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.
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 to Thinkific, where you have complete control over how the site looks, managing the curriculum, and pricing for your courses.
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. 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. 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. Multimedia lessons let you add audio, video and PDF files to provide visual aids 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 offers a product known as ‘Coaching,’ a system where students can interact with the 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. You can host discussion boards here and allow your students to openly assist each other in understanding the lessons.
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. 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. 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/month
- Pro plan – $99/month
- Business plan – $249/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 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 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. 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. 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 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.
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. 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. 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. 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/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. 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 per month
- Premier plan – $399 per month
Thinkific vs. Podia
Next on the list is Podia. Podia, an LMS site with similar functions to Thinkific, is next. Although it is user-friendly for beginners, Podia offers fewer options than Thinkific even when you subscribe to a plan.
The layout for Podia is appealing and demonstrates a fun aura with its color scheme and word choices for subscription plans. The site editor is a reflection of this charm and simplifies functions such as Thinkific.
Hosting your own domain can happen quickly when you purchase Podia or Thinkific’s basic plan. You’ll be able to have your own custom domain name and organize webinar sessions 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.
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 simple email alerts to students regarding their lessons and other drip campaigns.
With Zapier, you have other email accounts attached to your account rather than have a personal email for that 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. The list does not include prices.
- Mover (basic) – $39/month
- Shaker (pro), $79 per month
- Earthquaker – $179/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.
To use the LearnDash plugin, first create a WordPress account. Then, purchase 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.
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. 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. You will need to search for a third-party app that allows you to chat with students and allow peer-to-peer communication.
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. 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 per month
- Plus Package – $299/month
- Pro Package – $329/month.
Thinkific vs. Udemy
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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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.
Udemy and Thinkific are quite different in terms of price. Instructors can create a course on Udemy for free, but it follows a revenue share model. You only earn income from the sales of 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.
Communication between you and the students is essential to make sure you can answer any of their inquiries about the lesson. One of Thinkific’s highlights is the community discussion board fashioned in 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.