Thinkific consistently ranks as one of the top online course builders in our research. While it’s a great platform, it may not be the right fit for everyone.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best Thinkific alternatives based on our experience and testing.
We’ve carefully curated this list to cover a range of needs and budgets. So whether you’re looking for more features, a lower price, or something else entirely, one of these Thinkific alternatives is sure to be a great fit for you.
Best Thinkific Alternatives
- Kajabi: Best all-in-one online course platform
- Podia: Simple, affordable course builder
- LearnDash: Best WordPress LMS plugin
- Teachable: Most popular online course builder
- New Zenler: Affordable all-in-one option
- Mighty Networks: Best for community-focused courses
- Xperiencify: Best for gamified learning experiences
- LearnWorlds: Best alternative for interactive online courses
- Udemy: Course marketplace for beginners
Why Look for Thinkific Alternatives in the First Place?
Thinkific is a great platform, but it’s not perfect. Here are a few reasons why you might be looking for Thinkific alternatives:
- You want an all-in-one platform. Thinkific is great for hosting and selling online courses, but it doesn’t have tools for other aspects of online business, such as email marketing or sales funnels.
- You need specific features. While Thinkific is among the most feature-rich course platforms, you may need better community features, more design options, or the ability to create a coaching program.
- You want a simpler platform. One of the great things about Thinkific is that it’s extremely easy to use. But if you’re looking for an even simpler platform, there are other options out there.
- You want a cheaper platform. Thinkific’s pricing is reasonable, but there are cheaper alternatives available for specific scenarios.
Now that we’ve gone over some reasons why you might be looking for an alternative to Thinkific, let’s take a look at the best options available.
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform that takes care of every aspect of running an online course business. Apart from course creation and e-commerce tools, it includes features for blogging, podcasts, sales funnels, and email marketing automation.
Kajabi lets you run your entire business from a single place without requiring you to learn and use third-party solutions.
Pros of Kajabi
- Truly all-in-one: Kajabi has robust tools for everything from hosting your courses to building sales funnels and sending email campaigns. This means you can run your entire business from a single platform.
- Course player themes: It offers a selection of themes for your course player so that you can customize the look and feel of the course area.
- Powerful community builder: Kajabi’s community tool is more powerful with support for advanced engagement tools, such as challenges, livestreaming, member chats, and more.
- Product types: You can create and sell not just courses and communities but also coaching, podcasts, and webinars, which means it can support a variety of business models.
- Funnel builder: Kajabi has a powerful funnel builder, which you can use to create end-to-end funnels for lead generation, webinars, product launches, etc.
Cons of Kajabi
- More expensive: Kajabi’s pricing starts at $149/month. While it offers great value for money, it’s still expensive.
- Product limits: Kajabi limits the number of products you can create. You can create up to three products on the $149/month plan and 15 products on the $199/month plan.
Overall, if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform for your online course or membership business, Kajabi will be a great Thinkific alternative.
Podia is the simplest platform for creating and selling online courses and other digital products, such as coaching and webinars.
The platform lets you host and deliver your products, build landing pages, accept payments, handle taxes, and even do some basic email marketing.
Pros of Podia
- Simple to use: Podia is the simplest course platform to use. You can create and launch your courses in no time without any technical know-how.
- More product types: Podia supports not just courses and community, but also digital downloads, coaching, and webinars. You can even bundle them together to create a membership site.
- Sales and marketing tools: Podia comes with better sales and marketing features, including webinars, email automation, sales tax handling, and live chat.
- Affordable pricing: Podia can be more affordable than Thinkific in certain scenarios. For example, you can create a membership site on the $39/month plan on Podia vs the $99/month plan on Thinkific.
Cons of Podia
- Learning and engagement: Podia misses out on a few key learning tools, including graded quizzes, assignments, course compliance, live lessons, and mobile apps.
- No site themes: While you can customize the colors and branding of your school, there are no site themes available. This makes it more difficult to build a unique, full-fledged website.
- Basic reporting tools: Podia’s reporting tools are very basic. You can track course sales and student progress, but that’s about it.
If you’re looking for a simpler solution to sell online courses or build a membership site, Podia will be a great alternative.
LearnDash is the most popular WordPress LMS plugin on the market. Unlike Thinkific, it isn’t a standalone platform and requires a WordPress site to create and sell online courses.
LearnDash includes all the course creation tools, including a drag-and-drop course builder. You also get built-in monetization tools.
Pros of LearnDash
- Powerful learning tools: When it comes to features, LearnDash is one of the most powerful course plugins. It has advanced quizzing and assignment features and native gamification tools, and it supports SCORM content.
- Extendibility: Since it’s built on WordPress, you have infinite options to extend its capabilities. In fact, LearnDash also has a large ecosystem of add-ons designed specifically for it. While Thinkific also has an app store, it is no match for the LearnDash and WordPress ecosystems.
- Simple pricing: The LMS plugin costs $199/year for one site. While this is less expensive than Thinkific, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison since it doesn’t include hosting, video storage, etc.
Cons of LearnDash
- Requires many external solutions: Apart from the LMS plugin, you’ll need at least a hosting provider, a site theme, a page builder, and video hosting.
- Complex setup: Installing and setting up LearnDash (and WordPress) requires technical know-how. It’s also more complicated because you have to work with many different software and solutions.
- Maintenance and support: With WordPress, you’re responsible for things like updates, backups, and security, while these are managed for you by Thinkific. Plus, you won’t get any consolidated support for your entire website.
If you’re looking for a course solution that provides unlimited flexibility and customization, LearnDash will work great for you. Just keep in mind that it’s recommended only if you have the technical know-how.
Teachable is a popular course-building platform that’s compared most often with Thinkific. Teachable and Thinkific are two of the oldest platforms in the space and offer many of the same features.
Pros of Teachable
- More intuitive: Teachable’s user interface (including the course builder) is well-designed and intuitive, so users find it easier to build courses and get around the platform.
- Supports coaching: Apart from online courses, you can also offer coaching products in Teachable, which is currently not possible with Thinkific.
- Tax handling: When using Teachable Payments, it takes care of charging and remitting sales taxes for you.
Cons of Teachable
- Inferior learning tools: Teachable falls short on learning tools compared to Thinkific. For example, it only supports basic quizzes and doesn’t have the option for assignments or live classes.
- No mobile apps: Teachable doesn’t have native mobile apps for your students, making the mobile learning experience inferior.
- Basic website builder: Teachable doesn’t have any site themes, and the page builder isn’t as flexible, restricting how much you can customize the look of your website.
- More expensive: Teachable is way more expensive than Thinkific. Its Basic and Pro plans cost $59/month + 5% fee and $159/month compared to $49/month and $99/month on Thinkific.
It’s safe to say that Thinkific is superior to Teachable in most regards. The only scenario where you might want to go with Teachable is if you’re looking to offer coaching services as well.
5. New Zenler
New Zenler is a budget-friendly, all-in-one online course platform that provides tools for course creation, learner engagement, site building, and sales and marketing.
It stands out with features for audience building, including a blogging tool, a marketing funnel builder, and an email marketing automation tool.
Pros of New Zenler
- Better page builder: New Zenler has a more powerful page builder, which you can use to create unique landing pages and even design custom checkout pages.
- Marketing tools: It includes features for blogging, sales funnels, webinars, and email marketing automation.
- Sales taxes: The platform lets you collect sales taxes from your customers during the checkout.
- Affordable pricing: New Zenler’s Pro plan costs $67/month and includes all the features the platform offers. This is unbeatable for an all-in-one platform.
Cons of New Zenler
- Beta stage: The platform is still in beta, so the tools aren’t very polished, and you may encounter some usability issues. Additionally, the pricing is low because of this.
- Basic community builder: New Zenler’s community tool isn’t as robust as Thinkific’s. The design isn’t good, and it’s not great for engagement as well.
- Marketing tools lack maturity: The marketing tools, especially the funnel builder and email marketing, are still basic and need more development before they can replace specialized solutions.
Overall, if you don’t mind using a product in its initial stage, we recommend New Zenler as an affordable, all-in-one alternative to Thinkific.
6. Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks and Thinkific are poles apart. Still, it can be a great alternative to Thinkific, depending on your requirements.
Mighty Networks is an online community platform that offers powerful features for building an engaged online community. It also includes the ability to create online courses and membership sites.
Pros of Mighty Networks
- Powerful community builder: Mighty Networks has much better features for community building and engagement. Some standout features include multiple content types (e.g., posts, articles, and polls), one-on-one or group messaging, a member directory, subgroups, etc.
- Native live streaming: It includes native live-streaming features, so you can conduct live sessions right inside your community.
Cons of Mighty Networks
- Missing learning tools: The platform doesn’t provide any learning tools, be it quizzes, assignments, or certificates.
- No website builder: Mighty Networks’ site-building features are basic, and unlike Thinkific, you can’t create a full-fledged website.
- Transaction fees: While the platform’s monthly cost is reasonable, it charges a transaction fee of 2% on the Community plan and 3% on the Business plan.
If community building is your main focus and you want to create community-focused courses or memberships, go for Mighty Networks without second thoughts.
Xperiencify is another hosted platform that enables you to create and sell online courses. However, what makes it unique is its strong focus on creating engagement by gamifying the learner experience.
Pros of Xperiencify
- Gamification features: Xperiencify has advanced gamification features, including features for awarding points, badges, and leaderboards. On top of this, you have an automation engine that lets you create personalized experiences, such as welcoming your students, celebrating their progress, etc.
- Better community builder: Xperiencify’s community builder is more feature rich. It has a cleaner design and better community organization features. Plus, it lets you integrate the lesson comments directly into the community.
- Flexible page builder: Xperiencify has a more powerful page builder than Thinkific. It has tons of predesigned page blocks and gives you more options to customize the layout and design of these blocks.
Cons of Xperiencify
- Learning tools: Since this is an experience-focused course builder, it doesn’t have as many learning tools. For example, it doesn’t support graded quizzes or assignments.
- Third-party integrations: Xperiencify only has limited third-party integrations, and you’ll need to use Zapier for everything. For example, it doesn’t integrate with any email marketing software (e.g. ConvertKit) directly.
- More expensive: While Xperiencify’s plans start at $49/month, you can only have up to 50 students. The $99/month lets you have up to 1,000 students, which makes it pretty expensive.
If you want to create a gamified learning experience for your students, Xperiencify is the best hosted platform option available.
LearnWorlds is a hosted online course platform whose features stand out for interactive learning. Apart from the course builder, page builder, and sales and marketing tools, LearnWorlds lets you make your course videos interactive or offer interactive e-books to your students.
Pros of LearnWorlds
- Interactive learning: With LearnWorlds, you can add interactive elements inside your course videos, including questions, titles, buttons, etc. Similarly, you can create interactive eBooks, where your students can take personalized notes and highlight relevant passages.
- Better page builder: LearnWorlds has a more flexible page builder with tons of page sections and templates and the ability to customize them completely.
- Copyright protection: LearnWorlds allows you to add a dynamic watermark to your content to discourage students from copying your content illegally.
Cons of LearnWorlds
- Clumsy user interface: The admin interface is outdated and cluttered. It’s not always obvious where you should look for certain settings, which makes the platform confusing and hard to navigate.
- Less support options: The only customer support options supported on the website are email support and a knowledge base. It doesn’t have a live chat, phone support, or a user community.
- Limited integrations: Compared to Thinkific’s app store, the third-party integrations you will find on LearnWorlds are pretty limited.
Overall, LearnWorlds would be a good option for online course creators looking for a platform with interactive learning tools.
Udemy is pretty different from all the other Thinkific alternatives because it’s not a solution for selling courses from your website. Instead, Udemy is an online course marketplace where you can list your courses and sell them to students.
The platform gives you access to its large student base but takes a cut from all sales happening through it.
Pros of Udemy
- Large user base: With millions of active students, Udemy offers potential exposure to a wide user base for your courses, which means less marketing effort on your part.
- Easiest way to start: The platform will handle everything for you—from hosting courses to selling them. You don’t need a separate website or your own payment gateways.
- No monthly cost: There’s no monthly cost for using Udemy to host your courses. You just need to share a percentage of your revenue.
Cons of Udemy
- Lower author share: Udemy keeps 63% of the revenue while you get the rest. This is too high and will lower your profits significantly.
- Customer data: When you teach on Udemy, you don’t get students’ email addresses, and you can’t direct them to your website. Basically, you won’t get to build your own audience.
- No control over platform policies: You don’t have any control over Udemy’s policies, such as course pricing, revenue share, etc.
- Tough competition: Udemy is highly competitive now, and new courses have little chance of ranking in search results without significant marketing efforts at your end.
We recommend using Udemy over Thinkific if you’re a beginner and want to test your course idea or just do it as a side hustle.
Best Thinkific Alternative – The Final Verdict
In this guide, we explored the top Thinkific alternatives and discussed in detail their pros and cons. The best alternative to Thinkific depends on your needs, but here are our top three picks:
Kajabi is the best all-in-one alternative to Thinkific because it lets you run your online business from one place by handling product creation, site building, and sales and marketing.
On the other hand, you should consider using Podia if you need a simpler, more affordable solution for your business.
Finally, we recommend using LearnDash if you need a full-featured WordPress LMS plugin with advanced learning tools and powerful integrations.
No matter which option you choose, make sure it’s the right fit for your needs and budget.
We hope this guide was helpful in helping you find the best platform for your business.
Are you still unsure which of these platforms will work best for you? Then drop a comment, and we’ll help you decide. If there’s another platform you’re considering, let us know that, too, and we’ll share our insights.