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.
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 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Here are the prices for each plan:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39/month
- Pro Plan – $79 per month
- Premier plan – $399 per month
Thinkific vs. Kajabi
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.
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. Kajabi designs work best on a desktop and are mobile-friendly.
Customize your site to how you envision it. 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. 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. 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. The only one who utilizes this feature to the maximum is Thinkific.
These discussion boards allow students to share their thoughts with others taking the course. 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. Because they don’t use third-party applications like Thinkific, their email system allows you to customize the messages you send to 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 per month
- Growth plan – $199 per month
- Pro Plan – $399 per month
Thinkific offers a free plan if you are interested in using a course for a longer time. You can only use one course from the free plan to get an idea of 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 per month
Thinkific vs. Podia
Next on the list is Podia. Podia is an LMS site that has similar functions to Thinkific as well. 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.
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.
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.
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 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. 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. The list does not include prices.
- Basic Mover – $39 per month
- Shaker (pro), $79 per 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. 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.
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. 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. 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 per month
Udemy vs. Thinkific
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.
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. The only thing you can do is 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.
In Udemy, you won’t have control over 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. 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. 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.
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.
With these features, you can construct, edit, and control the site with ease by using Thinkific when you start out as an instructor.