Introduction Thinkific Review
If You’re promoting Or even considering selling online classes, you don’t need to do much hunting to think of a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference that this one offers is It Is written by someone with: Thinkific Review
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on companies that sell schooling (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 course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development firm.)
- Over a decade of experience tracking and researching online class platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I have been closely Monitoring Thinkific and other providers that have emerged as a new class of course platforms within the past decades. These are programs that are less expensive and more user-friendly or LMSes. They’re businesses that are looking to get into the course business and a real boon for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I believe they also have potential to disrupt the conventional learning management system marketplace.
So, having said All that, let’s get started.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that someplace provides an appealing, user friendly for the students and potential students. Since the debut of its Website Builder capabilities Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Thinkific Review
Using Site Builder — that is simply a part of the admin panel to the stage — you have the capacity to prepare an appealing home page to your course website and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to give information about you and your other solutions ). While you do not have complete control — you can not, as an instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess really excellent capabilities for modifying branding components like font and colors styles and you can upload just about any type of pictures or media you would want to utilize.
Website Builder Now comes with three topics to choose from, and there are numerous variants for each of these themes. (The company says more themes are a part of their upcoming development program.) Additionally, there are a selection of pre-fab”sections” that you are able to insert and modify 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 choices — basically, all the essential tools you need for conducting a successful path or membership site. There is also a blank slate”media & Text” section which may be utilised 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 house page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the site menu. But support has been readily available for these. Thinkific includes a good support website on which you are able to look for aid, but I often only use a Google search along with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find good support using this method, whether on the Thinkific site or from another user.
Some additional Features to notice:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid plan (starting at $49 per 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 virtually any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (below Settings > Website )– By jumping up into a Pro Plan ($99 a month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (under Settings > Learning Content and several other areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. By way of example, Thinkific uses”Chapters” because the tag for parts of a program. You may like to change this to”Lessons.” Thinkific Review
So, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my main Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are only 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 off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find an adequate Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launch your courses. It is possible to worry about a more sophisticated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I wouldn’t recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other course platform) for your main Web website. Website Builder is great for what it does — and may create a fantastic course site to complement your main site — but ultimately it is relatively limited. A few of the key current constraints include:
- All themes are column. So, for example, you can not put e-mail signup types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your website.
- As noted, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation if you truly want to reflect the branding of an existing Web site.
- There is no control on search engine optimization configurations on Web pages — e.g., you can’t define the name tags or meta tag descriptions. You can, however, do so on course landing pages, which is arguably more important for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins along with the extensive network of seasoned contractors who are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of these Limitations, Site Builder is likely to do the job well for most edupreneurs and is a little better than what most online course platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, the classes themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates that may be very beneficial to course builders searching for assistance with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you would be likely to consider for supplying an educational item. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your own course to meet your specific curriculum requirements.
- Mini-course — Use a low-cost or free mini-course to generate leads for a complete flagship program or service.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online course employing a strong curriculum outline made using best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start constructing a waitlist to judge interest in your course.
- 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 with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to assess your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified extensively — you can change the content in the sections that are supplied, delete sections, or insert new segments to reach the strategy that’s right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific provides”smart mentor course construction hints” to assist you. (I found these helpful, but they can be easily turned off, should you would like.) Thinkific Review
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there’ll 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 rewards.
And, in case you are Already comfortable using other Web content programs — such as, for instance, WordPress or another course platform — I think you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall Of putting together a course in Thinkific makes sense from my standpoint. After selecting”New Course,” picking your course type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones already in the template) to produce the structure of this course. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way similar to how I described using Website Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This gets saved in a movie library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your site.)
- Classes — Create a quiz for your students. (More information on quizzes under )
- Multimedia classes — This can be a means 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, for 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 about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder option mentioned above.
- Survey lessons — Collect information/feedback from your pupils by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes — Publish a PDF file to be looked at within the program participant.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards to your program. (Note: there’s also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific which you can turn off or on beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources.
- Demo classes — synchronize a presentation as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Lessons — Include a Brillium exam in your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned options Will find the job done for all but the edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to move down different paths depending on their performances from the course or information you collect about them — and
- Inserting elements like learning games.
If those are Choices you genuinely want, you’d be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of programs here). Thinkific Review
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to make classes, but some may prefer the option of creating their classes with third-party e-learning course creation software such as Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third party tool is an alternative to seriously consider if you (a) already have a substantial number of courses built out in one of these tools (in which you case you probably don’t want to have to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a significant catalog of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not want to have your classes locked into a specific shipping stage.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — 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’s a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides standards for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to send it information like how long a student has invested in a course, or if specific areas of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of information. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you cannot Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes comprise of over a single file (such as, for instance, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform typically offers the features you want from start to finish to you. Including the promotion the training course construction, the selling, and the management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host courses on your own website. Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to go outside and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you total control over what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems such as Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and management that is branding. Let us explore some of the other standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It is a visual student management area, with pictures of your pupils, names, contact information, and information for how far they’re in your program.
You have the Option to send emails or create a conversation with the community. Thinkific Review
Incentives are A part of the learning environment because Thinkific offers completion certificates, report cards, and during classes, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
In addition to Replays of language controllers, course content, and cellular optimization, pupils working together with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Motive Thinkific seems so great in contrast to the rivalry is that of its class designer. You do not have to mess with any code if you don’t want to.
In Reality, all of Your content is coordinated using a simple drag and drop editor, in which you move it about and pile the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of virtually all media forms. From PDFs to sound files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning tools for the students.
As we mentioned All of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You shouldn’t have to worry being too large or running slowly in your servers that are shared.
When you customize Your course site it features some editing tools to the novices on the market. You can adjust items like color schemes banners, and logos, all without touching any code.
The further, however Advanced developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. So, 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. Since there’s no way to start making money unless people understand your path 19, this is unfortunate.
Thinkific does The app was built into by it the ideal way, with promotional and marketing tools. A lot of this is automatic. So, if you want to drip content to your students–in which certain courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Review
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automated based on a program. Pricing can be done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to become paid immediately when somebody signs up for your program.
As for becoming It is tried by people beyond your website out, Thinkific includes an online affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers and other men and women who advocate your course. Coupons are provided through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity convince novices that your class is well worth investing in and to create ads with specials.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you can also join Facebook, your Adwords, and other accounts to see where students are coming out of.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the reasons for utilizing a specialized online class platform is that it creates tracking and managing your customers and their data much more easy.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Helping you arrange your students, Thinkific also enables several ways for you and your students to communicate and for them to give comments. Thinkific Review
As previously noted, For instance, you can enable discussion to your classes and manage your pupils gifts under Support Your Students Discussions, where it is possible to sort talks by course, respond to students, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t wish to appear in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is currently a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses have no or it courses have it. The workaround for this is to use the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Enable your student to submit testimonials for your courses. Then you have the capability to approve these reviews (they aren’t published automatically) and utilize them as social evidence on your sales page for your course. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications which can be disabled or enabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can, for example, send pupils a message if they register for your site, enroll in a specific course, or complete a program. You can also send out weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When an individual signs up at your website, Thinkific captures all their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom sign-up fields (under Preferences > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever specific information you want from your own users. (Notice that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you receive full access to the user data you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This simple feature can have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market courses in bulk one of the greatest ways for course vendors to drive significant revenue development .
Using classes, you Can easily organize your students by other variables, or organization, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, making it feasible also to refine your marketing going forward and to monitor the effectiveness of your own offerings. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Pro plan license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Thinkific Review
Tracking and Reporting
A reason to Have a online course platform — to posting articles behind a password on a Web site, as opposed, by way of example — is it will monitor quiz and survey information in addition to things like conclusion and course progress.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a particular student and monitor numerous variables for each class in which the student is enrolled. For each 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 in (date)
I like that you If you are adding new lessons can also opt to reset the completion percentage of a student at any time.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly simple, but I suspect it’ll serve the needs of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV document (rather than displayed on display ) and emailed to you. The .csv document contains the answers from all students who have taken a questionnaire a quiz along with their name and if they took it. For quizzes, it also supplies the number and percentage .
Overall, reporting For courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the regions in which the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all . Over time, it might be possible to get quiz/survey data and course completion via a single Web interface. Better still, it would be good to have the ability to view a student transcript that displays hours related to a course, any credit earned (not now captured in any way in Thinkific), and a URL to download the certificate associated with the program. Thinkific Review
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the last couple of years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a very reasonable price. It wasn’t that long ago a system with these capacities may have easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are gaps which will rule out it for some class sellers — and these all tend to be. The main ones I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. In case you’ve got a strong and valid reason for using one of the significant e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I Are areas that aren’t served well by other programs that are in Thinkific’s class. To acquire a platform that supports all three means a price point three to four times greater than Thinkific — and it can go up a lot from there. Thus, be sure these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for finishing a course in Thinkific, you cannot specify the total amount of continuing education. While there may be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Thinkific Review
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you manage and can make multiple instances of a stage under one umbrella. This can be useful if you are a training company that has corporate clients and those customers want their branded example of this platform for handling and serving their own customers. 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 To find an online course platform that has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises that it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That is very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a plan for people who want to try the stage out but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it helps you begin building a student base and start your store. There is also a free trial if you’d rather give one of the more advanced plans a whirl.
The pricing is Divided into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific capabilities. This strategy has a 10% transaction fee, everything you need to create, promote, and market your classes, unlimited courses, course upsells, content hosting, fundamental integrations service, and immediate access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 per month you get all core and newcomer features, along with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, class bundles, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a majority student emailer, custom domain, along with additional course prices. Thinkific Review
Business — For $99 a month you get the features from all prior programs, 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 service, instructor payout reporting, an onboarding call, payment strategies, and a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all features from previous programs, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, public API, advanced integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great benefits to its pricing design. Not only are you able to start your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) but the extra three programs are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all Most probably do not need API accessibility until you really start becoming advanced with your course promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing also the HTML editing and the completion certificates in the Essentials plan, but $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The transaction prices are 10% for the free plan. That is high, however, it creates an excellent atmosphere for anyone with low quantity now or people who don’t have the capital to start a professional online store. Once you get started making money you’ll be able to cut that trade fee down.
You can By paying on an annual basis also save money. If you cover it all upfront, so, the Essentials plan goes to $39 per month. The company program is $79 a month and also the Advanced program is 219. This makes the pricing plans quite much like Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review at which I started: this is. Hopefully it is evident by now that it supplies your average edupreneur to be supported by a full range of the vital features in selling classes.
I think it is Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a lot of momentum. This is not a trivial point: the market for online course platforms like Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot will undoubtedly be gone. I’m convinced that Thinkific will be around, and the company is clearly growing and continually investing to boost its own platform. Thinkific Review