Introduction Udemy Similar Sites
If you are selling Or considering selling online courses, you don’t need to do much hunting to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials out there. The main difference this one provides is It Is written by someone with: Udemy Similar Sites
- More than 20 years experience in the e-learning industry, with a Particular focus on businesses that sell education (compared to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their learners to buy)
- Extensive experience designing, developing, and executing online course platforms (I had been the founder and CEO of an e-learning platform and path development company.)
- More than a decade of experience tracking and exploring online course platforms and assisting organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling classes
I’ve been Monitoring Thinkific and other suppliers which have emerged as a new type of course platforms. These are programs that LMSes, or are less costly and a lot more user friendly than traditional learning management systems. They’re companies that are looking to get into the course business and a real blessing for solo edupreneurs. As time passes, I believe they have real potential to disrupt the traditional learning management system marketplace.
Thus, having said That, let us get started.
Building and Presence Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Sell have to”live” somewhere, and that someplace provides an attractive, user friendly for the students and potential students. Since the introduction of its Website Builder capabilities this season, Thinkific is definitely up to the job. Udemy Similar Sites
Using Site Builder — that is only part of the admin panel to the stage — you now have the ability to prepare an appealing home page to your course website and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to provide details about you and your other services). While you don’t have complete control — you can not, for example, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can get very excellent capabilities for changing branding elements like colors and font styles and you may upload just about any kind of images or media you’d want to use.
Website Builder Comes with three topics and there are variations for each of these topics. (The company says more topics are a part of their future growth plan.) There are also a range of pre-fab”sections” you are able to insert and change on any webpage to provide for matters like social evidence (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls for action, count down timer, and pricing options — essentially, all the critical tools you need for running a successful path or membership site. There is also a blank slate”media & Text” section that can be utilised to create pretty much anything you desire.
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 sections (the themes provide a home page pre-populated with segments ) and add custom pages to the site menu. However support has been readily available for them. Thinkific includes a solid support website on which you are able to search for aid, but I often just use a Google search along with the word”Thinkific” to find whatever I want (e.g.,”create custom site pages Thinkific”). I have yet to not find decent support using this method, whether on the Thinkific site or from a different user.
Some added Features to note:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are 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 > Website ) — With any strategy 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 > Website )– By jumping up into a Pro Plan ($99 per month) using the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can quickly get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your site and courses.
- Text Changes (under Settings > Learning Content and several different areas) — You can change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other regions. By way of instance, Thinkific uses”Chapters” as the label for portions of a program. You may prefer to change this to”Lessons.” Udemy Similar Sites
So, you might be asking,”Can I use Thinkific for my main Web website?”
For edupreneurs Who are just starting off and do not have a Web presence the response 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 how to get an adequate Web site setup”) and concentrate on creating and launching your classes. You can be concerned about a more sophisticated Web site after.
If you already Have an Internet site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I wouldn’t recommend relying on Thinkific (or any other route platform) for your primary Web website. Site Builder is great for what it does — and may create a great course website to complement your primary site — but ultimately it is relatively limited. A few of the key present limitations include:
- All motifs are single pillar. Therefore, for example, you can’t put email sign-up types, promotions for course, or other things down the left or right side of your website.
- As noted, you can not use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation in the event that you really want to reflect the branding of an present Web site.
- There is no control over search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can’t define the title tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do this on course landing pages, which is possibly more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the abundance of plug-ins along with the extensive network of experienced contractors who are available to encourage platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of those Limitations, Site Builder is very likely to do the job well for most edupreneurs and is 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 classes themselves are the primary attraction. As you might expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a range of pre-configured templates that may be quite beneficial to track builders looking for help with how to organize their content. The templates cover the assortment of standard scenarios you would be likely to think about for offering an educational product. These are:
- Blank — Start fresh and construct your own course to match your specific program requirements.
- Mini-course — Utilize a low-cost or free mini-course to create leads for a full flagship course or service.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online class employing a strong curriculum outline made with best practices in mind.
- Pre-sell — Create a pre-sell landing page and get started building a waitlist to gauge interest on your program.
- 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 assess your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content in the segments that are supplied, delete segments, or insert new sections to arrive at the strategy that’s ideal for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific supplies”smart coach course building tips” to help you. (I found them useful, but they may be easily switched off, should you prefer.) Udemy Similar Sites
If you have zero Experience working with Internet content, there will inevitably be a bit of a learning curve, but my view is that Thinkific has done a good job making that curve as manageable as possible. Invest in earning your it up, and you’ll reap the benefits.
And You’re Already comfortable using other Web content programs — such as, by way of another course platform, WordPress or example — I believe that you will find working in Thinkific for a breeze.
Overall, the logic Of putting together a course at Thinkific makes complete sense. After selecting”New Course,” choosing your course type, naming it (which you can change at any point), and rescue it, you include”Chapters” (or modify ones in the template) to produce the structure of this program. As mentioned above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to whatever you would like.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way very similar to the way I described using Site Builder above. There are 11 options:
- Video lessons — Upload a file. (This gets 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 website.)
- Lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia classes — This can be a way to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and also make it an integrated part of your program. A Few of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide the link 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 one lesson. This is essentially the equivalent to”Text and Media” Site Builder option discussed previously.
- Survey lessons — Gather by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF lessons — Upload a PDF file to be viewed within the course participant.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there is also a discussion option built into Thinkific that you can turn off or on under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio lessons — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads — Include resources.
- Presentation classes — synchronize a demonstration as record sound and a PDF file for each slide.
- Classes — Contain a Brillium exam on your course. (A Brillium permit is separate from Thinkific and begins at $49 per month. More on this below.)
The above Choices Will find the job done for all but the most complex edupreneurs. The primary areas they fall short is in
- Providing for branching scenarios — i.e., allowing learners to move down different paths depending on their performances from the course or data you collect about them — and
- Like studying games, inserting elements.
If those are Options you truly need, you would be better off with a full size course authoring tool such as iSpring or even Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of tools here). Udemy Similar Sites
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be perfectly content with using the tools in Thinkific to make classes, but some may 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 alternative to seriously consider if you (a) currently have a significant number of courses built out in these tools (in which you case you probably do not need to need to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a substantial catalogue of lessons with a relatively long”shelf life” — in which case you might not want to have your classes locked into a particular delivery stage.
You can use these Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are encouraged — however 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 course ) has not 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 internet course can communicate using a learning platform to deliver it information like how much time a student has invested in a course, or if particular parts of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific tracks this kind of information using its own procedures. (More about SCORM here.)
You Can’t Import an Captivate or Articulate route into Thinkific on your own. These classes are made up of more than one file (such as, 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 support.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
An excellent Online course building platform typically offers the features you need from start to finish to you. Including the training course construction, the marketing, the promotion, and also the teacher/student management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host courses . Your articles is actually hosted with Thinkific (so you do not have to go outside and find your own hosting,) but it still gives you complete control over what your website looks like.
In comparison to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific surely provides more liberty and management that is branding. Let us explore some of the standout attributes.
Excellent Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed that the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It’s a visual pupil management area, together with images of your students, titles, contact information, and information for how far they’re on your program.
You have the Option to send emails that are customized or create a conversation. Udemy Similar Sites
Incentives are part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers report cards, conclusion certificates, and throughout classes, the emails for sending out just about whatever you want of course.
Along with Infinite replays of course content, language controllers, and optimisation, students working with the Thinkific platform ought to feel.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of this Reason Thinkific seems great in contrast to this competition is that of its class designer. If you don’t want to you do not need to mess with any code.
In Reality, all of Your content is organized using an easy drag and drop editor, in which you move it about and stack the course content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of virtually all media forms. From PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the platform is fantastic for offering up a wide assortment of learning tools for the students.
As we mentioned Every one of these files are hosted on the Thinkific servers. For this reason, you shouldn’t have to worry about a file running in your own servers or being too large.
When you personalize Your course site it features some editing tools for the beginners out there. For instance, you can adjust items such as logos, color schemes, and banners, all without touching any code.
However, the further Advanced programmers have full control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you want to make your site unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail in the promotions arena. This is unfortunate since there’s no way.
Thinkific does It the right way, with promotional and marketing tools built into the program. Much of this is automated as well. So, if you’d like to trickle articles to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Udemy Similar Sites
Furthermore, you Have the ability to target the right people and send emails out based on a program. Pricing is done through Thinkific, along with the option to become paid instantly when someone signs up on your program.
As for getting People outside of your site try it out, Thinkific includes an affiliate marketing program to reward bloggers and other men and women who advocate your program. Coupons are also provided through Thinkific, giving a opportunity convince newcomers your course is worth investing in and to create ads with specials to you.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked directly in the dashboard, and you can join your Adwords, Facebook, and other reports where students are coming from to see.
Managing, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the important reasons for utilizing a technical online class platform is that it makes managing and tracking your customers and their information a lot more easy.
Communicating with Learners
Along with Assisting you to arrange your learners, Thinkific also enables a number of ways also for them to provide comments and for you to communicate with your students. Udemy Similar Sites
As already noted, For example, you can enable discussion for your courses and manage your students contributions under Support Your Students Discussions, where you can sort discussions by course, respond to pupils, and — if desired –“Disapprove” contributions that you don’t wish to appear in the program. (Note: Letting talks is currently an all or nothing option in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have it or no classes 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 classes. You then have the capability to approve these reviews (they are not printed automatically) and use them as social proof on your sales page to your program. Unlike discussions, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Ultimately, there are Numerous notifications that could be enabled or disabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You can, for instance, send a customized message when they register for your site to students, register in a specific course, or finish a program. It is also possible to send out weekly reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, maybe not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all their key contact data (e.g., first name, last name, email ) and using custom sign-up fields (under Settings > Orders & accounts) you can easily add areas to catch whatever special information you desire from the own users. (Note that, unlike programs like Udemy, you get complete access to the user data you accumulate.)
You can also Organize users into groups. This apparently simple feature may have a large effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market courses in bulk to associations — among the best ways for course vendors to drive revenue growth that is significant , in my experience.
You, using groups Can easily organize your learners by other variables, or organization, or cohort, time, registration, job-type, which makes it feasible to track the efficacy of your own offerings and also to refine your marketing. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Pro plan license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups performance Udemy Similar Sites
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a specialized online class platform — to just posting articles behind a password on a Web site, instead, by way of example — is it is going to monitor things like course progress and conclusion in addition to quiz and survey information.
Thinkific’s Progress tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) allows you to select a particular student and monitor numerous factors for every class in which the student is registered. For each course you may see:
- Percentage of Course of Viewed
- Percentage of Course Completed
- Student Name
- Student Email
- Course Completed in (date)
- Course Launched at (date)
- Course Activated at (date)
- Last sign (date)
I enjoy that you Can also choose to reset a student’s completion percentage at any moment if you are adding new classes to an class.
Overall, the Course coverage is fairly simple, but I guess it’ll serve the needs of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the Program Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (rather than displayed on screen) and e-mailed to you. The .csv document contains the answers from all students when they shot it, and who’ve obtained a questionnaire a quiz email address, together with their name. For quizzes, it also provides percentage and the amount .
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is among the main regions where the Thinkific system might be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for much of most of the platforms . Ideally, over time, it would be possible to get course conclusion and quiz/survey data . Better still, it might be great to have the ability to view a student transcript that shows hours associated with a course, any credit earned (not currently captured in any way in Thinkific), along with a URL to download the certificate related to the course. Udemy Similar Sites
What Thinkific is Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning sector for the last few years (as I have) will understand that Thinkific offers a remarkable selection of features at a very reasonable price. It was not that long ago a system with these capabilities could have cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.
With that in mind, It’s really hard to assert that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are openings which can rule out it for a few class sellers — and these all tend to be. The main ones that I see are:
No support for SCORM or xAPI/TinCan
As noted above, While Thinkific may host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it does not really 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 significant e-learning criteria, then Thinkific would not be the way to go.
Like I Are areas which, for the most part, are not served well by additional platforms which are in Thinkific’s class. To get a platform which supports all three means a starting price point a few times higher than Thinkific — and it can go a lot from that point up. Be sure that these are openings for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the number of hours for finishing a class in Thinkific, you can’t specify the amount of education available for a course. 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, Udemy Similar Sites
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you handle and can make multiple instances of a stage under one umbrella. This can be handy if you’re a training company with corporate clients and those customers want their very own branded example of this platform for managing and serving their own customers. While the Group performance in Thinkific makes you a part of the way there, it isn’t the same thing as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an online course platform which has hidden fees, Thinkific advertises that it too has no hidden charges or contracts. That’s good to know, but nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does provide a program that is totally free for people who wish to test the stage out but not get bogged down from limitations. In theory, it makes it possible to launch your shop and start building a pupil base. There is also a free trial if you give a whirl to one of those plans that are more advanced.
The pricing is Broken up into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 for many core Thinkific features. This plan has a top 10% transaction fee, everything you need to create, promote, and market your courses, unlimited courses, class upsells, content hosting, basic integrations service, and access to all capital.
Essentials — For $49 per month you get all core and starter features, along with a 5 percent transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, class packages, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, drip content, affiliate reporting, a majority student emailer, custom domain, along with additional course prices. Udemy Similar Sites
Business — For $99 a month you get the features from all previous programs, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and hidden classes, website white tagging, a host narrative, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority support, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, along with an immediate Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you receive all features from previous programs, no transaction fees, one sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding specialist, onboarding package, public API, advanced integrations, and innovative Zapier.
Thinkific has some Benefits to its pricing design. Not only can you start your course at no cost (something that is not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) but the additional 3 programs are broken down into a logical fashion.
After all, you Most probably do not need API accessibility until you really start getting advanced with your path promoting.
I wouldn’t mind Seeing the completion certificates as well as the HTML editing at the Essentials plan, however $99 per month is not that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% for the free plan. That’s high, but it creates an atmosphere for anyone who have low quantity or people who don’t have the upfront capital. You can reduce that transaction fee once you start earning money.
Finally, you can Save money. The Essentials plan goes down to $39 per month if you pay it all upfront. The Business program is $79 per month and the Advanced program is 219. This makes the pricing plans quite much like Teachable.
I’ll finish this Thinkific review where I started: this really is. Hopefully it’s evident by now that it offers a full range of the most essential characteristics to support your ordinary edupreneur.
I Believe it is also Important to replicate as I wrap up that Thinkific is a company with a great deal of momentum. This is not a trivial point: the marketplace for online class platforms such as Thinkific is now noisy and crowded. You can be certain that a lot will undoubtedly be gone. I’m confident that Thinkific will be around, and the organization is obviously growing and always investing to boost its own platform. Udemy Similar Sites