Background Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
If you are currently promoting Or considering selling courses, you don’t have to do much hunting to come up with a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific reviews on the market. The main difference that this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
- More than 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on businesses that sell education (as opposed to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their learners to purchase )
- 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 researching online course platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling classes
I have been closely Monitoring Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged as a new type of course platforms. These are programs which LMSes, or are less costly and much more user friendly than traditional learning management methods. They’re a real boon for solo edupreneurs and businesses that want to get into the online course business. Over time, I think they have real potential to interrupt the learning management system marketplace that is traditional.
Having said All that, let us get started.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere provides an attractive, user friendly for the students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capacities earlier this year, Thinkific is definitely up to the job. Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
Using Site Builder — which is only part of the admin board for the stage — you have the ability to set up an attractive home page to your course website and create as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give details about you and your other solutions ). While you do not have total control — you can not, as an instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get really good capabilities for changing branding components like colors and font styles and you can upload pretty much any kind of images or media you’d like to use.
Site Builder Currently comes with three topics to choose from, and there are variants for each of these themes. (The company says more topics are a part of their upcoming development program.) Additionally, there are a selection of pre-fab”segments” you can add and change on any page to provide for things like social proof (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing options — basically, all of the critical tools you require for conducting a successful course or membership site. There is also a blank slate”media & Text” section which can be used to create pretty much whatever 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 sections (the topics offer a house page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the website menu. But support has been readily available for these. Thinkific has a solid support website on which you are able to search for help, but I tend to just use a Google search along with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support using this method, whether on the Thinkific website or from another user.
Some additional Features to notice:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid plan (starting at $49 a month for Fundamental ) you can get a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any plan you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (under Settings > Site)– By jumping up into a Guru Plan ($99 per month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and various other areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” because the tag for portions of a program. You may prefer to change this to”Lessons.” Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
So, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the main Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and do not have an Internet presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a great way to have a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to get a decent Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launch your courses. You can be concerned about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I would not recommend relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) to your main Web site. Website Builder is great for what it does — and may create a fantastic course site to complement your main site — but finally it’s relatively restricted. A few of the key present limitations include:
- All themes are column. Therefore, as an instance, you can not put e-mail signup types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can’t apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limit in the event that you truly wish to mirror the branding of an existing Web site.
- There is absolutely no control on search engine optimization settings on Web pages — e.g., you can’t define the title tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do this on track landing pages, which is arguably more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins along with the extensive 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 most edupreneurs and is quite a little better than what most online course platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, the courses themselves are the primary attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be very beneficial to track builders searching for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you’d be likely to think about for offering an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start new and build your own course to match your specific curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to generate prospects for a full flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online class employing a robust curriculum outline made with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started building a waitlist to judge interest on your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to create revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership bundle with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to review your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content from the segments which are supplied, delete sections, or add new segments to arrive at the strategy that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific provides”smart coach course construction tips” to help you. (I found them helpful, but they may be easily switched off, should you would like.) Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
If you have zero Experience working with Web content, there will inevitably be a small learning curve, but my opinion is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your it up, and you will reap the benefits.
And You’re Already comfortable with other Internet content systems — such as, for a different program platform, WordPress or example — I think you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall Of putting together a course at Thinkific makes sense. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and rescue it, you include”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to produce the structure of this program. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way very similar to how I described using Website Builder over. There are 11 choices:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This has stored in a movie library for re-use in different classes. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your website.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This can be a way to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your program. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the link to a 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 documents (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder option mentioned previously.
- Survey lessons — Gather information/feedback from the pupils by building a short survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific which you can turn off or on beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads resources.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a presentation as record sound and a PDF file for each slide.
- Exam classes — Include a Brillium examination on your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More on this below.)
The above options Will find the work done for all but the edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths depending on their performances from the course or information you gather about them and
- Inserting elements like studying games.
If those are Options you truly want, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
The use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to create classes, but some might prefer the option of producing their classes with third party e-learning course creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third-party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a significant number of courses built out in one of these tools (in which you case you probably do not need to have to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you expect developing a significant catalog of lessons with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your courses locked to a specific delivery stage.
You can use these Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — but there are a few limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like all other platforms in its own class) hasn’t 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 using a learning platform to send it information like how long a student has spent in a program, or if particular parts of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of information with its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you cannot Import an Articulate or Captivate route into Thinkific all on your own. These courses comprise of more than one file (like, as an instance, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you have to zip the files up and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform typically offers the features you need from begin to finish to you. Including the course building, the marketing, the promotion, and also the management.
Systems such as Thinkific do not host classes . Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to venture outside and find your own hosting,) but it still gives you complete control on what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more freedom and control that is branding. Let’s explore a few of the standout features.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It is a visual pupil management area, together with pictures of your pupils, names, contact information, and details for how far they’re on your program.
You have the Option to send emails to every one of the students or create a dialogue. Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
Incentives are A part of the learning environment since Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and of course, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want throughout courses.
Along with Replays of speech controls, course content, students, and cellular optimisation working with the Thinkific platform ought to feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Reason Thinkific looks great in contrast to the rivalry is that of its class designer. If you don’t want to you do not need to mess with any code.
In Reality Your content is organized with a drag and drop editor, where you move it about and stack the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of virtually all media types. By PDFs to sound files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a vast range of learning tools for the students.
As we mentioned Every one of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You shouldn’t need to worry much about a file being too large or running slowly in your own shared servers.
When you personalize Your course site it features some useful editing tools to the novices out there. You can correct items like banners, color schemes, and logos without touching any code.
However Advanced developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like 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 to start making money unless people understand your path exists.
Thinkific does The program was built into by it the way, with promotional and marketing tools. Much of this is automated. Consequently, if you’d like to trickle content to your students Thinkific has this operation. Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automated based on a schedule. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the choice to become paid immediately when someone signs up on your program.
As for getting It is tried by people outside of your website to come out, Thinkific comes with an online affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers. Coupons can also be supplied through Thinkific, giving a chance to create advertisements and convince novices your class is worth investing in to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked right in the dashboard, and you could join Facebook, your Adwords, and other social reports where students are coming from to see.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the important reasons for using a technical class platform is that it makes monitoring and managing your customers and their information much simpler.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Helping you arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables several ways also for them to provide comments and that you communicate with your students. Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
As already noted, By way of example, you can enable discussion for your courses and then manage your pupils gifts under Support Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort talks by course, react to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t want to appear in the course. (Note: Enabling talks is currently a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus option on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Enable your student to submit testimonials for your classes. You then have the capability to approve these reviews (they aren’t printed automatically) and use them as social proof on your sales page for your program. Unlike discussions, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are A number of notifications which could be disabled or enabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can, for instance, send a message if your website is registered for by them to students, enroll in a particular course, or complete a course. You can also 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 data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to capture whatever specific information you desire from your own users. (Note that, unlike platforms such as Udemy, you get full access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This simple feature can have a large effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market classes in bulk to associations — among the greatest ways for course vendors to drive revenue development that is significant , in my experience.
You, using groups Can also easily organize your learners by business, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or other factors, which makes it possible to track the effectiveness of your offerings with every group and to enhance your marketing moving ahead. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Guru program license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a specialized online class platform — as opposed, for example, to posting articles supporting a password on a Web site — is that it will monitor things like course progress and completion as well as quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a specific student and track numerous factors for every class in which the pupil 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 like this you If you’re adding new lessons to an course can also choose to reset the completion percentage of a student at any moment, for example.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly simple, but I guess it’ll serve the demands of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV document (rather than displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv file includes the responses from all students if they shot it, and who’ve taken a survey a quiz e-mail address, together with their title. For quizzes, in addition, it supplies percent and the number .
Overall, reporting For courses and quizzes/surveys is among the areas in which the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this tends to be true for much the platforms of the all . Over time, it might be possible to access course completion and quiz/survey data through a single Web interface. Even better, it would be great to be able to see a student transcript that shows hours related to a program, any credit earned (not now captured at all at Thinkific), along with a URL to obtain the certificate related to the course. Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the last couple of years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable selection of features at a very affordable price. It wasn’t long ago that a system with those capabilities could have cost thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It’s hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are openings that will rule out it to some class vendors — and all of these tend to be gaps that are characteristic of the category of platforms. The main ones I see are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it does not really take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. If you’ve got a reason for using one of the significant e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the thing to do.
Like I said, these Are areas that, for the most part, are not served by other programs which are in Thinkific’s class. To acquire a platform that supports all three generally means a price point three to four times higher than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from there. So, be sure these are gaps for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you cannot define the total amount of education. While there may be work-arounds, for most course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can make and manage multiple instances of a stage. This can be very useful if, for example, you’re a training company with corporate clients and those clients want their own branded instance of this platform for managing and serving their customers. While the Group performance in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it isn’t the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To discover an internet course platform that has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That is good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a plan for people who wish to try the platform but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it helps you begin building a pupil base and start your store. There’s also a free trial if you give a whirl to one of those more innovative plans.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific features. This plan has a 10% transaction fee, everything you need to make, promote, and market your courses, courses that are unlimited, class upsells, content hosting integrations, Stripe/PayPal service, and instant access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 per month you receive all core and starter features, along with a 5 percent transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class bundles, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, customized domainname, along with extra course prices. Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free
Business — For $99 per month you receive the features from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and hidden courses, site white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all features from previous programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding package, public API, advanced integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great advantages to its pricing layout. Not only are you able to begin your course at no cost (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the additional three plans are broken down into a logical fashion.
After all Most likely don’t need API access until you start getting advanced with your course promoting.
I would not mind Seeing the HTML editing and the completion certificates in the Essentials plan, however $99 a month still isn’t that bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the program. That’s large, but it creates an excellent environment for people who do not have the upfront capital to launch a professional online shop or those with low volume right now. As soon as you get started earning money that trade fee can be reduce by you.
You can By paying on an yearly basis also save money. So, the snowball strategy goes to $39 a month if you pay it all upfront. The company program is $79 a month and the Advanced plan is 219. This makes the pricing plans quite similar to Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review where I started: this really is. Hopefully it is clear by now that it supplies a full range of the features that are essential to encourage your average edupreneur in selling online classes.
I Believe it is Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a lot of momentum. This is not a point: the marketplace for online class platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot will be gone. I’m convinced Thinkific will be around, and the organization is clearly growing and continually investing to improve its own platform. Is There A Software Program Like Thinkific That’S Free