Background Similar Udemy
If you are selling Or even considering selling courses, you don’t have to do much hunting to come up with a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference that this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Similar Udemy
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a Particular focus on companies that sell schooling (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and implementing 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 exploring online class platforms and helping individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling classes
I have been Monitoring Thinkific and other providers which have emerged in the previous decades as a new class of course platforms. These are platforms that are less expensive and more user-friendly or LMSes. They are a true boon for solo edupreneurs and businesses that want to enter the course enterprise. As time passes, I believe they have real potential to interrupt the learning management system market that is conventional.
Having said All that, let’s get started.
Building and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace provides an appealing, user friendly to the students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capacities Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Similar Udemy
Using Site Builder — that is simply part of the admin panel for the stage — you now have the ability to set up an attractive home page to your course site and make as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give details about you and your other solutions ). While you do not have complete control — you can not, for instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can possess very good capabilities for modifying branding elements like colors and font styles and you may upload pretty much any kind of pictures or media you would like to utilize.
Website Builder Currently comes with three themes to select from, and there are variants for each of these topics. (The company says more themes are part of the upcoming growth program.) There are also a selection of pre-fab”sections” that you are able to add and change on any page to provide for things like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing options — 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 want.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to work out the way to do some basic things like delete segments (the topics offer a home page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. However support has been readily available for them. Thinkific has a good support site on which you can search for aid, but I often just use a Google search together with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support using this method, 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. Having a paid program (starting at $49 per month for Basic) you can get 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 any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (below Settings > Website )– By jumping up to a Guru Plan ($99 per month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (below Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — It is possible to change a great deal of the default language which is used in navigation and other areas. By way of example, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the tag for parts of a program. You might prefer to change this to”Lessons” Similar Udemy
Thus, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my main Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and don’t already have an Internet presence the response 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 find an adequate Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launch your classes. You can worry about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have a Web site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) for your main Internet website. Website Builder is great for what it does — and may create a fantastic course website to complement your main site — but finally it’s relatively restricted. Some of the key current constraints include:
- All motifs are pillar. Therefore, as an example, you can’t put email sign-up types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can not apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limitation if you truly wish to reflect the branding of an existing Web website.
- There is absolutely no control on search engine optimization settings on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t specify the name tags or meta tag descriptions. You can, however, do so 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.
Regardless of these Limits, Website Builder is likely to do the job well for most edupreneurs and is a little better than what many online course platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need an attractive, user-friendly site to house your classes, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates which can be quite useful to course builders searching for help with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you’d be likely to consider for supplying an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start new and build your own course to meet your specific curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a free or low-cost mini-course to generate leads for a full flagship program or service.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online class using a strong curriculum outline created with best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to judge interest in your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to create earnings 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 assess your presentation and offer.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can change the content from the segments that are supplied, delete segments, or insert new segments to reach the approach that is right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course construction tips” to help you. (I found these useful, but they can be easily switched off, if you would like.) Similar Udemy
If you have zero Experience working with Web content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my opinion 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 benefits.
And You’re Already comfortable using other Internet content programs — such as, for instance, WordPress or a different course platform — I think you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall, the logic A class in 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 modify ones already in the template) to create the structure of this course. As noted above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way similar to how I described using Website Builder above. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This has stored in a movie library for re-use in other 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 your students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia classes — This can be a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your course. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide 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 files (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder alternative discussed above.
- Research lessons — Gather information/feedback from the students by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF classes.
- Disqus classes — Insert Disqus discussion boards to your program. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific that you can turn on or off beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Include resources.
- Demo lessons — Upload a demonstration as record sound and a PDF file for each slide.
- Exam classes — Contain a Brillium examination in your course. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The above options Will find the job done for all but the edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to go down different paths based on their performances from the course or data you collect about them and
- Like learning games, inserting elements.
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 kinds of tools here). Similar Udemy
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to create classes, but some may prefer the option of creating their courses with third-party e-learning class creation software such as 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 classes built out in one of these tools (in which you case you probably do not need to have to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you expect developing a significant catalog of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your courses locked to a particular delivery platform.
You can use these Types 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 course ) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides standards for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to send it information like how much time a learner has invested in a course, or if specific areas of the class have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of data. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific on your own. These classes comprise of more than one file (like, for instance, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you need to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer service.
The Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course building platform offers you the features you need from start to finish. Including the promotion, the course construction, the promotion, and also the teacher/student management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host courses on your own site. Your content is actually hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t have to venture out and find your personal hosting,) but it gives you total control over what your site looks like.
When compared to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides management and more freedom. Let’s explore some of the other standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It is a visual pupil management area, together with images of your students, names, contact information, and information for how far they’re in your program.
You’ve got the Choice to send emails or create a conversation with the entire community. Similar Udemy
Incentives are A part of the learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and throughout courses, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
In addition to Replays of speech controllers course content, pupils, and optimisation working together with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific seems so great compared to this competition is that of its class designer. If you don’t need to, you don’t need to mess with any code.
In fact, all of Your content is organized using a drag and drop editor, in which you pile the class content and move it about vertically.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. By PDFs to sound files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a wide assortment of learning resources for your students.
As we mentioned Before, every one of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You should not need to worry running in your servers that are shared or being too big.
When you personalize Your course website it features some editing tools to the novices out there. For instance, you can adjust items such as color schemes banners, and logos without touching any code.
However Developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you would like to make your website unique, the option is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate as there’s no way.
Thinkific does It the way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the app. Much of this is automated also. So, if you want to trickle content to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Similar Udemy
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automated out based on a schedule. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, along with the option to become paid instantly when somebody signs up on your course.
As for becoming People beyond your site try it out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers. Coupons can also be provided through Thinkific, giving a opportunity to create ads with specials and convince novices your course is worth investing in to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked right in the dashboard, and you could also link your Adwords, Facebook, and other social accounts to determine where students are coming from.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Enabling you to deliver your classes, one of the reasons for using a technical class platform is that it makes handling and tracking your customers and their information a lot more easy.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Helping you arrange your students, Thinkific also enables a number of ways for them to give feedback on the program and for you and your students to communicate. Similar Udemy
As previously noted, By way of instance, you can enable discussion to your classes and then manage your pupils gifts under Service Your Students Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, react to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t want to show up in the program. (Note: Letting discussions is currently an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have it or no classes have it. The workaround for this is to use the Disqus option on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Enable your student. You then have the ability to approve these testimonials (they are not published automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your earnings page for the course. Unlike discussions, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are A number of notifications that could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be customized. You can, for instance, send pupils a customized message when they register for your site, register in a particular course, or finish a course. It is also possible to send out reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When an individual signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom sign-up fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to catch whatever special information you want from your own users. (Notice that, unlike platforms such as Udemy, you get full access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This simple feature can have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to market courses in bulk to associations — among the greatest ways for course sellers to drive revenue growth that is major , in my experience.
Using classes, you May also easily arrange your learners by cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or business, or other factors, which makes it feasible to refine your marketing and to monitor the effectiveness of your own offerings. (Note: use of the Groups feature requires a Pro plan license with the Development Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups functionality Similar Udemy
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital motive to Have a online class platform — as opposed to posting articles supporting a password on a Web site — is that it will track quiz and survey information as well as things like conclusion and path progress.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to pick a particular student and monitor numerous variables for each class in which the pupil is registered. For every course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Launched at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I enjoy this you If you are adding new lessons to an already finished class May also choose to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any time.
Overall, the Course coverage is rather basic, but I guess it will serve the demands of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (instead of displayed on screen) and e-mailed to you. The .csv file contains the answers from all students who’ve taken a survey a quiz together with their name and if they took it. For quizzes, it supplies percentage and the number .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is among the main areas where the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for much of the all the platforms within this category of platforms. Ideally, over time, it might be possible to get course conclusion and quiz/survey data via a Web interface. Even better, it would be great to have the ability to see a student transcript that displays hours related to a program, any credit earned (not now captured at all in Thinkific), and a URL to obtain the certificate related to the program. Similar Udemy
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the last few decades (as I have) will realize that Thinkific offers a remarkable range of features at a really reasonable price. It was not long ago a system with those capabilities could have easily cost thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are openings that will rule it out to some course vendors — and all of these tend to be gaps that are characteristic of the category of platforms. The main ones that I see are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As noted above, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in shared authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it does not really make use of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. If you’ve got a reason for using one of the significant e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I Are areas which aren’t served well by programs which are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform that supports all three means a price point a few times greater than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from that point. So, be sure these are openings for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for finishing a class in Thinkific, you cannot define the amount of education. While there may be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Similar Udemy
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and handle a number of instances of a stage under one umbrella. This can be handy if you’re a training company with corporate clients and those clients want their own example of this platform for handling and serving their own users. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it is not the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To discover an internet course platform that has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a plan that is totally free for people who wish to test the platform but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it makes it possible to launch your store and begin building a pupil base without having to pay a dime. There’s also a free trial if you’d rather give a whirl to one of those plans that are more advanced.
The pricing is Divided into four easy plans:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a top 10% transaction fee, everything you need to make, market, and market your classes, courses that are unlimited, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations service, and immediate 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 bundles, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, customized domainname, along with additional course prices. Similar Udemy
Business — For $99 per month you receive the features from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and concealed classes, website white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority service, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment plans, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you receive all attributes from prior programs, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, people API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Benefits to its pricing layout. Not only are you able to start your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the additional 3 programs are broken down into a logical fashion.
After all, you Most likely do not need API access until you really start becoming advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing also the HTML editing and the completion certificates in the Essentials plan, however $99 per month is not that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% to the program that is free. That’s large, however, it creates an superb environment for people who don’t have the capital or those who have low quantity. You’ll be able to cut down that transaction fee once you start making money.
Finally, you can By paying on an yearly basis also save money. The snowball strategy goes to $39 a month if you pay it all upfront. The Business program is $79 per month and the Advanced program is 219. This makes the pricing plans similar to Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review where I started: this is a stage I recommend. Hopefully it is evident by now that it offers a full range of the features to support your ordinary edupreneur in selling courses that are online.
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 trivial point: the market for online course platforms such as Thinkific is now noisy and crowded. You can be sure that a lot of the platforms that are here now is going to undoubtedly be gone. I’m confident Thinkific will be about, and the organization is clearly growing and continually investing to boost its own platform. Similar Udemy