Do you have a particular skill or resources to start creating courses online? Have you been looking into creating your own course that you can sell to people? Well, that path would tell you that there are a few websites you can choose from that caters to these needs.
Of course, not all website builders will cater specifically to courses. There are some that are solely focused on it, a few general ones that have some aspects you can incorporate into a course website, and other general website builders with no specific course creation tools.
In this article, I am going to be reviewing two different website builders that have some connection to course creation – GrooveFunnels and Thinkific.
I will be going into detail about each of their features, prices, and more. This article is meant for those who are looking for these types of websites. Before you go and try either of them, you can read this review and get an idea of which one would suit you better.
This is actually a fully digital marketing platform that made its debut only recently in 2019. It was created by some well-known names in the digital marketing industry – Mike Filsaime. He was the co-founder of Kartra back in the day.
From the get-go, you can see that this platform was built to be an all-rounder and not for any specific purpose. There are so many parts to the GrooveDigital (the overall name for GrooveFunnels) system that solves another section of your digital marketing journey. In total, there are 12 sub-sections that you can use for your campaigns and these include email marketing, selling digital products, affiliate marketing, and more.
When it was first built, it had an ambitious goal of becoming one of the top choices for digital marketers worldwide. By this point, they are well on their way to accomplishing this as future predictions show that GrooveDigital can make it to the top by 2023. This can be partly attributed to the fact that their software is one of the only companies that give so much value to their free accounts. You won’t find a better “free deal” than what you get with GrooveFunnels.
When you purchase a subscription for their system, you’re essentially paying for more than 26 tools condensed into one. I have personally used GrooveFunnels in order to get the experience for myself. I will talk more about my experience with it, in the article below.
Thinkific, on the other hand, is a full turnaround to the GrooveDigital system. They are solely focused on course creation and will provide you with all the tools that you need in order to design and host your courses online. With Thinkific, you don’t really need to delve into other tools as they have a full arsenal of course creation tools already active.
They take a very modern approach to how they run their software. The website and its themes are quite up-to-date and look very good when compared to the current generations of website design. You can get features like:
- Full content hosting
- Email integration
- Create an affiliate program
- Create awarding certificates
- Having the option to expire content you upload within a timeframe
If you want to try out their system, they also provide a ‘free’ version where they will allow you to create 3 courses. But, these will be under the Thinkific domain and so won’t look custom.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are some sub-sections that work inside of GrooveFunnels that are all aimed at creating a great digital marketing campaign for you. I will go through them below:
- GroovePages – This is the website builder that they offer on-site. It features the normal drag and drop type of website building which makes it easier, even for newbies, to quickly learn the new system. Also, it will come with premium themes that you can choose from and then customize to match your business. The pages that you create through this tool will be SEO optimized, have fast load times, and the premium themes look great.
- GrooveMail – This is the email auto-responding tool. Having this integrated into the system makes it so much easier to keep your client list engaged and updates on one platform. You can do campaigns for up to 10,000 clients and you can even use this tool to create lists and send broadcast messages.
- GrooveVideo – A business will usually tend to have videos that they want to upload or share. To do this, you would have to pay for a hosting subscription and then upload the video there. With this, you can now brand all your videos, create custom buttons, and host your videos on the integrated tool.
- GrooveSell – This is the tool meant for selling digital products (what cannot be touched). A course website is perfect for this kind of tool. It will give you options to create the whole sales funnel, customize your checkout page, add in up-sells or discounts, and more.
- GrooveAffiliate – For those who want to run an affiliate marketing program for their business, this is the perfect tool. You can manage your own program, members, check all the analytics, set commission rates, create refund periods, etc. Even if you don’t want to run a program, you can make some extra money by working as an affiliate for others in GrooveDigital who are using the tool.
- GrooveSurvey – If you want to create custom surveys and quizzes to improve engagement on the site or to help improve conversions, then these two tools (GrooveSurvey and GrooveQuiz) are provided as well.
- GrooveBlog – Every website requires a blog – both for SEO and content purposes. Being able to write a blog, edit and upload easily is a requirement for any business. GrooveBlog is a direct competitor to software even like WordPress. For the average user, this tool will be more than adequate.
- GrooveCalendar – You don’t need another calendar tool to manage all your appointments, calls, and events with this tool.
- GrooveMember – There are certain businesses that can benefit from gated content and monthly subscriptions to enter. You can create an exclusive membership-only site that feels premium using this tool.
- GrooveWebinar – If you are also going to be doing or hosting webinars, then this can be done on the GrooveDigital platform too. You can set up either an automated webinar to go out or do a live one.
I haven’t mentioned all their sub-sections and features here. There is a lot to cover and you would fare better by getting an account and actually getting into the thick of things. There is a lot you can do and you will first need to try out the system to get a real feel for it.
Here are some of what Thinkific has to offer for you:
- Website builder – Just like with GrooveFunnels, Thinkfic also features a drop and drop website builder. You are able to customize your content in any way that you want and it will have all the necessary website features present on it.
- Host all your content – You can store all your types of content on the platform even if you are only using a free account. This will include all blogs, videos, PDF documents, and others.
- Affiliate programs – If your course website can make use of an affiliate program, then you can just use the one provided by Thinkific. It is quite simple to build and can be done with minimal experience.
- Multiple tools – Thinkific is open with all the integrations it can add to the site. Boasting integrations with over 1,000 other apps and software that you can use in your campaigns. You can still use other tools and be able to use them in conjunction with Thinkific.
- Full checkout process – You can build the whole sales process and customize it in the way that suits you best. You can do things like offering a subscription to clients, making discount offers, or even getting them to create a free account on your website. On top of this, they also have the option for people to pay for the course in 100 different types of currencies.
- Course content – In order to help you build engagement in the courses and make students interact more with them, Thinkfic has added in a few options that you can utilize to make the course more fun. This includes course certificates, downloadable content, sending weekly content, having group discussions, and much more.
With GrooveFunnels, you will get three different payment packages to choose from. If you want to try out the platform before purchasing it, you have the option to get a free account that will be active for a long time without being taken away. When you get the free account, you will be given access to the GrooveFunnels system without having to make an initial payment fee. You also don’t need to enter your credit card details, thus eliminating the chance of getting charged accidentally.
Of course, you will only get limited access to the features. Here they are:
GroovePages Lite – This has almost all the features of their fully functional website builder tool but it comes with fewer themes and limited options to choose from. For someone who is new to this though, the tool is more than enough to build a working website. You are even able to find some free templates that look good.
GrooveSell – Since you want a course selling website, getting this tool in for free is a major plus.
GrooveAffiliate – Most other tools will not give away this feature for free. You can get it with the free account on GrooveFunnels though.
But that is not all that you will get with your free account. They have gone above and beyond their calling to also give you a free SSL certificate for your website as well as domain integrations to Amazon servers. This will reduce your annual costs by a margin and will be getting all of this basically for no charge.
The rest of their packages go as follows:
- GrooveFunnels Silver – $99 per month – You will also get GrooveMail, GrooveMember, and GrooveVideo with this package. The GroovePages will also be upgraded to the full version.
- GrooveFunnels Gold – $199 per month – This will include GrooveBlog and GrooveCalendar. You will also get GrooveDesk which allows you to make your business like a helpdesk platform.
- GrooveFunnels Platinum – $299 per month – There is a reason that this package is the most premium. You will get all of the features that come with the website and that includes the webinar hosting tool as well as the survey creating tool. You will get the full package which includes all 26 tools if you purchase this subscription.
They also come with a free account but with not nearly the same features that GrooveFunnels provides:
- Free – You are basically only given access to create three courses under their sub-domain so you can try out their system.
- Basic ($39 per month) – This is the most basic package meant for newbies. You will get email automation, affiliates, and custom domains.
- Pro ($79 per month) – This package is meant for more professional businesses. On top of the above, you will also get certificates, the ability to hold courses live, and flexibility with the way your students pay for the courses.
- Premier ($399 per month) – This is meant for those courses that are trying to scale to greater heights. They have options for groups to analyze the stats and to add up to 50 admins to the website.
At the end of the day, I think it comes down to preference but there is so much that each platform has to offer you.
- You have the option to do more than just create courses when you pay for the software
- You get so much more value with the free account and so it may be a better place to start small.
- Has more overall options for a better price than Thinkific
- Your only focus is on course creation and you have no other plans
- If you aren’t fussed about the sub-domain being shown, then you can still use the free
- plan to do some basic course selling. You won’t have to spend much monthly in this way.
- For the cheaper price of $39, you will get features such as the ability to create unlimited courses as well as the survey and quiz creator. These features are only available when you pay the $299 package on GrooveFunnels.
Overall, if your plan is to only do a course creation website and you are not planning on diversifying at all, then the best option would of course be Thinkific. They are made for that particular reason and therefore, would cater so much better to your course selling needs.
Just taking the cost into account, to get the most basic things done for a course creation website such as having an email auto-responding service, custom domain, scheduled (weekly) content, and others, you will only have to pay for the basic package on Thinkific which is $39 per month. On GrooveFunnels you would have to pay for their Silver package which starts at $99 per month.
However, this is only when you are starting out small. Once you have reached a certain size and are able to grow and scale, I would suggest switching over to GrooveFunnels because you will have more options to utilize at that scale. However, depending on your preference, Thinkific may still be a better option. In the end, both of this software are good and have a set of features that appeal to different people. It all comes down to what you are most comfortable with.