Thinkific Alternatives: Thinkific Not Cutting It? Check these out! (2021)

Find out the Best Thinkific Alternatives Below!

Thinkific Alternatives

Finding a learning management system for your business can be a difficult task, especially with how many you have to choose from. You need to take things like budget and goals into account, and making a mistake can cost you quite a bit.

That’s why I’ve gathered a list of the best competitors for Thinkific right now. I’ll go through their features, pricing, and even the things I don’t like about them, so you know what to look out for.

But, before we start…

Why would you want an alternative?

Now, don’t get me wrong. Thinkific is an amazing platform for hosting courses and even membership sites, and it offers all of the features to accomplish exactly that.

However, it’s not the only platform, and it’s not the best, either. There’s no “best” platform for online entrepreneurship, especially since they all offer a different set of features for different needs, goals, and budgets.

While Thinkific is perfect for creating and hosting online courses, it lacks several features other platforms have. It doesn’t support any marketing features like automation or emails, and the page builder can be quite limited for people with extensive customization needs.

There’s a free plan, which is nice, but you still have to pay transaction fees for all sales. Therefore, a lot of people might prefer to avoid it.

As such, this article is for people who found out about Thinkific and felt like it wasn’t what they were looking for. If that’s you, and you still want a platform with similar functionality and a few extra features, then you came to the right place.

The best competitors

Podia

Podia is my number 1 pick for the best alternative to Thinkific, mainly because of its versatility, with a complete set of features that can adapt to almost any entrepreneur.

Podia lets you build online courses, but it’s not the end of what you can do. Podia is also capable of building membership sites, and you can even use it to sell digital products like your courses and even videos and eBooks.

What do you get?

You can create any course you want without too much effort thanks to the simplified dashboard that anyone can understand without too much effort. Right from the start, you can just press a button depending on what you want to create: courses, membership sites or downloads.

You then head over to the creation dashboard, and when it comes to courses, it’s as easy as it gets. You just need to press the button that corresponds to what you want to create: sections, links, quizzes, etc. The visual editor is straightforward, and you don’t need to touch any code.

You can use your own domains with Podia, and it supports both free and paid courses. Within the course, you can track the progress of every student and brand the entire website around your business. A highlight for Podia is easily its unlimited bandwidth. You can host all the files and videos you need without worrying about their sizes.

You also get plenty of marketing features, including upsells and discount coupons for your products. You can add upsells regardless of the account tier you’re using, and coupons support both normal and limited coupons, the latter being either time or use limited.

Shaker users can also integrate their checkout pages with their own websites. In other words, you don’t need your visitors to leave your website if they want to enroll in your course.

It also supports several integrations with mailing services like Convertkit and ActiveCampaign. Other features include instant payments, and of course, zero transaction fees.

What I dislike

Podia can be quite limited when it comes to payment options. Customization features are also somewhat limited, especially if we compare it to other platforms on this list.

How much is it?

Podia comes with 2 pricing plans only: Mover and Shaker.

  1. Mover users pay $39 every month. It’s the fundamental Podia experience, including storefront, courses and downloads hosting, email integrations, and no transaction fees.
  2. The Shaker plan costs $79 every month. It adds membership and blogging features as well as the checkout embedding option. You can also install tracking codes like Facebook’s Pixel or Google Analytics. However, the best addition is easily the affiliate marketing program capabilities, so you can let others take care of your marketing.

Podia also offers a live demo and a free trial for 14 days. Besides, paying for the entire year instead of every month nets you 2 free months. It’s easily among the most affordable options on this list.

Teachable

Teachable is a favorite among educational entrepreneurs, and it’s for good reason. It’s a great choice if you want to keep your course structure simple while focusing on selling and promoting your program.

Another advantage with Teachable is that it’s the only free entry in this list. However, the plan itself is quite limited, so you could compare it to a lifetime free trial version. As such, it’s one of the best options for newcomers.

What do you get?

As soon as you enter the Teachable interface, you’ll quickly notice how easy it is to follow. You can start by creating lectures and sections, which is similar to individual lessons and modules, respectively. Sections are the general topic, and lectures are the resources themselves, including video and audio lessons, downloadable files, etc.

You can also implement quizzes into your course. These are just like the rest of the platform: quite simple. They’re easy to set up, but you shouldn’t expect any advanced features like question randomization or so.

A nice addition here is the course compliance features. You can use this to make certain lessons and quizzes mandatory to unlock the following lessons.

It all works through a simple editor filled with templates to edit using the drag-and-drop builder. Assuming you already have the learning materials and lessons ready, structuring and releasing your course is only a matter of minutes.

It also supports several marketing features, like upsells and affiliate marketing. You can also sell courses individually or in bundles, and it integrates with platforms like MailChimp and Zapier, and the latter makes your possibilities endless.

What I dislike

Some plans come with transaction fees. The platform’s simplicity is great for beginners, but more advanced users might find the lack of customization and versatility quite frustrating.

How much is it?

There are 3 pricing options for Teachable; when billed annually, their pricing is as follows:

  1. The Basic account is the basic experience and costs $29 monthly. You can keep 2 admin users and drip content among other features. It already supports affiliate and email marketing, but it comes with 5% fees on your transactions.
  2. The Professional account costs $79 monthly, and it removes transaction fees. It adds priority support, 5 admins, better reports, completion certificates, and removes Teachable’s branding among other features.
  3. The Business plan costs $399 monthly. It has room for 100 admins, and it supports student imports, bulk enrollment, and customizable roles.

The free plan is somewhat hidden, and it’s essentially the Basic plan for free until you have 10 students.

Kajabi

Kajabi is an interesting entry because it’s just as good for beginners as it is for advanced users. You can take either a minimalist or a complicated approach to host your content in this LMS.

Interestingly, Kajabi’s main focus is to help you sell your courses instead of giving you the full toolkit to create them. In other words, it’s more of a course marketing platform than a course creation one.

What do you get?

Kajabi is all about selling online courses, digital products, and even membership programs for recurring payments.

You can create webinars and other live events as well as implement surveys, quizzes, and automation into your course. You get templates for nearly everything you can build using Kajabi.

The Basic plan is quite comprehensive, too. Besides the previous features, you can also have up to 1,000 active users, but landing pages and emails are unlimited regardless of your plan.

More advanced plans increase the amount of members all the way to 20,000. They also include more advanced features like removing any branding from Kajabi and creating affiliate programs.

It works somewhat similar to a CMS platform, and it all works through a drag-and-drop builder with over a dozen templates. Other features include upsells, coupons, email integrations like Convertkit, and even sales funnels.

What I dislike

It’s definitely on the pricier side of this list. Courses themselves are quite limited in terms of customization, and overall it feels as if the platform somewhat neglects course building to favor pure marketing.

How much is it?

As usual, you have 3 account tiers: Basic, Growth, and Pro for $149, $199, and $399 respectively each month. What’s nice about Kajabi is that there aren’t many differences between the plans themselves other than size.

The main advantage of upgrading from the basic plan is increasing the amount of members and admins, removing Kajabi’s branding, and the most important one: enabling affiliate marketing.

Kajabi also offers a free trial and a discount on all plans if you pay for the entire year.

Kartra

I’d say Kartra is a combination between Kajabi and Thinkific. It’s basically an excellent platform for building courses and membership sites merged with an excellent platform for marketing said courses.

It’s the closes thing you’ll get to an all-in-one solution for pretty much everything. You can use this to build and host your educational products as well as market them via email marketing, sales funnels, and affiliate programs.

In fact, it’s kind of cheating to include Kartra in this list because it works for more than just courses. I’ve even seen people using it for eCommerce.

What do you get?

The main feature from Kartra is its funnels and funnel campaign creation. You can use it to create funnels with both single paged and multiple sections, and it lets you easily visualize how the entire conversion process works from leads to customers.

All funnels and pages can be built with a seamless drag-and-drop editor and countless templates. The same goes for checkouts and landing pages. Besides, you can import and share individual funnels and entire campaigns with other users through the Kartra marketplace.

You can even build entire websites and tiered membership areas and drip content for your customers.

Other features include a help desk, which is nearly the same used by the main Kartra website. You can offer customer support via support tickets, live chats and calls as well as creating product wikis with guides and FAQs.

Of course, you can also create affiliate programs for all of your products hosted within Kartra. The marketplace also lets you post and find affiliate offers for and from other users, and Kartra keeps track of all commissions and rates automatically.

What I dislike

The platform can be overwhelming at first, especially when building sales funnels due to the huge amount of features. It’s also a fairly expensive option when compared to other entries in this list. A minor annoyance is that changing time zones is frustrating.

How much is it?

Another thing I really like about Kartra is how it approaches subscription tiers. Basically, you have 4 options: Starter, Silver, Gold and Premium, from $99 to $499.

However, the only difference between the plans is the amount of leads, emails, products, and bandwidth you have access to. In other words, the Kartra experience is the same from the Starter all the way to the Premium plan but with different sizes.

In fact, the Silver plan is more than enough for most people. It removes the custom domain limit from the Starter plan (just one), and from there, the only reason to upgrade is the criteria I just mentioned.

LearnDash

LearnDash is another special entry for this list because is a dedicated LMS for WordPress. Therefore, if you already have a WordPress site, and you just want to implement courses and membership systems into it, LearnDash is perfect for you.

When it comes to WordPress tools, LearnDash is the best one at what it does, and it has all of the features you need to do everything within WordPress.

What do you get?

Summarized, you get a WordPress plugin. You can turn your entire WordPress website into a course platform. You just need to head over to the plugins tab in your dashboard and activate it, just like with all plugins. You’ll see the “LearnDash LMS” tab on your dashboard.

If you already have experience with WordPress and its page creation features, then LearnDash will be a walk in the park for you. It works just like WordPress but with a few new options.

LearnDash adapts to any WordPress theme you’re using, so there’s no reason to worry about changing your branding, either. You’re free to add modules and lessons, quizzes, and even student forums.

You can keep track of your students’ performance, and all packages come with student quizzes, emailing, lesson restrictions, and even completion certificates. You can integrate it to PayPal and Stripe to manage payments.

Besides, you’re free to add all the other plugins you want and tailor your entire website to your own needs.

What I dislike

Chances are you’ll have to install additional plugins for the same experience offered by other platforms in this list. This lack of feature can make it a more noticeable investment for the short term than other platforms.

Since everything is hosted on your website, you’ll also need to use third-party video hosting like Vimeo for your lessons. Video hosting can seriously increase loading times for your website, which is already a risk if you end up installing more plugins.

Support is also limited to a single year.

How much is it?

What I like about LearnDash is that all 3 pricing tiers are lifetime licenses, so you don’t have to worry about recurring payments, and you’ll just keep saving money as time goes one.

There’s a Basic, Plus, and Pro package for $159, $189 and $329 respectively. There are no free trials, but you receive a demo template for you to play with before you buy. There’s also a full month’s money back guarantee.

What about these?

You might have noticed these two platforms missing from the list. They’re definitely worthy mentions, but let me explain why I didn’t include them.

ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is a funnel builder with several marketing features, including webinars, email automation, and affiliate marketing. There’s also a course and membership system, but it’s definitely not as in-depth as other options in this list.

Sure, you can still host courses and membership sites with tons of ways to market your products. However, you can still do the same with Kartra, and it has a lot more features when building your courses for either a similar price or just cheaper.

ClickFunnels is either $97 or $297, whereas Kartra is $99 for the Starter plan, yet the Silver plan is $199, and it already has a lot more going for it.

Ruzuku

Ruzuku is another beloved platform among education entrepreneurs, and it definitely has virtually all features you’ll need to build excellent courses.

It’s also a great platform for tutoring individuals, and it comes with plenty of additional features you can find on platforms like Podia or Kajabi.

However, Ruzuku is very limited when it comes to customization, and it lacks any marketing features like most of the other platforms in this list. Besides, the cheapest account is $99 monthly, so you could simply get Kartra, too.

Conclusion

All platforms have similar features, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re exactly the same solution. Some have their own strengths and weaknesses, and finding the best one depends on each individual’s own goals and needs.

If I had to choose my personal favorites from the list, I’d say Podia and Kartra without too much thinking. They’re just incredibly versatile and affordable, especially considering what you get. LearnDash is also an obvious choice if you already feel comfortable with WordPress.

Snag Success Author Adam

About Me

Hi, I am Adam. The founder of this blog Snag Success & many other niche sites.

I’m a full-time internet marketer. I have done Dropshipping, Youtube, Affiliate Marketing, and a ton of other online businesses!

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