As someone who has been using both of these platforms for over 5 years, I can tell you that they’re both great options.
But it’s the subtle details that really matter in this case!
In this post, I’ll compare Thinkific and Teachable in every aspect to help you decide the best fit for your needs.
Teachable is an online course creation platform designed for content creators who want to create and sell their expertise through courses. Its advanced marketing features help you handle the end-to-end journey, from creation to monetization of your knowledge.
Thinkific is another popular LMS platform that focuses more on the course creation process than marketing automation. It comes with many advanced course creation capabilities like drip content, support for multiple instructors, and more.
So, how do these two platforms stack up against each other? Here’s a quick glance.
I have personally tried these two platforms and these personal opinions are based on my experience as a content creator and marketer.
- AI tools: Use AI to generate curriculums and quizzes.
- Bulk coupon generator: To sell products at discounted rates for increased conversion.
- iOS app: A well-developed app for students who want to learn online. Though Thinkific also offers an app, it’s not as streamlined as Teachable.
- Bulk uploads: With Teachable, you can upload multiple files at once, saving you time and effort.
- Granular drip content: With Teachable, you can drip content chapter-wise. Personally, I love this granularity and control!
- Coding lessons: You can provide live coding lessons by using the coding course template. Many of my programming friends find this tool highly usable in this aspect.
- Teachable payments: A highly convenient and hassle-free option when compared to PayPal and Stripe.
- Affordable: No transaction fees and no limits on courses on all plans. The basic plan starts at $39/month.
- Interactive courses: Supports many formats like exams, quizzes, and assessments.
- Communities: Encourage students to interact with each other and remain engaged.
- TCommerce suite: Includes payment processing, selling, and bookkeeping tools to manage sales.
- Surveys: Provides the option to create surveys and gather rich information and insights from your students.
- Countdown timer: The countdown timer creates a sense of urgency, leading to a possible increase in conversion rate.
- MixPanel: Integrates well with MixPanel for wider analytics and the resulting insights.
You should go with Thinkific if you’re looking for a more affordable solution, specifically designed for academic use cases. Thinkific supports Adobe Captivate, and Storyline, and offers feature-rich assessment functionalities. It is also a good choice when you want to collect surveys and feedback from students to know their experience in your course.
Its advanced quizzing features, especially the randomized question bank features will also be handy to evaluate your students though you will have to integrate with Brillium for this.
On the other hand, if you prioritize marketing features, and need a more refined platform Teachable would be a better choice. Also, you need to note that Teachable allows you to have multiple formats of content in one lesson. In contrast, with Thinkific, each lesson is limited to one content format.
Furthermore, Teachable is more suited for 1:1 coaching and coding lessons. It also works well for affiliate payouts if you ever plan to leverage the power of affiliate marketing. Moreover, its reports are top-notch and detailed for an in-depth idea of what’s happening with your courses. While reporting and affiliate marketing are available in Thinkific too, Teachable’s options are far more intuitive.
Other minor additions are a live chat for support, and automatic EU/VAT tax calculation if you live in Europe.
However, you need to be aware of the limitations like its lack of workflow automation, limited design flexibility, and no community features. Plus, it’s also pricey as there’s a transaction fee of 10% on its free and 5% on its Basic plan respectively.
With this, let’s dive deep into the different aspects of both platforms. But before that, let’s quickly compare the pricing of the two platforms.
Thinkific offers flexible pricing plans to suit your needs, plus the FREE plan.
You can have unlimited courses under each plan. And all of them also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. More importantly, there are no transaction fees.
Teachable’s plan is a lot more complex to understand.
The free plan allows you to create one course, but you will have to pay a transaction fee of 10%. The basic plan is an improvement with a limit of five courses and a 5% transaction fee. To completely avoid the transaction fee, you need to move to the Pro plan, and even here, you are limited to just 50 courses.
If you want to have unlimited courses, digital products, and coaching sessions, go for the Business plan. Note that this has faced a backlash from many users. Many of them even felt they were held to ransom because creators had to upgrade to the highest plan to keep the courses. Earlier, Teachable offered unlimited courses even in beginner plans, but later on changed this feature to the highest plan only. Moving away from Teachable would that they would lose all their data.
When you compare the two, Thinkific provides more value for your money. Its free plan is very feature-rich compared to Teachable. Its community features, live lessons, integration with Brillium, white-labeling feature, etc. make it worth buying.
But if you need custom coding, access to the power editor, and excellent course compliance features, Teachable is also good to go. Though Thinkific’s course compliance is good too, Teachable is better.
Let’s now move beyond pricing to see what functionality each platform offers, so you can better evaluate which of the two is a better value for your money.
There are many similarities between the two platforms when it comes to course creation, and this is also one of the main reasons for their popularity.
On both platforms, you can create and grade quizzes, host unlimited videos, organize your content into different modules, upload bulk content, drip schedule the lessons, student comments for each lesson, and more. However, there are differences too.
With Thinkific, you can add more variety of lessons like Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline.
With Teachable, on the other hand, you can add code examples and custom codes. Furthermore, in Teachable, you can add multiple content types inside each lecture to help students of all capabilities.
On Teachable, you can even cloud content directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
Also, on Teachable, you can offer 1:1 coaching and live classes, along with courses and bundles.
Helps a lot for high ticket upselling!
There are milestones in coaching products that indicate what clients can expect next as they advance through the coaching product. This helps them set realistic expectations and understand the value they get from you as a coach. This option is not available on Thinkific.
Winner: Teachable because it offers more flexibility in course creation and delivery.
Both Thinkific and Teachable support graded and non-graded quizzes. The graded quizzes in Teachable are available only on professional plans and up, whereas Thinkific supports this even in its free plan.
However, Thinkific offers more flexibility in quizzes, as it supports randomized question banks and direct imports of .xslx files. However, this requires integration with Brillium and a subscription to this service.
When it comes to surveys, Thinkific offers it natively while you’ll have to integrate with a third-party platform like SurveySparrow to offer this functionality on Teachable.
Winner: Thinkific by a thin margin, because of its native survey capabilities.
The course compliance features are well-developed on Teachable. With this platform, you can:
- Enforce lecture order: So that students need to go through the lectures sequentially. If they try to access the lectures randomly it shows a content-locked 🔏message.
- Enforce video watching: You can specify the video watch duration (say 70% or 100%) for students to achieve before they proceed to the next lessons.
- Enforce quiz completion: You can set a passing grade for quizzes and also set the number of retakes. If students fail to reach the target within the attempts set, they need to wait until you reset the quiz (you will receive an email alert for the rest).
On the other hand, Thinkific also gives you course compliance features. These include:
- Enforce video completion percentage – Similar to what we discussed in Teachable.
- Graded quiz completion
- Prerequisite lessons
These features help you incorporate accountability mechanisms in your community.
Winner: Teachable again because its course compliance options are more intuitive and are a big plus.
Thinkific and Teachable are not standalone/dedicated membership site platforms. But you can make use of their course bundling feature along with recurring payment options to sell your membership content.
Communities, on the other hand, are a forum for students to connect and interact with each other.
With Teachable, you can bundle products and sell different bundles for a subscription fee, achieving membership functionalities. These course bundles are a great way to incentivize students to buy more courses, leading to more revenue.
But Teachable lacks a built-in community feature but has integrated with Circle.so from the same developers. Also, you can connect only the Teachable school and not individual courses.
With Thinkific’s memberships, you can set the pricing for the whole bundle itself. You can sell it for a one-off payment, a one-time payment, a subscription, or a payment plan.
Thinkific also has a standalone community feature with various features. They are nothing but the channels that help you keep the conversations organized. Only site owners and site admins will be able to create, edit, or delete spaces.
Now, if you’re looking for a dedicated community management app, Circle or Mighty Networks is a good choice.
Winner: Teachable. Though both tools have similar features with bundling, you can create and sell your membership starting at $39/mo with Teachable. But, with Thinkific, you need to spend $99/mo, and if you can’t afford to go with this plan you can’t sell bundles, decreasing the sales.
Teachable’s reports include:
- Lecture progress: Provides course completion report per student while Thinkific offers only at the course level.
- Video heatmaps: With Teachable, you can see which part of the lecture video your student has watched. Not available on Thinkific.
- Leaderboard reports: Teachable displays the student’s data based on their progress. This is not available on Thinkific
- Quiz scores: Teachable offers more insights like average score, maximum and minimum score, total completed, etc. Thinkific’s reports are not as insightful as Teachable’s.
Winner: Teachable, as its reports are far more detailed.
With both platforms, you can offer a free course preview for your students as well as single-use and multi-use coupon codes. In Thinkific, you can even create bulk codes using its API.
Another important part of marketing is the checkout pages. Both Thinkific and Teachable come with a one-step checkout and also support adding checkout buttons with text like Buy Now, Subscribe, Place Order, and Get it for free to entice more customers.
Also, you can upsell and bump orders on both platforms.
In Thinkific, you must set your payment gateways first before setting the pricing for your course.
Moreover, Thinkific gives the flexibility to create a well-designed payment flow, where your customers can be redirected to a Thank You page. Also, you can map multiple flows to a specific price.
A differentiator is that Teachable provides guarantee badges (conversion boosters) to add to the checkout pages. This element is lacking in Thinkific.
Winner: Both platforms are equally poised, though Teachable is marginally better because of the guarantee badges.
Both platforms have a clean and well-designed user interface that makes it easy for course creators to design their pages and upload content. The reports are also highly readable. When it comes to performance, both platforms are fast and work well on mobile browsers.
Winner: Both platforms. Because of the intuitive experience they offer for creators and students.
Teachable comes with only a single theme to design your site, whereas Thinkific has three built-in themes – Vision, Empire, and Vogue, each with 3-to 4 styles. Also, you can import your own theme and customize it using the site builder.
But in Teachable you will get three-course design templates to design your course overview page. These include:
- Teachable Classic
Also, you can customize
- Logo & branding. You can even add a site logo, favicon image, and school thumbnail.
- Fonts. You can add your own custom fonts using code snippets and custom CSS.
- Theme and background color
You can also custom code your theme using the power editor.
On Thinkific, you can customize:
- Site header, and footer
Also, both tools come with a page builder (or site builder) to design your course page/sales pages (course landing page & thank you page)/site pages/any other custom pages.
Moreover, you can set up your custom domain, with both these tools. In Teachable, you can set a custom domain/subdomain on the basic plan and up.
Similar to this, Thinkific’s all paid plans support custom domains; this removes thinkific.com from your site URL and replaces it with your branded domain!
When it comes to white labeling, Teachable doesn’t support this. On the other hand, Thinkific supports this feature on PRO + GROWTH PLAN OR HIGHER. This removes Thinkific’s branding in the site footer, course player, and the text in your automated email notifications.
Winner: Thinkific comes with three pre-made site themes, and it offers more social proof & conversion elements to add to in-your pages for conversions. Also, Thinkific is a completely white-labeled solution. On the other hand, Teachable only has a single theme and has fewer elements to design the pages.
Having affiliates to drive new sales and increase your fan base is very crucial. Both Thinkific and Teachable support affiliate features, and provide comprehensive control and visibility into the performance of your affiliates.
But, both Thinkific and Teachable lack features to automate the affiliate’s tasks, and you may have to turn to third-party integrations for such functionalities.
Winner: Teachable and Thinkific, as they have more or less similar features.
Teachable comes with an iOS app (no Android), whereas Thinkific offers a basic app with limited functionality.
Using the Teachable app, students can:
- Pick up where they left off on another device.
- Stream course videos.
- View lecture text and attachments.
- Take lecture quizzes and view their scores.
- Complete lectures and sync their progress with other devices.
Winner: Teachable, obviously.
Both Teachable and Thinkific have built-in notifications that help you send admin and student notifications.
You can customize these transactional emails.
Teachable comes with a template editor to customize the emails you send. The editor supports HTML/CSS/Liquid. In Thinkific, you can customize the templates using its text editor only.
Both tools also support email automation, though the options in Thinkific are much more extensive than Teachable.
With Teachable, you can send automated notifications to owners and authors in the following events:
- Student Details
- New Student Signup
- New Comment Awaiting Moderation
- New Enrollment
With Thinkific, admins can get notifications when there’s a:
- New sign up
- New order
- New lead
- Subscription cancelation.
On top of that, they also have a wide range of integrations with different tools like email marketing.
Teachable natively integrates with MailChimp and ConvertKit.
Whereas, Thinkific integrates with:
- Constant Contact
Winner: Thinkific. In it, along with student notifications, you can also send email notifications to site owners and site admins to get immediate attention on what’s happening on the site. Also, Thinkific provides native integrations with other email marketing and automation tools increasing flexibility. Teachable has fewer built-in notifications compared to Thinkific. Also, it doesn’t provide native integrations with automation software.
Teachable and Thinkific both allow you to connect with third-party platforms.
Teachable provides native integrations with:
- Facebook Pixel
- Google Analytics
Thinkific, on the other hand, has its app store where you can get access to 80+ apps to scale your business.
Both Thinkific and Teachable support API, webhooks, and Zapier integration.
Winner: Thinkific, with its app store, provides native integrations with over 80+ apps and services. Compared to this, Teachable has very few integrations which is disappointing.
Thus, these are some major aspects I wanted to cover today. Before we head to the final verdict, I’d like to answer some questions that were emailed to me.
You can also reach me through email or social media with your questions and I’ll answer as soon as I can!
Thinkific doesn’t come with any fees. But Teachable comes with 5% transaction fees on the lowest plan and a 10% fee on its free plan. But you need to consider if the extra features I’ve described are worth it.
Yes. Both platforms offer free plans with limited features. Thinkific has a generous free plan with up to 3 courses, unlimited students & hosting. Teachable’s free plan is just limited to only 1 published course with 10 video lectures.
You can export or import the themes along with images in the case of Thinkific. But you can’t do it with Teachable as they have a power editor (advanced theme customizer) as I have discussed.
With both, you can create and send custom course emails.
Both Teachable and Thinkific are the best LMS solutions available today for teachers, individual course creators, and entrepreneurs. The choice depends on what features you specifically need in the LMS platform and the preferences of your students.
Both Teachable and Thinkific are specialist course platforms that offer a range of common features. These include student-level engagement reports, video retention reports, certificates, and more.
However, Thinkific stands out with its additional features, such as support for more content formats, improved assessments and question banks functionality, and a built-in community feature.
On top of this, Teachable has faced criticism recently due to its restrictions on the number of products users can create. Additionally, they charge a 5% transaction fee even on their Basic Plan costing $29/month.
For example, if most of your students use iPhones, Teachable is the obvious choice. On the other hand, if you’re just trying out and want to evaluate, Thinkific is better.