Thinkific as an Online Course Platform
Thinkific is always one of the first online course platforms that people would recommend when you’re starting out with course creation.
It has an easy-to-use dashboard that gives you everything you need to get started. Adding to that, there are also pre-made templates already available on the site that you can use to customize your page.
The platform uses a drag-and-drop editor to help you enrich your course with various elements. That way, you can easily organize the layout. No need for prior web design experience.
You can also check how it fares compared to Wix.
As for course enrichment, Thinkific has an online course builder that can upload different file types. Creators can add PDFs, videos, and other files to enrich their courses.
You can even prepare your courses offline before publishing them to your website. And once you’re done, everything is saved via Thinkific’s cloud-based system.
Every Thinkific website is hosted by Thinkific itself as well so technical issues are less likely to happen. Creators will also be able to upload as much course content as they want.
When everything is set up with the courses, you can then start selling them at the Thinkific course marketplace. Users can browse through different modules and digital products, including yours.
READ: Thinkific Pricing
- Easy-to-use drag and drop editor
- Efficient course site builder
- Pre-made templates
- Different payment options
- Sales and marketing features
- Student management options
- Student feedback capabilities
- Adequate customer support
- Lifetime access to the free plan
- No transaction fees or hidden charges
- Limited quizzing features
- Lack of email marketing tools
- No live chat support
7 Best Thinkific Alternatives
As much as we love Thinkific and think that it’s one of the most competent online course platforms available today, it still has a few flaws.
Below are the 7 best Thinkific alternatives that are just as good, if not even much better, choices.
To get started, our number one pick for the best Thinkific alternative would have to be Podia. With this platform, you get to create your online course in just a few steps.
Podia has a user-friendly interface that speeds up course creation. You can upload a variety of file types like Powerpoints, PDFs, and other documents to supplement each module.
And if you want to cater your lessons to visual learners, then you can even upload video lessons, webinars, and video tutorials.
As for customization options, Podia delivers well. You can easily set up your sales page to market your online courses on the platform.
To help with motivating your subscribers, you can also send out freebies and coupons. You can even bundle them together with your courses to entice users to stay enrolled.
Podia also lets course creators integrate an affiliate program to their site. This will help market their courses to wider audiences and gain more subscribers.
All the marketing features mentioned above are what make Podia famous for being a competent online course platform, albeit more focused on sales and marketing tools compared to other course platforms.
Podia users also get good customer support features, as well as digital downloads and messaging right on the site. These benefits greatly improve overall user experience.
Compared to Thinkific, Podia only has two paid plans called Mover and Shaker.
Before you’re required to subscribe to either of these plans, you can enjoy a free trial of Podia’s main features first. These include features like:
- Having your own website
- Online courses
- Digital downloads
- Email marketing
- On-site messaging
- Zero transaction fees
- Round-the-clock customer service
- Has plenty of options to market your courses
- User-friendly interface
- Course player supports multiple file types
- Supports email marketing
- Simple interface for building your course site
- Limited site customization options
- Doesn’t have basic course assessment features
You may have already noticed by now that you can never mention Thinkific without also mentioning Teachable. It’s its closest competitor after all.
Teachable has a simple and easy-to-follow interface for creating online courses. You’ll easily get everything set up with the built-in templates and themes on the platform. You can use them to personalize your page even without web design experience.
Course creation is also easy to master since Teachable gives you plenty of tools and options to explore. You can customize your assessments with the platform’s advanced quiz options. No need to feel restricted with basic templates and layouts!
Going further into its course-making features, you can also host video lessons and webinars on Teachable. It’s perfect for students that have trouble with traditional learning methods like discussions and assigned readings.
Instructors even have the option to award their students with certificates of completion. For every course a student finishes, they can receive a certificate to keep them motivated to study well.
Perhaps Teachable’s biggest edge against Thinkific is its built-in marketing tools though. Teachable lets its users send out messages and emails to a bulk of users. That way, instructors can keep their students updated with content and the latest news on the modules.
Finally, Teachable has great sales and marketing features as well. Once you’ve prepared your course, you can easily put up a sales page for it on the platform. You can even personalize it according to your branding to make it look more memorable to users.
Before you have to subscribe to a paid Teachable plan, you can avail of a free trial first. And once that’s over, Teachable has 3 paid pricing plans that you can choose from.
Pricing starts at $29/month and all plans include the following features:
- Unlimited video
- Unlimited courses
- Unlimited hosting
- Integrated payment processing
- Student management
- Lecture comments
- Basic quizzes
- No fees on free courses
- VAT (value-added tax) for EU
- Easy-to-use interface
- Customizable themes and layouts
- Convenient uploading process
- Built-in sales features
- Analytics tracker
- Email tools
- Efficient customer support
- Delayed payout schedule
- Has transaction fees
- Limited design options
One of the biggest dilemmas of online teachers is keeping their students engaged. You’re lucky if your students adapt well to normal teaching methods like slideshows and traditional lectures.
But for students who don’t cope well with the typical teaching methods, Learnworlds provides a good solution.
Since it’s famous for its interactive courses and videos, visual learners are more likely to stay interested. Course creators can add interactive eBooks and videos to the modules they make.
When we say interactive, we mean that as the student goes through the module, they’ll be expected to interact with it to prove that they’re still paying attention.
Instructors will also be happy to know that there are customizable assessment features. They can choose from different quiz types, as well as include different elements to the layout for better quizzing.
And when the students accomplish their quizzes and requirements, they can receive certificates. Course creators can design certificates for the students to keep them motivated with studying.
Another thing that makes Learnworlds stand out from this list of Thinkific alternatives is its built-in social network. If the users need to communicate, they can do so right on the platform. No need for outside messenger applications or emails.
For Teachable’s marketing features, it has a sales page builder on the platform. With it, you can customize your sales and landing pages to increase the conversion rates of your subscribers.
There are free pre-made templates that you can use for your page. You can even set up a specific color scheme, font, and layout dimension for your entire website. That way, you’ll easily establish your branding.
Creators can also incorporate an affiliate program into their site. It will make it easier to sell online courses since partnering with affiliates increases the reach of advertising.
Other benefits that you can enjoy on Teachable are email marketing tools and social media integration. You can send out bulk emails to potential new students and existing students.
In your emails, you can even send out coupons and special bundles to persuade users to enroll in your course.
You’ll be pleased to know that Learnworlds automatically gives you a free trial upon signup. And when that ends, there are 3 paid pricing plans that you can choose from. All three give you features like:
- Unlimited courses
- Video library
- Multilingual UI
- Theme and course editor
- Built-in templates and layouts
- Coupons and options to bundle
- Built-in social network
- Interactive e-Books and videos
- Quizzes, assignments, exams
- Conversion tracking
- Interactive courses and content
- Built-in social network
- Easy-to-use sales and landing pages builder
- Customizable themes and pre-loaded templates
- E-commerce and email marketing integration
- Pricier payment plans
- No mobile application
- You can’t organize your uploaded content
- Doesn’t support bulk uploading
A list of Thinkific alternatives can never be complete without listing Kajabi. We’ve mentioned this learning management system plenty of times in our reviews.
The best thing about Kajabi is that you can create courses in just a few clicks. The interface is not only user-friendly, but it also has all the tools you need for setting everything up.
The customization options are perfect even for first-time creators. You can choose from an array of pre-made themes and templates for your web page.
Kajabi’s site editor also gives you the option to organize your site into sections and tabs. You can create different sales pages and landing pages for your official website.
And then once your page is set up, you can begin designing your online courses. Kajabi is particularly great for its quiz options since you can personalize your assessments.
Instructors can also choose to set a dripping schedule for their students’ course content. And once the students have finished their required modules, they can even receive certificates of completion.
As for Kajabi’s sales features, it has an effective sales funnel builder. This will help you organize your marketing process better since it’ll detail the steps you plan to take.
Other features are automated emailing tools and email marketing options. No need to sync a third-party application to send out bulk emails to your students. You can do that right on Kajabi.
One catch about Kajabi is that it’s much more expensive compared to Thinkific. It’s definitely a pricier Thinkific alternative. Its most affordable pricing starts at $119/month.
Upon registration, you get a free plan that lasts a month on Kajabi. When that’s over, you can subscribe to any of Kajabi’s 3 paid pricing plans. All of which have features like:
- Creation of at least 3 products
- Creation of at least 3 pipelines
- Unlimited number of landing pages
- Unlimited sending of marketing emails
- Minimum of 10,000 contacts
- Minimum of 1,000 active members
- Ownership of at least 1 Website
- Authorization of at least 1 Admin User
- All-in-one platform
- Built-in themes and customization
- Has an iOS and Android app
- Diverse learning and teaching tools
- Helps market your courses
- Users can have discussions and forums
- 24/7 customer support team and live chat
- Site interface is overwhelming if you’re used to WordPress
- You can only run an affiliate program with the Growth and Pro Plans
- You can’t manage multiple clients on one platform
- Education credit of the courses are vague
If you’re more interested in looking for a plug-in that can work with your site, then Learndash is the way to go. Compared to all the other standalone platforms on this Thinkific alternatives list, it’s a WordPress-compatible plug-in instead.
As a learning management system, it offers all the essential features you’ll need to create and sell online courses. The course builder, specifically, is great at designing online courses without hassle.
You can organize your content into different modules, lessons, and topics for ease of learning. The quiz settings also let you create different assessment types. You can even set automatic grading options to help you out with student progress.
Plus, when the students are done with their assigned tasks, you can reward them with certificates and badges. They’re great ways to keep the learners engaged with the courses.
You can eventually create an online community for all your students and learners on Learndash.
To add to that, instructors can also send out emails to their students by integrating a third-party email application. Students can receive timely updates on new assignments and resources.
Learndash even has its own application that you can install on your smart devices. That way, the students can access the modules and lessons just about anywhere they go.
Finally, it’s simple to keep track of student progress on Learndash because of the analytics it provides. Instructors can even categorize all their students into one main group so that it’s easier to keep track of developments.
There are 3 paid Learndash plans that you can subscribe to. All of them give you:
- unlimited courses
- unlimited users
- course content protection
- drip content options
- customizable course forms
- free in-app integrations
- demo site template
- Unique course elements
- Advanced quizzing options
- Monetization options
- Mass emailing
- Course management tools
- No free trial
- Interface can be intimidating at first
6. Shaw Academy
Shaw Academy is a great Thinkific alternative if you’re more interested in being a learner instead of a course creator. Though the platform has course creation features, it’s more known for its features for students.
You can set your own learning pace when you take online courses with Shaw Academy. This is great news if you have a full-time job or a parent but still want to pursue further learning.
Students can go through the courses at their own pace. They don’t have to rush themselves with learning a tough lesson because they can easily pause and rewind whatever module they’re on.
The deadlines for requirements are also not as strict on Shaw Academy compared to other Thinkific alternative platforms. You can keep learning at your time without any pressure.
You can choose from them, based on your interests, preferences, and overall level of expertise.
First, there are For Hobbyists courses. As you can infer from its name, they’re perfect for those who want to take up a course as a hobby.
It won’t take up too much time since you can set the pace of the course to your own preference. It’s perfect for those who have full-time jobs during the day and plan to study in between breaks or in their free time.
With the For Hobbyists courses, you can also download the resources to your device and view them offline later. You can basically take your lessons anywhere you go.
And then there are two more categories called For Professionals and For Entrepreneurs courses. What makes them different from the For Hobbyist courses is that they’re geared for those who plan to study full-time.
The online classes in those categories are less customizable in terms of pacing. They also have a higher number of modules and resources to go through.
Shaw Academy Pricing
Shaw Academy gives you a free 30-day trial of its features when you register to the platform. And the payment scheme is very different from Thinkific because you pay for each class you take, instead of a subscription.
For each class, pricing starts at $10/month. You pay to get subscribed to the class, and not the Shaw Academy platform, monthly.
And as long as you’re registered to Shaw Academy, you get to enjoy the following features:
- Flexible online classes
- Customizable class schedules and lesson pacing
- Communication channels with instructors
- Option to download resources for offline viewing
- Internationally-recognized courses and curriculum
- Diverse selection of courses and classes
- You can go through a course at your own pace
- Downloadable content for offline viewing
- Free plan for 30 days
- Suitable for those interested in digital marketing
- Payment is made per class you take
- Limited course choices
Another plug-in that is a great alternative to Thinkific is AccessAlly. Like Learndash, it’s also designed for WordPress websites.
But despite it being a mere plug-in, it still has all the same features as a standalone online platform.
The interface is very easy to learn because it has a drag-and-drop builder. You simply have to drag the elements you need to create your own online courses on the platform.
Creators can also access their students’ progress and scores through the AccessAlly dashboard. When students are doing well, there’s even an option to send them certificates as rewards.
Other customization options for the courses include an efficient file uploader to enrich the lessons. Instructors can add videos, PDFs, and PowerPoints to supplement their modules.
After you’re done with content creation, you can then sell courses right on the platform as well. AccessAlly has e-commerce tools that help you market the courses to users on the site.
Creators can even run an affiliate program for their digital products. This will help advertise the courses to other audiences.
Payment options are customizable as well on AccessAlly. Users can choose to do a one-time payment or subscribe to an installment plan.
Upon getting AccessAlly, you’re entitled to a 2-month free plan that lets you access its basic features. After the trial ends, you can avail of any of its 2 paid plans.
AccessAlly’s plans will give you features like:
- 1 site license
- Unlimited courses
- Unlimited members
- Mobile-friendly order forms with Stripe + PayPal, with 1-Click upsells
- Unlimited protected files and tags
- Searchable member directories
- Custom field credit systems for gamification & points
- Affiliate tracking with ledgers, leaderboards, and custom links
- Bulk course licenses with team & group management
- 2 Tune-Up training calls each month
- Easy to install into WordPress
- Simple drag and drop interface
- Free 2-month trial
- Allows e-commerce integration
- Lets you run affiliate marketing
- Functions with WordPress sites only
- Limited customization features
Now that we’ve listed and discussed the best alternatives to Thinkific, we hope that you’ve found a platform that can suit you best.
Our top pick is definitely Podia though. This is since it has a user-friendly interface, marketing features, and other course tools that both learners and instructors can enjoy.
And Podia’s lowest paid plan is also cheaper than Thinkific’s lowest plan. Podia pricing starts at $39/month while Thinkific starts at $49/month.
Teachable is a runner-up for the best Thinkific alternative. What we like about it is that it also has a simple interface like Thinkific. You can create your course in a few clicks with this platform.
And it’s starting plan price is even cheaper than both Podia and Thinkific. With Teachable, the most affordable paid plan is priced at $29/month.
Finally, if it’s a plug-in that you’re searching for, then we recommend Learnworlds. Even though it isn’t a standalone platform, it has all the same features.
Like the Thinkific platform, Learnworlds lets you design your courses with its helpful interface. But that’s not what stands out with it.
Similar to Teachable, its lowest paid plan also starts at $29/month.