I wanted to share my thoughts on the recent mania of “landing page builder” product launches.
Specifically, I’m talking about products like LeadPages, Instabuilder 2.0, OptimizePress 2.0, Profit Builder, LandingPageMonkey, ClickFunnels etc.
The list goes on and on and right now there are a LOT of new ones coming out, almost on a weekly basis!
When it comes down to it they all allow you to do the same basic thing: Create sales pages, squeeze pages, download pages and so on.
Now building these pages are absolutely CRUCIAL for really any kind of online success but if you’re not careful you could end up buying ALL of them, especially with the very tempting discounts and bonus packages that are often available when they first get released.
Needless to say, this would be madness and you DON’T need all of them.
You just need one – or perhaps if you’re like me two – which you can use to create ALL of the pages you need.
But how do you decide which one to go for?
Well first of all I recommend being very careful of these pitfalls:
1) Rebranded = Badly Built
Some landing page builder products look amazing in the demo videos.
However, what most people don’t know is that sometimes the vendor selling it didn’t actually manage the development of it, or even come up with the original design.
Instead they have purchased resell and rebranding rights from a different developer, thrown in a couple of extra features before putting it up for sale as a new product.
Don’t get me wrong – in PRINCIPLE there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.
However, when it comes to landing pages builders rebranding usually means more bugs, conflicts with other plugins, slow page load times and generally more legacy issues than you would expect from well built software that has been designed from the ground up.
2) Lack of Updates & Development
Who is selling this product? Are they a dedicated software/Wordpress developer or are they just info product creators jumping on the bandwagon of the landing page mania trend?
As you know, landing page technology is developing fast so the last thing you want to do is buy software only to find that a few months down the road the seller has sidelined the product, stopped development and moved on to other things.
In my opinion it’s crucial to ensure you are using something that will be developed well for years to come.
3) Bad Support
Even the best software in the world has bugs, issues and problems.
I also find that quite often I’ll want to accomplish something specific that I’m not quite sure how to do. Maybe a little tweak or difference in page design that isn’t in the product documentation or manual.
When this happens I want a clear point of contact for support and a timely and appropriate answer.
If something can’t be done, then fair enough. But I like them to confirm this quickly and possibly even add it to their list of enhancements for future development.
Unfortunately, as you’ll have experienced too, this is often NOT the case.
When it comes to low cost information products then I can live with bad support and it doesn’t really bother me so much.
But when it concerns software I use to build the business critical pages I need to make my living online, it’s crucial – I just can’t live without it!
Your Sites, Your Choice…
So however tempting a particular offer at a particular time might be, I’d recommend you carefully consider the 3 issues above prior to purchase – a little research and consideration can save save a lot in the long run.
Testing different products is a decent way to go too, although it can take a fair amount of time and money, especially at the current release rate of new products!
What I Use…
Having gone through a fair amount of trial, error and testing myself, all factors considered it’s been a fairly easy decision to use the Thrive Architect (previously known as Thrive Content Builder) WordPress Plugin – a truly lovely piece of kit.
If you’re interested in looking at this in more detail then check out their product page here.
If you’d like a little more detail from me as to why I use this, read on…
Basically, Thrive Architect ticks more boxes for me than anything else:
1) Best page building functionality on the market
Some systems are ultra simple but lack flexibility and others are extremely flexible but are slow to use.
Architect balances these two extremes very well indeed – with a few pretty small exceptions it’s done everything I’ve asked of it in a fast, easy to use point-and-click way.
Like a lot of builders it has built in templates for all sorts of pages. But these ones are very customizable.
So regardless of your WordPress Theme you can set up single column/full width and mobile responsive squeeze pages, sales pages, thank you, download, upsell pages and so on really quickly.
Also, if you want to ever start completely from scratch then one of the best additions is quite simply the blank page template. Literally, just a total white page, regardless of your WordPress theme. It sounds almost stupid but this becomes surprisingly useful!
I actually look forward and *enjoy* using it. For me it’s also proven itself in terms of reliability as well – a nice feeling to have on a day to day basis.
2) Solid support
I’ve used the support a fair bit now and been very impressed. The staff are knowledgeable and pretty quick to respond (a few hours in my experience). There’s also a helpful and active support forum too if that’s your thing.
3) Active development
There are regular updates, improvements and new page templates added. WordPress development is what Thrive Themes do so they have no distractions and aren’t running their plugins as a sideshow to another business.
4) Cheaper than comparable competition
Thrive Architect beats products like LeadPages and OptimizePress on a pure cost basis. There are some budget products that roll in a bit cheaper but to me they just aren’t comparable when it comes to quality and the other benefits I’ve outlined.
5) Thrive also do some nice themes for WordPress too.
For my latest product I’ve actually used Content Builder (Update: now Thrive Architect) it in conjunction with their Ignition theme which I’ve switched to after using Canvas for quite a while (I still like Canvas but I prefer Ignition on balance).
To me this is a smaller benefit but if you’re looking for a new theme then take a look at the Thrive ones. Ignition is specifically designed for product sites but they have others (which I haven’t used) that look interesting too.
If you’ve followed me for any length of time then you’ll know it’s very rare that I place as much faith in a product as I have done here.
But I’m a fan of recommending what I actually use myself which is one of the main reasons you don’t see me recommending every single new product that comes out.
On this basis I can’t recommend Thrive Architect enough.
Of course, nothing is absolutely perfect but the updates and development I see coming from Thrive give me as much confidence as I feel I could have in any vendor.
Whether you plan on using it yourself or going in a completely different direction do look out for the 3 pitfalls above though – that’s the main thing.
I’ve fallen fowl of them myself in the past and it’s an unpleasant feeling to know you have build a part of your business on sand as oppose to solid rock…
What do you think? I’d love to hear whether you agree, disagree etc and as always ALL your comments and views are welcome. The ones expressed in this post are of course, just mine… Cheers, Rob 🙂