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 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.
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.
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.
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.