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What’s Around the Corner at Thrive Themes?

Very rarely at Thrive Themes, we’ll give you a sneak preview of some projects we’re working on, letting you know what’s around the corner.

Today is one of those rare days.

We prefer to stay quiet and shrouded in a bit of mystery, until we surprise you with software features that seemingly come out of no-where and will blow your mind. It also affords us the time to get it right.

But right now, we’re going to share what's been going on in our recent past, what we've just released today, and the exciting part... what’s in our near future.

Read on, Thrivers!

More...

Recent Past

Over the past few months, our team has been hard at work and enjoying some time away from our keyboards and screens to interact face-to-face with each other, as well as with people in the WordPress space.

Here's what we've been up to:

WordCamp EU

In June, Thrive Themes officially sponsored and attended WordCamp EU. WordCamp is an annual conference about WordPress.

It’s an opportunity for enthusiasts, developers and those in the WordPress ecosystem to discuss trends, explore workshops and share what their businesses offer.

We attended as sponsors with the main goal of sharing Thrive Automator, and attracting interest from other WordPress plugins that would benefit from integration.

The Thrive Themes development team at WordCamp EU, June 2022.

The reaction was amazing.

Thrive Automator is a truly API driven, openly programmable plugin. When our developers explained just how developer friendly it really is, jaws dropped.

“You mean, I just declare the data object and its dependencies and Thrive Automator handles the User Interface and all field validations on its own?”

Yup!

“And it’s free? Not even… freemium?”

Yup, 100% free through our website. It’s just not on the WordPress Repository… (yet).

We’re happy to say that users and developers alike were excited to experiment with Thrive Automator, and you’ll see that reflected in a handful of new integrations releasing soon.

If you're curious about WordCamp, watch this aftermovie below, officially released by the WordPress team. You won't see us in it, but we were absolutely there.

Thrive Camp (Aka: Thrive Team Builder)

The pandemic was hard on everyone. Thrive Themes is a largely remote team, spread throughout the globe. Many of our team have been working in isolation, through lockdowns, closed borders and restricted travel.

But with travel restrictions easing, we had an opportunity to collect most of the team in one central place, to meet face-to-face, discuss software innovation, and just enjoy seeing and meeting each other -- many for the first time in years.

The Thrive Themes team. Not pictured: the other half of the team that couldn't make it, and Shane, who broke his shoulder.

Iulia, one of our technical writers who keeps our knowledge base up-to-date, suggested an epic pun: we should call it Thrive TEAM Builder.

It stuck. After 4 short days together, we parted ways and returned to our home destinations, refreshed and ready to keep building the features that you need to help your businesses grow.

Design Packs & Free Thrive Automator

Despite attending WordCamp and Thrive Team Builder, we pushed out a few significant improvements to our software. These mainly included exiting the public beta for Thrive Automator, fine tuning the UI, and releasing it for free... as well as Design Packs, a central place to import and export your Thrive-made Themes, Landing Pages and website content.

You can read more about either by clicking the articles below (built with our Post List element, of course).

Read More
Read More

Oh, but there was another small feature that slipped by unnoticed...

Limit Automations in Thrive Automator

In the fuss of releasing Thrive Automator for free, we never had the chance to show you a new feature that we added. You now have the ability to limit the number of times an automation will run.

When you add a Trigger to Thrive Automator, look for the small settings cog pinned to the top.

Look for the new settings cog! 

When you click this, you'll see some settings that control how often your trigger fires.

By default it'll be set to unlimited. This means every time the trigger conditions are met, the automation will always run.

Set some rules for your Automation executions.

Spend some time adjusting these settings, and you'll discover that you can create some pretty advanced conditions around when and how many times your automation should run.

You can set it to run only once, or just once per known user. That means your automation will not fire if a user that has already been through an automation happens to trigger it again.

Why would you use that? Perhaps you have an automation for subscribing to a mailing list. You don't need it to run every time... just once per user, right? Easy.

But you can get pretty advanced too, setting it to run a limited number of times but only after the trigger conditions have been met for a specific count.

Customize your rules. It'll surprise you how specific you can get!

Lets say you do configure your automation to run a number of times.

How do you keep track?

Well, when an automation has run more than once, you can expand the triggers and you'll see a counter alerting you to the number of times that trigger condition has been met. You can also reset the counter with a click.

Track the number of automation executions with the small counter next to each trigger.

The Present

New WordPress Triggers and Actions

Today, we release new WordPress Triggers and Actions for Thrive Automator, that will help you get more out of your WordPress website.

The goal of Thrive Automator is to make it a truly helpful tool in the WordPress ecosystem. There are many ways to integrate WordPress itself within Thrive Automator, and we decided it was time to add some more triggers and actions.

You'll find new triggers in the WordPress automator app

Next time you open Thrive Automator, clicking the WordPress icon will load new triggers.

You'll find the following triggers:

This list of WordPress triggers contains some new ones, and some we had from the start.

Your automation will trigger based on any of the above events you choose. Then, depending on the data available based on your chosen triggers, you'll find more actions too. These are the things that Thrive Automator can do once your trigger conditions have been met.

Check out the available WordPress actions:

Actions are what Thrive Automator will do after trigger conditions are met.

If you haven’t used Thrive Automator yet, the most important thing you need to know is: you can mix triggers and actions together.

That means that a trigger that occurs in one application can be combined with an action in another one, automatically and intelligently linking the two. Combine that with filters, conditions, wait-states and more… and Thrive Automator becomes the bridge that supercharges your website.

And it's very developer friendly, meaning 3rd parties, plugins, themes and developers can create their own triggers and actions which can be mixed and matched in smart automations.

If you haven't started exploring it, it's 100% free. Get Thrive Automator Here.

The Future

This is where things get exciting.

We'd like to share with you a few things that our development team are working on— features we'll release in the near future.

This isn't everything. You've got to let us have some mystery at least.

Front-End Filters for the Post List

Arguably our most-requested feature for Thrive Architect (although it's used heavily in Thrive Theme Builder too) we are working on a visually-editable set of front-end filters for our already-impressive Post List element.

So what does that mean?

The post list is the backbone of your WordPress Blog, Archive and Category pages built with Thrive Theme Builder. It’s insanely versatile, and it looks like this:

A sample Post List, showing 6 articles on a website.

Well, it can look like that. It can also look like a list, mosaic grid, with or without post excerpts, custom 'read more' buttons, etc. You can change everything. Corners, borders, fonts, colors, sizes... and it's all dynamic, meaning that as you publish more pages and posts on your website, the post lists throughout your website will automatically update.

We already have back-end filtering, which looks like this:

Set custom rules and your Post List will dynamically load the content that matches your filter. 

Backend filters are the filters that you decide, such as posts belonging to a specific category or author. You can make sure your post lists only show exactly the pages and posts that you want them to.

But what if you want your website visitors to apply a filter of their choosing?

What if your site has hundreds of posts, and you want your visitors to easily choose the category, tag, author or any other filter that interests them most?

That’s a front-end filter, an interactive element that your website vistors can use.

Here's a sneak preview of just one of the types of front-end filters you'll be able to create, once we release this new feature:

An example of front-end filters: a series of buttons that users can click to change the post-list content.

As your visitors click on the buttons above the post-list, it will immediately filter the available posts to their selection.

You'll be able to add buttons, lists, dropdowns and checkboxes, all as versatile elements that can be styled and placed anywhere on your page or page template.

Work is in progress, so stay tuned for this feature, releasing soon.

Reporting for Thrive Apprentice

As a course creator, you want to keep your finger on the pulse, right? You want to be able to see, quickly and easily, how your courses are performing.

You want to know:

  • How many new students signed up, and between which dates
  • How many lessons your students have completed, week over week
  • Which lessons are the ‘drop off’ point in your course
  • Who are your most engaged students

And more.

Having that data at your fingertips will help you to understand how your students interact with your online school, and how you— a course creator— can improve your offering.

Well, for many months now, we’ve been working on the infrastructure for a reporting dashboard for Thrive Apprentice that will blow. Your. Mind.

'Reports' begins as a new tab in Thrive Apprentice.

We won't show you how the reporting dashboards will look, but trust us— they are beautiful, functional and you should find them incredibly helpful.

The technology behind this is insane. Your students simply interact with your course, and we have developed cutting-edge event capturing technology (API driven, too— more on that later) that allows Thrive Apprentice to see everything and calculate beautiful reports based on it.

Before embarking on this challenge, we scoped out other LMS’ as well as other reporting solutions. We’re pleased to say that when we deliver Thrive Apprentice Reports, it’s going to leave every other course reporting solution out there for dead.

You’ll be grateful that you chose Thrive Apprentice. Just wait and see!

Oh, and the way we’ve built the reporting technology, if there’s a type of report or data you want to know about and it doesn’t seem possible… let us know. We have the capacity to add more report types with ease.

Certificates For Thrive Apprentice

Awarding certificates to students of your online courses can help your business grow for 2 reasons:

  • It’s a sales incentive: students are more likely to purchase your course if they know that they have a tangible certificate that they can include in their resume or education portfolio. It just might be the reason you charge a higher price for your course, or why a student chooses your course over a competitor.
  • It’s a productivity incentive: drop-off rates are a problem for all educators around the globe. But in order to get a certificate, a student must complete all the content of your course. This incentivizes them to return and continue through your course to obtain that valuable certificate.

Once again, we looked at certificate solutions in the online course space, and most of them were disappointing. Clunky user-interfaces, designs you’d never want to show to your family, what we saw were novelties.

We want to do better.

Our Certificate builder will be visually editable. Yes, you'll be able to build a certificate in Thrive Architect, and yes our design team will provide beautiful pre-made and editable templates.

Your students will be able to downloaded them as a perfect PDF, meaning they can quite literally print it out in high-quality, frame it, and hang it on the wall.

But there's more.

Let us keep some secrets, okay? Just trust that we're working hard on making this the best certificate feature we can.

Thrive Automator on the WordPress Repository

Thrive Automator has so much yet-to-be-discovered potential. We released it as a free plugin on the Thrive Themes website earlier this year.

But now we’re working to make it compliant with the WordPress Repository Guidelines. That means that it will be the first plugin that Thrive Themes have ever added to the WordPress Repository, and anyone will be able to download it from right inside of their WordPress site in 2 clicks.

This is a big deal because we believe it’ll encourage developers to integrate with it, growing the ecosystem of available integrations, meaning you can get even more out of your Thrive plugins that already integrate.

Watch this space!

What are your thoughts? Let us know with a comment below!

About the Author Bradley Stevens


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.

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