Best Course Creation Software 2021

Thinkific Competitors & Alternatives

Are you considering purchasing Thinkific to manage your course creation process? Before making the purchase, it’s best to learn about Thinkific’s top competitors. The six best alternatives are listed below, along with details on their features and pricing.

Thinkific is a mid-tier solution that works well for beginner and intermediate course creators. However, it belongs in a competitive market. Therefore, we recommend comparing Thinkific against its top competitors before purchasing.

There are seven course creation tools worth considering. They primarily differentiate based upon the richness of their features, the level of control they provide over your course and website designs, and the marketing tools offered. As you can see below, Thinkific ranks near the middle for price and functionality.

”best

In this guide, we examine Thinkific’s features and pricing, and compare these factors against competitors. To gain a better understanding of Thinkific as a solution, you can read our in-depth Thinkific review. You can also read more of our course creation software comparisons.

All of the information in this article is based upon research, discussions with course creators, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing the leading course creation software platforms. The details of our research process can be found on our article covering the best online course platforms.

Table of Contents

Thinkific Features

Before we compare Thinkific against its competitors, it’s important to understand the features included in Thinkific. As a mid-tier platform, Thinkific offers reasonably robust versions of all of the must-have course creation features.

The 10 most important features that Thinkific does offer are described in the table below. Thinkific’s assignments and student feedback features are some of its unique features, as they are not found in most other platforms.

FeatureDescription
Course BuilderThinkific’s course builder that lets you upload a wide range of multimedia – including video, audio, text, PDF, and presentations. Unfortunately, course elements are automatically centered in Thinkific and there is no way to adjust this.
Website BuilderThinkific’s website builder is easy to use. It lets you align site elements to the left, center, or right of the page. Thinkific also offers three themes you can use to base your website design on. You can also activate sticky navigation, add a menu label for mobile view, and link up to three social media profiles.
Sales TrackerThinkific’s sales tracker lets you view key information about an order – including the name, email, products purchased, amount spent on each transaction, payment status, total revenue, payment method, and referrer.
AssignmentsThinkific offers an in platform assignments feature that requires students to submit homework before completing a certain chapter. Some settings you can customize include writing a prompt, uploading a file, setting a max file size of 100 MB, and writing a confirmation message that’s shared when an assignment is completed.
QuizzesThinkific offers an in platform multiple choice quiz feature. Some of the settings you can customize include – choosing if a question has more than one answer, uploading different multimedia forms into a question, providing an explanation for your question or answer, importing questions, and setting a passing grade.
Live ClassesThinkific lets you host live classes through Zoom, which does not require any code. Currently, this feature is in beta and only allows for 100 simultaneous participants. You can choose the date, duration, and timezone of each live class, set a meeting password, choose to automatically record a class, and create a waiting room for attendees.
Student FeedbackUnlike other tools, Thinkific offers an in platform survey feedback tool. You can choose five types of survey questions – one answer, one or more answers, rating, scale, and free text.
CertificatesThinkific offers a certificate builder that lets you reward your students for completing your course. You can edit the text, font colors, background colors, and upload a logo. Unfortunately, you cannot add your own signature to sign the certificates.
Affiliate ManagementIn Thinkific, you can set whether an affiliate receives a fixed dollar amount or percentage from their commission. You can choose to exclude certain courses from being included in your affiliate channel.
CouponsIn Thinkific, you can create coupons for one-time purchases, subscriptions, and payment plans. When creating a coupon, you can set an expiration date, set the discount as dollars or a percentage, and set how many times it can be used.

Thinkific Competitor Overview: Features

Below, we’ve made a chart that compares each platform’s features. They differ primarily based on how advanced each platform is and the customer types each is best suited for. For example, Thinkific is best for beginner and intermediate course creators who want a user-friendly platform, whereas Kajabi is primarily best for experienced course creators.

We also recommend looking into the marketing tools included by each solution. This is because the quality ranges widely. For example, Thinkific is limited to sales widgets that can be placed anywhere online to advertise your courses. This contrasts heavily from Kajabi, which offers automated email campaigns and pipelines.

Thinkific feature comparison chart vs. competitors

Thinkific Competitor Overview: Pricing

Thinkific’s pricing begins at $49 per month. It’s most popular plan is $99 per month. You can also save up to 20% if you pay for the annual subscription upfront. Unlike other tools, Thinkific offers a free, basic plan. Thinkific also charges 0% transaction fees.

Compared to its competitors’ pricing, Thinkific’s most popular plan ranks in the middle. Thinkific also offers the widest range of plans in terms of price, from free to $499 per month. Based on Thinkific’s features, we find its pricing to be reasonable.

Here are the plan-by-plan prices of Thinkific and its top competitors:

Online Course PlatformPricing
Thinkific
  • Free: $0 per month
  • Basic: $49 per month
  • Pro: $99 per month
  • Premier: $499 per month
Kajabi
  • Basic: $149 per month
  • Growth: $199 per month
  • Pro: $399 per month
LearnWorlds
  • Starter: $29 per month
  • Pro Trainer: $99 per month
  • Learning Center $299 per month
Teachable
  • Basic: $39 per month
  • Pro: $119 per month
  • Business: $299 per month
Podia
  • Mover: $39 per month
  • Shaker: $79 per month

Top Thinkific Competitors

The course creation market has many solutions that are built for different types of course creators. As we explained above, Thinkific is best for beginner and experienced course creators. We’ve ranked Thinkific’s top six competitors based on their features, pricing, and usability.

Thinkific
Thinkific
Rating 90
LearnWorlds
LearnWorlds
Rating 89
Teachable
Teachable
Rating 87
Podia
Podia
Rating 85
Heights Platform
Heights Platform
Rating 84
Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks
Rating 82

1: Kajabi

Kajabi is an all-in-one platform that is best for experienced course creators who prioritize advanced design capabilities and powerful, robust features. This tool is best for scaling your course business. While Thinkific is not as feature-rich, its platform is much more approachable for beginners, and also offers the tools that can support established course creators. Thinkific is also more affordable than Kajabi.

For a direct comparison, check out our Kajabi vs. Thinkific article.

You'll prefer Thinkific if:

  • You want a basic, free plan simply to host your content online
  • You want to leverage your integrations – including Mailchimp, WordPress, and Squarespace
  • You want course templates that make it easier and faster to make courses
You'll prefer Kajabi if:

  • You want a single platform to manage your course building, marketing, and selling
  • You want advanced marketing tools like automated email campaigns, and pipelines
  • You want a mobile app that your students can use
Kajabi
Rating: 91
Starting Price: $149 per month

Kajabi is an advanced all-in-one course creation software solution with tens of thousands of instructors. Kajabi helps customers seamlessly build, market & sell online courses and coaching programs. Overall, its platform is robust and highly customizable. It has a steep learning curve, so it’s best for more experienced course creators.

Pros:
  • Kajabi is the most powerful course creation software platform
  • Kajabi offers advanced marketing tools not found in other platforms – email campaigns, pipelines, automation
  • Kajabi offers advanced customization features including design themes and animations
Cons:
  • Kajabi is one of the most expensive solutions in the market
  • Kajabi does not offer gamification features
  • Kajabi does not offer a designated student feedback feature

2: LearnWorlds

LearnWorlds is an advanced course creation platform with over a thousand instructors. Compared to Thinkific, LearnWorlds offers superior website design capabilities and is more feature-rich. However, Thinkific’s platform is more intuitive, and better for beginner course creators.

You'll prefer Thinkific if:

  • You want a basic, free plan simply to host your content online
  • You want an in-platform student feedback feature
  • You want course templates that make it easier and faster to make courses
You'll prefer LearnWorlds if:

  • You want the best website design capabilities
  • You want a wider range of multimedia uploads – including ebooks, SoundCloud, and YouTube videos
  • You want to include gamification elements in your courses – i.e. badges
LearnWorlds
Rating: 89
Starting Price: $29 per month

LearnWorlds is a new, fast-growing course creation software solution with around a thousand instructors. LearnWorlds is an advanced solution that gives course creators complete control over the design of their websites. We recommend LearnWorlds if you value a professionally designed website, and the ability to fully customize your courses.

Pros:
  • The LearnWorlds course builder comes with a wider range of customization options than any other solution in the market
  • LearnWorlds is mobile and tablet friendly, and offers a mobile app for an extra fee
  • LearnWorlds offers interactive videos
Cons:
  • LearnWorlds' course player is not very customizable
  • LearnWorlds does not include an email marketing tool
  • LearnWorlds does not offer an in-platform student feedback feature

3: Teachable

Teachable is the most popular course creation platform in the market with over 120,000 instructors. Its platform is the most similar to Thinkific in terms of price and functionality. However, Thinkific is more user-friendly than Teachable, and its features are more fleshed out.

For a direct comparison, check out our Thinkific vs. Teachable article.

You'll prefer Thinkific if:

  • You want a basic, free plan simply to host your content online
  • You want to translate your platform into different languages
  • You want course templates that make it easier and faster to make courses
You'll prefer Teachable if:

  • You want a mobile app that your students can use
  • You want more robust sales information – including refund and instructor fee data
  • You want to create in platform certificates
Teachable
Rating: 87
Starting Price: $39 per month

Teachable is one of the most popular course creation solutions with over 120,000 instructors. Teachable is an intuitive, powerful platform that beginners can master. Teachable is best for course creators who prefer a high-quality, mid-tier solution.

Pros:
  • Teachable works well for the hobbyist course creator
  • Teachable offers a clean and organized student experience
  • Teachable offers a built-in certificate creator to recognize students who have completed courses
Cons:
  • Teachable’s email feature is very limited and not marketing friendly
  • Teachable does not offer gamification features
  • Teachable’s platform does not offer translations of your site or courses

4: Podia

Podia is a basic course creation tool with over a thousand instructors. Thinkific offers more robust features and has the capability to support more experienced course creators. However, Podia is more affordable, user-friendly, and offers superior email marketing tools.

You'll prefer Thinkific if:

  • You want a basic, free plan simply to host your content online
  • You want an in platform student feedback feature
  • You want course templates that make it easier and faster to make courses
You'll prefer Podia if:

  • You want a more affordable and user-friendly solution
  • You want higher quality email marketing tools – including lead capture forms, an email text editor, and email analytics
  • You want an in platform student messaging feature
Podia
Rating: 85
Starting Price: $39 per month

Podia is a course creation solution with over a thousand instructors. Podia provides what you need to sell online courses, webinars, file downloads, and memberships without worrying about the technology involved. We recommend Podia to those who are beginners and need a basic platform to begin their course creation journeys.

Pros:
  • Podia is one of the more affordable solutions in the market
  • Podia allows you to stream live classes with no coding knowledge
  • Podia offers an in-platform student messaging feature
Cons:
  • Podia does not offer a mobile app
  • Podia does not offer gamification features
  • Podia does not offer an in-platform student feedback feature

5: Heights Platform

Heights Platform is a newer, basic course creation platform that lets instructors build courses and sell digital products. Thinkific is overall a superior platform in terms of features and pricing. However, Heights Platform customers have more influence over the product’s roadmap.

You'll prefer Thinkific if:

  • You want a basic, free plan simply to host your content online
  • You want an affiliate marketing feature
  • You want course templates that make it easier and faster to make courses
You'll prefer Heights Platform if:

  • You want high quality student discussion tools – including message boards and student messaging
  • You want above average customer support
  • You want an email feature that comes with email templates
Heights Platform
Rating: 84
Starting Price: $49 per month

Heights Platform is a new, up-and-coming course creation platform with a focus on driving successful student outcomes. It includes the standard features that help creators build online courses and sell digital products. Overall, Heights Platform is best for those who need a simpler, more basic course creation solution.

Pros:
  • Heights Platform does not charge additional transaction fees
  • Heights Platform’s customer support is quick and highly responsive
  • Heights Platform lets you sell other products along with your courses – including digital products and messageboards
Cons:
  • Heights Platform is priced similarly to Thinkific and Teachable, but not as feature-rich
  • Heights Platform’s course & site builder offer limited design customizations
  • Heights Platform does not come with tools to execute affiliate marketing campaigns

6: Mighty Networks

Mighty Networks is a course creation tool that supports creators who want to build a community around their content. Overall, Thinkific is a more well-rounded platform in terms of features and functionality, and costs around the same as Mighty Networks. However, Mighty Networks includes a superior student discussion feature.

You'll prefer Thinkific if:

  • You want a basic, free plan simply to host your content online
  • You want an affiliate marketing feature
  • You want course templates that make it easier and faster to make courses
You'll prefer Mighty Networks if:

  • You want an advanced, in-platform student discussion tool
  • You want to customize the language used in your online school – for example, you can refer to yourself as a professor, or teacher
  • You want a mobile app for your students
Mighty Networks
Rating: 82
Starting Price: $98 per month

Mighty Networks is a course creation platform that helps creators build a community around their course content. If you believe that a community-focused online platform is the best fit for your school and courses, then Mighty Networks is an option worth considering. Overall, Mighty Networks is best for those who need a more basic course creation solution.

Pros:
  • Mighty Networks offers an advanced, in-platform student discussion tool
  • Mighty Networks offers a mobile app that lets students take courses on-the-go
  • Mighty Networks lets you customize the language used in your online school – for example, you can refer to yourself as a professor, or teacher
Cons:
  • You have to purchase Mighty Networks’ Business plan to create and host courses
  • Mighty Networks does not offer features found in most alternative solutions – including quizzes, assignments, coupons
  • Mighty Networks charges different transaction fees depending on the plan you purchase

Bottom Line

Thinkific is a middle tier course creation solution in terms of pricing and features. Its platform is intuitive enough for beginner course creators, and also includes features that can support intermediate course creators. Its most direct competitor is Teachable. Compared to Teachable, Thinkific offers slightly more features and is more user-friendly.

Before you make your purchase though, we also suggest comparing Thinkific to other highly ranked platforms:

  • Kajabi is best for experienced course creators who need advanced marketing tools and high-level design capabilities
  • LearnWorlds is best for experienced course creators who want advanced design capabilities at a more affordable price
  • Teachable is ideal for beginner and intermediate course creators who want to build effective courses and do not need any of the extras offered by more advanced platforms
  • Podia is best for course creators who are beginning their course creation journey

You can also use our course creation quiz to figure out which solution works best for you.

Amy Yang

Amy Yang is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where she conducts in-depth analyses on software markets and products. Amy has expertise in content production and managing digital and social platforms. She has a Bachelor of Science in Communication & Media, and a Minor in Web Programming and Applications from NYU. You can connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

Amy is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Course creation software
  • Electronic signature software
  • Social media software
  • Website builder software

Get the latest from SoftwarePundit

We'll share our latest software reviews, technology tips, and deals.

*