Thrive Theme Builder: What’s Happening Behind the Scenes?

Many of you asked about the progress on Thrive Theme Builder. In this post we'll try to answer your questions and explain what's going on behind the scenes.

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1. The Status of Thrive Theme Builder

At the moment, we are in advanced Beta testing. This means that we're starting to install Thrive Theme Builder on live websites under developer supervision. 

You might remember our previous update showing you some of the functionalities of Theme Builder, but that update was quite some time ago now... 

...and the moment we made the post, we thought we were only a few months removed from our public release. Unfortunately that's not how the project advanced.

Why is it taking so long?

With Thrive Theme Builder, we're trying to build something that's never been done before.

Our goal is to have a real WordPress Theme Builder with full WYSIWYG front-end editing functionality (just like you're used from Thrive Architect), but the interactions between content, templates, post formats, and other critical components... make the development extremely complex.

But the most difficult thing with Thrive Theme Builder is not just to make such Theme editing possible, it's to make it user friendly as well. Achieving this has sent us back to the drawing board more than once because we didn't believe our first iterations were as user friendly as we wanted them to be.

2. The Release Plan

While we can not give you an estimated release date, here's how we're rolling out Theme Builder:

  • Continue Beta testing and live website testing under developer supervision.
  • Work closely with a group of testers to build a website from scratch.
  • Progressively roll out Theme Builder to members
  • Make it publicly available as a one-off purchase.

Why are we so cautious about rolling out Theme Builder?

Your theme is the foundation of your website. It needs to be solid & reliable.

WordPress is — by default — not a "stable environment" because of all the possible configurations you can create with it (e.g. different servers, different caching and 3rd party plugins, different hosting, etc.).

Every WordPress website has a different setup and by rolling out Theme Builder progressively, we'll be able to quickly assist our customers and provide the support needed to allow for creating stable and solid themes.

3. Rapid Implementation & Old Themes

"Should I wait to update/create my website?"

It's a question we get a lot and our answer is always "No".

If creating or updating your website is important to your business, you shouldn't wait for anything. Not even for our new Theme Builder.  ;-)

We believe in Rapid Implementation, which means:

Doing what you can with what you have right now.

In just about any situation, doing something (even if it's not perfect) is better than doing nothing at all.

This means that as a member, you can still build your website using one of our old themes.

We'll support our old themes for at least 1 year after the public release of Theme Builder which means you won't be left with an outdated website any time soon.

4. Other Products and New Features

We have a team of developers working on different production tracks. This means that in parallel to developing Thrive Theme Builder, we're adding new features to our existing products.

These new features do not take away our focus from Theme Builder (that's just not how it works). In fact it's quite the opposite... within future feature updates, you'll soon discover some of the Theme Builder technology we're currently working on!

In the upcoming product updates we have exciting (and BIG) improvements for:

  • Thrive Architect
  • Thrive Apprentice
  • Thrive Quiz Builder

So keep an eye on your inbox for blog announcement about those!

5. What's Next & How Can You Help?

If you're already a Beta Tester, go ahead and look in your inbox for the latest update to see what's going on and try the Theme Builder out for yourself. The more feedback we get, the faster we can catch bugs and improve usability!

If you're interested in becoming a tester to build a website from scratch, sign up here.

This test group will be Thrive Members only, so make sure to sign up with the same email as your Thrive Membership account.

We'll contact you as soon as that starts.

With this update, we hope you understand a bit better what's going on behind the scenes. If you have more questions (except a release date because we're not able to announce that yet), please leave them in the comments below.

Author: Hanne Vervaeck

Hanne knows exactly what companies have ever retargeted her (she keeps an updated file). And when she's not busy discussing high-level funnel design over cocktails with the equally geeky, you'll find her discovering a place for the first time

  • Lorenzo D says:

    Thanks for the update man, much appreciated.

    As a member, I fully support this approach. I’d rather have something effective and dependable in six months rather than a buggy half-baked product in two weeks. That said, I *will* take part in the beta testing if I have the time…just not on my main site.

    I hope TTB will come with a few ready skins that we can work from when creating our own. And speaking of skins, perhaps you could have some that replicate the old themes, so that people can simply run TTB with the skin that replicates an obsolete standard Thrive theme? I have a website done with FocusBlog that I don’t really update. I plan to keep it up, but I don’t want to take the time to create a whole different skin with TTB when FocusBlog is no longer supported.

    In the meantime, I look forward to the other plugins’ upgrades, I sense they’re going to be something special :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your support, Lorenzo!

      Yes, we will launch with several skins and will be adding new ones on a regular basis, once the base product is published.

  • Mohan R says:

    Much needed update for thrive membership account holders.

    I’m waiting.

  • Rosinaldo D says:

    Nice! thank you for the update!

    I really want to know what are going to be the new features for Thrive Apprentice and Thrive Quiz Builder.

    One thing that I need:
    To be able to change the layout of the index page in Thrive Apprentice.
    That page that lists all the courses we have.

    Because I want to put a WELCOME VIDEO on my index page and some description text also. And some quizzes below the courses (or right beside them)

    I need that because I am going to use quizzes to suggest to the students which courses they should attend next and in the same time to be able to segment them with tags that are sent to my ActiveCampaign.

    So, please, please, let me change the index page layout .

    Thank you in advance!

    • Rosinaldo D says:

      Hanne, I would love some spoilers about Thrive Apprentice ????
      :)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Rosinaldo,

      Our ultimate goal is to use the tech from Thrive Theme Builder in order to make everything in Thrive Apprentice fully customizable as well.

  • Henrik G says:

    One thing I would like to know about TTB. Will it support dynamic content from Custom Post Types/Fields etc?

    Will you be able to select from fields you have created in Toolset Types or ACF etc so you can have a URL on a button be controlled by the type TTB is displaying?

    • Kenny Berwager says:

      I would think since it’s a theme builder it will allow for dynamic content with ACF and custom post types since it’s more than just a page builder. I’m extremely excited for TTB to be released. I do hope it has a way to create a variety of main menu formats/mega menus. A competitor called Divi Builder is limited with its menu functionality and it’s just very unorganized so TTB will be a breathe of fresh air!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, it will include basic custom fields in the initial release. Compatibility with ACF and custom post types is on the roadmap as well.

  • Moe says:

    Excited to get started as a beta tester. Been a member for 1.5 years just waiting for this…haven’t used any products. Have plenty of WordPress experience though. Not having used Architect or other Thrive products, would that be an issue with becoming a beta tester?

  • Adrijus G says:

    No biggy on delay, better good product later, than rushed release soon.

    I much rather prefer to have a theme and visual editor in one place (like Divi does) so looking forward to see how TTB will look. Elementor is awesome but it still needs other theme to work with and that just means learning more stuff (which sucks for clients as they don’t want to learn too much).

    Keep up the good work!

  • Matija says:

    I still dont understand how existing Thrive Themes will be handled when Thrive Theme Builder comes out.

    You will support for 1 year but at some point we will need to change them with another theme or use Thrive Theme Builder to create new?

    • Guillaume says:

      I had the same question :/

    • Allison says:

      Agree. Please, Thrive, do support existing themes for longer than 1 year! At least two would be ideal.

      • Sandra von Känel says:

        Same here. Building something on the chic-Theme right now…

    • Thomas says:

      I’d like also to have at least two years of support of the existing Themes, especially Rise.

    • Yeah! Me too! “We’ll support our old themes for at least 1 year after the public release of Theme Builder which means you won’t be left with an outdated website any time soon.” Does that mean that I will HAVE to use the new theme builder to completely rebuild my 3 websites at SOME point? Will it be like ‘updating’ a theme/plugins or will it be a lot more complex and take hours of work and be prone to breaking? Will I be able to continue using LearnDash and MemberPress? I get that you’re innovating and staying ahead of the curve but I’m afraid that ultimately it will cost me time and headaches and potentially, disruption to my business which relies on my websites…

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Matija,

      After 1 year, nothing will happen. Your theme will continue to work as before and nothing will change.

      The only difference is that at that point, we will no longer guarantee updates and compatibility with future versions of WordPress.

      It’s likely that the themes will continue working with new WordPress versions for a few years to come and they can continue working indefinitely, even if breaking updates are released, as long as you don’t update to those versions of WordPress.

  • Dylan N says:

    Sooo looking forward to this! Thanks so much for the update!

    Reluctantly, I had to build one of my biggest projects, which requires complex Custom Post Types & Fields with custom templates, in Elementor 2 for now, with the Toolset plugin integration, but I’d LOVE to have it all on Thrive, ultimately…

    Paul M had told me about a year ago that he was interested in me connecting him with Toolset to discuss an integration, which I did at the time, but then I heard from Toolset the thread went quiet…

    What can you tell us about your vision for CPT plugin integrations, like Toolset, Pods, ACF, and JetEngine? Thanks!

    PS – Also interested in Beta-testing this with Toolset, if you guys are going that route at all…

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thanks for your comment, Dylan.

      We have ACF and possibly Pods integration on the roadmap, but they won’t be in the initial release. We are building a system for dynamic/custom fields to be used in the theme builder as well.

  • Jerry R says:

    Hi,

    Will TTB will be like Elementor and others, with content blocks that can be plugged in to facilitate faster building of sites?

    If not, will TTB work with plugins that provide those types of blocks?

    Thanks

  • Svetlomir says:

    I am quite excited about the new Theme builder. One question though – would it be able to change the default Woocommerce single product, cart and checkout templates. I am sure that functionality is very very important for all ecommerce owners as myself.
    Best regards!

    • Kaivalya says:

      I am interested to know this as well.

    • Momen AL-Masharka says:

      +1
      Its very necessary to be full supported of woocommerce and really hope it be existed the first official release .

    • Christina H says:

      They answered that in a previous comment on another post. They said it won’t launch with WooCommerce options initially, but it’s on the roadmap.

    • Barbara says:

      Yes. Need this new theme builder to support Woocommerce asap!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      We will include WooCommerce customization options, but that comes after the all the basic functionality is finished. We won’t have these WooCommerce features in the member release, but they may be ready in time for a public release.

  • Shane, a huge BRAVO for this update, I highly appreciate it.
    Congrats to you for doing such a good job – also in professional business communication; someting that is quite rarely seen out there.

    I am very exited about the upcoming TTB, but I still prefer to get a stable product, even if this takes some extra month.
    I think we all here in this community know that you play the long term game. Good job!

    PS: Du machsch ächt en Hammer-Granate-Super Job, Du häsch min vollschte Respäkt!

    PPS: For all those folks who don’t understand my PS – this is a secret language that is only understood by the people raised in Shanes early hometown. :-)))

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much!

  • Eddy S says:

    I’m totally on board with your approach. You’re taking the apple approach. It’s better to arrive late and do it right, than being early and doing it wrong.

    I think it is important to give us regular updates. It feels too far apart. I was starting to wonder if the company was going to close or something. But I’m happy to hear you’re still pushing forward.

    I tried to sign up for the beta tester, but the confirmation page went to a 404 error page.

    Please advise.

    Thanks.

    Eddy with a y

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Eddy! Regarding the 404: I wasn’t able to reproduce this. Can you try signing up again, please?

  • Martin H says:

    Hey after waiting so long I had to go with another solution, Elementor theme builder works very well. what will be the difference from your solution to Elementor

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      There are 2 major releases for Thrive Architect in May, which will give you a preview of what’s different in our technology.

  • Linda says:

    Can you clarify what this means for old themes? We are just finishing an expensive web redesign that is derived off of Minus Theme. (The designer started with minus and coded changes). How is this going to affect our site after the 1 year of supporting old themes? Are we going to have to refigure everything??!!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Linda,

      It means that we will actively develop and update the old themes for at least 1 year. After that 1 year is up, the theme will continue to function as usual. Most likely, it will continue to function for several years longer. We will no longer guarantee compatibility with new WordPress updates and other major updates of other plugins, after that point. It’s likely that the themes will continue working with new WordPress versions for a few years to come and they can continue working indefinitely, even if breaking updates are released, as long as you don’t update to those versions of WordPress.

  • Phillip M says:

    Will Thrive Theme Builder be part of our existing Thrive Theme or is this a separate product?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      It’s a new theme, which is included for Thrive Members and can be purchased as a separate product for non-members.

  • MamaRed says:

    There’s enough schluck already out there and developers who disappear I’m 100% in support of later rather than half-assed! This is one of bazillion reasons I feel great about recommending your products with or without an affiliate link (which I use in the appropriate places and with full discover). Hugs&Blessings. MamaRed.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your support!

  • Momen AL-Masharka says:

    I remember i read in somewhere that someone says about thrive themes products like Swiss watch and really i like this description and believe it .

    I’m sure that thrive theme builder will be amazing .
    And yes for sure i would love to be beta tester ,
    daily checking this change log page http://changelog.thrivethemes.com/

    and after this post/video + more beta testers the official release will be soon .

    Thrive themes “team” all appreciations for your efforts guys .

  • oli says:

    without being able to give a date, at the moment does it looks more probably than not that it will be released within 4 months? 6 months? 10 months?

    We dont mind you getting it wrong, but we’d like to know if you feel, based on where you are, if its closer to 2,6 or 10 months……

  • Anthony says:

    Hi guys, I just tried signing up to be part of the test group but I’m redirected to a 404 page. Might just be me.

    Anthony

    • Michel says:

      I had the same – tried a different browser and that worked for me.

  • David C says:

    Ohhhhh So excited ;P !

  • Ray says:

    I’m so, so glad to hear about the updates, it’s been a long time and I was getting worried :-o
    I’ve just signed up to become a beta tester also. Very excited. Thanks & I wish you all the best of luck!

  • Lakisha A says:

    I’ve been using Thrive theme for a little of 30 days now. I must admit that I’m impressed with your service. Very impressive, with your updates.

    I now understand what all the hype was about with the Thrive theme products. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to take advantage and learn what Thrive theme all has to offer in the amount of time that I would have wanted to learn it but, as time goes on. I am slowly learning that I have made a fantastic decision to become a member.

    This thrive, theme builder, that you’re talking about, I had no idea was even in the making, where are the updates sent too? Is via email? Or are updates hosted somewhere in the member’s area? I’m still learning my way around the membership area, and still learning how to use it. Anyhow, I’m sure I will find it someday.

    It’s good to know that we can still use our old themes, because, I haven’t found where the new ones are located, just yet. Anyhow, so far this is the best theme service, I’ve ever dealt with. I appreciate your service.
    Worry none, with the time that is taken to complete this complex project. I know in the end I will have an excellent product to use.

  • Phillip says:

    Thank you for your update on TTB!

    I plan to make a one-off purchase:
    How much further delay do I have to expect after the TTB has been made available for members?

    Thanks again!
    Phillip

  • Harry says:

    Come on man…you dropped the ball. Do you really think that people are that naive? Your notice was premature. You had no clue, you were flying blind. You’re also, waaaay late for an explanation. You need to lean a lot more in regard to marketing and sales.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      If only you were in charge, Harry.

  • Ryan says:

    Let me know how I can help, Im interested.

  • It would be nice to get an idea as to how these are going to work better, be more efficient to produce or something to give us ideas as to why they will be different or better.

  • Bruce Schwalm says:

    Thanks for the update, looking forward to a WYSIWYG Theme tool.

    Totally get the development approach. As we say “You can’t put 22 elephants to work for one month and get a baby elephant.”

  • Daniel C says:

    Thanks for the update!

    I hope for other releases I can afford time to be a Beta-Thrive-Tester, but, as you said, going with the old themes for current projects is already enough!

    And I’ve learned a lot for not waiting for the TTB and sure when it comes its going to rock!

    Thanks again, for all Thrive Staff =)

    ps.: I’ve noticed that it would be a good idea to have a small tutorial (Thrive University Course) on creating a “Minimum Viable Blog”. I’ve seen many websites with pages automatically created and not edited – even with some examples of the marketing team. Sometimes, even not configured on Yoast, which leads to show on search results as a demo page. It would be really nice a MVB – a simple. I’ve created my script on how to do this – few plugins and steps to configure (considering being in other languages), I could give my input. It would be nice for us, your customers, to get more hands-on as solo entrepreneurs.

    • Virginia says:

      Are you willing to share your script? I am anything but technically-oriented and struggling to customize my website and publish it. The MVB sounds like it might be an answer for me.

  • David Orr says:

    Good business strategy! People like me who use Thrive invest a lot, and need to hear that you will be around for the future and will keep the technology evolving and stable. This communication conveyed the sincerity and created confidence in your company.

  • Juan Z says:

    Hey, Shane, how are you?

    One of the things you could start raising to work in parallel until theme builder is finished is to incorporate compatibility with woocomerce in thrive architech to start matching in this way to other plugins of the competition as “Elementor”.

    I say this because I know that in the future you are considering compatibility with woocomerce through theme builder and it might be interesting to incorporate this option earlier in thive architech.

    What do you think about my suggestion?

  • Don U says:

    Does the beta tester program allow for building a site on a localhost environment or does it need to be live on a shared hosted account because of programmer oversight.

  • Andre says:

    Thanks so much for this update! Very good to see our YT and blog comments are noticed. We are looking forward to seeing TTB and testing it in our development team.
    Thanks again!

  • Ritter says:

    I would love to help out as a beta tester… I’ll poke it, kick it around, drag it up and down the block and give honest responsive helpful feedback!

  • Filiberto Olivati says:

    I have in mind a website that I already wanted to do with Thrive Theme, I would be proud to help you as a tester!

  • Duncan says:

    I’m definitely interested in being a beta-tester.

  • Geoff A says:

    Hi Shane. I have the Theme ‘Squared’ which I love. When you say “We’ll support our old themes for at least 1 year after the public release of Theme Builder” Does that mean the ‘Squared’ theme won’t be updated with WordPress? And therefore I would have to start all over again building new sites with the new Thrive Theme Builder?

  • This is the best way you choose. Don´t let you push you do develop faster. I am in the IT since 1991 and I hated the rush they do today in developing faster. The enviornment as become more complicated as you explain it. So you are doing a great Job.

  • Lorraine E says:

    So glad to see the update video. I’ve been really excited to get started with this but totally understand why you haven’t released yet. As much as I’d love to be using it already I admire the fact that you are sticking to your guns and making sure it’s everything you want it to be before you release it. I’d love to get involved in the beta test group and have already signed up.

  • Marion Black says:

    I’m really keen to be a beta tester so I’ll have a kick start for promoting Thrive Themes Membership as an affiliate.

  • DAN says:

    As a relatively newbie and member, I became concerned with 100 percent use of Architect page builder on my website because of some statements by affiliate gurus that Mediavine display ads seem to have unstable results with affiliate authority websites using Thrive Architect. The ad placements are alleged to disappear or end up in unusual locations on pages. Will this be an ongoing problem that can’t be avoided with Thrive Architect and perhaps other page builders? Or is there some possible devopmental revisions possible to alleviate problems with display ads utilized as a monetary site method.

  • KoenDW says:

    Is there any point for me of getting Astra Pro (on a lifetime deal)? Or will TTB replace the need for other themes?

  • Michael Keogh says:

    So I’m about to make my new main website – should I be a beta tester on this new live site, or use an existing theme and have to update later on to TTP?

  • Emanuelle says:

    Can’t wait !

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