Background Why Use Thinkific
If you are selling Or considering selling classes, you do not need to do much hunting to think of a Thinkific review. There are loads of Thinkific testimonials on the market. The main difference that this one offers is that it is written by someone with: Why Use Thinkific
- More than 20 years expertise in the e-learning industry, with a specific focus on companies that sell schooling (compared to, by Way of Example, corporate training departments, That Don’t have to convince their students to purchase )
- 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 exploring online course platforms and helping organizations and individuals pick the right platform for selling courses
I’ve been closely Tracking Thinkific and other providers that have emerged in the previous several decades as a new type of course platforms. These are platforms that LMSes, or are more user friendly and less costly than conventional learning management systems. They are a boon for solo edupreneurs and businesses that are looking to enter the course business. Over time, I think they also have real potential to interrupt the learning management system marketplace.
So, having said All that, let’s begin.
Building and Branding Your Online Course Web Site
Any classes you Market need to”live” somewhere, and that somewhere provides an appealing, user friendly to the students and prospective students. Since the introduction of its Site Builder capacities this season, Thinkific is definitely up to the project. Why Use Thinkific
Using Site Builder — which is simply part of the admin panel to the platform — you have the ability to prepare an appealing home page to your course site and make as many custom pages as you desire (e.g., to give information about you and your other services). While you do not have complete control — you can’t, as an example, set up your own style sheets (CSS) — you can possess really excellent capabilities for modifying branding elements like colors and font styles and you can upload just about any kind of images or media you would want to use.
Site Builder Comes with three themes to choose from, and there are variants for each one of those themes. (The company says more themes are a part of the future development program.) There are also a range of pre-fab”segments” that you are able to insert and change on any webpage to provide for things like social proof (e.g. customer quotations or”as seen on” logos), calls to action, count down timer, and pricing options — essentially, all the critical tools you need for conducting a successful course or membership website. There’s also a blank slate”media & Text” section that may be utilised to create pretty much whatever you want.
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 home page pre-populated with sections) and add custom pages to the site menu. But service has been readily available for them. Thinkific has a solid support website on which you are able to search for aid, but I often only use a Google search together with the phrase”Thinkific” to discover 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 site or from another user.
Some added Features to notice:
- Customized URL (under Settings > Site) — By default, you are assigned a thinkific.com address — e.g., learningrvolution.thinkific.com. Having a paid program (beginning at $49 a month for Fundamental ) 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 virtually any Web site nowadays. (Google smiles on this.)
- White labeling (below Settings > Site)– By leaping up into a Pro Plan ($99 per month) with the Development Add-on ($.10 per active student/per month) you can easily get rid of the”Powered by Thinkific” language on your website and courses.
- Text Dimensions (below Settings > Learning Content and various other areas) — It is possible to change a lot of the default language that is used in navigation and other areas. By way of example, Thinkific utilizes”Chapters” because the tag for parts of a course. You may like to change this to”Lessons.” Why Use Thinkific
Thus, you might be asking,”Could I use Thinkific for the primary Web site?”
For edupreneurs That are just starting off and do not already have a Web presence the answer is an emphatic”yes.” Utilizing Thinkific is a good way to have a huge item off of your”to do” list (i.e.,”figure out ways to get an adequate Web site set up”) and concentrate on creating and launching your classes. It is possible to be concerned about a more complicated Web site after.
If you already Have a Web site, though — especially on a fuller-featured content management system like WordPress — I would not suggest relying on Thinkific (or some other course platform) for your primary Web site. Website Builder is great for what it does — and may create a fantastic course website to complement your main site — but ultimately it’s relatively restricted. A few of the key current limitations include:
- All motifs are column. So, as an example, you can’t put e-mail signup types, promotions for course, or other items down the left or right side of your website.
- As mentioned, you can’t use your own CSS (cascading style sheets), largely a limitation in the event that you really want to reflect the branding of an existing Web site.
- There’s absolutely no control over search engine optimization configurations on Internet pages — e.g., you can not define the name tags or meta descriptions. You , however, do so on track landing pages, which is possibly more significant for the average edupreneur.
- Thinkific lacks the wealth of plug-ins and the broad network of seasoned contractors who are available to encourage platforms like WordPress.
Regardless of those Limitations, Site Builder is likely to perform the work well for many edupreneurs and is a little better than what most online class platforms provide.
Creating Online Courses with Thinkific
While you Definitely need to have an attractive, user-friendly website to house your courses, the courses themselves are the main attraction. As you may expect, this is a place where Thinkific really shines.
To Begin with, the Platform provides a variety of pre-configured templates which can be very beneficial to track builders looking for assistance with how to organize their content. The templates cover the range of standard scenarios you’d be likely to think about for offering an educational product. All these are:
- Blank — Start new and build your own course to match your specific program needs.
- Mini-course — Use a free or low-cost mini-course to create leads for a full flagship course or assistance.
- Flagship Course — Build a complete online course using a strong curriculum outline made using best practices in your 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 online course to generate earnings 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 permit registrants to review your presentation and provide.
All of these can Be modified broadly — you can change the content from the segments that are provided, delete sections, or add new segments to reach the approach that is ideal for your content. All throughout the procedure, Thinkific supplies”smart mentor course construction tips” to assist you. (I found these useful, but they may be easily switched off, should you prefer.) Why Use Thinkific
In Case You Have zero Experience working with Internet content, there’ll inevitably be a small learning curve, but my opinion 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 rewards.
And, in case You’re Already comfortable with other Web content programs — like, for a different program platform, WordPress or instance — I believe that you will find operating in Thinkific for a breeze.
The logic, overall A course in Thinkific makes sense. After choosing”New Course,” picking 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 create the structure of this course. As noted above, if you do not like the term”Chapters,” you can change it to anything you prefer.
You fill the Chapters with articles in a way. There are 11 choices:
- Video classes — Upload a file. (This has stored in a video library for re-use in other classes. Videos stored in this library are protected from access by anyone who is not a registered user of your site.)
- Quiz lessons — Create a quiz for the students. (More info on quizzes under )
- Multimedia lessons — This can be a means to link out to content not hosted on Thinkific and make it an integrated part of your course. Some of the possibilities include:
- Webinar tools (provide 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 documents (Requires Professional or Enterprise license. More on this below)
- Text lessons — Combine text, pictures, videos, etc. into one lesson. This is basically the equivalent to”Text & Media” Site Builder option mentioned previously.
- Research lessons — Collect by building a survey in Thinkific.
- PDF classes.
- Disqus lessons Disqus discussion boards to your course. (Note: there’s also a discussion alternative built into Thinkific which you can turn on or off under Support Your Students > Discussions.)
- Audio classes — Upload a sound file.
- Downloads resources to be available for downloading from within the course participant.
- Presentation lessons — Upload a presentation as record sound and a PDF document for each slide.
- Lessons — Contain a Brillium examination in your program. (A Brillium permit is distinct from Thinkific and begins at $49 a month. More about that below.)
The aforementioned Choices Will find the work done for all but the edupreneurs. The primary places 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 information you collect about them — and
- Like learning games, inserting components.
If those are Choices you truly need, you’d be better off with a full size course authoring tool such as iSpring or Articulate Storyline (see more about these kinds of tools here). Why Use Thinkific
The use of Articulate and Captivate in Thinkific
Many course Founders will be 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 alternative to seriously consider if you (a) already have a substantial number of courses built out in one of these applications (in which you case you probably do not need to have to re-create them using Thinkific course production tools), and/or (b) you expect developing a significant catalogue of lessons with a comparatively long”shelf life” — in which case you may not wish your courses locked to a particular shipping stage.
These can be used by you Types of tools with Thinkific — Articulate Storyline and Captivate are supported — but there are some limitations you should be aware of if you go this route.
First, Thinkific (like all other platforms in its own course ) has not implemented SCORM, which stands to the Shareable Content Object Reference Model. There’s a whole lot to SCORM, but the main thing for edupreneurs to know is that it provides standards 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 specific parts of the course have been finished successfully. Thinkific monitors this kind of data using its own methods. (More about SCORM here.)
Secondly, you cannot Import an Articulate or Captivate course into Thinkific all on your own. These courses are made up of over one file (like, as an example, a video file), and to get them into the platform, you need to zip up the files and send them to Thinkific customer service.
The Best Features and How They Benefit You
A great Online course construction platform offers the features you need from start to finish to you. Including the marketing the course construction, the promotion, and also the management.
Systems like Thinkific do not host courses on your own site. Your content is really hosted with Thinkific (so that you don’t have to go out and find your personal hosting,) but it still gives you complete control on what your website looks like.
When compared to Systems like Udemy, Thinkific certainly provides more liberty and control that is branding. Let’s explore some of the other standout attributes.
Outstanding Student Management and Communication Modules
Within my Thinkific review, I noticed the smoothness of the pupil communication tools. It is a visual student management area, together with images of your pupils, titles, contact information, and information for how far they’re on your course.
You’ve got the Choice create a dialogue with the entire community or to send emails that are customized to every one of those pupils. Why Use Thinkific
Incentives are Also part of this learning environment since Thinkific offers completion certificates, report cards, and during classes, the mails for sending out just about whatever you want needless to say.
In addition to Unlimited replays of language controllers, course content, and optimization, students working together with the Thinkific platform ought to feel right at home.
A Mostly Drag and Drop Editor for Quick Course Design
Section of the Motive Thinkific looks so great compared to the competition is that of its course designer. You do not have to mess with any code in case you don’t need to.
In fact, all of Your content is coordinated using a drag and drop editor, where you move it about and pile the class content.
Talking of Content, Thinkific supports uploads of media types. From PDFs to audio files, and polls to quizzes, the stage is great for offering up a wide assortment of learning tools for your students.
As we mentioned All of these documents are hosted on the Thinkific servers. You should not need to worry about a file running on your shared servers or being too big.
When you personalize Your course website it offers some editing tools to the beginners out there. You can correct items like color schemes banners, and logos without touching any code.
However, the further Advanced programmers have complete control over the HTML and CSS. Consequently, if you want to make your website unique, the alternative is there for you.
Promotions on Autopilot
Some online course Platforms fail from the promotions arena. This is unfortunate as there’s no way unless people understand that your course exists to begin earning money.
Thinkific does The app was built into by it the ideal way, with promotional and marketing instruments. A lot of this is automatic. Consequently, if you want to trickle articles to your students Thinkific has this functionality. Why Use Thinkific
Furthermore, you Have the ability and send emails that are automatic based on a program. Pricing can be also 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 outside of your website to come out, Thinkific comes with an affiliate marketing program to benefit bloggers and other men and women who recommend your course. Coupons are provided through Thinkific, giving you a chance to create advertisements with specials and convince novices that your course is well worth investing in.
Everything from Coupons to affiliates is tracked in the dashboard, and you could join your Adwords, Facebook, and other accounts where students are coming out of to see.
Handling, Engaging, and Supporting Students
Aside from One of the key reasons for using a technical online class platform is that it makes monitoring and managing your customers and their data a lot simpler.
Communication with Learners
Along with Assisting you to organize your students, Thinkific also enables several ways that you communicate with your learners and also for them to provide comments. Why Use Thinkific
As already noted, By way of example, you can enable discussion for your classes and manage your students contributions under Service Your Students > Discussions, where it is possible to sort discussions by course, respond to pupils, and — if needed –“Disapprove” contributions which you don’t wish to appear in the course. (Note: Letting talks is now an all or nothing choice in Thinkific — i.e., either all courses have no or it courses have it. The workaround for this would be to use the Disqus alternative on a course-by-course foundation )
You can also Allow your student to submit testimonials for your courses. You then have the capability to approve these testimonials (they aren’t published automatically) and utilize them as social proof on your earnings page for your course. Unlike talks, this feature can be enabled on a course-by-course basis.
Finally, there are A number of notifications which can be enabled or disabled at the Thinkific platform, some of which can be customized. You can, as an instance, send a customized message if they register for your site to students, enroll in a course, or complete a program. It is also possible to send out reminder messages. (Note: Reminders are site-wide, not course-specific.)
Managing and Organizing Learners
To start with, When a user signs up at your site, Thinkific captures all of their key contact information (e.g., first name, last name, e-mail) and utilizing custom sign-up fields (under Preferences > Orders & accounts) you can easily add fields to catch whatever specific information you desire from the users. (Notice that, unlike programs such as Udemy, you get full access to the user information you collect.)
You can also Organize users into classes. This feature can have a big effect on your business model by making it possible for you to market classes in bulk one of the greatest ways for course vendors to drive significant revenue growth, in my experience.
Using classes, you May also easily arrange your learners by organization, or cohort, time, enrollment, job-type, or other variables, which makes it feasible to enhance your marketing and to monitor the efficacy of your own offerings with each group. (Note: Use of the Groups feature requires a Guru program license with the Development Add-on.) Find out more about the Thinkific Groups functionality Why Use Thinkific
Tracking and Reporting
A motive to Have a technical online class platform — to posting content behind a password on a Web site as opposed, by way of instance — is that it is going to monitor things like conclusion and course progress as well as quiz and survey data.
Thinkific’s Advancement tracking (under Support Your Students > Progress) enables you to pick a specific student and track numerous factors for each course in which the pupil is enrolled. 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 in (date)
I like this you If you are adding new lessons to an course can opt to reset a student’s completion percentage for instance,, at any moment.
Overall, the Course reporting is rather simple, but I guess it’ll serve the needs of the vast majority of course entrepreneurs.
Unlike the course Reporting, the quiz and survey reporting is exported to a .CSV file (rather than displayed on screen) and e-mailed to you. The .csv file contains the answers from all students who have taken a survey a quiz together with their title, e-mail address, and if they took it. For quizzes, in addition, it provides the number and percentage of questions the student got right.
Overall, reporting For quizzes/surveys and courses is one of the regions in which the Thinkific system might be stronger. In fairness, this has a tendency to be true for pretty much of most the platforms within this class of platforms. Ideally, over time, it would be possible to get course completion and quiz/survey data through a single Web interface. Even better, it would be good to have the ability to see a student transcript that shows hours associated with a program, any credit earned (not now captured at all in Thinkific), and a URL to download the certificate associated with the program. Why Use Thinkific
What Thinkific is currently Missing
Anyone who has Been working in the e-learning sector for the last couple of decades (as I have) will understand that Thinkific provides a remarkable range of features at a very affordable price. It was not that long ago a system with those capabilities could have easily cost tens of thousands of dollars per year.
With that in mind, It is hard to argue that Thinkific is”missing” much. There are openings which will rule it out and all of these tend to be. The main ones that I find are:
No support for xAPI/TinCan or SCORM
As mentioned previously, While Thinkific may host and deliver courses created in common authoring tools such as Articulate and Captivate, it doesn’t actually make use of the SCORM (or even xAPI/TInCan) packaging capabilities of these applications. In case you have a reason for using one of the significant e-learning criteria, then Thinkific might not be the thing to do.
Like I said, these Are areas which are not served well by other platforms which are in Thinkific’s course. To get a platform that supports all three means a starting price point than Thinkific — and it can go up a lot from that point. Thus, be sure these are openings for you before ruling out Thinkific.
No continuing education credit capacities
While you can Indicate the estimated variety of hours for completing a course in Thinkific, you can’t define the amount of education. While There Might Be work-arounds, for many course suppliers that focus on providing continuing education credit, this will be a significant barrier to utilizing Thinkific, Why Use Thinkific
No multi-tenancy option
Multi-tenancy Means that you can make and manage a number of instances of a platform under one umbrella. This can be handy if you’re a training company with many clients and those customers want their branded example of this platform for managing and serving their own users. While the Group performance in Thinkific gets you a part of the way there, it is not the exact same matter as multi-tenancy.
Although I To find an online course platform that has hidden charges, Thinkific advertises it also has no hidden charges or contracts. That is very good to know, however, nothing special.
However, Thinkific Does offer a program for people who want to test the platform but not get bogged down by constraints. In theory, it helps you start building a pupil base and launch your store. There’s also a free trial if you’d rather give a whirl to one of those plans that are more innovative.
The pricing is Divided into four easy strategies:
Starter — $0 for all core Thinkific features. This plan has a top transaction fee, all you need to create, market, and sell content hosting courses, course upsells, your courses, basic integrations service, and instant access to all funds.
Basics — For $49 per month you receive all core and newcomer features, together with a 5 percent transaction fee, coupons and promotions, monthly subscriptions, course bundles, intermediate integrations, basic Zapier, trickle articles, affiliate coverage, a bulk student emailer, custom domain, along with additional course prices. Why Use Thinkific
Business — For $99 a month you receive the attributes from all previous plans, no transaction fees, completion certificates, personal and concealed courses, site white labeling, a host storyline, intermediate Zapier, webhooks, three-course admin accounts, innovative HTML/CSS editing, priority service, teacher payout reporting, an onboarding telephone, payment strategies, along with a direct Infusionsoft integration.
Advanced — For $279 per month you get all features from prior plans, no transaction fees, a single sign-on (SSO), three site admin accounts, 10-course admin accounts, an onboarding professional, onboarding package, people API, advanced integrations, and advanced Zapier.
Thinkific has some Great advantages to its pricing design. Not only are you able to start your course for free (something that’s not offered with competitions such as Teachable,) however, the additional three plans are broken down into a reasonable manner.
After all Most probably do not need API access until you really start getting advanced with your path selling.
I would not mind Seeing the HTML editing as well as the completion certificates however $99 a month isn’t that bad.
As you can see, The trade fees are 10% for the plan. That is high, however, it creates an atmosphere for those with low quantity now or individuals who don’t have the upfront capital to launch a professional online store. Once you get started earning money you’ll be able to cut down that trade fee.
Finally, you can Also save money. If you pay it all upfront, so, the snowball strategy goes to $39 per month. The Business plan is $79 a month and the Advanced plan is 219. That makes the pricing plans similar to Teachable.
I’ll end this Thinkific review where I started: this is. Hopefully it is evident by now that it offers a full range of the features that are vital to support your edupreneur.
I think it is also Important to repeat as I wrap up that Thinkific is a business with a lot of momentum. This is certainly not a trivial point: the marketplace for online course platforms such as Thinkific is crowded and noisy. You can be sure that a lot is going to be gone tomorrow. I’m convinced that Thinkific will be around, and the company is clearly growing and continually investing to improve its own platform. Why Use Thinkific