Intro Thinkific Site
If you are currently selling Or even considering selling online courses, you don’t need to do much searching to come up with a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific reviews on the market. The main difference that this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Thinkific Site
- Over 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on companies that sell education (as opposed to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online course platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development firm.)
- More than a decade of experience tracking and exploring online course platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the Ideal platform for selling classes
I’ve been Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged within the past years as a new type of online course platforms. These are platforms which are a lot more user friendly and less expensive or LMSes. They’re tiny businesses that want to get into the course business and a real blessing for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I think they have potential to interrupt the learning management system marketplace.
Having said That, let us begin.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that someplace supplies an appealing, user friendly to the students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Site Builder capacities this year, Thinkific is up to the job. Thinkific Site
Using Site Builder — that is only part of the admin panel for the platform — you now have the capacity to set up an appealing home page for your course website and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide details about you and your other solutions ). While you do not have complete control — you can not, as an example, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do get very good capabilities for changing branding components like font and colors styles and you can upload pretty much any type of pictures or media you’d like to use.
Site Builder Currently comes with three topics to select from, and there are variants for each one of those themes. (The company says more themes are part of the upcoming development program.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” you are able to insert and change on any webpage 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 — basically, all the critical tools you require for running a successful path or membership website. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section which may be used to create pretty much anything 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 sections (the topics offer a home page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the site menu. However service has been readily available for these. Thinkific includes a good support website on which you are able to look for help, but I often just use a Google search together with the word”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support by doing this, whether to the Thinkific website or from another user.
Some added Features to note:
- Custom URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid plan (beginning at $49 per month for Basic) 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 > Website )– By jumping up into a Guru Plan ($99 a month) with the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Changes (below Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — It is possible to change a great deal of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. By way of instance, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” as the label for portions of a program. You might like to change this to”Lessons” Thinkific Site
So, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for my primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and don’t already have a Web presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Using Thinkific is a great way to have a big item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to find a decent Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launch your courses. You can be concerned about a more complicated Web site after.
If you already Have an Internet site, however — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) for your primary Internet site. Website Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course website to complement your primary Web site — but ultimately it’s relatively limited. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All themes are single pillar. Therefore, as an instance, you can’t put email sign-up types, promotions for class, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As noted, you can not apply your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation if you really wish to mirror the branding of an existing Web site.
- There’s no control on search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t specify the title tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do so on course landing pages, which is arguably more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins along with the broad network of seasoned contractors who are available to support platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of these Limits, Site Builder is very likely to perform the work well for many edupreneurs and is quite a bit better than what many online class platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, the classes themselves are the primary attraction. As you may 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 useful to course builders searching for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be likely to think about for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your course to meet your specific curriculum needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a free or low-cost mini-course to create prospects for a full flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online course employing a strong curriculum outline made using best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Create 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 revenue 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 provide.
All of these can Be modified extensively — you can alter the content from the segments that are provided, delete segments, or insert new segments to reach the approach that is ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course building tips” to assist you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily switched off, should you prefer.) Thinkific Site
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your way up it, and you will reap the rewards.
And You’re Comfortable using other Web content systems — such as, for another program platform, WordPress or example — I think you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
The logic, overall Of putting together a course in Thinkific makes sense. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones already in the template) to create the structure of the program. As noted above, if you do not like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets saved in a movie library for re-use in different classes. 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 your students. (More info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia lessons — This is a means to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your course. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the link to a 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 classes — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder alternative discussed previously.
- Research lessons — Gather by building a poll in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Publish a PDF file to be looked at within the course participant.
- Disqus classes — Add Disqus discussion boards into your course. (Note: there’s also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific that you may turn off or on beneath Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads resources.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a demonstration as a PDF file and record sound for each slide.
- Classes — Contain a Brillium exam in your course. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The above options Will get the work done for all but the most complex edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to go down different paths based on their performances in the course or data you gather about them and
- Adding interactive components.
If those are Options you truly want, you would be better off using a full-blown course authoring tool like iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Thinkific Site
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to create courses, 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 consider if you (a) already have a significant number of classes built out in these tools (in which you case you probably don’t want to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalogue of lessons with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not want 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 route.
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 principal thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides standards for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it data like how much time a learner has spent in a program, or whether specific parts of the course have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this type of information using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific all on your own. These classes are made up of more than one file (such as, as an instance, 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 Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform offers you. Including the management, the marketing, the selling, and the training course building.
Systems such as Thinkific do not host courses on your own website. Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to venture outside and find your personal hosting,) but it gives you complete control over what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and control. Let’s explore some of the standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the student communication tools. It is a visual pupil management area, together with pictures of your pupils, names, contact information, and information for how far they are on your course.
You’ve got the Option to send emails or create a conversation. Thinkific Site
Incentives are part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and during classes, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
Along with Replays of course content, language controllers, and mobile optimization, pupils working with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of this Reason Thinkific looks so great compared to this rivalry is that of its course designer. In case you don’t need to you don’t need to mess with any code.
In fact Your content is organized using a drag and drop editor, where you pile the course content and move it around vertically.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. From PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a wide assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Before, every one these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You should not need to worry about a file running on your very own shared servers or being too large.
When you personalize Your course website it features some useful editing tools to the novices out there. For instance, you can adjust items like logos, color schemes, and banners, all without touching any code.
However, the further Advanced programmers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like to make your site 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 The program was built into by it the way, with promotional and marketing tools. A lot of this is automatic as well. Consequently, if you want to trickle content to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Site
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automated based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, in addition to the choice to become paid immediately when someone signs up for your course.
As for becoming It is tried by people beyond your site to come out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity to create ads and convince novices that your class is well worth investing in.
Everything from Vouchers to affiliates is monitored in the dashboard, and you can link your Adwords, Facebook, and other social reports to determine where students are coming out of.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to produce your classes, one of the important reasons for utilizing a technical online class platform is that it makes monitoring and handling your customers and their information a lot easier.
Communication with Learners
Along with Helping you organize your students, Thinkific also enables several ways also for them to give comments and for you and your students to communicate. Thinkific Site
As previously noted, By way of example, you can enable discussion to your classes and manage your students contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort talks by course, react to students, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t wish to show up in the course. (Note: Letting discussions is now an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all courses 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 Allow your student to submit testimonials for your courses. You then have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not published automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your earnings page for the program. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are A number of notifications that could be enabled or disabled at the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be customized. You enroll in a course can send a message if they register for your site to pupils, or finish a program. It is also possible to send 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 site, Thinkific captures all their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and using custom log-in fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to capture whatever specific information you want from the users. (Notice that, unlike programs such as Udemy, you get full access to the user information you collect.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This simple feature may have a big effect on your business model by making it feasible for you to market courses in bulk one of the best ways for internet course sellers to induce revenue growth that is major .
Using classes, you Can also arrange your students by cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or organization, or other factors, making it possible also to enhance your marketing going forward and to track the efficacy of your offerings. (Note: use of the Groups feature requires a Guru plan license with the Growth Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Thinkific Site
Tracking and Reporting
A reason to Have a online course platform — as opposed to simply posting content supporting a password on a Web site — is that it will monitor things like course progress and conclusion in addition to quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a particular student and monitor numerous factors for every course in which the student is registered. For every class you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed at (date)
- Course Started at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I enjoy this you If you’re adding new lessons can choose to reset a student’s completion percentage for example, at any moment.
Overall, the Course reporting is fairly simple, but I guess it will 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 file (rather than displayed on screen) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document includes the answers from all students who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz together with their name, email address, and when they took it. For quizzes, it also provides the number and percentage of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For both quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the regions where the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all within this category of platforms. Ideally, over time, it might be possible to get quiz/survey data and course completion . Even better, it might be good to be able to view a student transcript that displays hours related to a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way at Thinkific), and a link to download the certificate related to the course. Thinkific Site
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the last few years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a really reasonable price. It was not that long ago that a system with those capacities could have easily cost thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It’s really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are openings that can rule it out and all of these tend to be gaps that are characteristic of the category of platforms. The main ones I see are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these programs. In case you have a reason for using one of the major criteria, then Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I said, these Are areas which are not served well by additional programs that are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform that supports all three generally means a starting price point a few times greater than Thinkific — and it could go far from that point . Thus, be sure these are gaps for you before ruling 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 total amount of continuing education accessible for a program. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Thinkific Site
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you manage and can make multiple instances of a platform. This can be very handy if, for instance, you are a training company with many clients and those customers want their branded instance of this platform for serving and managing their customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it isn’t the same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To find an online course platform that 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 plan that is totally free for people who want to test the platform but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it helps you begin building a student base without needing to pay a dime and start your shop. If you would rather give one of those more advanced plans a whirl there is also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 for all core Thinkific features. This plan has a high transaction fee, everything you need to make, market, and market your classes, courses that are infinite, class upsells, content hosting, fundamental integrations support, and immediate access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 per month you receive all center and starter features, along with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course bundles, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate reporting, a bulk student emailer, custom domainname, and additional course rates. Thinkific Site
Business — For $99 a month you get the attributes from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and concealed courses, website white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment plans, and an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all features 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 advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Advantages to its pricing design. Not only can you begin your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the extra three plans are broken down in a logical fashion.
After all Most probably do not need API access until you start becoming advanced with your path promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates as well as the HTML editing but $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The transaction prices are 10% to the program that is free. That is large, however, it creates an atmosphere for those with low quantity or individuals who do not have the capital. Once you start making money that transaction fee can be reduce by you.
You can By paying on an annual basis, also save money. So, the snowball strategy goes down to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The Business program is $79 a month and also the Advanced program is $219. This makes the pricing programs much like Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review where I started: this really is. Hopefully it’s evident by now that it offers your ordinary edupreneur to be supported by a range of the features in selling online courses.
I Believe it is also Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a great deal of momentum. This is definitely not a point: the market for online class platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot of the platforms which are here now is going to be gone tomorrow. I’m confident Thinkific will be around, and the company is clearly growing and always investing to boost its platform. Thinkific Site