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.
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 to Thinkific, where you have complete control over how the site looks, managing the curriculum, and pricing for your courses.
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)
The UI of both sites lets you easily drag and drop the tasks you want to happen throughout the course. Editing pages make it easy to navigate through the setup. It doesn’t require any advanced knowledge in coding. 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. 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.
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 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.
It is similar to a social networking site, where you can comment and post about different topics. 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. 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.
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. These plans and prices are available through Teachable:
- Basic plan – $29 per month
- Pro plan – $99/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/month
- Pro plan – $79/month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Thinkific vs. Kajabi
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.
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!
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. Your students won’t be overwhelmed by the functions.
While they both have live streaming, Kajabi uses 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.
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. 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. Kajabi can be considered one of the most expensive LMS platforms, though, if you plan to buy its subscription.
It is charged annually and the prices are listed below 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. 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/month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Thinkific vs. Podia
Podia is next on the list. Podia, an LMS site with similar functions to Thinkific, is next. 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.
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.
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.
With Zapier, you have other email accounts attached to your account rather than have a personal email for that site. Thinkific has the advantage of being more customizable than Podia.
Podia came up with creative names for their plans, which is a departure from other LMS brands. 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:
- Basic Mover – $39 per month
- Shaker (pro), $79 per 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.
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. If you don’t have any programming experience, it might be necessary to hire an expert developer.
Both LMS platforms allow you to manage your students and track 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 offers a setting that allows you to freely communicate with your students and allow them to discuss each other on the community boards. 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 may have similar problems to student management software. 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. 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
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.
Udemy is not as user-friendly as Thinkific. You can’t delete courses that you have 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 prioritizes student satisfaction as they offer sales on their courses every now and then. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
With these features, you can construct, edit, and control the site with ease by using Thinkific when you start out as an instructor.