New Course Creators Ultimate Course Platform
August 09, 2019

New Course Creators Ultimate Course Platform

Ayo Bamgbose, Assoc CIPD, MSc | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Thinkific

As an online content creator and teacher, it is important that I'm able to create and host my teaching material on a mobile-friendly site that is accessible for students globally. Thinkific allows me to do just that whilst being able to integrate it with third-party tools that allow my business to work on autopilot whilst providing great online support for my students.
  • Ability to customise your school to match your branding and to therefore link to your own company website
  • Ability to upload images, videos, presentations, PDFs and audio recordings as well as create quizzes to assess your students knowledge
  • Able to drip your course content for when it's ready to be released and not be pressurized to only publish a full course when it's ready
  • Integrate with third-party tools such as PayPal, MailChimp, Google analytics and Zapier to name a few
  • Promote individual courses on your website by embedding widgets
  • Although it has some great third-part integrations it would be great if it offered more such as links with email service providers such as MailerLite
  • Assignment feature to be available on the lower tier plans
  • Improve the file size uploads for images and videos
  • Provide a lot more themes
  • It has helped us create professional and engaging courses without having to learn new skills with it's great drag and drop features
  • The investment in the site means that everything is done for us and integrates well with other online tools we're currently using
  • The only negative is that there isn't any guarantee (like most things) on making a return on investment if you pay for a plan with al singing and dancing features.
I've used other learning management systems over the last 5 years and believe Thinkific is easily one of the ones that make getting started with zero tech skills or know-how easy peasy. Everything is laid out very well in how to set up your online school, create your courses and market and sell your courses. They provide a lot of great videos tutorials and offer a useful webinar series to help you understand how to market your courses like a pro.
It has been a while since I have had to contact support on Thinkific but when I have it has been ok. I'm talking a few years back when you would submit a ticket and it would take far too long to get assistance. Now with their Facebook group community, you find that you can go in there and get support, tips and advice from your peers who have experienced the same frustrations and have solutions you can implement.
Prior to using Thinkific, I used Teachable free ad then a paid plan for about 18 months as it was one of the most recommended course platforms back in 2015 and 2016. I moved to Thinkific in 2017 when I wanted to try something different that offered a lot more features, integrations and flexibility.
Thinkific is very well suited to start-up course creators with a low budget as it offers a free plan that currently allows you to create three courses and keep all the profit that comes from selling your courses. I love that it does not penalise you for being on a free plan with a transaction fee or withholding payment for 30 days as other course sites do.

For other new course creators needing to upload more than three courses to test out which is working best, Thinkific, unfortunately, wouldn't work for them as that's that limit. I understand the need to put limitations on the number of courses a company can create on a free plan but I think three is a little bit mean as other course sites offer up to 10.

Thinkific Feature Ratings

Using Thinkific

1 - Thinkific provides us with a platform that allows us to can create, host and sell our courses so that we can teach our target audience, build our brand awareness and credibility within our industry and sections. I love that this site allows my business to work on autopilot and reach various people around the world at any time and any day.
To be able to use Thinkific and get a good ROI I believe you need to be a course creator who knows the type of content that their audience is looking for and are craving to improve a need they have. You'll need to know how to upload videos, graphics, PDFs and use hyperlinks and embed HTML features.
  • The ability to create engaging learning material
  • Hosting our in-demand courses
  • Being able to integrate with other tools that make our courses easy to sell and deliver value to our target audience
  • Being able to host pre-recorded webinars and offer it to our students
  • A place to host premium resources
  • A great way to grow our email list by offer bite size free modules or courses
  • Being able to offer special offers and contest with the use of the coupons
  • Create beta courses and drip content to assess the demand for new course ideas
  • Possibly to use only Thinkific as our main hub without the need of a separate website
I'm very likely to renewal as long as Thinkific stays focused on helping small businesses like myself to stay in the know of new and more effective ways to use digital learning tools to help our students get better success. I will also stay with Thinkific if they do not intend to hike up the prices and keep the different price plans suit all businesses regardless of the size.

Evaluating Thinkific and Competitors

Yes - I had previously used Teachable and had some frustrations with the lack of customisation of my online school so I had decided I need a platform that allowed me to do more and offered a few more themes to suit my branding. Instantly once I had signed up to Thinkific I was able to create a more branded site that didn't scream that it belonged to the host.
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Vendor Reputation
At the time many influencers that I had followed were recommending Thinkific and so I wanted to see why. So I had signed up for their 7 day marketing online workshops, which I learnt so much from, which inturned empowered me and inspired me to be a better course creator and marketer. I instantly connected with the presenters and knew from then I wanted to make the move as I felt they aligned more with the type of course creator I wanted to be.
I think if I was looking at new course platforms again I would do much better research and check out more reviews and those that have written detailed breakdowns and comparison blog content to get a better insight to what would have suited my business at the time. So sites like TrustRadius would definitely a place I would come to read up on the good and frustrating parts people found using the tools that interested me.

Thinkific Implementation

The implementation period took time like it would in earning and using any new tool. It was more about being organised, having better time management processes in place and having people you were able to reach out to if you were every able stuck. The other key ting with the implementation period was giving yourself a realistic time scale to get the job completed.
  • How to create the sales landing page for each course
  • How to plan out the course structure
  • How to integrate third-party tools

Thinkific Training

As someone who has used learning management systems before I did not feel I needed in-person training or for anyone else to create my online school for me. But what I did like to see is that Thinkific had these services available for those that didn't have the time, headspace or know-how to create it for themselves. Along with Thinkifics very own training resources of video tutorials, blog posts and PDFs you're not bound to go wrong.

Thinkific Support

ProsCons
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
None
Luckily for me, I haven't had any major problems that required me to reach out for support on the Thinkific website directly. I now find with the use of their Facebook community that has reduced my need to contact their customer service. Their very active there and other course creators like myself are all there to help one another.

Using Thinkific

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • The uploading of your content such as videos. presentation slides, and PDFs
  • Linking it to your nominated payment gateway provider
  • Customizing the look and feel of your school to match your branding
  • When you have content piece that is to large to upload I initially found using the recommend tool to compress the files annoying
  • Understanding the best layout for the sales page that promotes the course
  • Finding the correct dimension for the graphics for the course

Thinkific Reliability

The opportunities to scale your online course business with Thinkific is endless. They provide a great range of plans with features, integrations and support to suit the needs of any business as different levels. The key here is knowing where to start with the budget you have and then knowing when it's time to scale up and the tools and resources it will require.
I've never had any issues with accessing Thinkific but I can see when it has been a problem for others. When I get updates on when they are doing maintenance to their platform I tend to make sure that is not the day I plan to be working on my school so as not to get frustrated.
When it comes to the performance of Thinkific for me I find that it's good but could be better. I tend to think that the larger the files and videos you upload on your courses may add to the impact of it's uploading (not sure if that's actually true or not). But overall the performance of Thinkific via my tablet and desktop is very good when I have a fast speed broadband speed.

Relationship with Thinkific

I find the Thinkific platform very easy to work with and have had no real issues with getting things done or completed. I find the platform very easy to navigate and love that I can community directly on the platform with my learners if they have any difficulties. Thinkific also makes it even easier to communicate with them through the use of their online Facebook community.

Upgrading Thinkific

  • Having more integrations
  • The saving on costs
  • Having more flexibility with customization and making our school look more professional
  • New features that enable more brand customization
  • More integration with new tools
  • More themes