Intro Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
If You’re currently promoting Or thinking about selling online courses, you do not have to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific reviews out there. The main difference that this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
- Over 20 years expertise in the e-learning Business, with a specific focus on businesses that sell schooling (as opposed to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their learners to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and implementing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development firm.)
- More than a decade of experience monitoring and researching online class platforms and assisting individuals and organizations pick the Ideal platform for selling courses
I’ve been Tracking Thinkific and other providers that have emerged in the past several decades as a new type of course platforms. These are programs which LMSes, or are much more user-friendly and less expensive than traditional learning management methods. They are a true blessing for solo edupreneurs and tiny companies that are looking to get into the online course business. As time passes, I believe they also have potential to interrupt the learning management system marketplace that is traditional.
So, having said That, let us begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere supplies an attractive, user friendly for the students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Site Builder capabilities Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
Using Site Builder — that is simply a part of the admin board for the stage — you now have the capacity to set up an attractive home page for your course website and make as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give information about you and your other services). Despite the fact that you do not have complete control — you can not, for example, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get really good capabilities for modifying branding components like colors and font styles and you can upload just about any kind of pictures or media you would want to use.
Site Builder Comes with three topics to select from, and there are variations for each one of these themes. (The company says more themes are a part of their upcoming development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” that you are able to insert and change on any webpage to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all of the essential tools you require for conducting a successful path or membership website. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section that can be used to create pretty much whatever you want.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took a while to figure out the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the topics provide a home page pre-populated with sections) and include custom pages to the site menu. But support was readily available for these. Thinkific has a solid support site on which you are able to search for help, but I tend to just use a Google search along with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find good support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some additional Features to note:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid program (starting at $49 a month for Fundamental ) you can get a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any plan you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White labeling (under Settings > Website )– By leaping up to a Pro Plan ($99 per month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can easily get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and various different areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other regions. By way of example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the label for parts of a program. You might prefer to change this to”Lessons” Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
Thus, you may be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs Who are only starting off and do not have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a great way to take a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get a decent Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launching your courses. It is possible to worry about a more sophisticated Web site later.
If you already Have a Web site, though — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I wouldn’t recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) to your primary Internet website. Site Builder is great for what it does — and may create a fantastic course website to match your main site — but finally it is relatively limited. A few of the key current constraints include:
- All motifs are pillar. Therefore, for example, you can’t put e-mail signup types, promotions for class, or other things down the left or right side of your website.
- As noted, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limitation in the event that you really want to reflect the branding of an present Web website.
- There’s absolutely no control over search engine optimization settings on Web pages — e.g., you can not define the name tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do this on track landing pages, which is possibly more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins and the broad network of experienced contractors that are available to support platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of these Limitations, Website Builder is likely to do the job well for many edupreneurs and is a bit better than what many online course platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want an attractive, user-friendly website to house your classes, the classes themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates which can be quite beneficial to track builders looking for assistance with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to think about for supplying an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your course to match your particular curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to generate leads for a complete flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a complete online class using a strong curriculum outline created with best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to gauge interest in your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to generate earnings or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership package for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to review your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content in the sections which are supplied, delete segments, or add new segments to reach the strategy that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course construction hints” to assist you. (I found these helpful, but they can be easily switched off, if you prefer.) Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
If you have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your way up it, and you’ll reap the benefits.
And You’re Already comfortable with other Web content systems — like, for instance, WordPress or another course platform — I think you will find operating in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall Of putting together a class at Thinkific makes complete sense. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and saving it, you include”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to produce the structure of the course. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way. There are 11 options:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets stored in a video library for re-use in other classes. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who isn’t a registered user of your website.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for your students. (More info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia lessons — This is a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the link to some live Zoom session, for example)
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate files (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder option discussed above.
- Survey lessons — Gather information/feedback from the students by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes.
- Disqus lessons — Insert Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there’s also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific which you may turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads — Include resources.
- Demo classes — synchronize a presentation as record sound and a PDF document for each slide.
- Lessons — Include a Brillium examination in your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will get the work completed for all but the most complex edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to move down different paths based on their performances from the course or data you collect about them — and
- Like learning games Adding elements.
If those are Options you truly need, you would be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to create courses, but some may prefer the option of creating their classes with third-party e-learning course creation software such as Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third-party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) currently have a substantial number of courses built out in these applications (in which you case you probably do not need to have to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalog of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your classes locked into a particular shipping platform.
You can use these Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — however there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like all other platforms in its class) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a whole lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it data like how long a learner has spent in a program, or if specific areas of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of information with its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate route into Thinkific all on your own. These classes comprise of over one file (such as, for instance, a video file), so to get them inside the platform, you have to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course construction platform typically offers you the features you need from start to finish. Including also the teacher/student management, the marketing, the promotion, and the training course construction.
Systems like Thinkific don’t host classes . Your articles is actually hosted with Thinkific (so you don’t have to go out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you complete control over what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific surely provides more freedom and control. Let’s explore some of the other standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, together with pictures of your pupils, titles, contact information, and details for how far they are in your program.
You’ve got the Choice to send customized emails to each of the students or create a dialogue with the community. Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
Incentives are Also a part of the learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and throughout classes, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
In addition to Unlimited replays of speech controls, course content, and optimisation, students working with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of the Reason Thinkific looks so great compared to the rivalry is that of its class designer. You don’t need to mess with any code if you don’t need to.
In fact, all of Your content is organized using a drag and drop editor, where you stack the class content and move it about .
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of almost all media types. From PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a wide range of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Every one of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you should not have to worry much about a file running slowly in your servers that are shared or being too large.
When you personalize Your course site it offers some editing tools for the novices out there. As an example, you can adjust items like color schemes banners, and logos, all without touching any code.
However, the further Advanced developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you want to make your site unique, the option is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way unless people understand that your course exists to start making money.
Thinkific does It the ideal way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the program. Much of this is automated. Consequently, if you’d like to trickle content to your students–where courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this functionality. Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails based on a schedule. Pricing can be also done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to get paid instantly when somebody signs up on your program.
As for becoming It is tried by people outside of your site to come out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and men and women who advocate your program. Coupons can also be supplied through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity to create ads with specials and convince newcomers that your course is worth investing in.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked directly in the dashboard, and you could join Facebook, your Adwords, and other social accounts to see where students are coming out of.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to deliver your courses, one of the important reasons for using a technical online class platform is that it creates tracking and handling your users and their data much more easy.
Communicating with Learners
In addition to Helping you arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways for you and your learners to communicate and also for them to give comments. Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
As previously noted, For example, you can enable discussion to your courses and manage your pupils gifts under Service Your Students Discussions, where you can sort talks by course, respond to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t wish to show up in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is now an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all classes have no or it courses have it. The workaround for this is to utilize the Disqus option on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student to submit testimonials for your courses. You then have the capability to approve these testimonials (they are not printed automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your sales page to your course. Unlike discussions, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are A number of notifications that can be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You can send a customized message when they enroll for your site to pupils, register in a particular course, or complete a course. It is also possible to send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom log-in fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever special information you want from the users. (Note that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you receive complete access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into classes. This feature can have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to sell courses in bulk among the greatest ways for course sellers to drive significant revenue development .
You, classes Can easily organize your students by cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or business, or other factors, making it feasible also to enhance your marketing going and to track the efficacy of your own offerings with every group. (Note: use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru program license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a technical course platform — as opposed to posting articles behind a password on a Web site — is it will track quiz and survey information in addition to things like conclusion and path progress.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a specific student and monitor numerous factors for every class in which the pupil is enrolled. For each class you will see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed at (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I like this you If you are adding new lessons May choose to reset a student’s completion percentage for example, at any time.
Overall, the Course reporting is rather simple, but I suspect it’ll serve the demands of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV file (instead of displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document includes the responses from all students when they took it, and who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, along with their name. For quizzes, it provides the number and percent of questions the student got correct.
Overall, reporting For both quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the regions in which the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much of the all of the platforms in this category of platforms. Over time, it might be possible to access course conclusion and quiz/survey data via a single Web interface. Even better, it might be good to be able to see a student transcript that shows hours associated with a program, any credit earned (not currently captured at all in Thinkific), along with a URL to download the certificate related to the program. Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the past couple of decades (as I have) will realize that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a really affordable price. It was not that long ago that a system with those capabilities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
With that in mind, It is really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are openings that will rule it out and these all tend to be. The main ones I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. If you’ve got a reason for using one of the major e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the thing to do.
Like I said, these Are areas that are not served by programs which are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform that supports all three means a price point than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from that point up. Thus, be sure that these truly are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the estimated number of hours for finishing a class in Thinkific, you cannot specify the amount of education accessible for a course. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to using Thinkific, Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and handle multiple instances of a stage. This can be handy if, for example, you are a training company with corporate clients and those customers want their very own branded example of the platform for serving and managing their own users. While the Group functionality in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it isn’t the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To find an internet course platform which has many hidden fees, Thinkific advertises that it also has no hidden charges or contracts. That is very good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a free plan for people who wish to test out the stage but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to start your shop and start building a pupil base. There is also a free trial if you would rather give one of the plans a whirl.
The pricing is Divided into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific features. This strategy has a high transaction fee, all you need to create, market, and sell your courses, infinite courses, class upsells, content hosting integrations, Stripe/PayPal service, and access to all funds.
Basics — For $49 a month you get all center and newcomer features, together with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, custom domain, along with extra course prices. Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific
Business — For $99 per month you get the features from all previous programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, site white tagging, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority service, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding call, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all attributes from prior plans, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, public API, advanced integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic benefits to its pricing design. Not only are you able to begin your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) but the extra three programs are broken down in a reasonable fashion.
After all Most likely don’t need API accessibility until you really start becoming advanced with your course selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the HTML editing and the completion certificates however $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The transaction fees are 10% for the program that is free. That’s high, however, it creates an superb atmosphere for anyone with low volume now or individuals who don’t have the upfront funds. Once you get started earning money that transaction fee can be cut down by you.
You can Also save money. If you cover it all upfront, the Essentials plan goes down to $39 a month. The Business program is $79 per month and the Advanced program is 219. That makes the pricing programs quite much like Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review where I began: this is a stage I highly recommend. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it offers a range of the vital features to encourage your ordinary edupreneur.
I think it is also Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a lot of momentum. This is certainly not a trivial point: the market for online course platforms like Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot is going to undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I feel convinced Thinkific will be around, and the company is obviously growing and continually investing to boost its platform. Comparison Between Benchprep And Thinkific