Yesterday we premiered a Thrive Themes special event, announcing many months of work that all combine into a single major release, out today.

It's huge.

If you didn't have a chance to join for the video premiere, you can watch the video above where we'll walk you through the latest new features.

But if you're already using Thrive Apprentice, read on to find out some more details about what to expect when trying out these new features.


5 Massive Features in Thrive Apprentice

Let's quickly review the five massive features that close out this release for Thrive Apprentice:

  1. 1
    Reporting Engine: filter and collect meaningful data about how your students engage with your online courses.
  2. 2
    Member Management: see what content each member has accessed, and manually change their access on a per-student, course and lesson basis.
  3. 3
    Certificates: issue stunning, designer-made, downloadable PDF certificates when a student reaches 100% progress.
  4. 4
    Course Completion Page: control your student's experience the moment they complete a course, presenting them a hidden and editable thank you page.
  5. 5
    Certificate Validation: prove that student certificates are genuine, by allowing employers and 3rd parties to validate certificates by simply scanning a QR code.

Rather than repeating each of them in detail here, I'd encourage you to jump into the video above and look for the video chapters that will demonstrate each feature.

To reflect the added value that we've been pouring into Thrive Apprentice, we're going to raise the price from $97 yearly to $147 yearly (which is still an absolute steal for what you get compared to other options in the market).

But— lucky for you— we're giving you some notice. You can get Thrive Apprentice at 34% off the new price until the end of Cyber Monday. This gives you until 11:59 PM on Monday 28th November to lock in the absolute lowest price.

For those of you who already have Thrive Apprentice, you'll remain grandfathered in at your current price for as long as you keep your license active, making you immune to the price increase... so long as you got your copy before Monday 28th November.

Excited about Thrive Apprentice 5.0?

If you're already using Thrive Apprentice, read on below for some more information about what to expect when you update to the latest version.

Reporting Data Migration

If you are already using Thrive Apprentice and update to version 5.0, the first time you access the new Reporting tab or the Members tab in Thrive Apprentice, you'll see an alert about a data migration.

Existing Thrive Apprentice users will see this notice when you open the reporting tab.

To explain what's going on here:

The Thrive Apprentice reporting engine is powerful. It can crunch literally millions of rows of data in a database in just a matter of seconds— if that data is organized properly.

If you have an existing Thrive Apprentice installation, you already have been saving some student data, such as course progression, lesson completion data, etc. But in order to make that data compatible with our reporting engine, it needs to be reorganized.

Clicking 'Migrate' will reorganize that data, a process that will take a matter of seconds to minutes, depending on how many products and students your website has.

The migration will only take seconds to perhaps a minute or two.

Although we don't consider this migration to be risky or expect it to be problematic, we are firm believers that having frequent website backups through your hosting provider is important, just in case.

Once your migration is complete, you'll land right inside of the incredible Thrive Apprentice reporting dashboard. All of that data in the database is now organized in such a way that you can filter by date range, member, course, product, and you can hover over charts to see slices of data.

The new Thrive Apprentice reporting dashboard.

There's so much to be found in Thrive Apprentice reports. Once again, we suggest you head up to the top of this page and watch the video to see it in action.

Enabling Certificates

Thrive Apprentice 5.0 includes a world-class certificate builder.

Visually edit and design your certificates.

Not only do you have full visual control over the certificate editing experience, changing every color, word, text, size, and more— but you can choose from a stack of incredible designer-made templates that will work right out-of-the-box.

Look at these stunning certificate designs!

Certificates can be enabled with a toggle in the backend of Thrive Apprentice, in the new 'Course completion' tab that you'll find for each course.

It's in this same area that you can enable the new Course Completion Page behavior— a visually editable page that your students will be directed to when they complete their course, perfect for celebrating their achievement, asking for testimonials, upselling to new products or providing next steps.

The Course Completion tab is where you can set certificates and completion behaviors.

If certificates are enabled, your students will achieve their certificate when they meet 100% completion of the course.

As they click to download their certificate, your students will get a pixel-perfect, print-worthy PDF file of their own custom certificate.

But, in order to make pixel-perfect PDFs, we had to create a special API on the Thrive Themes servers, located in Finland.

Other online course platforms that offer certificate PDFs have very average designs, often just plain text in a white rectangle. That's because generating a PDF of an intricate design requires some unique technology.

We wanted to do better than that. We wanted beautiful PDF certificates, which means we had to build the technology on our server. It's for this reason that, when you first enable certificates, you'll see this agreement lightbox:

Thrive Certificates data processing agreement.

This is a Data Processing Agreement, and in some countries, it's mandatory that we have it.

For many of you, you might not care— and that's fine by us. But for the more GDPR sensitive, we are following the rule book on making everything transparent.

When a certificate is made into a PDF, the design— including a student's name— is accessed by our PDF generating technology on Thrive Themes servers.

We need to make this super clear: Your student's data will never be stored. It is only accessed by our server for the purpose of turning the data into a PDF, which then is returned to your website server and to the student downloading the certificate. Our servers do not retain student data after the PDF is created and sent back.

The only student data accessed is what's in the certificate design. Which, by our default designs, is just their first and last name.

Technically our servers (not humans, just the code that runs the API) will 'see' your student's names each time a PDF is created, and it's for this reason that we have a Data Processing Agreement that you'll need to agree to in order to enable certificates.

2 x New Smart Buttons

Thrive Apprentice templates are already beautiful, right out of the box. But behind the scenes, there are lots of course-based dynamic elements that you can use, including: lesson resources list, course list, author image, mark as complete buttons, next and previous buttons, course topic icons, etc.

They are all dynamic— meaning that when you add them to a template, they can change depending on which course is loaded using that template.

Most of these dynamic elements are already used by our design team in Thrive Apprentice templates, but if you want to start from scratch or delete any of them, you can add them back in however you please.

With the latest release, two new smart buttons join the template set.

Thrive Apprentice template elements.

These are smart buttons. What makes them smart? When they're added to a template, they'll be visible only in contexts where they should be visible, and hidden otherwise.

Take the 'Download Certificate' button, for example. It's already included in our Course Completion templates, like this:

The 'Download Certificate' button is a smart button in your templates.

If you have certificates enabled, it'll show up for that course. If you don't enable certificates, it will be hidden. You don't really need to worry about this, it's already in your new Course Completion template when you download the new version of Thrive Apprentice 5.0

But the reason I'm mentioning this intricacy is because of the 'View Completion Page' button.

We've added this button as a default to the sidebar templates.

This new smart button is in any fresh sidebar templates.

If you are already using Thrive Apprentice, then you already have a sidebar template.

That means that this button will not appear for you by default until you download a fresh sidebar design.

If you would like to have the button added, the easiest way is to jump back into the Thrive Apprentice wizard, skip to step 9, and re-apply a new Navigation Sidebar template. Doing this will download a new cloud template which includes the smart button.

Revisit the wizard to load a sidebar with the new smart button.

Dive in, and remember- we're here to help!

We're really excited to how you'll use these new Thrive Apprentice features.

If you encounter any problems, or have any further questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our friendly support team at

And we're open to hearing your ideas and feedback as well, either through the support channels above or by leaving a comment below.

About the Author

Brad is the CEO at Thrive Themes, and a serious marketing nerd. He’s been a videographer on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a drummer in a rock band, an actor in independent films, and he’s created and sold his own online courses.

  • Awesome new developments. Appreciate is really becoming a top notch learning platform!

    The main thing left for me would be some gamification features.

  • Wow, those are some cool new features, great job! It is nice to see that development is moving fast and that Apprentice keeps getting better and better.

  • Wow! Great new features! One question… Are all these features also functioning as presented when working with Wishlist Member in use for managing access to courses / products?

  • Excellent! Really nice.

    Now…quizzes (including importing multiple choice quizzes) and grading, plus gamification perhaps? 🙂

  • A feature I would really like to add to my online academy is “favorite content” – users being able to save lessons, but also custom post type content and thus build their own library.

    Any plans on such a feature, or maybe tips on how this could be done?

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