Introduction Thinkific Free Version
If You’re selling Or even thinking about selling online classes, you don’t have to do much hunting to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Thinkific Free Version
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a Particular focus on businesses that sell education (compared to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to purchase )
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and executing 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 monitoring and researching online course platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling classes
I’ve been closely Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers which have emerged as a new type of online course platforms within the past decades. These are platforms which are a lot more user friendly and less costly or LMSes. They are small businesses that want to enter the online course business and a true boon for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I believe they also have real potential to disrupt the traditional learning management system marketplace.
Having said That, let’s get started.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace supplies an attractive, user friendly to your students and prospective students. Since the debut of its Site Builder capabilities this season, Thinkific is definitely up to the job. Thinkific Free Version
Using Site Builder — which is simply a part of the admin panel for the platform — you now have the ability to prepare an attractive home page for your course site and create as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide information about you and your other solutions ). Despite the fact that you do not have complete control — you can not, for example, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess really excellent capabilities for modifying branding elements like colors and font styles and you can upload just about any type of pictures or media you’d want to use.
Website Builder Currently comes with three topics and there are variations for each of those themes. (The company says more topics are part of the upcoming development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”segments” that you are able to insert and modify on any page 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 critical tools you need for running a successful course or membership site. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section which may be used to make pretty much whatever you desire.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took a while to figure 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 site menu. However service was readily available for them. Thinkific includes a good support website on which you can search for help, but I tend to only use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (beginning at $49 a month for Basic) you can find a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any strategy you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (under Settings > Website )– By leaping up into a Pro Plan ($99 per month) with the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your site and courses.
- Text Changes (under Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — It is possible to change a great deal of the default language that is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” because the label for portions of a program. You may like to change this to”Lessons” Thinkific Free Version
So, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for my main Web website?”
For edupreneurs Who are just starting off and don’t have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to have 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 launch your courses. You can worry about a more complicated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, however — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) for your main Web website. Site Builder is great for what it does — and can create a fantastic course website to complement your primary Web site — but finally it is relatively limited. A few of the key current constraints include:
- All motifs are single column. So, for instance, you can’t put email sign-up types, promotions for course, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can not apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation if you really wish to reflect the branding of an existing 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 typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins and the extensive network of seasoned contractors that are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of those Limits, Website Builder is very likely to do the job well for many edupreneurs and is quite a little better than what many online class platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need an attractive, user-friendly site to house your classes, the classes themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be quite useful to track builders searching for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you would be likely to think about for supplying an educational item. All these are:
- Blank — Start new and construct your own course to match your particular program needs.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to generate prospects for a full flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a complete online course employing a strong curriculum outline created with best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and get started building a waitlist to gauge interest on 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 assess your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content in the segments that are provided, delete sections, or add new sections to reach the approach that is right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course building tips” to help you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily turned off, should you would like.) Thinkific Free Version
In Case 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 making your it up, and you’ll reap the benefits.
And, if you are Comfortable using other Web content systems — such as, by way of another program platform, WordPress or instance — I think you will find operating in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall A class at Thinkific makes complete sense. After choosing”New Course,” picking your path type, naming it (which you may change at any stage ), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones already in the template) to create the structure of this program. As mentioned above, if you do not like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way very similar to how I described using Website Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This gets stored in a movie library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who isn’t a registered user of your site.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More information 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 (supply 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 documents (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder alternative discussed previously.
- Research lessons — Gather by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes — Publish a PDF document to be viewed within the program player.
- Disqus classes — Add Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there’s also a discussion option built into Thinkific which you may turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Contain resources available for downloading from inside the program participant.
- Demo classes — synchronize a demonstration as record audio and a PDF document for each slide.
- Lessons — Include a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and starts at $49 per month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned options Will get the job completed for all but the edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to move down different paths depending on their performances from the course or data you collect about them — and
- Adding components like studying games.
If those are Choices you truly want, you would be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Thinkific Free Version
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to create courses, but some might prefer the option of producing their classes with third party e-learning class creation software such as Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third-party tool is an alternative to seriously think about if you (a) currently have a substantial number of courses built out in these applications (in which you case you probably don’t need to have to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a significant catalogue of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish to have your courses locked into a specific delivery platform.
These can be used by you Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — however 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 main 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 invested in a program, or whether particular areas of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of information using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific on your own. These classes are made up of over a single file (like, for instance, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you have to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer service.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform offers you the features you want from begin to finish. This includes the selling, the marketing, the training course building, and the teacher/student management.
Systems such as Thinkific don’t host courses on your own site. Your content is actually hosted with Thinkific (so that you do not have to venture out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you complete control on what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and control that is branding. Let us explore some of the other standout features.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, with pictures of your students, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your program.
You’ve got the Option create a conversation with the entire community or to send emails that are customized to every one of the pupils. Thinkific Free Version
Incentives are Also a part of this learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, completion certificates, and throughout courses, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
Along with Replays of speech controls course content, students, and optimisation working together with the Thinkific platform ought to feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Motive Thinkific seems so great in contrast to this competition is that of its course designer. In case you don’t need to you don’t need to mess with any code.
In fact Your content is coordinated using an easy drag and drop editor, in which you move it around vertically and pile the class content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of virtually all media types. By PDFs to sound files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned Every one these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you shouldn’t need to worry about a file being too big or running in your own shared servers.
When you customize Your course site it features some editing tools to the beginners out there. As an example, you can adjust items like logos, colour schemes, and banners, without touching any code.
The more, however Advanced developers have full 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. As there’s no way to start earning money unless people understand your course 19, this is unfortunate.
Thinkific does The program was built into by it the way, with marketing and promotional tools. A lot of this is automatic as well. Consequently, if you’d like to drip articles to your students–in which certain courses would be published over time–Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Free Version
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the ideal people and send emails that are automatic out based on a program. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, along with the choice to get paid immediately when someone signs up for your course.
As for getting People beyond your site try it out, Thinkific comes with an online affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers and other men and women who advocate your course. Coupons can also be provided through Thinkific, giving a chance to create advertisements and convince novices that your class is worth investing in to you.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored directly in the dashboard, and you could also link Facebook, your Adwords, and other accounts to determine where students are coming out of.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the key reasons for using a specialized course platform is that it makes managing and monitoring your users and their data a lot simpler.
Communication with Learners
Along with Helping you organize your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways that you communicate with your students and for them to provide feedback on the program. Thinkific Free Version
As noted, For example, you can empower discussion to your courses and manage your pupils contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, react to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t want to appear in the course. (Note: Enabling discussions is now an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have no or it classes have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student to submit reviews for your classes. You then have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not published automatically) and use them as social proof on your earnings page to the program. Unlike discussions, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications which could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be customized. You register in a course can send a customized message when they enroll for your site to students, or finish a course. You can also send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When an individual signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and using custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Programs & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever specific information you want from your own users. (Note that, unlike programs such as Udemy, you receive complete access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This simple feature may have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market courses in bulk to organizations — one of the best ways for course sellers to drive major revenue growth.
Using groups, you May easily organize your learners by cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or business, or other variables, which makes it possible to monitor the efficacy of your offerings and to enhance your marketing. (Note: use of the Groups feature requires a Guru plan license with the Growth Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups performance Thinkific Free Version
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital motive to Have a online class platform — to posting articles behind a password on a Web site instead, by way of instance — is that it will track things like conclusion and course progress in addition to quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a particular student and monitor a number of variables for every course in which the pupil is enrolled. For each course you may 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 (date)
I enjoy this you If you are adding new classes to an already finished course can opt to reset a student’s completion percentage for example, at any time.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly basic, but I guess it’ll serve the demands of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program 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 have obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, together with their name, and when they took it. For quizzes, it also provides percent and the amount of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is among the areas where the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all . Ideally, over time, it would be possible to get quiz/survey data and course completion via a single Web interface. Even better, it might be good to be able to view a student transcript that shows hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way at Thinkific), and a link to download the certificate associated with the program. Thinkific Free Version
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning industry for the last few decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable range of features at a very affordable price. It wasn’t long ago a system with those capabilities could have easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It is hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Nonetheless, there are openings which will rule it out to some course sellers — and these all tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. If you’ve got a robust and legitimate reason for using one of the significant e-learning standards, Thinkific might not be the way to go.
Like I Are areas that aren’t served well by additional platforms that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform that supports all three means a price point a few times higher than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from there. Be sure that these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the estimated number of hours for completing a course in Thinkific, you can’t specify the amount of continuing education accessible for a course. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to using Thinkific, Thinkific Free Version
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and handle a number of instances of a platform. This can be really useful if you’re a training company with corporate clients and those customers want their branded instance of this platform for managing and serving their own users. While the Group performance in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it isn’t the exact same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an online course platform which 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 offer a plan that is free for people who want to try out the platform but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it makes it possible to start your store and start building a pupil base without needing to pay a dime. There is also a free trial if you would rather give a whirl to one of the plans.
The pricing is Divided into four easy plans:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific features. This strategy has a high transaction fee, everything you want to make, promote, and sell your classes, courses that are infinite, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations service, and access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 a month you receive all core and starter features, together with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a majority student emailer, custom domain, and additional course prices. Thinkific Free Version
Business — For $99 a month you get the features from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, website 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 plans, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you receive all attributes from previous programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, people API, innovative integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Benefits to its pricing layout. Not only can you begin your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) however, the additional 3 plans are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all, you Most likely don’t need API accessibility until you start becoming advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates and the HTML editing in the Essentials plan, however $99 a month is not that bad.
As you can see, The transaction fees are 10% for the free program. That is high, but it creates an environment for individuals who do not have the capital to start a professional online store or anyone with low volume right now. Once you start earning money you can reduce that trade fee.
You can By paying an yearly basis save money. The Essentials plan goes down to $39 a month if you cover it all upfront. The Business program is $79 a month and also the Advanced program is $219. This makes the pricing programs similar to Teachable.
I will finish this Thinkific review where I started: this really is. Hopefully it is clear by now that it offers a complete range of the most vital features to support your ordinary edupreneur in selling online classes.
I think it is Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a great deal of momentum. This is not a point: the marketplace for online class platforms such as Thinkific is currently crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot is going to undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I feel confident Thinkific will be about, and the company is obviously growing and always investing to improve its own platform. Thinkific Free Version