There are many learning platforms available online. It may not be easy to determine which one is worth your time. You, whether you are a teacher or student, want your lessons to be easy and you feel part of a supportive community.
Thinkific is a popular educational site builder. It offers many features that can be compared with others. It is important to determine which features are appropriate for your skill set and which 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 begin with Teachable. Teachable is similar to Thinkific, where you have complete control over how the site looks, managing the curriculum, and pricing for your courses.
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. Editing pages make it easy to navigate through the setup. 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.
In addition to the multimedia lessons, Thinkific has an additional option of live streaming your content. 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. You can host discussion boards here and allow your students to openly assist each other in understanding the lessons.
It is similar to a social networking site, where you can comment and post about different topics. 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. You can attain this through any of the paid plans. 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. You can showcase your bundles and discounts to catch their attention.
Teachable is a cheaper option between the two. These plans and prices are available through Teachable:
- Basic plan – $29/month
- Pro Plan – $99 per month
- Business plan – $249/month.
Thinkific may be a bit pricier, but the Pro plan is cheaper compared to Teachable. Below are the pricing details for each plan.
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39 per month
- Pro Plan – $79 per month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Kajabi vs. Thinkific
In just a few clicks, you can build a website using either Kajabi or Thinkific. However, the differences between them are their features, such as certifications and marketing campaigns.
No coding is required because Thinkific and Kajabi both use their own site editor. It follows the drag and drop mechanic, which makes anyone’s job easier.
Start creating your own website by using Kajabi’s themes or simply do it from scratch. To give you an idea of what your website could look like, the theme library features a variety of modern and sleek designs. Kajabi designs work best on a desktop and are mobile-friendly.
Your site can be customized to reflect your vision. 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. The video streaming is limited only to the Pro plan, which is the most expensive plan on the list.
Every student wants to be engaged in lessons and to have the opportunity to communicate with their teachers via the 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. You can also join the discussion as an administrator/instructor and provide information to students in comments or posts.
Kajabi specializes in marketing and selling any owner’s courses 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.
Kajabi offers a 14-day trial that allows you to test it before purchasing 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/month
- Pro plan – $79/month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Thinkific vs. Podia
Podia is next on the list. Podia is an LMS site that has similar functions to Thinkific as well. Although it is user-friendly for beginners, Podia offers fewer options than Thinkific even when you subscribe to a plan.
Podia’s layout is attractive and conveys a fun atmosphere with its color scheme, word choices and subscription plans. The site editor is a reflection of this charm and simplifies functions such as 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.
Drip content can be seen in both their editor settings so students can unlock more content as they progress through the lesson. Both editors are simple and allow you to upload resources that your students can download and combine.
Podia allows you to customize the appearance of your bundle before it is placed on your website 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.’
You can save money by getting it at annual prices. For all intents and purposes, though, the list only shows its prices:
- Mover (basic) – $39/month
- Shaker (pro) – $79/month
- Earthquaker – $179 per month
Thinkific vs. LearnDash
A massive difference between Thinkific and LearnDash is that the former is its own builder site while the latter is a plug-in 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. It is a plug-in feature and has some limitations in comparison to Thinkific. There are fewer features you can do to edit your course flow.
A third-party app restricts what you can do. For example, you can’t send emails or show student reviews to prove your course’s credibility. LearnDash isn’t as user-friendly as Thinkific because you can’t simply drag and drop the features you want. If you don’t have any programming experience, it might be necessary to hire an expert developer.
Fortunately, both LMS platforms enable most of the same functions for managing your students and their progress. The only possible issue you might come across when using LearnDash is that you’ll have to resort to other third-party apps for communication.
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 may have similar problems to student management software. It doesn’t have complete functions installed in its system like Thinkific, so you’ll need to download third-party applications to utilize the marketing function.
The third-party applications will help you in setting up coupons and course bundles on your site. Unfortunately, having these applications won’t be able to have an affiliate program or any advanced market integrations when Thinkific has Zapier integrations installed in its plans.
Although LearnDash is a plug-in, there are still plans you can purchase to avail of its advanced features. These are the standard rates:
- Basic Plan – $199/month
- Plus Package – $299 per month
- Pro Package – $329/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, a course marketplace, offers students a wide range of niche courses. 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. You can only 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 places student satisfaction first and offers sales on some courses. When you put the two side by side, it can be said that Thinkific is user-friendly and intuitive with customization features for both the instructors and students.
In Udemy, you won’t have control over the student list. It can be difficult for instructors to maintain consistent communication with students. Students can leave feedback during the course and then create a review after they’re done. Your course’s pros and cons will be better understood by other students who leave reviews.
Udemy has an advantage in marketing because it has scaled up the ranks amongst LMS platforms. It specializes in marketing multiple courses to its students via email based on what they purchased before.
Let’s say you decide to manage your own marketing. In that case, Thinkific will be perfect for you because you have complete control over how the email campaigns go. Udemy can take care of everything if you’re overwhelmed.
Thinkific and Udemy are very different in terms of pricing. Instructors can create a course on Udemy for free, but it follows a revenue share model. This means that you only gain income based on the sales from your courses. For Thinkific, you have total income from all the students who paid for your learning program.
These platforms can all be used by any instructor, even if they don’t have coding knowledge. This is great for people who are beginners in building their own education site.
Thinkific, though, is excellent for any new instructor looking for a simple setup and total control over their website. After comparing it to the others, it shows that you have more freedom in the customization settings and rearranging your courses according to your taste.
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 UI is easy on the eyes and gives a familiar feel to the social media applications you might be used to seeing around.
With these features, you can construct, edit, and control the site with ease by using Thinkific when you start out as an instructor.