Introduction Online Training Platform
If You’re promoting Or considering selling classes, you do not have to do much hunting to come up with a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference that this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Online Training Platform
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a Particular focus on companies that sell education (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their learners to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development firm.)
- More than a decade of experience tracking and researching online course platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling courses
I’ve been closely Tracking Thinkific and other providers which have emerged as a new class of online course platforms. These are platforms which are less expensive and more user friendly or LMSes. They are tiny businesses that want to enter the online course business and a boon for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I think they also have potential to interrupt the learning management system market.
So, having said All that, let’s get started.
Construction and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that somewhere provides an attractive, user friendly for the students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capacities earlier this season, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Online Training Platform
Using Site Builder — which is simply part of the admin board to the stage — you have the ability to prepare an appealing home page for your course website and create as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give details about you and your other services). While you do not have complete control — you can’t, for example, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get very good capabilities for changing branding components like colors and font styles and you can upload just about any kind of images or media you would like to utilize.
Site Builder Currently comes with three topics and there are variants for each one of these themes. (The company says more themes are part of their upcoming development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” you are able to insert and change on any webpage to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all the essential tools you need for conducting a successful course or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section which may be used to make pretty much anything you want.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took a while to figure out how to do some basic things like delete segments (the topics provide a home page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the site menu. But support has been readily available for these. Thinkific includes a good support website on which you can look for help, but I often just use a Google search along with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific website or from a different user.
Some additional Features to notice:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid program (starting at $49 per month for Fundamental ) you can find a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any strategy 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 > Website )– By jumping up into a Guru Plan ($99 per month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly get rid of 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 that is used in navigation and other regions. By way of example, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the label for portions of a course. You may prefer to change this to”Lessons” Online Training Platform
So, you may be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and don’t have a Web presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a great way to take a huge item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find an adequate Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launching your classes. You can worry about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) for your main Web website. Site Builder is great for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to match your primary site — but ultimately it is relatively restricted. Some of the key present limitations include:
- All motifs are single column. So, as an example, you can’t put e-mail signup forms, promotions for course, 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 limitation in the event that you truly wish to mirror the branding of an present Web site.
- There’s no control over search engine optimization settings on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t specify the name tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do this on track landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the typical 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 Limits, Site Builder is very likely to do the work well for many edupreneurs and is a little better than what many online course platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly website to house your courses, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates that may be very beneficial to course builders searching for assistance with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone 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 complete flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a complete online class using a robust curriculum outline made using best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to judge interest in your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable documents in an online course to create 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 that are provided, delete segments, or add new segments to arrive at the strategy that is right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course construction tips” to help you. (I found them helpful, but they can be easily turned off, if you would like.) Online Training Platform
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there’ll inevitably be a small learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your it up, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And You’re Comfortable using other Web content systems — such as, for instance, WordPress or another program platform — I believe that you will find operating in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall A class in Thinkific makes complete sense. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and saving it, you include”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to create the structure of the course. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way similar to the way I described using Website Builder over. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a movie file. (This has saved in a video 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.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for your students. (More information on quizzes under )
- Multimedia lessons — This can be a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the link to some live Zoom session, by Way of Example )
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate documents (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder alternative discussed above.
- Research lessons — Gather by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons.
- Disqus lessons — Insert Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific which you can turn off or on beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a presentation as record sound and a PDF document for each slide.
- Classes — Contain a Brillium examination on your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More on this below.)
The above Choices Will get the job completed for all but the edupreneurs. The primary areas they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to move down different paths depending on their performances from the course or information you gather about them — and
- Like learning games Adding interactive components.
If those are Options you genuinely need, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Online Training Platform
The use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the resources in Thinkific to make courses, but some might 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 significant number of courses built out in one of these tools (in which you probably don’t want to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course production tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a substantial catalog of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish to have your courses locked to a particular delivery platform.
These can be used by you Types 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 all other platforms in its own course ) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides standards for how an internet course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it information like how long a student has invested in a program, or if particular areas of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of data with its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
Second, you Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific on your own. These classes are made up of over one file (such as, for instance, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you have to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer service.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform typically offers you. Including the promotion the course building, the promotion, and also also the management.
Systems such as Thinkific do not host classes on your own website. Your articles is actually hosted with Thinkific (so that you do not have to go outside and find your own hosting,) but it still gives you complete control over what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and control that is branding. Let’s explore some of the standout features.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, with pictures of your students, names, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your program.
You’ve got the Choice create a conversation or to send emails that are customized to every one of the pupils. Online Training Platform
Incentives are part of the learning environment because Thinkific offers completion certificates, report cards, and throughout classes, the emails for sending out just about anything you want of course.
Along with Replays of speech controls, course content, and cellular optimization, pupils working with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific looks great in contrast to the competition is that of its course designer. If you don’t want to you don’t need to mess with any code.
In fact, all of Your content is coordinated with a simple drag and drop editor, in which you move it about and pile the course content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. From PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a wide range of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned All these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You should not need to worry running slowly on your servers that are shared or being too big.
When you personalize Your course site it offers some editing tools for the novices on the market. You can adjust items such as banners, color schemes, and logos, all without touching any code.
The further, however Advanced developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you want to make your website unique, the alternative 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 begin making money.
Thinkific does It the way, with marketing and promotional instruments built into the program. A lot of this is automated. Consequently, if you’d like to trickle articles to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Online Training Platform
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails out based on a schedule. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the option to get paid immediately when somebody signs up on your course.
In Terms of getting It is tried by people beyond your website to come out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to reward people who recommend your program and bloggers. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving you a chance to create ads with specials and convince novices your class is worth investing in.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is tracked directly in the dashboard, and you could also join Facebook, your Adwords, and other accounts where students are coming from to see.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the important reasons for utilizing a online course platform is that it creates monitoring and managing your customers and their data much easier.
Communication with Learners
Along with Assisting you to arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways that you communicate with your learners and for them to provide feedback on the course. Online Training Platform
As noted, For instance, you can enable discussion for your classes and manage your students gifts under Service Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort talks by course, react to pupils, and — if desired –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t want to show up in the program. (Note: Enabling discussions is now a nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize 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 ability to approve these reviews (they aren’t printed automatically) and use them as social proof on your sales page to your program. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are Numerous notifications which can be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You can send a customized message when your site is registered for by them to pupils, enroll in a course, or complete a course. You can also send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When a user signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to catch whatever special information you desire from your users. (Notice that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you receive full access to the user data you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This feature can have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to sell classes in bulk among the best ways for internet course vendors to drive revenue development that is major .
You, using classes Can also arrange your learners by other factors, or organization, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, making it feasible to track the efficacy of your own offerings with each group and also to enhance your marketing moving ahead. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Pro plan license with the Growth Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Online Training Platform
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital motive to Have a online course platform — as opposed, by way of instance, to just posting content supporting a password on a Web site — is that it is going to track things like completion and course progress in addition to quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to pick a specific student and track numerous factors for every course in which the student is registered. For every course you may 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’re adding new lessons to an already finished course May choose to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any moment.
Overall, the Course reporting is fairly basic, but I guess it’ll serve the demands of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV document (rather than displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document contains the responses from all students who have taken a survey a quiz email address, along with their name, and if it was taken by them. For quizzes, in addition, it supplies percentage and the amount of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For both quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the main areas where the Thinkific system might be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much the platforms of the all within this category of platforms. Ideally, over time, it might be possible to get quiz/survey data and course conclusion through a Web interface. Better still, it might be great to be able to see a student transcript that displays hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way at Thinkific), along with a link to download the certificate related to the course. Online Training Platform
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning industry for the last couple of years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a very reasonable price. It wasn’t that long ago that a system with these capabilities could have easily cost thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It’s really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are openings that will rule it out for a few class sellers — and these all tend to be openings which are characteristic of this category of platforms. The main ones that I see are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t really make use of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these programs. In case you have a reason for using one of the major e-learning standards, Thinkific might not be the way to go.
Like I said, these Are areas that are not served by platforms that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform which supports all three normally means a beginning price point than Thinkific — and it can go a lot from there. Thus, be sure these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you cannot specify the amount of continuing education available for a course. While there may be work-arounds, for most course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to using Thinkific, Online Training Platform
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can create multiple instances of a stage. This can be handy if you are a training company that has corporate clients and those customers want their own instance of the platform for handling and serving their users. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it isn’t the same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I To discover an online course platform which has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it too has no hidden charges or contracts. That is good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a plan that is free for people who wish to try the stage but not get bogged down from limitations. In theory, it makes it possible to launch your store and begin building a student base. There is also a free trial if you give one of the plans a whirl.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 for all core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a top 10% transaction fee, all you need to make, market, and market Stripe/PayPal support courses, class upsells, content hosting integrations, your classes, and instant access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 a month you get all core and newcomer features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, custom domainname, and additional course rates. Online Training Platform
Business — For $99 per month you get the attributes from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden courses, website 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 plans, and a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all attributes from previous programs, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, public API, advanced integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic benefits to its pricing layout. Not only can you start your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the additional three programs are broken down in a logical fashion.
After all, you Most probably don’t need API access until you start becoming advanced with your course selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates and the HTML editing in the Essentials plan, however $99 a month still isn’t that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% for the plan. That is large, but it creates an environment for anyone who have low volume or individuals who do not have the capital to start a professional online store. You’ll be able to reduce that trade fee As soon as you start making money.
Finally, you can Save money by paying on an yearly basis. If you cover it all upfront, so, the snowball strategy goes down to $39 a month. The Business plan is $79 a month and the Advanced program is 219. That makes the pricing programs quite similar to Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review where I began: this really is a stage I highly recommend. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it offers a range of the features to support your edupreneur in selling classes.
I Believe it is Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a great deal of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online course platforms such as Thinkific is now crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot will be gone tomorrow. I feel convinced Thinkific will be about, and the organization is clearly growing and always investing to boost its platform. Online Training Platform