[Tentative] Thinkific Review

Thinkific is a powerful, user-friendly platform that lets you create, market, and sell your online courses. This review will explore its features, benefits, pricing, and more.


Creating an online course might be the perfect solution if you’re looking for a way to share your knowledge and skills with the world and earn some income. But how do you go about creating and selling an online course? What tools and platforms do you need to make it happen?
That’s where Thinkific comes in. Thinkific is one of the most popular and trusted platforms for online course creators. It allows you to create your website, host course content, manage your students and more. Thinkific is designed to make online course creation easy, fun, and profitable.
But is Thinkific the right platform for you? How does it compare to other online course platforms? What are its pros and cons? And how much does it cost to use it?
In this comprehensive Thinkific review, we’ll answer all these questions and more.

What is Thinkific?

Thinkific is an online course platform that allows you to create, market, and sell courses. It was founded in 2012 by Greg Smith, Matt Smith, Matt Payne, and Miranda Lievers, who were frustrated by the lack of options for creating and selling online courses.
Thinkific’s mission is to empower anyone to create excellent courses that positively impact their students and the world. Thinkific believes education is the most powerful way to improve lives and achieve meaningful change.
Thinkific has increased since its launch and now hosts over 100,000-course creators who have taught over 25 million students across 190 countries. Some notable course creators who use Thinkific include Lewis Howes, Pat Flynn, John Lee Dumas, Mariah Coz, Ryan Levesque, Dorie Clark, and many more.

Thinkific Pros

Some of the pros of Thinkific are:
  • It's one of the few LMS systems that provides a bundle that is always free for sampling the features offered by the premium plans, one that is adequately ideal.
  • Your courses can be tailored using the Course Builder to reflect your brand.
  • They provide excellent phone and email support for their customers.
  • Thinkific has a neat voice tool that helps you supplement PowerPoint presentations with voiceovers.
  • A membership model allows you to provide a recurring monthly subscription for continued access to a course.
  • In contrast, Thinkific allows you to make intricate adjustments by delving deeply into the HTML and CSS of the underlying theme if you have strong coding skills.

Thinkific Cons

Some of the cons of Thinkific are:
  • Thinkific does not have a proprietary email marketing platform; instead, it only has native third-party integrations with Mailchimp, Keap (Infusionsoft), ConvertKit, Constant Contact, Aweber, and ActiveCampaign.
  • For beginners, using Thinkific to build their first courses might be expensive.
  • Thinkific places a high priority on email customer assistance. For customer service (priority support), there are no quick options like live chat.
  • There is no sales funnel builder platform available, however, they do offer a direct integration with SamCart, while other products need a Zapier integration.

How much does Thinkific cost?

Thinkific has 4 price plans
Free Plan: 1 course, 1 community, 2 spots per community, 1 administrator, unlimited students, 0% transaction cost, email, and chatbot assistance are all included in the free 1-month trial. Other features include complete content ownership, a drag-and-drop course builder, simple website templates, fully integrated e-commerce, an app store, quizzes and surveys, and a Thinkific Free Academy course.
Basic Plan ($39 per month): offers unlimited courses, 1 community, 5 spots per community, 1 administrator, unlimited students, 0% transaction cost, and email and live chat support. Everything in the free plan is included, as well as a custom domain, coupons and discounts, affiliate marketing, and Thinkific Foundation Academy classes.
Start ($74 per month): offers everything in the Basic plan plus 10 slots per community. All Basic features, plus assignments, bundles and add-on packages, memberships and payment plans, live classes, complex course-building possibilities, and advanced website code editing, are available as extras.
Grow ($149 per month): includes everything in the Start plan plus three communities with twenty places each, two administrators, and priority chat and e-mail assistance. All Start features, plus the elimination of Thinkific branding, a bulk student emailer, bulk enrollments, API access, and Thinkific Advanced Academy courses, are included as extras.

In-Depth Reviews Of Each Key Feature

  1. Course Creation Tools Thinkific's course builder simplifies content creation with a drag-and-drop interface and offers various templates:
  • Blank Course: Start from scratch.
  • Pre-sell Course: Validate demand before content creation.
  • Mini-Course: Low-cost lead generator.
  • Flagship Course: High-value resource often bundled with other offerings.
  • Webinar Replay: For hosting and replaying webinars.
  • Membership Resource Library: Host downloadable resources for memberships.
  1. Marketing and Sales Tools Thinkific offers marketing and sales support, including:
  • Contact forms for lead collection.
  • Integration with email marketing tools.
  • Free trials.
  • Membership site creation.
  • Coupon options.
  • Affiliate marketing, bundles, upsells, and sales widgets.
  1. Integrations with Third-Party Apps – The App Store Thinkific offers native integration with third-party apps, such as email marketing and payment gateways. An app store simplifies app installation. Additionally, Thinkific provides an API for custom integrations with your tools and applications.
  1. Reporting and Analytics Detailed metrics cover engagement, completion rates, enrollments, orders, and revenue. Reports include revenue breakdowns, order details, enrollment data, and student engagement. Customizable filters and exports are available.
  1. Course Site and Customization Options Thinkific provides extensive customization:
  • Branding and white-labeling.
  • Logo and branding elements.
  • Course and community customization.
  • Themes and layout customization.
  • Custom CSS and JavaScript for advanced users.
  1. Course Pricing Options
Thinkific offers flexible pricing options:
  • One-time Payments: Simple course pricing.
  • Payment Plans: Monthly installments.
  • Recurring Subscriptions: Monthly/annual access with trials.
  1. Community Creation Tools
Thinkific includes a community builder for customizing and monetizing learning communities. You can integrate it with your course or use it as a standalone community platform. It fosters student interaction, has brand exclusivity, and can be offered for free or as a paid add-on.
  1. Student Recognition and Engagement Tools
Thinkific encourages engagement with features like completion certificates, quizzes, assignments, and drip content scheduling. Certificates can be customized, and automation simplifies issuance.

Exploring Alternatives to Thinkific

For those seeking alternatives to Thinkific, several viable options are available, each with its own features and advantages. Let's delve into some of the top Thinkific alternatives:
  1. LearnWorlds: LearnWorlds is a robust LMS offering features to create, market, and sell courses, as well as communities and digital downloads. Unique elements include interactive videos, social learning, integrations, and analytics. LearnWorlds stands out with its focus on learner engagement, gamification, interactivity, and SCORM compliance. Pricing starts at $24 per month (annual billing), and there is a 30-day free trial but no freemium plan.
  1. Teachable: Teachable is a popular cloud-based learning management system (LMS) that empowers creators to develop, market, and sell online courses. Much like Thinkific, it offers robust marketing tools, including the capability to host live webinars. Notable features include 1:1 coaching, digital downloads, and tax handling. Pricing starts at $39 per month (annual billing), and a free version is available with limitations.
  1. Podia: Podia is an LMS platform allowing the sale and hosting of online courses, digital downloads, webinars, coaching sessions, and membership subscriptions. It boasts a user-friendly interface and includes drip content, built-in email marketing, and affiliate program management. Podia shines in its built-in marketing capabilities and support for 1:1 coaching sessions. Pricing begins at $33 per month (annual billing), and there's a freemium plan for course drafting, with paid plans required for selling courses.
  1. LearnDash (WordPress Integration): If you're already using WordPress, consider LearnDash, a plugin that transforms your WordPress site into a fully functional LMS. It enables you to create and sell courses directly on your website. For those without a WordPress site, LearnDash offers a "LearnDash Cloud" plan for a ready-to-use website aligned with your branding, starting at $24 per month (annual billing).

How to create a course on Thinkific

Step 1: Course Creation
  1. Sign Up for Thinkific: Begin by signing up for a Thinkific account if you haven't already. It's a quick and free process.
  1. Access Course Creation: After signing in, navigate to "Manage Learning Content.”
  1. Create a New Course: In the "Courses" section, click "+ New Course" at the top right.
  1. Course Title: Give your course a name.
  1. Add Chapters and Lessons: Organize your content into chapters and lessons. Start by clicking "Add Chapter," naming it, and saving. Then, within the chapter, click "Add Lesson," choose the lesson type, name it, and add your content.
  1. Templates: Consider using lesson templates based on your course type (mini-courses, pre-sell courses, or flagships).
It's advisable to explore Thinkific's features with the free version to familiarize yourself with the course creator.
Step 2: Site Customization
  1. Access Site Builder: Go to "Design Your Site."
  1. Choose Page to Edit: In the Site Builder menu, select the page you want to customize (e.g., course or landing pages).
  1. Theme and Branding: Edit theme settings to incorporate your branding.
  1. Header and Footer: Customize the header and footer to suit your site's design.
  1. Site Name and URL: Under "Settings," edit the site name and URL by selecting "Site Details" and "Site URL," respectively.
Thinkific offers examples of websites for reference.
Step 3: Pricing Your Course
  1. Add Pricing: To monetize your course, set prices for your lessons. If you offer free courses, you need not set prices as they are accessible by default.
  1. Payment Processor Integration: Integrate a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe by going to "Market & Sell" and selecting "Integrations." For subscriptions or payment plans, use Stripe.
  1. Choose Pricing Options: Select from pricing options like free, one-time payment, subscription, or payment plan. With the Pro plan, you can offer multiple pricing options for learners.
Step 4: Course Publication
  1. Publish Your Course: After completing course creation, site customization, content addition, and pricing, it's time to publish.
  1. Access Course: Navigate to "Manage Learning Content" and select "Courses."
  1. Edit Course: Click on the course you want to publish.
  1. Publish Tab: Go to the "Publish" tab.
  1. Course Publish Status: Select "Published" under "Course publish status."
  1. Save: Save to publish your course.


Thinkific is a versatile online course platform with various capabilities for course authors. Its user-friendly interface, customization choices, and numerous pricing plans make it suited for a wide spectrum of customers, from individuals to organizations. While it has significant limitations, such as the lack of a proprietary email marketing platform, Thinkific's strengths lie in its course design tools, marketing assistance, and integrations.
If you're thinking about developing and selling online courses, Thinkific is a great place to start, but compare it to other options like LearnWorlds, Teachable, and Podia to find the best fit for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many courses can I have in Thinkific free?
In Thinkific's free plan, you can have one course.
Can I use my domain with Thinkific?
Indeed, with any of Thinkific's paid plans, you can configure a custom domain for your Thinkific site. This allows you to replace your site URL's default "thinkific.com" with your branded domain.
Is Thinkific a LMS?
Yes, Thinkific functions as a web-based learning management system (LMS). An LMS is a digital platform utilized to deliver educational content, including written materials and video resources, to provide training and facilitate learning experiences.

Need more information?

Schedule a demo to learn more about Certopus for your business use case, or if you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. We would be delighted to assist you. Finally, if you're on social media, follow us to remain informed about our latest developments and learn more about digital credentials like certificates, badges, and micro-credentials.
Recommended Articles: