Thinkific Review For 2020: Features, Pricing & Competitors

Online Course Software

There are many online course platforms, or Learning Management Systems (LMS) and one of the industry leaders is Thinkific. 

Online course platforms make it possible to package up your knowledge and sell it to your audience, in the form of online courses or memberships.

By the end of this review you'll know if Thinkific is the best choice for you, or if another LMS, such as Teachable or Kajabi is more suited to your needs.

14 day FREE trial

Value for Money

4.5/5

They offer a free plan to get started and then prices start from $49 per month.

Support

4/5

Help Center and community forums are supportive. Ticketing service, if you require direct help. No telephone or chat box assistance.

Ease of Use

4.5/5

After the initial learning curve, it’s quite intuitive and easy to use. The placeholder content is really helpful when building your course.

Effectiveness

5/5

Really focused on the student and teacher experience. The free plan is helpful to people getting started.

We Like

  • Create beautiful sales pages
  • Instant payouts
  • Unlimited students & content
  • White labeling
  • Solid integrations
  • Course templates
  • Easy to get started
  • Placeholder lessons teach you best practices
  • Fast loading

We Don't Like

  • 2-step checkout pages
  • Cannot mix media
  • No native comments feature
  • Platform not as clean as some competitors
  • Lack of gamification

What Is Thinkific?

Thinkific is an all-in-one LMS that claims to give you “everything you need to easily create, market, and sell your own online courses.” 

Thinkific provides hosting for your courses and the associated web pages, automatic enrolments for students, a payment system, and lots more. 

Is Thinkific Right For Me?

The interface is clean and powerful, and you get all the tools needed to build your store without needing to create a separate website.

You can start with the free plan which is a great way to test the water and make sure it’s a good fit for you. 

There is a slight learning curve, but it's relatively easy to get your course up and running on Thinkific. You can drag and drop content around and the placeholders really help you create a professional looking product, especially if you're new to course creation. 

Thinkific Review: Features

  • WordPress style backend
  • Built in surveys
  • Pre-populated course templates
  • Suggestion box for improving your courses
  • Advanced quiz capabilities
  • Course reviews can be embedded on sales pages
  • Instant payments via 3rd party gateways (Paypal/Stripe)
  • Stunning integration
  • Integrations for marketing
  • 100% white labeling
  • Custom length subscriptions
  • Create private /invite only courses (Pro Plan)
  • 99.9% uptime
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Built in security & SSL
  • Secure cloud hosting with daily backups
  • Instant updates
  • Rich multimedia course content
  • Offer membership sites and subscription courses
  • Coupons & promotional features
  • Drag & drop builder

Thinkific Features: The Breakdown

Drag and drop editor for quick course design

All course content can be easily moved around using the drag and drop editor. 

You can upload almost all media types, audio, video, PDFs, surveys, quizzes, etc, so you can create a multimedia experience for your students. All of the assets are hosted on the Thinkific servers, so you don’t need to worry about running out of space.

It's easy to customize the look of your Thinkific school, by adjusting the colours and adding logos without having to alter the code. If you have more technical skills, you can make further changes to the HTML and CSS to create a totally unique school.

Easy promotions

Marketing and promotional tools are built into the program, a lot of which can be automated. Content can be dripped to your students if you want them to follow along week by week, for example. It's also possible to  target certain people and send out automated emails. 

On some of the plans you can access their affiliate marketing program. Why not reward people who promote your courses and get sales by setting up an affiliate scheme for your products. You can also offer your audience special deals with coupons that you can create in the dashboard.

Linking your Facebook, other social platforms and your Adwords account means you can track where your students are coming from.

Excellent student management & communication

The student management area is very visual. In each student record it shows their name, picture, contact information, and how they are progressing in your course. You can send customized emails to individual students or message all of your students at once.  Thinkific makes it possible to send completion certificates, report cards, and a variety of emails during a course.

All the materials are mobile optimized (which is so important!) and has language controls.

Thinkific Vs Competitors

As mentioned at the start of this review, there are lots of companies in this space. You might have decided that Thinkific is the right fit for you already. However, just in case you need more information, let's compare Thinkific with a couple of it’s top competitors. 

Thinkific vs Kajabi

Kajabi positions itself as a one-stop-shop for the online course creator. They state Kajabi is an all-in-one platform that makes it easy to create online courses, launch marketing campaigns, build landing pages, and design the perfect website’.

When comparing Kajabi to Thinkific, we must remember that Kajabi includes many services people are probably paying separate companies for, in addition to their course platform. Kajabi’s pricing starts at $149 a month (for 3 products), but it does include landing pages, membership site, course site, email marketing etc.

Thinkific and Kajabi both integrate with PayPal and Stripe.

Kajabi includes a small marketplace, allows you to offer a free trial of your course, and has 24/7 Live Chat support. Their Pro plan offers 100 products and this is $399 a month. Again you can save if you pay annually.

Thinkific has the always-free starter plan. Kajabi offers a 14-day free trial.

Conclusion:

Kajabi is a great option if your business is further along and you have the funds to invest in this all-in-one platform. However, if you're at an earlier stage in your business, it might be a better solution to have separate tools and keep the costs down.

Thinkific vs Teachable

These two are quite similar. They both offer landing pages, shopping cart, email marketing, payment gateways, etc. And they both have great customer support.

You can also start with a free plan on both. Thinkific’s plans (including the free one) don’t charge any transaction fees, while Teachable’s free plan takes 10% plus $1 of each course sale. 

When you make a sale you will get the funds immediately with Thinkific, but you’ll have to wait for the once per month payout with Teachable.

Teachable focuses more on course marketing tools. Thinkific is more focused on the student and teacher experience.

The takeaway:

Thinkific triumphs over Teachable in usability and design aspects.

Teachable triumphs over Thinkific in marketing capabilities and simplifying some technical aspects (such as affiliates and taxes).

Thinkific Review: Pricing

Thinkific offers a free plan so you can  test out the platform. There's also a free trial if you'd rather give one of the more advanced plans a try, before committing.

They offer four plans:

  • Starter – $0 gets you all core Thinkific features, 3 Courses, Unlimited students, Quizzes & surveys, Content hosting, Course up sells, Instant access to your funds. There's a 10% transaction fee on all sales.
  • Essentials – For $49 per month you get access to all core and starter features. The transaction fee is reduced to  5%, coupons and promotions, affiliate reporting, drip content, course bundles, monthly subscriptions, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, a bulk student emailer, custom domain. You can have unlimited courses & students.
  • Business – For $99 per month you get the features of the lower 2 plans, but there are no transaction fees. In addition you get access to completion certificates, private and hidden courses, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, site white labeling, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, priority support, instructor payout reporting, advanced HTML/CSS editing, an onboarding call, payment plans, and a direct Infusionsoft integration.
  • Advanced – For $279 per month you receive all features from previous plans, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, public API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.

Although 10% transaction fee on the free plan is quite high, it does give new course creators a way to get started with no overhead. 

You can pay annually to save money. The Essentials plan goes down to $39 per month if you pay it all upfront. The Business plan to $79 a month and the Advanced plan to $219 a month.

Thinkific Customer Reviews

“By teaching our audience how to scale and grow their business through online training, we've grown ours. We couldn't have done it without Thinkific.” John Lee Dumas, EO Fire

‘Thinkific is the #1 platform for building and creating courses. In terms of the design, the user-friendliness, ease of use and ease of selling. Thinkific has it all'  Lewis Howes, New York Times Best Selling Author

Frequently Asked Questions About Thinkific

Is Thinkific Better Than Teachable?

In terms of how they work, it's hard to tell them apart. The biggest difference is that Thinkific has more options in terms of design and customization so you can better enhance your students experience, whereas Teachable focuses more on the sales and marketing side of selling online courses.

We also found that Thinkific's support team is more responsive than Teachable and faster at answering technical questions.

How much does Thinkific cost?

Thinkific offers a free plan and three paid subscription options: Essentials ($49/month), Business ($99/month), and Advanced ($279/month).

Is Thinkific an LMS?

Thinkific is an all-in-one online course platform. Which allows people to create and sell courses on their own website.

Thinkific Review Summary: Is Thinkific Worth It?

If you don’t like the WordPress style back end or you need gamification, then one of the other platforms might be a better fit for you. 

However, Thinkific is an awesome platform and would be a good fit for someone who wants to get stuck in creating their online course and isn’t thrown by a learning curve. 

The free plan is perfect for testing it out to see if it suits your needs. We wholeheartedly recommend Thinkific, it's the platform we have used for many years.

Thinkific

Online course platform for entrepreneurs with education businesses
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