Uff! Finally the post is here!
Below is the reason why I wrote this comparison post between Thrive Themes and Genesis themes.
Recently, I migrated from Genesis framework to Thrive themes. A couple of my blog readers started to ask me why I made the change? Then I thought of creating a blog post comparing Genesis Themes and Thrive Themes as it had some search volume!
Are you in a dilemma whether to choose Genesis or the Thrive Themes? I can totally related to it as I migrated from Genesis to Thrive Themes.
Does this mean that the winner is obvious? I have no idea. Keep rolling.
Studiopress Genesis Themes - The Showdown
It has the most popular theme framework and themes available in the WordPress market today. Upto the mids of 2016, I was using Genesis framework and a customized child theme on my site. So, I think I'm the right guy to talk about this theme.
What are all the features of Genesis Themes?
- Search Engine Optimized and SEO features built in
- Genesis Delivers Responsive Turnkey Designs as it is built on HTML5
- Unlimited updates for lifetime
- Genesis delivers airtight security according to the developers
Undoubtedly Genesis gained popularity due to its claim as one of the best theme frameworks for search engine optimization.
What about design and customization?
Let me ask you a question.
What comes to your mind when you think about child themes? It's Genesis Framework right? At least for me.
Is child theme compatibility as important as the market? (Hint: Thrive Themes comes with it - they never marketed it):
If you want to run on Genesis, you need to use both the framework and also the child theme on your blog. The framework lays the foundation, and the child theme you install over the framework is responsible for the overall appearance of the blog.
The themes do not come with drag and drop site builders, and customization is hard to do unless you have prior HTML and CSS coding skills. As I had some knowledge, I managed to customize the child theme to some extent according to my tastes.
I also used some of the plugins like Genesis Simple Edits, to make the customization of the child theme easier.
To make the customization easier, you need to buy a separate 3rd party plugin called Dynamik website builder that costs you $199 for unlimited sites. Or else you need to hire a web developer in the drag and drop world.
Genesis Themes are fast but there's a catch
People call Genesis Framework and themes as fastest loading themes in the WordPress market. I agree with that. But as a blogger, you can't sustain by installing only a theme. Or can you?
As Genesis comes with limited features you certainly need to install separate plugins for showing related posts, lazy image loading plugins, social sharing plugins, plugin for email opt-in, table of content plugin, landing pages, testimonials plugin, image compressing plugin, and if you want to customize Genesis freely you need also buy Genesis Design Palette Pro.
These all separate plugins cause a huge toll on the page load time, that too if you're on a shared server.
But yes. I do agree that Genesis is faster than Thrive when used without any plugins. In case of Genesis, this is almost impossible as it comes as a bare bone without any features.
Is it even worth it?
As of now, the Genesis Framework costs you $60, and it comes with 1 year of support and unlimited sites. As it comes with GPL license you can use the themes and the framework on all your clients' websites without any legal implications.
Along with the Genesis Framework, you have to use a child theme. You can either use a free child theme with limited features or you need to buy a premium Genesis child theme that costs you $40 when bought along with Genesis framework that's $60.
Along with this, there's also a plan for Pro Plus membership, where you have access to all the themes by Studiopress at only $500.
Bottomline? I honestly think that if you're willing to use it only in single or even 2-3 sites it's not worth it for the money. As you need to shell in a huge amount of money customizing it. Or you need to buy a Genesis Page Builder.
Thrive Themes - The Rising Giant
Let me make a wild guess!
Marketing by keeping SEO as the buzz word don't work like that of in 2012! Is it the reason for downfall? Or is the trend of conversion-friendly sites the reason for the rise of Thrive Themes? It might be. What do you think?
As I've already said it's been 3 months, I completely switched to Thrive Themes. The reason is that the Thrive themes have got all the features I needed for my site, it's conversion-friendly, beautiful, and also it's one of the fastest growing theme companies that I can bet upon.
I am currently using a theme called "FocusBlog" on my blog. On couple of niche sites I use the Rise theme.
Here's the kicker.
Thrive Themes have support for child themes as well, but many people don't know it as they don't market solely emphasising the support for child themes like Genesis does. So, the themes are no less customizable than Genesis.
The feature-set of Thrive Themes
The main motto of the Thrive developers is to develop themes and products that are conversion and speed focused. It has been the unique selling proposition for the team.
Here are some of the key features of Thrive Themes:
- Automatic image compression
- Smart conversion elements
- Landing page templates
- Fully mobile responsive
- More features added on frequent updates
- Related posts feature
- Thrive apprentice feature (great for selling online courses and memberships).
- Lazy load comments
- Support for child themes
As I've said earlier the Thrive Themes are built with marketers in mind.
Is the customization in Thrive Themes easier than Genesis?
Customization in the case of Thrive Themes is more easy than that of Genesis Framework. You need no coding skills to customize your site.
In case of Genesis, you need to upload the logo and add CSS to add the responsive logo. Or you need to have a separate plugin to use logo.
In case of Thrive Themes, the footer texts, logo, and other aspects of your site can be easily customized without the need of any other plugins or coding like that of Genesis Framework. You can also add custom CSS, to tweak some of the design aspects of your site running on any Thrive Theme.
For more customization, you can make use of Thrive Content Builder that costs $67 for a single site license. It is drag and drop frontend builder plugin, that's focused on conversion and design.
Thrive Themes are Faster than Genesis
I gotta be kidding right?
Nope. I'm serious.
Don’t even try to deny this: With Thrive Themes, you need to install a single plugin called "Thrive Content Builder" and that's all. Thrive themes are extensively designed for conversions. So that product comes built-in with some of the great features. Are you using any plugins for showing related posts? Image compression plugin? social sharing plugin? Popup plugin? Table of content plugin? Ditch those!
These features come built-in with Thrive Themes if you use Thrive Content Builder too with the themes,
Bottomline? For a fully functional website Thrive Themes are faster than Genesis.
Does it mean Thrive Themes rip you off?
As of now, there are 9 Thrive Themes out there. Each of these Thrive Themes costs you $49 and $67 for the single site and multi-site licenses. You'll get unlimited lifetime updates and 1 year of support with every theme purchases.
The Thrive membership options are also available.
Being a Thrive member you get access to all the current themes, future themes and also the plugins by the Thrive team. The most important plugins here are Thrive Content builder, Thrive Leads, and Thrive Ultimatum.
Who is the winner - Thrive or Genesis?
If you have read the post thoroughly you may have easily noticed that Thrive Themes comes with more features (including landing page templates) and is easy to customize. Whereas, for Genesis you need to have coding skills to customize your site.
Winner: Thrive Themes
All the Genesis Themes and the framework comes with license for unlimited sites including clients' sites, with unlimited lifetime updates. The framework should be used along with a child theme and both of them together costs you $100.
In Thrive themes, single site license costs $49 per theme and for unlimited sites each theme costs you $67. You can't use any of these themes on clients' sites. If you are planning to use the themes on your client's site you need to be Thrive agency member that costs you around $588 per year.
Winner: Thrive Themes (if you are not planning to use the themes on your client sites) or else Genesis.
By installing Thrive Themes and Content Builder, you can get rid of most of the plugins that you need to use when you are using Genesis.
Genesis needs some extra plugins, as it comes with limited functionality.
Whereas, Thrive Themes are feature-rich and elements are optimized for speed and conversion friendly.
For a fully-functional website, Thrive Themes are faster.
Winner : Thrive Themes
Ease of use
For your site to run on Genesis, you need to install both the framework and the child theme above it. So, in short, you need to upload both the theme files on your server and activate them. You need to make use of HTML and CSS in order to make even small changes to your theme. Or you can also make use of other external plugins in case of Genesis.
Whereas in case of Thrive, you need to install only one theme (although the support for child themes is there), and all the essential customization options come loaded with the theme.
Winner : Thrive Themes
I'm done. Here's my final verdict
With all the features and ease of use, Thrive Themes are my favorite at the moment. They are conversion optimized and easy to customize. These are the reasons why I migrated from Genesis to Thrive Themes.
Moreover, the Thrive Team is constantly updating their products with amazing new features. Whereas, Genesis updates are released less-frequently and almost has no considerable feature enhancements in the last few years.
With any Thrive theme you get unlimited updates and all their new features for lifetime .
I am now a loyal fan of Thrive Themes, I own their theme, content builder and also Thrive Leads (for email marketing).
You can see I am using Thrive Themes, and the page is completely designed by me. Whereas, if you want to design this kind of attractive page with Genesis, it's almost impossible with any plugins and you need to rely on theme developers. Forget about easy modifications.
And one minute! Would you mind sharing this post?