What is Thinkific?
Thinkific is a course creation software solution with approximately 50,000 instructors. Thinkific helps its customers build and market their online courses. Features such as a course and site builder, live classes, a sales tracker, affiliate partner management, and integrations with solutions like Mailchimp, Shopify & Zoom help entrepreneurs and small businesses save time and money while building their online businesses.
Table of Contents
- What is Thinkific?
- Thinkific Review Summary
- Thinkific Pricing & Cost
- Thinkific Features
- Thinkific Integrations & Website Compatibilities
- Thinkific Customer Support
- Thinkific vs. Competitors
- Is Thinkific Right for You?
Thinkific Review Summary
Thinkific was founded in 2012 by Greg Smith. Thinkific’s vision is to revolutionize the way people learn and earn online by turning their expertise into an impactful business. Today, Thinkific has over 100 employees and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Thinkific is a software platform that helps individuals and SMBs create, market, and deliver their online courses. Thinkific’s platform is particularly strong for teaching live courses, and learning reinforcement exercises – assignments, surveys, and quizzes, for example. It’s not the most advanced platform in the market, however, it is powerful and an easy-to-use solution for ambitious beginners and established course creators.
Thinkific is one of the more affordable solutions in the market – its most popular plan is $99. The company also offers the largest number of plans that range in price from free to $499 per month.
Overall, we found that Thinkific is ideal for those who need a user-friendly, mid-tier solution. The platform is approachable for beginner course creators, and also has the tools to support established course creators.
- If you’re on a budget, or only need a more basic solution, then we suggest looking into Podia.
- If you need a more advanced solution that offers high level customizations for your courses and website, then we suggest looking into Kajabi and LearnWorlds.
- Finally, if you think Thinkific is the right course creation tool for you, we recommend also considering Teachable.
Thinkific Pricing & Cost
Thinkific’s pricing ranges from free to $499 a month. Thinkific also offers a free trial of their Pro plan for 30 days.
- Free: $0 per month
- Basic: $49 per month
- Pro: $99 per month
- Premier: $499 per month
Below, we will discuss the key features of Thinkific. We will also include screenshots of the product to give you an idea of its design and architecture.
Being able to build and customize courses is a key when it comes to course creation software. In Thinkific, your courses are made of individual lessons that are grouped into chapters. Overall, we found Thinkific’s course builder to be intuitive, but limiting in terms of visual design.
In Thinkific, you can upload different forms of multimedia to be included in lessons – for example, video, audio, text, PDF, and presentations. You can also add quizzes, assignments, and feedback to your chapters.
As you can see above through the preview, elements are automatically centered in the middle of the page – there is not a way to modify this. This limits your ability to customize the design of your lessons.
Thinkific offers an in-platform feature that lets you create assignments for each chapter of your course. This feature lets your students submit homework that they need to complete before finishing any given chapter. Quiz performance is a good indication of how well your students are handling your course material, and can give you an opportunity to give individual feedback.
In order to complete an assignment in Thinkific, a student has to upload a file, which is then reviewed by you as the instructor. As seen above, Thinkific lets you:
- Write the assignment prompt
- Upload a file that can help students complete their assignments
- Set a max file size up to100 MB
- Write a confirmation message that’s shared when an assignment is completed
In Thinkific, you can also reinforce your lessons with multiple choice quizzes. As an instructor, quizzes help you understand how well your students are learning from your courses. Your students also benefit from quizzes because they provide feedback and suggest areas for improvement.
Thinkific offers a few customizable quiz features including:
- Choosing if a question has more than one answer
- Uploading a file, image, video, or audio into a question
- Providing an explanation for your question or answer
- Import questions
- Setting a passing grade, which can unlock subsequent lessons and course material
It is important to design courses that are accessible to students with different learning techniques and capabilities. Thinkific offers a few accessibility features such as:
- Closed captioning
- Text transcripts for videos
- Alt text
Additional Course Editing Features
With Thinkific, you can edit your website and courses to include custom branding and any of 39 languages.
With Thinkific’s Pro and Growth Plan, you can remove Thinkific branding from pages and courses. You can also add custom colors, change the typography, add a logo, and add your favicon to your website.
Thinkific lets you translate your website and courses into 39 different languages, including:
The next step after creating your course is delivering it to your students. Thinkific includes features that help schedule the publication of your course content, teach live classes, and support student interactions.
As an instructor, you can use a drip schedule to publish certain sections of your courses at certain times. With Thinkific, you can choose to deliver your course content based on:
- Student enrollment date
- Student start date
- Specific date
Thinkific also lets you choose how many days after a student enrollment or start date course content will be released. However, you can only choose one drip method for all chapters in a course. Therefore, you cannot choose one chapter to be released based on student enrollment date, and then choose a second chapter to be released based on a specific date.
Live classes help create an engaging learning environment. Thinkific lets you host live classes through an integration with Zoom. Currently this feature is in beta and only allows 100 simultaneous participants. We found this feature user friendly, as it does not require any coding.
There are a few live class features that Thinkific lets you customize:
- If a live class is a meeting or a webinar
- The date, duration, and timezone of each live class
- The a meeting password
- Choose to automatically record the class
- Create a waiting room for attendees
Thinkific supports student discussions within your lessons. Students and instructors are allowed to write and reply to posts. Discussions are a great way to engage students and encourage a sense of community.
As an instructor, you can also choose to disable certain comments, which prevents those comments from being shown to the other students in the discussion. This feature does not delete comments, though. Also, comments cannot be edited once they have been posted.
Surveys help you gain additional information from your students about your courses. This information can be leveraged to improve your course material and boost student engagement.
Thinkific lets you create a survey as a lesson within your courses. The platform includes five types of survey questions – one answer, one or more answers, rating, scale, and free text.
Students can earn certificates for successfully completing your courses. Certificates reward your students, and motivate them to finish your courses.
Thinkific requires you to use one of their certificate templates. You can edit the text, change font colors, add a background color, and upload a logo. One minor drawback of Thinkific is that you cannot upload your own signature to sign the certificates.
Once your courses and course features have been set, you need to find the best method to market them. Thinkific offers a website builder, and some additional marketing tools including coupons, bundles, affiliate marketing and a sales tracker.
Thinkific offers a site builder that lets you build your site and pages from scratch. Overall, we found Thinkific’s site builder to be easy to use when it comes to building site structure. However, we found that the platform is limited when it comes to customizing the design of your site.
For your individual pages, Thinkific lets you edit the header, each section, and the footer. Within your headers, you can activate sticky navigation, which keeps the top navigation bar visible while scrolling, and choose to activate a menu label in mobile. Within your footers, you can add social icons and links that connect your social media to your site. However, you can only link up to three of your social media profiles.
Thinkific lets you customize the color scheme of your site and site elements. It also lets you align elements either to the left, center, or right of the page. Thinkific also offers three themes that you can use as the base design for your site. These are Empire, Vogue, and Vision – each of these themes includes three to four styles.
Coupons that offer discounted pricing help promote your courses and increase your sales. Thinkific lets you set coupons for one-time purchases, subscriptions, and payment plans. When creating a coupon you can:
- Name your coupon
- Set an expiration date
- Set the discount amount as dollars or a percentage
- Select what products the coupon can be applied towards
- Set what the actual coupon code is
- Set how many times a coupon can be used
Thinkific lets you bundle your courses and offer them at a discount. This can entice customers to purchase your courses and increase your average order value.
Thinkific lets you add as many courses as you would like to a bundle. You can also create courses that are only offered as a part of a bundle. Also, students who have already purchased a bundle will automatically receive access to future courses that are added to it.
Thinkific lets you keep track of the revenue you’ve generated from your courses. Thinkific’s sales tracker is complete and informative. With this tool, you can monitor how your courses are performing, and how factors such as affiliates and coupons are influencing your course sales.
As seen above, Thinkific allows you to view several pieces of key information about an order – such as the name, email, the products purchased, the date a product was purchased, and the amount spent on a transaction. Additional information that Thinkific includes for each order includes:
|Status||Indicates whether a payment is “complete” or has “failed”|
|Total Revenue||Indicates the total sales made on a subscription or payment plan paid order – the new value updates as a new payment is made|
|Type||Indicates whether an order is a one time, subscription, or a payment plan purchase or is refunded|
|Payment method||Indicates how a student paid, either by Stripe or Paypal|
|Referrer||Displays the name of the affiliate who referred the student who made the order|
Thinkific lets you execute affiliate marketing campaigns. An affiliate is someone who receives a commission in return for the sales that they generate for your site. Using affiliates is a great way to promote your courses across a wider network of potential customers.
In Thinkific, you can set whether an affiliate receives a fixed-dollar amount or percentage-based commission. You can also exclude certain courses from being marketed through your affiliate channel. All affiliates must be paid through Paypal.
Thinkific does not process payments through its own platform. However, it does integrate with PayPal and Stripe, where a ~3% transaction fee will be charged. Thinkific lets you charge for courses using a one-time payment, a subscription, a membership, or a monthly payment. You can also sell courses for free.
Legal & Security
Course creation software requires sensitive information like login and payment credentials. Therefore, it is important that your software complies with certain legal and security standards to protect your sensitive information.
|Feature||Offered by Thinkific|
|Secure Storage||Yes (AWS)|
|International Law Compliant||Yes (GDPR)|
Thinkific Customer Support
Efficient customer support is very important in guaranteeing a satisfactory customer experience. Overall, we found Thinkific’s customer service to be slightly above average. However, one disadvantage of their customer support is that they do not offer a live chat service that lets you speak with a representative.
Thinkific’s help articles are comprehensive and easy to read. They include images and videos which help the reader visualize the steps they need to take to achieve their goal. Thinkific also bolds key words, like Thinkific terms, which help readers easily identify them.
|Customer Support Channels||Email, Support tickets, Phone|
|Customer Support Availability||Monday-Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM PST|
|Other Support Resources||FAQ page, Knowledge Base|
|Platform Update Notifications||Yes|
|Application Status Page||Yes|
Thinkific Integrations & Website Compatibilities
Thinkific offers key integrations and website compatibilities that allow you maximize your course and site efforts. These include integrations that support the creation, marketing, selling and delivering of your online courses. These integrations include:
- Google Analytics
Thinkific is also compatible with various website builders. These include:
Thinkific vs. Competitors
The top Thinkific competitors are listed below. It competes most directly with Teachable. The best option for you will depend on the features you need and your budget.
You can also check out our articles that directly compare Thinkific against its competitors:
For a full breakdown, read our analysis of Thinkific Competitors & Alternatives.
Is Thinkific Right for You?
Thinkific is an online course creation software used by over 50,000 instructors to create and market their online courses. While it is not the most advanced platform in the market, it is a powerful and user-friendly solution.
Overall, we found that Thinkific is ideal for those who need a user-friendly, mid-tier solution. The platform is approachable for beginners, and also has the tools to support established course creators.
- If you’re on a budget, or only need a more basic solution, then we suggest looking into Podia.
- If you need a more advanced solution that offers high level customizations for your courses and sites, then we suggest looking into Kajabi and LearnWorlds.
- Finally, if you think Thinkific is the right tool for you, we recommend also considering Teachable.
To learn more about Thinkific, try it for free today.