Podia vs Thinkific: 10 Aspects Compared In-Depth (2021 Edition)

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It used to suck when you wanted to turn your know-how into a thriving business.

You had to partner with a famous university.

Or, you’d have to bleed your expertise on a manuscript and trudge through grouchy editors to have it published as a book.

Not now.

You can now package your expertise into online courses. Then you can sell the courses to potentially millions of students worldwide. And that can earn you tens of thousands of dollars from the safety and convenience of your home office.

Heck.

With an affordable online course platform, you can create a successful online course in days instead of months.

Is that what you are looking for?

Well, Podia and Thinkific are two of the best budget course platforms you can use now.

We will compare the two in this in-depth online course platform guide.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear idea of which, between Podia and Thinkific, is best for your specific needs.

FeaturesPodiaThinkific
Pricing$39/mo$49/mo
Platform typeAll-in-one digital selling platformsCourse-selling platform
Memberships feature YesNo
Email marketing You can send one-off newsletters and drip campaigns.Not as good as Podia. You can just send the emails by segmenting on conditions
IntegrationsIt integrates with 6 email marketing softwares.

It also has integrations with Google Analytics, Stripe, and PayPal.
More integrations than Podia. It integrates with 7 email marketing softwares
Has free plan?No Yes
Does it come with transaction fees?NoNo
Does it allow video conferencing?No Yes
Explore moreGet PodiaGet Thinkific

Podia vs. Thinkific: An In-depth Comparison

An Overview of Podia and Thinkific

Both Podia and Thinkific are unlike massive open online course platforms such as Coursera or Udemy.

Instead, Thinkific and Podia offer complete freedom to determine your course prices. You can also choose how to market and sell online courses, including using your unique brand designs.

Still, Podia markets itself as an all-in-one course platform. Like Kajabi, you can use Podia to create memberships, webinars, and digital products.

Then you can sell them online as digital downloads. Or, you can use Podia’s online learning management system to teach online for a profit.

Podia also offers advanced email marketing. That means you may not have to pay for a separate tool to help you do some decent email marketing.

On the other hand, Thinkific is a course-centric platform.

Thinkific may not offer membership sites or digital product selling features.

But it focuses on perfecting some e-learning tools, thus making creating course content a breeze. It reminds us of Teachable.

But is Thinkific too “lite” for your needs?

Read on to discover how.

What we like about Podia over Thinkific?

  • Along with course creation, you can also use Podia to create memberships.
  • Podia will let you migrate from other platforms for free regardless of the plan you buy.
  • It has superior email marketing features (drip email marketing) compared to Thinkific.
  • Podia allows you to bulk-email students even if you have one of the lower plans. You need one of Thinkific’s higher plans for that.
  • Podia has a built-in blogging feature in its higher plan. Thinkific doesn’t offer it at all.
  • It is a budget course creation software with decent tools.
  • Its 14-day trial lets you access all its highest plan features. Thinkific’s limited free plan dims in comparison when you want to have a clear picture of how Thinkific works.
  • You can receive proceeds from course sales using direct deposits if you are in accepted regions.

What we like about Thinkific over Podia?

  • Except for SCORM files, you can upload a ton of course content formats to your Thinkific curriculum.
  • Those include surveys, presentations, discussions, and Brillium Exams. Podia does not support those.
  • If you aren’t much of a techie or want to start creating the course soonest, Thinkific offers several online course templates to get you started.
  • Thinkific offers a free SSL certificate.
  • Thinkific’s direct integration with assessments solutions provider Brillium makes creating elaborate tests a breeze — at no extra cost.
  • It has better interactive classroom features than Podia such as surveys and narrated presentations.
  • Thinkific is more suitable for simulating live classroom experiences.
  • Creating and issuing certificates of completion is easy with Thinkific.
  • It also offers more course compliance tools than Podia.
  • You can sell Thinkific courses on Shopify.

Interface

The first time you sign up and log in to Podia, this is how the dashboard will look:

Podia User Interface

It feels well nested such that you can intuitively tell where to find what in seconds instead of minutes.

Podia Dashboard Shortcuts

We like that you can see an overview of your Podia account activity right on the dashboard. But it’s clean and doesn’t appear overwhelmingly detailed.

It also loads fast, which helps when your students are trying to get to a lesson on a mobile device.

Instead of top menu bar, Thinkific nests its menu on the sidebar like this:

Thinkific User Interface

The layout is similar to the type we’ve seen inside top course platforms such as Kajabi, LearnWorlds, and Teachable.

Thinkific’s interface loads quickly and feels modish, too. And it will also give you a quick glimpse of your online course analytics.

Still, Thinkific comes with some unique layout ideas that you may need some getting used to.

For example, Thinkific placed “Integrations” settings under its “Market and Sell” tab. You’d expect it to be under Settings.

Bottomline: Both platform’s dashboards feel clean, offer quick access to deeper features/ analytics, and load fast. That, even when Podia may feel like the more intuitive UI/UX.

Course creation

Both Podia and Thinkific are online course centric.

That means they focus more on the course creation bit of online business than anything else. For instance, they are not trying hard to be the most sophisticated email automation software as Kajabi (review) does.

That’s a plus because you can expect them to have great tools for creating online courses specifically.

So, how do they stack up?

We’ll start with course structuring tools.

Course structure

You want an online learning platform that makes it easy to structure your course content. Otherwise, your content might feel all over the place and overwhelming to students.

That’s not optimal.

Now, Podia lets course creators sell their knowledge in the form of several types of digital products:

  • Online course – Excellent if you want to go into online teaching with a series of lessons
  • Digital download – Suitable for students who prefer to download a file or a collection of files
  • Memberships: Awesome for creating and nurturing a community through subscriptions
  • Webinar – Ideal for selling access to your hot-cake online seminars/conferences/live video lessons
  • Bundle – Great for helping you sell a collection of digital products in one go at a new price
Creating an online course with Podia

Choose the Online Course product and Podia will let you create sections to give your course some structure.

Podia Course Creation Editor

Here is the thing, though:

Like Thinkific, Podia offers a two-level course structure: Chapters and lesson contents. Yet, Thinkific manages to help creators make that distinction with clear chapters.

Thinkific course structure

With Podia, you have to format the content as you would in Word or in a Google Doc.

Podia course structure

But a thing that tilts the scales in favor of Thinkific is that it offers online course templates.

That means you can just pick the most relevant pre-made course layout and it will automatically apply a suitable course structure for you.

Thinkific Course Templates

But maybe you want to have more control over the appearance and feel of your course and business.

Thinkific provides a blank canvas you can use to design your course from scratch.

There’s more.

Thinkific will let you create a landing page, even before you’ve launched a course, right from the dashboard. That means you can do the following:

  1. Gauge demand for your course
  2. Pre-sell the course
  3. Collect interested students’ emails
  4. Show course creation progress to your waitlist

Podia offers a pre-sell page, too. But you have to create it from elsewhere after discovering that the tool exists.

Bottomline: Thinkific edges out Podia for its intuitive online course templates, pre-selling tool

Course formats

Remember how we said Thinkific is course-centric? That it focuses on making the course creation process a breeze?

Well, here’s where that comes out to play.

Thinkific will let you use bucketloads of different content formats to create the most engaging course possible. The formats include:

  • Videos
  • Narrated presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Quizzes
  • Text
  • Downloadable files
  • Webinar content
  • Surveys
  • Live streams
  • Audio
  • Brillium exams
  • PDFs
  • Images

Heck, you can also add assessments and Disqus content/discussions as part of your course content.

Thinkific Content Formats

Yet each content type is well optimized for. Take video for instance.

You can upload a video lesson to your Thinkific Video Library once and use it multiple times in your other Thinkific courses. You can also use the same video in separate chapters and lessons of the same course.

Podia won’t let you do that.

What Podia will let you do instead is to upload any type of content format you want. Literally. But it divides content types into four categories to make things neat:

  • Files – such as videos, images, text files, and more
  • Links – you can even embed Vimeo, Wistia, and YouTube links to your channels
  • Text – Write right in it the editor (rich text)
  • Quizzes
Podia Content Formats

Thinkific does not support SCORM files despite supporting Captivate and Storyline files. But we also like that Podia supports rarer file types such as MOBI, EPUB, and .sketch content.

But that’s not all.

Thinkific will also let you use different types of content in the same lesson. So, for example, you can use quizzes with a video or PDFs with an image.

Remember you’ll have different students with different learning styles. By uploading different types of content, you can get more people to understand your points as you intended. Neat!

Bottomline: Both Thinkific and Podia support an excellent variety of content types. Your choice!

Uploading course content

It’s unfortunate that you won’t be able to import files directly from Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox to your Podia or Thinkific accounts.

You’ll need a Zapier integration to do that. And it may cost you extra cash.

And, while Thinkific will let you embed videos hosted on YouTube and Vimeo, Podia offers more options, including Wistia.

Embedding links in Podia

Podia can also embed Tweets and GIFs right on your text editor. You can even embed Spotify and Soundcloud links for audio files.

Both e-learning platforms offer unlimited video hosting, so no worries about getting that elsewhere. It is covered under your subscription, so no additional cost either.

Still with us?

You can also upload multiple files at once using either course creation software. Then you can drag and drop it around to organize it.

But you can’t bulk select and edit multiple files at the same time. You’ll have to go to each file and make the changes from there.

Bottomline: Uploading in bulk is especially handy for saving course creation time. And both offer it. Yet Podia may offer more versatile ways and tools for uploading your content.

Content delivery

Can you schedule course content in Podia?

Yes, you can.

Drip settings

Thinkific can help you drip content on a schedule as well. That is if you have a paid plan.

drip scheduling in Thinkific

In both platforms, you’ll decide when and how you want lessons to unlock and be available to all or specific students.

word image 3

Once content unlocks, both Podia and Thinkific will let the learners know about it via email. Note that you can’t send automated emails with Thinkific for that.

Bottomline: If you wish to keep students from binging on your content without internalizing it, both Podia and Thinkific will have you covered there.

Course compliance options

Once you add quizzes to your Podia course, students will see them on their end. But they will choose whether to complete or skip them.

Here’s why.

Podia does not have a grading or specific restriction that would require students to complete a test and score a passing mark before continuing with the course.

But when students choose to complete the assessments, they get to see their score immediately after.

With Thinkific, you can set Prerequisite Questions where a student has to complete an assessment to continue into the next chapter or lesson.

How to create Prerequisite Quizzes with Thinkific
Setting up Thinkific’s Prerequisite Quizzes

You can also set a passing grade.

That would require students to attain a higher grade than the minimum pass grade to continue or get a certificate of completion.

When you set this up, Thinkific will automatically grade all test scores and apply the restriction until your students can comply and score higher marks.

Thinkific goes further.

It will allow you to require a student to watch a particular video length before the lesson can be marked as complete and allow them to continue with the course.

Thinkifics Course Completion Features

Bottomline: Thinkific has far superior course completion tools than Podia. This is crucial if you do not want students to skim through the course, not gain much from it, and probably ask for a refund.

Assessments and quizzes

And speaking of internalizing what you teach.

One way to find out how well the students understand your concepts is to give them a relevant test.

Or, you can just ask them how they like the course. With Thinkific you can create such a survey/quiz right in your course. With Podia, you’d have to use Google Forms for that.

Creating Surveys with Thinkific

Conducting Quizzes can be an engaging way to assess your learners’ progress, too.

Still, Thinkific also offers a bunch of ways to administer tests.

A powerful one is that it integrates directly with Brillium.

That’s a big deal because using Brillium with Thinkific makes creating sophisticated exams possible and simple, complete with rich exam results’ for thorough analysis.

As a Podia online tutor, you may have to spend extra to make the integration happen.

You can also add illustrations and images to quizzes on Podia as well as you would with Thinkific.

Just head over to Products>>Create Product>>Add quiz.

If you wish to add a quiz in an existing course, go to Products>>select “Edit” on the existing course>>Add quiz as you can see here:

How to Add a Quiz to your Online Course with Podia

Thinkific can also automatically assign up to 100 random questions. You’ll just need to have added the questions to the Thinkific Randomized Questions Bank.

How to set up Randomized Questions Bank inside Thinkific
Thinkific’s Randomized Questions Bank

You can also add several different course compliance options to your assessments whichever platform you use. And that takes us to the next section.

Bottomline: Thinkific‘s native integration with Brillium is a must-have. Still, Podia holds its own since you can create quizzes to gauge your students’ progress.

Course completion certification

So, you’ve administered tests and your students have passed them.

What next?

Some students want to share their new achievements with family, friends, and social media. Others want to show proof of their new skills to colleagues and superiors at work.

Either way, too bad! Podia doesn’t have a built-in tool for issuing course completion certificates. Neither does it have a native integration with Accredible.

Accredible is a great tool for creating certificates, and Thinkific has native integration with it.

That means you do not have to pay extra to use Accredible’s tools as a Thinkific course creator. You even get seven certificate templates to get you started.

Creating beautiful Thinkific certificates

Contrary, you would have to buy Accredible’s resources separately as a Podia online tutor.

Like Kajabi, you’d need to use Zapier, Google Slides, or Google Forms to create certificates in Podia. And that might feel more complicated than you may prefer.

Bottomline: If you want to issue certificates of completion without making or buying complex integrations, Thinkific is a good option here.

Creating membership sites

Both Thinkific and Podia will let you create membership sites, under which you can create your members-only content.

Podia memberships feature

Once you create plans and integrate payment processors, you can add content to your membership sites and drip it to learners over a period of time.

Inside both platforms, you can also bundle courses, offer up to 12-month subscriptions, and schedule course content as you like if you use paid plans.

Then you can promote your memberships to attract more subscribers and earn more recurring revenue.

Podia takes it a step further.

It’ll let you create Membership Posts and send email notifications for new content. Posts are one-off, unstructured content bites you can serve as complementary course material.

Or, you can also use them for branding purposes.

But there’s more.

Podia also lets you invite your members to collaborations via Slack, Facebook, and Palapa.

Podia Memberships

Just add a URL in the membership settings area and you are good to go.

Instead, Thinkific lets creators use its Community tool (Pro plan) to create a custom landing page for a membership site.

Unlike Podia, you can use a custom domain and customize the look and feel of your membership site however you please.

Bottomline: If you wish to integrate membership sites with social media, choose Podia. But if you want to brand your membership site’s look and feel, Thinkific may be the better option.

Analytics and reporting

Podia offers analytics and management data in two separate tabs:

  1. Sales: See your Podia course sales from the Sales tab in the top navigation bar. You can see all invoices/individual sales transactions, different types of sales, down to specific plans or products.
Podia Sales Reporting and Analytics

But you won’t see which specific coupon codes, affiliates, campaigns, or dates that resulted in the sales.

2. Engagement metrics: Go to Products>>specific course you wish to analyze>>Customers. You’ll see stats such as your students’ course progress, last active time, enrollment date, and what lessons they have completed already.

There’s not much else you can see with Podia analytics.

Compare that to Thinkific analytics and reporting tools, especially if you have a Pro or Growth plan.

Look closely because there is a lot going on here:

Thinkific Advanced Reporting and Analytics

  1. Thinkific categorizes its reports into four tabs that feel well-organized: Revenue, Orders, Enrollments, and Student Engagement.
  2. You can choose to see a simplified data overview. Or you can switch to Details to see more information on each specific entry.
  3. You can select date ranges to analyze your reports during a specific period. Helpful if you want to see if a specific campaign worked during its run, for example.
  4. Choose to view the data in bar or pie charts, whichever makes it easy to analyze, or just marvel at your progress.
  5. Breakdown the data using all sorts of parameters including by time, product, bundle or single course, payment methods, new or returning customer, affiliates, and currency.

That’s potent data if you like to analyze numbers to inform your next decisions.

With Thinkific, you can tell a lot about your students, too.

Thinkific Student Engagement Analytics

You can analyze useful data such as:

  • video completion rates
  • Attempted quizzes
  • views by content type
  • bounce rates
  • course progress
  • course completion rate
  • the average time your students take to complete the course.
  • Breakdowns by course and even by lesson and content types

That’s a lot. And that’s good.

For one, you can tell where learners are dropping off your course materials so that you can improve those areas to boost completion rates. Neat!

Bottomline: If you need to breakdown your online course business data for insights, Thinkific has more powerful reporting tools. Otherwise, use Google Analytics with Podia.

Selling digital products

You may want to sell digital products somewhere down the lane. For example, you may decide to sell a case study as a download like this:

Creating multiple digital products

Both course platforms support selling digital downloads.

But may be you want to also sell kits and books.

Can you sell physical products with Thinkific courses?

Sort of.

Thinkific checkout doesn’t support it.

But, you can create a course bundle or offer the products as an upsell.

Then you’ll need to create an aptly-named course, say, “How to receive XX product”. Be sure to include a form inside it for taking your customers’ shipping details. That way, you’ll be able to receive payments through Thinkific.

It is easier on Podia.

You can sell physical products on Podia as long as you handle and fulfill shipping requirements yourself. Otherwise, you are out of luck.

Go to Site Settings and check the Collect customer addresses for tax reporting box.

Selling physical products with Podia

The form will appear to your customers at checkout, collecting the information you need to ship products to them. The tool also helps calculate the sales’ taxes, including EU taxes.

Bottomline: You can sell digital products with both. But Podia offers a more straightforward way to add physical products to your courses and digital product offerings.

Users and community features

Like their competitors, you can use both course platforms to add users to your teams, such as an admin or virtual assistant.

You can also specify which areas they can access and what’s out of bounds.

What we like about Thinkific here is you can set up multiple instructor profiles. That awesome if you want to co-create a course and share the income.

Share revenue with co-creator in Thinkific

Now, how do you create and grow relationships with communities?

Under Support Your Students, Thinkific will let you engage your learners away from the course player.

Thinkific Communities and Users Settings

Under Course Player Settings, you can set up and host live Q&As, discussions, and let students leave comments.

That can help increase your course’s student engagement level.

However, Thinkific students can’t leave comments in individual lectures.

On the flip side, for every Podia membership plan you create, the platform gives you the option to add several community tools so you can build an ongoing relationship.

For example, you can add different social media channels to the same community.

Podia Community Features

That’s neat, especially if you want to segment each plan’s members to have their unique community. It means they can discuss things that matter to their mutual interest.

To do the same with Thinkific, you’d need to create separate communities for each segment or goal you have.

Also, Podia will let you send and receive messages directly to and from customers, which can feel more engaging than sending emails.

Messaging in Podia

In either case, you can create posts with comments enabled and other forms of communications to engage and grow your audience.

We also like that you can host free and membership webinars on both Podia and Thinkific. That includes Zoom webinars.

Feel free to gate them to collect emails and grow your list. You can also schedule, play live, or send webinar replays to your audience.

With Podia, you can also integrate YouTube Live to engage your community even more.

Bottomline: Both present decent community and engagement features, including access rules, webinars, standalone posts, comments, forums/discussions, and the ability to add social media channels (Podia).

Design and customization

Straight into it, here’s what you can do with Thinkific or Podia customization options:

  • Create custom pages with a visual, drag-and-drop website builder.
  • Add or move any content or section to match your brand or design needs.
  • Use custom or branded subdomains
  • Add 10+ types of content
  • See live previews as you make the changes
  • Use rich-text editors
  • Replace the Podia or Thinkific branding with your own
  • Hosting is included in your subscription plan
  • Free platform updates
  • Platform-wide maintenance works

Can you further customize your online courses with Thinkific?

Absolutely.

The Podia Editor is also great for customizing the look and feel of your online course. The editor launches from the dashboard, right after clicking the rather tiny Edit Site button.

Podia Site Design and Customization

Then you can add any number of sections to your page from the panel on the left.

Podia customization

Then you add various elements to the page including videos, testimonials, and a newsletter page.

Podia Editor sections

You’ll see the changes almost immediately. So you won’t need to waste time switching to and fro or reload pages to see how the changes look.

Podia doesn’t actually offer theme templates. What it has are basic theme modes.

Podia Design Themes

You can only switch between a dark mode and several light modes. But the Custom mode will let you apply your favorite colors from scratch.

Compare that to Thinkific.

Thinkific doesn’t have true pre-built templates either. Instead, it provides Theme Styles.

Thinkifics Page Styles

Like Podia, you can add various elements to your liking. But that will be pretty much it.

Bottomline: Both offer a simple design and customization options, including pre-built elements, the ability to add basic sections, and see changes as you make them. No custom code or CSS customizations for techy users.

Marketing courses online

You can do a couple of things to help make your Podia or Thinkific course more visible to ideal customers.

Email marketing

Don’t come expecting automation and robust email marketing miracles here.

Both platforms offer basic email tools, just like their similarly-priced alternatives such as Teachable and LearnWorlds.

Yet Podia will let you send one-off newsletters and create drip campaigns, which Thinkific won’t support.

Podia email marketing

The Drip campaign feature is quite powerful.

Here you can select the trigger for the campaign and send out a series of emails.

Also, the ability to pre-launch the course and send prelaunch series is what we like the most here.

Thinkific doesn’t have much of an email marketing system. Its integrated email system is excellent for sending course updates and other communications to and from your students and team.

But still, you can segment the students based on several conditions and send them emails.

Note: If you want to create authority posts with articles, blog posts, and content marketing, Podia offers a built-in blogging tool. Thinkific does not for now. You’d have to play around with Community posts as we’d discussed earlier.

Bottomline: Podia has a more powerful drip email marketing feature. Not as powerful as Kajabi’s email automation and pipelines, but still more powerful than Thinkific’s offerings.

Affiliate marketing for online courses

Care to share a sale?

You can turn students into affiliates and third-party influencers to your course evangelists in exchange for a commission.

In Podia, set up affiliates under Affiliates in the navigation bar.

Setting up Podia Affiliates

Thinkific has its affiliates settings under Market & Sell:

Thinkific Affiliates 1

Both Podia and Thinkific will help you accomplish a couple of things here.

  • Invite affiliates
  • Allow them to self-register
  • Set commission rates
  • Adjust affiliate percentages
  • See who referred buyers to you
  • Track cookies for up to 30 days
  • See and analyze affiliate sales reports

Bottomline: Thinkific and Podia offer pretty similar affiliate marketing tools

Sales and upselling

Both course creation software will help you do the following to boost your sales.

  • Offer coupon codes and discounts
  • Bundle select courses together and then promote and price them as discounted packages
  • Provide subscriptions/memberships
  • Create one-time offers
  • Accept installment plans

That’s not all.

Conversion optimization at checkout

Both Podia and Thinkific provide “buy now widgets” you can embed on any website, landing page, and blog.

Thinkific calls them Sales Widgets and offers them as buttons or course cards.

Creating and Using Thinkific Sales Widgets

Podia refers to them as Offsite Buy Buttons and offers them in several formats including buttons, course cards, and text links.

Adding Podia Sales Widget

Embed your preferred sales widget format in the next page like this:

Embedding sales buttons with Podia

When people see the widgets, they can decide to click and see more of what you have to offer, and, ideally, buy from you. They won’t have to leave the website they are on.

Something else.

Podia’s checkout process is multi-step, but your customers will barely notice.

You see, they will not have to leave the page to fill in all purchase details. That’s because the process happens in a popup. It is short and sweet.

Both platforms will let you offer discounts/coupon codes, service agreements, multiple payment methods, and assure customers with secure checkout.

But you can’t use testimonials or display moneyback guarantee badges. Podia will let you use a video while both will allow you to set custom colors.

Upselling is a one-click move in both. Still, you can’t add much detail to your upsells except more discounts, although Podia supports multiple upsell offers.

Payment gateways

Thinkific will let you accept payments with Stripe, PayPal, and Shopify.

Thinkific Payment gateways

That applies to paying customers as well as when you need to receive proceeds yourself. But Podia adds a direct deposit option for the latter.

Also, Podia makes it easy to collect shipping details if you wish to sell physical products.

Podia Payment Gateways

Moreover, you can calculate and collect EU VAT with Podia. So you won’t need to integrate it with Quaderno.

But then Thinkific has direct integration with Quarderno. That means you can use both without paying additional fees or leaving your Thinkific page.

Bottomline: Podia‘s checkout process feels like the more optimized option for increasing conversions although you can use Thinkific to accept course payments with Shopify.

Integrations

Here’s something you may have noticed by now:

Both Podia and Thinkific may not offer a ton of built-in features like Kajabi. What they both do have is a ton of integration options.

And is that a good thing?

Picture this:

You may not need all the advanced features built into Kajabi. But, Kajabi users pay for the redundant features regardless. That sucks.

But with these two, you can just add the tools you really need at any one time. Or, you can just get what you can afford.

Then you can get more advanced tools as you grow your online business. So, no extra baggage or redundancies for you; just a lean, cost-effective option.

They both have a good range of tools, which you can pick from several categories such as:

  • Email marketing – from ActiveCampaign to ConvertKit to MailChimp
  • Analytics – and integration such as Google Analytics
  • Zapier – for more advanced automation
  • E-Commerce – tools such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and payment gateways
Thinkific integrations

Still, Thinkific provides more third-party integrations than Podia.

But that’s not what we like most.

This is:

Bottomline: Thinkific provides more native-level integrations than Podia. That means you can use third-party tools without leaving your Thinkific site, paying extra, or logging into separate sites to make things happen.

Customer support

Expect excellent customer support from both camps. And kudos to them, considering the huge number of people they likely have to help out daily.

Yet, we can split hairs if you want. Heck, we will.

Podia offers both chat and video support regardless of your plan. Thinkific doesn’t offer those yet. You’d have to settle for back and forth emails. That may not be as sluggish as it may sound. Thinkific customer reps are awesomely responsive, actually.

But we like how you can just reach out to support right from any page inside Podia.

Yet, both platforms do not provide 24/7 support.

Also, they both run on U.S. business hours. So if you are an international customer, you have to wait for hours before you can get a response.

Podia Chat Support

But it gets better.

Podia offers free migration from another site regardless of your plan.

That’s unheard of in the e-learning management system world. So, if you are reluctant about switching to Podia from, say, Thinkific, the smooth transition could be a deal maker.

But if you want a little hand-holding through setting up your online course business, Thinkific offers its experts for the job in three ways, provided you have a Premier or Pro plan:

  • 30 to 60 minutes onboarding call
  • Launch preparedness training
  • More and advanced training on a dedicated site

Now, both do not have a search tool similar to the Kajabi Assistant, which we are great fans of.

Instead, they provide help centers, guides, videos, and articles for self-paced learning and troubleshooting.

Bottomline: You decide. We’ll say choose the option that won’t cause you any head and heartaches, depending on your support needs.

Pricing

Podia has two plans – Mover and Shaker.

Podia Pricing Plans

So, what’s the difference?

Several.

The Shaker plan offers these extras:

  • Memberships
  • Blog
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Offsite buy buttons
  • Zoom integration
  • Ability to install third-party snippets such as Sumo, Olark, and Facebook Pixel.

If you want the membership feature of Podia, you may want to go with their Shaker plan.

Thinkific comes with their free plan. It’ll allow you to create 3 courses with tons of restrictions so it is best for testing out the platform.

Thinkific pricing

It might not even be the equivalent to Podia‘s 14-day unrestricted trial (access to all Shaker plan features).

But we like that you won’t have to pay any transaction fees on any sale you’ll make, unlike LearnWorlds and Teachable.

So, if you need unlimited courses, drip content, emails, students, and more, get their basic plan.

We recommend that you see this side-by-side comparison of all Thinkific plans.

The Pro plan is their most popular plan and unlocks many features like advanced pricing options, certificates, and advanced customizations.

No worries. Thinkific has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. So you can get your money back in case you are not happy with it.

Instead of the moneyback guarantee, Podia offers another kind of assurance.

If the 14-day trial lapses and you haven’t canceled a plan you are unhappy with, they’ll refund the last payment you made. You just have to reach out to them within 72 hours of the renewal or upgrade.

We like that.

Bottomline: Podia lets you test all its features within 14 days while Thinkific offers a restricted free plan. The base paid plan costs as much as Podia’s Mover Plan so compare the two’s features side-by-side.

Akshay recommends:
1. Podia Discount: Get 2 Months FREE Access Worth $158
2. Thinkific Alternatives: Our Top 3 Best Picks
3. Podia vs Kartra: In-Depth Comparison With Review
4. Teachable vs Podia: Detailed Comparison of 10 Aspects
5. Cheap Podia Alternatives To Sell Digital Products

Podia vs Thinkific – Frequently Asked Questions

Do they offer free plan?

Thinkific has a free plan whereas Podia doesn’t have any free plan.

What’s the difference between Podia and Thinkific?

Podia is an all-in-one platform, but Thinkific is only a course platform. You can see the full comparison in the above post.

Do these platforms charge any transaction fee for my sales?

Unlike Teachable, both Thinkific and Podia don’t come with any transaction fees.

How good are these platforms when it comes to integration?

Podia integrates with 6 email marketing platforms whereas Thinkific integrates with 7 email marketing platforms. Compared to Podia, Thinkific has good integrations.

Among these two platforms which one has powerful email marketing features?

Thinkific lacks powerful email marketing features. With Podia, you have the ability to send one-off newsletters and also drip campaigns.

Podia vs Thinkific: Verdict

So, which is the better affordable course creation platform between Podia and Thinkific?

Here’s a quick summary to help you decide:

Podia is great if you are looking to:

  • Create dedicated memberships
  • Sell both digital and physical products
  • Use drip email marketing
  • Take advantage of its conversion-oriented checkout process to boost sales
  • Reduce cart abandonment thanks to those checkout tools
  • Podia is like Thinkific (course-centric) + Memberships (Kajabi) + Gumroad (digital products). It just doesn’t specialize in any of these. Instead, it gives a little bit of everything.

Thinkific is ideal if you want to:

  • Use a ton of different course content types in your curriculum.
  • Add more than one content format in the same lesson.
  • Get better analytics and reporting without needing to buy a third-party tool
  • Start your course creation adventure with a free plan.
  • Use Brillium to create sophisticated assessments
  • Issue certificates of completion

Over to you. What is it going to be?

Akshay HallurAbout me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures.

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to the blogging community. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media networks. SHARING IS ♥️

5 thoughts on “Podia vs Thinkific: 10 Aspects Compared In-Depth (2021 Edition)”

  1. Very interesting, good job and thanks for sharing such a good article. Your content is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up

  2. Puran Mal Meena

    I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and hopeful that you will write many more posts like this one

  3. Found this article useful for Email marketing. Email marketing has its own important. On comparing these two digital selling products you are giving a review about it. Thanks for sharing this. Now, I don’t have any confusion related to Podia and Thinkific.

  4. THANKS A LOT for this clear compairing blogpost!!
    This brought me straight to a lot of thought processes, where without this blogpost it would probably have taken me hours more of figuring out!

  5. Hello what about teachers? We offer courses or lessons and need to select the teach you wish to work with – this means a landing page to overview each teacher etc.

    I don’t see any options in podia thus far. Any thoughts?

    Thanks andrew

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