Introduction Thinkific Squarespace
If you are currently promoting Or thinking about selling courses, you do not need to do much searching to come up with a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Thinkific Squarespace
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on companies that sell education (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and implementing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- Over a decade of experience tracking and researching online course platforms and helping individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling courses
I have been closely Tracking Thinkific and other providers which have emerged within the past several decades as a new type of online course platforms. These are programs that are less costly and much more user-friendly than learning management methods, or LMSes. They’re businesses that want to get into the online course enterprise and a real boon for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I think they also have potential to interrupt the learning management system marketplace that is traditional.
Thus, having said That, let us begin.
Building and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and ideally that someplace provides an attractive, user friendly for the students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capabilities earlier this year, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Thinkific Squarespace
Using Site Builder — which is simply part of the admin board for the stage — you have the capacity to prepare an attractive home page for your course website and create as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to provide information about you and your other services). While you do not have complete control — you can not, as an example, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you do possess really excellent capabilities for modifying branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload pretty much any kind of pictures or media you would want to utilize.
Website Builder Comes with three topics and there are numerous variants for each one of those topics. (The company says more themes are a part of their upcoming growth program.) There are also a selection of pre-fab”sections” that you can insert and change on any webpage to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing choices — basically, all the critical tools you need for running a successful course or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”media & Text” section which can be utilised to make pretty much anything you want.
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 provide a home page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the site menu. But service has been readily available for them. Thinkific has a good support site on which you are able to look for aid, but I tend to only use a Google search along with the phrase”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I’ve 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 > Website ) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid plan (starting at $49 per month for Fundamental ) you can find a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — 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 (under Settings > Website )– By leaping up into a Pro Plan ($99 per month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your site and courses.
- Text Dimensions (under Settings > Learning Content and various other areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. For instance, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the label for portions of a program. You may like to change this to”Lessons.” Thinkific Squarespace
Thus, you may be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and do not already have an Internet 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 get a decent Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launch your courses. It is possible to be concerned about a more complicated Web site later.
If you already Have a Web site, though — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t recommend relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) to your primary Web website. Website Builder is great for what it does — and can create a great course site to complement your primary Web site — but ultimately it is relatively restricted. Some of the key current constraints include:
- All motifs are single pillar. So, for instance, you can not put email signup forms, promotions for course, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limit in the event that you truly want to reflect the branding of an existing Web website.
- There’s absolutely no control on search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t define the name tags or meta tag descriptions. You , however, do so on track landing pages, which is arguably more important for the typical edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the extensive network of experienced contractors who are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of these Limits, Website Builder is likely to perform the job well for most edupreneurs and is quite a bit better than what most online course platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly website to house your courses, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you might expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which may be quite useful to track builders looking for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you’d be prone to consider for supplying an educational item. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and build your own course to match your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to create leads for a complete flagship program or service.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online class using a robust curriculum outline made with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to gauge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable files in an internet course to generate revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership bundle with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to permit registrants to review your presentation and offer.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can alter the content in the sections which are provided, delete segments, or add new segments to arrive at the approach that is right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific provides”smart mentor course construction tips” to assist you. (I found them useful, but they can be easily switched off, should you prefer.) Thinkific Squarespace
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there’ll inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my view 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 benefits.
And, in case You’re Already comfortable with other Web content systems — like, for example, WordPress or another program platform — I think you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall, the logic A class at Thinkific makes sense. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you can change at any point), and saving it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to produce the structure of the course. As noted above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way very similar to the way I described using Site Builder over. There are 11 choices:
- Video lessons — Upload a movie 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.)
- Classes — Create a quiz for your students. (More information on quizzes below)
- Multimedia lessons — This can be 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 Pro or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text & Media” Website Builder option mentioned previously.
- Survey lessons — Collect by building a brief poll in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Publish a PDF document to be looked at within the program participant.
- Disqus classes Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Include resources available for download from within the program participant.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a presentation as a PDF file and record audio for each slide.
- Classes — Include a Brillium exam in your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The above options Will get the work completed for all but the most sophisticated edupreneurs. The primary areas they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to go down different paths based on their performances from the course or information you gather about them — and
- Like learning games, Adding elements.
If those are Choices you genuinely need, you’d be better off with a full size course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Thinkific Squarespace
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be perfectly 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 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 courses built out in one of these applications (in which you probably don’t want to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), or (b) you anticipate developing a substantial catalog of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your classes locked into a specific shipping platform.
You can use these 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) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides standards for how an online course can communicate with a learning platform to deliver it data like how much time a learner has invested in a program, or whether specific areas of the class have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of information with its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Articulate or Captivate route into Thinkific on your own. These courses comprise of more than one file (like, for example, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you have to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform offers you the features you need from begin to finish. Including the marketing, the training course building, the promotion, and also also the teacher/student management.
Systems like Thinkific don’t host classes on your own site. Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t have to venture outside and find your personal hosting,) but it gives you total control over what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides control and more liberty. Let us explore some of the standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, with images of your pupils, names, contact information, and details for how far they are in your course.
You’ve got the Choice create a conversation with the whole community or to send emails that are customized to each of the pupils. Thinkific Squarespace
Incentives are part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers conclusion certificates, report cards, and of course, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want during courses.
In addition to Replays of language controllers, course material, pupils, and optimization working with the Thinkific platform should feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific seems so great compared to the competition is that of its class designer. You don’t need to mess with any code in case you don’t need to.
In Reality, all of Your content is organized using an easy drag and drop editor, in which you move it around and stack the course content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of all media forms. From PDFs to audio files, and surveys to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a vast assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned All of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you should not need to worry about a file being too big or running in your very own shared servers.
When you customize Your course website it offers some useful editing tools for the beginners on the market. For instance, you can correct items like color schemes, banners, and logos, without touching any code.
The more, however 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 as there’s no way to begin earning money unless people understand your path exists.
Thinkific does The program was built into by it the way, with promotional and marketing instruments. A lot of this is automated. So, if you’d like to drip content to your students–where courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Squarespace
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send automated emails based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the option to get paid immediately when somebody signs up on your program.
In Terms of becoming People beyond your website try it out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other people who advocate your program. Coupons are supplied through Thinkific, giving you a chance to create ads with specials and convince newcomers that your course is worth investing in.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked directly in the dashboard, and you can link your Adwords, Facebook, and other reports where students are coming out of to determine.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the key reasons for utilizing a technical course platform is that it makes tracking and managing your customers and their data a lot easier.
Communicating with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to organize your students, Thinkific also enables a number of ways that you communicate with your learners and also for them to give comments. Thinkific Squarespace
As already noted, By way of instance, you can enable discussion for your courses and manage your pupils gifts under Support Your Students Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, respond to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” gifts that you don’t want to show up in the program. (Note: Enabling discussions is now an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all classes have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this would be to utilize the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Enable your student to submit testimonials for your courses. You then have the ability 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.
There are Numerous notifications which could be disabled or enabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can send pupils a customized message if they enroll for your site, enroll in a course, or complete a program. It is also possible to send out reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When an individual signs up in your site, Thinkific captures all their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to capture whatever specific information you desire from the users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you get full access to the user information you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This feature may have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to market courses in bulk to associations — one of the best ways for course sellers to induce revenue growth that is major .
Using groups Can also easily organize your students by business, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, or other variables, which makes it feasible also to enhance your marketing and to monitor the efficacy of your offerings. (Note: use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru program license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Thinkific Squarespace
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital reason to Have a technical class platform — as opposed, for example, to posting articles supporting a password on a Web site — is it will monitor quiz and survey data as well as things like path progress and completion.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a specific student and monitor numerous factors for each course in which the pupil is registered. For every class you will 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 (date)
I like this you If you are adding new classes can also choose to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any time.
Overall, the Course reporting is fairly simple, but I guess it will serve the demands of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (instead of displayed on screen) and emailed to you. The .csv file includes the responses from all students who’ve obtained a survey a quiz along with their name, email address, and when they shot it. For quizzes, in addition, it provides percentage and the number .
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the main regions in which the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much the platforms of the all within this category of platforms. Over time, it might be possible to get course completion and quiz/survey data . Even better, it would be great to be able to see a student transcript that displays hours related to a program, any credit earned (not now captured in any way in Thinkific), along with a URL to obtain the certificate related to the program. Thinkific Squarespace
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning sector for the past couple of 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 those capacities may have easily cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
With that in mind, It’s hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are gaps that will rule out it and all of 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 such as Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these programs. In case you have a reason for using one of the major standards, Thinkific might not be the thing to do.
Like I said, these Are areas which, for the most part, aren’t served well by additional platforms which are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform that supports all three generally means a price point than Thinkific — and it can go far from that point . So, be sure that these are gaps for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the estimated variety of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you can’t 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 Substantial barrier to using Thinkific, Thinkific Squarespace
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you manage and can create multiple instances of a stage. This can be handy if, as an example, you are a training company that has many clients and those clients want their own branded example of the platform for handling and serving their own users. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it is not the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To find an online course platform that has many hidden fees, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden fees or contracts. That’s good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a plan for people who want to test the stage but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it helps you begin building a pupil base without needing to pay a dime and launch your store. If you give one of those plans a whirl there’s also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific features. This plan has a high 10% transaction fee, all you need to create, market, and sell content hosting courses, class upsells, your classes, fundamental integrations, Stripe/PayPal service, and access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 per month you receive all center and starter features, along with a 5 percent transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a bulk student emailer, customized domainname, and additional course rates. Thinkific Squarespace
Business — For $99 per month you get the attributes from all prior plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, website white labeling, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority service, instructor payout coverage, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you receive all attributes from previous plans, 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 advantages to its pricing design. Not only can you start your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitors like Teachable,) however, the extra 3 plans are broken down in a logical manner.
After all Most likely don’t need API access until you start getting advanced with your course promoting.
I would not mind Seeing also the HTML editing and the completion certificates however $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the free plan. That is high, however, it creates an superb environment for anyone with low quantity or people who do not have the capital. You’ll be able to cut down that trade fee As soon as you start earning money.
Last, you can By paying an annual basis save money. If you cover it all upfront, so, the Essentials plan goes to $39 per month. The Business program is $79 a month and also the Advanced plan is $219. That makes the pricing plans quite much like Teachable.
I will end this Thinkific review where I began: this is. Hopefully it’s evident by now that it offers a complete range of the characteristics that are vital to support your edupreneur in selling courses.
I Believe it is also 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 certain that a lot of the platforms that are here now will undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I’m confident Thinkific will be around, and the organization is obviously growing and always investing to improve its own platform. Thinkific Squarespace