Intro Thinkific Tour
If you are currently selling Or thinking about selling online classes, you don’t need to do much searching to think of 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 Tour
- Over 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on businesses that sell schooling (compared to, for example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, creating, and executing online class platforms (I was the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- Over a decade of experience monitoring and researching online course platforms and assisting individuals and organizations pick the right platform for selling classes
I have been closely Monitoring Thinkific and other providers that have emerged in the past several decades as a new type of course platforms. These are platforms that LMSes, or are much more user-friendly and less costly than learning management methods. They’re a boon for solo edupreneurs and companies that want to enter the course business. Over time, I think they also have real potential to interrupt the learning management system marketplace that is conventional.
Having said All that, let us begin.
Building and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any courses you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere provides an appealing, user friendly for your students and potential students. Since the debut of its Site Builder capabilities Thinkific is up to the job. Thinkific Tour
Using Site Builder — which is only part of the admin panel to the stage — you have the ability to prepare an attractive home page for your course site 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 don’t have complete control — you can not, for instance, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get very good capabilities for modifying branding elements like font and colors styles and you can upload just about any kind of pictures or media you’d want to use.
Website Builder Currently comes with three themes to select from, and there are variations for each of these themes. (The company says more topics are part of their upcoming development plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”segments” you can add and change on any webpage to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotes or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing choices — essentially, all the essential tools you require for running a successful course or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”media & Text” section that may be utilised to make pretty much whatever you want.
As is the case With more or less any content management system, it took me a while to figure out the way to do some basic things like delete segments (the topics offer a house page pre-populated with segments ) and include custom pages to the site menu. But support has been readily available for these. Thinkific has a good support site on which you can search for aid, but I often just use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover whatever I need (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find good support by doing this, whether on the Thinkific website or from another user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you’re assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. With a paid program (starting at $49 a month for Basic) you can get a customized URL
- SSL (Under Settings > Website ) — With any plan you have the choice to turn on SSL (secure socket layer), a best practice for any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White tagging (under Settings > Website )– By jumping up into a Pro Plan ($99 a month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per busy student/per month) you can quickly remove the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your site and courses.
- Text Changes (below 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. By way of instance, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the tag for portions of a program. You may like to change this to”Lessons” Thinkific Tour
So, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for my primary Web website?”
For edupreneurs That are only starting off and don’t have an Internet presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a great way to have a huge item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to find an adequate Web site set up”) and focus on creating and launch your classes. You can worry about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have an Internet site, however — particularly on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other route platform) to your primary Internet website. Site Builder is fantastic for what it does — and can create a fantastic course site to match your primary site — but ultimately it’s relatively limited. Some of the key current limitations include:
- All themes are single pillar. So, as an instance, you can not put e-mail sign-up forms, promotions for class, or other things down the left or right side of your site.
- As mentioned, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation in the event that you truly want to mirror the branding of an existing Web website.
- There is no control over search engine optimization configurations on Web pages — e.g., you can’t specify the title tags or meta descriptions. You can, however, do this on course landing pages, which is possibly more important for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins and the broad network of experienced contractors that are available to support platforms such as WordPress.
Regardless of those Limits, Website Builder is very likely to perform the work well for most edupreneurs and is a little better than what many online course platforms supply.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely want to have an attractive, user-friendly site to house your courses, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is an area where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates which can be quite beneficial to course builders looking for assistance with how to arrange their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you’d be prone to consider for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start new and build your course to meet your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to create leads for a complete flagship program or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online class employing a robust curriculum outline made with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Produce a pre-sell landing page and start building a waitlist to gauge 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 tools to be included in a membership package with 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 change the content in the segments that are supplied, delete sections, or insert new sections to arrive at the approach that’s right for your content. All throughout the process, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course building tips” to help you. (I found these helpful, but they may be easily switched off, should you prefer.) Thinkific Tour
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my opinion is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in making your way up it, and you’ll reap the rewards.
And, if you are Already comfortable with other Internet content systems — such as, by way of another program platform, WordPress or instance — I think you will find working in Thinkific to be a breeze.
Overall A course in Thinkific makes sense. After choosing”New Course,” picking your course type, naming it (which you can change at any stage ), and rescue it, you add”Chapters” (or modify ones already in the template) to create the structure of this course. As noted above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you would like.
You fill the Chapters with content in a way. There are 11 options:
- Video classes — Upload a movie file. (This gets stored in a movie library for re-use in different courses. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your website.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More information on quizzes under )
- Multimedia classes — This can be a means to link out to articles not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your program. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (supply the URL 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 Pro or Enterprise license. More about that below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, images, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Website Builder alternative mentioned previously.
- Survey lessons — Gather information/feedback from the pupils by building a brief poll in Thinkific.
- PDF classes — Publish a PDF file to be looked at within the course player.
- Disqus lessons 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 resources to be available for downloading from within the course player.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a presentation as a PDF document and record audio for each slide.
- Exam classes — Contain a Brillium exam on your program. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will find the job done for all but the edupreneurs. The main areas they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to move down different paths based on their performances in the course or data you gather about them — and
- Adding elements like learning games.
If those are Options you truly need, you’d be better off using a full size course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these types of tools here). Thinkific Tour
Use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to create courses, but some may prefer the option of producing their courses 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 substantial number of courses built out in these tools (in which you case you probably don’t need to need to re-create them utilizing Thinkific course creation tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a substantial catalogue of courses with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not wish to have your courses locked into a specific shipping platform.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like the rest of the platforms in its course ) hasn’t implemented SCORM, which stands for the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There is a lot to SCORM, but the principal thing for edupreneurs to understand is that it provides standards for how an online course can communicate using a learning platform to send it information like how long a student has invested in a program, or if specific parts of the class have been completed successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of information. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you cannot Import an Articulate or Captivate route into Thinkific on your own. These courses comprise of over one file (like, for instance, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you need to zip the files up and send them into Thinkific customer service.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course construction platform typically offers you the features you need from begin to finish. This includes also the teacher/student management, the marketing, the selling, and also the training course building.
Systems such as Thinkific don’t host classes . Your articles is really hosted with Thinkific (so you don’t have to go 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 more liberty and control that is branding. Let us explore some of the other standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
During my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the student communication tools. It’s a visual student management area, with images of your students, titles, contact information, and information for how far they’re in your program.
You’ve got the Choice create a conversation with the community or to send customized emails. Thinkific Tour
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 anything you want during courses.
Along with Replays of speech controllers, course content, students, and mobile optimisation 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 seems great in contrast to the competition is that of its course designer. You don’t need to mess with any code in case you don’t want to.
In fact, all of Your content is coordinated with a drag and drop editor, in which you move it around vertically and pile the course content.
Speaking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media forms. From PDFs to sound files, and polls to quizzes, the platform is great for offering up a wide assortment of learning resources for the students.
As we mentioned All these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You shouldn’t need to worry about a file being too large or running in your servers that are shared.
When you personalize Your course site it offers some editing tools for the beginners out there. You can correct items such as color schemes, banners, and logos without touching any code.
However Advanced developers have complete 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 understand your course exists, to begin earning money.
Thinkific does It the way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the app. Much of this is automatic also. So, if you’d like to drip articles to your students–in which particular courses would be released over the years –Thinkific has this functionality. Thinkific Tour
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send automated emails out based on a schedule. Pricing is done through Thinkific, in addition to the option to get paid instantly when someone signs up on your program.
In Terms of becoming It is tried by people outside of your website out, Thinkific comes with an affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other people who advocate your course. Coupons can also be provided through Thinkific, giving a chance to create ads and convince novices that your class is worth investing in to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked right in the dashboard, and you could also join Facebook, your Adwords, and other social accounts where students are coming out of to determine.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the reasons for using a online course platform is that it creates monitoring and managing your users and their information much easier.
Communication with Learners
In addition to Assisting you to organize your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways also for them to give comments on the program and for you to communicate with your learners. Thinkific Tour
As already noted, By way of instance, you can empower discussion for your courses and then manage your students gifts under Service Your Students > Discussions, where you can sort talks by course, respond to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t want to show up in the program. (Note: Letting talks is currently a nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., possibly all classes have no or it courses have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus option on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Enable your student to submit testimonials for your classes. Then you have the capability to approve these reviews (they aren’t printed automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your sales page to the program. Unlike talks, this attribute can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
There are A number of notifications which can be enabled or disabled at the Thinkific platform, a few of which can be personalized. You can send students a customized message when they register for your website, enroll in a specific course, or finish a course. You can also send 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 their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and using custom log-in fields (under Preferences > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to capture whatever specific information you want from the users. (Note that, unlike platforms such as Udemy, you receive full access to the user information you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users. This feature may have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market classes in bulk among the greatest ways for course sellers to drive revenue growth that is major , in my experience.
Using groups, you Can also organize your learners by other variables, or business, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, making it feasible to monitor the effectiveness of your own offerings with each group and also to enhance your marketing. (Note: Use of the Groups attribute requires a Guru program license with the Growth Add-on.) Discover More about the Thinkific Groups performance Thinkific Tour
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a specialized online course platform — as opposed, for example, to posting content behind a password on a Web site — is that it is going to monitor quiz and survey data as well as things like conclusion and path progress.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to select a particular student and track a number of factors for every class in which the student is registered. For every course 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 like that you If you are adding new classes May opt to reset a student’s completion percentage at any moment, for example.
Overall, the Course coverage is rather simple, but I guess it’ll serve the needs of the majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported into a .CSV file (rather than displayed on display ) and emailed to you. The .csv document includes the answers from all students who have taken a survey a quiz email address, together with their name, and if they shot it. For quizzes, in addition, it provides the number and percent .
Overall, reporting For courses and quizzes/surveys is among the chief regions in which the Thinkific system might be more powerful. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much the platforms of the all within this class of platforms. Ideally, over time, it would be possible to get course conclusion and quiz/survey data via a Web interface. Even better, it would be good to have the ability to see a student transcript that shows hours related to a program, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way in Thinkific), along with a link to download the certificate related to the course. Thinkific Tour
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning industry for the last couple of years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable selection of features at a really affordable price. It was not long ago that a system with those capabilities may have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
With that in mind, It is really hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. Nonetheless, there are openings which can rule out it to a few course sellers — and these tend to be gaps that are characteristic of this category of platforms. The main ones I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific can host and deliver classes created in shared authoring tools like Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually take advantage of the SCORM (or xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. If you’ve got a reason for using one of the major e-learning standards, Thinkific would not be the thing to do.
Like I Are areas which, for the most part, are not served well by additional platforms which are in Thinkific’s course. To get a platform which supports all three means a price point a few times higher than Thinkific — and it could go a lot from that point up. Be sure these are gaps for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capabilities
While you can Indicate the variety of hours for finishing a class in Thinkific, you cannot specify the total amount of education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for most course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Thinkific Tour
No multi-tenancy alternative
Multi-tenancy Means that you can make and handle multiple instances of a stage under a single umbrella. This can be very handy if you are a training company that has corporate clients and those customers want their own instance of the platform for managing and serving their own customers. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you part of the way there, it isn’t the same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I have yet To discover an online course platform that has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden charges or contracts. That’s very good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a program that is totally free for those who want to test the stage out but not get bogged down by limitations. In theory, it helps you begin building a pupil base without having to pay a dime and launch your shop. There’s also a free trial if you give one of the plans a whirl.
The pricing is Broken up into four simple strategies:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific features. This plan has a high 10% transaction fee, all you want to make, market, and sell unlimited courses your courses, course upsells, content hosting integrations support, and instant access to all funds.
Basics — For $49 per month you receive all core and starter features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, promotions and coupons, monthly subscriptions, course bundles, intermediate integrations, fundamental Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, customized domainname, and additional course prices. Thinkific Tour
Business — For $99 a month you get the attributes from all prior plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, private and concealed classes, site white labeling, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout coverage, an onboarding call, payment strategies, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you receive all attributes from prior plans, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding bundle, people API, innovative integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Advantages to its pricing design. Not only can you start your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitors like Teachable,) however, the extra three programs are broken down in a reasonable manner.
After all, you Most likely don’t need API accessibility until you really start getting advanced with your course selling.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing also the HTML editing and the completion certificates at the Essentials plan, but $99 a month is bad.
As you can see, The transaction prices are 10% to the free plan. That’s high, but it creates an superb environment for people who do not have the capital to start a professional online shop or anyone who have low quantity now. Once you get started earning money you’ll be able to cut that transaction fee down.
You can By paying an yearly basis also save money. So, the Essentials plan goes down to $39 per month if you cover it all upfront. The company program is $79 per month and also the Advanced plan is $219. That makes the pricing plans rather similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review at which I started: this really is. Hopefully it’s clear by now that it offers a full range of the characteristics that are most vital to encourage your average edupreneur.
I Believe it is also Important to replicate 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 course platforms such as Thinkific is noisy and crowded. You can be sure that a lot of the platforms that are here now is going to be gone tomorrow. I’m convinced that Thinkific will be about, and the company is clearly growing and always investing to boost its platform. Thinkific Tour