Intro Hostess Course
If you are currently selling Or even thinking about selling online courses, you don’t need to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Hostess Course
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on companies that sell education (as opposed to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- More than a decade of experience monitoring and exploring online class platforms and helping individuals and organizations pick the Ideal platform for selling classes
I’ve been Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged in the past several decades as a new class of online course platforms. These are platforms that are more user-friendly and less costly than traditional learning management systems, or LMSes. They are a boon for solo edupreneurs and companies that are looking to enter the course business. As time passes, I believe they also have potential to disrupt the traditional learning management system market.
So, having said All that, let’s begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that someplace supplies an appealing, user friendly to your students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capabilities this season, Thinkific is up to the job. Hostess Course
Using Site Builder — which is simply a part of the admin panel for the stage — you now have the ability to set up an attractive home page to your course website and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide information about you and your other solutions ). While you don’t have total control — you can’t, as an instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get really excellent capabilities for changing branding elements like colors and font styles and you may upload pretty much any kind of pictures or media you’d want to use.
Site Builder Now comes with three themes and there are multiple variations for each one of these topics. (The company says more topics are part of the upcoming growth program.) Additionally, there are a range of pre-fab”sections” you can add and modify on any webpage to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all of the essential tools you need for running a successful course or membership site. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section which can be used to make pretty much anything you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took me a while to work out how to do some basic things like delete segments (the themes provide a house page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the website menu. But service was readily available for these. Thinkific includes a solid support site on which you are able to look for help, but I often only use a Google search together with the word”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find good support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid program (starting at $49 per month for Basic) you can find a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any strategy you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (under Settings > Site)– By jumping up to a Guru Plan ($99 per month) with the Growth Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your site and courses.
- Text Dimensions (under Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — You can change a great deal of the default language which is used in navigation and other areas. For instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the tag for portions of a course. You may like to change this to”Lessons.” Hostess Course
So, you may be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for the primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and don’t have a Web presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a great way to have a big item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find an adequate Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launching your courses. It is possible to be concerned about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other course platform) for your main Web site. Website Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to complement your primary site — but finally it is relatively limited. A few of the key present constraints include:
- All themes are single column. So, for example, you can not put e-mail sign-up forms, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your website.
- As noted, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limit in the event that you really want to mirror the branding of an present Web website.
- There’s no control on search engine optimization settings on Web pages — e.g., you can not specify the title tags or meta tag descriptions. You can, however, do this on course landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the broad network of experienced contractors that are available to support platforms like WordPress.
In spite of those Limitations, Website Builder is likely to do the work well for many edupreneurs and is a bit better than what many online course platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want an attractive, user-friendly website to house your courses, the courses themselves are the primary attraction. As you may expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates that can be very beneficial to course builders looking for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you’d be prone to think about for offering an educational item. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your course to meet your particular curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to create leads for a complete flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online class using a robust curriculum outline created with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started building a waitlist to gauge interest in your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable documents in an internet course to generate revenue 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 allow registrants to assess your presentation and offer.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content from the segments which are provided, delete sections, or insert new sections to reach the approach that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific provides”smart mentor course building hints” to help you. (I found them helpful, but they can be easily turned off, should you prefer.) Hostess Course
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Web content, there’ll inevitably be a small learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a fantastic job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your it up, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And you are Already comfortable with other Internet content programs — such as, for example, WordPress or a different program platform — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall Of putting together a course in Thinkific makes complete sense in my standpoint. After selecting”New Course,” picking your course type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and rescue it, you include”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to create the structure of the course. As noted above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way similar to the way I described using Site Builder over. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This gets stored in a video library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your site.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for your students. (More info on quizzes below)
- 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 on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder alternative discussed above.
- Research lessons — Gather by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons.
- Disqus lessons — Add Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you may turn on or off beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a presentation as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Lessons — Contain a Brillium exam in your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will get the work completed for all but the edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths based on their performances in the course or data you gather about them and
- Like learning games Adding interactive components.
If those are Choices you truly want, you would be better off using a full size course authoring tool such as iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Hostess Course
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be content with using the tools in Thinkific to create classes, but some may prefer the option of producing their classes with third-party e-learning course creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third-party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) currently have a significant number of courses built out in these applications (in which you probably don’t need to have to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalogue of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your classes locked into a specific delivery platform.
These can be used by you Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its own class) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s 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 using a learning platform to send it information like how much time a student has invested in a program, or if specific parts of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of information using its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
Second, you Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate route into Thinkific on your own. These courses are made up of over one file (like, for example, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you need to zip the files up and send them into Thinkific customer service.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform offers the features you need from start to finish to you. Including the promotion the training course building, the selling, and the management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host classes on your own website. Your content is actually hosted with Thinkific (so you don’t have to go out and find your personal hosting,) but it gives you complete control over what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides more freedom and branding control. Let us explore a few of the other standout features.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, with pictures of your pupils, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your course.
You have the Option create a dialogue or to send emails that are customized to every one of those students. Hostess Course
Incentives are Also a part of the learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and throughout classes, the emails for sending out just about anything you want of course.
Along with Replays of language controls, course material, students, and optimisation working with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of the Reason Thinkific seems great in contrast to the rivalry is that of its course designer. If you don’t need to you do not have to mess with any code.
In Reality Your content is organized using an easy drag and drop editor, in which you move it around vertically and pile the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media forms. From PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a vast range of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned All these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you should not need to worry about a file running on your own servers that are shared or being too large.
When you customize Your course website it features some handy editing tools for the novices on the market. You can adjust items like color schemes, banners, and logos without touching any code.
However Advanced developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way unless people understand your course exists to start earning money.
Thinkific does It the right way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the app. A lot of this is automated. Consequently, if you want to drip content to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Hostess Course
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to become paid instantly when someone signs up for your program.
In Terms of becoming People beyond your site to come try it out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving you a chance convince novices your class is worth investing in and to create advertisements with specials.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you can also join your Adwords, Facebook, and other accounts where students are coming out of to determine.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to produce your classes, one of the important reasons for using a specialized class platform is that it makes handling and tracking your customers and their data a lot easier.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Assisting you to arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables several ways for you to communicate with your learners and for them to provide feedback on the course. Hostess Course
As noted, For example, you can empower discussion to your classes and manage your pupils gifts under Service Your Students > Discussions, where you can sort talks by course, respond to pupils, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t wish to show up in the program. (Note: Enabling talks is now an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Enable your student. Then you have the capability to approve these testimonials (they are not published automatically) and use them as social proof on your earnings page to the program. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are A number of notifications which could be enabled or disabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You can, for instance, send pupils a message when they enroll for your website, register in a specific course, or complete a course. It is also possible to send weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and using custom log-in fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you desire from the own users. (Notice that, unlike programs such as Udemy, you receive complete access to the user data you collect.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This feature can have a large effect on your business model by making it feasible for you to sell courses in bulk to organizations — among the greatest ways for course sellers to induce revenue growth that is significant , in my experience.
You, groups May also easily arrange your students by organization, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or other variables, making it possible to monitor the effectiveness of your offerings and to refine your marketing going forward. (Note: use of the Groups attribute requires a Pro program license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Hostess Course
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a online course platform — as opposed to just posting content supporting a password on a Web site — is that it will monitor things like conclusion and course progress in addition to quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a particular student and monitor a number of factors for every course in which the student is enrolled. For every course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I enjoy this you Can opt to reset a student’s completion percentage at any moment if you’re adding new classes to an course.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly basic, but I guess it’ll serve the demands of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV document (instead of displayed on display ) and emailed to you. The .csv file includes the answers from all students who have obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, together with their name, and if it was taken by them. For quizzes, it also provides the amount and percent of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is among the chief regions in which the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all . Over time, it might be possible to access quiz/survey data and course conclusion . Even better, it would be great to be able to see a student transcript that displays hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not now captured in any way in Thinkific), along with a link to download the certificate associated with the course. Hostess Course
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the past couple of years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable selection of features at a really reasonable price. It wasn’t that long ago that a system with these capabilities could have easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Nonetheless, there are openings that can rule out it to a few course vendors — and these tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these programs. In case you have a strong and legitimate reason for using one of the significant e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I Are areas which, for the most part, aren’t served well by additional platforms that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform which supports all three means a starting price point than Thinkific — and it can go a lot from that point. So, be sure that these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the estimated number of hours for finishing a course in Thinkific, you can’t define the total amount of education accessible for a program. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Hostess Course
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and handle multiple instances of a platform under a single umbrella. This can be very useful if you’re a training company that has many clients and those customers want their branded instance of the platform for managing and serving their own users. While the Group functionality in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it is not the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an internet course platform that has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises that it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a free plan for people who want to try out the platform but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it makes it possible to start your store and start building a pupil base. If you’d rather give a whirl to one of those more innovative plans there is also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four easy plans:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific features. This plan has a high transaction fee, all you want to create, promote, and market your classes, infinite courses, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations service, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 a month you receive all core and starter features, along with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a bulk student emailer, custom domain, and additional course prices. Hostess Course
Business — For $99 a month you receive the attributes from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and hidden classes, website white tagging, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment strategies, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all features from prior plans, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding bundle, public API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic advantages to its pricing design. Not only can you begin your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra 3 programs are broken down into a logical manner.
After all, you Most likely do not need API access until you start getting advanced with your path selling.
I would not mind Seeing the completion certificates as well as the HTML editing in the Essentials plan, however $99 per month still isn’t that bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the program that is free. That is high, however, it creates an atmosphere for those with low volume or individuals who don’t have the upfront capital. Once you get started making money you’ll be able to reduce that transaction fee.
You can By paying an yearly basis also save money. If you cover it all upfront, so, the Essentials plan goes down to $39 a month. The company program is $79 a month and also the Advanced plan is $219. That makes the pricing plans quite much like Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review at which I began: this really is. Hopefully it is clear by now that it offers a range of the features to encourage your edupreneur.
I think it is also Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a lot of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online course platforms such as Thinkific is now crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot of the programs which are here today will undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I’m confident that Thinkific will be about, and the company is obviously growing and continually investing to boost its platform. Hostess Course