Thrive Theme Builder vs Thrive Architect – What’s The Difference?

Creating conversion-based WordPress websites can be fun, but they’re usually a lot of work. You’ll need to create a home page, an about page, blog posts, lead generation pages, sales funnel pages, and other content. Don’t forget about your author boxes, headers, footers, etc.

Writing the content from scratch for all of these pages can be time-consuming. Getting through all of the technical requirements for each page can be even more time-consuming. That’s why many have resorted to using page builders and theme builders.

But what is the difference between those two? What are some of the important differences between Theme Builders (such as Visual Composer Website Builder, Thrive Theme Builder, etc.) and Page Builders (such as Beaver Builder, Elementor, Thrive Architect, Brizy, Oxygen, WPBakery Page Builder, etc.)?


What Does WordPress Theme Actually Do?

To better understand the differences between theme builder and page builder, you’ll need to know just what a WordPress theme is and what it controls on your site. Every WordPress site needs a theme to be installed for the site to work properly.

Themes control several different settings to create your website’s overall look, feel, and layout. They manage how and when your sidebars, headers, footers, the top and bottom sections of pages, and other important elements are displayed.

Themes are responsible for managing the default designs of various site templates. In other words, these are pages that use a single design template to populate multiple pages with unique content dynamically. This includes posts, blog list pages, default pages, 404 page, archive pages, etc.


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WordPress themes also manage how content already contained in templates will be displayed on your website. This includes content elements that can appear on different pages and posts,  but dynamically populate with images or text like blog post metadata (such as post publishing dates), social sharing features, comment section, related posts (see best free WordPress related plugins compared), author box, and more.

And finally, when I say that theme manages the “look, feel and layout” of site content, I am referring to how the images (circle, rectangular or square-sized images), background patterns and colors, content positioning, plain text, paragraph text, hyperlink text, font colors, types, sizes, heights and hover behaviors for different types of text heading (H1-H6, for example), etc. are displayed.


Thrive Theme Builder vs Thrive Architect

How are page builders/content editors (such as Thrive Architect) different from visual theme builders (such as Thrive Theme Builder)? Many WordPress users confuse Thrive Architect and Thrive Theme Builder. So what is the difference between Thrive Theme Builder vs Thrive Architect? In short, Thrive Architect is a plugin, and Thrive Theme Builder is a theme. They are both from the same developers – Thrive Themes.

The primary difference between the two is how certain things are created. Page builders started to go into the area of themes. But plugins aren’t intended to overwrite themes. Themes load first in WordPress, and then page builder plugin overwrites its settings. That’s not a great way to design your site.

Page builders allow you to build content at the page level. Any changes you make only affect the individual page that you’re working on.

With theme builder, any changes you make affect all pages on your site. Even the slightest edit will be applied to every page. Think about how the look dramatically changes when you change the theme on your site.

Dynamic content is a very useful feature that creates placeholders that say where certain elements are supposed to go. This lets you have pages with the same overall layout but with different content on every page.


thrive theme builder disadvantages
Thrive Theme Builder ShapeShift theme customization Wizard.


Any edits made using Thrive Architect will only be applied to the particular page that you’re working on. Making changes with Thrive Theme Builder will apply those alterations to each page on your site, even if it’s something minor like changing font color or size.

Thrive Theme Builder is a great choice if you want to create impressive themes without hiring a developer to build them. Thrive Architect is ideal for those who want to build content that’s well-designed for users.

If you want to achieve both outcomes, you probably need a theme builder and a page builder. Thrive Architect can be used to control your content pages, and Thrive Theme Builder can be used to make any necessary changes to your site’s structure and layout.

Thrive Theme Builder is the first WordPress theme that can be edited from the front end and is fully customizable. This allows you to build entire websites from scratch.

TO SUMMARIZE: With page builder (Thrive Architect), you edit a single page or post. With theme builder (Thrive Theme Builder) you edit your whole site layout (sidebar, footer, header, fonts, etc.)


What Can Thrive Architect Page Builder Do?

Any WordPress theme that you use controls display settings for every published page and post on your site. Several custom settings can be applied to WordPress pages if you want to ignore some of the default settings.

If you don’t know how to code these custom modifications, you will need to use a page builder plugin (such as Thrive Architect) to make the page edits that you want. With Thrive Architect, you gain the ability to visually build all the custom single-instances on post or page. The best part is that you don’t need any coding knowledge!


theme builder vs page builder


Just about anyone can use a page builder to create pages. You can add any elements or components that the plugin will allow. Access the Thrive Editor to drag and drop items with a single click of the mouse. You can then use the choices from the left sidebar menu to customize each element as you see fit. Changes made will be what your site visitors will see.

Using Thrive Architect is convenient because it saves you time and hassle of having to create all content on the backend using your WordPress editor. You don’t have to guess what your post will look like on the frontend (visitor side of your website) when you edit pages from the backend (admin side of your site).

It also eliminates the need to create single-instance pages from scratch. This is because Thrive Architect provides access to hundreds of quality conversion-based landing page templates that you can quickly load, customize, and publish. Their vast library of templates includes lead generation pages, home pages, sales funnel pages, one-page websites, webinar funnel pages, and a lot more.


thrive architect vs thrive theme builder


The page builder plugin can be used to add content to general website pages (such as your Contact or About page) and your blog posts. It’s ideal for pages where you want to manage the footers, headers, sidebars, and other theme-controlled features but still need to customize the in-page content.

Thrive Architect can help you create general pages and blog pages with minimal effort. It also helps to make your pages professional and visually appealing. You usually can’t use your page builder to change headers, footers (though you can change header and footer using Elementor PRO, for example), sidebars, and other theme-controlled elements. Still, you can use it to update and change any other content on those pages.


What Can Thrive Theme Builder Do?

One of the best reasons to use a theme builder on your WordPress website rather than the pre-designed theme is its flexibility. It allows you to customize your content and all other elements to meet your needs best.

The people at Thrive Themes say that their Thrive Theme Builder is the only really true WordPress theme builder. They state that for any worthwhile WordPress theme builder to function as a theme builder, it has to be designed as a WordPress theme instead of a plugin properly.

How can a theme building tool control all of your theme-dependent items if it can’t be installed and activated as a theme? Theme builder plugins can’t do these tasks. To use them effectively, you’ll probably need to work with some complicated workaround solutions that rarely apply to your whole site.

Every item that you modify will then have to be changed again every time that you want to change your theme. This can take a lot more time and effort than it should.

Thrive Theme Builder is an actual WordPress theme that you install like any other WordPress theme. It lets you customize any feature that you want using the intuitive drag and drop editor. The interface is very similar to that of Thrive Architect, with the exception of a few additional features important for themes.


wordpress visual theme builder
You can further customize your website using Thrive Theme Builder.


In fact, you can swap between modifying your theme content (in Thrive Theme Builder) and then modifying your non-theme content (in Thrive Architect) with just a single click (and vice versa).

This gives you a lot of flexibility in designing your website. You have complete control over how you want your headers and footers to look. Thrive Theme Builder also includes several pre-designed templates that can help get you started.

You can load and customize your headers and footers any way that you want. You can also edit and customize elements such as Author Box and place it anywhere in your content pages.

Not everyone wants the same blog post template for every page of their website. Sometimes you might want to feature a particular image on certain pages of your site but not on others. You can use Thrive Theme Builder to create multiple templates for those instances.


thrive theme builder advantages
ShapeShift theme, which is included with Thrive Theme Builder, comes with various templates so that you don’t need to build the site from scratch.


What if you don’t want to build a theme from scratch? Building a site from scratch can be challenging, but it’s also a lot of work. For most WordPress users, thought of creating a brand new site can be rather intimidating and boring.

Fortunately, you don’t have to build your own site from scratch if you don’t want to. Thrive Theme Builder includes Shapeshift, a theme that makes crafting a new professional-looking, customizable, and conversion-focused website simple. And there will be a lot more of them.

Shapeshift’s theme is already impressive as it is, but you can customize it further to build the website of your dreams. The goal is to have a quality theme builder with what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editing capabilities on the front end. This is the same type of flexibility that Thrive Architect also provides.


Can I Use Thrive Architect Page Builder And Thrive Theme Builder?

As I mentioned earlier, Thrive Theme Builder is a theme, and Thrive Architect Page Builder is a plugin. Both can be used simultaneously to help you manage and control your website’s appearance.

Thrive Architect’s page building features work well with any WordPress theme. You can use Thrive Theme Builder as your WordPress site’s theme even if you haven’t installed the Thrive Architect plugin.

You’ll need both Thrive Architect and Thrive Theme Builder installed if you want complete control over your site’s customization. You can create unique, appealing blog post pages and landing pages in minutes using these resources in tandem.

Thrive Theme Builder can help you create your own custom website. It should be used if:

  • You’re creating a brand new website from scratch.
  • You build conversion-centered sites for your clients.
  • Your site is good, but it hasn’t drawn enough customers or subscribers yet.
  • The inflexibility of other themes that you used doesn’t provide you with enough ability to customize the site to your liking.

You probably shouldn’t use Thrive Theme Builder to replace the current theme on your active website if:

  • There’s a lot of custom code on your site.
  • You don’t know a lot about WordPress, or you had someone else create your site for you.
  • All you have is a “mini-site” that can be easily managed using Thrive Architect.
  • You depend on WooCommerce for your eCommerce online store (however, in future Thrive Theme Builder will support customization of WooCommerce layouts).


Thrive Theme Builder vs Thrive Architect Conclusion

Thrive Theme Builder lets you visually design and create your own WordPress theme without having to hire somebody. As a WordPress user, you’ve probably had themes that looked amazing when checking their demos but were less than stellar once they were activated.

Thrive Theme Builder has changed how themes are developed because it is created for average users. It makes theme customization enjoyable. Thrive Theme Builder is a WordPress theme that makes customization of any portions of the website easy using its frontend editor tools.

Thrive Theme Builder is a theme. It isn’t a page builder like Thrive Architect. Thrive Theme Builder lets you create your own impressive, professional WordPress theme all by yourself. You can make your own headers, footers, 404 page, sidebars, category pages, page layout, and much more.

Interestingly, unlike Thrive Architect (which is powerful as well) that helps you to make changes to a specific page, Thrive Theme Builder is suitable when you want to update your fonts, for example, and see the effect on all your pages.

Smart color technology is used so that any changes in a font color that you make will be applied to all of your site’s pages. You have pixel by pixel control when developing your WordPress theme.

You don’t have to be a web developer or designer to create an awesome theme. Thrive Theme Builder lets WordPress users customize all of their theme-focused items using the same interface as Thrive Architect’s plugin.

Because beginners can use thrive Theme Builder with no coding or developing knowledge, it’s a perfect resource for local business owners, freelancers, online coaches, content creators, and consultants (how to find best WordPress consultant). It was created for people who don’t want to waste time figuring out how to tweak and customize a theme.

So which one to use? Thrive Architect or Thrive Theme Builder? You can use Thrive Theme Builder to control the layout and structure of your website and use Thrive Architect to control your site’s content pages. Be noted that Thrive Theme Builder also comes with a light version of Thrive Architect.

DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.

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