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.
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.
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 begin with 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. Zapier integrations allows you to connect to multiple apps that can help with 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. 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 per 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 per month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Thinkific vs. Kajabi
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 uses drag-and-drop technology, making it easy for anyone to use.
You can either use Kajabi’s themes to create your website or start 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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 specializes in marketing and selling any owner’s courses 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. 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/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. You can only use one course from the free plan to get an idea of how it works. For comparison purposes, the prices for Thinkific will also be listed here:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39/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. 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’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 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:
- Mover (basic) – $39/month
- Shaker (pro) – $79/month
- Earthquaker – $179 per month
LearnDash vs. Thinkific
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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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 per month
- Plus Package – $299 per month
- Pro Package – $329/month.
Udemy vs. Thinkific
Finally, I’ll compare Thinkific to Udemy, which has become a growing LMS platform for upcoming instructors. Udemy, a course marketplace, offers students a wide range of niche courses. 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 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.
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. These reviews will help other students understand the pros and cons of your course.
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. In that case, Thinkific will be perfect for you because you have complete control over how the email campaigns go. 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.
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. For Thinkific, you have total income from all the students who 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. 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.
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 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.