Many learning platforms have surfaced online, and it may be a bit difficult to pin down which one is worth your money. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, you would want the lessons to go smoothly and be a part of a productive 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.
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.
Teachable vs. Thinkific
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.
One of these platforms is ideal for those who want to control how their programs work. 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. It doesn’t require any advanced knowledge in coding. 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. Multimedia lessons let you add audio, video and PDF files to provide visual aids for your students.
In addition to the multimedia lessons, Thinkific has an additional option of live streaming your content. This way, you can answer questions in real-time, and it is supported by Zoom, Youtube, and other live streaming sites.
Teachable has a product called ‘Coaching’ that allows students to interact with their instructors via comments. Students can communicate with their instructors during 1-on-1 classes by posting comments and 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.
It is similar to a social networking site, where you can comment and post about different topics. As an admin, you can facilitate how the discussions go, and the students can take note of 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. 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. To grab their attention, you can show them your discounts and bundles.
Teachable is the cheaper option of both. It provides the following plans and prices:
- Basic plan – $29 per month
- Pro plan – $99/month
- Business plan – $249/month.
Thinkific may be a bit pricier, but the Pro plan is cheaper compared to Teachable. Here are the prices for each plan:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39 per month
- Pro plan – $79/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.
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. 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. 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.
Every student wants to be engaged in lessons and to have the opportunity to communicate with their teachers via the discussion boards. The only one who utilizes this feature to the maximum is Thinkific.
Students can discuss with other people taking the course in these discussion boards to clarify or expand any comments they may have. 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. 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/month.
If you want to use a course for a long time, Thinkific gives you a free plan when you sign up. 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/month
- Pro plan – $79/month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Podia vs. Thinkific
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. Its site editor reflects this charming nature and simplifies all the functions like Thinkific.
Hosting your own domain can happen quickly when you purchase Podia or Thinkific’s basic plan. 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.
Podia allows you to customize the appearance of your bundle before it is placed on your website as a product. Podia offers a live chat, which allows students to communicate directly with you. This is a distinct feature from Thinkific’s social media-like community boards.
A distinct difference between the two is that Podia has its own email service installed. Thinkific relies on Zapier to help it. Podia can send simple email alerts to students regarding their lessons and other drip campaigns.
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. It has unique names like ‘Shaker’ and ‘Earthquaker’ instead of the standard ‘Basic’ and ‘Pro’.
It offers annual prices that can help you save some cash. The list does not include 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. Since it’s a plug-in feature, it has limitations compared 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 offers a setting that allows you to freely communicate with your students and allow them to discuss each other on the community boards. 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. You will need to download third-party apps to use the marketing function. It does not have Thinkific’s complete functionality installed.
Third-party apps will assist you in creating coupons and course bundles for your website. 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.
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. Here are the prices at their standard rate:
- Basic Plan – $199/month
- Plus Package – $299/month
- Pro Package – $329/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.
Like LearnDash, you won’t have complete control over your created programs because the ownership will be shared with Udemy. Udemy is a platform that allows you to customize your course almost completely.
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 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. 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.
Suppose you want to handle the marketing yourself. 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.
Between all of them, these platforms mentioned here can be considered feasible for any instructor, especially if they lack knowledge in coding. 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. 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. One of Thinkific’s highlights is the community discussion board fashioned in a social media aesthetic. The interface is simple to use and resembles the social media apps you may be familiar with.
These features allow you to easily create, edit, and manage the site using Thinkific.