For anyone foraying into the online education business, one of the most important decisions to make is the choice of a robust and secure platform to host their courses.
As you are doing your research online, it is very unlikely that you won’t come across a popular platform that describes itself as “everything you need to run your education business under one roof”.
Yes, Thinkific is the one in question here. It is a platform that allows individuals and businesses to create and sell online courses as their own branded courses.
As convenient as it is, the tool is not perfect. Thankfully, there are alternatives for Thinkific in India that can make up for shortcomings. Before we talk about them, let us first look at the different areas where Thinkific shines and where it does not.
Why should you opt for Thinkific?
Here are some reasons why you should consider Thinkific as your teaching partner-
- You can create and sell courses of any kind, from dripped courses to courses whose content will be available all at once. The biggest advantage is not having to spend a fortune developing a custom website from scratch. You can do this using Thinkific’s templates.
- Integrating with third-party tools is also easy to carry out day-to-day tasks, including marketing and analytics.
- It also features an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to build courses, bulk import tools, and interactive course features like quizzes and tests.
Why should you not opt for Thinkific?
Here are some areas where Thinkific falls short –
- Thinkific lacks one of the most important features of an online learning platform – student interactivity! Community options, live events, Q&A sessions, in-person coaching, and other event-based learning is not supported.
- There is no integrated support for your sales funnel.
If you have a growth mindset and want to take your online learning business to the next level, you will be forced to move to an alternative, as Thinkific cannot scale with you.
Best alternatives of Thinkific
Known as the “Shopify for education”, Learnyst is probably the youngest company and is the only India-based product on the list. Since its entry into the market, it has helped online educators generate 10X return on investment and save on average, 80% on maintenance cost. To date, over 5,000 courses (worth over $4 Million) have been built and launched on Learnyst and catered to over 80,000 students worldwide. It allows online educators to create and own a custom website and a mobile app for their courses.
Here are some reasons why we think Learnyst is a great alternative to Thinkific:
- All courses and its content are protected using high-end DRM encryption to avoid piracy
- You can customize your courses’ website as per your liking. All websites built on Learnyst are also mobile-friendly by default.
- Learnyst can also develop a custom mobile app for your courses.
- Interactive content formats, including quizzes and calculators, can easily be created and customized.
- Third-party authoring tools can be seamlessly integrated for direct transfer to Learnyst.
- Save time using the many templates available for website design and for other content types.
- Marketing is made easy with push notifications and easy integration with marketing tools including Mail Chimp.
Further Reading: Learnyst Features
Unlike the others on this list, Podia is not a dedicated online education platform. You can use it as a membership platform or a digital downloads platform. The value for money is great. The level of customization available is also impressive. You can use the simple visual editor to tweak the course as well as your store page to your liking. You can add a section at any part of the course including elements like text, images, video, testimonials, etc.
- There is no additional transaction fee on sales.
- Features are literally unlimited, i.e. unlimited products, customers, outgoing emails, and file hosting.
- The in-built messaging provides an easy way to connect with customers.
- Webinars can even be hosted on the basic plan; eliminating the need for integrating with a third-party tool.
- Features like affiliate marketing, memberships, and blogs are online available in the most expensive plan.
- There is no free plan to start off with
- There is not custom CSS
- Features like forced completions, course certificates, assignments, etc. are not available.
Arguably, Teachable is the most popular online education platform in the market and is the closest competitor of Thinkific. Lots of entrepreneurs, especially digital marketers, create and sell their courses using this tool. It has a very straightforward interface similar to that of WordPress. Lectures on Teachable can be in the form of video, audio, PDF, etc., and the design (including course content and the entire website) is customizable to suit your brand guidelines. The tool also provides extensive features like coupons to properly market your courses.
- You can upsell related courses easily with the ‘one-click upsell’ feature for higher cart-value conversions.
- Teachable can also easily integrate with a variety of third-party tools, including MailChimp, Vizia, Google Analytics, etc.
- Even the free plan has a sizable number of features that are good enough for beginners.
- HTML and CSS scripts can be easily embedded inside lectures
- A flexible webhooks management system is also part of the package.
- There is a transaction fee of 5% of the cart value.
- It is impossible to create surveys for students or create/import themes.
- It doesn’t support multi-month coupons.
The area where Kajabi truly stands out is in its ability to market courses. You will find this platform extremely useful if you are an experienced online educator who doesn’t have the time to deal with technicalities. You can automate email marketing campaigns related to the courses you are selling. Though it is packed with features, it can be a bit difficult to find what you want on its interface. There are 12 in-built themes (both desktop and mobile) to choose from to customize your product pages.
- It comes with a blogging platform for you to drive quality inbound traffic by writing useful blogs.
- The community management and customization features are excellent and easy to understand
- Advanced marketing automation features are available.
- There are restrictions on the number of courses you can create and how many students you can onboard.
- Access to its code editor will cost $319/month.
- The tool is comparatively expensive.
Kartra is not a dedicated online education platform. It is best suited for marketers, businesses, creative agencies, and course creators. It has one of the most modern-looking intuitive user interfaces (though sometimes it tends to get a bit slow) with a simple drag-and-drop feature to build courses. There are 50+ designs, 500+ page templates, layouts, and color palettes to choose from. Marketing is made simpler using adaptive behavioral marketing, dynamic OTO, upsells, and bump offers. It can also smoothly integrate with third-party tools including payment gateways, SMS gateways, and calendar apps.
- Allows you to precisely target courses at customers based on their past behavior
- You can embed a timed checkout and share to watch buttons.
- It has multiple member portals and pricing tiers.
- It also hosts an A/B testing feature to help you choose the best performing features and content formats.
- The interface is prone to lag at some points.
- The price is on the higher side.
- It is not a dedicated online education platform.
Are you thinking of choosing a better alternative to Thinkific to power up your online education business? It is obvious that Learnyst is the absolute winner on this list. Get in touch with us now!