If you are looking for good affordable Thinkific alternatives that have lots of customization options, you are in the right place.
Thinkific regular prices are quite on a high-end in spite of their free plan.
In this post, I’ll present you some of the alternatives to Thinkific. These platforms are complete learning management systems.
|Podia||Cheap and best feature rich |
|Starts at $39/mo|
|Teachable||Purely course centric platform |
with advanced features
|Starts at $29/mo|
|LearnDash||Best LMS platform for WordPress users||$159|
|Kajabi||Excellent course platform with advanced automations||Starts at $119/mo|
|LearnWorlds||Decent all-in-one learning management system||Starts at $29/mo|
|Kartra||Good all-in-one marketing platform||Starts at $99/mo|
|Teachery||Affordable course platform that comes |
with unlimited everything
|Starts at $49/mo|
Podia – Best value for money
Podia markets itself as a platform for selling online courses, memberships and also digital products.
Unlike Thinkific and Teachable they are not focused solely on online course creation. You can use it as a course creation platform like (Teachable), membership platform (like Kajabi) or Digital Downloads platform (like Gumroad).
The features you get are great compared to the price.
Interface: Once you sign in to Podia for the first time, you can see the following screen.
Now, let me set up an online course.
Once you create a new course, you can see the buttons to add sections, files, texts, and also a quiz.
Now you can create sections and under each sections, you can create content like files, link, text, quizzes, and others.
Customization: Podia has a great visual editor for you to customize the course and also the store page.
At any part of the course page you can add sections that include elements like Text, Image, Video, Testimonials, FAQs, and others. You can also customize the options like colors, size, etc.
The changes you make will be visible to you dynamically on the preview screen and you can save the changes.
Marketing: Along with setting the price of the products, you can also create upsells and also create coupons similar to that of Teachable.
Unlike Teachable, in Podia the Upsell feature is available in all the plans.
When it comes to coupons, you can create normal, timed, or limited coupons.
Along with these features the embedded checkouts feature that comes with their Shaker plan enables you to embed checkout form on your own website to let users checkout without ever leaving your site.
Integrations: Podia has native integrations with ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Drip, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, and others.
It also has Zapier support that lets you integrate Podia with thousands of other apps compatible with Zapier.
Like that of Teachable, it doesn’t have native webhook support. You need to use the Zapier webhook.
Plans: The pricing of Podia is really competitive compared to the features it has got to offer.
There are two plans Mover and Shaker.
All these plans enable you to create unlimited courses, digital downloads, email marketing, etc. Whereas the Shaker plan comes with additional features like memberships, embedded checkout, affiliate marketing, third-party code, and also free migration.
Compared to other products I’ve reviewed here, Podia is the most affordable and useful if you are considering to sell digital downloads as well. Also, it doesn’t come with 5% transaction fee that Teachable and Thinkific charges you.
Podia also comes with good customer support. With all their paid plans you get access to live chat support unlike Teachable in which you get live chat support only with their professional plans and above.
Podia is a good all-in-one Thinkific alternative you can consider.
All plans come with unlimited courses, students, hosting, and bandwidth like that of Teachable.
What do we like?
- There is no additional transaction fee associated with the sales
- It offers unlimited everything feature i.e. unlimited products, customers, emails sent, sales and files hosted
- It comes with an in-built messaging tool to connect with your customers
- You can host and schedule the webinars even on the lower plan so no need for external integration
What we don’t like?
- The powerful features like affiliate marketing, memberships, blog, etc are available only in the highest plan
- Lacks free plan unlike Thinkific and Teachable
- Podia lacks custom CSS
- It doesn’t come with personalization fields
- You cannot get features like forced completions, course certificates, assignments, and badges.
- Free migrations are available only with annual plans
Bottomline: Unlike Thinkific, Podia is not only a course platform but it is also a membership site and digital download platform best suited for entrepreneurs and marketers.
Teachable – Best online course platform
Teachable is the most popular course platform out there. Dozens of top digital marketers and course creators trust Teachable as their platform of choice for online course creation.
Interface: The interface of Teachable is very straightforward. Once you sign up and login to your Teachable school, you can see the below screen.
You can see all the customization options similar to WordPress in the left side bar.
There are sections like Dashboard, Users, Site, Sales, Emails, Settings, Courses, and others.
In order to create your first course, you need to click on “course” section.
In the next screen, you need to enter in the course name, subtitle, author, and you’re good to do.
Here in the course creation screen, you need to create sections and also add lectures inside each of the sections. The lecture can be video, audio, PDF, link, or any other content type.
Customization: Most of the design and site customization features can be found under the site section of the dashboard.
There are options for you to change the font family, the background color, navigation bar links, buttons, headings, etc. You can also customize the navigation bar links and hierarchy using the navigation section.
They also have a good page builder for customizing the look and feel of your various landing pages like sales pages, checkout pages, upsell pages, etc.
With the professional plans of Teachable, you also have access to their power editor which lets you edit the HTML and CSS of your site.
With these features, you have potentially unlimited customization options.
You can set video compliance feature with Teachable so that the students can’t click the mark as completed button unless they watch the training course at least 90%. This lets you ensure that the students complete the course properly. This feature is unique to Teachable.
Marketing: Teachable provides great features like flexible pricing options, coupons, and other features to aid your course marketing efforts. It has better marketing tools and feature than that of Thinkific.
For every course you create, you can choose between free, subscription, one-time purchase and payment plans for your courses.
With subscription option in place, you can create the entire subscription membership site with Teachable.
With the coupon creation section, you can create coupons in bulk or create coupons for your specific courses.
Teachable also comes with a school affiliate program that lets you turn any of your students to affiliates and encourage them to promote your course in turn for a commission. This feature is not available in Podia.
Integrations: Teachable integrates with dozens of third-party services like MailChimp, Vizia, Google Analytics, Segment, Deadline Funnel, ConvertKit, Zapier and also Webhooks.
With Zapier it opens a whole new realm of integrations and possibilities.
Plans: There are three plans namely Basic, Professional, and Business.
The “Basic” plan is great for you if you are just beginning. You also need to note that there’ll be a 5% transaction fee with the basic plan.
They also have a free plan like that of Thinkific that charges you $1 + 10% fee for every course sale.
All these plans come with unlimited courses, quizzes, hosting, bandwidth comments, students, etc similar to that of Podia.
Teachable is the closest competitor to Thinkific. But you need to bear in mind the transaction fee.
And also, when it comes to customer support, with even the Teachable’s beginner plan you won’t get access to live chat support. For getting live chat support you need to be in the professional plan or above.
To know more about Teachable refer my complete Teachable review.
What do we like?
- It has 1-click upsells feature for you to add and sell related courses for increased conversions
- Decent free plan is available with good number of features
- Comes with the ability to embed HTML/CSS scripts inside the lectures
- A flexible webhook management system is available
What we don’t like?
- It charges a 5% transaction fee
- You can’t create surveys with your students and cannot import or export the themes unlike Thinkific
- It doesn’t support multi-month coupons
Bottomline: Teachable is best for those looking to sell courses and memberships. It comes with very advanced features like superior course compliance features and marketing features that ease your marketing efforts.
LearnDash is not a cloud platform for you to host your online courses.
It’s a WordPress plugin, that lets you convert your WordPress site into an online course platform.
You also need to remember that if you are using LearnDash, you need to host your videos on platforms like Vimeo or Wistia for faster load speeds.
Interface: Like any other WordPress plugin, LearnDash registers a custom menu in WordPress upon installing.
Here, you can access your courses, lessons, topics, quizzes, certificates, etc.
Here you can create your new course, similar to how you create a new blog post on WordPress.
When you scroll down the course builder you can add the lessons and modules to your course.
If you have already created the lessons, you can add them here or you can create new lessons and add content inside it.
As you can see, it’s a WordPress plugin and so the interface is fairly basic without all those fancy UI and UX elements. It just helps you accomplish things in a simple way.
Customization: There are basic customization options and also you can customize the colors and layout using custom CSS of your WordPress theme.
If you want much more customization options, you may have to get the Visual Customizer addon for LearnDash.
With this addon there are over 20 color pickers that enable you to tweak the colors of every LearnDash template elements like progress bar, checkboxes, buttons, widgets, and also you can add your own custom CSS.
You can also use any of your favorite WordPress plugins on top of LearnDash to increase the customizability of courses.
Marketing: In LearnDash you can set the price for your courses and also create coupons for effective marketing.
You can also make use of other marketing plugins like Thrive Ultimatum, Deadline Funnels, etc for implementing scarcity marketing on your WordPress site.
Integrations: LearnDash out of the box comes with limited integrations (as it’s a WordPress plugin). However, it comes with dozens of both free and pro addons to extend the core functionality.
There are dozens of free addons to let you integrate LearnDash with EDD, WooCommerce, Stripe, Zapier, and dozens more.
To access the additional options you need to use separate addons because including all the features in one single plugin may be a bad idea in case of WordPress plugin.
There are three LearnDash plans.
If you want to get access to their ProPanel addon and use the plugin on more than one site, you may have to get their plus or pro packages.
However, all the plans come with unlimited courses, lessons, users, and one year of support and updates. There are no lifetime update plans.
Compared to cloud platforms, LearnDash is far more affordable but doesn’t come with speed, UX, and convenience of cloud platforms like Teachable and Podia.
However, for a power user – WordPress plugin is the way to go as it offers unmatched flexibility and options.
Learndash has got excellent documentation and knowledge bae. They also offer support through their ticket system and emails. You don’t have any live chat support.
What do we like?
- It comes with free addons for extending the core functionality
- Compatible with any of the WordPress themes
- Allows you to reward with points for completing courses and unlock new ones.
What we don’t like?
- Lacking in customization options, you need to make use of additional add ons and page builders
- A pretty daunting learning curve
Bottomline: Best LMS platform for WordPress users with a lot of features. It is a great plugin for those who want to create courses and also memberships within WordPress.
Kajabi is one of the most expensive course platforms with excellent marketing options.
Though it is on higher pricing if you are an advanced course marketer and don’t want to worry about technicalities you will find this platform really helpful.
Kajabi’s interface is somewhat complex compared to tools like Teachable or Podia. You will find it hard to find the features you need. To assist you with this, Kajabi comes with “Kajabi Assistant” so that you can search the features easily.
With Kajabi you can customize your product pages with 12 built-in themes. You can design these pages for both desktop and mobile devices. Along with these, you can choose a website theme and customize it to match your brand.
Kajabi offers marketing features like order bumps, coupons, pre-launch offers, upsells, etc.
But the downside is that Kajabi doesn’t offer downsells feature, unlike its competitors.
Kajabi comes with built-in email marketing for you to send the automated email sequences without extra cost. You can send the cart abandonment emails for recovering the lost transactions. You can make use of pipeline blueprints for nurturing your audience that run on autopilot.
Similar to Podia, it supports unlimited hosting so that you can upload videos, files, or photos without restrictions. And, the community management features of Kajabi are much stronger than Teachable.
With Kajabi’s landing pages you can collect the customer’s info and with proper segmentation move them to the next level of your funnels.
Kajabi integrates well with a good number of email marketing platforms, membership sites, payment processors like ConvertKit, Drip, ActiveCampaign, Aweber, PayPal, Stripe, etc. Kajabi even supports Zapier and Webhooks integrations.
Unlike Thinkific, Kajabi is a premium platform with pricing starting at $119/mo but it lacks advanced automations, affiliate programs, and custom branding. This plan is suitable for beginner course creators and you will get only 1 user access.
The growth plan costs $159/mo but it lacks a code editor. If you want access to a code editor you need to go with the highest plan that costs $319/mo.
What do we like?
- Kajabi comes with a blogging platform for you to blog and drive traffic
- Community management and customization options are really good
- Offers advanced automation features to market your courses
What we don’t like?
- Kajabi has restrictions on the number of students and courses you create
- If you want to access its code editor you need to pay $319/mo.
- Costs high
Bottomline: If you are a serious course creator then Kajabi is the best course platform that you can use. Its advanced marketing and automation features help you in improving your business.
LearnWorlds is a great Thinkific alternative that helps you build awesome courses. It has some powerful features like website builder, custom mobile app, certificates, question banks, etc.
LearnWorlds course creation is a breeze. You can find all the elements arranged in the sidebar. The UI is really good and advanced. Within its dashboard, you can easily access the various features within 2-3 clicks.
With LearnWorlds you can customize the appearance of your school. You will find the customization options under “Appearance>Logos and colors”. Here you can upload your logo and customize the colors of the school. You can even add your own custom CSS
LearnWorlds comes with features like upsell, cross-selling, customizable checkout pages, high-converting sales pages, 1-click funnels, course bundling, subscription trials, coupons, etc.
You can create the coupons in bulk and offer the discount as either the fixed price or the percentage-based discount. You can also apply the coupons on product bundles.
It supports unlimited hosting and you are free to use external hosting platforms like Wistia/Vimeo. The downside is that it lacks the bulk editing feature and lack of flexibility in adding multiple content types in the video.
The best thing is unlike its competitors, LearnWorlds allows you to( SEO )optimize your site for getting higher rankings and organic traffic without spending extra. You can optimize the course for the title, keywords, image, etc.
LearnWorlds integrates with Zapier, Zoom, AWeber, ConvertKit, MailChimp, Facebook-Pixel, Google Analytics, etc. It also has API integration. If you don’t find any of your favorite apps to connect with, you can make use of Zapier integration.
It lacks a free plan, unlike Thinkific.
The lowest plan costs $29/mo and is best for newbie course creators. The downside with this plan is you need to pay an extra $5 for every course sale.
The next is the pro trainer plan costs $99/mo. This plan is for professional course creators. With this plan, you can create unlimited courses and landing pages.
The highest plan costs $299/mo. If you choose the annual billing, you can save 20% on each of the plans.
What do we like?
- LearnWorlds allows you to SEO your site
- Its customization options are good and it also allows you to use custom CSS
- Allows you to offer coupons on product bundles also
What we don’t like?
- Free plan not available
- Charges extra $5 on each sale
- Lacks bulk editing feature
- Course builder is not flexible enough
- Lacks site themes unlike Teachery
Bottomline: LearnWorlds is a great platform that comes with good features but it lacks native email marketing integration.
Kartra is an all-in-one platform that is best suited for marketers, course creators, entrepreneurs, and agencies.
Kartra’s interface is very neat and it comes with an intuitive drag and drop builder. The interface looks very modern and UI/UX is good.
All of its features are logically arranged and are accessible within 2-3 clicks. But sometimes, the interface feels to be quite slow.
Customization: Kartra provides 50+ designs, 500+ page templates, multiple layouts, and color palettes. You can customize the logos and the color to match your brand. Also, it comes with block templates for quick pages creation.
Kartra comes with behavioral adaptive marketing, dynamic OTOs, coupons, 1-click transactions, upsells, downsells, and bump offers.
With the BAM feature, you will be able to send product offers based on the customer’s behavior, interest, and the actions they take.
With dynamic OTOs, you can provide different bump offers, upsells, or downsells based on the previous purchase of the users.
Kartra comes with a visual drag and drop builder to send the automated followup sequences.
You have full control over your video. You can reward the customers who stick to the end of the video.
You can even add tags, display timed checkout buttons, send the reminder emails for those left watching a video in the middle, embed share-to-watch buttons, and etc.
Kartra has a good number of integrations with email gateways, SMS gateways, membership platforms, calendar apps like SendGrid, MailGun, OptimizePress 2, S2 Member, Twilio, Wishlist, Kajabi, PayPal, and much more. It even has an API, Zapier, and Webhooks integration.
Kartra pricing starts at $99/mo with the ability to host 50 videos and 50 GB bandwidth. If you want to host unlimited videos and need unlimited bandwidth you need to go with higher plans like silver($199/mo), gold($299/mo), and platinum($499/mo).
Kartra is not only suited for course creators but it is also best for marketers, entrepreneurs, and agencies as it is an all-in-one platform with powerful marketing capabilities,
If you go with annual billing, you can get upto 25% discount on all plans. It also comes with a 30 days money-back guarantee.
What do we like?
- Allows you to offer the products based on the previous behavior of the customers
- With Kartra you can embed the timed checkout and share-to-watch buttons
- It offers multiple members portals and pricing tiers
- Has A/B split testing features
What we don’t like?
- The interface is quite slow
- Costs high
- Not purely a course centric platform
Bottomline: If you are looking for all in one platform to market your courses, products, and services Kartra is the way to go.
Teachery is an affordable course platform that comes with unlimited everything. That is, it supports unlimited courses, emails, lessons, etc. Unlike Teachable or Thinkific, it doesn’t charge any transaction fees.
Teachery’s user interface is very advanced. You can access all of its features in the sidebar and the sub-features from the drop-down.
It comes with a course style editor with powerful customization options. You can change the background color and sub-lesson colors. You can customize the feel and look of the courses to increase brand awareness.
Teachery provides you with full control over your course customization. You can add the custom CSS for optimizing the course body content and also the heading fonts.
You can also add the CSS to customize the visibility of the landing pages.
Marketing: It comes with promo codes, free course options for increased sales. You can create beautiful sales and landing pages to capture the leads. It supports custom domains and subdomains.
It doesn’t offer a hosting facility. you need to make use of Wistia (paid), YouTube (free), Vimeo (free or paid).
To increase the sales you can offer users free courses, provide promo codes, offer various subscription plans, etc. You can pre-sell the courses to know its marketing value.
To send the emails for the students you can integrate Teachery with email marketing tools like MailChimp and ConvertKit.
Teachery allows you to create the landing pages that are highly customizable and brandable. And with Teachery, you can embed slide presentations using SlideShare or Google Slides.
Teachery does not have its own community management system but it integrates with Disqus for commenting and in-course community interaction. If you are free to enable or disable the comments for each of the lessons in the course. If you really want to get good community management, Kajabi is the way to go.
Compared to other Thinkific alternatives on this list, Teachery has a limited number of integrations with 3rd party services and apps. You will find integrations with MailChimp, Zapier, ConvertKit, Stripe, PayPal, etc.
As it provides Zapier integration you can integrate Teachery with any of your favorite tools and services.
It comes with monthly and annual plans. The monthly plan costs $49/mo and the annual plan costs $470/mo. You can try out both these platforms free for 24 days with access to all the features.
If you choose the annual plan you can save 20% over monthly plans.
Teachery doesn’t charge additional transaction fees for the courses you sell.
If you are a serious course creator you can purchase the annual plan to save money over the monthly plan.
With both the plans you will get access to these features:
- Unlimited courses
- Unlimited students
- Unlimited landing/sales pages
- Affiliate program
- Friendly customer support
- Custom domains
- Email provider integrations
- Customer analytics
- Easy to use course editor
- Promo codes and discounts
- Recurring payment pages
- Lesson drip scheduling
- Export customer data
- Custom HTML support
What do we like?
- Comes with the course style editor
- Comes with advanced interface
What we don’t like?
- Lacks community management
- Doesn’t have a hosting facility
- Has fewer integrations
Bottomline: Teachery is an affordable solution that comes with quite a good number of features. But it is not as powerful as other course platforms like Podia or Kajabi.
If you are creating only online courses you can go with Teachable.
However, along with online courses, if you plan to sell digital products and also membership sites you certainly need to go with Podia.
Both the above platforms come with unlimited courses, hosting, and bandwidth. Also, both have Zapier integrations.
You can drip feed the content, conduct quizzes, upsells, and coupons
If you want more customization options, marketing freedom, you may want to go with LearnDash as it works with other popular WordPress plugins beautifully.
But the downside is that you may need to get Vimeo or Wistia subscriptions to host your videos securely.
If you have any doubts regarding the blog post, leave them in comments.