Thrive Themes VS Genesis Themes (StudioPress) – Detailed Comparison!
During my Genesis framework review, I had promised to write a detailed comparison of Thrive Themes and Genesis Framework.
Both are fabulous WordPress Theme providers.
Both are fast, SEO optimized and have great looking themes to fit every niche.
So why this comparison, right?
I use Thrive Themes on this very blog, and some of my readers were curious to know which amongst Thrive or Genesis should they go with.
The sole purpose of doing a detailed Thrive Themes vs. Genesis Framework is to show you the best (and shortcomings, if any) features of both the products and help you decide which one fits you best.
With this review, I aim to help you choose the best WordPress theme that will ultimately help you get more from your blog.
May it be traffic, conversions affiliate sales, you name it.
Let’s take a dive!
- Thrive Themes are way faster than Genesis Themes
- Number of Plugins needed Decreased Drastically
- Customization Skills
- Ease of Creating Engaging Content
- Related Posts
- Optimized for Conversions
- Whole set of Blogging / Marketing Tools
- Page Layouts or inbuilt Landing Page Templates
Genesis vs. Thrive Themes
(A Quick Introduction)
When they launched Genesis Framework, they were revolutionary with complete SEO support for users (you didn’t even need Yoast or All in one SEO) and came with many layouts and easy to customize genesis child themes.
Genesis Themes have since then been the most popular themes in the market providing very clean-coded, fully SEO-compliant and beautiful premium WordPress themes to their users.
Read my review of Genesis framework to see why they are great.
So far, having a good professional looking website alone was more than enough, but times have changed.
With each blog competing with even more blogs on the same topic, you just don’t need good looking, fast websites, and you need websites that help you leverage your traffic and authority into sales or into fans or into clients, whatever your end goal is.
Here is where StudioPress Themes failed to catch up.
Thrive Themes, on the other hand, is the obsess of a team of marketing experts who want to help you get the most of your website.
They have some awesome looking themes, but they aim at not being the best-looking themes alone, they are designed to convert.
All Thrive Themes are actually conversion machines that help you get more visitors, funnel those visitors and then transform them into fans, sales, and clients.
Thrive Themes are not just themes; the membership package gives you access to a whole set of marketing tools that gives you an edge over your competitor.
Shane Melaugh founder of Thrive Themes explained this well enough in this video:
I personally shifted my choice from Genesis to Thrive Themes and the reason being the plethora of marketing tools you get with those already optimized themes.
You have the Content Builder that helps you create engaging blog posts, high converting landing pages, etc.
With their Thrive Headline Optimizer, you can perform real-time A/B testing of your article headlines to see which one is attracting more visitors.
Not to forget the Thrive Leads, that it has brought me thousands of dollars in sales through opt-in lead generation.
We’ll discuss all these in detail in the article below.
Comparing Thrive Themes with Genesis Child Themes
1. Thrive Themes are way faster than Genesis Themes
Genesis Themes were known for their fast loading feature, but since they are limited in features, they need a plugin for every simple task, and the result is added loading time.
Thrive Themes on the other hand are optimized for speed and fast-loading.
I am not just saying, I have data to backup what I say.
Check out this screenshot of how my page loads within 1 second.
All thanks to Thrive.
I don’t have a screenshot of my site loading time when I used Genesis, but the thing is it was never below 5 seconds.
You might ask, why loading time matters so much?
Well, we might not realize how slow our site loads, but visitors do notice even small lags in loading time.
According to a research, 47% of readers expect that the website they visit should load within 2 seconds.
Not only that, a delay of 3 seconds or more to load a blog page makes 40% of your readers to abandon your site.
Losing 40% of the visitors is not affordable at any cost.
Hence I chose to switch to Thrive Themes.
2. Number of Plugins needed Decreased Drastically
With Genesis, you have the liberty to use what you have been provided during buying.
You cannot even change the font of the theme unless you are an expert in coding.
Here is the plugin list I used while using Genesis:
- Genesis Design Palette Pro worth $49 per year alone.
- Custom CSS plugin for adding a bit of CSS to make my theme look different than others using the same theme.
- Simple edits to change the footer area links and text.
- Kraken.io to compress images worth $5 per month.
- A lazy load plugin to load images only when that part is scrolled.
- Genesis simple hooks to add custom ads here and there.
- Social warfare or a similar plugin for social sharing worth $29 per month.
- A custom email opt-in form and the list goes on…
Can you imagine how these many plugins can slowly kill your blog’s performance on the backend?
Well, using a plugin is very lucrative.
They help you get things done without touching a single line of code.
So, what’s bad with the number of plugins, you ask?
While there is no definite answer to how much is too much, reducing the usage of plugins to a minimum is the key.
More plugins send:
Without going into the technicalities, here is how they harm your site:
- Frequent website crash,
- Poor site performance and page speed,
- Site security breaches etc. (read this article for more details)
With Thrive, you ditch all these because they come with the inbuilt custom designer, default Kraken.io image compressor (for FREE).
Watch this Thrive Image Optimization tutorial:
Click to Play
The option to even load comment author images at lazy load technique to decrease further load times if you have a high number of comments on your page.
You also get fast loading and beautiful social sharing buttons.
Click to Play
These things have considerably decreased the burden on my loading time and saved me so much of extra expenses in things I did not like using.
So, with Thrive you only need a theme and no other plugins as needed by Genesis above.
3. Customization Skills
Customization skills let you the liberty to customize a theme without any expert help or even need to know coding.
Since we are busy and aim at investing our time to improve our online business blogs, I considered Genesis totally wasted my time in even small attempts to change the color of my theme or even the font or line spacing.
Many times I ended up hiring a designer which led to increased expenses.
With Thrive Themes I aimed at getting some freedom in basic theme customization if not all and they did not disappoint me.
NOTE: Genesis is not something bad, it's good for people who want their theme to work as it is.
If you want something that doesn’t have many options and does what it says, Genesis is probably your thing.
4. Ease of Creating Engaging Content
With Thrive Content Builder you can create professionally designed blog posts and landing pages.
The animation to certain call to action buttons simply urges the readers to click.
Below is the live example:
They have an automatic Table of Contents (TOC) option for larger posts that help in easy navigation inside the post increasing user experience.
Either you can use default TOC like this:
Or you can design your own Table of Contents box as well using different elements. Here is one I designed for my Image Optimization Guide.
It’s not that you cannot have this with Genesis, but you have to again choke up blog performance with yet another plugin.
Thrive’s Content Builder plugin lets you add comparison tables, page sections, pricing tables, content toggles which hide your unimportant content within a title bar which expands when clicked.
There are countless other things you can do like adding share buttons and even opt-in forms inside content with Thrive content builder.
5. Related Posts
Genesis Themes have no inbuilt support for related posts
...with Thrive Themes you can not only have them but also can customize them to drive attention and reduce bounce rates drastically.
Not only this, but you can also add related posts inside the blog post you are writing so that readers can know the exact resources they have to read in your blog to get a detailed concept about what they are reading.
NOTE: You can, however, have related posts for Genesis with externally related post plugins. (More plugins, duh!)
6. Optimized for Conversions
Thrive Themes are built for conversions rather than anything else.
They have focus areas functionality that lets you add a widget, opt-in form or even a custom ad banner at key places in your blog.
Click to Play
Focus areas are the places where you could have an email widget and these forms convert better (a whopping 51.7%) than others.
You should be doing it if you’re interested in email marketing and selling affiliate products.
With Thrive focus areas, you can have widgets below your post footer, above on the header or hero section, as a ribbon like we have with hello bar, etc. inbuilt.
Most Genesis Themes aren’t geared towards conversions.
Show targeted widgets:
This one simple widget is a game changer in terms of conversions.
With Thrive Clever Widgets, you can display a particular widget to a specific post readers and a different one to different post readers.
This alone can skyrocket your conversions.
Click to Play
Now consider you have a review about “XYZ product”.
What about showing a widget that follows the reader till the end of the post that too urging them with a CTA to check out that product?
With Thrive Clever Widgets you can create as many such widgets and place on as many related posts as you want.
7. Whole set of Blogging / Marketing Tools
With Thrive Themes membership plan, you get a whole set of marketing tools which further empower your blogging goals.
New generation content builder for WordPress users.
This is the best Email Marketing (Lead Generation) plugin by far.
It lets you test which headline is best in terms of traffic, clicks.
It gets you add time-sensitive offers on your website to boost sales.
Add testimonials as a powerful conversion tool to your landing pages, sales pages & more.
Show targeted widgets to increase your clicks and conversion rate.
All these together will help you get more traffic, more leads, and more sales.
Note: I can personally vouch for a drastic increase in my article views, affiliate sales and more conversions in general. This all after switching to Thrive Themes.
8. Page Layouts or inbuilt Landing Page Templates
All the Genesis Themes do have only one landing page template that is as boring as it can be.
In today’s world where you have to grab the attention of your readers with proper image placements, and clever call to actions, having a dull, boring white page means nothing.
And check out the templates you get with Thrive themes, there are 156+ landing pages that have proven structures you see in any top class blogs with already written content (but customizable) that converts.
Check out the screenshot below to see a few of them.
Now you can better decide which theme has the potential of better conversions.
StudioPress Themes have recently hiked their prices and now charge you a whopping $499 for the first year and about $100 recurring fees every year thereafter.
This is only for the StudioPress Themes because they do not have any plugin developed by them.
Thrive Themes, on the other hand, cost $588 per year which is a bit costly as compared to Genesis.
They do however save you the cost of many plugins that you are going to need with StudioPress Themes.
Let's not talk about the $200/month you’d be investing if you chose Leadpages.
Note: This, by no means indicates Genesis is a waste of money.
It is still the best deal if you want something simple with no customization features.
You can also hire a designer to give you a custom theme out of Genesis Framework.
You also don’t need to go for Thrive if you are not looking to boost your sales with email marketing or lead generation.
Support from Thrive Themes is hands down the best I have seen anywhere in the world.
They answer not only questions related to products but also help you decide which option is best if you are confused about selecting a feature for your blog.
They also troubleshoot the errors, if any, by logging into your dashboard.
They have constant new videos coming up to help you benefit the most out of their products.
Genesis customer care is also one of the top class, but they limit themselves to solve the queries you have.
Conclusion: What Should You Choose?
This Thrive Themes vs. Genesis comparison by no means indicates a recommendation from my side.
My aim was to show you my experience with both these products and help you choose the best.
You can surely choose Genesis if you want to have a theme that doesn’t have too much customization levels and is good to use as it is.
Genesis is also a good option if you are a beginner with the sole focus on growth and not much on email marketing or affiliate sales.
You can still manage to do basic email collection with free tools like SumoMe.
But if you have already grown your blog or if it has already a traffic that is ready to be converted, I highly recommend Thrive.
Don’t go after the cost.
You make money only if you invest some, and I have made profits manifold of what I had invested in thrive.
Click the buttons below to get started right away:
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