Thinkific is a leading online course platform because they make it easy to create and sell your course.
With a wide variety of plans and integrations its easy to get started.
Not only are online courses an opportunity to create an additional income stream for yourself but you’ll be able to reach students on a global level, share your message, teach an audience and showcase yourself as an expert in your industry.
Today, online course platforms are abundant. There are many choices that exist and sometimes the struggle in getting started is the stress and overwhelm of picking the right platform.
In this Thinkific review, we’re going to answer all your questions, sharing what Thinkific has to offer to help you make an informed decision about the platform you choose to host your online courses.
What is Thinkific?
Thinkific is an online course platform. You can use Thinkific to create and sell your online courses and membership sites.
- Over 50,000 course creators
- 100+ million courses taken
- Over 165 countries use Thinkific
- $650+ million earned by course creators
Their all-in-one platform makes it easy to make your courses under your own brand and sell it to the masses.
Building your course
You can create the course you envision in your mind using Thinkific’s course creation tools:
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Ability to schedule lessons
- Set your own pricing
These are just a handful of the tools available you can use to create your course online.
Designing your course site
Your course site design is important. It could mean the difference between capturing a sale and not. Thinkific has a beautiful interface that you can design just the way you want.
It’s fully customizable and you can create the course site to match your brand image.
You’ll have many marketing integrations, sales tools, and payment options at your fingertips to help you promote and sell your course to your audience.
You will gain access to advanced e-commerce tools, apps, and resources so you can build an online course community ready to listen to your message and be loyal to your brand.
Then lastly, at Thinkific you’ll find a ton of options to help support your students like automated progress emails, completion tracking, and more.
Thinkific is used by thousands of companies like Hootsuite, EoFire, BOSSMOM, Sell It Like Serhant, and others.
Here are some of the their best features available:
These tools help you build your dream course just the way you envision it.
- Google Docs
- Video hosting
- Private and hidden courses
- Drip content
- Prerequisite lessons
Designing your site well will help you sell more courses. Pick a professional theme designed and created by Thinkific with course selling in mind. Then, customize it to match the look and feel of your brand.
- Full HTML access
- Ability to use your own domain name
Marketing and sales
Gain access to a suite of robust tools and apps to help you promote and sell your course.
- Membership sites and subscription courses
- Advanced analytics and data tracking
- 1000+ integrations
- Free trials
- Payment plans
- 100+ currencies available
- 100% secure payments
- Immediate payment
Support your students’ learning. Build engagement and make the course-taking process enjoyable with tools like:
- Progress indicators
- Unlimited replays of course material
- Language controls
- Automated check-ins
What are course templates?
Course templates are pre-made templates you can use to build your course on. It’s a shortcut that can save you time when designing your course.
There are six course templates available:
- Blank course
- Flagship course
- Membership resource library
- Webinar replay
The blank course is like a blank slate. You can build your course right onto this template to fit the needs of your brand.
The mini course template is for free or low-cost courses, or courses with less content than a full course would have.
An example would be a lead magnet.
The flagship course template is meant for your premium online course. This is the product you’re known for. This template can support expansive and expensive courses meant to provide a lot of material for students.
The pre-sell template helps support your course pre-sale. This could be when you have an idea for a course and you want to test it on your audience before you start building. You could presell it and based on demand, you can decide if you’ll create the course or not.
The membership resource library is meant to accommodate your files or resources you want to bundle in a library for your students. This could work well with membership courses where you give a ton of materials and resources to your students as a part of their membership.
The webinar replay template is designed for your webinar attendees to watch and replay. This isn’t a course, it’s for a webinar.
Thinkific has four plans including a free plan. They offer monthly and annual billing with a 20% discount for annual billing (shown below).
Free: The free plan is free forever. It gives you an unlimited amount of time to test out Thinkific. You can upgrade to a premium plan at any time.
- Limited courses
- Unlimited students
- Quizzes and surveys
- Content hosting
- Instant access to funds
Basic: The basic plan is $49/month (annual billing). You get all the features of the free plan along with:
- Unlimited courses and students
- Email students
- Custom domain
- Email integration
- Zapier triggers
- Manual student enrollment and exports
- Affiliate reporting
- Custom domain
- Drip content
Pro: The pro plan is $99/month (annual billing). You get everything in the basic plan plus:
- 2 site admin accounts
- 5 course admins/authors
- Private and hidden courses
- Advanced course pricing options
- Advanced customization
- Memberships and bundles
- Priority support
- Live Zoom lessons
Premier: The premier plan is $499/month (annual billing). You’ll get everything in Pro plus:
- 5 site admin accounts
- Single sign on (SSO)
- 50 course admins/authors
- 15 group analysts
- Onboarding package
- Unlimited growth package
The growth package
The growth package is included in the premier plan. It’s an add-on you can add to the Pro plan.
You’ll gain access to powerful features to scale your business.
Some of the features include:
- Ability to remove Thinkific branding: this helps you white label your course to match the branding of your business.
- Groups: Sell to cohorts or organizations with the ability to assign analysts.
- Webhooks: These help you send Thinkific course data to any business tool you use.
- Integrations: Integrate with InfusionSoft, Brillium exams, ActiveCampaign and other tools.
- Import students: Seamlessly add students to your Thinkific school.
- Bulk student enrollment: Save time with bulk student enrollment.
For those who need a little more than the above plans offer, Thinkific Plus is a solution.
Thinkific Plus is designed for high volume course creators. The key features include:
- Integration with Salesforce
- Dedicated customer success manager
- Custom migration planning
- Unlimited course admins
- Unlimited group analysts
- Unlimited revenue partners
- 3+ separate Thinkific sites
- Enterprise API access
- 24/7 monitoring
- Advanced security features
The Thinkific Expert marketplace
Expert marketplace is the place to go when you need a Thinkific expert. You can work with an expert to help you with everything from creating your course for you to migrating your content, website design and development and other needs you might have.
For example, if you were looking for marketing experts in the Expert marketplace, here’s what you’ll find:
You can browse the experts, click into their profile and read about their history, experience, and look over their portfolio.
Once you’ve made your decision, you can contact the expert to start the process.
The Expert marketplace is perfect for course creators that are looking to save time or get custom work done for their Thinkific school.
This isn’t a free benefit of becoming a Thinkific user so you’ll have to have a budget set aside to hire experts for any professional work you need done.
Integrations help you connect business tools and apps you’re already using with your Thinkific account, like:
- Google Analytics
- Hello Audio
There are 1,000+ apps you can connect and if you can’t find your integration, you can use Zapier to connect with third party applications not in Thinkific’s app store.
Keeping your content and material safe is their top priority. With your Thinkific membership you get:
- Secure cloud hosting
- 99.9% uptime
- 24/7 monitoring
- Daily backups
- Built-in SSL
- Instant access to updates
Students will feel secure learning on your SSL-certified Thinkific school. Your site will always be up and available and you’ll have instant access to Thinkific’s updates so you can stay abreast of changes on the platform like new versions being introduced, auto updates, etc.
Thinkific’s support center offers these resources to give you the help you’re looking for:
Help center: The help center is your hub for finding the answers to your questions. It looks like this:
You can check out their demo to help you get started with Thinkific. It’s a short 2-minute video that helps you get more familiar with the platform. For visual learners, this is a valuable tool and if you want to get better acquainted with Thinkific, you’ll want to watch the demo.
In the Help center you can browse topics to help you with every part of the course creation, marketing and sales process like site customization, student support, and learning content management and other topics.
Blog: Thinkific’s blog provides relevant content, tips, and advice about course creation. On the blog page you can also sign up to join Thinkific’s email list so you can receive free resources via email. And, you can get their free guide on how to create and sell online classes.
FAQ: The FAQ is where you can read out about the most common questions and answers about Thinkific. The FAQ categories include pricing & plans, integrations, student payments, affiliates, support & resources and more.
Resources: On the Resources page you can view the 11-minute starter video which shows you more on how Thinkific works from a course creator and student perspective.
You’ll also find the PDF library where you can instantly download PDF’s on online course promotion, choosing your course topic, how to sell courses using live webinars and other topics.
Training Site: The training site is the place to learn all about building your online course through Thinkific.
You’ll find free and paid courses to help you through every part of the process, like:
- Curriculum and content creation
- How to price your course
- How to use Facebook ads for marketing
- How to design great courses
- How to harness student engagement to drive revenue
When you’re a paid member you get access to Thinkific Benefits which gets you many of these courses for free!
For example, the $295 Online Education Business Masterclass is totally free for Thinkific members! So is the $295 course on how to price your course and the $149 course on how to design great courses!
Additionally, you will also get swipe copy and templates, workshop replays, and access to exclusive opportunities like discounts on top tools and other benefits.
The status updates page is where you find information about the latest updates from Thinkific.
In addition to all these resources available to help you with your Thinkific school, you can also join their Facebook group community, which is home to over 27,000 members.
In the Facebook group you’ll get to interact with aspiring and existing course creators, learning about what works for them and what doesn’t, reading success stories, asking questions to your peers who also use Thinkific, etc.
When you can’t find the solution to your problem using the above resources, you can directly contact Thinkific support by:
- Submitting a request online through their support form
- Calling them at 1-888-832-2409
- Emailing them at info(at)thinkific.com
Pros and cons
This is what it boils down to. What are the pros and cons and, how do they measure up against each other?
No online platform is perfect. Here’s a roundup of the benefits and drawbacks of Thinkific
- Forever free plan plus flexible billing plans
- All-in-one learning platform
- HTML and CSS available for custom building your Thinkific school
- Easy course building and design process with no coding required
- No course marketplace
- No built-in marketing tools aside from the integrations which may have minimal marketing support
- No 24/7 support
Thinkific student reviews
Thinkific is ranked 4.6 out of 5 from 122 reviews on Capterra.
Students like a lot of things about Thinkific including their free plan, a well laid out and enjoyable course creation process, and seamless integrations.
Some of the biggest drawbacks according to the reviews on Capterra are the limited sizes and file types for video uploads, poor customer service, and unappealing course design.
For one, they offer a forever free plan. It comes with a lot of features and you can start creating courses and hit the ground running with this option, without a financial commitment. Plus, you can upgrade in the future whenever you want.
Aside from this, Thinkific also has everything you want in an online course platform, like:
- Various multimedia available to create your course content
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor
- Student support
- Top level security
- Access to Thinkific experts for custom requests
They are an all-in-one learning platform and really a one-stop shop for your course creation needs.
If you’re still not sure, check out this webinar which shows you who uses Thinkific to grow their business, what successful online education companies have in common, and how to use Thinkific to set up and launch online courses quickly.