Learnworlds and Thinkific are both platforms that allow you to easily create and sell your online courses. But is one better than the other?
Learnworlds vs. Thinkific, which is better? Thinkific is excellent if you’re looking to sell your first online course and don’t need a lot of advanced features. It offers the basics you’ll need at an affordable price point. Learnworlds is better suited to larger businesses who are looking to create an online school.
In this article, I’ll compare what both Learnworlds and Thinkific have to offer. By the end of it, you should have a good idea of which one is right for you.
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Thinkific claims to be the #1 platform for online courses. It includes an easy-to-use drag and drop course builder, as well as the ability to build out your entire website.
It allows for advanced pricing, and you can even create discussion forums for your courses.
Learnworlds really excels at helping you to create engaging video content right on the platform, without any complicated post-production or editing required.
It also offers some of the best features in terms of testing and assignments, and has a strong focus on online courses.
Learnworlds and Thinkific both have multiple tiers of plans available. Some may have restrictions that will limit how you operate your online course business, so it’s important to evaluate them and pick the right one.
Learnworlds has a Starter plan that costs $24 per month. The Starter plan will allow you to create an unlimited number of paid courses, along with the ability to create a built-in community.
The big limitation on this plan is that the page builder will only allow you to create three different pages: A home page, a course catalog, and an after login page.
You’ll also be charged a flat $5 transaction fee on each course sale that you make.
The Starter plan provides you with the ability to take payments through Stripe, 2Checkout, Paypal, and Shopify. And you get access to basic integrations, which includes a list of about a dozen third-party apps.
The next plan up is the Pro Trainer plan, which costs $79 per month. From this plan onward, you no longer pay any transaction fees when you sell a course.
You’re able to create an unlimited number of courses, including paid courses. And you get access to the complete website builder with blog.
The Pro Trainer plan also allows you more payment flexibility, including the ability to charge for subscriptions and memberships, and allow your students to pay in installments.
You can also have up to 5 admins or instructors.
The $249 Learning Center plan includes everything of the Pro Trainer plan. But you can have up to 20 admins or instructors. You can also do bulk student uploads, and you get access to full white-label options.
There are also some technical extras such as integrations with API and webhooks integrations.
Thinkific’s pricing model is a bit more complicated than most, so bear with me.
First of all, it’s one of the few online course platforms that offers a free plan. This can be a great way to test out some of the platform’s core features without paying.
Although understandably, this plan is more restrictive.
The Free plan will let you host up to 3 courses. That includes all of the video, audio, and PDF content that you want.
You can have an unlimited number of students. Best of all, even Thinkific’s free plan has no transaction fees.
The Basic plan costs $39 per month and includes all the basic tools and features that you’ll need to create your first online course.
You can have an unlimited number of courses and students. Course content can be dripped or scheduled out.
At this level you get a custom domain and you can take advantage of email integrations with platforms like Aweber, ConvertKit, and Constant Content. Plus you can use Zapier triggers to integrate with hundreds of other apps.
In terms of marketing, you get access to create coupons and use affiliates with the basic tier. You can also email your users, but only one at a time. Bulk emailing requires an additional package.
Thinkific’s most popular plan is their $79 per month Pro plan. This offers a full suite of tools for more experienced course creators to grow their successful online business.
In addition to all of the basic features, the Pro plan lets you have 2 site admins and 5 course authors.
At this level you can offer memberships and bundles. Plus you’re able to offer more advanced course pricing options. These include one-time, payment plans, subscriptions, and more.
The Pro plan also gives you access to create assignments, certificates, and communities.
Lastly, there’s the $399 per month Premier plan if you’re really looking to create an online course empire. This tier is for delivering an online education at scale.
In addition to any of these plans, you may need to add on the additional Growth package, depending on what you need to run your business.
Thinkific’s Growth package is free for your first 100 students, and $0.10 per student after that, up to a maximum of $499 per month.
The Growth package is necessary if you want to remove Thinkific branding, have more than one community, integrate with specific tools such as Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign, import students easily from other platforms, send bulk emails, use Brillium exams, and more.
Neither Learnworlds nor Thinkific puts limits on parts of your online course business where it matters.
On either platform, you’re able to host an unlimited number of courses and have an unlimited number of students for one flat rate.
As far as I can tell, neither platform puts a limit on how much video or other files you can host either. Both in terms of overall storage, and also bandwidth usage.
Some other online course platforms may limit how many active students or total contacts you can have. Or how many products you’re allowed to offer. Or even how much bandwidth you can use per month.
So it’s refreshing that neither of these two platforms puts any of these limits in place.
That lets you to grow your business without having to worry if you’re going to hit some artificial cap and incur extra fees, or need to move up to the next plan.
Both Learnworlds and Thinkific offer course builders that make it quick and easy to put together the online course of your dreams.
There’s a reason that Thinkific is so popular. It’s easy to use, it’s effective, and it just works!
In terms of making your online course, Thinkific makes it easier than almost any other platform.
Just upload your course content. Then you can easily drag and drop it to create exactly the curriculum that you’re looking for.
It’s simplistic enough that you can use it right away without any training or knowledge of coding, but it’s powerful enough to create custom solutions for practically any online course.
If you do want full access, you can use HTML and CSS coding to really develop your pages to the fullest.
Thinkific supports all kinds of rich multimedia content in your courses. You can use videos and text to instruct.
Any additional files can be included as downloads. And you can use surveys, quizzes, and discussions to really engage your students.
You can really customize how your course runs. You can make certain lessons prerequisites for others. Or you can drip schedule content, if you don’t want people to binge all of your lessons in one sitting.
You can offer membership sites where you add more material over time. And you can combine both evergreen and expiring content to keep your students coming back for more.
Like Thinkific, Learnworlds also offers a course builder that is simple, yet powerful and flexible.
You can pick exactly how your users navigate through your course.
Will you allow them to navigate through your material freely and skip ahead, or do you want them to work through it sequentially? Or do you want to drip feed new content out on a schedule?
It’s up to you, and you can set your own restrictions so that users interact with your course how you want them to.
The biggest emphasis of Learnworld’s course builder is how it handles video. You can use the video tools available to really capture your student’s attention, and boost their engagement.
Learnworlds lets you automatically extract an interactive video transcript with just the click of a button.
Having a transcript can help increase accessibility, audience understanding, and generally make your material more easy to navigate.
You can also add extras to your video like hotspots, questions, titles, overlay images, links, and lots more. This makes your videos even more interactive. Plus it saves you a lot of time in terms of editing and post-production.
Just upload your raw videos straight to the platform, and you can handle the rest using all of their built-in tools.
If you’re running an online course, then chances are that you’ll want some kind of testing in place.
You may want to test students just to make sure they’re actually picking up what you’re teaching. Or maybe because you want to offer a certificate at the end.
Thinkific allows you to make use of ungraded quizzes and surveys even on their free plan. On higher plans, you unlock the ability to create assignments and also hand out certificates upon course completion.
For more advanced testing, you’ll also need to pay for the Growth package. This gives you Brillium exams integration, and lets you build more customized exams featuring attempt caps, time limits, and other features.
Learnworlds offers more built-in testing features without the need for integration. You can offer a wide variety of both informal and formal quizzes that can either be graded or ungraded.
You can also use either open or closed type questionnaires. You can create a question bank with a huge pool of questions, and then connect it to multiple tests or courses for secure and randomized testing.
Learnworlds also allows you to give assignments to test for critical thinking. And upon completion, you can offer learners branded digital certificates that can be personalized and customized.
Marketing isn’t the strong suit of either Learnworlds or Thinkific. So in either case, you will likely need extra tools in terms of managing email lists, creating sales funnels, and more.
Both platforms give you the option to build your own team of sales affiliates, which lets others help generate leads and sales for you in exchange for a commission.
You can also offer coupons, upsells, and other promotions on either platform.
Both offer the ability to make basic landing pages and lead magnets, but lack the options necessary to create full sales funnels.
While paying extra for Thinkific’s Growth package will allow you to send bulk emails to multiple students at once, you’re still probably better off going with a third-party app like MailChimp or Aweber to take advantage of their extra features.
Thinkific provides good community features that are useful for tracking the progress of your students and keeping them motivated.
You can send automated yet personalized check-ins and reminder emails to encourage them.
Some students may appreciate getting a virtual high five when they hit a certain milestone in the course.
You can also create communities and discussion forums through Thinkific. Your first community is included in the Pro plan.
But if you need multiple communities for your different courses, you’ll need the Growth package to do that.
Learnworlds takes the community aspect to the next level by offering a built-in social network. Complete with public profiles for all of your learners.
It allows you to build a real community that allows your students to share tips and ideas, discuss and troubleshoot any issues they’re having, and share their experiences with each other as a community.
Plus, of course, interacting with you as the instructor directly.
This adds a whole other level of value and depth to your online courses. They aren’t just getting your lessons and resources.
But they’re also getting a chance to network and connect with others in a similar situation and expand their professional network.
In my opinion, both Learnworlds and Thinkific fall a bit short of being “all in one” course platforms.
So there’s a good chance that you’ll need to connect them with some other third-party apps to keep your business running smoothly and operating at its full potential.
Both platforms seem to put barriers as to which plans allow you to use which integrations. It comes off seeming quite arbitrary and restrictive, and I wish they just made them all available on lower plans.
On Learnworlds, you unlock access to basic integrations with the Starter plan.
This includes Google Analytics, Google Analytics Verification, Google Tag Manager, SumoMe, ZenDesk, Olark, Tawk to, Freshdesk Chat, Mailchimp, Fomo, and Facebook Pixel.
When you upgrade to the Pro Trainer plan, you get access to other premium integrations like Zapier, Referral Candy, Refersion, Hubspot, Intercom, and Mixpanel.
If you pay for the Learning Center plan, you get full ability to use API and webhook integrations as well.
Thinkific is a bit more limited in terms of integrations.
On the Basic plan, you can integrate with email applications Aweber, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp. You can also use Zapier triggers to send your Thinkific data to other tools.
While you can technically use Zapier to integrate with over 1,000 other external marketing and business apps, it would be nice to not have to rely on it.
More advanced integrations including Infusionsoft and ActiveCamapign, plus API and webhook integration, requires paying for the Growth package.
Both Thinkific and Learnworlds are great online course platforms. Going with either one will set you up for success in your business, and provide you with all of the core features that you might need.
Neither platform will limit you in terms of how many students or courses you can have. And you don’t need to worry about file storage or bandwidth.
Although both platforms are a bit lacking in terms of marketing, and you may need third-party applications to supplement that.
If you’re just starting out and looking to sell your first course, Thinkific’s $39 per month Basic plan could be a great option for you.
If you just want to sell courses and don’t need advanced testing or membership options, it’s an affordable way to get started.
Plus the drag and drop course builder is a breeze to use.
For more advanced or experienced course creators, you may choose to opt for Learnworld’s Pro Trainer plan at $79 per month instead. This will let you sell an unlimited number of courses.
Plus you can offer more advanced payment methods like subscriptions, memberships, and installments. You can also take advantage of question banks, and a more extensive system of quizzes and testing.
If you’re wanting to see what other options are out there for selling your online course, then check out my LearnWorlds comparison articles:
You can also compare Thinkific with these online course platforms:
Find more options for your courses in these 7 Best Thinkific Alternatives.
Jacob has a background in finance and engineering. Outside of his day job, he is a lifelong learner, who enjoys reading, taking online courses, and writing about what he's learned.
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