Introduction Thinkific Themes
If you are currently promoting Or even thinking about selling courses, you do not have to do much searching to come up with a Thinkific review. There are plenty of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference that this one provides is that it is written by someone with: Thinkific Themes
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on businesses that sell schooling (compared to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, that do not have to convince their students to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- More than a decade of experience monitoring and exploring online class platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I have been closely Tracking Thinkific and other suppliers that have emerged as a new class of online course platforms in the previous years. These are platforms which LMSes, or are a lot more user-friendly and less expensive than learning management methods. They are a boon for solo edupreneurs and businesses that want to enter the online course business. Over time, I think they also have real potential to interrupt the learning management system market.
Thus, having said All that, let us begin.
Construction and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that someplace provides an attractive, user friendly for your students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capacities Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Thinkific Themes
Using Site Builder — which is only a part of the admin board for the platform — you now have the capacity to set up an appealing home page to your course website and make as many custom pages as you need (e.g., to give information about you and your other services). Despite the fact that you do not have total control — you can’t, for example, install your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get really good capabilities for modifying branding components like font and colors styles and you may upload just about any type of pictures or media you’d want to use.
Website Builder Comes with three topics and there are numerous variations for each one of these topics. (The company says more themes are a part of the upcoming development plan.) There are also a selection of pre-fab”segments” you are able to insert and change on any webpage to provide for matters like social proof (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all the critical tools you require for running a successful course or membership site. There is also a blank slate”media & Text” section which may be used to create pretty much anything you want.
As is the case With just about any content management system, it took me a while to work out the way to do some basic things like delete segments (the topics offer a home page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the site menu. But support has been readily available for these. Thinkific has a solid support website on which you are able to search for help, but I tend to only use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom website pages Thinkific”). I’ve yet to not find decent support by doing this, whether to 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. Having a paid plan (beginning at $49 a month for Fundamental ) you can find a custom URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any plan you have the option to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (under Settings > Site)– By jumping up to a Pro Plan ($99 a month) with the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your site and courses.
- Text Dimensions (under Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other regions. For example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the label for portions of a course. You may like to change this to”Lessons.” Thinkific Themes
Thus, you may be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs Who are only starting off and do not already have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to take a big item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out how to find a decent Web site setup”) and concentrate on creating and launching your courses. You can worry about a more sophisticated 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 course platform) for your primary Web website. Website Builder is great for what it does — and can create a great course website to match your primary Web site — but ultimately it is relatively limited. Some of the key current constraints include:
- All themes are pillar. Therefore, as an instance, you can’t put e-mail signup types, promotions for course, or other items down the left or right side of your site.
- As noted, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limit if you really want to mirror the branding of an present Web website.
- There is no control on search engine optimization settings on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t define the name 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 wealth of plug-ins and the extensive network of experienced contractors that are available to support platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of those Limits, Site Builder is very likely to perform the work well for many edupreneurs and is a little better than what many online course platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To start with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates that may be very useful to track builders looking for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you would be prone to think about for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your course to match your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to generate leads for a full flagship program or service.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online course using a strong curriculum outline made with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started constructing a waitlist to judge interest on your program.
- Digital Download — Host downloadable documents in an online course to create revenue or collect email addresses.
- Membership Resource Library — Host downloadable tools to be included in a membership package with this template.
- Webinar Replay — Host your webinar replay video to allow registrants to review your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can alter the content in the sections that are supplied, delete segments, or insert new sections to reach the approach that’s right for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific provides”smart coach course building hints” to help you. (I found them helpful, but they can be easily turned off, should you prefer.) Thinkific Themes
If you have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will inevitably be a small learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a fantastic job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your it up, and you will reap the rewards.
And, if you are Already comfortable with other Internet content systems — like, for example, WordPress or a different course platform — I think you will find operating in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall Of putting together a course in Thinkific makes complete sense in my standpoint. After choosing”New Course,” choosing your path type, naming it (which you may change at any stage ), and rescue it, you include”Chapters” (or change ones in the template) to produce the structure of the course. As mentioned above, if you don’t like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you would like.
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 file. (This gets stored 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.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More information on quizzes under )
- Multimedia classes — This can be a way to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. A Few 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 files (Requires Pro or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text classes — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into a single lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Site Builder option discussed above.
- Research lessons — Collect by building a brief survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes.
- Disqus classes — Insert Disqus discussion boards to your program. (Note: there is also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific that you may turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload an audio file.
- Downloads — Contain resources.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a presentation as a PDF document and record audio for each slide.
- Exam classes — Contain a Brillium exam in your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and starts at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will find the job done for all but the edupreneurs. The primary places they fall short is in
- Supplying for branching scenarios — i.e., enabling learners to go down different paths based on their performances in the course or information you gather about them and
- Like learning games, inserting interactive components.
If those are Choices you truly need, you would be better off with a full size course authoring tool like iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of programs here). Thinkific Themes
The 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 creating their courses with third party e-learning course creation software like Articulate Storyline or even Adobe Captivate.
Basically, using a Third party tool is an option to seriously think about if you (a) already have a significant number of classes built out in these applications (in which you probably do not need to have to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you anticipate developing a substantial catalog of lessons with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not want to have your courses locked to a specific shipping stage.
These can be used by you Kinds of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — however there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like all other 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 understand is that it provides criteria for how an online course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it data like how long a learner has spent in a course, or if particular areas of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this type of information with its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate course into Thinkific on your own. These courses are made up of more than a single file (such as, for instance, a video file), so to get them into the platform, you need to zip the files up and send them into Thinkific customer service.
The Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course construction platform offers the features you need from begin to finish to you. This includes the marketing the course building, 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 have to go out and find your own hosting,) but it gives you complete control on what your site looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides branding control and more liberty. Let’s explore a few of the other standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, together with pictures of your pupils, titles, contact information, and information for how far they’re on your program.
You’ve got the Choice to send emails or create a dialogue. Thinkific Themes
Incentives are Also a part of the learning environment because Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and during courses, the emails for sending out just about anything you want of course.
In addition to Replays of speech controllers, course material, and cellular optimisation, pupils working with the Thinkific platform should feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Part of the Reason Thinkific looks great compared to this competition is that of its class designer. If you don’t need to, you don’t have to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is coordinated using a simple drag and drop editor, where you stack the class content and move it around vertically.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. From PDFs to sound 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, all of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You shouldn’t have to worry about a file running in your servers that are shared or being too large.
When you customize Your course website it features some useful editing tools for the beginners out there. You can adjust items like logos, color schemes, and banners, without touching any code.
However, the more Developers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you want to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way unless people know your path exists to start earning money.
Thinkific does The program was built into by it the way, with promotional and marketing instruments. Much of this is automatic. Consequently, if you’d like to drip content to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Themes
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the ideal people and send automatic emails out based on a schedule. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the option to get paid instantly when someone signs up for your program.
As for becoming It is tried by people beyond your website to come out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers. Coupons can also be supplied through Thinkific, giving you a opportunity to create advertisements with specials and convince newcomers that your course is worth investing in.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you could also join your Adwords, Facebook, and other social accounts where students are coming from to determine.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from Allowing you to deliver your courses, one of the important reasons for using a specialized course platform is that it creates monitoring and handling your customers and their data much more easy.
Communication with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to arrange your students, Thinkific also enables several ways also for them to give feedback on the course and for you to communicate with your students. Thinkific Themes
As noted, By way of example, you can empower discussion for your classes and then manage your students contributions under Support Your Students Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, respond to students, and — if desired –“Disapprove” gifts that you don’t want to appear in the program. (Note: Enabling talks is now a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all classes have it or no courses have it. The workaround for this is to utilize the Disqus option on a course-by-course basis.)
You can also Enable your student. You then have the capability to approve these testimonials (they are not printed automatically) and use them as social proof on your sales page for the course. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are Numerous notifications that can be disabled or enabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be personalized. You can, for instance, send a message if they register for your site to pupils, enroll in a specific course, or complete a program. You can also send weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up at your website, Thinkific captures all of their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and using custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Programs & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever special information you desire from the own users. (Note that, unlike platforms like Udemy, you receive complete access to the user information you collect.)
You can also Organize users. This seemingly simple feature may have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market courses in bulk to organizations — among the best ways for course vendors to drive revenue growth that is significant , in my experience.
Using groups May also organize your learners by organization, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or other variables, which makes it possible also to refine your marketing and to monitor the efficacy of your offerings. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Pro plan license with the Growth Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Thinkific Themes
Tracking and Reporting
A Vital reason to Have a online course platform — to posting content supporting a password on a Web site, instead, for instance — is it will track things like path progress and completion as well as quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a particular student and monitor a number of factors for each class in which the student is registered. For each class you may 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 that you If you’re adding new lessons May opt to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any moment.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly basic, but I suspect it’ll serve the needs of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Contrary to the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV file (instead of displayed on display ) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document contains the answers from all students who’ve taken a questionnaire a quiz email address, along with their name, and if it was taken by them. For quizzes, it supplies the amount and percent .
Overall, reporting For both courses and quizzes/surveys is one of the regions where the Thinkific system could be more powerful. In fairness, this tends to be true for much of the all the platforms in this category of platforms. Ideally, over time, it might be possible to get course conclusion and quiz/survey data . Better still, it would be good to be able to see a student transcript that shows hours related to a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way at Thinkific), along with a link to obtain the certificate associated with the course. Thinkific Themes
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been operating in the e-learning industry for the past few years (as I have) will realize that Thinkific provides a remarkable selection of features at a really affordable price. It was not that long ago a system with those capacities may have cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
With that in mind, It is hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. Still, there are gaps that can rule out it and all of these tend to be. The main ones I see are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific can host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually take advantage of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capacities of these applications. In case you’ve got a robust and valid reason for using one of the significant e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the way to go.
Like I said, these Are areas which are not served by platforms which are in Thinkific’s course. To acquire a platform that supports all three normally means a beginning price point than Thinkific — and it could go up a lot from that point. Be sure that these truly are openings for you before judgment out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the estimated variety of hours for completing a class in Thinkific, you cannot define the amount of continuing education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course providers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a Substantial barrier to using Thinkific, Thinkific Themes
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can create multiple instances of a stage under a single umbrella. This can be handy if you are a training company that has corporate clients and those customers want their very own example of this platform for handling and serving their customers. While the Group functionality in Thinkific makes you part of the way there, it isn’t the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I’ve yet To find an internet course platform which 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 provide a program that is totally free for people who wish to try the platform but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it helps you start your shop and start building a student base without having to pay a dime. If you’d rather give one of those plans a whirl there’s also a free trial.
The pricing is Divided into four simple plans:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific capabilities. This strategy has a 10% transaction fee, everything you want to make, market, and sell your classes, infinite courses, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations, Stripe/PayPal support, and immediate access to all capital.
Basics — For $49 per month you get all center and starter features, along with a 5% transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, class bundles, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate coverage, a majority student emailer, custom domainname, along with extra course rates. Thinkific Themes
Business — For $99 per month you receive the features from all prior programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden courses, website white labeling, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding telephone, payment plans, and a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 a month you get all attributes from prior programs, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three website admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, public API, innovative integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great benefits to its pricing design. Not only can you start your course for free (something that is not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the additional 3 plans are broken down in a logical manner.
After all, you Most probably don’t need API access until you start becoming advanced with your path selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates as well as also the HTML editing in the Essentials plan, but $99 per month still is not that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% to the program. That is high, but it creates an superb environment for those with low quantity right now or people who do not have the capital. As soon as you start making money you’ll be able to cut that transaction fee down.
Finally, you can By paying an annual basis save money. So, the Essentials plan goes down to $39 a month if you cover it all upfront. The Business program is $79 per month and also the Advanced program is $219. This makes the pricing programs much like Teachable.
I will finish this Thinkific review at which I began: this really is. Hopefully it is evident by now that it supplies a range of the features to encourage your edupreneur in selling classes that are online.
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 marketplace 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 be gone. I feel confident that Thinkific will be about, and the company is obviously growing and continually investing to improve its platform. Thinkific Themes