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.
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. These functions allow you to customize your site and have full control over its features, depending on which plan you choose.
User Interface (UI)
The UI of both sites lets you easily drag and drop the tasks you want to happen 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.
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.
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.
Its setup is similar to a social media site where you can post and comment about various topics related to the course. 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. 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.
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. It provides the following plans and prices:
- Basic plan – $29 per 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 per month
- Pro plan – $79/month
- Premier plan – $399 per 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. 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. Kajabi designs work best on a desktop and are mobile-friendly.
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.
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.
Students can discuss with other people taking the course in these discussion boards to clarify or expand any comments they may have. You can also join the discussion as an administrator/instructor and provide information to students in comments or posts.
Kajabi specializes in marketing and selling any owner’s courses 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. Kajabi can be considered one of the most expensive LMS platforms, though, if you plan to buy its subscription.
It is billed annually, and listed below are the standard prices for each plan:
- 14-day free trial
- Basic plan – $149/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. 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 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. 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.
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.
Drip content can be seen in both their editor settings so students can unlock more content as they progress through the lesson. Both editors are simple and allow you to upload resources that your students can download and combine.
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.
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. 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/month.
LearnDash vs. Thinkific
A massive difference between Thinkific and LearnDash is that the former is its own builder site while the latter is a plug-in for WordPress. If you want to control your website completely, Thinkific is the best option. LearnDash works best if you have 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. 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. 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/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. 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.
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. 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.
Udemy doesn’t allow you to control the student list. As an instructor, you might see it as challenging to find a way to have consistent communication with your 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 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.