New Features in Thrive Suite – February 2021

Author 
Bradley Stevens   134

Thrivers, it's update time... 

Last week we dropped a few awesome new features into your Thrive Suite software that let you do even more with your website and online business.

Pay close attention if you're an online course creator.

There's a few important changes to Thrive Apprentice in this release.

Read on for the step-by-step of how to make the most of these new features.

More...

1. Thrive Apprentice: New Restricted Content Control

Thrive Apprentice users and online course creators, listen up.

This update is important.

In our latest release, we have made a significant change to how you can manage access restrictions for your online courses:

You can now visually edit and customize what visitors see when they try to access online course content without permission.

This update is a huge improvement to your student's experience.

But...

If you already have courses built in Thrive Apprentice, then there will be no changes to your website... until you activate them

We highly recommend you read the following overview and take 30 minutes to make these changes when you're ready.

The Basics: How Are Courses Restricted?

In Thrive Apprentice, there are 3 restriction options available for your courses.


1. Unrestricted: Any website visitors can access the course.


2. Free for logged-in users: A visitor must register a free account on your WordPress website before being able to access the course. This is ideal for growing your mailing list by offering free courses to users that subscribe to your list. Learn more about how to do this here.


3. Premium access: To access the course, a visitor must first purchase your online course and be logged into the account they purchased with.

Configuring The New Access Restriction Settings 

In the Setting menu of Thrive Apprentice, you'll find an option called 'Login & access restriction'.

We've renamed this tab to house site-wide login and restriction settings.

The first option in this screen will allow you to set a global Login & Registration page for your website and design it with Thrive Architect. If you haven't set this page yet, we recommend you do so.

Underneath, you'll find two new options under the Restricted content settings:

Look for the 2 new global 'Restricted content' options.

Here, you can customize the behaviour for two global visitor conditions.

  1. 1
    If a guest (not logged-in) tries to access a course that is only available to logged-in users
  2. 2
    If a user (logged-in) tries to access a course that they don't have access to

In both of these conditions, the visitor will not be able to access the course but you can control the messaging they see explaining their access rights and what they can do about it.

You can configure these separately, as your messaging would likely be different depending on their login status and the course in question.

3 New Display Options

You'll see a notice saying "Display login form (deprecated)". Previously, the form wasn't visually editable and your options had been limited. We don't change the behaviour of your website without your confirmation, which is why the deprecated option is pre-selected. 

With the latest update, you can now set this to one of  3 new display options that you will have full control over.

Let's go over them.

Option 1: Display custom content

'Display custom content' lets your visually edit what users will see if they don't have access.

If you choose to display custom content, you'll be given page title settings and an option to edit the restricted content page in Thrive Architect.

What you visually build here in Thrive Architect will replace the lesson content area when a visitor tries to access a restricted lesson.

Yes, that means your valuable lesson content is hidden from their view and instead a notice, call to action or button will display in it's place.

Since this shows inside of the lesson page template, you will also have the option to hide or replace the lesson title with a custom title.

The result will look like this to a visitor that isn't logged in:

Notice how the lesson title and content areas have changed because the user isn't logged in? That's the value of this new feature.

Option 2: Redirect to Login & Registration Page

Choose this option to redirect a user without access to your login & registration page.

This one is pretty self explanatory: a visitor trying to access a restricted course will instead be redirected to your global login & registration page.

But beyond that, you'll have 2 new settings.

The first is to set the default state of your form. For free courses that require a user to register, you'll likely want to have the 'Register' state of the form as the default. 

But for premium paid courses, registering for free still won't give them access, so you should show the 'Login' state, as that is more relevant for your existing customers trying to access their course.

The option you choose here changes which form tab would be pre-selected once the visitor is redirected to that page.

Login and Registration forms have two tabs. Whichever you set as the default will be pre-selected when a visitor is redirected there.

There is also a toggle for 'Redirect user to content they were trying to access after login'.

If they were trying to access a specific lesson or module from a course and were redirected to the login form, then it's a nice student experience to be returned to that lesson or module right after they complete their login.

Enabling that toggle will override any post-login behaviours and return them to their intended content.

Option 3: Redirect to custom page

Easily drive your visitors to a shop page or funnel if they don't have course access.

Another self-explanatory option.

With 'Redirect to custom page' selected, you can send that visitor straight to a dedicated page that will help them make sense of your online school. This could be a shop, a courses sales page, or a funnel.

The reason this is so powerful is that if the user is logged in and has access rights, then that redirect will not happen, and they'll just carry on to consume your course content.

Overriding Access Behaviours at Course Level

All of the above settings are global defaults for Thrive Apprentice on your website, meaning you can set them once and simply set each course to inherit the default.

But, sometimes you'll have a course that is an outlier.

Perhaps it's your flagship course, or an extra-premium course at a much higher price.

For this course, you want the notices, redirects and custom content to be specific to that course. Easy!

Under the Access Restrictions tab for your courses, you can configure the unique behaviour just for that course.

Here you can set the behaviour of a specific course, rather than inheriting the default site behaviour.

Now imagine choosing the 'Redirect to custom page' option at course level...

When a visitor tries to access restricted content, you can instantly redirect them to the sales page where they can buy that specific course they were looking at!

Once they purchase and return to that same content, the redirect won't occur and they'll immediately see the course they purchased.

Seamless!

Note: Course level settings will not be set to 'default site behaviour' by default.

If you already had Thrive Apprentice on your site prior to this latest update, your courses will not default to inherit the site behaviour. Instead, they'll have 'Display message', a deprecated setting, set on each course individually.


We ensured this was the case because you may have already customized the text that displays per course previously. This way, nothing will have changed on your website until you choose to change these settings to make use of these new options.


We recommend you change this for each course to either 'default site behaviour' or a custom option that suits each course.

2. Thrive Apprentice: Course Bundles for ThriveCart

In July last year, we released an integration between Thrive Apprentice and ThriveCart.

It was highly requested and has since been very, very popular.

Once again, we must make the distinction: ThriveCart is not our product. Although they also use 'Thrive' in their name, ThriveCart is a different company that have made an excellent checkout and payment management tool.

However... our integration only allowed you to sell access to individual courses.

In our latest release, we've added Course bundles to Thrive Apprentice, specifically for use with the ThriveCart integration.

Create as many course bundles as you want in Thrive Apprentice.

In Thrive Apprentice, under Courses >> Course bundles, you'll be able to create new bundles and select which of your Apprentice courses to include in the bundle.

What makes bundles so incredibly powerful is that a customer will buy the entire bundle... and will have their access immediately updated when courses are added or removed from the bundle!

Yes, that means you can replace an entire membership tier with a single bundle.

In the image below, I'm adding a 3rd course to a bundle of 2 courses and my customers will immediately get access to the new course without having to do anything.

You can update access rights for any customer of a bundle in just a few clicks. 

And yes, it works with ThriveCart's subscription billing or split payments.

How to sell a bundle in ThriveCart

Our ThriveCart integration uses the new API we've built for Thrive Apprentice. To get started, watch our tutorial on setting up Thrive Apprentice with ThriveCart here.

Once you've set up the integration, enter the fulfilment tab for any digital product in ThriveCart.

You'll be able to choose which Thrive Apprentice course you wish to grant to your customers.

But now you'll notice your bundles are available in the list of courses too.

Notice how you can select the bundle you've created in Thrive Apprentice?

If you select a bundle, then customers that purchase that ThriveCart product will have access to all courses in your bundle, even when you update the access rights.

Upon completing the purchase, your WordPress website will send an email with the access details to your new customers and they can log in to start their courses.

This is an example email sent from a WordPress website immediately after purchase providing the user with their login details.

3. New User Profile Element

In the interest of improving student and user management on your website, we've added a brand new element under Thrive Integrations called User Profile.

Look for the new 'User Profile' element!

This element will be available if you have either Thrive Apprentice or Thrive Theme Builder installed.

The User Profile element allows your logged-in users to edit their personal information, change their name or email address, edit their bio, and create a new password.

How the User Profile works:

WordPress already has user profile information accessible in the backend of your website, but it's unlikely you'll want your website visitors to ever see or access the ugly backend. 

If you haven't seen it, visit Users >> Profile to see your own information.

Your WordPress user details in the backend of WordPress. Functional, but not very pretty...

This backend information is what our User Profile element is integrating with, reading from and updating.

Our User Profile form lets you visually style the perfect form for your visitors to edit their information without ever having to see the backend of your site.

When you drop the User Profile element onto your page in Thrive Architect, you'll immediately get to choose from a selection of templates.

Choose from our designer-made 'User Profile' templates.

Once you load a template, you can enter Edit Mode to style every form field, label, font and color until it is seamlessly branded with your website.

Edit your 'User Profile' form until it matches your website.

Under User Profile Main Options, you'll see form field information similar to what you're used to with our Lead Generation or Contact Form element.

Drag to re-order fields, trash the ones you don't want a user to edit, change your success message and configure your placeholders.

The 'Main Options' panel for the User Profile Form.

Although styling the form will feel familiar, it's important to understand how a User Profile form is different to any other website form:

The User Profile form will only display when a user is logged-in. If a logged-out user stumbles across this form, it will be hidden entirely from their view.

Also, form fields will always show existing information that is saved in WordPress for the logged-in user. 

The image below shows what the above form looks like on the front-end, where my personal information is pre-loaded, giving me the opportunity to see and edit my own profile data.

This is how a User Profile form looks on the front-end, pre-loaded with the information that matches the logged in user.

What form fields are available?

On the User Profile form, you can add the following fields:

Email, Username, Nickname, First name, Last name, Display name publicly as, Website, Biographical info, and Password.

These are the exact same fields from the WordPress profile.

Note that usernames cannot be changed. If you add a username field to your form, your visitors will be able to see their username but will not be able to update it. This is how WordPress works.

For this reason, WordPress has a 'Display name publicly as' field.

'Display name publicly as' is a dropdown pre-configured with WordPress' default suggestions made from combinations of other profile fields. What you see here is identical to the options available in the backend of WordPress.

Here's an example form field pre-populated with display name suggestions.

'Display name publicly as' is the only dropdown field type on the User Profile form.

What your users select as their display name will be reflected in comments they leave and profile pages they may have on your website.

The 'Nickname' field allows your users to provide an alternative to their First and Last name, which can also be used as their display name. It's handy for users that prefer some anonymity as they interact with your site.

Website and Biographical Information serves no purpose for the average user, but depending on your WordPress theme, it may be displayed for authors and contributors on your blog.

Updating a password

With the User Profile form, you can also let your users reset their password.

Clicking 'Add New' and selecting 'New Password' will drop both a password and a password confirmation field onto your form.

Add from any WordPress user profile field, including the option to let users set a new password.

Password characters will be obscured and these fields include a password strength indicator.

Here is how a User Profile form will look as a visitor edits their password.

Password fields come in pairs, with a confirmation field and a password strength indicator.

The User Profile element will become useful as we continue to improve Thrive Apprentice and allow you to refine the student experience of your online course website.

4. Edit Design for WooCommerce Cart

Thrive Theme Builder has come a long, long way in the less-than-a-year it's been out.

A little over 6 months ago, we released our integration for WooCommerce that included template editing.

Since then, we've added the Edit Design Mode for the WooCommerce shop page, product pages, checkout, a mini-cart, an embeddable shop element, eCommerce friendly templates and more.

In this latest release, we've finally added Edit Design for the Cart page too.

Look for the new 'Edit Design' button on the WooCommerce Cart.

When you visit the WooCommerce cart page in Thrive Theme Builder, you can now select the cart and click 'Edit Design'.

This will open the Style Editor, allowing you to select every title, label, button, box, border, corner or image inside of the cart element and customize it to your heart's content.

Select anything inside of the cart and style it to your heart's content.

There are 3 sub-sections inside the cart:

1. The Product List: where your customer's cart selection displays

2. The Cart Details: where customers see their total purchase value.

3. Recommended Products: a dynamic product list that suggests other products to your customers based on what's in their cart.

If you want to give any of these sections a little bit of styling love, then go for it! I'm not a designer but in a matter of minutes I managed to turn the Cart Details area into something a little more interesting.

The 'Cart Details' default on my site.

With a few changes to make it a little more interesting.

Remember, inside of WooCommerce elements, you are making stying changes, not content changes.

That means you can modify the appearance, but will not be adding, removing or re-ordering the content. The content that displays inside these elements is provided by WooCommerce and Thrive Theme Builder lets you style it to fit your branding.

5. Thrive Apprentice Translation Labels Moved

Just a quick notice to Thrive Apprentice users, we've had to move some of the translation labels in preparation for some upcoming releases.

Under settings, you'll find 'Dynamic labels'.

The 'Dynamic Labels' tab is where you can set any text labels used across all of Thrive Apprentice.

Previously, this is where we had your restriction access labels, progress labels and call-to-action texts, all which you could (and still can) centrally change.

Now we've moved Course content types into that same area as well.

Click into the text fields to change the text labels for your course content types.

The name you give to content types will be reflected on your course overview pages, and on the courses list.

6. New Hydrogen Landing Page Set

Did you see Matt's video last week?

If you missed it, our design team have released a new Smart Landing Page set called 'Hydrogen', consisting of 12 smart landing page templates, 152 smart Page Block designs & 24 smart color palettes.

The Hydrogen set: clean, smart, professional, and only a few clicks away.

What exactly is a 'smart' landing page set?

These sets use an incredible smart color algorithm that allow you to change the accent colors and see it update across the whole page instantly.

But it's so much more than just a global color: the algorithm intelligently calculates shades and tones based on the input colors of your choice.

The Hydrogen landing page set can also be quickly built, reordered or restructured from scratch with over 150+ page blocks.

Look at all of those blocks! Over 150+ to choose from

Page Blocks are pre-designed blocks of content that read from the same typography, fonts and colors are the rest of the page.

Drop any Hydrogen Block alongside another one, and they'll match perfectly.

If you haven't seen Matt's video, check it out right here to see how powerful this set really is.

Leave a comment!

As always, we love hearing from you.

How are you going to use these new features? Do you have any questions about how they work? Or do you have other feature suggestions? 

We read every single comment and find our conversations invaluable.

So hit that comment button below and let us know what you think!

by Bradley Stevens  February 15, 2021

134

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  • Thanks, the monthly updates are my favorites blog posts ever.

    I have a more developer side question: is it possible to POST on Thrive Apprentice or WordPress to register customers from a self-made “API”?

    I’m asking this because a have a big list of customers that I would like to register, and now it is possible to create a custom API call with Google Apps Script from a Spreadsheet.

    • Daniel, we don’t currently have a webhook receiver for this kind of thing built just yet.

      It sounds like the CSV import option in the “Customer list” screen would work well for what you want, though. This would allow you to import a large batch of customers from a CSV file.

      • Thanks, Paul, the CSV is a nice feature to start with.

        I meant if there is any plugin to create a webhook on my site, to automate the task of updating the customer list.

        Wondering if the WordPress Plugin itself wouldn’t do that.

        I’m just starting to learn about the specifics to perform some automated tasks, but I’m not a software developer.

        Thanks again!

  • Love this update to the Thrive Apprentice, but I’m not sure how to connect signing in to the account to subscribing to my newsletters. When following the link to Hanne’s tutorial how to do this, it does now show how to do it in this new updated version of TA. Can you please explain how I do it? I really like to have people signing up for my newsletters in exchange for access to my free courses.

    • Hey Jorunn, sure- check out this tutorial here: How to setup a free online course funnel. In this tutorial, we’re showing you how to get sign ups with the Lead Gen form, but personally I’d recommend using the Login & Registration form instead so that existing subscribers don’t need to sign up twice. In edit mode, you can set the Registration state to sign a visitor to your mailing list while providing access to your course.

  • Love this update to the Thrive Apprentice, but I’m not sure how to connect signing in to the account to subscribing to my newsletters. When following the link to Hanne’s tutorial how to do this, it does now show how to do it in this new updated version of TA. Can you please explain how I do it? I really like to have people signing up for my newsletters in exchange for access to my free courses.

  • Rats. I just got locked out of my site while messing with the login feature. I can’t hit /wp-admin page. Plus, I can’t hit the new page I’m crafting for the login. Be careful. Make sure your Server’s Tech Support is on the ball. Cause I need them now.

  • This is massive. Love it. In the end, I am waiting to add a seamless checkout experience with it and there is nothing ever needed beyond thrive. 😉

  • I’m not using Thrive for my courses. Currently I’m using Member Vault. The one thing I like about MV is that I can connect stripe directly. Will you be doing more payment options in the future?

    I have Thrive for pretty much everything else on my website. I love being able to easily edit things. It would be nice to keep my website on my actual site too.

    • You can connect Stripe if you use WooCommerce or SendOwl, ThriveCart has this as well. Thrive isn’t a payment processor nor do they (right now any way) have a shopping cart.

    • We’re planning to expand our payment integrations to 3rd party checkout tools, but we aren’t planning to make our own connection to Stripe directly. This is because a real payment service that you can build a business on requires things like tax, subscription billing, dunning, credit card expiry management, etc. For now our philosophy is to integrate with other companies that specialise on that, such as SendOwl, ThriveCart and soon WooCommerce.

  • Thank you for the article.
    Perhaps now I can start using the Thrive Apprentice to replace my course platform (Kartra).

  • Loving the new Thrive Apprentice stuff! Looking forward to seeing what else you have in store for Apprentice in the coming weeks and months!

  • Great update! With all these new and improved features Thrive Apprentice is becoming a really powerful tool for me. I have a question though, is there any plan to make dripping content in a course something that could happen sometime soon? That will be perfect!

  • Interesting innovations. I would have liked to use the Thrive Theme Builder. But the product and the category Pages are too little configurable.

  • Like others have mentioned, I’d love to be able to drip content and integrate directly with stripe. I tested a course on Thrive Apprentice and wasn’t excited about it. Maybe I’ll try again if these features are added.

    • Drip will come later. Improving the Student Experience had to take priority, even if it’s less ‘fun’ than Drip. As for an integration with Stripe? I’m not sure. We’d love to, but from a technical standpoint it takes more than just an integration to build a business with stripe- it takes things like tax, dunning, subscriptions, credit card management, and other features. We’re not yet decided if we’re going to tackle those ourselves or integrate with other tools that are dedicated to only that.

  • This is awesome. I am seriously looking at changing over to Apprentice. Just one question: What is the recommend plugin for use with Woocommerce in order to sell courses and give users access to the course?

  • Although it is a great update adding great new features, there is still one thing missing what keeps me at LearnDash currently. Hope this will change soon: DRIP CONTENT. When will this be available?
    As soon as you have this I will switch.

    • Learn Dash does not drip content on its own. I don’t think it does. What are you using to drip in LearnDash?

      • Hi Mark, LearnDash offers drip. I use it all the time. It works great. But there are other things I like better with Thrive, like the reliable integration with Thrivecart, customizable design or now the user profile. All good things. As soon as they have drip at Thrive I am the first one to change. Unfortunately it is announced for a long time now and I gave up hope.

    • It’s high on our priority list and something we’re looking into soon. But we insisted on improving the student experience first. I can’t give you an ETA on Drip, but it’s coming.

  • Hi, this new features to T.A. are nice. Do you plan to add a section where the user can see the courses he purchased, and be redirected to them? I am still using and old plugin, s2member, just because T.A. to Thrive cart/SendOwl miss that feature.

    • Yes, we’ll have a feature soon that will allow your customers to filter courses by the ones they have purchased. This won’t be an account purchase history, but it can be used as a gateway into their purchases.

      • Hi Bradley,
        if you are building a filter for purchased courses, having a block with a “purchased courses” list should not be difficult at all.

        You should really think about it, together with the new “user profile element” they will make a nice “your profile” page.

        I understand that purchase history is the last step, and that it may be difficult since you don’t process payments yourself.

        But “your courses” + “your profile” make a decent profile page, and fill this big hole still missing in TA.

        Cheers,
        Leo

  • Bradley, the new profile feature, are you saying, drop this into a course module, use a widget or create a new page. Not quite following how you would implement it.

  • Great updates! I’m excited to use the new Thrive Apprentice features for customizing restricted content. Will there be a feature in the future to support subscription products in regards to the Sendowl integration?

    • We’d love to support SendOwl subscriptions, and we’re trying to figure out how we can do it. There’s a few technical constraints, which explains why we haven’t done it yet. But we’re looking into it.

  • I love everything that TT has done. Especially the integration with ThriveCart. I so badly want to use Thrive Apprentice, but feel like a need a step-by-step guide from scratch. Is that available somewhere?