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.
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.
Teachable vs. Thinkific
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.
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)
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. You don’t need any advanced knowledge of coding for it. Thinkific has its own editor, while Teachable utilizes HTML and CSS coding to build your site.
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. 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. You can also answer questions live, thanks to Zoom, Youtube and other live streaming websites.
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.
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.
Your students and other interested parties will be able to receive information via email about your courses. You can showcase your bundles and discounts to catch their attention.
Teachable is the cheaper option of both. It provides the following plans and prices:
- Basic plan – $29/month
- Pro Plan – $99 per month
- Business plan – $249 per 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 per month
- Pro Plan – $79 per month
- Premier plan – $399 per 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 follows the drag and drop mechanic, which makes anyone’s job easier.
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. Designs under Kajabi work best with a desktop, and it’s mobile-friendly as well!
Your site can be customized to reflect your vision. 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. The functions won’t overcomplicate the lessons for your students.
While they both have live streaming, Kajabi uses Wistia. Wistia, a leading video hosting company that specializes in business, is the best. The video streaming is limited only to the Pro plan, which is the most expensive plan on the list.
Every student wants to be engaged in lessons and to have the opportunity to communicate with their teachers via the 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. You can also join the discussion as an administrator/instructor and provide information to students in comments or posts.
Kajabi specializes in marketing and selling any owner’s courses 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. 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/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. 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 per month
Thinkific vs. Podia
Podia is next on the list. 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.
Podia’s layout is attractive and conveys a fun atmosphere with its color scheme, word choices and 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.
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 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’.
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. There are fewer features you can do to edit 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. You might need to ask an expert developer to handle it if you don’t have coding experience.
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.
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. Here are the prices at their standard rate:
- Basic Plan – $199 per month
- Plus Package – $299 per month
- Pro Package – $329 per month
Udemy vs. Thinkific
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. 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. Udemy is a platform that allows you to customize your course almost completely.
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 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.
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 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. 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. 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 is great for people who are beginners in building their own education 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. 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 UI is easy on the eyes and gives a familiar feel to the social media applications you might be used to seeing around.
These features allow you to easily create, edit, and manage the site using Thinkific.