If you are looking for a platform that will allow you to build your own courses, Thinkific is the perfect option – we will tell you why in this detailed Thinkific review.

Thinkific allows you to edit the course and upload it with ease. You can also add in quizzes and assignments to make sure students are paying attention. A popular online course creation platform, Thinkific offers a state-of-the-art design and is one of the top learning management systems if you want to create your own lessons for new students – or students you might already have from your blog or website.

There are so many features worth noting with this online course platform. In this Thinkific review, we hope to address them all! 

What is Thinkific?

Thinkific is an online education platform that allows you to create your own courses and sell them for a one-time fee. It also has a marketplace where you can buy other people’s courses as well.

This unique online course creation program will allow you to both create and sell courses and membership sites under your brand, allowing you to see a serious impact with your business. 

As of writing this article, Thinkific has more than 50,000 course creators and 100 million courses. It’s one of the most popular sites for people looking to expand their businesses in online education. 

Who is Thinkific For?

Read any Thinkific course reviews, and you’ll likely find the same answer from satisfied teachers and students everywhere – Thinkific is for anyone. It offers a smooth user interface and a great value for money that makes it one of the best online platforms for education. 

People use Thinkific to teach all kinds of courses, from learning how to master coding to learning how to fly a drone. You can offer any kind of course you want on Thinkific and you don’t have to be adept at programming or course creation in order to do so – you just have to be passionate about the topic you plan to teach.

As of now, Thinkific offers course creation services to more than 25,000 instructors in 164 countries.

How Does Thinkific Work?

It is important to note that Thinkific is not an online course platform open to students to take classes, like Udemy or Skillshare. You won’t sign on to Thinkific to find a class you’d like to take – instead, you’ll sign on to Thinkific to teach a class.

You’ll start by creating an account but you don’t have to pay a dime in order to do so. You don’t have to be a developer in order to use the platform – you’ll be able to set up your own course with out-of-the-box templates and integrations and you’ll have full ownership over your site so you can fully customize it according to your brand.

Thinkific even offers demo features to help you get an idea of how the platform works -these demos are available right on the platform’s website. Of course, you can always sign up for a free trial, too, if you’d prefer. 

Features and Functionality

These are some of the most important features of Thinkific to pay attention to.

Completion Certificates

Another helpful feature of Thinkific, and one you’ll see echoed as a benefit in many a review of Thinkific, is its completion certificates. 

Although you don’t have to choose to offer completion certificates as part of your class, doing so is a great way to “high-five” your students and help them celebrate their wins. You can include these certificates at the end of each course with customized displays. 

Drag and Drop Course Builder 

Thinkific makes it easy to launch a course. You don’t have to have any knowledge of coding – the platform will handle it all. 
You will be able to keep your students engaged with all kinds of helpful features and resources, including downloads, text, discussions, surveys, quizzes, and more. There Is even compatibility with other multimedia platforms, like Google Docs. You can host all of your video content for free, too. 

With the drag and drop course builder, you can organize content to add, rearrange, or delete various course pages. 

Customization Resources

You will be able to fully customize every aspect of your online courses when you develop them on Thinkific. From the ability to create hidden or private courses to being able to make certain elements prerequisites, Thinkific offers it all.

You can even connect to other membership sites, enlist the help of multiple instructors, schedule drip content, or build cohorts and evergreen content. You’ll have access to countless features that will help you grow your business.

Full E-Commerce Capabilities 

Thinkific customers have sold more than $200 million worth in courses. You’ll be able to build your confidence as a course instructor with pre-built course review, curriculum, and other sections – plus, you won’t have to worry about things like design. Thinkific will provide you with premade themes and customization elements that you can hone to fit your brand. 

You will also have full e-commerce capabilities. There are flexible pricing options to fit every size and you can take advantage of Thinkific’s many e-commerce options to build and promote your course. You can offer things like membership sites and subscription courses to give students more ways to learn  – or you can boost the sales of your courses with coupons and promotional features like free trials and upsells.

Site Functionality 

Thinkific is remarkably easy to use. You can create an entirely new site with the platform or you can link to your existing site for a totally seamless experience.

It’s meant to be easy to use  – you don’t have to be a website developer to use this platform, but if you are, you can still access HTML and CSS to your heart’s content.

Discussion Forums & Student Support

With Thinkific, students can learn the way they want. Not only does this course builder allow you the freedom to create courses that are enjoyable and engaging, but it also offers helpful features like unlimited replays of course material and discussion forums – both of which can be invaluable tools in providing students with the support and the answers to questions they might be seeking.

You can make it easy for your students to check in with you. Communication is simple with Thinkific robust, data-centric platforms. Not only will you receive detailed information on the students in your cohorts, but you’ll also be able to encourage your students with automated check-ins.

Advanced Marketing Tools

Thinkific offers plenty of advanced marketing tools so that you can not only build an engaging class, but will also have the resources you need to sell it to your customers, too. You can reward affiliates for sharing your courses or even create targeted email campaigns that will message the right people at the right time.

Although Thinkfiic offers many of its own built-in advanced marketing tools, it also offers users the ability to integrate their courses with their favorite business tools. Throughout all of this, you’ll receive hands-on support for ad tracking and analytics with advanced data tracking services and programs like Facebook and Google Adwords.

Onboarding Support

A final feature of Thinkific that’s worth mentioning is the extensive amount of onboarding support you will receive. You’ll receive plenty of assistance in getting your courses set up with any plan, but if that’s not enough, you can also purchase an onboarding package. 

The pricing structure for these plans varies, starting at around a one-time fee of $450, but they can be worth it if you really want to know what you are doing when creating classes on Thinkific.

Thinkific Pricing Model

There are several Thinkific pricing structures for you to choose from. The pricing plans include the free plan, the basic plan, the pro plan, and the premier plan. We’ll walk you through all the pricing plans to give you a better idea of what each of these pricing options offers. 

The free plan, as you might expect, costs nothing. You’ll be able to test-drive Thinkific and enroll an unlimited number of students in three courses. You can offer quizzes and surveys and you’ll enjoy free content hosting and instant access to your funds. 

You’ll notice in several Thinkific free plan reviews that the basic plan is perfect for beginners. You’ll be able to create unlimited courses and enroll an unlimited number of students.

You’ll also have access to coupons, the ability to offer refunds and other forms of customer service, drip content, affiliate reporting, and more. You’ll get a custom domain, email integrations, Zpaier triggers – and you can even manually enroll students and manage exports.

It’s everything you ever dreamed of in an online course creation platform – and then some. You’ll be able to create as many online courses as you’d like and stay updated on student progress the whole time. 

Interested in a pro subscription? This one costs $99 per month. You’ll get all the same features of the basic plan plus two site admin accounts, five course admins and authors, the ability to create private and hidden courses, and advanced course pricing options. 

You will also be able offer bundles and memberships along with course certificates. You’ll get advanced customization abilities, priority support, and the ability to offer communities and assignments. 

With the pro membership, you can even host live lessons with Zoom capabilities! Without a doubt, Pro is the most popular membership chosen by Thinkific users.

The final membership to consider is the premier membership. This one is for more advanced customers who are interested in making their online course offerings more of a business. You’ll get all the features of re prom membership and you’ll pay just one flat fee of $499 per month.

You can create unlimited courses and offer them to an unlimited number of students. You’ll get five site administrator accounts, 15 group analysts, and a whopping 50 course authors or admins. You’ll have a single sign-on and enjoy access to an onboarding package, too. 

One final option for you to consider as you’re comparing plans? If you have a pro or premium plan, you can add on a growth package. The growth package will let creators access additional high-powered features to help you scale up your business as you grow.

There are also additional plans available to companies and high-volume customers. 

Support

Thinkific offers excellent customer service. You can cancel, upgrade, or change your account whenever you want. 

Plus, since you don’t need to enter your credit card details to get started, it’s easy to become a Thinkific user quickly. You can try out the platform without paying a cent to figure out whether it’s right for you. While creating your courses, you’ll have access to all the support you need from the helpful team at Thinkific, reachable by both phone and email.

The Advantages (Pros) of Thinkific

Ownership of Content

When you create an online course on Thinkific, you will always own your student data and your content. Thinkific does not market to your students and you will have the ability to export your data whenever you’d like. 

There’s no need to pay for a separate web host with Thinkfiic, either. Everything is fully hosted on Thinkific and secure hosting and e-commerce are both included. 

Payment Methods

Another helpful feature of Thinkifici? Its many payment methods – this is a pro that refers both to the company’s ability to accept a variety of one-time payment methods from course creators as well as from their students. 

With Thinkific and its many payment plans, you can receive payments via direct integration from both Stripe and PayPal. It’s easy to receive either an ongoing or one-time payment from your payment processor of choice. 

It’s also easy to offer students services like processing refunds. Although Thinkific does not offer direct refunds to course creators, it’s not complicated for you to issue your own.

Full e-commerce payment processing is included in every Thinkific plan. You can accept all major credit cards with a simple, secure checkout process – and you’ll enjoy instant access to your funds in your account. Even an SSL certificate is provided to make sure all of your information is secure. 

The Thinkific pricing structure is great for students and teachers alike, offering many payment plans and options for people of all kinds. 

Ease of Use 

Thinkific is one of the easiest online course creation platforms to use with full onboarding support. You’ll be able to work with a team in a one-on-one fashion to help you meet your goals quickly and efficiently. 

With plus and premier plans, an initial, personalized onboarding call is included. All members also receive a launch preparedness review and other training that can help you get started seamlessly. 

Built-in Security and Tech Features

There are several other built-in security features to be considered with this platform, too.

For one, you’ll enjoy secure cloud hosting and daily backups. SSL certificates are included and the platform has a 99.9% uptime rate with 24/7 monitoring. You don’t have to worry about constantly checking back to make sure your course is up and running – Thinkific has folks who will take care of that for you.

Plus, all updates are automatic – you won’t have to worry about missing a beat.

The Disadvantages (Cons) of Thinkific

Some Thinkific course reviews mention the following disadvantages of the platform. 

Not the Best Affiliate Program

Something you will see in many Thinkific course reviews is that the affiliate program is, unfortunately, lacking in several ways. Many course instructors say that the program is hard to monitor, lacking an easy-to-access dashboard that will help you turn students into affiliates. 

Others complain that you can’t host the course landing or sales pages on a WordPress website – you have to create a redirect in Thinkific. This can be frustrating for people who want more seamless functionality in their courses. 

Tricky Quiz Features

Other course creators have complained about the challenging nature of the quiz features in the platform. Although it’s easy to set up a quiz that has right and wrong questions and answers, it is not so seamless if you are trying to do more of a self-assessment style of quiz.

Limited Number of Themes

Although Thinkfiic does take some of the guesswork out of creating your own online course, offering numerous themes and design templates for you to take advantage of, the downside to this platform is that there are only a set number of themes – and these might be too limiting for some folks. 

It’s a great place to start, but you may find that you have to do quite a bit of additional customization to get the ball rolling. 

Not as Many Community Features

Last but not least, some users have complained about a perceived lack of community features on Thinkific. There aren’t any live events, community options, Q&A sessions, in-person coaching, or anything else of that nature. There’s also no integrated support for your sales funnel 

If you really want to expand your course content into a more community-focused platform, you may have to look elsewhere – but this tends to be a relatively uncommon complaint from users, especially those who are new to online course creation. It only becomes problematic as instructors look to do more with their occurrences. 

Thinkific Alternatives

There are several Thinkific competitors you might want to consider as you are building your online courses. 

One of the newest is Mighty Networks. This website is known as an all-in-one course and community platform, allowing you to deliver online courses as content-only courses, online courses with dedicated course communities, and even courses that are delivered live. Because of this, you’ll have lots of flexibility in how you offer your classes. 

Another alternative is Teachable, this one a bit more well-known in the online education space. Teachable provides you with all the resources you need to make your online courses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have integrated email, so you will still need an email provider like MailChimp or ConvertKit for this kind of feature.

A final alternative is Kajabi. This platform is known for its state-of-the-art business and marketing tools. It is also an all-in-one platform, allowing you to employ more sophisticated marketing tools for email campaigns, polls, and other features.

You can even make optimized marketing landing pages and waitlist features! However, out of these four options, it’s also the most expensive to use – this can be prohibitive for people who are just getting started.

Conclusion

Bloggers are always looking for the best platform to host their blogs and sell their courses, and one of the newest options is Thinkific. Hopefully, this review of Thinkific has proven to you why it could be worth checking out.

FAQ

Is Thinkific legit?

Thinkific is a legitimate company. Founded in 2012, this company is new, yet is already making its mark when it comes to online course creation. Read any Thinkific course review and you’ll find minimal complaints about this platform.

Is Thinkific free?

Thinkific has several payment plans that you can choose from. There is a free version, including a free trial program, but even its basic plan is not an expensive option, allowing you access to the best features without having to pay a fortune.

How long is the Thinkific free trial?

There are two “free” payment plans on Thinkific to consider. One is a totally free plan, costing nothing to get started. You’ll be able to access everything you need to start making, selling, marketing, and promoting your classes. It has all the basic integrations long with PayPal/Stripe support. You can access all of your funds, too, but you will be expected to pay a relatively high 10% transaction fee. 

The free trial on Thinkific is available when setting up a subscription price. This is less for you than it is for your students, allowing enrollees to access all of your content for a limited period of time. You can also offer a free preview, which will let you make specific lessons totally free for an indefinite period. 

How many courses are on the Thinkific free plan?

If you decide to purchase the free plan, you can build and offer up to three courses for your students. 

How much is Thinkific monthly?

That depends on which membership plan you choose. A monthly subscription might cost anywhere from nothing for a free plan to up to $499 per month for a premium plan.

Is Thinkific a LMS?

Yes. Thinkific is a cloud-based learning management system, or LMS, that will allow you to create, sell, and market your online courses. 

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Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce

Rebekah Pierce is a writer with a B.A. in English from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s in Special Education from SUNY Plattsburgh. She has worked both as a college admissions counselor as well as a high school English teacher and has also written extensively on topics related to educational technology and the college selection process.

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