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. 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 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.
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.
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.
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. 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. To grab their attention, you can show them your discounts and bundles.
Teachable is the cheaper option of both. These plans and prices are available through Teachable:
- Basic plan – $29/month
- Pro Plan – $99 per 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
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.
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. 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. Your students won’t be overwhelmed by the functions.
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.
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. 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. 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.
Kajabi offers a 14-day trial that allows you to test it before purchasing a plan. If you plan on purchasing a subscription, Kajabi is one of the most costly LMS platforms.
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/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/month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Podia vs. Thinkific
Next on the list is Podia. Podia, an LMS site with similar functions to Thinkific, is next. 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.
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 have simplistic editor styles, and you can upload resources for your students to download and bundle them all up together.
Podia allows you to customize the appearance of your bundle before it is placed on your website 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. Thinkific relies on Zapier to help it. Podia can send students simple email alerts about their drip campaigns and lessons.
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.
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 per 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. 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. 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 isn’t as user-friendly as Thinkific because you can’t simply drag and drop the features you want. 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. 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 may have similar problems to student management software. 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. 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. These are the standard rates:
- 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. 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. 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. 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. It can be difficult for instructors to maintain consistent communication with 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 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. 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.
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.
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 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.