Thinkific is an online course creation platform that enables creators and edupreneurs to create and sell courses and memberships. The platform features sales & marketing tools, as well as a website builder to feature your offerings.
Thinkific also allows you to create a built-in online community to engage your learners, as well as multimedia content, learner assessments, and certificates for engaging learning experiences.
What I particularly like about Thinkific is how easy it is to use, although I was not impressed by the variety of website templates. Some other notable limitations of Thinkific are the lack of marketing automation tools, SCORM support, and mobile app.
Although Thinkific is a decent option for new creators, I would like to present you with 7 alternatives that can cover your needs just as effectively.
Let’s see how the Thinkific Alternatives LearnWorlds, Teachable, Podia, LearnDash, Udemy, Kajabi, and Mighty Networks compare against Thinkific.
Overview & Pricing Information
Before we discuss each platform’s features, let’s see their different pricing packages.
|Thinkific||Free plan||Basic – $49/mo||Start – $99/mo||Grow – $199/mo|
|LearnWorlds||Free trial (30 days)||Starter – $29/mo||Pro – $99/mo||Learning Center – $299/mo|
|Teachable||Free plan (plus transaction fees)||Basic plan – $59/mo (5% transaction fees)||Pro plan – $159/mo||Advanced – request quote|
|Podia||Free trial (14 days) & Free plan (8% transaction fees)||Mover – $39/mo||Shaker – $89/mo||Earthquaker – $199/mo|
|LearnDash||15-Day Money Back Guarantee||1 site license – $199/year||Up to 10 site licenses – $399/year||Unlimited – $799/year|
|Udemy||An instructor gets 37% of the sales revenue, and Udemy gets 63%. When promoting/selling the course using a coupon or affiliate link instructor gets 97%.|
|Kajabi||Free trial (14 days)||Basic – $149/mo||Growth – $199/mo||Pro – $399/mo|
|Mighty Networks||Free trial (14 days)||The Community Plan – $39/mo||The Business Plan – $119/mo||Mighty Pro – request quote|
This table shows us the following:
- Kajabi is the most expensive option among the Basic plans.
- Teachable, Podia, and Thinkific are the only platforms offering a free plan, although only the latter comes with no transaction fees.
- LearnWorlds is the only platform offering a 30-day free trial when all the others offer 14-day free trials. LearnDash doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does offer a 15-day money-back guarantee.
- LearnWorlds has the cheapest Starter Plan, and Kajabi has the most expensive.
- LearnDash is the only one among these options that’s not a course platform but a WordPress plug-in.
- Udemy is an online course marketplace where you can sell your online course. It doesn’t feature any course creation tools.
LearnWorlds is my favorite platform because it’s the most comprehensive solution on this list. LearnWorlds has a user-friendly and customizable website builder and course authoring tool that allows you to build your online academy as you would have imagined it.
With LearnWorlds, you can have it all: multimedia content, SCORM files, built-in community, learner assessments, one-to-one or group sessions, certificates, and in-depth analytics.
Multiple monetization options are available, with flexible payment options, support for affiliate programs, coupons & discounts, subscription & memberships, and email marketing tools to capture leads and engage your customers.
Due to its wide array of features, including a native mobile app and white-labeling, Learnworlds addresses different needs, from selling digital products and memberships to online coaching, customer education, and employee training.
Did it catch your attention? You can start your 30-day free trial now to see if LearnWorlds works for you.
Teachable is another user-friendly platform that can be used as an alternative to Thinkific. Teachable’s drag-and-drop website builder makes it easy to organize your course with a few clicks and populate it with multi-media content.
A feature that stands out is its course marketplace, Discover, where you can optionally list and sell your course, with Teachable collecting 30% of the revenue. Teachable also offers a mobile app and interesting sales & marketing features.
On the downside, the platform doesn’t support white labeling or SCORM files, and it falls behind in assessment and reporting tools. I would recommend it to those of you just starting in the creator’s economy but not to edupreneurs with advanced needs.
You can sign up for Teachable here.
Podia is another popular course platform featuring more marketing rather than learning features. A standout feature is definitely the “Buy now” button, through which customers can buy your product (be that an online course, a video, a membership, etc.) even if it’s featured on a third website.
Other marketing features you’ll love are the affiliate programs and coupons, as well as the automated sales funnels and broadcast emails. The platform is very easy to use and supports multiple content formats, although, again, we see that there’s no support for SCORM files.
What I find limiting is the lack of white labeling – and if you want to build a strong online presence, you will need this feature. I would also like to see more assessment options and a certificate builder.
All in all, Podia is a good option to experiment with online courses, given that it offers a free plan.
Start your journey with Podia here.
LearnDash is the only WordPress LMS plug-in I’ve included in this list, for those of you who already have a WordPress site and would like to sell digital products and memberships through it.
LearnDash is an extremely versatile solution for creators, as it supports an infinite number of WP plug-ins to enhance its sales & marketing options (which are a bit limited, to be honest) and learning features. One of the most interesting features for me is the “Focus Mode,” which enables learners to attend the course in a distraction-free environment.
Keep in mind that, although LearnDash is pretty easy to install and launch, you’ll still need to keep an eye on its maintenance. Plus, it’s hard to estimate the final cost as you’ll need multiple plug-ins to bring it to your taste.
Wanna give it a try? Sign up for LearnDash here.
Udemy is perhaps the most well-known online course marketplace, so it couldn’t be missing from this list. Being a marketplace and not a course creation platfrom, Udemy allows you to feature and sell your course with zero initial cost, but it doesn’t feature any course authoring tools.
The good news is that with Udemy being so popular, you can be sure thousands of people will course will at least view – and hopefully buy – your course. The bad news is that even if you manage to stand out and get people to sign up for your course, Udemy will get a hefty 63% of your profit. My advice is to promote your Udemy course via affiliates, as in this case, you get to keep 97% of the profit.
To start selling on Udemy, click here.
Kajabi is an all-in-one course creation platform for entrepreneurs, creators, and coaches who want to create and sell digital products, courses, coaching, and memberships. You shouldn’t expect much in terms of learning features.
What Kajabi takes pride in are its sales & marketing features. Kajabi allows you to create automated marketing campaigns and sales funnels, for which you can use one of the featured playbooks and ready-made sales copy.
Another thing I like about Kajabi – and I think you will too – is its Kajabi Heroes community, where creators can connect and exchange advice.
What you may find disheartening is Kajabi’s starting price, since the lowest plan starts at $149/mo, which is significantly higher than any of the platforms featured in this list and in the market in general.
Mighty Networks is a community-focused platform that helps creators and coaches bring together and nurture a loyal following. If your prime concern is building a community, this tool won’t disappoint you.
Mighty Networks offers advanced, hard-to-find community features, such as user-generated content, personalized feed that resembles social media, built-in livestream, and direct messaging among members.
Although Mighty Networks features course creation tools and enables you to sell courses, it’s obvious that this is not what it was primarily designed for. It’s hard not to notice that assessments, certificates, or learning analytics are missing from the platform. The sales features are also limited. For example, I was surprised to see that it doesn’t integrate with PayPal or that you can’t create coupons or an affiliate program.
You can start a free trial and see for yourself if Mighty Networks can cover your needs.
These were some interesting alternatives to Thinkific. I believe this list gave you ample choices, so you can find a platform that suits your needs, whether you need to start from zero or already have something in the making.
My advice is to take your time researching the market and take advantage of the free trials. Write down the features you need, then sign up for a couple of different platforms that offer these features to see if they are indeed the right choice for you!