If you’re considering committing to a platform for your online courses, our Thinkific review will give you what you need to make your decision. With over 50,000 course creators, Thinkific is a popular choice for launching your online course. You can build and host your course with them, supporting your video-based and/or text-based course, or membership site.
In this article, we’re going to go over a review of Thinkific, including:
- Pros and Cons
- How to get started with Thinkific
- Thinkific Alternatives
- Common Questions
- Our Recommendation
Let’s get started.
What are Thinkific’s best features?
For course creators, they offer a platform to support the creation and hosting of your online course. This includes:
- The ability to create and customize your course
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Rich media course content like Typeform, Articulate, Google Docs, Captivate, surveys, video, text, downloads, quizzes, and discussions
- Student engagement tools like communities, certificates, and more
They make it easy to customize your course to match your brand and create it just the way you want.
- Private or hidden courses
- Prerequisite lessons
- Multiple instructors
- Drip schedule content
- Evergreen and expiring content
- Membership sites
- And, more!
Customizing your course lets you build it to match the vision in your head. And, you can make it easy on yourself with their drag-and-drop editor.
Add and delete sections or rearrange the look and layout of your course effortlessly. That means no coding is required in order to build a beautiful, professional-looking online course (though web developers will still be able to access HTML and CSS).
Thinkific offers a variety of ways to support the way you teach, matching the many ways students learn. Offer variety, keep your students engaged, and get valuable information to them through text-based and video-based lessons, quizzes, and more.
You can also use your own domain name to create a brand new course website within Thinkific.
How do Thinkific pricing plans work for students?
They offer flexible pricing options which means you can offer flat-price or subscription pricing and membership sites through Thinkific.
Package courses into bundles, give students multiple ways to buy, and attract a wider audience while making more money with coupons, free trials, payment plans, and upsells.
You’ll have the ability to get paid right away, charge in over 100 different currencies, and accept all credit cards with 100% security.
Thinkific marketing features
Their suite of advanced marketing tools gives you the ability to:
- Connect with and manage affiliates
- Connect to your email provider to create targeted email marketing campaigns
- Integrate with over 100 apps so you can use your favorite business tools right at your fingertips.
There’s a four-tier pricing plan available including a free plan.
You can actually get a good test drive of their platform with Thinkific’s free plan. You get unlimited time to test out the features including unlimited students, content hosting, instant access to your funds, with limited courses.
This is a good option for someone new to course creation or on the fence about committing to a paid plan. You get to test the waters for free without being strapped to a limited trial timeline.
What’s the catch?
With the free plan you won’t have full access to all of Thinkific’s features like prerequisite lessons, assignments, coupons, payment plans, email integration, drip schedule content, or unlimited courses, among other things.
For $39/month you get the basic plan which gives you access to the basic features of Thinkific which includes everything on the free plan, plus other features like:
- Unlimited courses and students
- Drip schedule content
- Affiliate reporting
- Email integration
- Custom domain
- Plus, more!
Next up is Thinkific’s most popular plan which is Pro at $79/month. You’ll get everything on the free and basic plan plus:
- 2 site admin accounts
- 5 course admins/authors
- Priority support
- Live Zoom lessons
- Advanced customization and advanced course pricing options
The Pro plan is great for seasoned course creators with multiple and/or large courses that require the support of multiple admins and/or authors. If you’re collaborating with other creators to build your course, this is the plan you’ll want.
You also have the ability to keep your students engaged with communities, assignments, and other built-in features.
And, if you like the option of giving live lessons to your students along with multiple payment options like one-time, subscriptions, etc. then you’ll want to go Pro.
The last tier is called Premier and it caters to advanced course creators who need a course platform that can be scaled as their business grows. Above the Pro plan features, you also get:
- 5 site admin accounts
- 15 group analysts
- 50 course admins/authors
- Single sign on (SSO)
- Unlimited growth package for a flat fee
Pros and Cons of Thinkific
What you’ll like about Thinkific is:
- The free plan: This is something that competitors just don’t offer. It lets you test the waters and try out Thinkific’s features including creating a course with students that you can collect income from, all for free.
- Tons of features: Whatever plan you go with, free to premier, Thinkific offers a ton of sophisticated tools and features to operate your course like a pro and create the best student experience.
- Custom domain: This is great for branding, making it appear that your Thinkific course is part of your website.
- Student payment options: You’ll find a flexible mix of different student payment options like one-time payments, subscription, etc.
- Membership sites: The ability to set a monthly recurring subscription helping you earn passive income from your courses.
- Tiered pricing: Four payment options including the free plan which caters to course instructors at every level.
Some things you might not like about Thinkific:
- No chat support: For help, the chat function is unavailable however, they do offer phone support.
- No sales funnel integrations: Sales funnel integration with software tools like LeadPages or Clickfunnels is not available.
- No course marketplace: where customers can find your course online.
How to get started with Thinkific
You can get started for free, upgrading your plan at any time. They’re one of the only course platforms to offer a risk-free option where you can get started creating courses, getting students and collecting payment without committing to a paid plan!
Here’s how you get started:
Step 1. Create your account
Start at Thinkific’s homepage and click “Get Started for Free” which will take you to this page to start the signup process.
Step 2. Go through the account setup
You will answer a one-page questionnaire then you will be taken to your dashboard.
Step 3. Launch your first course
The dashboard of your Thinkific account is mapped out nicely and easy to navigate. It’s set up in 5 sections in the left bar navigation, along with your account information, settings, upgrade, updates, training, and the help center.
The 5 sections include:
- Manage learning content
- Design your site
- Market & sell
- Advanced reporting
- Support your students
The Manage learning content tab is where you can find information about your courses, categories, instructors, video library, and revenue share.
Courses is where you go to start building your first course.
The Categories tab helps you create and manage your categories so students can easily find courses that meet their interests. This is helpful if you have multiple courses in many categories. Students can easily navigate by category to help find more training material that interests them.
In the Instructors tab, you can add and manage instructors for your Thinkific account.
The Video library is the place to upload and manage your videos.
Design Your Site has the site builder, theme library, and lets you preview your website.
Share Revenue is where you can set up the revenue share amongst all instructors contributing to your courses (this is an upgraded feature).
The Market & Sell tab leads you to where you can set up coupons, widgets, orders, integrations, and manage affiliates.
The Advanced Reporting tab (beta) gives you insights and details about orders, revenue, enrollments, and student engagement.
Support Your Students is where you have:
- Quiz & survey
Thinkific is a top choice for many entrepreneurs creating their online course. For alternatives, you can review our 7 best online course providers for 2021. In this article, we break down 7-course providers you should consider (Thinkific is #2) for your course creation needs.
Thinkific is a nice choice, regardless of the level you’re at, for new or seasoned course creators. They have a ton of top-level tools and integrations built into their platform, making it easier than ever to deliver your course material to students.
You’ll love that their Zoom live lessons, free payment plan, and multiple author/admin options set them apart from the competition. But, other features are lacking, like sales funnel integration that Kajabi has and a lack of a marketplace, a new feature Teachable is introducing.
Still on the fence?
Here are some common questions which may make things clearer for you.
Thinkific Common Questions
1. Is Thinkific legit?
Yes, Thinkific is legit and over 50,000 course creators think so too! They have had over 100 million courses taken on the platform and their course instructors have earned more than $650 million dollars!
2. Is Thinkific pricing worth it?
Yes! You get a lot for the price you’re paying, not to mention they offer a free plan with no strings attached and no commitment required to upgrade.
3. Does Thinkific have a free plan?
Thinkific does offer a free plan that you can join.
4. Can Thinkific host my entire website?
Yes, you can build your entire education business right on Thinkific. They offer a ton of flexibility, multiple payment plans for students, many different engagement tools to keep students interested and learning, custom domain and more!
5. Does Thinkific charge transaction fees?
No, they don’t. They don’t take a cut of your sales, no commission, and no transaction fees.
Final Thoughts on Thinkific
There’s many things to consider when building your online course. Online courses are a great way to build an audience online, teach your expertise and create a passive income stream. You need a course platform that’s robust while being flexible and Thinkific delivers that.
If you’re still not sure, I recommend you try Thinkific’s free plan to test out their platform. You’ll get the opportunity to build out your course, get students, and make money, no strings attached with zero transaction fees.
For more on building your course, check out our free 9-step online course creation guide.