What Is Thinkific: Online Online Course Platform Review

ai course image: What Is Thinkific: Online Online Course Platform Review

What is Thinkific? At its core, Thinkific is a Learning Management System. It boasts over 50,000 users worldwide by transforming their expertise into dynamic online courses. This platform is not just a tool. It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs, educators, and businesses to reach global audiences. It creates  a space where digital marketing, online classes, and comprehensive learning experiences converge.

In the world of online learning platforms, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. This in-depth Thinkific review aims to shed light on why this platform might just be the game-changer you’ve been searching for.

Imagine having a suite of course creation tools at your fingertips, designed to transform your expertise into engaging video lessons without needing a degree in technology. That’s what Thinkific offers. (And it’s also what a LOT of other Learning Management Systems offer!) Its user interface is super intuitive and beginner friendly.

What sets Thinkific apart?

But what truly sets Thinkific apart? For starters, its course player is very high quality. It offers a smooth learning experience.

Creating a Thinkific site is akin to laying down the digital foundations of your educational empire. It’s not just about hosting courses. It’s about building a community and establishing a brand that reflects your unique voice and vision. The Thinkific platform understands this, providing you with the customization tools needed to create a site that’s both beautiful and functional.

For heart-centered entrepreneurs looking to expand their reach and impact, it empowers you to manifest your vision into reality, blending marketing and monetization strategies with transformative educational content.

So, whether you’re aiming to enlighten minds, change lives, or simply share your passion with the world, Thinkific might just be the catalyst you need.

That said: it also has some downsides and it’s not my favorite platform.

Stay tuned as we dive deeper.

What is Thinkific?

It is a robust platform. It’s designed to empower people to create, market, sell, and deliver their own online courses and communities. This creates the framework for an online course business. It’s a comprehensive ecosystem that supports your journey from course creation to building a thriving online educational business. Here’s a breakdown of what makes Thinkific stand out:

Ease of Use

Thinkific prides itself on its user-friendly interface. With most features being straightforward and requiring no technical skills, it’s accessible to first-time course creators and seasoned educators alike. The platform offers:

  • A no-code drag-and-drop website builder for easy customization.
  • Free training, progress checklists, and a comprehensive Help Centre resource library for new users.
  • Quick support to its users, ensuring you’re never left in the dark.

Comprehensive Features for Course Creation and Management

Whether you’re looking to create a simple course or a detailed curriculum, Thinkific has you covered with its wide array of features:

  • Customizable website features, including a landing page builder for creating high-converting pages for your courses.
  • A range of course templates, drag-and-drop course builder, and the ability to import content in bulk.
  • Features to support various learning types: self-paced, scheduled, cohort courses, live lessons, webinars, and engaging multimedia lessons.
  • Thinkific handles all the technical aspects like payments, refunds, sales, coupons, ensuring a smooth operation of your course business.

Pricing Plans and Customization

Thinkific is designed with flexibility in mind, offering a variety of pricing plans to suit different needs, including a free plan with unlimited students and no transaction fees. This flexibility extends to the platform’s customization options, where you can:

  • Customize every piece of the platform to match your brand, giving you complete control over your course business.
  • Use Thinkific Plus for advanced features and capabilities, catering to larger businesses or those needing more from their LMS.

Thinkific’s mission is to revolutionize the way people learn and earn online by providing the necessary tools to turn expertise into a sustainable business. Founded by Greg Smith and Matt Smith, it’s built on values that inspire every feature they develop. With a user base of over 50,000 content creators worldwide, Thinkific is a testament to the growing need for accessible, high-quality online education. Whether you’re teaching guitar lessons, digital marketing, or anything in between, Thinkific provides a platform to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale your business.

Key Features of Thinkific

Diving into the heart of Thinkific, you’ll find a suite of features designed to empower your journey in creating and delivering compelling online courses. These features are meticulously crafted to address every aspect of course creation, marketing, and student engagement, ensuring a seamless and effective online learning experience. Here’s a closer look at the key features that set Thinkific apart:

Course Creation and Customization:

  • User-friendly Course Builder: At your disposal is a drag-and-drop interface that simplifies the process of course creation. Whether you’re looking to include video lessons, quizzes, or interactive lessons, Thinkific makes it straightforward. It’s nice that Thinkific hosts the video files. This way you don’t have to find somewhere else to host the videos.
  • Templates and Learning Content Types: Choose from a variety of course templates to kickstart your course creation. The platform supports diverse learning content types, allowing you to cater to different learning styles.
  • Customizable Course Pages: Tailor every aspect of your course pages to reflect your brand, providing a unique and branded learning environment for your students.

Marketing and Sales Tools:

  • Promotions and Marketing Tools: Engage potential students with free preview lessons, and utilize customized coupons and promotions to drive enrollments.
  • Flexible Payment Options: Thinkific supports various payment options, including one-time payments, subscriptions, and memberships, through Thinkific Payments, Stripe, or PayPal.
  • Integration with Business Tools: Seamlessly integrate with your favorite business and marketing tools, including Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and Zapier, to enhance your marketing efforts.

Student Engagement and Analytics:

  • Community Building and Student Support: Create and manage vibrant communities for your students, fostering engagement through discussions, events, and notifications.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Gain valuable insights with detailed analytics on student progress, course performance, and revenue. Monitor metrics like transactions, revenue per user, and total revenue to inform your strategy.
  • Mobile App Accessibility: Ensure your courses are accessible anytime, anywhere, with a mobile app for students, enhancing the learning experience and convenience.

Thinkific’s comprehensive feature set is designed to support you at every step of your course creation and delivery journey. From crafting engaging course content to marketing your courses and engaging with your students, Thinkific provides all the tools you need to succeed in the competitive world of online education. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your online course offerings, Thinkific’s blend of user-friendly technology and powerful features makes it an ideal platform for course creators aiming to make a significant impact in the online learning space.

The Benefits of Using Thinkific for Course Creators

Embarking on the journey of creating and selling online courses can be both exhilarating and daunting. Thinkific understands this duality and offers a suite of benefits that not only ease the process but also amplify your success. Here are some standout advantages of using Thinkific for course creators:

User-Friendly Platform

Thinkific is celebrated for its ease of use, making it accessible for both novices and experienced course creators. This user-friendliness extends to:

  • A drag-and-drop course builder that simplifies the creation process.
  • Customizable course pages that let you infuse your brand’s essence.
  • An intuitive interface that ensures a smooth navigation experience.

Support and Resources

Thinkific goes beyond just offering a platform; it provides a robust support system designed to propel course creators towards success. This includes:

  • Exclusive training and bonus resources available upon upgrading to any paid plan, including templates and premium training programs.
  • The Thinkific Benefits package, filled with expert-led training courses, downloadable guides, and templates, all aimed at accelerating your journey from course creation to launch.
  • Access to the Online Education Business Masterclass, ensuring you’re equipped with the knowledge to design, create, and launch professional online courses with confidence.

Versatile and Robust Feature Set

The platform’s feature set is tailored to meet the diverse needs of course creators, offering:

  • Flexible pricing options, including a free option, catering to various budget needs.
  • The ability to create quizzes and knowledge checks to enhance learning engagement.
  • Regular updates and new features based on user feedback, ensuring the platform evolves with your needs.
  • Secure payment integration with PayPal and Stripe, coupled with minimal downtime and strong site security, providing peace of mind for both creators and learners.

In essence, Thinkific stands out as a supportive, empowering, and comprehensive platform for course creators. Whether you’re an expert looking to share your knowledge, an entrepreneur aiming to grow your audience, or a creator ready to scale your business, Thinkific provides the tools, resources, and support to make your online education venture a success. With its user-friendly interface, extensive support system, and robust feature set, Thinkific empowers you to launch and grow your online course with confidence and ease.

How Thinkific Supports Your Growth

Thinkific’s commitment to your growth as a course creator is evident through its various supportive features and tools designed to enhance your online education business. Here’s how Thinkific supports your journey:

Highly Rated Platform

  • Thinkific Plus and Thinkific each boast an impressive overall rating of 89% on eLearning Industry, based on 20 reviews. This makes Thinkific an excellent choice as far as reviews are concerned.

Marketing and Sales Support

  • Social Media and Email Marketing: Thinkific encourages course creators to leverage social media platforms and email lists to reach potential students. This integrated approach ensures that your courses gain maximum visibility.
  • Website Building Capabilities: With Thinkific, you’re empowered to build custom websites dedicated to marketing your different courses and businesses. This feature is crucial for establishing a professional online presence.
  • TCommerce Solution: Thinkific’s in-house payments and selling solution, TCommerce, simplifies the sales process, making it easier for you to focus on creating content and engaging with your students.

Seamless Course Design Experience

  • High-Speed Performance: When designing your online course with Thinkific, expect a seamless and smooth performance. The platform optimizes for ensuring you don’t encounter glitches, lags, or bugs, allowing for a stress-free course creation process.

By providing a highly rated platform, robust marketing tools, and a seamless course design experience, Thinkific not only supports your initial steps into the world of online education but also paves the way for your sustained growth and success. Whether you’re looking to expand your digital marketing efforts, build an engaging online class, or create a comprehensive online learning experience, Thinkific stands as a reliable and empowering partner in your journey.

Cons of Thinkific

Here are some of the key cons associated with Thinkific, drawn from various sources:

  1. Feature Limitations on Free Plan: While Thinkific offers a generous free plan, the diversity and depth of features available at this level are super limited. The platform uses this as a way to upsell users to their paid plans, which are more expensive than some competitors, like Teachable’s Basic plan (Codeless).
  2. Lack of Online Workshop Functionality: Unlike Teachable, which offers and emphasizes online workshops in its marketing efforts, Thinkific lacks this option altogether​ (Codeless)​. This could be a significant drawback for educators looking to host live, interactive learning sessions.
  3. Basic Design and Marketing Tools: Although Thinkific provides essential tools for course creation and student engagement, its design customization options and marketing tools may not be as extensive or advanced as those offered by competitors like Teachable or Kajabi​ (Codeless)​​ (The Digital Merchant)​.
  4. No Built-in Blogging Functionality: For those looking to integrate a blog directly with their course platform, Thinkific does not offer a built-in blogging feature. This means users would need to rely on third-party applications for blogging, which can be less convenient and potentially lead to a fragmented user experience​ (DropInBlog)​.
  5. Basic Checkout and Upsell Pages: The checkout, thank you, and upsell pages provided by Thinkific seem pretty basic. This could impact the sales funnel efficiency and overall user experience during the purchase process​ (DropInBlog)​.
  6. Lack of a Built-in Community Forum: Building a community around your courses can significantly enhance student engagement and course value. Thinkific does not have a built-in community forum, which might necessitate the use of external platforms for this purpose (DropInBlog).

Get Started with Thinkific Courses

Embarking on your Thinkific journey begins with selecting the right plan for your needs. Here’s a quick breakdown to guide you through their payment plans:

This screenshot of Thinkific Pricing Plans was take March 2024.

Free Thinkific Plan: Perfect for getting your feet wet. Use this to get started with creating your first course for free. Features are limited, but it still includes the ability to sell. If you just want to start your first course this is a great option.

Basic Plan: At $49/month (or $36/month billed annually), this plan gives you access to unlimited courses and other features like a custom domain. As a marketer, I don’t think Thinkific is really optimized for sales funnels. So, if you’re using other tools to sel your course online, $49 feels expensive to me. Their pricing page doesn’t say which level allows a drip schedule for courses, but I think its this one.

Start Plan: Elevate your game for $99/month ($74/month annually) with additional features, like marketing and sales tools.

Grow Plan: For the serious entrepreneur at $199/month ($149/month annually), offering advanced analytics and student engagement features.

Plus Plan: Tailored for large businesses or institutions, this plan requires a custom quote but unlocks the full potential of Thinkific.

Thinkific also has a new thing where you have have a fully optimized and customized mobile app. This is $199 per month, but is fabulous if your audience uses mobile devices primarily.
All of these levels give you increasing access to their support team. With basic having the ;east suppoer. Remember, all plans come with 0% transaction fees, which is great.

Signing Up to Create Your Own Courses

Decided Thinkific is the right platform for you? Once you’ve chosen your plan, follow these steps to launch your first course or community:

Sign Up: Opt for a free trial Thinkific account with your email address to explore or jump right into a paid plan for more features.

Create Your Learning Product: Whether it’s a course or a community, Thinkific’s intuitive interface makes it simple.

Customize and Price: Use the Site Builder to customize your landing page and set the price for your offering.

Publish and Share: Make your course visible to the world and share the provided links to attract students.

To create a course specifically:

  1. Go to ‘Managed Learning Content’ > ‘Courses’ > ‘New Course’.
  2. Choose from a template or start from scratch. Add chapters and lessons, customizing each to fit your curriculum.
  3. Utilize the ‘Build Landing Page’ feature to craft a compelling course landing page. This includes sections like a banner, course description, instructor bio, FAQs, testimonials, and a strong call to action.

What do I personally think is the best platform?

Every platform has its pros and cons. I personally moved away from Thinkific to Thrivecart. At the time I was paying over $100 monthly before Thinkific changed their pricing model. That said, Thinkific is a more established platform. It maintains much better customer support. If you struggle with technical knowledge, you want a platform that has great support.

Thrivecart is a one time feel, so I’ve saved MANY thousands of dollars by switching. It has a robust cart system, and introduced course hosting as well. However, Thrivecart doesn’t host videos. So you will want your Videos for your video lesson on YouTube unlisted. Or, host your videos in a more secure platform like Vimeo or Adilo.


Throughout this comprehensive review, we have explored the breadth and depth of what Thinkific has to offer to course creators, educators, and entrepreneurs aiming to dive into or expand their presence in the online learning market. Thinkific’s user-friendly interface, robust set of features for course creation, management, and marketing, as well as its unwavering support for user success, firmly establish it as a front-runner in the online course platform arena. Whether you are just starting out or looking to elevate your current offerings, Thinkific provides a scalable, flexible solution to meet your needs and exceed expectations.

As the landscape of digital education continues to evolve, choosing a platform like Thinkific that not only supports the technical aspects of online course delivery but also empowers creators with tools for growth and engagement becomes crucial. Let this exploration serve as your guide to making an informed decision in your journey towards creating impactful, engaging online courses. With Thinkific’s comprehensive features, supportive community, and commitment to creator success, your journey from course concept to launch can be both rewarding and successful, laying a strong foundation for your growth in the dynamic world of online education.

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