Thinkific has been one of the most popular course platforms out there.

It has recently introduced a lot of new features.

However, with new platforms entering the marketplace, is it really the best?

Or will you be betting on an old-school LMS?

I will help you decide if Thinkific is the right platform for your specific workflows.

The following review on Thinkific is based on real-life use cases from my 3 to 4 years of experience creating online courses.

Let’s dive in!

Is a free plan available?Yes
Starting price$49/mo
Transaction fee0%
FeaturesOnline courses, bundles, and community
CompetitorsTeachable, Podia, and Kajabi

What do I like about Thinkific?

  • No transaction fees: Keep 100% of your earnings and withdraw funds immediately.
  • Free plan with core features: Get started with no upfront investment. Upload up to three courses, have unlimited student enrollment, and host core content such as audio, video, and PDFs.
  • Superior lesson formats: Engage your students with various multimedia options, including audio, PDFs, quizzes, surveys, Google Docs, assessments, and live lessons.
  • Advanced course capabilities: Streamline your course creation with scheduling, drip-feeding content, multiple instructors, course discussion areas, evergreen and expiring content, and more.
  • Course-level engagement analytics: Get insight into your course’s performance with bird’s-eye view engagement, progress reports, overview and retention graphs, metrics for course videos, and integrations with analytics and marketing tools.
  • Inbuilt community support: Unlike other platforms, Thinkific offers inbuilt community features.

What I don’t like about Thinkific?

  • Limited design options: Create unique designs with Thinkific’s limited theme options or by using HTML and CSS.
  • Lacks robust marketing features: Enhance your marketing efforts with a third-party sales funnel creation tool or integrate an email marketing automation service.
  • Limited mobile app: Their mobile app is limited and only available with a white-label branded app at a price of $199 per month.
  • Basic community feature: Their community feature is basic and lacks superior marketing and gamification features. Unlike platforms like Kajabi or Mighty Networks.

Thinkific Review – Upfront bottom line

Thinkific is a great platform for creating specialized courses and is a strong competitor to Teachable.

The Thinkific team has been rolling out new features at an impressive rate, making it one of the best course creation platforms available.

However, Thinkific is not an all-in-one platform and lacks advanced marketing automation abilities, a website builder, and a robust community feature.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more all-in-one solution, you may want to consider Kajabi or even Podia.

Overall, if you want a specialist course creation platform with a decent community feature, Thinkific is an excellent choice.


Thinkific has a good sidebar-centric interface, similar to that of Teachable, where all the options for managing your “learning products” will be present.

Thinkific interface

You can design your site, access marketing features, view analytics, and also have a separate section to support your students.

The terminologies used by Thinkific are familiar and intuitive.

Course creation

When you create a course in Thinkific, you have the option to choose from different templates or start from scratch.

Thinkific course templates

The templates come with some pre-filled information to help you get started.

Thinkific also has an AI outline generator which you can use to create modules and lessons for you.

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However, to use this feature, you’ll need to provide information about the knowledge level of your students, your target audience, what problem your course is trying to solve, and what outcomes you want to provide for your students.

🚧 While the AI outline generator can give you a head start, it’s often better to come up with your own outline based on real-world data you’ve gathered about your target audience.

Course uploading and structuring

When you create a new course, you’ll need to create different sections first, and then add multiple lessons under each section.

There are various types of lessons you can create, such as video lessons, PDF lessons, text, audio, downloads, quizzes, assignments, and more.

Thinkific lessons

What’s interesting is that Thinkific also supports some really unique lesson types, such as:

  • Presentations
  • Live lessons (using Zoom’s video meeting or webinar tools)
  • Surveys
  • Exams

Most of the time, you end up using the video content type.

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You need to upload the video, and you can add some text and any relevant downloads that are related to it (say checklists or worksheets).

It also comes with bulk uploading functionality, wherein you can upload multiple video files, audio files, and PDFs together.

Thinkific bulk uploader

Once the upload is complete, it will automatically create separate lessons for each content file that you upload.

Later, you can edit them to finalize.

There’s a downside here.

👎 Unlike Teachable, Thinkific only allows for one type of content format per lesson. This means you can’t have a video followed by a quiz in the same lesson.

Quizzes and assessments

For student assessments, Thinkific offers various types of assessment lessons such as:

  • Quizzes: Multiple choice questions
  • Surveys: Collect feedback from students in a structured way.
  • Assignments: Allow students to submit work for review and feedback.
  • Exams: Integration with Brillium.

Also, you can set passing grade requirements for the quizzes.

When this is enabled, your students cannot reach 100% completion of your course unless they pass all the quizzes in your course that require a specific passing grade.

Thinkific quiz passing grade

If you feel this is extreme, then you can just enable a quiz lesson as a prerequisite before they move on to the next section.

Course compliance

At the chapter/ section level, you can lock certain sections to be dripped only after a certain number of days since the student has enrolled in the course.

Thinkific drip

This is especially helpful in courses like 30-day or 90-day transformation challenges where students are supposed to watch one section every day instead of binge-watching all at once.

At the lesson level, you can make any lesson a prerequisite before unlocking the next chapters in the curriculum.

Prerequisite lesson

This feature is useful in academic and marketing contexts. For example, you can require students to watch a video where you upsell your next training course! 😉 

Or, pass a quiz before moving on.

Apart from this, Thinkific also supports:

  • Randomized Question Bank.
  • Importing quiz questions from an XLSX sheet.


When it comes to certification, there are 7+ different templates from which you can choose.

Thinkific certification templates

Once you have selected a template, you can edit the default content, as well as the design, including the text colors, background image, and your brand logo

Certification design features

After creating a certificate, you can assign it to a specific course by going to the course settings and selecting the certificate under “Course Progress and Completion Settings”.

You can set a certificate’s expiration date to motivate students to complete the course.

Assign a certificate to the course and set the expiration

Depending on your use case, you can set it a few days from enrollment or on a specific date.

For example, if your course lasts 30 days, setting the certificate to expire in 90 days can encourage students to complete it, thus increasing your course completion rate.

These certificates will be delivered to students once they complete the course, right on the player page.

Students can avail certificate once the course is complete

Additionally, under the “My Account” section, they can view their certificates at any time in the future, even if their course access has expired.

Student experience (frontend)

When students first load the course player, they can access the course curriculum on the left sidebar and the middle will display a large video player.

The discussion, download, and full-screen buttons will be located at the top right corner of the player.

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However, Thinkific’s discussion feature isn’t as intuitive as other platforms. For example, with Teachable, students can leave comments by scrolling down on the lesson page.

But in Thinkific, you need to click the discussion button to toggle the discussion sidebar, which requires an additional click to interact with the discussion.

Unlike other platforms, Thinkific doesn’t come with various templates or themes for the course player page.

Instead, it comes with some basic course player appearance settings.

Here you can simply select the light or dark theme, change the primary color and font to make the course player reflect your brand’s color and identity.

Student engagement reports

Thinkific has a new analytics feature that allows you to monitor revenue, orders, and enrollments across your entire school.

Plus, there’s a student engagement section where you can keep tabs on course engagement, performance, quiz engagement, and video engagement.

Course-level engagement analytics

This gives you a bird’s-eye view of engagement across your school.

Also, you can monitor the progress report of each of your students under the “Progress” section.

Thinkific student progress

Sometimes, instead of displaying a per-student course engagement report, it makes sense to display the overall course engagement of certain students who have enrolled in a specific cohort.

For this, you can make use of Thinkific’s Groups functionality.

Thinkific groups

This feature allows you to easily organize students by cohort and assign specific students to groups for reporting and filtering purposes.

If you’re interested in per-video level analytics, you have overview and also retention graphs for every video.

Thinkific Video retention graphs

You can get metrics for your course videos, such as the following:

  • Average engagement: on average, how much the students have viewed the video.
  • Total plays: the total number of times a video has been played.
  • Play rate: the number of students who press play on the video after it has been loaded.
  • Last watched and other crucial metrics

For site Analytics, you can also integrate Thinkfic with analytics tools such as Mixpanel, and Google Analytics.

Further, You can also integrate marketing pixels such as Google Tag Manager and Facebook pixel.


When you create a new community in Thinkific, you have the option to either sell it as a standalone product with its own checkout page or use it to provide access to students who are enrolled in a particular course or group.

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The access setting will allow you to select what groups can access your community and how. From this section, you can choose from the following access levels:

  • Students that purchase this community
  • All students who are logged into your site
  • Students in selected courses or bundles
  • Students in selected groups

Now, once the students are granted access to specific communities, they will be able to log in and interact with other members.

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However, the Thinkific community dashboard is pretty basic and doesn’t feel quite modern.

It has a sidebar where you can see the members, upcoming events, and a specific section called “Spaces” where you can dive into different discussion topics of your interest.

When you create a new space or discussion area for your community, you have the option to associate it with a specific course. This allows your students to see a card inviting them to join and interact with the community while they’re consuming the course in the course player.

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In other words, by linking spaces to specific courses, people can easily find and engage with the community space associated with the course they’re taking.

Apart from these basic features, Thinkific’s community feature is not feature-rich. It doesn’t come with community automation features and also gamification features, like other popular community platforms.

And here’s the thing 👇

For your students to access your courses and community on mobile, you need to get their branded app fubctionality. However, it comes at a steep price of $199 per month.

Design and customization

Thinkific offers 3 website themes that can be easily customized using their drag and drop page builder.

Theme library

When you choose a theme in Thinkific, it applies across all your pages, including the homepage, course pages, community pages, and any custom pages you create.

Thinkific pages

To edit a page, you can use Thinkific’s page builder.

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There are around 20 different sections, including testimonials, FAQs, pricing details, upsells, reviews, lead capture and more.

👎 While the Thinkific page builder is more limited than other funnel-building software like Kajabi or ClickFunnels, it’s still better than Teachable’s, which doesn’t offer a visual page builder.

Sales and marketing

Payment processors

Thinkific supports PayPal and Stripe as its default payment processors. However, it has recently introduced Thinkific Payments, which is now available in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Some of its features are:

  • The payment feature includes buy now, pay later, digital wallets, and bank redirects.
  • It unlocks the ability to use the “Order Bumps” feature on the checkout page as a profit maximizer.
  • It enables compliance and reduces administrative burden.

However, for people in other countries, you still need to integrate with PayPal or Stripe.

Once you’ve set up your payment gateways, you can set pricing for your course.

Thinkific has also implemented a well-designed after-purchase flow configuration, allowing you to create many flows that are mapped to specific prices for your confidential product.

After purchase flow

You can direct customers to a custom URL or a thank-you page that contains additional products as upsell, based on the price at which they buy the product.

Checkout page

Traditionally, Thinkific follows a two-step checkout process. First, users need to provide their details, and then, in the next step, they need to provide payment information and complete the checkout.

However, with the introduction of Thinkific Payments (Tcommerce), you can enhance this checkout experience and access a one-step checkout.

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With this in addition to having multiple payment methods, you also get additional features such as the ability to sell order bumps and enable social login on your checkout page, thus improving conversions significantly.

Bundles and coupons

Thinkific allows you to bundle related products together and sell them at a discount. For this you just need to create a new bundle and add different products that will be part of the bundle.

Thinkific bundle

You can offer different pricing and a unique post-purchase workflow for the bundles you create.

Although a bundle can contain multiple products, it is considered an individual product when it coems to availability of all settings.

Affiliates and revenue partners

Thinkific affiliates and revenue partners

When it comes to effectively promoting courses in collaboration with others, Thinkific provides two key features:

  1. Affiliate program
  2. Revenue partners

With the affiliate program that allows you to bring in affiliates for your training courses.

Thinkific affiliates

These affiliates are able to promote your courses using their unique referral links and earn commissions.

What’s great is that you have the flexibility to customize commission rates not only for affiliates but also for different products and even specific affiliates.

You’ll also have access to detailed affiliate reports and analytics.

These tools help you track affiliate performance, giving you insights into metrics like the number of clicks, conversions, and the commissions they’ve earned.

Thinkific also has revenue partners feature that enables you to collaborate with other course creators for launching a course together and sharing the profits.

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What’s impressive is that Thinkific takes care of the revenue-sharing calculations and payouts within these partnerships. This streamlines the process of managing and monitoring your collaborations without any hassle.

This feature is unique to Thinkific and is not available on, say Teachable.

Sales widgets (Embeds)

Thinkific’s page design functionality is quite limited.

There’s a chance that you’re hosting your website on an external platform like WordPress or Squarespace.

In those cases, in order to use Thinkific’s checkout, Thinkific offers sales widgets that allow you to embed “buy now” widgets on your site.

Thinkific sales widget

You just need to select the product and customize the colors. Then, generate the code snippet and embed it in the head section of your blog or website.

Thinkific apps and integrations

Thinkific has a dedicated app store where we can discover all the apps that Thinkific integrates with across different categories like email marketing, business operations, engagement, selling, site design, so on.


Thinkific has direct integration with popular email marketing providers. These are MailChimp, ConvertKit, Active Campaign, Drip, and Aweber.

However, if you are using email marketing software that Thinkific does not integrate with, you need to use Zapier or other integration solutions.


It has apps in different categories including site design.

For instance, there’s the “Sections Kit” app developed by Rob.

It enables you to add 80 new page sections to the limited site builder that Thinkific comes with.

Mobile app

Thinkific has a feature-rich, white-label, branded mobile app that can be purchased as an add-on for $199 per month, along with the Start or Grow plan.

Thinkific mobile

It comes with various features, including the ability to send notifications, automatically send drip lessons and release notifications, and send community activity-related notifications.

However, not all lesson types are supported in their app.

For example, quizzes, surveys, assignments, presentations, and even live videos are not supported. When it comes to community, members can’t access the directory to connect with other members in DMs and attend community events live on mobile!

Also, unlike other apps like Kajabi, in-app purchases are not supported by the Thinkific app, limiting your ability to convert students to buy more products from you.

Considering the price of $199 per month, there are some severe limitations that come with the Thinkific app.


Thinkific offers three tiers of plans at different prices, in addition to the free plan, which is as follows.

Thinkific Pricing 2

It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t want to continue using it within the first 30 days of the purchase.

Most people end up choosing the Start or Group plan, but if they need additional features such as assignments, membership plans, advanced course-building options, removal of Thinkific branding, or bulk enrollment, they may want to consider other plans.

However, unlike Teachable, Thinkific does not come with a limit on the number of courses that you can create with their paid plans.

📱 You also get a branded “Mobile app” as an add-on for $199/month on the Start and Grow plans.


If you are looking for a solid and reliable alternative to Teachable, Thinkific would be the right choice.

Unlike Teachable, Thinkific doesn’t have weird limits on the number of courses you can create and also comes with excellent customer support.

Additionally, Thinkific has recently added a lot of advanced analytics functionality, helping you to view video-level student retention reports and much more to match up with Teachable.

Almost a year ago, I picked Teachable as the winner for its specialist features.

But now, Thinkific comes with almost all the features that you would ever want in an online course platform.

However, still, unlike all-in-one platforms like Kajabi, it lacks marketing automation and advanced website-building functionality. Also, it doesn’t have a feature-rich community feature, and its mobile app is pretty limited in features as of now.

Hope you got enough insgihts from this review on Thinkific.