Introduction Thinkific Feature Request
If You’re currently selling Or thinking about selling online classes, you don’t need to do much hunting to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference that this one provides is It Is written by someone with: Thinkific Feature Request
- Over 20 years expertise in the e-learning Business, with a specific focus on businesses that sell education (compared to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and implementing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- More than a decade of experience monitoring and exploring online class platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling classes
I’ve been Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged as a new type of course platforms within the past several years. These are platforms that are more user friendly and less expensive than conventional learning management methods, or LMSes. They are a real boon for solo edupreneurs and small businesses that are looking to enter the online course enterprise. Over time, I believe they also have potential to interrupt the learning management system market that is conventional.
Having said That, let’s get started.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that somewhere provides an appealing, user friendly for your students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Site Builder capacities Thinkific is definitely up to the job. Thinkific Feature Request
Using Site Builder — that is only part of the admin board to the platform — you have the ability to set up an appealing home page for your course site and create as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to give details about you and your other services). While you don’t have total control — you can’t, for instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess very good capabilities for changing branding elements like colors and font styles and you can upload pretty much any kind of images or media you’d want to use.
Website Builder Comes with three topics to select from, and there are numerous variations for each one of those themes. (The company says more themes are part of their upcoming growth plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” that you can insert and change on any page to provide for things like social proof (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all the critical tools you require for running a successful course or membership site. There is also a blank slate”media & Text” section which may be used to make pretty much whatever you want.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to figure out the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the themes provide a house page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. However service has been readily available for them. Thinkific includes a good support site on which you are able to look for aid, but I tend to just use a Google search along with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support using this method, whether to the Thinkific site or from a different user.
Some added Features to notice:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid program (starting at $49 a month for Fundamental ) you can find a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any strategy you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (under Settings > Site)– By jumping up into a Pro Plan ($99 a month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and various other areas) — You can change a lot of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. By way of example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the label for parts of a course. You might prefer to change this to”Lessons” Thinkific Feature Request
So, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs Who are only starting off and do not already have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a good way to have a huge item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get an adequate Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launch your courses. It is possible to worry about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have a Web site, however — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) to your primary Internet site. Website Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course website to match your primary site — but ultimately it’s relatively restricted. A few of the key current constraints include:
- All themes are single column. So, as an instance, you can’t put e-mail signup types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your website.
- As noted, you can not apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limit in the event that you truly wish to reflect the branding of an present Web website.
- There’s no control on search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can not specify the name tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do so on course landing pages, which is arguably more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the broad network of experienced contractors who are available to support platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of these Limits, Website Builder is likely to do the work well for many edupreneurs and is quite a little better than what most online class platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates which may be very beneficial to course builders looking for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to consider for offering an educational item. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your course to match your particular curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Use a free or low-cost mini-course to create prospects for a full flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online class using a robust curriculum outline made using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to gauge interest in your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to generate earnings 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 review your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content in the sections that are provided, delete sections, or add new sections to reach the strategy that’s right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course building tips” to help you. (I found them useful, but they may be easily turned off, if you prefer.) Thinkific Feature Request
If you have zero Experience working with Web content, there’ll inevitably be a small 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, in case You’re Already comfortable with other Web content systems — like, by way of example, WordPress or a different course platform — I think you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall, the logic A course in Thinkific makes sense in my standpoint. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and rescue it, you include”Chapters” (or change ones already in the template) to create the structure of this program. As noted above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way similar to the way I described using Site Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video lessons — Upload a video file. (This has saved in a video library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your site.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This can be a way to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your program. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide 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 files (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder alternative discussed previously.
- Research lessons — Collect by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF classes.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific which you can turn on or off under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources available for download from within the program participant.
- Demo lessons — Upload a presentation as record sound and a PDF document for each slide.
- Classes — Contain a Brillium exam in your course. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned options Will get the work done for all but the edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths based on their performances in the course or information you collect about them and
- Like studying games, Adding interactive elements.
If those are Options you truly need, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of tools here). Thinkific Feature Request
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be content with using the tools in Thinkific to make courses, but some might prefer the option of producing 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 alternative to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a significant number of classes built out in these applications (in which you case you probably don’t need to need to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), or (b) you expect developing a significant catalogue of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish your courses locked to a specific shipping platform.
These can be used by you Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — however there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
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 is a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides standards for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to send it information like how much time a learner has invested in a program, or whether particular parts of the class have been finished successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of data using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
Second, you cannot Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes are made up of over one file (such as, as an example, a video file), and to get them inside the platform, you have to zip up the files and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course building platform offers you. Including also the teacher/student management, the marketing, the selling, and the training course construction.
Systems like Thinkific don’t host courses . Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to go out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you total control over what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and branding management. Let’s explore a few of the standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the student communication tools. It is a visual student management area, with images of your pupils, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re on your program.
You’ve got the Option to send emails to each of those students or create a dialogue with the community. Thinkific Feature Request
Incentives are part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and of course, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want during classes.
Along with Replays of language controls, course content, and cellular optimisation working together with the Thinkific platform ought to feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Motive Thinkific seems great compared to the rivalry is that of its class designer. If you don’t want to you do not have to mess with any code.
In Reality Your content is coordinated with an easy drag and drop editor, in which you pile the course content and move it about .
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. By PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Every one these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you should not have to worry much about a file being too big or running in your very own servers that are shared.
When you personalize Your course website it offers some editing tools to the beginners out there. You can correct items such as logos, colour schemes, and banners, all without touching any code.
However Developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like to make your website unique, the option is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. This is unfortunate as 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 instruments. A lot of this is automated. So, if you’d like to trickle articles to your students–in which courses would be published over the years –Thinkific has this operation. Thinkific Feature Request
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send out emails that are automated based on a program. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to get paid immediately when somebody signs up for your program.
As for getting People outside of your website to come try it out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and men and women who recommend your course. Coupons are also provided through Thinkific, giving a opportunity convince newcomers your class is worth investing in and to create advertisements with specials to you.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you could also link your Adwords, Facebook, and other social reports where students are coming out of to determine.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to deliver your classes, one of the reasons for utilizing a specialized online course platform is that it makes handling and monitoring your customers and their data a lot simpler.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Assisting you to arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables several ways for them to provide comments on the program and for you and your students to communicate. Thinkific Feature Request
As noted, By way of example, you can empower discussion for your courses and then manage your pupils contributions under Support Your Students > Discussions, where you can sort talks by course, react to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t want to appear in the program. (Note: Enabling discussions is currently an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have it or no courses 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 to submit reviews for your courses. Then you have the capability to approve these testimonials (they aren’t printed automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your sales page to your program. Unlike discussions, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are A number of notifications that can be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You register in a course can, as an example, send a customized message when they enroll for your website to students, or complete a course. You can also send out weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When an individual signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom sign-up fields (under Preferences > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you want from the users. (Notice that, unlike programs like Udemy, you get complete access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into classes. This seemingly simple feature may have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market classes in bulk to associations — one of the best ways for course vendors to drive revenue growth, in my experience.
You, groups Can also organize your learners by business, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or other factors, which makes it feasible also to enhance your marketing and to track the effectiveness of your offerings. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Pro plan license with the Development Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups functionality Thinkific Feature Request
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a online class platform — to posting content supporting a password on a Web site, as opposed, by way of example — is that it is going to monitor things like path progress and conclusion in addition to quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a particular student and monitor numerous variables for every course in which the pupil is enrolled. For each class you will 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 in (date)
I enjoy that you If you are adding new lessons can also choose to reset the completion percentage of a student at any time.
Overall, the Course coverage is rather simple, but I suspect 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 document (instead of displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document includes the responses from all students who’ve obtained a survey a quiz email address, together with their title, and if they shot it. For quizzes, it also supplies the amount and percent .
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the chief regions in which the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much the platforms of the all . Over time, it would be possible to get course conclusion and quiz/survey data through a Web interface. Even better, it would be great to have the ability to see a student transcript that displays hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not now captured at all at Thinkific), and a URL to download the certificate related to the course. Thinkific Feature Request
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning industry for the last couple of years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a very affordable price. It was not that long ago a system with these capacities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
With that in mind, It is really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are openings which can rule out it for some course sellers — and these tend to be. The main ones that I see are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver courses created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. In case you’ve got a strong and legitimate reason for using one of the significant e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the thing to do.
Like I Are areas that are not served well by additional platforms which are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform which supports all three normally means a starting price point than Thinkific — and it can go a lot from that point up. Thus, be sure these are gaps for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the estimated number of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you can’t specify the total amount of continuing education available for a program. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Thinkific Feature Request
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can create a number of instances of a stage. This can be very handy if, as an example, you’re a training company with corporate clients and those clients want their very own branded example of the platform for serving and managing their own customers. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it is not the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an internet course platform which has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it too has no hidden charges or contracts. That’s good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a plan for people who want to test the platform but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to launch your shop and begin building a pupil base. There’s also a free trial if you give a whirl to one of those plans that are more innovative.
The pricing is Broken up into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 to many core Thinkific features. This strategy has a 10% transaction fee, all you want to create, promote, and sell infinite courses, your courses, course upsells, content hosting integrations, Stripe/PayPal service, and access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 a month you receive all center and newcomer features, along with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, class packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, custom domainname, and additional course prices. Thinkific Feature Request
Business — For $99 per month you receive the features from all previous programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, site white tagging, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority service, instructor payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment strategies, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you get all attributes from prior plans, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding bundle, public API, innovative integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great advantages to its pricing design. Not only can you start your course at no cost (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra 3 plans are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all Most probably don’t need API access until you start becoming advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates and also the HTML editing at the Essentials plan, but $99 per month still is bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% to the program that is free. That is large, but it creates an environment for people who do not have the capital to start a professional online store or anyone with low quantity. Once you start earning money you can cut that transaction fee down.
You can By paying an yearly basis, also save money. So, the snowball strategy goes to $39 a month if you pay it all upfront. The company program is $79 a month and the Advanced plan is 219. That makes the pricing programs quite much like Teachable.
I will finish this Thinkific review where I began: this is a stage I highly recommend. Hopefully it’s evident by now that it offers a range of the vital features to encourage your ordinary edupreneur in selling classes that are online.
I think it is also Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a great deal of momentum. This is not a trivial point: the market for online course platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot will be gone tomorrow. I feel convinced Thinkific will be around, and the company is obviously growing and always investing to improve its own platform. Thinkific Feature Request