Introduction Thinkific Logo
If you are promoting Or thinking about selling courses, you do not have to do much hunting to come up with a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific reviews on the market. The main difference this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Thinkific Logo
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on companies that sell schooling (as opposed to, for example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and researching online course platforms and helping individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling classes
I’ve been Monitoring Thinkific and other providers which have emerged within the past years as a new class of course platforms. These are programs which are much more user friendly and less costly or LMSes. They’re a true blessing for solo edupreneurs and small businesses that want to enter the course enterprise. As time passes, I think they have real potential to disrupt the learning management system market.
So, having said That, let’s begin.
Construction and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace provides an appealing, user friendly to your students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capacities Thinkific is up to the job. Thinkific Logo
Using Site Builder — that is only part of the admin panel for the stage — you have the ability to set up an attractive home page for your course site and create as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give details 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 possess really good capabilities for changing branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload pretty much any kind of images or media you’d like to utilize.
Website Builder Now comes with three topics to select from, and there are variants for each of these themes. (The company says more themes are a part of the upcoming growth plan.) There are also a selection of pre-fab”segments” that you are able to insert and modify on any webpage to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all the critical tools you require for conducting a successful course or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section which can 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 how to do some basic things like delete segments (the themes provide a house page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the website menu. But support has been readily available for them. Thinkific includes a good support website on which you can search for help, but I often only use a Google search along with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I need (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 a different user.
Some added Features to note:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid program (beginning at $49 a month for Basic) you can find a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any plan you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (under Settings > Website )– By jumping up into a Guru Plan ($99 per month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily remove the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (under Settings > Learning Content and various other areas) — You can change a lot of the default language which is used in navigation and other regions. For example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the tag for parts of a course. You may prefer to change this to”Lessons.” Thinkific Logo
So, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the main Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and do not already have a Web presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a good way to take a huge item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get an adequate Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launching your courses. You can worry about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have a Web site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) to your main Internet website. Website Builder is great for what it does — and can create a great course site to complement your main Web site — but finally it is relatively limited. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All motifs are single pillar. So, for example, you can not put e-mail sign-up types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation if you truly want to reflect the branding of an present Web website.
- There’s no control over search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can not define the name tags or meta descriptions. You can, however, do so on track landing pages, which is possibly more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins and the extensive network of seasoned contractors that are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of those Limits, Website Builder is very likely to perform the work well for most edupreneurs and is a little better than what many online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your classes, 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 may be very useful to course builders looking for assistance with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to think about for supplying an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your course to match your particular program needs.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to generate prospects for a complete flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a complete online course using a strong curriculum outline created using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started building a waitlist to gauge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to generate revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership package with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to assess your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content from the sections which are provided, delete sections, or insert new segments to reach the approach that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course building hints” to help you. (I found these helpful, but they may be easily switched off, if you would like.) Thinkific Logo
If you have zero Experience working with Web content, there will inevitably be a small learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your it up, and you will reap the benefits.
And, in case You’re Already comfortable with other Internet content programs — like, for a different course platform, WordPress or example — I think you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall Of putting together a class in Thinkific makes sense in my standpoint. After selecting”New Course,” picking your course type, naming it (which you may change at any point), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to produce the structure of this course. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way similar to how I described using Website Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This has stored in a video 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 website.)
- Classes — 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 course. Some 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 about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder option discussed above.
- Research lessons — Gather information/feedback from the students by building a short poll in Thinkific.
- PDF classes — Upload a PDF document to be looked at within the course participant.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards into your course. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn on or off beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Contain resources to be available for download from within the course participant.
- Demo classes — synchronize a demonstration as record sound and a PDF file for each slide.
- Exam classes — Contain a Brillium exam on your course. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will find the work completed for all but the edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to move down different paths based on their performances in the course or information you collect about them and
- Like studying games inserting components.
If those are Options you genuinely need, you would be better off using a full size course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of programs here). Thinkific Logo
Use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to make classes, but some might prefer the option of creating their courses with third party e-learning class creation software such as Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third party tool is an option to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a significant number of courses built out in one of these tools (in which you case you probably do not want to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you expect developing a substantial catalog of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your classes locked to a particular delivery stage.
These can be used by you Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — however there are a few limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its own course ) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands for the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it data like how much time a student has spent in a program, or if specific areas of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of data using its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific on your own. These courses comprise of more than a single file (like, as an example, a video file), so to get them inside the platform, you have to zip the files up and send them into Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform typically offers you. This includes the promotion the training course construction, the promotion, and also also the teacher/student management.
Systems such as Thinkific don’t host courses on your own website. Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you do not have to go outside and find your own hosting,) but it gives you total control over what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides branding management and more liberty. Let’s explore some of the other standout features.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, together with images of your pupils, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re in your program.
You have the Option to send emails or create a dialogue. Thinkific Logo
Incentives are A part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and during courses, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
Along with Infinite replays of language controls course material, students, and mobile optimization working together with the Thinkific platform ought to feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of this Reason Thinkific seems great compared to the rivalry is that of its class designer. You do not need to mess with any code in case you don’t need to.
In fact, all of Your content is coordinated with an easy drag and drop editor, in which you pile the course content and move it around vertically.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media types. By PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you shouldn’t need to worry much about a file running slowly in your servers that are shared or being too large.
When you customize Your course site it features some handy editing tools for the novices out there. As an example, you can correct items such as color schemes banners, and logos without touching any code.
However Advanced developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you want to make your website unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way.
Thinkific does The app was built into by it the right way, with promotional and marketing instruments. Much of this is automatic as well. Consequently, if you want to drip content to your students–in which certain courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Logo
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send out emails that are automated based on a schedule. Pricing can be also done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to become paid instantly when somebody signs up on your course.
In Terms of getting It is tried by people beyond your website to come out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to reward men and women who recommend your course and bloggers. Coupons are also provided through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity convince novices your class is worth investing in and to create advertisements.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked directly in the dashboard, and you can also join your Adwords, Facebook, and other social accounts where students are coming from to see.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to deliver your classes, one of the important reasons for utilizing a technical class platform is that it creates managing and tracking your users and their data much simpler.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Assisting you to organize your students, Thinkific also enables several ways for them to give comments on the program and for you and your students to communicate. Thinkific Logo
As already noted, By way of instance, you can enable discussion for your classes and manage your pupils contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort talks by course, respond to students, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts that you don’t wish to appear in the course. (Note: Letting talks is currently an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this is to use the Disqus option on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Enable your student to submit testimonials for your courses. Then you have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not published automatically) and use them as social proof on your earnings page for your program. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are A number of notifications which can be disabled or enabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can send a customized message when your site is registered for by them to students, enroll in a specific course, or complete a program. It is also possible to send out reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe 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 using custom sign-up fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to catch whatever specific information you desire from your own users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you receive complete access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This feature can have a large effect on your business model by making it possible for you to sell courses in bulk to organizations — among the best ways for course vendors to induce revenue development that is major .
You, classes Can easily organize your learners by other factors, or business, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, which makes it feasible to enhance your marketing going and to track the efficacy of your offerings with each group. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru plan license with the Growth Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Thinkific Logo
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital reason to Have a specialized online class platform — as opposed to just posting articles behind a password on a Web site — is that it will monitor quiz and survey information as well as things like path progress and completion.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to pick a particular student and monitor a number of variables for each course 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 at (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I like that you If you are adding new classes to an course May opt to reset a student’s completion percentage for example, at any moment.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly simple, 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 document (rather than displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document includes the answers from all students who have obtained a questionnaire a quiz e-mail address, along with their title, and when it was taken by them. For quizzes, in addition, it supplies the amount and percent .
Overall, reporting For both quizzes/surveys and courses is among the main areas where the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much the platforms of the all within this category of platforms. Over time, it might be possible to access course conclusion and quiz/survey data via a single Web interface. Even better, it might be good to be able to view a student transcript that displays hours related to a program, any credit earned (not now captured at all at Thinkific), along with a URL to download the certificate related to the program. Thinkific Logo
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the last few decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a very affordable price. It wasn’t that long ago that a system with these capacities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are gaps that will rule it out to some course vendors — and these all tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific may host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t really take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. If you’ve got a reason for using one of the significant criteria, then Thinkific would not be the way to go.
As I said, these Are areas which, for the most part, aren’t served well by additional programs that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform which supports all three generally means a price point than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from that point. So, be sure these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the estimated number of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you cannot specify the amount of continuing education accessible for a course. 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 Logo
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and handle multiple instances of a platform. This can be very useful if you are a training company that has corporate clients and those clients want their own instance of this platform for handling and serving their users. While the Group performance in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it is not the exact same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To discover an internet course platform which has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises that it also has no hidden charges or contracts. That’s good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a totally free program for people who want to try the platform out but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it helps you begin building a student base without having to pay a dime and start your store. If you give one of the plans a whirl there is also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four easy plans:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific capabilities. This plan has a high 10% transaction fee, all you need to make, promote, and sell content hosting , infinite courses, course upsells, your courses, basic integrations support, and immediate access to all funds.
Basics — For $49 per month you receive all core and starter features, together with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, custom domainname, along with additional course rates. Thinkific Logo
Business — For $99 per month you get the features from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and concealed courses, website white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority service, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding telephone, payment plans, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all features 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 innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic advantages to its pricing layout. Not only can you begin your course for free (something that is not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) but the extra three programs are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all Most likely don’t need API accessibility until you start getting advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates and also the HTML editing at the Essentials plan, however $99 per month still is not that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% to the free plan. That is large, but it creates an atmosphere for those who have low quantity now or individuals who do not have the upfront capital to launch a professional online shop. You’ll be able to reduce that transaction fee once you get started making money.
You can By paying on an annual basis, save money. If you pay it all upfront, the snowball strategy goes to $39 a month. The company program is $79 per month and the Advanced program is $219. This makes the pricing plans rather similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review where I started: this is a platform I highly recommend. Hopefully it is clear by now that it supplies your edupreneur to be supported by a range of the features in selling online courses.
I think it is also Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a great deal of momentum. This is definitely not a trivial point: the marketplace for online course platforms like Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot of the programs which are here now will be gone tomorrow. I feel convinced that Thinkific will be about, and the company is clearly growing and continually investing to improve its platform. Thinkific Logo