Intro Thinkific Custom Themes
If you are selling Or considering selling classes, you do not need to do much hunting to come up with a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Thinkific Custom Themes
- Over 20 years expertise 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 purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online course 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 class platforms and helping individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling classes
I’ve been closely Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged within the previous several years as a new type of course platforms. These are programs that LMSes, or are less expensive and more user friendly than conventional learning management systems. They’re a real blessing for solo edupreneurs and businesses that want to enter the course enterprise. Over time, I believe they also have real potential to interrupt the learning management system market that is conventional.
So, having said That, let’s begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace provides an appealing, user friendly for your students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Site Builder capacities earlier this year, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Thinkific Custom Themes
Using Site Builder — which is only a part of the admin panel for the platform — you now have the ability to set up an appealing home page for your course website and create as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide information about you and your other services). While you do not have total control — you can’t, as an instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get very good capabilities for changing branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload pretty much any type of images or media you’d like to use.
Site Builder Currently comes with three themes to select from, and there are numerous variations for each one of these topics. (The company says more themes are part of their future development program.) There are also a selection of pre-fab”sections” that 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 require for conducting a successful path or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section that may be used to make pretty much anything you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took me a while to work out how to do some basic things like delete sections (the themes provide a house page pre-populated with sections) and include custom pages to the site menu. But service was readily available for them. Thinkific has a solid support site on which you are able to look for aid, but I often just use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find good support using this method, whether to the Thinkific website or from another user.
Some additional Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (starting at $49 per month for Fundamental ) you can get a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any strategy you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this)
- White tagging (below Settings > Site)– By leaping up to a Pro Plan ($99 per month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your site and courses.
- Text Dimensions (under Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. For example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for parts of a course. You might like to change this to”Lessons.” Thinkific Custom Themes
So, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for the primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and don’t have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a great way to have a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find an adequate Web site setup”) and focus on creating and launch your courses. It is possible to worry about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, though — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) to your main Internet site. Website Builder is great for what it does — and can create a great course website to complement your primary Web site — but ultimately it’s relatively restricted. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All themes are single column. Therefore, as an example, you can not put e-mail signup types, promotions for course, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As noted, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation in the event that you really want to reflect the branding of an existing Web site.
- There is no control over search engine optimization settings on Web pages — e.g., you can’t define the name tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do so on course landing pages, which is possibly more significant for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the extensive network of experienced contractors who are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of those Limitations, Website Builder is very likely to do the job well for many edupreneurs and is quite 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 website to house your courses, the courses themselves are the primary attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which can be very useful to course builders searching for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be likely to consider for offering an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start new and build your own course to match your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a free or low-cost mini-course to create leads for a full flagship course or service.
- Flagship Course — Build a full online class using a strong curriculum outline made using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to judge interest on your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable documents in an online course to generate earnings or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership bundle for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to assess your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content from the segments which are supplied, delete segments, or add new sections to reach the approach that is right for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific provides”smart mentor course building hints” to assist you. (I found these helpful, but they may be easily switched off, if you would like.) Thinkific Custom Themes
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Web content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your way up it, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And, if you are Already comfortable with other Internet content programs — like, for example, WordPress or a different course platform — I think you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
The logic, overall A class at Thinkific makes sense. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and rescue it, you include”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to produce the structure of this program. As noted above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way very similar to the way I described using Site Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a movie file. (This gets stored in a video library for re-use in different 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 information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia classes — This is a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide the URL to some live Zoom session, for example)
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate files (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder alternative mentioned previously.
- Survey lessons — Collect by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF classes — Upload a PDF file to be looked at within the course participant.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific which you can turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources to be available for download from within the program player.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a demonstration as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Exam classes — Contain a Brillium examination on your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The above Choices Will find the job done 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 based on their performances from the course or information you collect about them — and
- Like learning games, inserting interactive components.
If those are Choices you genuinely want, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Thinkific Custom Themes
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to make classes, but some may prefer the option of producing their courses with third-party e-learning course creation software such as Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third-party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) already have a substantial number of classes built out in these tools (in which you probably don’t want to have to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a significant catalogue of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your classes locked into 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 class) has not 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 data like how much time a student has invested in a program, or if particular parts of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of information. (More about SCORM here.)
You cannot Import an Captivate or Articulate route into Thinkific on your own. These courses are made up of more than a single file (like, for instance, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them to Thinkific customer service.
The Features and How They Benefit You
A great Course building platform offers the features you want from start to finish to you. Including the promotion, the training course building, the selling, and also also the teacher/student management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host classes on your own website. Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t need to venture outside and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you complete control on what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides more freedom and branding management. Let’s explore some of the other standout features.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It is a visual student management area, together with pictures of your pupils, titles, contact information, and details for how far they are in your course.
You’ve got the Choice to send emails or create a dialogue. Thinkific Custom Themes
Incentives are Also a part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers completion certificates, report cards, and of course, the mails for sending out just about anything you want throughout courses.
Along with Infinite replays of language controllers, course material, and mobile optimization working with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Motive Thinkific seems great in contrast to this rivalry is that of its class designer. You don’t need to mess with any code if you don’t want to.
In fact Your content is organized using a simple drag and drop editor, in which you move it about vertically and pile the course content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media forms. By PDFs to sound files, and surveys to quizzes, the platform is fantastic for offering up a vast range of learning resources for your students.
As we mentioned Before, all of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You should not have to worry running in your shared servers or being too big.
When you personalize Your course site it offers some editing tools to the novices out there. For instance, you can correct items such as banners, colour schemes, and logos, without touching any code.
The more, however Advanced programmers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you want to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way unless people know that your course exists, to begin earning money.
Thinkific does The app was built into by it the way, with promotional and marketing tools. Much of this is automated. Consequently, if you’d like to trickle articles to your students–in which courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Custom Themes
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send emails that are automated based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to get paid immediately when someone signs up on your program.
In Terms of getting It is tried by people outside of your site out, Thinkific comes with an online affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving a opportunity to create ads and convince newcomers your class is worth investing in to you.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored in the dashboard, and you can link 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 utilizing a specialized course platform is that it creates handling and monitoring your customers and their data a lot more easy.
Communication with Learners
Along with Assisting you to organize your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways for them to give feedback on the course and for you and your learners to communicate. Thinkific Custom Themes
As noted, For example, you can empower discussion to your classes and then manage your pupils gifts under Support Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, respond to students, and — if desired –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t want to appear in the course. (Note: Letting talks is currently a nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have it or no classes have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Enable your student. You then have the ability to approve these reviews (they are not published automatically) and use them as social evidence on your earnings page to the course. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications that can be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can, for instance, send pupils a message if they enroll for your website, enroll in a course, or complete a program. You can also send out weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and using custom sign-up fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever special information you desire from the users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you receive complete access to the user data you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This feature can have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to sell classes in bulk to organizations — among the greatest ways for course sellers to drive revenue growth that is major , in my experience.
You, classes May also arrange your learners by business, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, or other variables, 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 Guru plan license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Thinkific Custom Themes
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital motive to Have a specialized course platform — as opposed, by way of example, to posting articles supporting a password on a Web site — is that it is going to monitor things like course progress and conclusion in addition to quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a specific student and track a number of factors for each class in which the pupil is enrolled. For every class you will 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 May choose to reset a student’s completion percentage at any time if you are adding new lessons.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly simple, but I suspect 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 file (rather than displayed on display ) and emailed to you. The .csv document contains the responses from all students who’ve obtained a survey a quiz email address, along with their title, and if it was taken by them. For quizzes, it also supplies the number and percent .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the chief regions in which the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much of most of the platforms . Ideally, over time, it would be possible to get course completion and quiz/survey data . Even better, it would be great to have the ability to view a student transcript that displays hours related to a course, any credit earned (not now captured at all at Thinkific), and a link to obtain the certificate related to the course. Thinkific Custom Themes
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the past few years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific offers a remarkable range of features at a really reasonable price. It was not long ago that a system with those capacities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are openings that can rule out it and all of these tend to be. The main ones I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. In case you’ve got a reason for using one of the major e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the way to go.
As I Are areas that, for the most part, aren’t served by programs that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform that supports all three means a price point than Thinkific — and it can go up a lot from there. Be sure these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for finishing a course in Thinkific, you can’t define the total amount of education accessible for a program. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Thinkific Custom Themes
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you manage and can make a number of instances of a stage. This can be very handy if, as an instance, you are a training company with many clients and those clients want their branded instance of this platform for handling and serving their own customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific makes you a part of the way there, it is not the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To discover an online course platform that has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises that it too has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s very good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a plan for those who wish to try out the stage but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it helps you launch your shop and begin building a student base. There is also a free trial if you would rather give a whirl to one of those plans.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific features. This plan has a top transaction fee, everything you want to make, market, and market your courses, infinite courses, course upsells, content hosting integrations service, and access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 per month you get all core and newcomer features, along with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, custom domainname, along with extra course prices. Thinkific Custom Themes
Business — For $99 a month you get the features from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and concealed courses, website white labeling, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority service, instructor payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, and a direct 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 professional, onboarding bundle, people API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Benefits to its pricing design. Not only can you begin your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra three programs are broken down into a logical fashion.
After all, you Most probably do not need API access until you really start becoming advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates as well as the HTML editing at the Essentials plan, but $99 per month still is not that bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% to the plan that is free. That’s high, but it creates an atmosphere for those who have low quantity right now or people who don’t have the upfront funds to launch a professional online store. As soon as you start earning money you’ll be able to cut that transaction fee down.
You can By paying on an annual basis Save money. The Essentials plan goes to $39 a month if you pay it all upfront. The company plan is $79 per month and the Advanced plan is 219. This makes the pricing programs rather similar to Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review where I began: this really is. Hopefully it is clear by now that it supplies a complete range of the vital features to support your average edupreneur in selling online courses.
I think 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 class platforms like Thinkific is now crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot will be gone. I’m confident that Thinkific will be about, and the organization is clearly growing and continually investing to boost its own platform. Thinkific Custom Themes