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.
Among these educational site builders, Thinkific provides numerous features that can be compared to others. It is important to determine which features are appropriate for your skill set and which 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 begin with 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. These functions allow you to customize your site and have full control over its features, depending on which plan you choose.
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.
This drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to organize sections of pages. 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.
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 offers a product known as ‘Coaching,’ a system where students can interact with the 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. 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. 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.
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/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 per 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.
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.
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!
Customize your site to how you envision it. 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. Your students won’t be overwhelmed by the functions.
When it comes to live streaming, while they both have it, Kajabi uses a different source called 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 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. 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. 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/month
- Growth plan – $199 per 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. You can only use one course from the free plan to get an idea of how it works. The prices for Thinkific will be stated here again for comparison reasons:
- Free plan
- Basic plan – $39/month
- Pro Plan – $79 per month
- Premier plan – $399/month.
Podia vs. Thinkific
Podia is next on the list. 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.
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.
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.
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 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. 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
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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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. These are the standard rates:
- Basic Plan – $199/month
- Plus Package – $299 per month
- Pro Package – $329/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. 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. Udemy doesn’t allow you to export courses to your own platform. Thinkific allows for course migration to other sites.
Udemy places student satisfaction first and offers sales on some courses. 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 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.
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. 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.
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 interface is simple to use and resembles the social media apps you may be familiar with.
These features allow you to easily create, edit, and manage the site using Thinkific.