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’s essential to identify what features are suitable for your skillset and what can do the job.
In this list, Thinkific will be compared to five other popular learning management system (LMS) brands in detail so you can determine which one to spend on.
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. Editing pages make it easy to navigate through the setup. You don’t need any advanced knowledge of coding for it. Thinkific has its own editor, while Teachable utilizes HTML and CSS coding to build your site.
By using this drag-and-drop interface, organizing through sections for the pages will be effortless for you. Because there are now more themes and options available in Teachable, Thinkific’s customization tools are more prominent than Teachable.
Both allow you to use the standard lecture format or the 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.
Teachable offers the ‘Coaching’ option, but Thinkific has its own community-building tool for 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 can be used on both platforms depending on which plan you choose. You can attain this through any of the paid plans. Zapier integrations allows you to connect to multiple apps that can help with your marketing campaign.
Your students and other interested parties will be able to receive information via email about your courses. You can showcase your bundles and discounts to catch their attention.
Teachable is a cheaper option between the two. It provides the following plans and prices:
- 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 per month
Thinkific vs. Kajabi
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.
Start creating your own website by using Kajabi’s themes or simply do it from scratch. The theme library showcases an array of sleek and modern designs to give you an idea how your site can look like. Designs under Kajabi work best with a desktop, and it’s mobile-friendly as well!
Your site can be customized to reflect your vision. At the same time, showcase the learning materials you’ll have for your courses with Thinkific! Its themes keep it all simplistic yet chic, so your website’s design can look aesthetically pleasing. The functions won’t overcomplicate the lessons for your students.
While they both have live streaming, Kajabi uses Wistia. Wistia, a leading video hosting company that specializes in business, is the best. 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 is a specialist in selling and marketing any owner’s course online. Use their email marketing campaign tools and advertise your products to potential customers. They don’t use a third-party application like Thinkific, as they have their own email system that lets you customize what you send to your 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 charged annually and the prices are listed below for each plan.
- 14-day free trial
- Basic plan – $149/month
- Growth plan – $199/month
- Pro Plan – $399 per month
Thinkific offers a free plan if you are interested in using a course for a longer time. The free plan gives only one course for you to use, though, so you can get a good feel on how it works. For comparison purposes, the prices for Thinkific will also be listed here:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39 per month
- Pro plan – $79/month
- Premier plan – $399 per month
Podia vs. Thinkific
Next on the list is Podia. Podia, an LMS site with similar functions to Thinkific, is next. 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 have simplistic editor styles, and you can upload resources for your students to download and bundle them all up together.
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.
Podia uses its own email service, which is a distinct difference. Thinkific relies on Zapier to help 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.
Compared to other LMS brands, Podia thought of creative names for their plans. 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:
- Basic Mover – $39 per month
- Shaker (pro) – $79/month
- Earthquaker – $179/month.
LearnDash vs. Thinkific
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. You have fewer options to modify 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. 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. These applications will not allow you to create an affiliate program or integrate with advanced markets. However, Thinkific has Zapier integrations in its plans.
LearnDash can be used as a plug-in but you still have the option to purchase plans that allow you to take advantage of its advanced features. These are the standard rates:
- Basic Plan – $199/month
- Plus Package – $299 per month
- Pro Package – $329 per month
Thinkific vs. Udemy
Finally, I’ll compare Thinkific to Udemy, which has become a growing LMS platform for upcoming 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. You can only update your course with new lessons. Courses can’t be exported to your own independent platform in Udemy, unlike Thinkific, which allows course migration if you choose to more sites.
Udemy places student satisfaction first and offers sales on some courses. Both instructors and students will find Thinkific intuitive and user-friendly.
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. These reviews will help other students understand the pros and cons of your course.
Udemy has an advantage in marketing because it has scaled up the ranks amongst LMS platforms. It is a marketing platform that focuses on multiple courses and sends out emails to students based on their previous purchases.
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. 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.
These platforms can all be used by any instructor, even if they don’t have coding knowledge. This platform is ideal for beginners who want to build their own educational site.
Though Thinkific is great for new instructors looking for an easy setup and complete control over their website, it’s also great for experienced ones. 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.