Intro Thinkific Pros And Cons
If you are selling Or even thinking about selling online classes, you do not have to do much searching to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Thinkific Pros And Cons
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning Business, with a Particular focus on companies 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, developing, and executing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development company.)
- More than a decade of experience monitoring and researching online course platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I’ve been Tracking Thinkific and other providers that have emerged in the past several years as a new type of course platforms. These are platforms which are more user-friendly and less costly than conventional learning management methods, or LMSes. They’re small businesses that want to enter the online course business and a true blessing for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I think they also have real potential to interrupt the learning management system market that is traditional.
Thus, having said That, let’s get started.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that somewhere supplies an appealing, user friendly to your students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capacities Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Thinkific Pros And Cons
Using Site Builder — that is only a part of the admin board for the stage — you have the capacity 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 ). While you do not have total control — you can not, for example, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get really excellent capabilities for modifying branding elements like colors and font styles and you can upload pretty much any type of pictures or media you’d want to utilize.
Website Builder Currently comes with three themes to choose from, and there are multiple variants for each one of those themes. (The company says more themes are part of their upcoming growth program.) Additionally, there are a range of pre-fab”segments” you can add and modify on any page to provide for things like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing options — essentially, all the essential tools you require for running a successful course or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”media & Text” section that may be utilised to create pretty much anything you desire.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took a while to work out the way to do some basic things like delete segments (the themes offer a home page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the site menu. But support has been readily available for them. Thinkific includes a solid support site on which you can look for aid, but I tend to only use a Google search together with the word”Thinkific” to discover whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support using this method, whether to the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some additional Features to note:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (beginning at $49 a month for Fundamental ) you can get a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any plan you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this)
- White labeling (under Settings > Site)– By leaping up to a Guru 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 site and courses.
- Text Changes (under Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — You can change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. For instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” because the tag for parts of a program. You may prefer to change this to”Lessons.” Thinkific Pros And Cons
So, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for my main Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and don’t already have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to have a big item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to get a decent Web site setup”) and concentrate on creating and launching your classes. You can be concerned about a more complicated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I would not recommend relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) for your primary Internet website. Site Builder is great for what it does — and may create a great course website to match your primary Web site — but finally it is relatively restricted. A few of the key present limitations include:
- All motifs are column. Therefore, for example, you can not put email signup forms, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your website.
- 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 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 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 broad network of experienced contractors who are available to support platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of those Limitations, Site Builder is very likely to do the job well for most edupreneurs and is a bit 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 courses, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be very beneficial to course builders searching for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to consider for supplying an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start new and construct your course to meet your particular program needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to generate prospects for a complete flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a full online class using a strong curriculum outline created using best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to gauge interest on your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable documents in an online course to create earnings or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership bundle for this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to review your presentation and provide.
All these can Be modified extensively — you can change the content in the segments that are provided, delete sections, or insert new segments to reach the strategy that is right for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific provides”smart coach course building hints” to assist you. (I found these useful, but they can be easily turned off, if you prefer.) Thinkific Pros And Cons
If you have zero Experience working with Web content, there will inevitably be a small learning curve, but my opinion is that Thinkific has done a fantastic job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your way up it, and you will reap the rewards.
And You’re Already comfortable using other Web content programs — like, for a different program platform, WordPress or example — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall Of putting together a course at Thinkific makes sense from my perspective. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you can change at any point), and saving it, you include”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to produce 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. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This has stored in a movie 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.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More information on quizzes under )
- Multimedia classes — This is a way to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your course. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the URL to some live Zoom session, for example)
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate files (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder option discussed previously.
- Survey lessons — Collect by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons.
- Disqus lessons — Insert Disqus discussion boards to 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 classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads — Include resources.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a presentation as record audio and a PDF document for each slide.
- Classes — Contain a Brillium exam in your course. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The above options Will get the work done for all but the most complex edupreneurs. The primary areas they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths depending on their performances from the course or information you collect about them — and
- Like learning games, inserting components.
If those are Options you genuinely want, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Thinkific Pros And Cons
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the resources in Thinkific to create classes, but some may prefer the option of producing 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 option to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a substantial number of classes built out in one of these applications (in which you case you probably do not need to have to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalog of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want your classes locked into a specific delivery platform.
You can use these Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — however there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this path.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its own class) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a whole lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides criteria for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to send it information like how long a learner has invested in a program, or if specific areas of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of information. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes comprise of over one file (such as, 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 support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course building platform offers you. This includes the marketing the training course building, the selling, and also the teacher/student management.
Systems such as Thinkific don’t host courses . Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t have to venture out and find your own hosting,) but it still gives you total control over what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific surely provides control that is branding and more liberty. Let’s explore some of the standout features.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It is a visual pupil management area, with pictures of your pupils, titles, contact information, and information for how far they are on your course.
You’ve got the Option create a dialogue with the community or to send emails that are customized to every one of the students. Thinkific Pros And Cons
Incentives are part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers completion certificates, report cards, and throughout classes, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
Along with Unlimited replays of course material, language controls, and mobile optimization working together with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Reason Thinkific looks so great compared to the competition is that of its course designer. In case you don’t want to you do not need to mess with any code.
In Reality Your content is coordinated using an easy drag and drop editor, in which you move it around vertically and stack the class content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of almost all media forms. From PDFs to sound files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a wide range of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned All of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. Therefore, you should not have to worry much about a file being too big or running slowly on your very own servers that are shared.
When you customize Your course site it features some useful editing tools for the beginners on the market. You can adjust items such as logos, color schemes, and banners, all without touching any code.
However, the further Advanced programmers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like to make your site unique, the option is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. As there’s no way to begin earning money unless people understand your course 19, this is unfortunate.
Thinkific does It the right way, with promotional and marketing instruments built into the program. Much of this is automatic. Consequently, if you’d like to drip articles to your students–in which courses would be published over time–Thinkific has this operation. Thinkific Pros And Cons
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send emails that are automatic out based on a schedule. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, along with the choice to get paid instantly when someone signs up for your course.
As for becoming People beyond your website to come try it out, Thinkific comes with an affiliate marketing program to reward other people who advocate your course and bloggers. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving a chance to create ads with specials and convince newcomers that your class is well worth investing in to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked right in the dashboard, and you can also link Facebook, your Adwords, and other social reports where students are coming from to determine.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the reasons for using a specialized course platform is that it makes monitoring and managing your users and their data a lot more easy.
Communication with Learners
In addition to Helping you arrange your students, Thinkific also enables several ways also for them to give feedback on the program and that you communicate with your students. Thinkific Pros And Cons
As previously noted, For instance, you can enable discussion to your classes and then manage your pupils contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, react to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” gifts that you don’t wish to appear in the program. (Note: Letting discussions is now an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have no or it classes have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus option on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Enable your student. Then you have the ability to approve these reviews (they are not printed automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your sales page for the course. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are Numerous notifications which can be enabled or disabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can send a customized message if your site is registered for by them to pupils, enroll in a particular course, or complete a course. It is also possible to 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 website, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom log-in fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever special information you desire from the users. (Notice that, unlike programs like Udemy, you get complete access to the user information you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This feature can have a large effect on your business model by making it possible for you to sell classes in bulk among the best ways for course sellers to induce revenue growth that is major , in my experience.
You, using classes Can also organize your learners by other factors, or organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, which makes it possible also to refine your marketing going forward and to track the effectiveness of your own offerings. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Pro program license with the Growth Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups functionality Thinkific Pros And Cons
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital reason to Have a online class platform — to posting articles behind a password on a Web site, instead, by way of example — is that it will track quiz and survey data as well as things like completion and path progress.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a specific student and monitor numerous factors for each course in which the student 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 (date)
I like this you If you are adding new classes can opt to reset a student’s completion percentage for example, at any time.
Overall, the Course reporting is fairly simple, but I suspect it’ll serve the demands of the huge majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV document (rather than displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document contains the responses from all students who’ve obtained a survey a quiz email address, together with their name, and if it was taken by them. For quizzes, it also provides the amount and percentage .
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is among the main areas where the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much the platforms of the all . Over time, it might be possible to get quiz/survey data and course conclusion . Even better, it might be good to have the ability to see a student transcript that displays hours related to a program, any credit earned (not now captured at all at Thinkific), and a URL to obtain the certificate related to the course. Thinkific Pros And Cons
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning industry for the past few decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a very affordable price. It wasn’t long ago that a system with those capabilities may have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Nonetheless, there are gaps which can rule out it to some course sellers — and these tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver courses created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it does not actually make use of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. If you have a robust and valid reason for using one of the major e-learning criteria, then Thinkific would not be the way to go.
As I Are areas which are not served well by additional platforms which are in Thinkific’s course. To get a platform that supports all three generally means a beginning price point than Thinkific — and it could go far from that point up. So, be sure these truly are gaps for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the estimated variety of hours for finishing a course in Thinkific, you cannot define the total amount of continuing education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Thinkific Pros And Cons
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and manage multiple instances of a platform under one umbrella. This can be useful if you are a training company with many clients and those customers want their own example of the platform for managing and serving their users. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it is not the exact same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To discover an internet course platform which has many hidden charges, Thinkific advertises that it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a program that is totally free for people who wish to try the platform but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it makes it possible to start building a student base and launch your store. There’s also a free trial if you give a whirl to one of the plans that are more innovative.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific features. This plan has a 10% transaction fee, everything you want to make, market, and sell your classes, infinite courses, course upsells, content hosting integrations, Stripe/PayPal support, and immediate access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 per month you get all core and starter features, together with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, custom domainname, and extra course rates. Thinkific Pros And Cons
Business — For $99 per month you receive the features from all prior plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden courses, website white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, instructor payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment plans, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all features from prior programs, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, public API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some 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 additional three programs are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all, you Most probably don’t need API access until you really start getting 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 still is bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the program that is free. That’s high, however, it creates an environment for those who have low volume now or individuals who don’t have the capital. Once you start earning money you can cut down that transaction fee.
Finally, you can By paying an yearly basis Save money. So, the snowball strategy goes down to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business plan is $79 a month and also the Advanced program is 219. That makes the pricing programs quite much like Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review at which I started: this is. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it offers a range of the characteristics to support your average edupreneur in selling courses that are online.
I Believe 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 trivial point: the marketplace for online course platforms such as Thinkific is now noisy and crowded. You can be certain that a lot will be gone. I’m convinced Thinkific will be around, and the company is clearly growing and always investing to improve its platform. Thinkific Pros And Cons