If you’ve been researching online course creation, you’ve likely heard of Thinkific, but many Thinkific alternatives also warrant consideration.
So, what makes Thinkific a popular choice? First, Thinkific has a long history — and a solid fan base — with brand recognition.
Second, Thinkific offers a genuinely free plan.
But, this doesn’t guarantee it’s the best choice for you!
Read on for the lowdown on nine great Thinkific alternatives so you can make an informed decision about your online course platform.
(The list is alphabetical and doesn’t imply any ranking.)
It’s the most expensive on our list, with business tools best suited for intermediate or advanced course creators.
Kajabi isn’t the best choice for a new course creator testing unproven products.
- Includes advanced community management features
- Stands out for business and marketing automation options like built-in email, web hosting
- Boasts a bright and clean interface
- Focuses on digital product sales over course delivery
- Includes limited course customization options
- Restricts the number of courses and students you can host
All plans limit products, pipelines, members, and websites; the more you pay, the more you get. Kajabi offers three plans and a 20% discount for annual billing:
- Basic: Includes features like unlimited landing pages and emails, Kajabi University, and ready-to-use templates
- $149/month or $119/month when billed annually
- Growth: Adds advanced automations, 24/7 support, white labeling, and an affiliate program
- $199/month or $159/month when billed annually.
- Pro: Allows you to edit code
- $399/month or $319/month when billed annually
LearnDash is the only WordPress plugin on our list and is the most affordable option if you have WordPress expertise.
If you don’t, you should steer clear; the learning curve for inexperienced users is steep and likely to result in sourcing paid support to get the desired outcome.
- Includes features to motivate students, like certificates
- Allows you to leverage the branding and design of an existing website
- Is the most affordable option
- Excludes marketing features or sales funnel functionality and requires extensive use of other plugins
- Requires strong WordPress technical expertise
- Additional add-ons and plug-ins slow loading times
LearnDash is priced as an annual license fee. The three plan options are:
- Basic: $159/year: Includes one site license and features like unlimited courses and users, advanced quizzing, course forums, and email notifications, which are available with all plans
- Plus: $189/year: Gives you ten site licenses and ProPanel
- Pro: $329/year: Includes 25 site licenses and ProPanel
Where Kajabi and LearnDash are a good fit for specific users, LearnWorlds is a good all-in-one course creation platform.
It has decent functionality for course creation, hosting, marketing and sales.
If you’re looking for a jack of all trades, master of none platform, then LearnWorlds may be for you.
- Includes student engagement features, such as certificates
- Includes sales, digital marketing, and course creation functionality
- Allows you to add interactions to video easily
- Lacks a flexible course builder
- Charges a $5/sale transaction fee with the Starter plan
- Lacks the site themes that are included in other similar options, like Teachery
LearnWorlds has three packages and offers discounts for annual billing of up to 20%. They also offer an additional “contact for pricing” option for high-volume and corporate clients:
- Starter: Includes unlimited courses, three landing pages, coupons, and a $5/sale transaction fee
- $29/month or $24/month when billed annually
- Pro Trainer: Drops the transaction fee, gives unlimited landing pages, and other features like custom certificates
- $99/month or $79/month when billed annually
- Learning Center: Adds features like white-labeling and interactive video
- $299/month or $249/month when billed annually
4. Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is community-focused and makes sense if you are promoting a membership site or subscription services rather than creating and selling online courses.
Marketing and course delivery features are secondary. It’s a Facebook group that’s not on Facebook, so users aren’t distracted by competing notifications.
- Stands out for community-centered functionality
- Provides excellent features for membership or subscription services
- Focuses on student engagement which may translate into higher completion rates and better results
- Lacks a robust marketing tool and course creation features
- Charges a 5% transaction fee with the “Free” Plan
- Creates another social media group that users have to log into separately
Mighty Networks includes a free option and two paid packages, which include two months free when billed annually:
- Free Plan: Includes unlimited members, the ability to charge for membership, and a 5% transaction fee
- Community Plan: Includes the ability to use your domain name and has a lower transaction fee for memberships (3%)
- $28/month or $23/month when billed annually
- Business Plan: Adds the ability to charge for online courses and drops the transaction fee to 2%
- $98/month or $81/month when billed annually
Podia is a solid option for course creators selling memberships or digital downloads but isn’t well suited to selling online courses.
It is marketed as an all-in-one platform and provides a robust suite of support for a solo creator with simple products.
It is affordable but calling it an online learning management system is a stretch.
- Supports sales of videos, ebooks, or digital downloads
- Plans include unlimited everything (customers, products, sales, emails, etc.)
- Includes marketing options like upsells and coupons
- Lacks learning features like graded quizzes and certificates
- Excludes features like affiliate marketing, blog creation, and memberships unless you pay for the most expensive plan
- Lacks customization and design options
Podia offers two packages, with savings for annual billing:
- Mover: Includes your own website, unlimited everything, online courses, and email marketing
- $45.50/month or $39/month when billed annually
- Shaker: Adds features like memberships, zoom integrations, blog, and affiliate marketing
- $92.17/month or $79/month when billed annually
Teachable is a simple course platform that’s a good fit with basic course offerings. It emphasizes sales over the learning experience but includes features for delivering quality content. You can check out our comprehensive review of Teachable here.
- An affordable option for basic online course delivery
- It’s easy-to-use and a solid choice for beginners
- Includes learning features like drip content and course compliance
- Excludes marketing and sales functionality
- Doesn’t offer surveys or other student engagement tools
- Charges a 5% transaction fee with the most affordable Basic Plan
Teachable offers three plans, all of which include unlimited students and courses. They also offer savings for annual billing:
- Basic: Includes email marketing, coupons, basic quizzes, and a 5% transaction fee
- $39/month or $29/month when billed annually
- Pro: Drops the transaction fee and includes affiliate marketing, graded quizzes, an unbranded website, and additional support
- $119/month or $99/month when billed annually
- Business: Adds features like theme customization, bulk student enrolments, and group coaching calls
- $299/month or $249/month when billed annually
Like Teachable, Teachery is a solid and affordable platform for course creators with simple course offerings.
The biggest drawback is that it doesn’t host learning content like videos, so it isn’t great if you use a lot of embedded multimedia elements and files.
- Includes “unlimited everything” (courses, students, emails, etc.) with all plans
- Allows for heavy customization of landing pages and course content to match your brand
- Allows for customization of course style to align with an existing website
- Lacks community management features
- Requires content like videos to be hosted elsewhere (e.g., YouTube or GoogleDrive)
- Includes fewer integrations than other alternatives
Teachery’s pricing model offers one suite of features with the option to pay monthly or save if you pay a full year upfront:
- Includes features like unlimited courses, students and landing pages, custom domains, an affiliate program, promo codes/discounts, and customer support
- Monthly Plan: $49/month
- Yearly Plan: $470/year
Udemy is unique as a marketplace rather than an online course platform. It is free to get started, so it has a low barrier to entry.
They do the marketing, but competition is stiff, and you pay a significant percentage of every sale.
A Udemy course can be a good place to test the waters, but once you have a successful course offering, you’d want to pivot to another platform.
- Offers some student engagement features, like certificates
- It’s an easy-to-use, inexpensive way to get started
- Includes free resources for you as an instructor
- Takes a high percentage of revenue on most sales
- Requires additional marketing effort as you can’t control if your course is featured, and you’ll keep a lot more money in your pocket if you drive students to your course
- Includes the risk that the platform shuts down your course if it’s not performing
The instructor gets a different revenue share depending on the sale channel:
- Instructor Promotion: Instructor gets 97% of revenue for any sale resulting from their coupon or course referral link (100% – 3% processing fee)
- Udemy Organic: 50% revenue share on courses purchased on Udemy without a coupon (for in-app purchases, Apple and Google charge 30% on each sale)
Xperiencify is a new platform revolutionizing online course creation.
It shines for its use of gamification and psychological triggers to create an unrivaled learning experience.
The concept is simple; improving the dismal 97% abandonment rate on traditional courses drives dramatically higher completion rates, repeat sales, and revenues.
- Includes advanced and unique student engagement features, like the use of psychological triggers
- Includes a complete suite of marketing and e-commerce features
- Offers the best return on investment (aka more money for you)
- Focuses on course delivery and community; may be overkill for simple products, like an ebook or video
Xperiencify offers three plans, all of which use psychological triggers, gamification, and other unique “experiencification” features to keep students engaged. The plans include discounts of up to 25% for annual billing:
- Launch: Includes unlimited courses and students, a 4.9% transaction fee, e-commerce, and selling features
- $49/month or $42/month when billed annually
- Growth: $149/month: Drops the transaction fee and includes a custom domain and email sending, and additional payment features
- $149/month or $117/month when billed annually
- Scale: Adds custom fields and more options for drip content
- $499/month or $375/month when billed annually
What Thinkific Alternative Will Power You in 2021?
Choosing the best online course platform for your business needs is subjective. The “best” for you would not serve other course creators and vice versa.
Are you selling digital products and looking primarily for business, marketing, or customer relationship management?
Are you just starting with a shoestring budget? Or is ROI and course completion your main concern?
One of these Thinkific alternatives will have everything you need to create fantastic online courses — and start making money.
The world is waiting for what you have to offer. Pick a platform and get your content out there!