Many learning platforms have surfaced online, and it may be a bit difficult to pin down which one is worth your money. You, whether you are a teacher or student, want your lessons to be easy and you feel part of a supportive community.
Among these educational site builders, Thinkific provides numerous features that can be compared to others. It’s essential to identify what features are suitable for your skillset and what can do the job.
This list will compare Thinkific to five other popular learning management systems (LMS) brands. You can then decide which one to invest in.
Thinkific vs. Teachable
Let’s start with the comparison to Teachable. Teachable is similar in design to Thinkific. You have full control over the site’s appearance, pricing, and curriculum.
If you’re the type who wants to manage how your programs flow, then either of the two would be an ideal platform for you to use. These functions allow you to customize your site and have full control over its features, depending on which plan you choose.
User Interface (UI)
Both sites have a UI that allows you to drag and drop tasks throughout the course. It’s easy to navigate the site by editing pages. You don’t need any advanced knowledge of coding for it. Teachable uses HTML and CSS coding for building your website while Thinkific has its own page editor.
This drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to organize sections of pages. The customization features are more prominent in Thinkific than Teachable because, as of now, there are more themes and options to choose from.
Both provide the options to utilize the standard lecture format and multimedia functions. These multimedia lessons allow you to add audio, video, and PDF files to give more visual aid for your students.
Thinkific offers live streaming of your content in addition to the multimedia lessons. You can also answer questions live, thanks to Zoom, Youtube and other live streaming websites.
Teachable has a product called ‘Coaching’ that allows students to interact with their instructors via comments. Students can discuss with their instructor during 1-on-1 courses as they can post comments or questions.
While Teachable has the ‘Coaching’ feature, Thinkific’s counterpart is its community builder for the students and instructors. Here you can hold discussion boards and have your students openly help each other understand the lessons better.
Its setup is similar to a social media site where you can post and comment about various topics related to the course. You can be an administrator and facilitate discussions. Students can also take notes on how the topic is explained.
Zapier integrations are available for both platforms, depending on what plan you buy. This can be achieved through any paid plan. When your account is tied with Zapier integrations, it connects to multiple applications that will aid in your marketing campaign.
You’ll be able to advertise to your students and others who might be interested in attending your courses via email campaigns. To grab their attention, you can show them your discounts and bundles.
Teachable is a cheaper option between the two. It provides the following plans and prices:
- Basic plan – $29 per month
- Pro Plan – $99 per month
- Business plan – $249 per month
Although Thinkific is a bit more expensive than Teachable, the Pro plan under Thinkific is cheaper than Teachable. Below are the pricing details for each plan.
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39/month
- Pro Plan – $79 per month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Kajabi vs. Thinkific
Building a website through either Thinkific or Kajabi can be done in a matter of a few clicks in the same manner. The difference, though, are the features they offer, such as marketing campaigns and certifications.
Because Thinkific and Kajabi each have their own website editors, no coding is necessary. It follows the drag and drop mechanic, which makes anyone’s job easier.
You can either use Kajabi’s themes to create your website or start from scratch. The theme library showcases an array of sleek and modern designs to give you an idea how your site can look like. Kajabi designs work best on a desktop and are mobile-friendly.
Customize your site to how you envision it. You can also showcase the learning materials that you will have for your Thinkific courses. Its themes keep it all simplistic yet chic, so your website’s design can look aesthetically pleasing. Your students won’t be overwhelmed by the functions.
When it comes to live streaming, while they both have it, Kajabi uses a different source called Wistia. Wistia is a premier video hosting service that specializes in business. Only the Pro plan offers video streaming, which is the most costly plan.
Any student would want to make sure they engage in the lessons and be able to interact with their teachers via the community discussion boards. Thinkific is the only one that makes use of this feature to its full potential.
These discussion boards allow students to share their thoughts with others taking the course. As an admin/instructor, you can join the discussion and explain to them in a post or comments about the information they might need.
Kajabi is a specialist in selling and marketing any owner’s course online. You can advertise your products using their email marketing tools. Because they don’t use third-party applications like Thinkific, their email system allows you to customize the messages you send to clients.
A 14-day trial is available for Kajabi if you want to quickly try it out before you decide whether or not you want to purchase a plan. If you plan on purchasing a subscription, Kajabi is one of the most costly LMS platforms.
It is billed annually, and listed below are the standard prices for each plan:
- 14-day free trial
- Basic plan – $149 per month
- Growth plan – $199 per month
- Pro Plan – $399 per month
If you want to use a course for a long time, Thinkific gives you a free plan when you sign up. You can only use one course from the free plan to get an idea of how it works. The prices for Thinkific will be stated here again for comparison reasons:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39 per month
- Pro Plan – $79 per month
- Premier plan – $399 per month
Thinkific vs. Podia
Next on the list is Podia. Podia is an LMS site that has similar functions to Thinkific as well. It is definitely beginner-friendly, but Podia has limited options to choose from even with the subscription plans compared to Thinkific.
The layout for Podia is appealing and demonstrates a fun aura with its color scheme and word choices for subscription plans. Its site editor reflects this charming nature and simplifies all the functions like Thinkific.
You can host your domain quickly if you buy Thinkific’s basic plan or Podia. You can have your own domain name and host webinars for both LMS platforms.
Admin or instructors can see drip content in both their editor settings, so they can unlock more content throughout the lesson. Both editors are simple and allow you to upload resources that your students can download and combine.
In Podia, you can customize your bundle’s overall appearance before setting it up on your site as a product. Unlike Thinkific’s social media-like community board, Podia has an exclusive feature by having a live chat where students can immediately communicate with you directly.
A distinct difference between the two is that Podia has its own email service installed. At the same time, Thinkific depends on a 3rd party integration (Zapier) to assist it. Podia can send students simple email alerts about their drip campaigns and lessons.
Zapier allows you to have multiple email accounts attached directly to your account, rather than having a personal email address for the site. One of the upsides of Thinkific is that you can still customize it more than you can in Podia.
Podia came up with creative names for their plans, which is a departure from other LMS brands. Instead of the usual ‘Basic’ and ‘Pro,’ it has unique names such as ‘Shaker’ and ‘Earthquaker.’
It offers annual prices that can help you save some cash. For all intents and purposes, though, the list only shows its prices:
- Basic Mover – $39 per month
- Shaker (pro) – $79/month
- Earthquaker – $179 per month
Thinkific vs. LearnDash
The major difference between Thinkific & LearnDash is the fact that the former has its own website builder, while the latter uses a plugin for WordPress. If you want to control your website completely, Thinkific is the best option. LearnDash works best if you have a WordPress business account.
In order to use the LearnDash plug-in, you must create a WordPress account first, then buy and install the plug-in. Since it’s a plug-in feature, it has limitations compared to Thinkific. There are fewer features you can do to edit your course flow.
Being a 3rd party app limits what you can do, like you aren’t able to send emails or show reviews made by your students to show the credibility of your course. LearnDash isn’t as user-friendly as Thinkific because you can’t simply drag and drop the features you want. You might need to ask an expert developer to handle it if you don’t have coding experience.
Fortunately, both LMS platforms enable most of the same functions for managing your students and their progress. LearnDash will not allow you to communicate with your students using third-party apps.
Thinkific already has a setting in the program that lets you freely talk to your students and let them discuss with each other on the community board. It’ll take time for you to find a third-party app that can help you chat with your students and enable peer-to-peer communication as well.
Marketing for LearnDash has similar issues you might come across with its student management system. You will need to download third-party apps to use the marketing function. It does not have Thinkific’s complete functionality installed.
The third-party applications will help you in setting up coupons and course bundles on your site. These applications will not allow you to create an affiliate program or integrate with advanced markets. However, Thinkific has Zapier integrations in its plans.
Although LearnDash is a plug-in, there are still plans you can purchase to avail of its advanced features. Here are the prices at their standard rate:
- Basic Plan – $199/month
- Plus Package – $299 per month
- Pro Package – $329 per month
Udemy vs. Thinkific
I will end by comparing Thinkific with Udemy. Udemy has grown to be a popular LMS platform for future instructors. Udemy is a course marketplace and offers a diverse selection of niche courses for students. There are many other evident differences when you compare the two side by side.
You won’t be able to control your programs like LearnDash. Udemy will own them. Following this line of thinking, there are almost no customization options for your course when using Udemy as a platform.
Udemy is not as user-friendly as Thinkific. You can’t delete courses that you have posted. The only thing you can do is update your course with new lessons. Udemy doesn’t allow you to export courses to your own platform. Thinkific allows for course migration to other sites.
Udemy prioritizes student satisfaction as they offer sales on their courses every now and then. Both instructors and students will find Thinkific intuitive and user-friendly.
Udemy doesn’t allow you to control the student list. As an instructor, you might see it as challenging to find a way to have consistent communication with your students. They make it up for this by allowing students to leave comments during the course and create a review when they are done. Your course’s pros and cons will be better understood by other students who leave reviews.
Udemy is a market leader in marketing due to its ability to scale up among LMS platforms. It is a marketing platform that focuses on multiple courses and sends out emails to students based on their previous purchases.
Suppose you want to handle the marketing yourself. Thinkific is the best choice for you, as you can control how your email campaigns are run. Udemy can take care of everything if you’re overwhelmed.
Udemy and Thinkific are quite different in terms of price. Udemy allows instructors to create courses for free. However, the revenue share model is used. This means that you only gain income based on the sales from your courses. Thinkific will calculate your total income from all students who have paid for your learning program.
Between all of them, these platforms mentioned here can be considered feasible for any instructor, especially if they lack knowledge in coding. This platform is ideal for beginners who want to build their own educational site.
Thinkific, though, is excellent for any new instructor looking for a simple setup and total control over their website. It is easier to customize your course layouts and arrange them according to your preferences than the other options.
It is vital to communicate with students in order to answer their questions about the lesson. Thinkific’s community discussion board is a highlight. It has a social media aesthetic. The interface is simple to use and resembles the social media apps you may be familiar with.
With these features, you can construct, edit, and control the site with ease by using Thinkific when you start out as an instructor.