Thinkific is a popular platform for course creation.

However, as of 2024, it may seem outdated and lacks some features.

Also

It’s not an all-in-one platform and misses certain features like the ability to create feature-rich communities.

Additionally, their mobile apps leave a lot to be desired.

As an experienced instructional designer who has used various course creation platforms over the past 3 to 4 years, I’ll review some of the best alternatives to Thinkific in this blog post.

Let’s review some of these platforms:

Product NameAll-in-One PlatformCommunity SupportMobile AppsPricing
PodiaYesLimitedNoFree plan: 8% fee; Paid plans: from $39/month
KajabiYesYesYesFrom $149/month
CircleNoYesNoFrom $39/month
TeachableYesLimitedYesFree plan: 5% transaction fee; Paid plans: from $29/month
Mighty NetworksYesYesYesFrom $23/month

Podia – All-in-one affordable alternative

Podia markets itself as an all-in-one platform for selling online courses, communities, webinars, coachings, and digital downloads.

This means, unlike Thinkific and Teachable, Podia is not exclusively focused on online course creation.

  • Courses: Podia has essential features such as unlimited video hosting, drip feed, and quizzes, but lacks student-level engagement analytics and video heat maps.
  • Digital products: Podia allows the creation and embedding of digital products on your website.
  • Coaching: Podia supports multiple coaching sessions and calendar embedding for easy booking.
  • Webinar integration: Podia integrates with Zoom and YouTube Live.
  • Email marketing: Podia offers email marketing capabilities.
  • Website chat: Podia features an embeddable chat widget for your website.
  • Affiliate marketing: Podia supports basic affiliate marketing with adjustable commission rates.

The free plan comes with an 8% fee.

The only real plan here is the Mover plan, which now comes with a 5% transaction fee. Also, if you want to waive off this transaction fee, you end up going with the Shaker plan. It costs $59 per month for the first year and then increases to $75 per month from the second year onwards.

👍 Pros

  • All-in-one platform
  • User-friendly interface with attention to detail
  • Unlimited courses and products with unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Ability to sell digital products
  • Supports embeddable checkouts and upsells on external websites
  • Includes a built-in email marketing tool that supports broadcasts and campaigns

👎 Cons

  • Doesn’t have a mobile app
  • Limited depth of features
  • Free plan comes with an 8% fee
  • Additional features like webinars and affiliate program require a higher-priced plan

Their lack of mobile app is a real big downside.

🏆 Bottomline: Podia is a good all-in-one alternative to Thinkific. It offers a broad range of features, including courses, coaching, communities, and digital product selling. However, the features lack depth and it doesn’t have a mobile app! If you value simplicity and prioritize “getting things done” over obsessing about extra specialist features, then Podia may be the right choice for you.

Kajabi – The best all-in-one alternative

Kajabi homescreen 2

Kajabi is one of the most premium, all-in-one digital selling platforms.

Here are some standout features of Kajabi:

  • Sales funnel option
  • Marketing automation
  • Feature rich website builder
  • Kajabi Events (inbuilt webinars)
  • Email marketing
  • Community feature (with gamification options)

As an all-in-one platform, all its features integrate with each other, leading to new emergent possibilities.

Kajabi automation rule 2
Kajabi automation to glue all their features

For instance, as you can see in the above screenshot, whenever a lesson is completed, an email can be triggered that might reward the student, or perhaps register them for an event.

The possibilities are endless.

Added on top:

Kajabi offers great community features (it’s the best in this list).

It recently acquired Vibely, an online community platform that allows you to create highly engaging gamified communities. This includes features such as live rooms (meetups), challenges, accomplishments, badges, points, and more.

Also it has both iOS and Android apps, which support push notifications and in-app purchases (wow!). This is a big advantage as it helps with community engagement and profit maximization.

Unlike Thinkific, Teachable, and Podia, Kajabi does not offer a free plan. Their basic plan starts at $149 per month and only supports the creation of up to three products and funnels.

kajabi pricing

For most people, they end up choosing the Growth plan at $199 per month, which allows you to create up to 15 products and funnels.

This would be enough for most people.

👍 Pros

  • All-in-one platform with good depth to features
  • Automation engine to glue all their features together
  • Feature-rich community feature with gamification engine on top
  • Feature-rich mobile and iOS apps

👎 Cons

  • Premium pricing
  • Their Basic plan even at $149/month has to create only 3 products

🏆 Bottomline: If you’re seeking an advanced, all-in-one platform and willing to pay more, Kajabi is worthwhile. Despite its cost, its extensive features can save money on email marketing software, landing page builders, and community platforms.

Circle – Community-centric alternative

Circle is one of the newest community-centric course platforms out there.

It was launched in 2019 by Sid Yadav, who is Teachable’s first designer, and later backed by Ankur Nagpal (invested 90% of his liquid net-worth), the founder of Teachable.

The major standout with Circle is their intuitive UI and UX. Their product development is informed by the success of cutting-edge startups like Slack and Notion.

Similar to Notion, their vision is to provide basic building blocks to design your online community as you wish.

As of now, their main focus is on communities and courses.

They are focusing more on courses, mobile apps, built-in live streaming, and automation workflows where you can automate tasks and perform bulk actions within your community. It’s like they are building a whole automation engine on top. It’s like having Zapier for your community, which is pretty good.

Additionally, they are implementing “Community AI”, which helps a lot when it comes to community management and gamification.

circle updated pricing

The basic plan, at $49 per month, allows you to host up only upto 100 members in your community and also includes a 4% transaction fee. Even their professional plan includes a 2% transaction fee, which is somewhat hidden down in their pricing plan.

If you want courses and live streaming features with the ability to host unlimited members, they opt for the $99 per month plan.

Additionally, if you want access to automation workflows, customizable fields, and API access, you need to choose the Business Plan at $199 per month.

I often wish they have automation workflows functionality in their Professional Plan at $99.00 per month!

👍 Pros

  • Intuitive UI and UX which is not cluttered
  • Commendable speed of implementation of features
  • Automation workflows enabling you to automate workflows and perform bulk actions (think of Zapier)
  • Community AI features

👎 Cons

  • Premium pricing
  • Lacks of website building and email marketing features

🏆 Bottomline: If you are looking for a community centric platform with really good flexibility when it comes to customization and design, then you need to go with Circle. It is backed by the former team of Teachable and they know what they are doing.

Teachable – Closest alternative (with mobile app)

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Teachable is the most popular LMS platforms out there.

It’s a specialist in course creation, offering all the essential features such as courses, quizzes, assessments, and in-depth analytics and reports on course progress.

In addition to courses, Teachable also supports coachings, course bundles, and digital downloads.

Also, more recently, they introduced communities feature that enables you to create a community with different discussion areas to facilitate community interaction, but it still lacks a lot of features.

Teachable plans and pricing

With Teachable, you need to go with their Pro plan at $159 per month, if you want to publish more than 5 courses, which is a really big limitation.

Previously, Teachable allowed users to publish an unlimited number of products on their basic plan. However, they recently changed their terms, resulting in backlash from users who felt like they were being held ransom.

🏆 Bottomline: Teachable has lost a lot of its charm ever since it was acquired by Hotmart and founders shifted their focus to Circle. Today I won’t recommend Teachable instead you can consider other alternatives that I have mentioned in this blog post.

Mighty Networks

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Mighty Networks (read review) is an online community platform that also comes with feature-rich course builder.

Its communities have features like:

  • Private spaces: You can create spaces that are public, private, or secret.
  • Chat features: Enables private messages, group chats, and direct messages.
  • Real-time interaction: Similar to Whatsapp, members can see who is online and connect with them in real-time.
  • Live streaming: You can create live meetups, QAs, paid events, and masterclasses inside of the spaces.

It is a community first platform.

But it has a decent course builder that supports both online courses and cohort courses. Also, it supports drip scheduling of the content.

The best part about Mighty Networks is its mobile app. It’s feature -rich and actually enables users to engage in it more often. You can refer to these case studies and see how brands are leveraging their apps to improve their conversions.

mighty networks pricing

Mighty Network’s Community plan costs $39 per month. To access courses, you need to go with its Business plan at $119 per month. See all the plan details here.

🏆 Bottomline: If your main focus is on creating course-specific communities and advanced LMS features may not matter much to you, Mighty Networks would be the go to choice. But do note that their UI/UX leaves a lot of be improved.

FreshLearn

Freshlearn

FreshLearn is an all-in-one platform that caters to course creators, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

With FreshLearn, you can create on-demand or cohort courses.

You have the flexibility to add videos, documents, text, images, quizzes, and graded assessments. it also has advanced features like negative scoring and randomizing questions.

Inspite of the fact that FreshLearn does not have communities, for courses it offers gamification features such as points, rewards, quizzes, and challenges.

Plus, there’s the option for course completion certificates and drip scheduling.

When it comes to marketing, FreshLearn offers tools to increase sales, including coupons and affiliates.

It has tight integrations with Stripe, PayPal, and Razorpay (Indian gateway) to ensure smooth transactions.

Its premium pricing starts at $29 per month, with the highest plan costing $59 per month.

🏆 Bottomline: FreshLearn is a versatile platform that offers a range of features without a steep price. If you’re looking for an affordable course creation platform, it’s worth considering.

LearnWorlds – For academic trainers

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LearnWorlds (read complete review) is a great LMS tool suited for academic-centric courses.

This is the only tool on this list that is SCORM-compliant.

To engage learners, it has features like interactive videos, ebooks, 1:1 & group sessions, assessments, certificates, surveys, and much more.

You can sell courses, memberships, and bundles.

For marketing, it has upsells, cross-sales, high-converting sales pages, 1-click funnels, and customizable checkout experiences. It has a dedicated site builder (with Funnels feature) that’s pretty robust that allows you to completely customize your academy. There are more than 50 industry-specific site templates available in various niches!

For users who focus on mobile devices, it is possible to create custom branded mobile apps for your school. They support in-app purchases and push notifications, and require no coding. Additionally, they are fully white-labeled.

And pricing:

learnworlds pricing

If you want to access their unique features such as interactive videos, auto transcripts, advanced assessments, and even SCORMS and HTML5, you need to subscribe to their Learning Center plan, which costs $299 per month.

🏆 Bottomline:LearnWorlds is best suited for academic-centric courses. Although LearnWorlds offers many features, but some users may find them overwhelming and difficult to navigate. Additionally, the user experience may not be as smooth as other platforms.

LearnDash – Best WordPress LMS

LearnDash2x 2

LearnDash is a popular and highly versatile LMS for WordPress.

It is designed for those who already use WordPress and have some technical knowledge, as it involves a learning curve and requires some tech and WordPress experience.

It also has extensive addons and integrations with other WordPress plugins, which makes it highly customizable.

For instance, users can integrate with other WordPress plugins like WooCommerce for payment processing, Elementor for customization options, and Gamipress for engagement features.

LearnDash is a cost-effective and flexible solution if you’re into online courses. Its pricing starts at $199/year for 1 site license, and its technical support is good. It also has highly active Facebook group to answer user queries.

🏆 Bottomline:LearnDash is ideal for technically adept WordPress users due to its versatility and customizability for developing online courses. However, it may not suit those needing email marketing, automation, or digital product sales features.

Teachery

teachery logo
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Teachery is an affordable and user-friendly course creation platform that can be compared to Thinkific. It offers two design templates for creating courses: minimal (for basic courses) and sidebar (for long content courses) templates.

The platform does not have built-in hosting, so users have to use Vimeo or Wistia to host their files and add content using embed codes. However, Teachery stands out from other LMS tools as it supports drip scheduling for both lessons and sub-lessons.

It also provides marketing features such as coupons, discounts, upsells, checkouts, email marketing, and affiliates. For a detailed exploration of all the features, refer to my Teachery review post.

Teachery offers both monthly and yearly plans, costing $49/month and $470/year, respectively. Which is quite high considering that it doesn’t come with video hosting feature.

TalentLMS

TalentLMS

TalentLMS is an LMS platform that allows you to deliver effective training materials, courses, and resources to employees. It is best suited for the corporate sector.

  • It supports SCORM, xAPI, and cmi5 content types.
  • It has a built-in assessment builder that allows you to create a variety of quizzes; multiple-choice, drag-and-drop matching, ordering, fill-in-the-blank, and open-ended questions.
  • For gamification, it has badges, points, levels, rewards, and leaderboards.
  • Built-in course completion certificates are available.

Similar to LearnWorlds, it is a more affordable (Starter – $69/month) course platform for academic use cases.

Udemy

Udemy

Udemy is an online course marketplace helpful for both students and teachers. Unlike Thinkific, it is not a self-hosted platform. You don’t have any ownership or control over your course business.

It has over 65,000 instructors on the platform, and courses are available in any niche you name; arts, fashion, market, music, lifestyle, photography, IT, coding, etc.

As a course creator, you can use its marketplace insights to “do supply-demand analysis” and choose the niche to stand out from the crowd.

Conclusion

When it comes to Thinkific alternatives, I would advise you to avoid Teachable due to their recent ownership and controversial pricing changes, as well as their future roadmap.

Instead, you may want to consider all-in-one platforms like Kajabi or Podia. If Kajabi’s $199 per month price tag is too steep, Podia is another all-in-one platform option.

However, please note that Podia does not offer any apps for mobile or iOS, which could be a deal-breaker. Furthermore, they lack feature-rich community support, but this may still be sufficient for most people.