Thinkific Review – Free Course Creation Features

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Thinkific review

When deciding which online course platform to use, you’ll probably receive a long list of suggestions. Thinkific is a worthy standout because of its many helpful features.

There are various criteria to watch out for in an online course platform and Thinkific has them all. Keep reading the Thinkific review below to find more about its unique features and benefits.

Thinkific at a Glance

Thinkific is among the more popular choices for creating and selling online courses. Besides having an easy-to-navigate interface, it also has ready-made templates that you can use for building your brand site.

With just a few clicks, you’ll get to create and sell online courses even without prior experience. The drag and drop mechanism of the site makes it easy to get started.

Online course creators will be especially interested to know about the advanced quiz elements for every course you make. These will make the lessons more enticing to learn by the students.

The online course builder also lets you upload different types of files to enrich your Thinkific course.

And like most online course platforms, Thinkific offers email marketing tools and third-party app integration. You can send out email sequences either through Thinkific itself or via outside apps like MailChimp, Zapier, etc.

Keep reading this Thinkific review to learn more about this popular online course platform.

INTERFACE 95%
COURSE CREATION AND MANAGEMENT 85%
SITE CUSTOMIZATION 90%
SALES AND MARKETING FEATURES 80%
CUSTOMER SUPPORT 80%
PRICE 95%
PROS
  • Easy-to-use drag & 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
CONS
  • Limited quizzing features
  • Lack of email marketing tools
  • No live chat support

 

 

 

Thinkific at a Glance

Thinkific is among the more popular choices for creating and selling online courses. Besides having an easy-to-navigate interface, it also has ready-made templates that you can use for building your brand site.

With just a few clicks, you’ll get to create and sell online courses even without prior experience. The drag and drop mechanism of the site makes it easy to get started.

Online course creators will be especially interested to know about the advanced quiz elements for every course you make. These will make the lessons more enticing to learn by the students.

The online course builder also lets you upload different types of files to enrich your Thinkific course.

And like most online course platforms, Thinkific offers email marketing tools and third-party app integration. You can send out email sequences either through Thinkific itself or via outside apps like MailChimp, Zapier, etc.

Keep reading this Thinkific review to learn more about this popular online course platform.

INTERFACE 95%
COURSE CREATION 85%
SITE CUSTOMIZATION 90%
MARKETING FEATURES 80%
CUSTOMER SUPPORT 80%
PRICE 95%
PROS
  • Easy-to-use drag & 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
CONS
  • Limited quizzing features
  • Lack of email marketing tools
  • No live chat support
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

What is Thinkific?

What is Thinkific

Thinkific is a cloud-based online course platform. This means that everything you create on it is automatically backed up online. It makes course creation more efficient and convenient.

Plus, as a Learning Management System (LMS), it provides many custom options for course creators. You can easily create a course and then upload different materials to supplement your lessons.

If you’re one of those course creators who prefer to draft your course offline before uploading it, then Thinkific is just right for you. You can do just that and then upload the course online later on.

Thinkific also hosts all the web pages that you create on it so can basically upload as much content as you want.

You can create a brand new online course site even without site design knowledge as well. You won’t have to go through an excruciating learning curve with Thinkific, that’s for sure.

There are also plenty of marketing and distribution options that will speed up the selling process of your Thinkific course. There is an online marketplace community where you can sell courses on and interact with other course creators.

Finally, Thinkific is also a good platform for those who already have their own site but just want to enhance their marketing and gain more students. You can link third-party sites to Thinkific to reach a wider audience.

Features and Benefits of Thinkific

Features & Benefits Thinkific

In this Thinkific review, we break down the most important features and benefits that make Thinkific stand out.

Drag and Drop Editor

Thinkific Review Drag and Drop Editor

The way that your courses look on your site will greatly affect conversion rates. That’s why we love that Thinkific has a drag and drop editor. It makes it easier to organize your website and digital products.

You can rearrange the courses and lessons however way you want. No need for any complicated codes or techniques. You just have to click on whatever element you want and then drag it to where you want it to appear.

Almost all of the important elements needed to make your site look more professional is covered by Thinkific’s editor. From the logos, color schemes, and fonts, you’ll find everything you need on the platform.

But if you do want to go the extra mile and personalize your site better, there’s still the option to input CSS and HTML codes into Thinkific. It’s up to you to decide.

Plus, you can also use the drag and drop feature for uploading supplemental materials to your lessons. Almost every kind of media file is supported by the editor’s uploader. You can include audio files, quizzes, and PDFs to enrich your course.

Even the quiz types that you create can easily be altered using the editor. Just choose which assessment type you want to be under your course and then drag it there. You can choose from surveys, type forms, and multiple-choice types, among many others.

Course Site Builder

THINKIFIC REVIEW Course Site Builder

Thinkific is much more than just its drag and drop editor. Its overall course site builder is effective for getting everything all set up and ready.

As mentioned, Thinkific does its own web hosting. This means that you won’t have to worry about uploading limitations. Your online storage is basically unlimited when you use Thinkific.

If you’re thinking about domains, Thinkific allows you to choose a unique URL that you can use with its subdomain. Your URL will look like this: <sitename>.thinkific.com

That way, your website is more memorable and easier for students to recall.

And if you want to forego the Thinkific subdomain, there’s also an option to register a unique standalone domain for your site. You’ll just have to pay a little bit more for it.

Pre-Made Templates

Thinkific Review Pre-made templates

In relation to the course site builder, Thinkific has a slew of pre-made layout and course templates that you can use. It saves you from having to design your website totally from scratch.

The platform provides you with template choices, depending on what type of Thinkific course it is that you’re creating. For example, if you’re making an introduction course, you can choose a mini course-type template. For assessments and culmination, you can choose a review-type template.

As for layout and theme templates, there are also a bunch that you can choose from. And once you’ve chosen something that fits your course, Thinkific offers settings to customize the fonts, colors, and layout of the elements in the template.

Again, there is absolutely no need for you to input complicated codes or text. You simply have to click on what you want to include on your site and drag it to the layout.

But yes, if you still want to use HTML and CSS, there’s still an option to do so.

You can also rearrange and reorganize the elements of your site from time to time. The different sections can be placed chronologically so that your students know which lesson to prioritize.

Payment Options

Thinkific Review - Free Course Creation Features

As for payment, Thinkific offers options to integrate Stripe and PayPal to your site. With these third-party payment processors, you can easily access your earnings in as soon as 1 – 2 days.

This is a sharp contrast to other online course platforms that have a payout schedule of 30-day intervals. With Thinkific, you can cash out more easily.

And for your students, they can choose from a one-time payment scheme or an installment subscription plan. And you can offer bundles, discounts, and coupons along with whichever payment option they choose.

Just note that for the one-time payment scheme, your subscribers will pay a one-time transaction fee as well.

The same goes for the installment subscription plan, only that the transaction fees will be broken down across the installment period.

Sales and Marketing Features

Sales and Marketing Features

More than being just an online course creation tool, Thinkific is also effective at marketing online courses. As already mentioned, it has features that help you create and sell courses with just a few clicks.

Once you publish your course, you can immediately put it up for sale by using the Market and Sell option on your dashboard.

From there, you can customize your website to optimize the conversion rates of your customers.

You can improve how your checkout and sign up pages will look like to the users. That way, they’ll be more encouraged to check out an online course.

You can also enhance how your courses are displayed on your site. Make them look more interesting by filtering them into categories that the users can easily explore.

Thinkific Review Payment Options 2

And as we discussed earlier, you can opt to bundle your courses with discount coupons and freebies. That way, your users will be motivated to subscribe longer to your course.

A sales widget can also be created through Thinkific. It’s basically a button that you can embed to other third-party sites that will link straight to your course platform.

You can personalize them to have a specific color scheme and logo so that they look more on-brand too.

Thinkific also allows you to run an affiliate program to help you reach more audiences.

Right on the site, you can create affiliate links that you’ll forward to your affiliate partners. These are what they’ll use to lead their audience to your platform and enroll in a course.

And once the affiliate program is running, you can access its progress right on the Thinkific site. You’ll get to monitor sales, revenue, and other commissions.

Finally, you can choose to integrate other applications to Thinkific. If you’re looking into email marketing campaigns, then Aweber is a good tool that you can sync with your account.

Student Management

Thinkific Review Student Management 1

A learning management system will not be effective if it doesn’t cover all aspects of online teaching. And that includes keeping track of student progress.

Thinkific has a convenient student management system. With it, you can easily pull up your students’ contact details and basic information.

You can also personalize the sign-up sheet for your subscribers to ask for specific information.

Thinkific’s template asks for names, email addresses, and contact numbers. If you’re looking for more particular details, just toggle with your settings and add an extra field to the sign-up sheet.

Thinkific Review Student Management 2

Once you have your subscribers pooled, you can then categorize them, depending on which courses they signed up to. That way, you can monitor them per course much easier.

And with the Pro and Premier plans, you can also search for a specific user based on his/her enrollment date, subscribed courses, and job-type. There are even more categories to choose from when you explore the page.

Student Feedback

Thinkific Review Student Feedback

Thinkific prioritizes not just the course creators but also the students. That’s why student feedback is highly encouraged when you’re enrolled in a course.

An open discussion between the students and their instructors will greatly decrease the learning curve with the lessons.

There is a discussion section on Thinkific wherein students can post questions that they have about their online courses. From there, the course instructors can reply and clarify with answers.

Students also have the option to rate and review the courses they’ve taken. The rating will include the performance of the online course instructor as well. This way, course instructors can establish their credibility on Thinkific.

The reviews will also help other students decide whether or not a course would be right for them. It decreases the chances of a student dropping out in the middle of a lesson all of a sudden.

And if course creators are worried that the reviews could potentially affect them negatively, they don’t have to. They’re the ones who’ll get to decide if they want a review published or not. Thinkific will never publish them without permission.

Finally, a good way to keep students motivated is to send them constant updates. Thinkific lets course instructors send push notifications to their students when they post new lessons or resources on the platform.

Customer Support

Thinkific Review Customer Support

Finally, as is expected from learning management systems, Thinkific does quite a good job with customer support.

Before you even sign up, you can access case studies and article guides on the official website. There are also readily available product demos and video tutorials that you can go through.

And once you’re already subscribed, you can access Thinkific’s Help Center. There, you’ll find resources that will help you get started on how to sell online courses.

Thinkific has guide articles and training videos that will help you navigate the interface. Plus, as mentioned, there are user discussions wherein you can voice out your concerns. Instructors and other users can respond to help you out.

For more serious issues, you can place a ticket to ask for help from the service team. And if you’re subscribed to the Business plan or higher, you get priority responses.

One catch is that Thinkific doesn’t have a live chat feature though. You just have to wait patiently for the ticket response.

How Thinkific Works

As with any other course platform review, this Thinkific review will show you how to get started with Thinkific. You just have to follow these six simple steps.

Step 1: Create an Account

Thinkific Review Step 1 Create An Account

The first step is to sign up and create your Thinkific account. You’ll be automatically subscribed to the free trial upon registration.

Step 2: Customize Your Course Player

Thinkific Review Step 2 Customize 1

Once you have your account, you can begin customizing your course player. You can use a specific color scheme so that it matches your brand logo and themes.

Thinkific Review Step 2 Customize 2

Your course player is what your subscribers will use to access your course content. Videos, audio files, and quizzes will all be accessible via the course player.

Step 3: Build Your Course

Thinkific Review Step 3 Build Your Course1

Next, you can create your online course. Using the Course Builder tool, you can set up a new course by adding modules, lessons, and other files to it.

Thinkific Review Step 3 Build your course 2

The course content can be divided into sections and categories. You can also give your online courses customized labels to make them easier to search.

Step 4: Customize Your Site

Thinkific Review Step 4 Customize

Once your content is all set, you can finalize the overall look of your website. With Thinkific, you have the option to customize each landing page for each course that you have.

The Thinkific Site Builder lets you set a color scheme and theme for our home page. This is where all of your courses will be put up.

Students will be able to go through it and choose which one interests them from there.

You can also personalize the landing pages for each course. It’s best to set a slightly different look for each course so that they’re easy to differentiate but still fit in with your overall branding.

Step 5: Name Your Website

Thinkific Review Step 5 Name Your Site

What you have to do once the content, course player, and customization are done is to name your site. Make sure that the name is memorable but still the right fit for your brand.

Step 6: Publish Your Course

Thinkific Review Step 6 Publish

And lastly, when everything is all set, you can publish the course. To publish, you just have to set a price and specific payment details.

Something called a course card will have to be created. The course card will be what appears on your students’ dashboards. When they see it, they’ll be able to see quick details about your online course and content.

A good course card will be a great help for selling courses on Thinkific.

What Needs Improvement on Thinkific

Kajabi Review_What Needs Improvement

And while there’s so much to love about Thinkific, it isn’t without a few flaws. In this Thinkific review, we’ve listed below what we think can still be improved.

Limited Quizzing Features

Limited Quizzing Features

While we think that Thinkific does a good job at course creation and content uploading, we think that the quiz features can still be improved.

The assessment template on Thinkific is very basic. Though it’s enough to get a general grasp of how much your pupils know, it isn’t enough for asking more complex questions.

But if you’re satisfied with short check-up style quizzes at the end of every course, then that’s what Thinkific can offer you. For questions that require longer and more specific outputs, you might want to try another platform.

Lack of Email Marketing Tools

Lack of Email Marketing Tools

As mentioned, Thinkific can be integrated with third-party applications and these include email marketing tools. But that’s only because it doesn’t have email marketing tools of its own.

Though there are many third-party tools that are efficient, it still would be nice if Thinkific already had it on its own. It would’ve sped up the process.

No Live Chat Support

No Live Chat Support

And even though we think that the customer service response is quick, it still doesn’t make up for the fact that there is no live chat feature.

Users with more urgent issues won’t be able to get them resolved quickly. They’ll have to just wait for the ticket response, especially if they aren’t subscribed to the paid plans.

Thinkific Pricing

Thinkific has three paid plans that you can subscribe to. And upon signing up, you’ll first be able to access a free plan without any transaction fees or hidden charges.

FTK-Pricing Plans_THINKIFIC

Thinkific Free

Thinkific Free

Thinkific’s free plan is unique because unlike that of competitors, it doesn’t expire. You can avail of the free plan for as long as you want to keep using Thinkific.

Apart from being absolutely free, it also doesn’t have any hidden charges or transaction fees, even when you sell courses. It’s perfect for course creators who want to cut down on costs or small business owners that are just starting out.

With the Thinkific free plan, you can create 3 courses and customize them with your own branding. You can enrich your courses with quizzes and other resources as well.

You can enroll an unlimited number of students, automate their signup process, and then also track their progress.

Surveys can also be distributed to them so that you can gauge how they feel about the courses they’re taking.

Thinkific’s free plan also allows 1 authorized site administrator, multiple instructor profiles, and 24/7 access to students’ data. You can even track conversion rates and click rates of your learners.

Finally, the free plan also allows for search engine optimization for your content. That way, your courses will be easier to find by customers. You can even embed third-party applications and websites to your own site to enhance user experience.

For a more detailed breakdown of the pricing plans, check out our article on Thinkific Pricing.

Thinkific Basic

Thinkific Basic

Thinkific Basic costs $49 per month but when you opt to pay annually, it’ll only cost $39 per month.

With it, you get all the same features that the free plan offers, as well as added premium benefits. First, you can make unlimited courses. That way, selling courses will also be easier.

One more thing that you wouldn’t get with the free plan is the ability to drip your content, send out coupons, and accessing analytics.

To break that down, first, to drip content means to release data to your students at a set and gradual intervals. Second, you can send out coupons for discounts and other freebies to learners that might need extra motivation to stay subscribed. And third, the analytics you can access are affiliate reporting and marketing conversion rates.

And with this plan, you can easily integrate the third-party tools that you want to use. These include Zapier, Aweber, and MailChimp, among others.

Finally, you can also create a custom domain for your website with the basic plan. No need to use the Thinkific domain for your URL anymore.

Thinkific Pro

Thinkific Pro

Thinkific Pro costs $99 per month but if you get billed annually, it’s only $79 per month.

With this plan, you get all the same features as you would with the Free and Basic plans. The only difference is that there are more advanced settings and benefits.

Thinkific’s Pro plan will let you have 2 site administrators and 5 course admin accounts. There will also be advanced course pricing options and HTML/CSS code editing.

You’ll be able to create private courses that only a specific number of users can access as well. Plus, you can offer membership bundles and freebies to your subscribers.

Course creators can also access the more advanced quiz, assignment, and assessment features.

Growth Package

Thinkific Growth

And with the Pro plan, there’s something called a Growth Package that you can avail of. The thing about it is that once you get more than 100 users subscribed to you, Thinkific will automatically charge you an extra fee on top of the $99 per month.

But don’t fret because the fee entitles you to extra features. You can send out bulk emails, integrate third-party tools, and group your users according to different criteria.

Thinkific Premier

Thinkific Premier

Thinkific Premier is the most expensive plan. It costs $499 per month but when billed annually, it costs $399 per month.

When subscribed to this plan, you’ll access all the same features as the Free, Basic, and Pro plans. What gives it its edge and higher price point is that it’s geared towards bigger companies with more members.

The Thinkific Premier plan lets you have 5 site admin and 50 course admin accounts. You can also have something called a Single Sign-On (SSO). This is helpful when you have a huge bulk of subscribers that will have to access the same page.

Also, this plan includes an onboarding package which is a 30-minute onboarding call, as well as a launch preparedness review and online training guide.

And you’ll also get access to the Growth package for a much lower fee. There will be a flat rate that you just have to pay.

Thinkific Reviews

Thinkfic Reviews

People who’ve used and reviewed Thinkific particularly love how cost-efficient it is. Even when using the free plan, you get access to helpful features.

And there are no hidden charges so you won’t end up spending more than you planned to.

And other users also loved the white-labeling feature of Thinkific. It lets you enhance your own company’s branding, even if it’s just a small business.

Finally, many educators love using Thinkific because it’s perfect for learners. The interface is easy to navigate and explore.

“I liked that this had a place to upload documents in the discussions. Then I’m glad I choose this one because others take a % of income AND you have to wait longer for money. No transaction fees!” -Anonymous

“I liked that you could design the access portal, the courses, and the payment methods all in 1 interface without any needs for additional products. I particularly enjoy how easy it is to set the courses up if you have your curriculum designed and it has white-labeling.” – Anonymous

“Thinkific will let you start producing courses for free and keep them free forever. Really, this is a great way to learn course development without spending a dime.” -Anonymous

“Thinkific made it easy to create & host our digital course for financial advisors. Thinkific’s support team was always quick to reply and help us learn the ropes. And I love that you can do white-labeling and use a custom domain.” – Anonymous

“Classes were more fun, entertaining, and easy especially for our older learners. Teachers loved using it to create their classes and share their content.” -Anonymous

Alternatives to Thinkific

Alternatives to Thinkific

If this Thinkific review still hasn’t convinced you of its capabilities as an online course platform, then check out these two alternatives:

Kajabi

FTK_KAJABI

Kajabi is one of the first online course platforms that will probably be recommended to you when you start asking around. It’s an all-in-one platform that lets you create and market your online courses. Thinkific is similar to Kajabi in that way.

When you subscribe to Kajabi, you’ll be able to easily create a course and add content.

The platform offers built-in templates and themes that you can use to customize your site from the get-go. The site editor lets you add multiple sections and sales pages to your courses.

As for quiz features, it has an edge against Thinkific because it has more advanced settings. You can make more personalized quizzes and assessment types. Plus, you can conduct webinars and video tutorials for better clarity in teaching.

Many educators particularly love that they can reward their pupils with certificates for every accomplished course. And they can also choose to drip content to their subscribers, just like Thinkific.

But another difference that Kajabi has from Thinkific is that it has better marketing features. Though Thinkific does let you easily sell your online courses, it doesn’t let you make a sales funnel builder which could make your process more organized.

Kajabi also has email marketing tools and email automation, unlike Thinkific. You won’t have to integrate a third-party application to send out email sequences and broadcasts to your subscribers.

You do have to note though that Kajabi is much pricier than Thinkific.

READ: Kajabi Review – All-in-One Online Course Platform

Teachable

FTK_TEACHABLE

Next to Kajabi, Teachable is Thinkific’s other closest competitor. It’s because they have plenty of similarities as online course platforms.

Teachable’s interface is also easy-to-use and has helpful features that will help you get started with creating your content. There are pre-made theme templates that you can use to make your site look nice even without prior web design experience.

Also, like Thinkific, instructors can choose to drip the content that they release to their subscribers.

But what sets Teachable apart from Thinkific is its quiz options. Instead of just basic templates, Teachable lets you customize your quizzes and assessments.

And like Kajabi, you can host webinars and videos to encourage engagement with your subscribers. There’s also an option to add a sales page for your online course for better conversion rates.

One last thing that we love about Teachable is that you can also give your subscribers certificates for every course they finish. And unlike Thinkific, Teachable has email marketing tools that you can use to send out bulk emails to our users.

READ: Teachable Review – Unlimited Course Creation Features

READ: Teachable vs. Thinkific, Kajabi vs. Teachable

Final Verdict on Thinkific Review

Final Verdict

Thinkific has plenty of strengths that make it worth a subscription. For one, it’s extremely easy to use. You can create a unique online course and then sell it, even if you’re a first-timer.

It also comes with pre-made templates and layouts to make it easier to set up your website. You don’t have to input complicated CSS or HTML codes to get a professional-looking site.

And if you opt for one of the paid plans, you get access to advanced features that will enhance your branding.

You can forego the Thinkific subdomain. Advanced users can set up their own domain names and build out most of the pages of their website on their own URL.

You can even integrate third-party applications to Thinkific, especially since it doesn’t have its own built-in email marketing tools.

Students can also interact with their instructors via online discussion on Thinkific. They can conveniently ask for help with lessons and post queries on their modules. In turn, the teachers will be able to answer them directly.

Customer support isn’t too bad either. You get prioritized for responses when you’re subscribed to the other paid plans. But just remember that it has no live chat feature.

Overall though, our verdict for this Thinkific review is that it’s worth a shot. Especially if you’re a novice course creator, Thinkific seems to be a good starting point for learning how to create courses.

The free plan also lasts forever, unlike other platforms. If you’re tight on money, then it’s a good choice since you can access great features at no cost at all.

We highly recommend that you try Thinkific out.

If you enjoyed this Thinkific review, you can also read through our review on the Best Online Course Platforms available today here.

FTK_THINKIFIC

About the author

jack_morris

Jack Morris

Jack has worked on the video production, audio mastery, and physical coursework for over one-hundred popular online courses to date. He’s here to share his experiences with you, as well as show you what tools are worth your time, how to spot those that aren’t worth a penny, and above all else, how to keep yourself informed about how to navigate online course creation efficiently and effectively.