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.
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 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. Through these functions, you have free reign over the features and how you customize the site (depending on your plan).
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.
By using this drag-and-drop interface, organizing through sections for the pages will be effortless for you. 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.
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. This can be achieved through any paid plan. When your account is tied with Zapier integrations, it connects to multiple applications that will aid in 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 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. Here are the prices for each plan:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39/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. 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.
You can either use Kajabi’s themes to create your website or start 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! The themes are simple yet elegant, so that your website design is visually pleasing. The functions won’t overcomplicate the lessons for your students.
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.
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.
These discussion boards allow students to share their thoughts with others taking the course. 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. 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. 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/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. The prices for Thinkific will be stated here again for comparison reasons:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39 per month
- Pro Plan – $79 per month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Podia vs. Thinkific
Next on the list is Podia. 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.
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.
You can host your domain quickly if you buy Thinkific’s basic plan or Podia. You’ll be able to have your own custom domain name and organize webinar sessions 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.
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 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. Thinkific has the advantage of being more customizable than Podia.
Compared to other LMS brands, Podia thought of creative names for their plans. 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. 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
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. Since it’s a plug-in feature, it has limitations compared 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 is not as intuitive as Thinkific, as you cannot drag and drop the features that you need. 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 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.
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. Here are the prices at their standard rate:
- Basic Plan – $199 per month
- Plus Package – $299/month
- Pro Package – $329 per 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. 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. 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 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. 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 is a market leader in marketing due to its ability to scale up among LMS platforms. It specializes in marketing multiple courses to its students via email based on what they purchased before.
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. On the other hand, if you have too much on your plate, you could always leave it to Udemy as they can handle it all for you.
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. 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 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. 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 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.