Introduction Thinkific Features
If You’re promoting Or even thinking about selling online courses, you don’t have to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific reviews out there. The main difference this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Thinkific Features
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a specific focus on companies that sell education (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and implementing online class platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development firm.)
- More than a decade of experience monitoring and researching online course platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling courses
I’ve been Monitoring Thinkific and other providers which have emerged in the previous several decades as a new class of course platforms. These are platforms which are less expensive and much more user friendly or LMSes. They are a boon for solo edupreneurs and businesses that want to enter the course enterprise. Over time, I think they also have real potential to interrupt the traditional learning management system market.
Having said That, let us get started.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace supplies an attractive, user friendly to the students and prospective students. Since the debut of its Site Builder capacities Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Thinkific Features
Using Site Builder — which is simply part of the admin panel for the platform — you have the capacity to prepare an appealing home page for your course site and make as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give details about you and your other solutions ). Despite the fact that you do not have complete control — you can not, for example, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess very excellent capabilities for modifying branding components like colors and font styles and you may upload pretty much any type of images or media you’d want to use.
Site Builder Now comes with three themes and there are multiple variants for each of these themes. (The company says more themes are a part of the upcoming development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”segments” you are able to insert and modify on any webpage to provide for things like social evidence (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing options — basically, all of the essential tools you require for conducting a successful path or membership site. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section which may be used 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 the way to do some basic things like delete sections (the topics provide a house page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the site menu. However support was readily available for these. Thinkific has a solid support site on which you can look for help, but I often just use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support using this method, whether on the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some added Features to notice:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re 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 > Site) — With any plan 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 (below Settings > Site)– By leaping up to a Guru Plan ($99 a month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” language 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. For example, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the tag for portions of a program. You may prefer to change this to”Lessons” Thinkific Features
So, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the main Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and do not have an Internet presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to take a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get a decent Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launching your classes. You can worry about a more complicated Web site later.
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 some other course platform) for your main Internet site. Site Builder is great for what it does — and may create a great course site to match your main Web site — but ultimately it’s relatively restricted. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All motifs are single pillar. Therefore, for example, you can’t put email signup types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limit if you truly wish to mirror the branding of an present Web site.
- There is no control over search engine optimization configurations on Web pages — e.g., you can’t specify the name tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do so on course landing pages, which is possibly more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins and the extensive network of experienced contractors who are available to encourage platforms like WordPress.
In spite of these Limits, Website Builder is likely to perform the job well for many edupreneurs and is quite a little better than what most online course platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, 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 range of pre-configured templates which can be very beneficial to track builders searching for help with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to consider for offering an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your course to match your particular curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to generate prospects for a complete flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a full online class using a robust curriculum outline made with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and start constructing a waitlist to gauge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to generate revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership package for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to review your presentation and offer.
All of these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content from the sections which are supplied, delete segments, or insert new segments to arrive at the strategy that is right for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course building tips” to help you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily switched off, if you would like.) Thinkific Features
In Case 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 good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your way up it, and you’ll reap the benefits.
And You’re Comfortable using other Web content systems — such as, by way of example, WordPress or another program platform — I think you will find operating in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall, the logic Of putting together a course at Thinkific makes sense from my standpoint. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones already in the template) to produce the structure of the course. As mentioned 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 very similar to the way I described using Site Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets saved in a video library for re-use in other courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your site.)
- Classes — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes below)
- Multimedia classes — This is a means to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your program. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide the URL 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 classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder option mentioned above.
- Survey lessons — Collect by building a short survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes.
- Disqus lessons — Add Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific which you can turn on or off beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads resources.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a demonstration as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Classes — Include a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium license is distinct from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned options Will get the work done for all but the most complex edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Providing 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, Adding components.
If those are Choices you genuinely want, you would be better off with a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of programs here). Thinkific Features
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to make classes, but some might prefer the option of creating their courses with third-party e-learning course creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a significant number of courses built out in one of these applications (in which you case you probably don’t want to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a significant catalog of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not wish to have your classes locked to a specific delivery platform.
You can use these 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 route.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its course ) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides standards for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it information like how long a learner has spent in a course, or if specific areas of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific tracks this type of information with its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific on your own. These classes comprise of over a single file (like, as an example, a video file), and to get them inside the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
A great Course building platform typically offers you. Including the management, the promotion, the promotion, and the training course construction.
Systems like Thinkific do not host classes on your own website. Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not need to go outside and find your own hosting,) but it still gives you total control over what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides branding control and more freedom. Let’s explore a few of the standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, together with pictures of your pupils, titles, contact information, and details for how far they are in your program.
You’ve got the Choice to send emails that are customized or create a dialogue with the entire community. Thinkific Features
Incentives are Also part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and throughout classes, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
Along with Replays of language controllers, course content, students, and cellular optimization working together with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Motive Thinkific looks so great in contrast to the competition is that of its class designer. In case you don’t want to you don’t need to mess with any code.
In fact Your content is organized using an easy drag and drop editor, where you move it around vertically and stack the class content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of virtually all media forms. By PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a vast range of learning tools for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you should not have to worry about a file being too large or running slowly on your shared servers.
When you personalize Your course site it features some useful editing tools to the novices out there. You can correct items like banners, colour schemes, and logos, without touching any code.
However, the more Advanced programmers have full control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your site 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 marketing and promotional tools built into the app. Much of this is automated. Consequently, if you’d like to drip content to your students–where courses would be released over time–Thinkific has this operation. Thinkific Features
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the ideal people and send emails that are automated based on a schedule. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to get paid immediately when someone signs up for your course.
In Terms of becoming It is tried by people beyond your site out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers. Coupons are also provided through Thinkific, giving a chance convince newcomers that your course is worth investing in and to create advertisements with specials to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you can link your Adwords, Facebook, and other social reports where students are coming out of to determine.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the key reasons for using a specialized online course platform is that it creates handling and monitoring your users and their information much simpler.
Communicating with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables several ways for them to give feedback and for you and your learners to communicate. Thinkific Features
As already noted, By way of instance, you can enable discussion for your classes and then manage your students contributions under Support Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort talks by course, respond to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t wish to appear in the course. (Note: Enabling discussions is now a nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this is to utilize the Disqus option on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student. You then have the capability to approve these testimonials (they are not published automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your earnings page for your course. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Ultimately, there are A number of notifications that could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You enroll in a course can, for instance, send a customized message if they enroll for your website to pupils, or complete a program. You can also send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you desire from your users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you get full access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This simple feature may have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to market courses in bulk one of the best ways for online course vendors to induce major revenue development , in my experience.
Using classes Can easily arrange your learners by business, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or other factors, which makes it feasible to refine your marketing and to monitor the effectiveness of your own offerings with each group. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Guru plan license with the Development Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups performance Thinkific Features
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a specialized online class platform — to just posting articles supporting a password on a Web site instead, by way of example — is that it will track things like conclusion and path progress as well as quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a particular student and track numerous variables for each class in which the pupil is registered. For every course you will see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed at (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign in (date)
I enjoy this you If you’re adding new lessons May also opt to reset a student’s completion percentage at any time, for example.
Overall, the Course reporting is rather basic, but I suspect it’ll 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 (rather than displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv document contains the answers from all students who’ve taken a survey a quiz email address, together with their title, and if it was taken by them. For quizzes, it also supplies the number and percentage .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is among the chief regions where the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for pretty much of most the platforms in this category of platforms. Ideally, over time, it would be possible to access course conclusion and quiz/survey data . Even better, it might be great to be able to see a student transcript that shows hours related to a program, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way in Thinkific), along with a URL to download the certificate associated with the program. Thinkific Features
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning sector for the last few years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a very reasonable price. It wasn’t long ago that a system with these capacities could have easily cost tens of thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It’s hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are gaps which will rule out it and all of these tend to be. The main ones that I see are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific can host and deliver courses created in shared authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these programs. If you have a robust and legitimate reason for using one of the significant e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the way to go.
Like I said, these Are areas that, for the most part, are not served well by programs which are in Thinkific’s class. To acquire a platform which supports all three normally means a price point a few times higher than Thinkific — and it could go up a lot from there. Be sure that these are gaps for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the estimated number of hours for finishing a course in Thinkific, you can’t specify the amount of continuing education. While there may be work-arounds, for many course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to using Thinkific, Thinkific Features
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can create multiple instances of a platform under one umbrella. This can be very handy if you’re a training company with corporate clients and those customers want their branded instance of the platform for handling and serving their customers. While the Group performance in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it isn’t the same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I To discover an internet course platform that has many hidden charges, Thinkific advertises that it too has no hidden charges or contracts. That is very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a plan that is totally free for those who want to test out the platform but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it helps you launch your store and start building a student base without needing to pay a dime. If you would rather give one of those more advanced plans a whirl there’s also a free trial.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 to many core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a high 10% transaction fee, all you want to make, market, and sell Stripe/PayPal service , unlimited courses, course upsells, content hosting integrations, your courses, and access to all funds.
Basics — For $49 per month you get all core and newcomer features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class bundles, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate coverage, a majority student emailer, customized domain, along with additional course rates. Thinkific Features
Business — For $99 a month you receive the attributes from all previous programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and hidden courses, website white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority service, instructor payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment plans, and a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all features from prior plans, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, public API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic advantages to its pricing layout. Not only can you begin your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the additional three plans are broken down in a logical manner.
After all Most probably don’t need API access until you start becoming advanced with your path selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing also the HTML editing and the completion certificates at the Essentials plan, however $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the plan that is free. That’s high, but it creates an excellent environment for anyone who have low quantity or individuals who do not have the capital. Once you get started making money that trade fee can be reduce by you.
You can Save money. So, the Essentials plan goes to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business program is $79 per month and the Advanced program is $219. That makes the pricing plans rather much like Teachable.
I will finish this Thinkific review at which I started: this is a platform I recommend. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it supplies a complete range of the characteristics to support your 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 certainly not a point: the marketplace for online class platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot of the platforms that are here now will be gone tomorrow. I’m confident Thinkific will be about, and the organization is clearly growing and always investing to boost its own platform. Thinkific Features