What’s Around the Corner at Thrive Themes?

Author 
Bradley Stevens   62

Very rarely at Thrive Themes, we’ll give you a sneak preview of some projects we’re working on, letting you know what’s around the corner.

Today is one of those rare days.

We prefer to stay quiet and shrouded in a bit of mystery, until we surprise you with software features that seemingly come out of no-where and will blow your mind. It also affords us the time to get it right.

But right now, we’re going to share what's been going on in our recent past, what we've just released today, and the exciting part... what’s in our near future.

Read on, Thrivers!

More...

Recent Past

Over the past few months, our team has been hard at work and enjoying some time away from our keyboards and screens to interact face-to-face with each other, as well as with people in the WordPress space.

Here's what we've been up to:

WordCamp EU

In June, Thrive Themes officially sponsored and attended WordCamp EU. WordCamp is an annual conference about WordPress.

It’s an opportunity for enthusiasts, developers and those in the WordPress ecosystem to discuss trends, explore workshops and share what their businesses offer.

We attended as sponsors with the main goal of sharing Thrive Automator, and attracting interest from other WordPress plugins that would benefit from integration.

The Thrive Themes development team at WordCamp EU, June 2022.

The reaction was amazing.

Thrive Automator is a truly API driven, openly programmable plugin. When our developers explained just how developer friendly it really is, jaws dropped.

“You mean, I just declare the data object and its dependencies and Thrive Automator handles the User Interface and all field validations on its own?”

Yup!

“And it’s free? Not even… freemium?”

Yup, 100% free through our website. It’s just not on the WordPress Repository… (yet).

We’re happy to say that users and developers alike were excited to experiment with Thrive Automator, and you’ll see that reflected in a handful of new integrations releasing soon.

If you're curious about WordCamp, watch this aftermovie below, officially released by the WordPress team. You won't see us in it, but we were absolutely there.

Thrive Camp (Aka: Thrive Team Builder)

The pandemic was hard on everyone. Thrive Themes is a largely remote team, spread throughout the globe. Many of our team have been working in isolation, through lockdowns, closed borders and restricted travel.

But with travel restrictions easing, we had an opportunity to collect most of the team in one central place, to meet face-to-face, discuss software innovation, and just enjoy seeing and meeting each other -- many for the first time in years.

The Thrive Themes team. Not pictured: the other half of the team that couldn't make it, and Shane, who broke his shoulder.

Iulia, one of our technical writers who keeps our knowledge base up-to-date, suggested an epic pun: we should call it Thrive TEAM Builder.

It stuck. After 4 short days together, we parted ways and returned to our home destinations, refreshed and ready to keep building the features that you need to help your businesses grow.

Design Packs & Free Thrive Automator

Despite attending WordCamp and Thrive Team Builder, we pushed out a few significant improvements to our software. These mainly included exiting the public beta for Thrive Automator, fine tuning the UI, and releasing it for free... as well as Design Packs, a central place to import and export your Thrive-made Themes, Landing Pages and website content.

You can read more about either by clicking the articles below (built with our Post List element, of course).

Read More
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Oh, but there was another small feature that slipped by unnoticed...

Limit Automations in Thrive Automator

In the fuss of releasing Thrive Automator for free, we never had the chance to show you a new feature that we added. You now have the ability to limit the number of times an automation will run.

When you add a Trigger to Thrive Automator, look for the small settings cog pinned to the top.

Look for the new settings cog! 

When you click this, you'll see some settings that control how often your trigger fires.

By default it'll be set to unlimited. This means every time the trigger conditions are met, the automation will always run.

Set some rules for your Automation executions.

Spend some time adjusting these settings, and you'll discover that you can create some pretty advanced conditions around when and how many times your automation should run.

You can set it to run only once, or just once per known user. That means your automation will not fire if a user that has already been through an automation happens to trigger it again.

Why would you use that? Perhaps you have an automation for subscribing to a mailing list. You don't need it to run every time... just once per user, right? Easy.

But you can get pretty advanced too, setting it to run a limited number of times but only after the trigger conditions have been met for a specific count.

Customize your rules. It'll surprise you how specific you can get!

Lets say you do configure your automation to run a number of times.

How do you keep track?

Well, when an automation has run more than once, you can expand the triggers and you'll see a counter alerting you to the number of times that trigger condition has been met. You can also reset the counter with a click.

Track the number of automation executions with the small counter next to each trigger.

The Present

New WordPress Triggers and Actions

Today, we release new WordPress Triggers and Actions for Thrive Automator, that will help you get more out of your WordPress website.

The goal of Thrive Automator is to make it a truly helpful tool in the WordPress ecosystem. There are many ways to integrate WordPress itself within Thrive Automator, and we decided it was time to add some more triggers and actions.

You'll find new triggers in the WordPress automator app

Next time you open Thrive Automator, clicking the WordPress icon will load new triggers.

You'll find the following triggers:

This list of WordPress triggers contains some new ones, and some we had from the start.

Your automation will trigger based on any of the above events you choose. Then, depending on the data available based on your chosen triggers, you'll find more actions too. These are the things that Thrive Automator can do once your trigger conditions have been met.

Check out the available WordPress actions:

Actions are what Thrive Automator will do after trigger conditions are met.

If you haven’t used Thrive Automator yet, the most important thing you need to know is: you can mix triggers and actions together.

That means that a trigger that occurs in one application can be combined with an action in another one, automatically and intelligently linking the two. Combine that with filters, conditions, wait-states and more… and Thrive Automator becomes the bridge that supercharges your website.

And it's very developer friendly, meaning 3rd parties, plugins, themes and developers can create their own triggers and actions which can be mixed and matched in smart automations.

If you haven't started exploring it, it's 100% free. Get Thrive Automator Here.

The Future

This is where things get exciting.

We'd like to share with you a few things that our development team are working on— features we'll release in the near future.

This isn't everything. You've got to let us have some mystery at least.

Front-End Filters for the Post List

Arguably our most-requested feature for Thrive Architect (although it's used heavily in Thrive Theme Builder too) we are working on a visually-editable set of front-end filters for our already-impressive Post List element.

So what does that mean?

The post list is the backbone of your WordPress Blog, Archive and Category pages built with Thrive Theme Builder. It’s insanely versatile, and it looks like this:

A sample Post List, showing 6 articles on a website.

Well, it can look like that. It can also look like a list, mosaic grid, with or without post excerpts, custom 'read more' buttons, etc. You can change everything. Corners, borders, fonts, colors, sizes... and it's all dynamic, meaning that as you publish more pages and posts on your website, the post lists throughout your website will automatically update.

We already have back-end filtering, which looks like this:

Set custom rules and your Post List will dynamically load the content that matches your filter. 

Backend filters are the filters that you decide, such as posts belonging to a specific category or author. You can make sure your post lists only show exactly the pages and posts that you want them to.

But what if you want your website visitors to apply a filter of their choosing?

What if your site has hundreds of posts, and you want your visitors to easily choose the category, tag, author or any other filter that interests them most?

That’s a front-end filter, an interactive element that your website vistors can use.

Here's a sneak preview of just one of the types of front-end filters you'll be able to create, once we release this new feature:

An example of front-end filters: a series of buttons that users can click to change the post-list content.

As your visitors click on the buttons above the post-list, it will immediately filter the available posts to their selection.

You'll be able to add buttons, lists, dropdowns and checkboxes, all as versatile elements that can be styled and placed anywhere on your page or page template.

Work is in progress, so stay tuned for this feature, releasing soon.

Reporting for Thrive Apprentice

As a course creator, you want to keep your finger on the pulse, right? You want to be able to see, quickly and easily, how your courses are performing.

You want to know:

  • How many new students signed up, and between which dates
  • How many lessons your students have completed, week over week
  • Which lessons are the ‘drop off’ point in your course
  • Who are your most engaged students

And more.

Having that data at your fingertips will help you to understand how your students interact with your online school, and how you— a course creator— can improve your offering.

Well, for many months now, we’ve been working on the infrastructure for a reporting dashboard for Thrive Apprentice that will blow. Your. Mind.

'Reports' begins as a new tab in Thrive Apprentice.

We won't show you how the reporting dashboards will look, but trust us— they are beautiful, functional and you should find them incredibly helpful.

The technology behind this is insane. Your students simply interact with your course, and we have developed cutting-edge event capturing technology (API driven, too— more on that later) that allows Thrive Apprentice to see everything and calculate beautiful reports based on it.

Before embarking on this challenge, we scoped out other LMS’ as well as other reporting solutions. We’re pleased to say that when we deliver Thrive Apprentice Reports, it’s going to leave every other course reporting solution out there for dead.

You’ll be grateful that you chose Thrive Apprentice. Just wait and see!

Oh, and the way we’ve built the reporting technology, if there’s a type of report or data you want to know about and it doesn’t seem possible… let us know. We have the capacity to add more report types with ease.

Certificates For Thrive Apprentice

Awarding certificates to students of your online courses can help your business grow for 2 reasons:

  • It’s a sales incentive: students are more likely to purchase your course if they know that they have a tangible certificate that they can include in their resume or education portfolio. It just might be the reason you charge a higher price for your course, or why a student chooses your course over a competitor.
  • It’s a productivity incentive: drop-off rates are a problem for all educators around the globe. But in order to get a certificate, a student must complete all the content of your course. This incentivizes them to return and continue through your course to obtain that valuable certificate.

Once again, we looked at certificate solutions in the online course space, and most of them were disappointing. Clunky user-interfaces, designs you’d never want to show to your family, what we saw were novelties.

We want to do better.

Our Certificate builder will be visually editable. Yes, you'll be able to build a certificate in Thrive Architect, and yes our design team will provide beautiful pre-made and editable templates.

Your students will be able to downloaded them as a perfect PDF, meaning they can quite literally print it out in high-quality, frame it, and hang it on the wall.

But there's more.

Let us keep some secrets, okay? Just trust that we're working hard on making this the best certificate feature we can.

Thrive Automator on the WordPress Repository

Thrive Automator has so much yet-to-be-discovered potential. We released it as a free plugin on the Thrive Themes website earlier this year.

But now we’re working to make it compliant with the WordPress Repository Guidelines. That means that it will be the first plugin that Thrive Themes have ever added to the WordPress Repository, and anyone will be able to download it from right inside of their WordPress site in 2 clicks.

This is a big deal because we believe it’ll encourage developers to integrate with it, growing the ecosystem of available integrations, meaning you can get even more out of your Thrive plugins that already integrate.

Watch this space!

What are your thoughts? Let us know with a comment below!

by Bradley Stevens  August 24, 2022

62

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  • Can’t believe what I’ve read, it’s like a dream, I’m launching a course with Thrive Apprentice and two things I really need, Reporting and Certificates, are coming. It would be perfect if Thrive opens API for Thrive Architect page build widgets It will help Thrive open up new horizons

      • This comment is awaiting moderation 3rd party elements widgets WooFunnels Checkout widgets, Mini cart, Upsell widgets and Customer information and order summary.

        Opening up api and let developers innovate would be great

      • I’ve been looking to set up something like WooFunnels or SureCart and would REALLY LOVE if these integrated better with Thrive.

  • Hi, just a question about reports: will the admin be able to manually edit the courses a student has completed in the past?
    I would like to migrate to T. Apprentice but my students have completed many courses and I want them to keep that progress.
    Will this be possible?

    • Soon, yes. If not at the same time as we release reports, then it’ll be coming right after. However, it will be a manual per-student setting. So you can mark lessons as complete or return them to incomplete for a single student at a time.

      Would that be enough for you? I’m sure you’d prefer to be able to do this in bulk, but I don’t think we can cater to that. It would be a lot more work

      • super! A couple weeks ago a freshly migrated student asked me just that, if there was a way to migrate his progress. I was very sad to say him that I couldn’t do it 🙁

  • Brad, great to hear what’s coming for Thrive Apprentice on reporting. We may be ditching our expensive LMS when this arrives. Thanks for the continued improvements.

    • I’d love to know what’s the final feature that’s holding you back from ditching it right now, or what other features your old LMS has that you rely on— just to make sure our future roadmap continues to hit the mark.

      • Reporting is probably the key aspect. We need to see completion % per learner per course, plus quiz results. It would be great to be able to group learners by team/company and be possible to email group reports on a pre-defined schedule. We use DocuSign to send certificates, so any simple-to-use link to that service would also be good. I could elaborate on a few more things, so feel free to contact me by email.

  • Love it all. I’ve been looking for the right plugin to help my clients filter the weekly call archive (protected by Apprentice of course), now the search is over, I’ll just wait for the front-end post filter update! The Apprentice reporting will be awesome too.

    Thrive Themes membership has been one of the best investments I’ve made…

  • Using thrive automator, We want to be able to route a webhook into different automations depending on which form sent the webhook. I have a diagram, wish i can add it up here for you to see.

    • Each ‘incoming webhook’ trigger in Thrive Automator has a unique URL. All you need to do is configure your forms to send the webhook to the right URL and it will trigger only that specific automation.

      From what you’ve described, I believe that’ll work, or no?

  • Y’all are insane! Love these ideas for deepening the functionality of Thrive Automator and also developing a useful reporting capability for T Apprentice. Always setting (and raising) new standards of excellence! Rock on!!

  • About the Front-End Filters for the Post List… Is there any ETA for this feature? ???? I was about to hack my own filter with .js and all that literally in today, so I wonder… ???? I know that you can’t promise anything, but is it like “this month” soon or “this year” soon? ????

    • Within the next 2 months, I’d say. And that’s factoring in time for things to go wrong during development and testing. Don’t hold me to it, software is an enigma and sometimes we’ve had to pull work at the 11th hour in the past.

      So I know that we’re on track, how would you use this feature? What kind of filtering would you want and what’s your use case?

      • Haha yeah, understandable 😀

        I would use the filters to filter posts by categories/tags.

        In the past I did it with simple .js “filter” to just hide every post that doesn’t have some class (every post block in Thrive Architect has a class of it’s category) – just like in https://norigali.lt/receptai/. But there are a tiny problem that my approach doesn’t allow pagination and I do have to load up every single post initally…

        It would be also really nice if Thrive Architect would allow to filter by anything that works with php’s WP_Query – for example filter by some meta field value (added via ACF plugin)… But it’s a bit advanced and is not a must, really. Categories would be enough for most stuff.

  • I love the idea of the reports. I was using WPCourseware before Thrive Apprentice, and I was a bit sad when I noticed that I wasn’t able to follow the progress of the students. Always improving, guys, thank you!

  • Always nice to see ThriveThemes updates. But I’d rather appreciate a WooCommerce ready or optimized theme and features. That is highly needed.

      • Hi Hanne, thank you so much for your awesome work. Some of my clients “force” me to check out their prior-installed DIVI or Beaver Builder stuff, and I’m always happy to see, how good TT is. I will try to write a paper on a couple of functions that I’m missing, and would be curious, to receive your feedback 😉

        I “feel” that most of these missing features/elements are probably not too hard to implement.

      • You can share them here, Bjorn, or let our support team know and they’ll log a feature request. Though I must warn, “not too hard to implement” — you’d be surprised!

      • Hello Hanne,
        thanks for the reply. It is true that it is WooCommerce “ready” and functional. But not really optimized for it.

        The checkout design is horrible and always another plugin needed to make it look good/shopify like and conversion focused. The “standard” checkout is definitely a reason why people are less likely to buy.

        Also a long time bug ticket this year is, that if you change the shop to display categories, instead of products (in Customizer->WooCommerce settings), then ThriveThemes is not able to edit the style/look of the grid anymore. It just will not apply and save changes.

        So while I absolutely love ThriveThemes and using it more and more for clients, I would appreciate a dedicated WooCommerce focused round or changes to be able to make WooCommerce competitive and conversion focused without having to use other plugins.

  • “You’ll be grateful that you chose Thrive Apprentice.”
    That would be no change for me. I am, already.

    Is there an ETA for the reporting functions? I can’t wait to use them …

    • No ETA, at least not a public one. 🙂 Every time we promise a date, it curses our development. And we’ve run into technical problems at the last minute before that can create a delay. To make sure we aren’t disappointing anyone, we’ll only give release dates when we’re 100% certain we’ll hit them. Sit tight, I promise the wait will be worth it.

  • Excellent – I’ve been wanting a way to provide our students with a certificate for completing courses. Bravo!

  • Guys, this is awesome. Is it a business decision to release Thrive Automator for free? It’s something you would definitely pay for! I’m looking forward to anything Thrive Apprentice, really getting my memberships started this year!

    • Yeah, it is. There’s a few reasons why we’re releasing it for free. First, it’ll encourage more 3rd parties to integrate with it, and we believe that more integrations will make it more powerful. Second, we sell Thrive Suite— so unlike other automation tools where that is their sole business, we can afford to spend development resources on making Thrive Automator because we believe we’ll make it back elsewhere. Third, Thrive Suite integrates seamlessly already, so by giving it away for free we believe it helps our users get even more out of our other plugins, making Thrive Suite a better choice than other plugins out there in WordPress.

      It is pretty wild that we invested over 12 months of development, testing, research, documenting etc… only to release it for free. So please help us by spreading the word and encouraging more plugin developers to integrate!

  • Will users be able to select more than one front-end filters at once? That’s the gamechanger for me. I want to be able to use the real power of tags (over categories) by allowing visitors to find only the posts that have all 3 tags of their choosing. That way they can drill down into the precise content they want, rather than have to browse lots of irrelevant posts with only one of the right tags.

  • I just love everything. Everytime you release something new, I am super excited. Never had a feeling like this when it comes to word press plug ins

  • Wow …. Reporting for Thrive Apprentice … I waited for it for too long!
    you know what, just yesterday, I asked myself, if possible to have specific setup by Automator to overcome Apprentice reporting.

    Here what I though about:
    – When user (type customer) log in … mark this date /duration on anywhere like Google Sheet?
    – When user compete module, tag him in the email marketing tool ….

    Finally glad to see all these updates and sorry to hear about Shane has broken his shoulder, wish him a speed recovery. I’m follow him on his new adventure ikario.

    Thanks

  • How wonderful! I can’t wait for the reporting functionality in Thrive Apprentice, that will be awesome!

  • Thanks for adding more WordPress triggers. Keep up the great work. I look forward to the awesome upcoming updates.

  • Reporting for Thrive Apprentice? Certificates? Just what I need – I’m super stoked!

    Currently, whenever a student finishes my course, they have to send me an email with a screenshot of their score from Thrive Quiz Builder. If they pass, I have to manually create a certificate in Canva, upload it to my WordPress website and send them the link. While it takes about 5 minutes to do, that’s *still* 5 minutes of my time.

    I’m weirdly excited about the reports too, this will be an absolute game changer for me.

    • I’m curious about how Quiz Builder works with your end goal for certificates. So you require a student to meet a certain score of a quiz before they get their certificate?

      With the way our certificate solution will work, it can be automatically granted when a student marks all lesson in a course as complete. But you can embed a Thrive Quiz on the last lesson of your course and set the passing mark as say, a score of 60% or higher. Then, if a student doesn’t pass the quiz, they can’t mark the lesson as complete— therefor, they can’t get the certificate. You can then allow quizzes to be repeated so the student can keep trying until they get the passing score and can get their certificate.

      Would that work for your use case?

  • Just have to say I absolutely love being a “Thriver”!!!! This company, their products, their support… always over-delivering. I strive to emulate their success. Thank you to all the Thrive team!

  • As usual, you know just how to excite your audience with good things!

    Looking forward to the Thrive Apprentice reporting.
    I’m wondering whether you could use the same code to track all user activity across a website, not just activity inside our courses?
    That could enable us to trigger more automations, get better A/B tests, and understand which pages and posts are best for conversion (set up and monitor funnels?)… and would be (even more) awesome!

    • You’re thinking the way our product team does! Yes, we’ve actually been discussing the potential of this. The difficult part is the volume of data. The WordPress database isn’t designed to handle storing and querying enormous amounts of data like Google Analytics can. There are different database technologies that handle it better. So whatever we do in the future with our reporting technology, it’ll have to be within the limits of WordPress.

      • Yes, I understand. One way that might work is to use a similar system to tools like Hotjar: allow us to select specific pages on our website that would be monitored, and maybe even allow us to select the types of events to monitor. That way, you limit the total data recorded, and make it more meaningful to the end user.

        An alternative might be to link in with Google Analytics and send the data through to them in an appropriate format.
        Could Thrive Automator do something like that?

  • Love the new design why not for lead magnets have something like EGuides and Micro books set up with description of 3-4 items small and simple I cannot get templates Canva is ok but not the best

  • So cool, all of it 🙂 I’m so glad to see what Apprentice has become, betting on a plugin can be a tricky decision.

    Having said that, I’d love to have the ability to use the conditional display feature in conjunction with thrive ultimatum counters. Currently the conditional display works with set dates, but it would be cool to hook it up with Thrive ultimatum counter…so the display is only active when the counter is active.

    This could save us from setting up some special offer pages, because the same page would automatically change according to the ultimatum settings. This way a new lead that kicks of an ultimatum counter could see another version of a page then everyone else etc.

    • That’s a really good idea! It’ll require a technical investigation that I won’t go into (to do with reloading markup on countdown expiry without page refresh), but I have a few ideas on how we could do it. Thanks for the suggestion