If you are promoting Or even thinking about selling classes, 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 It Is written by someone with: Salestraining
- More than 20 years expertise in the e-learning Business, with a specific focus on businesses that sell schooling (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their students to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and implementing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and exploring online class platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I have been closely Monitoring Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged in the past years as a new class of course platforms. These are platforms which LMSes, or are less costly and a lot more user-friendly than conventional learning management systems. They’re tiny businesses that are looking to enter the online course enterprise and a real boon for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I believe they also have potential to interrupt the learning management system marketplace that is traditional.
Having said That, let’s begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that someplace provides an appealing, user friendly to the students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capabilities Thinkific is definitely up to the job. Salestraining
Using Site Builder — which is simply a part of the admin panel to the stage — you now have the ability to set up an attractive home page for your course site and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide information about you and your other solutions ). While you do not have complete control — you can not, for example, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get very excellent capabilities for changing branding elements like colors and font styles and you may upload just about any type of pictures or media you’d like to use.
Site Builder Comes with three themes to choose from, and there are variants for each one of these themes. (The company says more themes are part of their upcoming growth program.) There are also a selection of pre-fab”segments” that you are able to add and modify on any page 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 the essential tools you require for running a successful path or membership website. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section which can be utilised to make pretty much whatever you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to figure out how to do some basic things like delete sections (the topics provide a home page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the website menu. However support was readily available for them. Thinkific includes a solid support site on which you are able to search for aid, but I often only use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find good support using this method, whether to the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some additional Features to notice:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Site) — 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 find a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any strategy you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (under Settings > Site)– By leaping up into a Guru Plan ($99 per month) with the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (under Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — You can change a lot of the default language which is used in navigation and other areas. By way of example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for parts of a program. You might prefer to change this to”Lessons.” Salestraining
Thus, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for my primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and don’t have a Web presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a great way to have a huge item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get an adequate Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launching your classes. It is possible to be concerned about a more sophisticated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) for your primary Web site. Website Builder is great for what it does — and can create a great course website to complement your primary site — but finally it is relatively limited. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All motifs are single pillar. Therefore, as an instance, you can’t put email sign-up types, promotions for course, or other things down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limitation in the event that you really wish to mirror the branding of an existing Web website.
- There’s no control over search engine optimization settings on Internet pages — e.g., you can not specify the title tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do this on track landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins along with the extensive network of experienced contractors that are available to encourage platforms like WordPress.
Regardless 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 to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your classes, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be quite useful to track builders searching for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you’d be prone to consider for offering an educational item. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your own course to meet your particular program needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a free or low-cost mini-course to generate prospects for a full flagship program or service.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online class employing a strong curriculum outline created using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and start constructing a waitlist to judge interest in your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to create revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership bundle for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to assess your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can alter the content in the segments that are supplied, delete segments, or insert new segments to reach the strategy that is ideal for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course building hints” to help you. (I found these helpful, but they can be easily turned off, should you prefer.) Salestraining
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 making your way up it, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And, in case You’re Already comfortable with other Internet content programs — such as, for example, WordPress or another course platform — I believe that you will find operating in Thinkific to be a breeze.
The logic, overall A course at Thinkific makes sense from my perspective. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to create the structure of the program. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a movie file. (This has saved 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 site.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia classes — This is a way to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your program. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the URL 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 Professional or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder alternative discussed previously.
- Research lessons — Collect by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF classes — Publish a PDF document to be looked at within the course participant.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific which you may turn off or on beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads resources.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a demonstration as record sound and a PDF file for each slide.
- Classes — Contain a Brillium exam on your course. (A Brillium license 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 edupreneurs. The main places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths depending on their performances in the course or data you collect about them and
- Adding components like learning games.
If those are Choices you truly want, you’d be better off with a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Salestraining
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to make classes, but some might prefer the option of producing their classes with third party e-learning class creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a substantial number of courses built out in these applications (in which you case you probably don’t need to need to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you expect developing a significant catalogue of lessons with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish to have your courses locked into a particular shipping platform.
You can use these Types 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 the rest of the platforms in its course ) has not implemented SCORM, which stands for 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 internet course can communicate using a learning platform to send it information like how long a student has invested in a course, or whether specific parts of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this type of information using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You cannot Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific all on your own. These courses comprise of over one file (like, for instance, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you have to zip up the files and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform typically offers you the features you want from begin to finish. Including the promotion, the course construction, the selling, and the management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host classes . Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to venture outside and find your personal hosting,) but it gives you total control over what your site looks like.
When compared to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more freedom and management that is branding. Let us explore some of the other standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, with pictures of your students, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re on your course.
You’ve got the Choice to send emails that are customized to every one of those students or create a dialogue with the community. Salestraining
Incentives are part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and throughout classes, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want of course.
Along with Infinite replays of course content, speech controllers, and mobile optimization working with the Thinkific platform ought to feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific looks great compared to the competition is that of its class designer. If you don’t need to, you don’t need to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is coordinated with a drag and drop editor, where you stack the class content and move it around vertically.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media types. From PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a vast assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you should not need to worry about a file being too big or running on your own servers.
When you personalize Your course website it features some handy editing tools for the novices on the market. For instance, you can adjust items such as color schemes, banners, and logos without touching any code.
However, the further 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 in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate as there’s no way unless people understand your path exists to start earning money.
Thinkific does The app was built into by it the way, with promotional and marketing tools. Much of this is automatic. Consequently, if you’d like to drip articles to your students Thinkific has this operation. Salestraining
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the ideal people and send automatic emails based on a schedule. Pricing is done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to get paid instantly when somebody signs up for your program.
As for getting It is tried by people outside of your website to come out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to reward other people who advocate your program and bloggers. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving you a chance to create advertisements 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 can join Facebook, your Adwords, and other social accounts where students are coming out of to determine.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the key reasons for utilizing a technical course platform is that it makes managing and tracking your users and their information much more easy.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Helping you organize your learners, Thinkific also enables several ways for you and your learners to communicate and for them to give feedback on the course. Salestraining
As previously noted, For example, you can enable discussion for your courses and manage your pupils gifts under Support Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, react to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t wish to show up in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is currently an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have no or it courses have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Allow your student. Then you have the ability to approve these testimonials (they are not published automatically) and use them as social evidence on your earnings page to the program. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are A number of notifications that can be disabled or enabled at the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You can, for example, send a customized message if your website is registered for by them to pupils, enroll in a course, or finish a course. You can also send weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When an individual signs up in your website, Thinkific captures all their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom log-in fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you desire from your own users. (Note that, unlike programs such as Udemy, you get full access to the user information you collect.)
You can also Organize users into classes. This feature can have a large impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to market classes in bulk to associations — one of the greatest ways for course vendors to drive revenue growth that is major , in my experience.
Using classes, you May also arrange your learners by other variables, or organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, making it feasible also to refine your marketing moving ahead and to monitor the efficacy of your own offerings with every group. (Note: use of the Groups feature requires a Guru plan license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Salestraining
Tracking and Reporting
A key motive to Have a technical online class platform — to posting articles behind a password on a Web site as opposed, for example — is that it is going to track quiz and survey information as well as things like path progress and completion.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a particular student and monitor numerous variables for every course in which the student is registered. For each course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed at (date)
- Course Launched at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I enjoy that you If you’re adding new classes May also opt to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any moment.
Overall, the Course reporting is rather simple, but I guess it will serve the needs of the huge majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (instead of displayed on display ) and emailed to you. The .csv document includes the responses from all students who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz along with their title, email address, and when they took it. For quizzes, in addition, it supplies the number and percent .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the regions where the Thinkific system might be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much of most the platforms within this class of platforms. Over time, it would be possible to get quiz/survey data and course completion via a Web interface. Better still, it might be great to be able to view a student transcript that displays hours related to a program, any credit earned (not now captured at all at Thinkific), along with a link to download the certificate related to the course. Salestraining
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning industry for the last couple of years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a really affordable price. It wasn’t long ago that a system with these capacities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It is really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are gaps that can rule out it for some course sellers — and these tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific may host and deliver courses created in shared authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t really take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. If you’ve got a robust and valid reason for using one of the major criteria, then Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I Are areas that are not served well by programs that are in Thinkific’s course. To get a platform which supports all three means a price point than Thinkific — and it could go far from there . Be sure that these 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 course in Thinkific, you can’t define the total amount of continuing education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to using Thinkific, Salestraining
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and manage multiple instances of a stage. This can be useful if you are a training company that has many corporate clients and those customers want their very own example of the platform for handling and serving their users. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it isn’t the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To find an online course platform that has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden charges or contracts. That’s good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a program for those who want to test the stage but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to start your shop and start building a pupil base without having to pay a dime. There’s also a free trial if you’d rather give one of the plans a whirl.
The pricing is Broken up into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific capabilities. This strategy has a 10% transaction fee, all you want to make, promote, and sell Stripe/PayPal service courses, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations, your courses, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 per month you receive all center and newcomer features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course bundles, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, customized domain, and extra course prices. Salestraining
Business — For $99 a month you receive the features from all prior plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden courses, site white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all features from prior programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding package, public API, innovative integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic benefits to its pricing layout. Not only can you begin your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the extra three programs are broken down in a reasonable fashion.
After all, you Most likely do not need API access until you start becoming advanced with your path promoting.
I would not mind Seeing also the HTML editing and the completion certificates but $99 per month is bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% to the free plan. That is high, but it creates an atmosphere for individuals who do not have the upfront funds or those who have low quantity. As soon as you get started earning money that transaction fee can be reduce by you.
You can By paying an yearly basis save money. If you cover it all upfront, so, the snowball strategy goes to $39 per month. The company plan is $79 per month and also the Advanced program is 219. This makes the pricing programs quite similar to Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review where I began: this is a platform I recommend. Hopefully it is clear by now that it supplies a full range of the most essential features to support your edupreneur in selling online classes.
I Believe it is Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a great deal of momentum. This is definitely not a point: the market for online course platforms like Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot of the programs that are here today will be gone tomorrow. I’m confident Thinkific will be around, and the company is obviously growing and always investing to boost its platform. Salestraining