There are many learning platforms available online. It may not be easy to determine which one is worth your time. 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 is important to determine which features are appropriate for your skill set and which 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 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. Through these functions, you have free reign over the features and how you customize the site (depending on your plan).
User Interface (UI)
The UI of both sites lets you easily drag and drop the tasks you want to happen 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.
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. 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.
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. As an admin, you can facilitate how the discussions go, and the students can take note of 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. To grab their attention, you can show them your discounts and bundles.
Teachable is the cheaper option of both. These plans and prices are available through Teachable:
- Basic plan – $29 per month
- Pro plan – $99/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/month
- Premier plan – $399 per month
Thinkific vs. Kajabi
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.
Because Thinkific and Kajabi each have their own website editors, no coding is necessary. It uses drag-and-drop technology, making it easy for anyone to use.
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!
Customize your site to how you envision it. You can also showcase the learning materials that you will have for your Thinkific courses. The themes are simple yet elegant, so that your website design is visually pleasing. Your students won’t be overwhelmed by the functions.
While they both have live streaming, Kajabi uses 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.
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. You can advertise your products using their email marketing tools. 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.
Kajabi offers a 14-day trial that allows you to test it before purchasing a plan. Kajabi can be considered one of the most expensive LMS platforms, though, if you plan to buy its subscription.
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.
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. The prices for Thinkific will be stated here again for comparison reasons:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39 per month
- Pro plan – $79/month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Thinkific vs. Podia
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.
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.
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. At the same time, Thinkific depends on a 3rd party integration (Zapier) to assist 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. 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. The list does not include prices.
- Basic Mover – $39 per month
- Shaker (pro), $79 per month
- Earthquaker – $179/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. Thinkific is ideal if you want to have complete control of your own website, while LearnDash is best when you’ve invested in 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 is not as intuitive as Thinkific, as you cannot drag and drop the features that you need. You might need to ask an expert developer to handle it if you don’t have coding experience.
Both LMS platforms allow you to manage your students and track 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 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.
Third-party apps will assist you in creating coupons and course bundles for your website. 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. These are the standard rates:
- Basic Plan – $199 per month
- Plus Package – $299 per 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. You will see many other differences between the two platforms when you compare them side-by side.
Like LearnDash, you won’t have complete control over your created programs because the ownership will be shared with Udemy. Following this line of thinking, there are almost no customization options for your course when using Udemy as a platform.
One of the downsides of Udemy compared to Thinkific is that you won’t be able to remove the courses you 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. Both instructors and students will find Thinkific intuitive and user-friendly.
Udemy doesn’t allow you to control the student list. It can be difficult for instructors to maintain consistent communication with 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 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. 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.
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.
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.
These features allow you to easily create, edit, and manage the site using Thinkific.