Intro Thinkific New Themes
If You’re currently selling Or even thinking about selling courses, you do not have to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific reviews on the market. The main difference that this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Thinkific New Themes
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on companies that sell education (as opposed to, for example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their students to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and implementing online course platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- More than a decade of experience tracking and researching online class platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling classes
I have been Monitoring Thinkific and other suppliers which have emerged as a new class of online course platforms. These are platforms that LMSes, or are more user friendly and less costly than traditional learning management systems. They are companies that want to get into the online course business and a blessing for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I think they have potential to disrupt the learning management system marketplace.
Thus, having said All that, let’s begin.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere supplies an appealing, user friendly to the students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capabilities this year, Thinkific is up to the job. Thinkific New Themes
Using Site Builder — that is simply part of the admin board for the platform — you now have the ability to prepare an attractive home page to your course site and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to give details about you and your other solutions ). While you do not have complete control — you can’t, for instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess very good capabilities for modifying branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload just about any kind of images or media you’d like to utilize.
Site Builder Comes with three themes to choose from, and there are multiple variants for each one of those topics. (The company says more topics are a part of their future development program.) Additionally, there are a selection of pre-fab”segments” you are able to add 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 options — basically, all the essential tools you require for conducting a successful path or membership site. There’s also a blank slate”Text & media” section that can be used to create pretty much whatever you want.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to work out how to do some basic things like delete segments (the topics offer a house page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the site menu. But service was readily available for them. Thinkific includes a solid support website on which you are able to search 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 to the Thinkific site or from a different user.
Some added Features to notice:
- 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 Fundamental ) you can get 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 virtually any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (under Settings > Site)– By leaping up into a Pro Plan ($99 a month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (below Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — You can change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. By way of instance, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the label for portions of a course. You might prefer to change this to”Lessons” Thinkific New Themes
Thus, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for the main Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and don’t have a Web presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a great way to take a huge item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get a decent Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launching your classes. You can worry about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, though — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) for your main Web site. Website Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to complement your primary Web site — but ultimately it is relatively restricted. A few of the key current constraints include:
- All themes are pillar. Therefore, as an example, you can’t put email signup types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As noted, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limitation if you really wish to reflect the branding of an existing Web website.
- There is no control on search engine optimization settings on Web 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 typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the extensive network of seasoned contractors that are available to support platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of those Limitations, Site Builder is very likely to do the work well for many edupreneurs and is a bit better than what most online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need to have an attractive, user-friendly website to house your classes, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates that can be quite beneficial to course builders looking for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to think about for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start new and construct your course to match your particular curriculum requirements.
- 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 course using a strong curriculum outline created with best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to judge interest in your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an online course to create 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 permit registrants to assess your presentation and offer.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content from the sections which are provided, delete segments, or insert new sections to reach the approach that is right for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific provides”smart coach course construction hints” to help you. (I found them helpful, but they can be easily switched off, if you would like.) Thinkific New Themes
If 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 earning your it up, and you will reap the benefits.
And You’re Already comfortable with other Internet content systems — like, by way of example, WordPress or a different course platform — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall, the logic Of putting together a class in Thinkific makes complete sense. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you can change at any point), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones already in the template) to produce the structure of this program. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This has saved in a video library for re-use in other 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 info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia lessons — This is a way to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your program. 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 Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder alternative discussed previously.
- Research lessons — Collect information/feedback from your students by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Upload a PDF document to be looked at within the program player.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific that you can turn off or on beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Include resources to be available for download from within the program participant.
- Demo lessons — Upload a demonstration as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Classes — Contain a Brillium exam in your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 per month. More about that below.)
The above Choices Will get the work done for all but the edupreneurs. The main places they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths depending on their performances in the course or information you collect about them and
- Adding components.
If those are Options you truly need, you would be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Thinkific New Themes
The use of Articulate and Captivate at Thinkific
Many course Founders will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to make classes, but some might prefer the option of producing their classes with third-party e-learning course creation software such as Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third-party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) already have a significant number of courses built out in one of these applications (in which you probably do not need to have to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course production tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a substantial catalog of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not wish your classes locked into a particular delivery stage.
These can be used by you Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — but there are a few limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its class) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides standards for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to send it information like how much time a learner has invested in a program, or whether particular areas of the class have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of data using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific on your own. These courses 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 to Thinkific customer service.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Course building platform offers you the features you want from begin to finish. This includes the promotion the course construction, the promotion, and the teacher/student management.
Systems like Thinkific don’t host courses . Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so you don’t have 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 such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides control that is branding and more freedom. Let’s explore some of the standout features.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, together with pictures of your pupils, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re on your course.
You’ve got the Option create a dialogue or to send emails that are customized to each of those students. Thinkific New Themes
Incentives are Also a part of this learning environment because Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and needless to say, the emails for sending out just about anything you want during classes.
Along with Replays of course material, language controls, and optimization, students working together with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of the Motive Thinkific seems so great in contrast to the rivalry is that of its course designer. You do not have to mess with any code in case you don’t want to.
In Reality Your content is organized using an easy drag and drop editor, in which you move it about and stack the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media forms. From PDFs to sound files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a vast range of learning tools for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about a file being too large or running in your very own servers.
When you customize Your course website it features some handy editing tools for the novices on the market. You can adjust items like logos, color schemes, and banners, without touching any code.
The more, however Advanced developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. So, if you want to make your website unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way unless people know your path exists, to begin earning money.
Thinkific does It the ideal way, with marketing and promotional instruments built into the app. A lot of this is automated. Consequently, if you’d like to trickle articles to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific New Themes
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send emails that are automatic based on a program. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, along with the option to become paid immediately when someone signs up on your course.
In Terms of becoming It is tried by people outside of your site to come out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other people who recommend your program. Coupons can also be provided through Thinkific, giving a chance convince novices your class is well worth investing in and to create advertisements with specials to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is monitored directly in the dashboard, and you could also link Facebook, your Adwords, and other social reports to see where students are coming out of.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to deliver your courses, one of the important reasons for using a specialized class platform is that it makes tracking and handling your users and their data a lot simpler.
Communicating with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to organize your students, Thinkific also enables several ways for you and your students to communicate and also for them to give feedback on the course. Thinkific New Themes
As already noted, For instance, you can enable discussion for your courses and then manage your pupils contributions under Support Your Students Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, respond to pupils, and — if desired –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t wish to show up in the program. (Note: Enabling talks is currently an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have no or it classes 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 reviews for your classes. Then you have the ability to approve these reviews (they aren’t printed automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your earnings page for the course. Unlike discussions, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications that could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You can, as an instance, send a customized message if your site is registered for by them to pupils, register in a course, or finish a course. It is also possible to send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you want from your own users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you receive full access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into classes. This seemingly simple feature may have a large effect on your business model by making it feasible for you to sell classes in bulk among the greatest ways for internet course vendors to induce revenue growth that is major , in my experience.
Using classes May also easily arrange your learners by business, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or other variables, which makes it feasible to refine your marketing moving ahead and to track the efficacy of your own offerings. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru plan license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Thinkific New Themes
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital motive to Have a online course platform — to just posting articles supporting a password on a Web site as opposed, by way of instance — is it will track things like path progress and completion as well as quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a particular student and monitor a number of factors for every class in which the pupil is registered. For each course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign in (date)
I like that you If you are adding new lessons to an already finished class can also opt to reset the completion percentage of a student at any time, for example.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly basic, but I guess it’ll serve the demands of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the Program 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 contains the answers from all students who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, together with their name, and if it was taken by them. For quizzes, it supplies percentage and the amount .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the regions where the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this tends to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all . Ideally, over time, it would be possible to access quiz/survey data and course completion through a single Web interface. Even better, it might be good to have the ability to view a student transcript that shows hours associated with a program, any credit earned (not currently captured at all in Thinkific), and a URL to obtain the certificate associated with the course. Thinkific New Themes
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning industry for the last few years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable range of features at a very reasonable price. It wasn’t that long ago a system with these capacities could have cost thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It is hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Nonetheless, there are gaps that can rule it out for some course vendors — and these all tend to be. The main ones I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it does not actually take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these applications. If you have a robust and legitimate reason for using one of the significant criteria, then Thinkific would not be the thing to do.
As I said, these Are areas which, for the most part, aren’t served by additional programs that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform which supports all three normally means a beginning price point than Thinkific — and it can go up a lot from that point. So, be sure that these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for completing a course in Thinkific, you cannot define the total amount of continuing education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Thinkific New Themes
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can make multiple instances of a platform under one umbrella. This can be really handy if, as an example, you are a training company with many corporate clients and those customers want their very own branded instance of this platform for serving and managing their own users. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it is not the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To discover an internet course platform that has many hidden fees, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s very good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a program that is totally free for those who wish to try the platform but not get bogged down from constraints. In theory, it helps you start building a student base without having to pay a dime and launch your shop. There is also a free trial if you would rather give a whirl to one of those plans that are more innovative.
The pricing is Divided into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific features. This plan has a top transaction fee, all you want to create, promote, and sell Stripe/PayPal support , unlimited courses, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations, your classes, and immediate access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 a month you get all core and starter features, along with a 5 percent transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class bundles, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, custom domainname, along with extra course prices. Thinkific New Themes
Business — For $99 a month you receive the features from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and concealed courses, site white tagging, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all attributes from previous plans, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, public API, innovative integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great benefits to its pricing layout. Not only can you start your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra 3 plans are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all, you Most probably don’t need API access until you start becoming advanced with your course selling.
I would not mind Seeing the completion certificates and the HTML editing at the Essentials plan, however $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the program that is free. That is high, however, it creates an superb environment for anyone with low volume or people who don’t have the upfront capital to launch a professional online store. As soon as you start making money you’ll be able to reduce that trade fee.
You can By paying on an annual basis Save money. If you pay it all upfront, the Essentials plan goes to $39 a month. The company program is $79 per month and the Advanced plan is 219. This makes the pricing plans similar to Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review where I started: this really is a platform I highly recommend. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it offers a complete range of the features that are most essential to encourage your average edupreneur.
I think it is also Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a great deal of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online course platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be certain that a lot of the platforms that are here today will be gone tomorrow. I’m confident that Thinkific will be about, and the organization is clearly growing and continually investing to boost its platform. Thinkific New Themes