Many learning platforms have surfaced online, and it may be a bit difficult to pin down which one is worth your money. 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 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.
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)
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. It doesn’t require any advanced knowledge in coding. Teachable uses HTML and CSS coding for building your website while Thinkific has its own page editor.
This drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to organize sections of pages. 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.
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. 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. You can be an administrator and facilitate discussions. Students can also take notes on how the topic is explained.
Zapier integrations can be used on both platforms depending on which plan you choose. 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 the cheaper option of both. 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 per month
- Pro plan – $79/month
- Premier plan – $399/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.
No coding is required because Thinkific and Kajabi both use their own site editor. 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. 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. 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. Only the Pro plan offers video streaming, which is the most costly plan.
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.
Students can discuss with other people taking the course in these discussion boards to clarify or expand any comments they may have. 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. Use their email marketing campaign tools and advertise your products to potential customers. 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. 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
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 per month
Podia vs. Thinkific
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. The site editor is a reflection of this charm and simplifies functions such as Thinkific.
You can host your domain quickly if you buy Thinkific’s basic plan or Podia. You can have your own domain name and host webinars 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 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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. 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 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.
Third-party apps will assist you in creating coupons and course bundles for your website. 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/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 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.
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 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.
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 specializes in marketing multiple courses to its students via email based on what they purchased before.
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. Udemy can take care of everything if you’re overwhelmed.
Thinkific and Udemy are very different in terms of pricing. Instructors can create a course on Udemy for free, but it follows a revenue share model. 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 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. 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. 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.