nline learning practices and approaches continue to change year after year. Yet, not all platforms keep up in providing adequate tools and answer specific learning needs.
We think that Thinkific is one of them.
Sure, Thinkific is a powerful LMS with a simple and easy-to-use course builder, cool integrations and content options backed by marketing features for course selling.
And it is what many creators seek, especially when they only start their course-building voyage, right?
Nevertheless, a new wave is crushing the elearning world, the name of which is effective learning. There, much depends on collaboration. And if Thinkific is a ship, it certainly lacks vital tools to navigate these waters.
If you are here, then you can at least partly agree with us. Let’s consider some LMS platforms and websites like Thinkfic that can sail under the flag of collaborative learning or have functionality to compensate for the Thinkific downsides.
Why seek Thinkific alternatives?
Before all, it would be wrong to diminish the role of Thinkific for course creators.
It works out as one of the best facilitators on the market, as the platform puts a lot of effort into answering creators’ pain points.
For instance, they recently introduced the Automated Sales Tax solution under the partnership with Stripe. As their CEO, Greg Smith, says, they want creators to focus on “delivering exceptional content,” not doing monkey jobs related to payment and accounting.
However, what makes creators seek other solutions?
Main Thinkific disadvantages
The main issue with Thinkific is that it is not the best collaborative platform. And we all know how collaboration matters for effective learning.
Subject to Eduflow study, L&D practitioners consider collaboration not only “effective” (16%) but “essential” (60%) for education. It contemplates that compelling online learning experiences should be built around students’ engagement and immersion.
Unfortunately, compared to other platforms, Thinkific lacks critical student engagement features and options for their management.
Lack of some engagement tools
First of all, collaborative learning heavily relies on peer interaction. Yes, Thinkific offers basic email notifications, an effective community builder, and the ability to link communities to the courses.
However, this software has no in-built communication suite or gamification features that are crucial for the immersion of learners.
Note. It offers pro-cohort integrations like Motrait (for gamifying learning) and Lesson Space or Slack (for cooperation). Still, third-party apps do affect the creator's budget.
Weak reporting and management
Another area of improvement refers to basic reporting and management. And it is one of the issues that platforms like Thinkific have, especially those with integrated marketing tools.
For example, the reporting feature will show you the progress of all students, while some metrics are only available via report download.
The management of the course can be better. In particular, the assignment and access administration partly relies on third-party integrations. That's why Thinkific may be a wrong choice for creators holding many online courses.
Low-tier pricing plans lack advanced features
Lastly, the Basic and Start Plans can be limited, depriving the users seeking budget pricing options of the essential and flow-changing features.
For instance, Basic Plan has no advanced assignments, HTML customization, course compliance, and completion certificate features. A similar case is with the Start Plan, offering inadequate API access, Zapier actions, and course customization options.
Importantly, design and customization are other areas that people criticize. Some underline the outdated design, while others complain about the inability to insert custom CSS.
Best Thinkific alternatives with a focus on collaboration
- #1. EducateMe: Best LMS with strong management and engagement tools
- #2. Mighty Networks: Effective tool to handle community-centered learning
- #3. TovutiLMS: Excellent platform with interactive content to engage with learners
- #4. Disco: Another powerful platform for community of learners
Here are some of the Thinkific alternatives that have solid collaboration features. Remember that most of these platforms focus on developing learning experiences rather than marketing or sales.
Thus, they suit those creators who put deep learning before the ease of selling the courses.
#1. EducateMe: Best LMS with strong management and engagement tool
Despite having no monetization support, EducateMe is one of the best Thinkific alternatives in terms of collaboration, engagement, and simplicity.
EducateMe is an intuitive learning platform with powerful engagement tools, a defined focus on management, and great white-label customization.
Before all, it is known to be a very easy-to-use and flexible system, while its built-in messenger and email notifications are helpful to immerse learners into the process. Also, it has excellent integrations with Slack, Notion, Loom, etc.
With EducateMe, you can use a synchronized calendar dashboard to manage events, lessons, and group assignments from a single space and automate repetitive tasks. Its reporting features will allow you to check cohorts’ progress, review their work, and give feedback.
Other powerful EducateMe features:
- Easy-to-use course builder. Add various pieces, from images and video content to raw codes and “alert” blocks, for better perception of info. Moreover, use an AI assistant to build course structure.
- Kanban assignment tracker.Create flows and streamline how you administer assignments and homework.
- Branding options. Apply white labelling to reflect your brand, including fonts, colors, domain, and even element shapes.
Pricing: 14-day free trial; Starter Plan is $2.5 per active student (unlimited courses and learners); Enterprise Plan is available upon the demo request.
💡Highlight: If you are an academy or creator, seeking a way to affect learning quality, not marketing, EducateMe may be your choice. With it, you can enhance the learning experience by better organization and greater immersion.
#2. Mighty Networks: Effective tool to handle community-centered learning
Mighty Networks is a learning platform with outstanding community and membership creation opportunities. Compared to other platforms like Thinkific, Mighty Network focuses on community learning experiences, using dynamic chats, feeds, and posts to build courses.
So, it offers sounding options in terms of cooperation and collaboration. You can use interactive messages to start discussions, do polls, or ask for feedback. That way, the students can be better motivated to participate in the learning.
However, due to the prevalence of such functions, there is an apparent lack of organization. The software offers a pleasing user experience but rather inadequate reporting and management features. Also, it has a visually engaging design and provides mobile app creation.
Other features of this Thinkific alternative:
- Live streaming. Regarding engagement, the software offers an in-built streaming feature, meaning you do not need Zoom and can start live streaming in any space.
- Excellent branding options. Like EducateMe, it also has different features to customize the spaces the students engage with, including colors, emojis, logos, and fonts.
Pricing: there is a 14-day free trial; Community Plan costs $39/mo (with chat and messaging); Business Plan costs $119/mo (allows online course creation, integrations, and analytics); one can call the sales to order Mighty Pro Plan (offers mobile app and advanced branding options).
💡Highlight: With an appealing design, mobile app, social learning tools, and good customization, it may be the worthiest option for single creators building their communities.
#3. TovutiLMS: Excellent platform with interactive content to engage with learners
TovutiLMS is a learning management system that offers exciting interactive content, gamification features, and engagement tools. Compared to Thinkific, it has better collaboration tools and worthy content options.
There, you can add more than 40 content types, including a video player, polls and quizzes with gamification. Also, it provides certifications and an interactive dashboard with badges, not to mention good community options.
Despite being mobile-friendly, it is a bit complex and non-intuitive due to the design and system layout. Also, you are likely to get the best tools, like e-commerce, API access, SCORM support, and advanced customization, only under the high-tier pricing plans of this Thinkific alternative.
Other TovutiLMS features:
- Good management and reporting features. Use a checklist feature to navigate the student's learning path; leave notes regarding active students’ progress.
- E-commerce. Under advanced plans, you can use tools to help you monetize the online course.
Pricing: no free plan; Tovuti Pro starts at $11.160/year (for up to 50 users); Tovuti Lite consists of the next packages: Starter Plan costs $199/mo(up to 50 users, unlimited courses, 1 custom brand and domain), Growth Plan $299/mo (up to 100 users, advanced reporting), Business Plan is $399/mo(up to 250 users, activity dashboard, media library); Professional Plan (API access, Zoom integrations, SCORM, Badges and Certifications) is available via call.
💡Highlight: Tovuti is a practical, sometimes complex LMS suitable for various learning providers that prefer engaging learners via gamification and interactive content rather than communication.
#4. Disco: Another powerful platform for community of learners
One may say that Mighty Networks and Disco are the same. Unlike many alternatives to Thinkifc, they both use virtual spaces and feeds to develop community learning experiences. Yet, they are different.
Disco is a community learning platform that offers an easy-to-use course builder and solid tools for developing the community of learners.
Its interface is pretty intuitive, while its virtual space and experience system add to the organization. That way, you can administer lessons from a single dashboard and communicate with students via feed, live sessions, multiple channels, or direct messages.
Madeleine Sava, former Director of Education at Dribble, says picking this model allowed her team to give “sort of personal touch and match students with a mentor to get feedback and grow and hone their design skills.”
As a result, its focus on collaboration backed by solid integrations and ease of use makes it excellent for cohort courses, communities, and memberships. Yet, the significant downsides of this education platform are pretty basic reporting and analytics.
Other decent features of this Thinkific alternative:
- Course builder. You can use templates to create a self-paced or cohort course, event series and member space. Also, you can insert an onboarding survey to personalize the process.
- Appearance and course customization. It offers flexible options to customize the virtual spaces, allowing changing colors, logo, favicon, and name of labels.
Pricing: free plan (14 days); Pro Plan is $99/mo (1 community with 10 learning products and 1000 members); Organization Plan is $449/mo (100 learning products and 10,000 members); Max Plan is $1249/mo (200 learning products and unlimited number of members); Enterprise Plan requires contacting with sales (unlimited communities, features and number of products and members).
💡Highlight: Due to dashboard organization, Disco can be an excellent tool for academies and organizations rather than course creators, putting the community of learners at the center of the education process.
Thinkific competitors that offer marketing tools and help with sales
- #5. LearnWorlds: A bit complex solution with content diversity
- #6. Podia: Thinkific alternative with powerful email marketing
- #7. Kajabi: All-around software that many have heard of
- #8. Teachable: Common Thinkific alternative with intuitive features
Indeed, Thinkific may not be the best collaborative learning management system. Many learning providers are okay with that and use third-party apps to handle it.
Why would they look toward Thinkific competitors, then?
Because of better selling opportunities and stronger marketing support. Here are some of the powerful alternative platforms to check:
#5. LearnWorlds: A bit complex solution with content and assignment diversity
We should say that LearnWorlds is almost an all-in-one solution for the creation and development of learning courses.
Its main advantage is a diversity of content and assignment options to include in modules. For instance, you can add interactive video content, Soundcloud audio, ebooks, exams and self-assessments..
Also, you may create your own site by using various templates, color palettes, font families, button sizes, and layout forms. LearnWorlds offers powerful marketing and sales funnel opportunities, including affiliate programs, bundling models, feedback surveys, payment gateways, and a pop-up builder.
Importantly, LearnWorlds may be complex to use due to its multiple functions. In addition, it offers pretty basic email marketing apps and has no community features. That’s why it is an “almost” all-in-one solution.
Other powerful features of this Thinkific alternative:
- Mobile app. You can create your own Android or iOS app with Learnworlds.
- Certifications. LearnWorlds allows issuing course completion certificates (under the Pro Trainer Plan or higher).
Pricing: there is a free trial; Starter Plan costs $29/mo (with communication features, payment support, exams, and quizzes); Pro Trainer is $99/mo (assessments, unlimited landing pages, online classes, and webinars); Learning Center Plan is $299/mo (interactive content, mobile app creation, advanced options); High Volume & Corporate Plan can be ordered via the call.
💡Highlight: The absence of definite engagement tools makes this education platform a good option for multiple self-paced courses or courses with a focus on events and assignments rather than cooperation.
#6. Podia: Thinkific alternative with excellent email marketing
If you are looking for an alternative that can compensate for Thinkific’s poor email marketing and product variety, Podia may be your choice. Why?
Podia is a comprehensive platform with a decent content editor and in-built marketing tools, allowing you to create and sell not only courses but also webinars, sessions, and digital product bundles.
The online course creators and learning providers would benefit from an intuitive editor and easy-to-use community feature that can be linked to the courses. Sure, compared to Disco and Mighty Networks, it is pretty basic. Besides, the course builder can be too simple for some creators.
Key features of Podia:
- Marketing and sales options. Email marketing is in-built, contemplating advanced email building and segmentation. The other marketing and sales tools include affiliate marketing and landing page support.
- Intuitive webpage builder. It offers a pretty flexible course website builder thanks to layout, color, and font options. You can add email forms, testimonials, and FAQs to the mobile, tablet, or website layouts.
Pricing: Podia grants a free plan; Maker Plan costs $39/mo (unlimited courses, downloads, coaching programs, communities, and website); Shaker Plan costs $89/mo (other unlimited products, advanced marketing, API integrations).
💡Highlight: Podia provides powerful email marketing and a decent sales suite and enables creators to develop different products. This mix makes it perfect for single creators, coaches, and learning businesses who cross-sell or offer a variety of products.
#7. Kajabi: All-around software that many have heard of
We can’t ignore that Kajabi is one of the most popular alternatives to Thinkific. It is widely used among single creators, but why?
Kajabi is indeed an all-in-all solution for creators wanting to create and sell courses and various digital products online. It has the most powerful marketing and sales features, multiple integrations, and flexible content builders.
Moreover, this platform offers mobile app creation to support learning experiences. If Thinkific offers only course creation, Kajabi allows you to develop other digital products, like podcasts. Also, it grants coupons, promos, affiliate programs, and email marketing options for their selling.
Yet, Kajabi’s reporting and management tools are not great, while engagement tools are rather limited considering high pricing options.
Other powerful Kajabi features:
- Website builder. Offers various templates to set the site’s design and content, including layout, usage and format of pictures and texts, placing pop-ups or CTA blocks.
- Sales funnel builder. Grants pre-built structures for your funnel to organize lead generation and launch of digital products.
Pricing: requires card credentials for a free plan; Basic Plan costs $149/mo (up to 3 products and funnels, 1000 active customers); Growth Plan costs $199/mo (up to 15 and 15 funnels, 10 000 active customers); Pro Plan is $399/mo (up to 100 and 100 funnels, 20 000 active customers).
💡Highlight: Having a simple course editor and putting sales and marketing in the center, Kajabi is ideal for single course creators who want to sell uncomplicated courses and products online.
#8. Teachable: Common Thinkific alternative with intuitive solutions
If considering main Thinkific competitors, there is another platform that everybody talks about — Teachable. Teachable is a universal platform for course creation and selling, with an intuitive course builder and decent marketing functions.
Compared to other platforms, Teachable offers a flexible and intuitive course builder backed by AI functions. It has decent quiz options, for instance. Also, its website builder offers enough freedom to customize and develop your course or school web pages. That way, in terms of key features, Teachable is a good alternative to Thinkific.
However, the disadvantages of this platform are the lack of community features and advanced customization. Moreover, there are transaction fees that some consider a major downturn.
Decent Teachable features:
- Marketing and sales suite. Teachable has solid marketing capabilities, even though email marketing is not as cool as Podia and Kajabi offer. Notably, creators can develop bundles and integrate pixel tracking, coupons, and affiliate programs.
- Payment support. Offers different ways for students to pay and provides tax automation support.
Pricing: provides a free plan; Basic Plan costs $59/mo (5% transaction fee; 5 published products); Pro Plan costs $159/mo (no transaction fees, 50 published products, public API, affiliate marketing, advanced branding); Pro+ Plan costs $249/mo (200 of each product)
Highlight: With an intuitive course editor and decent marketing support, Teachable is a worthy option for single creators only starting their journey, yet it may not be enough for advanced online courses.
Platforms like Thinkific that are not typical LMS
- #9. Kartra: Lead gen platform with online course builder
- #10 Maven: Platform for creators with a strong following
We have reviewed solid LMS that can compensate for Thinkfic limitations with either focus on collaboration, flexibility, or marketing power. However, the market shows that creators find uncommon solutions as alternatives to Thinkfic. Kartra and Maven are unusual platforms that happen to answer the specific needs of former Thinkific users.
#9. Kartra: Lead gen platform with online course builder
Yes, Katra is a lead generation platform that allows the use of the membership model to create and sell basic online courses and digital downloads.
As Kartra is not LMS, it implies that creators will use the platform's content creation features to develop a course. Under the membership section, you can create categories and subcategories to post content. That way, you can share different formats and types of content. Learners can leave comments, while creators can add quizzes.
Moreover, being the lead gen platform, it offers multiple and pretty powerful ways to promote the products:
- Use drag-and-drop landing page builders with alert bars and popups
- Create an affiliate program
- Launch email campaigns.
Importantly, Kartra’s engagement, management, and reporting is not enough for quality and efficient learning.
Pricing: Starter Plan costs $119/mo (2 Membership sites, 20 products, 1 custom domain); Silver Plan costs $229/mo (unlimited products and sites, 3 custom domains); Platinum costs $559//mo (10 custom domains)
💡Highlight: Kartra’s membership model works well for course creation process, while lead gen features offer significant marketing capabilities. If you are a creator, coach, or entrepreneur prioritizing sales, then it may be your choice.
#10 Maven: Platform for creators with a strong following
Maven is an online platform that combines course creation tools, a marketplace, and a community of creators or influencers.
It is different from common Thinkific competitors because of the learning business model. The main focus here is on networking, offering a community that can help you create and promote online courses.
Simultaneously, the marketplace is a powerful way to showcase your course. It works well with Maven’s email marketing tool, landing page builder and lead magnet feature.
In terms of course creation, Maven offers:
- Simple cohort-based editor. You can add and embed content, organize events, online classes, and tasks.
- Basic communication tools. The channels are enough for engagement and can be backed by integrations.
Maven has poor integrations and course management. Also, it may not be the best choice if you have no audience.
Pricing: 10% of the price paid by the learner, excluding any additional costs.
💡Highlight: If you are a creator with a significant number of followers and want to create a cohort-based course, the Maven will help you by offering a marketplace, community, and solid tools.
Conclusion: Which alternative to Thinkific to pick?
As a result, we can divide Thinkific alternative platforms into three groups that focus on different things:
- collaboration for the sake of effective learning
- marketing tools for better sales
- simply uncommon solutions.
Regarding the first one, EducateMe is the best Thinkific alternative for collaborative learning. Just look at its management, engagement, and reporting tools. You should try this platform if you seek to provide quality and deep knowledge.
On the other hand, Disco and Mighty Networks are decent options as well. They offer more for building online communities.
In terms of marketing power, Podia and Kajabi have the most powerful email marketing capabilities, while LearnWorlds provides excellent content diversity.
What about uncommon solutions? Katra and Maven may be reasonable solutions, especially for a membership model or a creator with a good following.