Background Thinkific Themes Library
If You’re selling Or thinking about selling classes, you don’t have to do much hunting to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference that this one provides is It Is written by someone with: Thinkific Themes Library
- Over 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a specific 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, developing, and implementing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and course development firm.)
- Over a decade of experience tracking and researching online course platforms and helping individuals and organizations pick the Ideal platform for selling classes
I’ve been Tracking Thinkific and other providers that have emerged in the past several decades as a new class of course platforms. These are programs which are less expensive and a lot more user-friendly than learning management systems, or LMSes. They are small companies that want to enter the online course enterprise and a boon for solo edupreneurs. Over time, I think they also have potential to interrupt the learning management system market.
Thus, having said That, let’s begin.
Building and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and ideally that somewhere supplies an appealing, user friendly for your students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capabilities Thinkific is definitely up to the job. Thinkific Themes Library
Using Site Builder — which is simply part of the admin panel for the stage — you have the capacity to set up an appealing home page for your course site and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide details about you and your other solutions ). While you don’t have complete control — you can’t, for instance, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you can possess very excellent capabilities for changing branding elements like font and colors styles and you may upload pretty much any type of pictures or media you would like to use.
Site Builder Now comes with three topics and there are variations for each one of those topics. (The company says more themes are a part of their future development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”segments” that you can add and change on any page to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all of the critical tools you require for conducting a successful path or membership site. There is also a blank slate”Text & media” section that may be utilised 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 segments (the topics offer a house page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the site menu. But service was readily available for these. Thinkific has a solid support website on which you can search for help, but I tend to just use a Google search along with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find good support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific website or from a different user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Website ) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com speech — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid program (beginning at $49 per month for Fundamental ) you can get a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Site) — With any strategy you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for virtually any Web site these days. (Google smiles on this.)
- White labeling (below Settings > Website )– By leaping up to a Pro Plan ($99 a month) using the Growth Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” speech on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (under Settings > Learning Content and various other areas) — You can change a great deal of the default language which is used in navigation and other areas. For example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the label for portions of a program. You may like to change this to”Lessons” Thinkific Themes Library
Thus, you may be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for my primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and don’t have a Web presence the response is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to have a huge item from your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to get a decent Web site setup”) and focus on creating and launch your classes. It is possible to be concerned about a more sophisticated Web site later.
If you already Have an Internet site, however — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system such as WordPress — I wouldn’t suggest relying on Thinkific (or any other course platform) for your main Web website. Site Builder is great for what it does — and may create a great course site to match your primary site — but ultimately it’s relatively limited. Some of the key present limitations include:
- All themes are single pillar. So, for instance, you can not put email sign-up types, promotions for course, or other things down the left or right side of your site.
- As noted, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), mostly a limit in the event that you truly want to mirror the branding of an present Web website.
- There is absolutely no control over search engine optimization settings on Web pages — e.g., you can not define the title tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do this on course landing pages, which is arguably more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins along with the extensive network of seasoned contractors that are available to encourage platforms such as WordPress.
In spite of these Limitations, Site Builder is likely to perform the job well for many edupreneurs and is quite a little better than what many online class platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need an attractive, user-friendly website to house your classes, the classes themselves are the primary attraction. As you might expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates that may be quite useful to track builders looking for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to think about for offering an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start new and construct your course to match your particular program requirements.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to create prospects for a full flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Construct a full online class employing a robust curriculum outline created with best practices in your mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and get started building a waitlist to gauge interest on your course.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable documents in an online course to generate revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable resources to be included in a membership bundle with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to review your presentation and offer.
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 arrive at the strategy that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course building hints” to help you. (I found them useful, but they may be easily switched off, if you would like.) Thinkific Themes Library
If 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 good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your it up, and you will reap the benefits.
And, in case you are Already comfortable with other Internet content programs — like, for example, WordPress or a different course platform — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
The logic, overall Of putting together a course at Thinkific makes sense. After selecting”New Course,” picking your path type, naming it (which you may change at any stage ), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to create the structure of this program. As mentioned above, if you do not like the expression”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way similar to how I described using Website Builder over. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This gets 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.)
- Classes — Create a quiz for your students. (More info on quizzes below)
- 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 (provide the link to a live Zoom session, by Way of Example )
- Surveys (e.g. Typeform)
- Appointment booking tools (e.g. Calendly)
- Presentations (e.g. Prezi)
- Google Docs
- Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate documents (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder option discussed previously.
- Survey lessons — Gather by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Publish a PDF document to be looked at within the program player.
- Disqus lessons — Insert Disqus discussion boards into your program. (Note: there’s also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific that you can turn on or off under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Contain resources available for downloading from inside the course player.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a demonstration as a PDF file and record audio for each slide.
- Exam classes — Include a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium license is separate from Thinkific and starts at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The above options Will find the work completed for all but the edupreneurs. The primary areas they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to go down different paths depending on their performances in the course or information you gather about them — and
- Adding elements.
If those are Options you truly need, you’d be better off with a full size course authoring tool like iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of programs here). Thinkific Themes Library
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Creators will be content with using the resources in Thinkific to create courses, but some may prefer the option of creating their classes with third-party e-learning class creation software such as Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
Fundamentally, using a Third-party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) currently have a significant number of courses built out in one of these applications (in which you case you probably do not need to need to re-create them using Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a significant catalog of courses with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not wish to have your classes locked to a specific shipping platform.
These can be used by you Types 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 all other platforms in its course ) hasn’t 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 criteria for how an internet course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it information like how much time a student has spent in a program, or if specific areas of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific tracks this type of data using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You cannot Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific on your own. These classes are made up of more than one file (like, as an example, a video file), so to get them inside the platform, you need to zip the files up and send them to Thinkific customer service.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course construction platform typically offers you. Including the training course building, the marketing, the promotion, and also the management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host courses . Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you do not need to venture out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you total control on what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides branding control and more freedom. Let’s explore a few of the standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, together with pictures of your students, titles, contact information, and details for how far they’re on your course.
You have the Choice create a dialogue or to send emails that are customized to every one of the students. Thinkific Themes Library
Incentives are Also a part of the learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and of course, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want throughout courses.
Along with Unlimited replays of speech controls, course content, and optimisation, pupils working together with the Thinkific platform ought to feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Motive Thinkific looks so great compared to the rivalry is that of its class designer. In case you don’t want to, you don’t need to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is coordinated using a simple drag and drop editor, in which you move it around vertically and pile the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. From PDFs to sound files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is fantastic for offering up a vast range of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned Before, all these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You shouldn’t have to worry running on your servers that are shared or being too big.
When you personalize Your course website it features some useful editing tools to the beginners on the market. As an example, you can adjust items like colour schemes, banners, and logos, all without touching any code.
However, the further Developers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you would like to make your website unique, the option 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 understand that your course exists to start earning money.
Thinkific does It the right way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the app. Much of this is automated also. So, if you’d like to trickle content to your students Thinkific has this operation. Thinkific Themes Library
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails out based on a schedule. Pricing can be also done through Thinkific, along with the choice to become paid instantly when someone signs up on your course.
As for becoming People beyond your site to come try it out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers. Coupons can also be provided through Thinkific, giving a chance convince newcomers your course is worth investing in and to create ads with specials to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you could join Facebook, your Adwords, and other social accounts where students are coming out of to see.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Enabling you to deliver your courses, one of the key reasons for using a online class platform is that it creates monitoring and handling your users and their data much more easy.
Communication with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to arrange your students, Thinkific also enables a number of ways also for them to provide comments and for you and your learners to communicate. Thinkific Themes Library
As noted, For instance, you can empower discussion to your courses and manage your pupils contributions under Service Your Students Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, respond to students, and — if needed –“Disapprove” gifts which you don’t want to show up in the course. (Note: Enabling discussions is currently an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have it or no 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. You then have the capability to approve these testimonials (they aren’t printed automatically) and use them as social evidence on your sales page to the program. Unlike discussions, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Ultimately, there are A number of notifications that could be enabled or disabled in the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can, as an example, send pupils a message when they enroll for your site, enroll in a course, or finish a course. You can also send reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To Begin with, When an individual signs up in your website, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom sign-up fields (under Settings > Programs & accounts) you can easily add areas to capture whatever special information you want from your users. (Notice that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you receive full access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This feature may have a big impact on your business model by making it feasible for you to market courses in bulk to associations — among the best ways for course sellers to drive revenue development .
Using groups, you Can easily organize your students by other variables, or organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, which makes it possible to monitor the effectiveness of your offerings and to enhance your marketing going. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru plan license with the Development Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups functionality Thinkific Themes Library
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital motive to Have a technical online class platform — to simply posting content behind a password on a Web site, instead, by way of instance — is it will monitor things like course progress and conclusion as well as quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a particular student and monitor a number of variables for every class in which the student is registered. For each 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 enjoy this you May choose to reset a student’s completion percentage at any time, for instance, if you’re adding new lessons.
Overall, the Course reporting is fairly basic, but I guess it will serve the demands of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (instead of displayed on display ) and emailed to you. The .csv file includes the answers from all students who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, together with their title, and when they took it. For quizzes, it also provides the number and percentage .
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is among the main areas where the Thinkific system could be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much of most of the platforms within this class of platforms. Ideally, over time, it might be possible to get quiz/survey data and course completion . Even better, it might be good to have the ability to see a student transcript that displays hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way at Thinkific), along with a URL to obtain the certificate associated with the course. Thinkific Themes Library
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the past few decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable selection of features at a very affordable price. It wasn’t long ago that a system with these capabilities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It’s really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. Nonetheless, there are gaps which can rule it out for a few class sellers — and these tend to be gaps that are characteristic of this category of platforms. The main ones that I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver classes created in shared authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it does not actually make use 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 would not be the way to go.
As I Are areas that aren’t served well by programs which are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform which supports all three means a starting price point three to four times greater than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from there. Be sure these are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the estimated number of hours for finishing a course in Thinkific, you can’t specify the amount of continuing education. While there may be work-arounds, for many course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to using Thinkific, Thinkific Themes Library
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you can create and handle multiple instances of a stage. This can be handy if, as an example, you’re a training company with corporate clients and those clients want their own branded example of this 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 same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an internet course platform that has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden charges or contracts. That is very good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a totally free program for those who wish to try the stage but not get bogged down from limitations. In theory, it helps you start building a pupil base and launch your shop. There’s also a free trial if you’d rather give a whirl to one of the plans.
The pricing is Divided into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 to all core Thinkific features. This plan has a high 10% transaction fee, all you need to make, promote, and market content hosting courses, class upsells, your courses, basic integrations, Stripe/PayPal service, and instant access to all funds.
Essentials — For $49 per month you get all core and starter features, together with a 5% transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course packages, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, customized domainname, along with extra course rates. Thinkific Themes Library
Business — For $99 a month you get the features from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and concealed classes, site white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding call, payment strategies, and a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all attributes from prior programs, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding bundle, public API, innovative integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Fantastic benefits to its pricing layout. Not only are you able to start your course for free (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) however, the extra 3 programs are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all, you Most probably do not need API accessibility until you start getting advanced with your course selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates and also the HTML editing at the Essentials plan, however $99 per month is bad.
As you can see, The trade prices are 10% for the program that is free. That is large, but it creates an superb environment for people who do not have the funds or anyone who have low quantity. As soon as you start earning money you’ll be able to reduce that transaction fee.
Finally, you can By paying on an annual basis, save money. So, the Essentials plan goes down to $39 a month if you pay it all upfront. The company plan is $79 a month and the Advanced program is $219. That makes the pricing plans quite much like Teachable.
I will finish this Thinkific review where I started: this is. Hopefully it’s evident by now that it offers a range of the essential characteristics to encourage your average edupreneur.
I think it is Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a lot of momentum. This is not a point: the market for online course platforms like Thinkific is noisy and crowded. You can be sure that a lot is going to undoubtedly be gone tomorrow. I’m confident Thinkific will be about, and the organization is clearly growing and continually investing to boost its own platform. Thinkific Themes Library