Many learning platforms have surfaced online, and it may be a bit difficult to pin down which one is worth your money. 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.
Teachable vs. Thinkific
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.
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. 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 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.
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.
While Teachable has the ‘Coaching’ feature, Thinkific’s counterpart is its community builder for the 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. 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. These plans and prices are available through Teachable:
- Basic plan – $29 per month
- Pro Plan – $99 per month
- Business plan – $249/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/month
- Pro plan – $79/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.
Because Thinkific and Kajabi each have their own website editors, no coding is necessary. 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. Its themes keep it all simplistic yet chic, so your website’s design can look aesthetically pleasing. The functions won’t overcomplicate the lessons for your students.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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 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
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. 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
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.
Podia’s layout is attractive and conveys a fun atmosphere with its color scheme, word choices and 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 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. Podia offers a live chat, which allows students to communicate directly with you. This is a distinct feature from Thinkific’s social media-like community boards.
Podia uses its own email service, which is a distinct difference. 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.
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. The list does not include prices.
- Mover (basic) – $39/month
- Shaker (pro) – $79/month
- Earthquaker – $179/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.
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 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. Here are the prices at their standard rate:
- Basic Plan – $199 per month
- Plus Package – $299 per month
- Pro Package – $329/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, a course marketplace, offers students a wide range of niche courses. There are many other evident differences when you compare the two side by side.
You won’t be able to control your programs like LearnDash. Udemy will own them. 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. 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 places student satisfaction first and offers sales on some courses. 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. 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.
Udemy and Thinkific are quite different in terms of price. Instructors can create a course on Udemy for free, but it follows a revenue share model. You only earn income from the sales of 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 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. 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. 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.