwork for some really special upcoming features.
Now that Thrive Architect is the best visual landing page builder for WordPress, and Thrive Theme Builder is the best visual theme builder for WordPress…
... can you guess where we’re heading with Thrive Apprentice?
The Bright Future of Thrive Apprentice
It will come as no surprise to learn our mission is nothing less than transforming Thrive Apprentice into the best, most customizable online course builder available. Anywhere.
And that means FULL visual editing: course overviews, modules, lessons, the works. If it can be customized, we’ll find a way.
It means professionally designed templates you can apply to your online course to make it look stunning, with absolutely no coding or design training necessary.
It means the ability to make your Thrive Apprentice courses look exactly the way you want them to.
We want to give you complete design control.
From any other company, this probably sounds like marketing hyperbole. But if you’ve been a Thrive Suite user for any length of time, you’ll know this is just a typical Tuesday for us.
So what’s really in the pipeline for Thrive Apprentice?
Many game-changing Thrive Apprentice features are still under lock and key in our super secret research facility.But coming up next is what we can reveal...
Malleable, Designer-Made Course Templates
Online course design is hard.
Learning-focused, completion-focused, and conversion-focused design is even harder!
Phew! That’s a lot of focusing.
But what if we could do this job for you?
That’ll free up a whole load of focus for writing and structuring your course material, setting up marketing funnels, writing supporting content, and well, making even more successful online courses!
Over the coming months, we’ll not only make Thrive Apprentice templates entirely visually editable… we’ll deliver a matching set of designer-made templates that completely re-imagine the look of online course platforms.
With these new templates, you can immediately launch your course with impressive course overview pages, modules, lessons and more. This will be Thrive Apprentice like you’ve never seen it before.
As with all professional templates found in Thrive Suite, you’ll also be able to customize your course templates to your heart’s content. Colors, styles, spacing, mobile responsiveness... everything. All in the same powerful visual editor you’re already familiar with.
Exciting LMS Features... the Way they Should be Done
When Thrive Apprentice was first released, we purposefully chose to avoid trapping our users in the incredibly complex Learning Management System space. Our philosophy was simplicity.
Your online course should be simple to build, simple to market, and simple to sell.
LMS’s, on the other hand, have traditionally tried to offer screen after screen of frustrating options and settings. Like a brand new pilot being asked to fly a 747 instead of a Cessna – you risk spending more time reading the manual, than actually building and launching your course.
So what changed?
We think Thrive Apprentice can offer LMS features the way they’re meant to be done… simple, intuitive, and entirely optional.
And optional is important... you don’t need fancy LMS features to launch a successful course. Plain old text and video lessons can still sell like hotcakes, and we don’t want you getting lost in the tech or distracted by shiny objects. But when the time comes that you do want more learner-centric LMS features, we’ll have your back.
Quizzes, dripped content and improved progress tracking just to name a few. No promises on exactly which features will be added – or when – to Thrive Apprentice, but we can reveal our team is currently working their magic on giving you the choice of how simple or feature-rich you want to make your online course learning experience.
To set your expectations: full visual course editing is the priority (it’s going to be awesome!), so expect LMS features to come after that, later this year.
But you don't have to wait until these advanced features are released... here's a great video showing how easy it is to build an online course using Thrive Apprentice right now.
Full Control Over Your Course Material, Design, Learners & Marketing
Ownership and control.
Possibly the two most important factors for building a long-term, profitable course-based business.
We’ve always urged you to retain ownership and control over every aspect of your course, whether that’s the teaching material itself, your design choices, or even the contact data of your learners.
With Thrive Apprentice, this won’t change. In fact, we’re building in systems and features to give you unprecedented control that you won’t find in most other online course platforms.
But why are ownership and control so important?
OK, gloves off time...
Hosted solutions like Teachable and Thinkific
You’re building your business on someone else’s platform, forced to comply with their terms of service, your course design is limited to only what they allow you to customize…
... AND you get to pay them for the privilege.
Online course marketplaces like Udemy and Skillshare
A race to the bottom. You’re building someone else’s business by giving up your great course material for them to discount, bundle, and even give away for free as part of their terms of service. You barely – if at all – get access to your customers’ data, because they’re not really your customers.
And don’t forget the devaluation of your brand when your course is sold alongside hundreds of $20 low-effort competitors.
WordPress LMS plugins like LearnDash and LifterLMS
Significantly better in the ownership department, these online course solutions are lacking when it comes to control. Sometimes they offer too much control over every irrelevant, minute detail, so you’ll need a Ph.D. in payment gateway APIs or WordPress user roles before you can even build your online course.
But mostly, they lack the design control you’ll need if you want to customize the look and feel of your course. LMS plugins are also pretty expensive with yearly subscription fees that rival Thrive Suite in cost… and you only get a single LMS plugin for that!
Simply put, today’s online course scene is begging for someone to come along and build a product that gives you full control over every. single. aspect. of your online course-based business.
Better Integration with other Conversion-Focused Tools in Thrive Suite
Successful course creators know that you can’t just build a course and wait for the sales to come rolling in.
“Build it and they will come” is a beginner’s trap. And it stops so many people from achieving their dream before they even get a chance to prove themselves.
You’re not just building an online course.
You’re building an online course-based business.
You have to take design and marketing super seriously.
That’s going to require great tools to help with design and landing pages (Thrive Architect), marketing (Thrive Leads), social proof (Thrive Ovation), and engagement (Thrive Quiz Builder). But more importantly, it’s going to take all these tools working together as an integrated solution to sell more of your courses and convert more customers.
We’ve already laid the groundwork for better integration by moving away from selling our WordPress plugins individually, to simply offering EVERYTHING together under Thrive Suite.
Next up is to bring Thrive Apprentice fully into the same total design control ecosystem that powers our other flagship tools. It’s nearly there!
And one more thing...
We aren’t just building Thrive Apprentice into another online course plugin. We’re transforming it into an online course solution for marketers. That means all the conversion-focused bells and whistles you need to sell and deliver your course as a paid product.
We're already planning 3 steps ahead for high-converting features that will help you sell more courses, upsell your students, keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Thrive Apprentice gives you everything you need to build your online courses today. It's part of Thrive Suite, a collection of powerful WordPress tools to transform your courses into a successful online business.
What are you most excited for?
If you’re new to Thrive Apprentice, now’s the time to get onboard and build your first online course in WordPress. There’s some amazing things coming soon, and we’d love to see your business blossom and grow.
If you’ve been a Thrive Apprentice user for some time now, well you better hang onto your hat... things are about to get wild (in a good way!) We’re super excited to say thank you for your early faith in Thrive Apprentice, by making it the best and only online course builder you’ll ever need.And if you’re just here to dream about starting an online business, you’re very welcome too! Drop us a comment below and we’ll be happy to share what we know.
Does Thrive Apprentice work with Elementor Pro – like Thrive Quiz does?
Thrive Apprentice works as a standalone tool with any theme. It comes with our visual editor integrated for the courses so no need to use Elementor.
But if you have it on your site already it should not interfere with Thrive Apprentice.
(that being said, you risk wanting to switch everything over to Thrive and ditch Elementor but well… 😉 )
Are there plans to be able to integrate the headers used in theme builder and Architect with apprentice?
That would be possible once the visual editing is there.
Amazing development in a short time – Really appreciate your continued focus 🙂
Great article. I am new to thrive apprentice and would be happy if you could integrate thrive apprentice with digistore24.
This year we’re focusing on adding tons of great features to Thrive Apprentice, and that might well include 3rd party fulfilment integrations.
No promises to exactly which tools and when, but we’ll keep you updated when it happens!
Awesome to hear 🙂
Hello! Will there be an interface and integration with Digistore24 and Digimember?
Hello Oliver. See my reply to Roland on the same question…
This year we’re focusing on adding tons of great features to Thrive Apprentice, and that might well include 3rd party fulfilment integrations.
No promises to exactly which tools and when, but we’ll keep you updated when it happens!
I am so glad I purchased Thrive Themes! And I’m excited that you are maturing the Course management as I grow my business.
And we’re so glad your business is growing with us, Bruce. Thank you for your kind words.
I loved Thrive Themes from the beginning and love it more as I go. I am most excited about dripped content options and integrations with other tools, like quizzes etc. Awesome!!!
Great to hear, Christine!
and I’d like to request dripping content
I am waiting for it since years. THANKS for the great work.
Another +1 to dripped content from Ulf 🙂 I’ll let our developers know it’s such a popular request.
I +1 the dripped content. Most consumers have great ambition and tend to power through content when given to them all at once. It’s a human tendency.
There it all is…let me get after all of it as fast as I can.
It’s essential, if a course creator wants to be successful, that he/she is able to get their customers to take action.
Dripped content provides that simple control.
Glad it’s on the roadmap. Maybe, since it’s such a hot request it can move up on the map.
+ 1 to drip content too! I love Thrive products and integration with Thrive Cart and Woocommerce are amazing, but I use learndash because they have drip content. I’m waiting this to move my courses to Apprentice.
Apprentice does look fantastic!
But until dripped content is made a part of it, I personally cannot use it.
Releasing lessons in a planned and orderly fashion is essential to courses, in my opinion.
But I am standing by….
Totally understand, Jim. Dripped content is a great tool for maintaining engagement and showing you’re adding value, but there are countless successful courses that don’t use it.
Most advanced LMS features are great for enhancing the learner experience – and we’re really excited to be adding them to Thrive Apprentice – but I’d urge you to not wait on a single feature before building and launching a profitable online course.
Hi David, I take your point.
I’m currently using Digital Access Pass for a couple of courses, but would prefer to consolidate everything here.
My need for dripped lessons is not primarily about engagement, but reducing the incidence of people racing thru a course without putting the steps into action…
… and thereby reducing cancellations and refunds.
Courses and membership sites without dripped content don’t retain clients as well….
Anyways, I’m not arguing with you, just expressing my personal opinion… ==>jim
I agree that dripped content is my biggest ask for Apprentice!
Still…very excited to see the Road Map & the future development directions! <3
Your opinion is super valuable to hear, Jim. I love what you say about the need to encourage learners to put the steps in to action to see real results and reduce refunds. Great point.
Dripped content is definitely on the roadmap
In terms of our timeline, we’re focusing 100% on visual course editing first. That’s our priority and it’s coming in the next few months. LMS features come after that.
I already have courses built on another platform that use dripped content. I can’t migrate to Thrive Apprentice until that feature is added…
If you’re already running successful dripped courses, then yes, wait until we add it before migrating. In the meantime, let us know what else you’d like to see in Thrive Apprentice and we’ll share it with the team.
I’d like to see reminders triggered by an event.
For example, if a Learner has done one or two lessons, but then hasn’t done any more, I’d like to be able to automatically send them an email or text reminder.
There may be many situations where a trigger sending an email or a text could be extraordinarily beneficial to maintaining user engagement, course completion, as well as learners signing up for an additional course.
Guy I can’t go into specifics, but I predict you’re going to very happy in the not too distant future.
Thanks for your suggestions and confirming that we’re on the right track!
I’ve been following Thrive Apprentice for years. Another friend of mine has been in love with it and has been using it on her own website instead of LMS. I learnt from her trial and errors of using other products for WordPress 🙂 When we had a business idea with an online course in the family I immediately thought of Thrive Themes and Thrive Apprentice. It was perfect timing as you all made it ready for us :))
Can’t wait for the dripped content feature!
My husband really wanted to drip content but we went ahead with creating his course with what we got in Thrive Apprentice as he started with live sessions that we recorded to offer an evergreen course. For the first students, it was ideal (dripped content by force LOL).
I agree with not waiting and start with something.
I also agree with others here saying that dripping content makes sense in their situation. For instance, it would really benefit in my husband’s case as his course follows a certain path and skipping levels would be exactly the mistake people do when they learn on their own from different sources.
Thanks for sharing, Andrea. It’s great to hear so many real use cases for dripped content; it really helps us to understand how to prioritize and implement it.
Hey Jim, I’d just add to David’s reply that you -could- consider a workaround involving page protect/unprotection with a CRM (e.g. Infusionsoft, Active Campaign) to automate tagging users (whether live or evergreen) to give them orderly and predictable drip access to content over time. Coupla cents… 🙂
Thanks Daniel… I do use Active Campaign, and had not considered using AC tags as a drip mechanism… I’ll give it some thought, but my current system does drip very simply.
Appreciate the help! ==>Jim
With regards to WooCommerce integration, what would be a GOOD solution to bring in affiliate management?
Any affiliate solution that works with WooCommerce will work with the Apprentice integration. Seems like this one is the one recommended by WooCommerce: https://woocommerce.com/products/affiliate-program-for-woocommerce/ (haven’t tested it yet though).
Thanks for this (the article, Apprentice, basically everything y’all do at TT!). I love how y’all design and create such wonderfully crafted software for us.
Question: My struggle is that I want to have a community area on my site as well where people can connect with each other, talk about the courses (and coaching) they’re getting from me. This would also be regular monthly income.
Do you have -any- plans to create a community area that would be integrated into Thrive Suite? I’ve seen Shane talk about how that is not a favorite strategy, in part because it can be a lot of time to maintain.
But having a community area that’s integrated with Thrive Suite would be a complete game-changer for me..
Thanks for your suggestion. At the moment, we don’t have a plan to integrate community in our Suite.
I’m MOST excited about dripped content. My courses need that, so that’s the one feature that keeps me from migrating to Thrive Apprentice. I’ve been chomping at the bit!
We hear you loud and clear… dripped content is definitely on the roadmap!
Yet another +1 for content drip. I’d like to use it with my free course so users have multiple opportunities to see a pitch for my premium course. Would dearly love to see this bumped up the priority queue.
We’re working on some things behind the scenes that are a dependency for the drip feed feature so expediting the feature isn’t really possible. That said, it’s a “core feature” that we’re prioritizing as much as we can.
When our drip feed feature that we’re planning is released, it’s going to make what you’re currently use seem so inflexible and basic.
Great news, Paul! <3
That’s great news, Paul!
I have a membership business model, so only with drip content Thrive Apprentice makes sense for me.
Otherwise I would overwhelm new clients with content for 1 year..
Great update David. I use the entire Thrive Suite except for Apprentice because my clients require tracking of user (their employees) status and quiz results for safety training/liability reasons. So for that reason, I’ve had to use Learndash for the last year with this Fortune 25 client.
Any suggestions on how I could integrate with another tool to meet these requirements. I much prefer the Apprentice interface and features.
Keep up the great work!
Hi Jeff. See my reply to a similar question from Lasse…
Sounds like you’re describing corporate accounts, where a central organization manages and approves students. I’ve seen this work well for corporate training courses and other group-based learning. Sometimes it includes centralizing billing and progress reports.
Right now, this isn’t a Thrive Apprentice feature, but it’s a great idea! I’ll pass it along to our team.
I know MemberPress has a ‘corporate account’ plugin, and LearnDash has a ‘group registration’ and a ‘gradebook’ premium addon. You could see if they meet your needs.
Hopefully our roadmap for Thrive Apprentice will one day take us in that direction 🙂
Can you translate Thrive Apprentice easily?
Is there any way to sell a course to several paople as a group? So they could sign in with there own email and their company would pay the bill. I have WishListMember (compatible?), that could drip content and also make a membership site if needed…
Sounds like you’re describing corporate accounts, where a central organization manages the approved students. I’ve seen this work well for corporate training courses and other group-based learning. Sometimes it includes centralizing billing and progress reports.
Right now, this isn’t a Thrive Apprentice feature, but it’s a great idea! I’ll pass it along to our team.
Thank you, would be a good feature to make buying a course easy enough for corporate use.
Another idea is to make a student-adaptive course – based eg. quiz answers. So there would be 3 levels of lessons (basic-intermediate-pro), lessons for each student could be picked automatically depending of their individual level. Would that be possible?
I LOVE this idea. Right now you could achieve this by running a short placement quiz via Thrive Quiz Builder, and tagging users based on their score: basic, intermediate, and pro.
Then you can send them to 1 of 3 Apprentice course for their level, either with a triggered email, or by including it on the quiz results page.
Yes translation is super easy: https://help.thrivethemes.com/en/articles/4425732-how-to-translate-various-parts-of-thrive-apprentice
Is it possible to block participant’s progress until they upload a document like an assignment? For example, they can only access chapter 2 after they have completed the chapter 1 assignment and uploaded.
At the moment that’s not possible but I’ve transferred your request to the product team.
I have a follow-up question about this Marianne, would you expect to first verify the document? Or simply the fact to upload anything would unblock?
The ability to verify the document and give feedback would be extremely valuable. Not necessary conditional to unblock because it may create bottleneck and frustration when many participants are involved.
Not necessarily conditional to unblock was an abuser (uploading something just to unblock) can soon be fixed offline, but the ability to review and comment is essential.
Wow! Just wow. I’ve been a Thrive user for a long time and I’m building (Almost finished) a course with apprentice now. TT has always been the best on the web. Hands down. Adding apprentice into the family, especially with all the marketing solutions is a real winner for me. Love all the excellent teaching material available as well. Thanks for an absolutely excellent product.
Great to hear, David. Be sure to share your course when you launch it, we’d love to see what you’ve built.
Super excited and longtime user of apprentice easily dripping course through Wishlist plugin purchased cheap at appsumo. Love the visual improvements and need the visual editor so am glad that’s coming first! I also love your time saving templates, so keep those coming too. Thanks for all u do.
Full visual editing is our #1 priority for Thrive Apprentice, so you won’t have to wait too long. I’m excited for it too 🙂
Hell YES! Been waiting patiently for this and I knew Thrive Suite would deliver the goods. The anticipation is high right now. Hope to see this goodness before a big launch that I have set for August.
Great to hear, and thank you for trusting in Thrive Suite. There’s so many new updates in the pipeline, I’m sure we’ll have some killer features for your August course launch.
Really appreciate all the effort you are making to make my life simplier
Great to hear, Yves. Thank you!
One more huge request for a DRIP feature – could you launch that before the other LMS improvements? There are many of us that have been waiting and waiting and waiting..
You can’t manually drip a free course lead magnet, which is imho the ‘killer app’ of an LMS focused on simplicity and biz building – that sustained nurturing of new leads is super important (as you know).
The ability to drip content is not just icing, it’s also imperative for running challenges and for courses that come with coaching (ie the course experience is guided and/or personalized). Many types of courses just don’t work well without those components (anything health-related, for example). Yes, we can manually turn lessons on as we go – but it only works for the first cohort launch, then you have to turn all the content off for existing uses to manually drip it again.
Thanks so much for your dedication to making awesome products, taking our input and empowering us to build our own course empires! I chose Thrive products way back at the beginning and that turned out to be a really fantastic choice!
Great additions to the dripped content argument. I love your idea to use it for a free course lead magnet!
I’m sure our product team will see just how important dripped content is to our customers given so many similar requests.
Our drip feature will handle everything you’ve mentioned in your post and more. We have a few pieces to fit in the puzzle first before we can release it, though. Including a surprise that I can’t wait to release.
You’ve got to tell us more now!
Noel I’d love to but my team would lynch me. I’ve let slip too many times in the past and landed myself in trouble!
Needless to say, though, our drip feature will not be outdone by anything that currently exists on the market. It’s clearly a very important point for building profitable course based businesses and we’re treating it with a great deal of care and attention.
This is spot on. I have the exact same dilemma we’re just taking the first cohort through now (a seven-month course) and the drip feature is essential to avoid either having to duplicate the course, so I can manage the delivery without interfering with the existing cohort’s ongoing use of the material. Over time that will become very messy in the course directory unless I can control who has access to see what course tile.
Dripped content is high on a list for Thrive Apprentice, Nick. Thanks for adding your voice.
Glad that I’m your customer since 2014 and never used any other products since then. But with your progress of development for Thrive Apprentice please add SamCart Integration too. Thank you for your support as always.
I’ll pass your suggestion to the Thrive Apprentice team 🙂
I’d love to see a spreadsheet/csv import – like so many different content types, there is so much that can be done in a spreadsheet – sorting, filtering search and replace, concatention of fields etc that is really quick and easy to pre-process info before entering into a target system, such as social media tool import, clickup task import etc. So it would be great to be able to import lessons and all the related fields – description, summary image etc. I’m sure others will benefit also 🙂
ps – still having the ongoing login problem – cloudflare scene just loops so I am having to submit as a gust
Great ideas, Paul. Thank you.
Drip content is the main thing I would like to see added and soon.
Another +1 for dripped content 🙂 Thanks for the vote, David.
Feels like you guys are going into overdrive this year! That’s great to see and I’m currently working on my first course.
We certainly are. Let us know how your first course goes!
Hi, David, I bought Shane’s Premium Coursecraft. In the light of all these developments can that be massively updated?
Yes the technical part of the course will get a full update later this quarter.
Great kudos for the wonderful article and the great work of the whole team. It’s always like a surprise gift when you guys release new features.
To improve the user experience, I would like to store as much personal data about each student as possible (progress, quiz results, practice assignments, chat, etc.). So I am looking forward to the upcoming LMS features.
Great suggestions, Peter. I’ll pass them along to our team.
Truly amazing! This is about enough to push me from teaching on Udemy and Skillshare to my own site. One question: Is it or will it be possible for students to upload assignments? I’m talking text and images. I’ve found that giving my students assignments on these other platforms increases engagement. They can show off their work (to me and other students), and I can pat them on the back and give them feedback. This can be as simple as being able to upload images to comments. The image component would be important for my courses because people make graphics based on what I teach, and the graphic is what they share as their assignment.
Brilliant suggestion, Rebecca.
Right now you can achieve this by offering the assignment in the Lesson Resources element.
Then you can ask students to submit their completed assignment either via email, or by embedding a form with the file upload feature.
We’ll look into ways to streamline this in future.
Thanks for your response, David. I love the resources idea, because I do provide my students things like PowerPoint slide decks to use in their assignments. (I teach how to use Microsoft Office in creative ways, so they may, for example, create a coloring book page using PowerPoint as an assignment, and the PowerPoint I provide to them gives them some elements to use to make the assignment easier to finish.)
But in terms of them sharing their assignment, I want to focus on public sharing, so that others can see what they do and can also see my feedback. So I think as a workaround for the sharing, I’ll show them how to upload images to Google Drive or OneDrive and how to grab the link. They can then put the link to the image in a comment. This isn’t as ideal as being able to upload an image (or other file), but will work until there’s a better option.
I’m so excited to hear of your commitment to this already great functionality in your ThriveSuite. I’ve been developing online courses for years and love the features Apprentice already has. Your journey map eliminates all my niggles about what Apprentice had and I look forward to making full use of the new features as they emerge. Great job!
This is some huge news.
I am really looking forward to be able to drop lessons.
But there is some other great news that we can finally be-able to edit how apprentice looks.
That is massive.
And the funnel templates, looking forward to see what that brings.
Would love for you guys to build out a demo site form landing page to checkout with woo-commerce and then access to a demo course.
And then do a step by step blog post or mini course how you built out the demo site.
Then we can visit your demo site and see it, use it and test it.
Keep up the great work.
Can’t wait for the next update.
Thanks, Adam. They’re be more Thrive Apprentice news over the coming months, so we’ll keep you informed. I love your idea of a demo funnel.
You should check out this awesome course by Christine in Thrive University:- https://thrivethemes.com/courses/how-to-sell-online-courses-on-wordpress/
Sounds like it’s exactly what you’re looking for
Thanks Paul for your comment.
I have done the course.
I have a site built.
But I would still like to see a live demo site by the creators or apprentice.
So I can see how they would build out the site and the sales funnel.
The theory from the course is good but we also learn from prac. So seeing a live working site would be very helpful.
Dripping content is non-negotiable for my customers and me. If I could do that with Thrive, it would be a no-brainer, but at the moment it’s what’s preventing me from using it for my online courses.
Thanks for explaining. It’s on our to-do list!
Our drip feature will be above and beyond what’s currently available. The caveat being that we need to put a few pieces in place first, but it will be worth it.
Man cool features coming.
Been a TT member for a few years love your plugins.
One crazy idea. I love Joomla and prefer it over WordPress. But there is a lack of Joomla extensions.
Especially a good LMS.
So a lot of Joomla users and myself have a Joomla site and then have to use WordPress site to use an LMS.
So how about if it’s possible thrive theme suite for Joomla?
Your products would be awesome on Joomla platform.
There is nothing like your products on Joomla.
You would have a huge new market. And I would be the first to buy.
Just a crazy idea.
Love your work
Wow you’re the first person I’ve heard that prefers Joomla over WordPress. I must have first used Joomla maybe 15 years ago and at that point it wasn’t very user friendly.
Maybe things are different now? What makes you prefer it to WordPress?
Thanks for putting all the info together about Apprentice. I’ll now resurrect my courses with confidence after my earlier disappointment with the initial version of Apprentice, especially with the problems of the Sendowl integration.
I have always loved the ease of creating great-looking courses with Apprentice!
Can’t wait to see what you build, Mary. Please do share it with us when you’re ready.
I moved my courses to Apprentice (from Thinkific) last summer when I saw what you guys were doing and having been a Thrive member since launch I trusted you to go beyond what was currently available and once again you have over-delivered. It is so refreshing to be able to work with a business whose core values mirror mine.
I consider Thrive Suites to be a vital partner in my business without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today; thank you and keep it up.
Thank you, Noel. That’s wonderful to hear!
Plus 1 for “corporate account” as in a Memberpress functionality. It’s the only reason I use MP over TA. Just need client company to be able to assign or delete their own users.
Thanks Irene. I’ll pass your +1 along for corporate accounts.
Its should be appreciated dear! Wonderful content you have shared, I am impressed from the idea of dripped content and in my online course, it will be helping a lot.
Great to hear! Thank you.
Wow, awesome, congrats! I’m glad I decided to go with thrive themes long ago, decided to stick it out, and am happy to see the always-on intense focus and incredible commitment that you’ve always had with the product. It is very difficult to keep up with all of the changes and implementations that have occurred(not a bad thing). I decided a while back that it was too much to constantly be changing the functionality and flow of my systems as changes are rolled out so I apply them more on a yearly update/redesign basis.
I’m overdue to finally dump pressive and move to theme builder. It’s hard to give up things you like and are used to, lol After reading this article and seeing the new features popping up within my own thrive interface, it is clear that I need to focus on and learn about the apprentice changes applied over the last 9 months. I use s2mamber and am happy with it but recently encountered some custom capability issues between it and thrive which I found a work-around for but I now realize you may have already recently anyway.
I like to idiot-proof stuff for myself, streamline and take a keep it simple approach. I appreciate that even with all of the bells and whistles that you’ve added, it is my choice how simple or complicated I can make my setup, layout, and designs. I was very concerned about code bloat and the core vitals update, spending the last 18 months doing my part to optimize but always falling just short of passing mobile.
I was dreading the thought of having to make a change but had resigned myself to trimming plugins and features first if needed. Then I came across nitropack.io and within an hour with zero coding, am loading at 1.5 s on mobile across the entire site. I was able to remove wp-rocket, sg-optimizer and it integrates very well with cloudflare
Thanks for the update on Apprentice. Am looking forward to features like drip etc, but fortunately, have a method using s2member to make that work for now…
I can empathize with your comment, Joe. I also have websites using Thrive’s great legacy themes that I’m slowly considering upgrading to Thrive Theme Builder… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix, it as they say 🙂 But Theme Builder is light years ahead so it has to happen if I want to take advantage of all the new features.
However, I’ve started migrating one website from Rise to Thrive Theme Builder, and so far the process has been suprisingly easy. I’d go as far as to say it’s fun too. The Site Setup Wizard was a big help at the beginning. Now I’m working through the niggly changes that always comes with an established website.
I do strongly recommend using a staging (development) site, so your current website and sales are unaffected while you build your new site. Then you can take your time getting it perfect, instead of attempting some Herculean effort.
Thanks for the nitropack.io recommendation. I’ll pass this along to our team. We’ll have some great news soon about improvements to page load speed!
I did exactly the same migration from Rise to Thrive Theme Builder and am very happy. Once you get the hang of it, it really has so much more to offer and I’m certain there’s another 80% I haven’t even touched yet.
Great to hear! Rise really was my favorite legacy theme.
David – Interesting. Creating a course is a new priority for me. I purchased Course Craft but haven’t gotten to it until recently. As a Thrive user for many years but a non-developer, I confess my learning curve is very slow. Is Course Craft still the best path to launch? If so, are their chapters that are outdated that should be ignored and/or with specific replacement tutorials? Finally, can Thrive Themes recommend specific equipment for course creation (lights, microphone, etc.)? Thank you!
Course Craft will be updated in line with the improvements we’re making to Thrive Apprentice. The fundamentals will be the same of course, so I’d encourage you to take action now and not wait for an updated version.
> Finally, can Thrive Themes recommend specific equipment for course creation (lights, microphone, etc.)?
Sure, we have lots of resources on this topic!
Microphones, music etc.
Shane’s video and audio tools for video courses and webinars
Excellent. Thank you for being so helpful & supportive!
Before my question let me say this:
Once again, you guys deliver! ThriveThemes is our favorite software vendor. You guys are the most impressive development group we rely on. Not only do you produce powerful and professional looking tools for WordPress, but you listen and understand the needs of us marketers and site builders. Your templates are relevant and very professional looking. Your products only get easier, more functional and more efficient to use. Unlike most development companies you guys also take the time to produce “how to” blog posts and videos, that are excellent by the way, to help us really understand the power of what you deliver. I look forward to reading or viewing each as they are never a waste of time as they are much more practical and usable than those from our other vendors we still need to use. Slowly, but surly you are eliminating the “others”.
ThriveThemes has become a great example of how to do things right, with a few exceptions (nobody is perfect).
Now, I may have missed it in your updates but in the new Apprentice is there a way, or going to be a way, to place a tag (we use ActiveCampaign) on a customer/user/member when they complete a lesson/chapter/module or course? We see these event triggers as potentially great opportunities to market other products/services or launch other activities and would love to have this option. We had mentioned this option many months ago and thought it was to be considered. It would be a very powerful option to allow “completion” of any level of the course to trigger events via tagging or webhooks. Is this still being considered? Or, did I miss this and you already have it?
Thanks again for your efforts.
Thanks for the great feedback, Allen!
The short answer is: not yet.
The longer answer is that have a growing list of hundreds of requested features for Thrive Apprentice, so we have to be very mindful of what we commit to and in which order.
We chose to first improve the fundamental framework – full visual editing and student experience for example – so that advanced features are built on a strong foundation.
However… course/module/lesson triggers are definitely something we’re considering. I don’t want to commit us to anything, but there are some really exciting things coming up for Thrive Apprentice that I think you’ll really like.
I have been waiting for years for Thrive Apprentice to get a serious upgrade. I have never even considered using it without the drip feature which I have employed for all my courses. I am happy to hear that this is coming now.
Oh it’s coming, George! I hope you’ll make the jump when it lines up with your needs.
Dear Thrive Themes team,
I’m very exited about the TA update that will help to customize the course design, align the header with the theme, etc.
You have some news about the release date?
30th of June 2021 😀 You can see our teaser page here: https://thrivethemes.com/apprentice-teaser
One request for the revision is to improve the progress report indicator. Particularly when content dripping is concerned as the course completed indicator is always showing and that does not make sense when you are only 2 months in to a seven-month course. Hopefully drip will be here before long – is there a release date pencilled in yet?
Thanks for the suggestion. We do not have a release date penciled in for Drip.
In the coming updates to thrive apprentice will it be possible to create our own online course marketplace?
I would love to be-able to charge my users to add and sell there own courses.
Give them there own profile and course section.
Payment could be handled through woo-commerce same as it is for multivendor shops.
Would this be a possible upgrade to thrive appentice
At the moment Thrive Apprentice is not build for this purpose and this is not something we’re currently planning on implementing.
Can I integrate this with my Genesis Theme? If so, how? I’m not seeing it in the plugin directory.