What the Thrive Themes Teams Are Working On: October Update

Author
Shane Melaugh   304

A lot has happened at Thrive Themes in the last few months and a lot more is still going on behind the scenes. In today's update, you'll get a new glimpse at what we're working on and what to expect next in terms of features, products and more.

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Here's a summary of the updates from the video above:

Customer Support Improvements

Since our launch of Thrive Architect, we've seen an increase in support requests. We've seen an increase in sales, which means more support, and at the same time, the switch from TCB to Thrive Architect also caused an increase in support requests.

We have struggled to keep up with support and we apologize for the longer waiting times you've experienced, if you've opened a ticket recently. We are expanding the support team and testing a new system that will hopefully make support faster and more convenient. We expect a noticeable improvement in response times within a few weeks.

Improving our customer support is one of the major projects in the company. It's also one of the most challenging aspects of selling WordPress software - our support techs need troubleshooting skills and technical knowledge that apply to an infinite number of different hosting, plugin and theme combinations. It takes time to improve the system and train new staff, but we're moving this forward with full force.

Product Releases

We have two new plugins that are basically ready to go: Thrive Apprentice (our tool for rapidly building online courses) and Thrive Comments (which replaces default WordPress comments with awesomeness).

We are holding off on launching these products until we have increased our capacity for customer support. We want to make sure that we are fully ready to serve and support new customers, before bringing new products to the market.

Thrive Apprentice is already available to members (and some exciting updates will be released shortly) and Thrive Comments will also be made available for members soon. But there will be no public releases in October.

The New Theme

We have started working on a brand new WordPress theme. As promised, we're not just building any old theme. We are looking to redefine what having a theme and website building tool for WordPress means.

It's still too early to show off any teaser material, but what I can say is that we've made progress faster than expected, in the first development phase. Personally, I feel optimistic about it and I can't wait to show you more of what we're working on.

Thrive Architect Updates

The team is hard at work on further improving Thrive Architect. There are two main areas of improvement that we're focusing on right now:

  1. Usability: we're paying close attention to what works best in the user interface and what's still causing confusion or slowing you down while building pages and content. We'll be rolling out several updates to make the experience of using Thrive Architect faster and more seamless.
  2. A/B testing: the next major update to Thrive Architect will be an add-on plugin for A/B testing landing pages. It's one of the most requested features and now that Thrive Architect is released, we can finally ship it.

Of course, we'll also be releasing new templates continually. I won't mention this in updates because we'll basically be shipping new templates non-stop, for the time being.

Wrapping Up

That's it for this general update on what we're up to. I'm looking forward to showing you more teasers and previews of our upcoming new stuff.

Which new feature or product are you most excited about? Is there something you were hoping to see on the list of "in progress" features, that you think we should add?

Let me know in a comment!

Shane

by Shane Melaugh  October 27, 2017

304

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  • Love this update… It makes waiting for features that much easier!

    Built-in A/B testing is going to be a GAME CHANGER! VWO is sucking my bank account dry. I’d like to recommend URL splitting as an option as well?!?!

    As always I’d like to ask for a more feature rich “Content Reveal” element for my buy button – With “Automatically Reveal After X# visits” so returning visitors can see the buy button without waiting 10 minutes all over again for it to reveal synced to my sales video.

    Nice look’n comment plug-in! I’m excited to learn more and try it out!

  • Shane, thanks for the videos; these updates truly make me feel as if I’m part of the Thrive community. I also love your transparency about and willingness to ‘fess up to the support issues.

    A ‘yay’ — I didn’t know about the course builder, which is awesome since I’m currently creating a course!

    A ‘boo’ — Maybe it’s just because I don’t know enough, but it scares me to hear that you’re going to eliminate all of the themes. I use Pressive and love it, and after the not-so-great experience of having to convert from builder to architect, I’m more than a little leery. I’m hoping that the change doesn’t force me to rebuild a bunch of stuff.

    Overall though, love Thrive Themes and am so glad to be a member!

    • Thank you for your reply, Renae!

      You bring up a good point regarding the themes, so let me clarify this: the existing themes will remain as they are and you can continue using them. Unlike with Thrive Architect, we are working on an entirely new theme, which basically won’t have anything (technical) in common with the previous ones. You won’t be able to update your old theme to the new one. It will be like switching from one theme to another. And you won’t have to update. The idea is that we create a far better theme to use on new websites or that you can use once you decide to switch themes on your website.

      • Hi Shane, one feature I still find missing in the comments section is the option for users to get email notifications for the reply. I know several free plugins do offer that feature, but it would be great to have it out of the box as it will encourage discussions.

        Also, is it possible to incorporate “LinkedIn Follow” button (for individuals and not business Pages) apart from “LinkedIn Connect” button? I guess a follow button makes more sense as most people don’t want to connect with random people to avoid unwanted messages and sharing email. But it’s always good to let them follow your post updates.

      • Taking this one step further… when someone receives an email notification, it would be great if they could simply (quickly) respond to the comment by using the reply functionality of their email client. The reply would auto-post to the WP comment thread, thereby eliminating the need for them to have to click through to the actual post, if they did not want to. This would significantly increase engagement.

      • That would be cool indeed, yes. Not sure if we can make that happen, though…

      • Hey Shane – If it’s not possible to bake this feature right into your new Thrive Comments, then it would be great if you could make sure that everything plays nice with the Postmatic SAAS/WPplugin which does already provide some great email engagement functionality. Here is the direct link… https://gopostmatic.com/

  • Awesome updates, I’ve been for this plugin for a long time. So let’s test it from this side (especially the name and the email showing after you wrote the actual comment).

      • Regarding the comment plugin, I think it’s super cool to ask for the name and email after they wrote the actual comment. That eliminates the friction for sure. I also like the fact that you can vote on each other comments. I’ve never thought about that.

        What’s a really big surprise to me, is that you guys will extend Thrive Architect features to be able to design blog layouts. THAT is a game changer.

        It’s a real shame I got to know about this new feature coming today and not a couple of months ago… I’ve been using Performag Theme for over a year now, and had a team of developers working to personalize it and make it more conversion focused towards the things I really need in my business using a child theme. After some time I’ve realized it was nobody’s fault, and that I needed a new done from scratch theme that would look and feel the exact way I want it to be.

        I’ve spent several weeks thinking about the design and reading tons of articles about layout settings and split-testing on blogs (including colors, the way to position calls to action, visual hierarchy, and so much more), and then actually making the new layout with the designer. Now I have a full team working on my new theme based on Genesis framework.

        It’s a real shame I walked away from Performag into a full customizable thing, since your new features may have solved my problems without having to pay designers and developers.

        Btw, I think Performag can use several and big improvements conversion wise.

    • At this iteration: when I make my comment and click the submit button – the entire comment goes away and nothing shows. It’s not until a page refresh that the line “…awaiting moderation…”, is revealed. Feels just a tad buggy – I’m using comments as a logged-in user.
      Just a heads-up.

      d

  • Always good to receive this update email, thanks and congratulations on the consistent good work!

    I remember about a comment on improving WP menus, is there any news about that? 🙂

    Hoping there will be news clean/modern templates, specially for saas/ online system landing page.

    Custom template service will be welcome (partner indication?)

    Thanks

    • Hi Christophe,

      Thanks for your comment! Yes, the improved menus, headers etc. feature is still in progress. It’s quite a tricky feature, but we’re making good progress. I hope we’ll have some news or at least a teaser coming soon.

  • Great news regarding the direction of Thrive Themes. So, as I understand it the current list of themes will now be reduced to one universal theme with Thrive Architect built in, as in the Divi model, or will the theme require Architect to be added as a plugin? Will the Theme also include its own unique templates?

    • Hi Gary,

      The current themes won’t be replaced by the new one. It won’t be an update from the old themes to the new one, in that sense.

      We will launch a single theme and we’ll probably have just the one theme as a framework, to which you can apply various styles and features as needed. That seems to be a more efficient way to develop, than having multiple themes.

      • That single theme/framework would be great. Makes the choices easier and possibly reduce the learning curve if one switches between the current themes. Appreciate your honesty and all of the hard work from you and your team. Your products and actions continue to make me reassess as I try hard to stay with word press …

      • Thank you, Nate!

        What’s making you doubt WordPress and what alternatives are you eyeing?

      • Single new theme with lots of cutomisability would be awesome! (and BTW this comment is a bit narrow on mobile!!)

  • Appreciate the honesty on what’s going on and not hiding the challenges. I wish more businesses would do that! Just this alone beside the great upgrades keeps me coming back and recommending you guys all the time!

      • And this is exactly why I tell anyone who’ll listen to plug in (lol) to what’s happening with Thrive Themes because they’re the best. I may not always like what is said AND the honesty is what I admire so very much. Thanks for leading the way! Hugs & Blessings. MamaRed

  • This is great news. I’m shopping for an LMS right now because I have two new courses to launch this year. Do you think I should hold off for a little bit Shane?

    • Hi Johnn,

      We are hoping to release Thrive Apprentice (and Thrive Comments) soon, but like I said: it’s a question of the support resource. I’m optimistic that we can get it sorted soon, but as you probably know, I will never advocate that someone wait before launching something, even if it means you go to the competition. 🙂

    • If you buy the full subscription to Thrive (which is an amazing deal anyway) you can access Apprentice already Johnn. I’m just creating a course with it myself 🙂

      • That’s true, yes. I’m glad you’ve already put Thrive Apprentice to use. 🙂

      • This comment section is so good-looking, and it is so easy to read, that it made me want to leave a sub-comment! (to see how it looks :). We don’t normally see much sub-comments, but they might be hard to read especially on mobile…

      • Spoiler alert: it doesn’t look great on mobile. We’ll be improving that too, though.

      • As replies are entered the left margin tabs over until no room is left. Perhaps a graphic or number entry to comments solves that.

  • Just testing the Thrive Comments… I have been checking your website daily ever since you first announced it.

    So I am really looking forward for the release.

    You do say in your video that they will not be released this month.. That’s fine by me since we only have 4 days left of October 😛

  • Hey Shane…

    The A/B test (an one way tô measure the conversions from the pages made with Architech) is the priotity feature.

    I hope this feature more than many other feature, theme or update.

    Thanks for ALL!

    • Thanks for your feedback! We are working on this feature with priority over almost everything else, yes. 🙂

  • Hello Shane,

    We’re waiting since 2 years for this feature! We Want “pagination” feature for Thrive Architect posts, as we want to break our long posts into pages which are made by TA!

    Please add this option very soon!

    At least add this feature for TA people who are already using Thrive themes templates!

    • In short: on the front end, it’s designed to create more engagement and on the back end, it’s designed to make comment moderation and processing faster and easier.

  • The new theme that you are talking about with 100% customization ability will definitely eliminate a lot of the issues that we are having. At the same time, I can see you guys are trying to improve the support personnels response time. Want to wish you the best of luck!

  • As you work on enhancing your support capability, I suggest improved documentation for your products. It would go a long way to reducing the need for support.

    Also, about eliminating all your themes and bundling them into one completely customizable, editable theme builder, let me say I am extremely concerned. The roll out of Architect crashed a site I had been working on for weeks that was intended for release at the end of the summer. I had to start over from scratch.

    Since then, I’ve invested a significant amount of time customizing the CSS for square (using a child theme) and am now aiming for launch at the end of the year. I have no confidence that your proposed theme builder won’t crash, trash, or “disappear” all my work with the click of an update button. Classes and IDs that don’t map, elements that aren’t recognized and can’t be edited, custom post grids that don’t migrate. The parade of potential horribles stretches beyond the horizon.

    You’ve got to do a better job managing this. Our livelihoods are at stake.

    • Hello Kathryn,

      Thank you for your comment. To clarify about the themes:

      Unlike with Thrive Architect, we are working on an entirely new theme, which basically won’t have anything (technical) in common with the previous ones. You won’t be able to update your old theme to the new one. It will be like switching from one theme to another. And you won’t have to update. The idea is that we create a far better theme to use on new websites or that you can use once you decide to switch themes on your website.

  • It’s great to hear that as always getting it right first time is a priority for Thrive. The Apprentice advances are really looked forward too and comments los coolio.

    ALWAYS glad I got that annual 😉

  • Very much looking forward to some of the updates you mention.

    When you say the new theme will replace all of the previous themes, does mean that support will no longer be available for them and we will have to switch to the new one?

    • Hello Lorraine,

      We will continue supporting the previous theme, at least for a while. We won’t support them forever, but we won’t just drop them altogether, either.

  • Good to hear you’re having “champagne problems”.
    I always enjoy these little updates, it’s good to know what we can look forward to even though you can’t give us an ETA.

    Thrive Comments: I sure hope it’s got a downvote option. I mean. It’s 2017. People want to strangle each other over ice cream flavors. The upside of this is it can be used to create controversy and increase traffic and engagement. How am I supposed to start a proper flamewar in the comment section without a downvote option? 😀

    Suggestion for a new feature in Architect: we miss Sharely, Shane. Share to reveal/download is a VERY useful functionality, and I don’t want to mess up my Thrive pages with external plugins.

    Give us page A/B testing before Christmas and you will be rewarded with good things from Santa.

    Keep rockin’, Thrive team!

    • “It’s 2017. People want to strangle each other over ice cream flavors.” – so much truth, it almost hurts. 😀

      Yes, you can choose between 3 options in the plugin: no voting, up and down voting or up voting only.

      Thanks for the feedback regarding Sharely as well!

  • Thank you for that hard work. It is very important for those of us who are starting out in online business to have a company that is always concerned about improving its products.
    For me it has been an excellent investment, not only thrive architect, for me it has been a surprise every video tutorial that teaches us how to use the plugin. Thrive university is great, I didn’t know almost anything a couple of months ago but I’m very happy with everything I’ve learned and what I’m going to learn.
    Again, thanks Shane and the entire thrive themes team.

    • That’s wonderful to hear, Vladimir. Really grateful for this feedback, because it shows us that we’re achieving our goals. 🙂

  • You guys keep on delivering! I’m so impressed. I recommend you to everyone and will be migrating all of my clients to thrive themes.

  • Thanks for the update! The new theme is the most important for me. I only used your themes for years. Now I am building my first website with another theme. I hope to use your new theme as my goto theme very soon… 😉

  • Are there any videos describing the new ThriveApprentice? I’d like to see what’s different. All great news. Thanks!

  • Hi, as a non technical person all your updates, etc. have somewhat overtaken me, however, using your products even with my limited abilities it has made a huge difference to my business. I will continue to learn from your videos and post to improve even more. Thank You all.

    • I’m very happy to hear that, Paul. I know that it can be a lot to keep up with all our features and releases. We try to keep things as user friendly as possible, even if you don’t keep up with all our tutorials and posts.

  • Great news again. I really like the early Christmas feeling.

    I really love TA and all the new improvements that have been made since its release. I really hope that you guy get around to improve the Post Grid element, due to its lack of customization it always ends up as the Ugly duckling from a design point of view.

    Overall though, Thrive Themes has amazing products. Glad to be a member.

    • Thank you for your feedback, Joe! One more for improved post grid, noted. I notice this has come up a lot, lately, so we’ll try to hurry up with that.

  • A/b testing for landing pages would be a game changer for sure. Great job guys!

    I’ve been having a bit of problem with TA in terms of the copy / pasting funtionality.

    Glad my voice on the forum is heard :p

  • Wow, some great stuff to look forward to! The theme builder sounds very exciting. I’ve been a happy Focus Blog user for quite some time, so I hope the new theme will be just as good 🙂