5+ Thinkific Alternatives [November 2023]: For Experts, By An Expert

Mihael Cacic
Matija Laznik
Anja Jazbinsek
Updated date: November 17th, 2023

We are reader-supported. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Thinkific is an online learning platform that helps educators and coaches create and sell courses online. However, it lacks native gamification features, built-in email marketing tools, and other important capabilities that competitors offer.

Course creation platforms are complex, offering varying features depending on their target audience. Keeping this in mind, we tried to build our analysis around three vital attributes creators look for:

  • course creation features,
  • community features,
  • and marketing features.

Using our experience with course creation platforms, we identified 5 Thinkific alternatives that address these limitations. So, let’s get started!

Best Thinkific Alternative: Executive Summary

If you’re looking for a well-rounded tool, switch to Teachable.
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative,
switch to LearnWorlds.
If you’re looking to integrate courses with your WordPress site, switch to LearnDash.

Best Overall Runner-Up Best For WordPress
Teachable LearnWorlds LearnDash
Best for creators looking
for an all-in-one platform with many native integrations
Best for educators looking
for a pocket-friendly alternative
Best for creators looking to integrate courses in their WordPress site
Visit Tool Site Visit Tool Site Visit Tool Site

Buying Guide and How We Rate Our Tools

Every e-learning platform designs its features to meet the requirements of a specific audience. However, before making a decision, every audience looks into these four basic criteria:

Ease of Use: We test how fast a beginner can learn to navigate the tool, the ease of setting up, and overall management. In addition, we assess if the support team is responsive and the tool is reliable in its performance.

Features: We test the type of features available and if they’re suitable for building and growing an online community. We also check their application and if they suit specific use cases. Finally, how do they compare with Thinkific?

Customization: We test the options a user gets when modifying the course’s look. We check the design options, integrations, and compatibility with other tools.

Value for Money: We test the price point of each tool’s plan and the value they offer. We also check the transparency of the tool’s billing and cancellation policy.

Note: low scores aren’t always bad.

Remember, each tool has its unique specialty. For example, if a tool targets large enterprises, it will be inherently more complex. It all comes down to determining the features you want from your tool.

Now, let’s walk through a mini-review of each.

All Thinkific Alternatives


Best overall alternative for course creators looking for a platform with native marketing, analytics, and community-building integrations.

Read More

Ease of Use:
Value for Money:


Best for professional educators who plan on creating online courses for a growing community. Offers great gamification features and unlimited courses and members at an affordable price.

Read More

Ease of Use:
Value for Money:


Best for entrepreneurs looking to host and sell online courses on their own WordPress website.

Read More

Ease of Use:
Value for Money:

Mighty Networks

Best for leveraging your growing community to create, market, and sell digital products.

Read More

Ease of Use:
Value for Money:


Best for small and medium-sized knowledge businesses looking for advanced course creation features at an affordable price.

Read More

Ease of Use:
Value for Money:

1. Teachable — Best for Coaches and Creators with a Sales Funnel

Ease of Use Features Customization Value for Money
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐

Teachable started in 2014 when Ankur Nagpal decided that he wanted to sell his courses outside of Udemy.

Teachable’s top features include:

  • app marketplace,
  • quizzes, assessments & course certificates,
  • course tracking & reporting,
  • 1:1 & group coaching sessions.

Teachable is an excellent choice for startups and solo entrepreneurs looking for a well-rounded platform with native marketing, analytics, and community-building integrations.

Teachable Pros Teachable Cons
✅ Free lifetime plan ❌ Transaction fees
✅ Tax and payment handling ❌ Limited functionality on entry plan
✅ Custom domain available on all paid plans  
✅ Third-party app integrations  

Teachable has a modern layout that improves the learning experience of students.

Teachable has a modern design that boosts the learning experience of students. Educators can tweak their courses by changing color, font, and more, completely up to their taste. They can also award completion certificates to students when they complete a course. However, its mobile app is only compatible with iOS devices.

Thinkific offers quite similar customization options. And, as in Teachable, educators can also award certificates to students. However, unlike Teachable, students can access the courses on the go on both iOS and Android.

Teachable lets you offer unlimited coupons and discounts.

Teachable comes with an e-commerce feature where educators sell their products (courses, digital downloads, and more). Educators can drive sales using simple marketing techniques like discount coupons, affiliate programs, or membership sites with invite-only subscriptions.

Thinkific also has a built-in e-commerce feature. However, unlike Teachable, educators can only offer limited coupons and there is a cap on commissions earned through affiliate marketing programs.

Thinkific’s pricing plans are affordable and don’t charge transaction fees.

Thinkific and Teachable offer fair pricing plans, starting at $49 and $59 per month, respectively. Both also have a free plan with the option to sell a single course. But Thinkific might be better in the long term since Teachable charges transaction fees in both the free and basic plans while Thinkific doesn’t charge any transaction fees.

Note: For a more detailed breakdown of Thinkific pricing, check out our Thinkific Pricing article.

Use Teachable If:

  • You are looking for advanced marketing and sales tools.
  • You need a broad range of digital products like live events and podcasts.
  • You’re on a budget and need a free plan.

2. LearnWorlds — Best Option With Native Marketing, Analytics, And Community-Building

Ease of Use Features Customization Value for Money
⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Giorgos Palaigeorgiou, Fanis Despotakis, and Panos Siozos established LearnWorlds in 2014 to enable creators to produce digital products without any technical expertise needed.

LearnWorld’s most notable features include:

  • white-labeled courses,
  • native mobile app with in-app sales capability,
  • advanced marketing features,
  • push notifications.

LearnWorlds is ideal for professional educators searching for flexible branding options to produce white-label courses and apps.

LearnWorlds Pros LearnWorlds Cons
✅ 30+ integrations ❌ No bulk upload option
✅ Interactive videos ❌ Basic reporting feature
✅ Intuitive page builder with theme and template library ❌ No CRM
✅ Excellent customer support  

LearnWorlds website builder offers better customization.

LearnWorlds website builder lets creators build a website using a drag-and-drop editor or choose from the 50+ templates to make their pages their own. They can create interactive courses combining several content types, including ebooks, Vimeo and YouTube videos, and live streaming.

Unlike LearnWorlds, Thinkific doesn’t provide a large collection of content types. However, creators can use the 10+ templates to create video courses and customize the images, titles, and polls. They can also manage course settings (video watching percentage, lecture order, etc.) and track their student’s progress.

LearnWorlds has advanced course creation and delivery features.

LearnWorlds lets creators add multiple content types like PDFs, ebooks, and other files to your courses. It also provides plagiarism detection tools, grading, and more to check your students’ assignments. Creators can enhance the overall learning experience with forums and groups to encourage student interactions and discussions. The drip content feature enables educators to schedule the release of content up to their plans. And when it comes to video lessons, you can make them fully interactive.

Thinkific also offers similar course creation and delivery features. However, creators can’t add interactive components to their courses. Also, there are no plagiarism detection tools for testing student assignments.

LearnWorlds offers advanced payment integrations.

LearnWorlds comes with integrations to well-known payment gateways, couponing apps, and more. Creators can also use APIs to integrate the custom applications.

Thinkific also provides several payment integrations like Stripe and major credit cards. However, unlike LearnWorlds, the affiliate program you get has limited coupon code tracking and a standardized commission per course.

LearnWorlds’ affordable plans offer more features intended for beginners.

LearnWorlds’ pricing plans are simple, starting at $24 per month. Unlike Thinkific, LearnWorlds has no free plan, but creators access unlimited paid courses and an ebook page builder with the paid plans.

Use LearnWorlds If:

  • You need an online course creation platform with a gamification feature.
  • You want more payment options.
  • Your online business needs a white-label application.

Note: For a more detailed comparison of LearnWorlds and Thinkific, check out our LearnWorlds vs Thinkific comparison.

3. LearnDash — Best for Educators with a WordPress Site

Ease of Use Features Customization Value for Money
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐

LearnDash was developed by Kloe and Justin Ferriman in 2012 as a learning management system plugin for WordPress websites.

LearnDash’s top features include:

  • drag-and-drop course creator,
  • WordPress integration,
  • detailed quiz builder,
  • learning pathways.

LearnDash is ideal for website owners looking for an easy-to-use course creation platform that integrates with their WordPress site.

LearnDash Pros LearnDash Cons
✅ Drag-and-drop course builder ❌ Requires technical knowledge
✅ Workflow automation ❌ Limited payment gateway integrations
✅ Advanced customization  
✅ Marketing platforms compatibility  

LearnDash allows course creators to upgrade their WordPress sites with a learning management system.

LearnDash works as a WordPress plugin that gives educators the freedom to customize their courses using the page builder. Unlike Thinkific, creators need tech skills to create and manage their website, security, hosting, and plugin updates.

On the other hand, Thinkific is a hosted platform offering all the features needed for creating and selling courses — including a website. It provides a drag-and-drop builder for course creation with several templates and themes.

Thinkific has built-in e-commerce features. LearnDash offers e-commerce features and a WooCommerce extension.

LearnDash has an e-commerce feature to market and sell their courses. However, it only offers three payment gateways: Stripe, PayPal, and 2 Checkout. To compensate, LearnDash also offers a WooCommerce extension, so creators can offer more payment options for free. However, creators have to create and manage the integration manually.

Meanwhile, Thinkific eliminates the reliance on third-party software to market and sell courses. It provides built-in e-commerce features to market and sell digital products which integrate with its own Thinkific Payments tool.

LearnDash customer support doesn’t offer as much as Thinkific.

Email is the main customer support channel for both LearnDash and Thinkific. However, LearnDash doesn’t offer priority support for its premium users while Thinkific has a dedicated customer success team for its Thinkific Plus users.

LearnDash’s annual subscription costs half of Thinkific’s.

LearnDash has a straightforward pricing plan where you get access to the LMS plugin and all its features for $199/month per site. It does offer bulk plans depending on the number of sites. However, your overall cost does increase when you consider hosting, themes, extensions, etc.

Use LearnDash If:

  • You want to repurpose your WordPress site as an LMS.
  • You want to customize your site with extensions.
  • You want a holistic view of your student’s progress.

4. Mighty Networks — Best for Creating a Branded Community

Ease of Use Features Customization Value for Money
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mighty Networks was started in 2017 by Gina Bianchini to help creators build a community around their passions and monetize their expertise.

Mighty Networks’ top features include:

  • cohort-based & content-only courses,
  • community-building features,
  • dedicated analytics platform,
  • live sessions.

Choose Mighty Networks if you’re a coach, educator, or creator looking to teach and monetize communities centered around your expertise.

Mighty Networks Pros Mighty Networks Cons
✅ Intuitive user experience ❌ Limited features on starter plans
✅ Engaging community features ❌ Few payment gateways
✅ Automation features ❌ Basic course creation features
✅ Unlimited members, admins, and spaces  

Mighty Networks provides community-building features that are unbeatable.

Building a community is very easy on Mighty Networks. Creators can start forums, live events, and groups to create interactive member experiences. They can also share their content or courses in the same spaces.

Thinkific, on the other hand, provides basic community-building features like chats, comments, and posts. Though creators can showcase upcoming live events on their Thinkific landing page, they need to integrate third-party video conferencing tools.

Thinkific offers a course builder that is more advanced.

Thinkific has a drag-and-drop course creator to easily build courses with quizzes and certifications to enhance the student experience. Creators can also choose from dozens of templates to customize their course content.

Mighty Networks, on the other hand, provides basic course creation features. Although creators can add media to their courses, there are limitations to design customization features.

Thinkific has more course purchase options than Mighty Networks.

Thinkific offers more flexible course purchase options like bundles, memberships, single purchases, and so on. Students can purchase courses using payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal, and more.

Mighty Networks also offers similar course purchase options to members. However, they can only complete purchases via Stripe as Mighty Networks doesn’t support third-party payment gateways.

Thinkific has a free plan but Mighty Networks plans are more affordable overall.

Thinkific has four pricing plans, including a free plan supporting one course. Paid plans start at $49/month for API access, a mobile app, and unlimited courses and students.

Mighty Networks doesn’t offer a free plan but its paid plans are cheaper starting at $39 per month. However, its starter plan doesn’t support course creation and analytics.

Use Mighty Networks If:

  • You want a course platform with excellent community-building features.
  • You want to host live sessions with your network.
  • You want to create invite-only content for your courses.

Note: For a more detailed comparison of Thinkific vs Mighty Networks, check out our Thinkific vs Mighty Networks article.

5. Podia — Best for SMEs and Start-ups with Limited Budget

Ease of Use Features Customization Value for Money
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Podia was started back in 2014 by Spencer Fry to help creators monetize their skills and expertise. Since then, the company has grown tremendously in scale and the number of users, boasting over 150,000 users.

Podia’s standout features include:

  • intuitive course builder,
  • e-commerce features,
  • paid communities,
  • consultation and coaching services.

Podia suits small businesses looking for a simple, affordable solution to create and sell courses.

Podia Pros Podia Cons
✅ Decent website builder ❌ No native certification, quizzes for courses
✅ User-friendly UI and UX ❌ Basic community features
✅ No transaction fees and instant payouts ❌ Lacks extensive template options
✅ 1000+ integrations  

Podia offers more branding features in its course creator.

Podia has a simpler course creation tool that allows creators to add and remove sections with text, images, and embedded videos in their courses. Additionally, educators can customize their content with logos and fonts to align with their brand.

On the other hand, Thinkific supports more content types including podcasts. However, it doesn’t offer as many customization options as Podia.

Podia provides a more powerful email marketing feature.

Podia’s email marketing feature lets creators set up automated email notifications to inform learners about new content, course progress, and newsletters. It also allows creators to send targeted emails using the segmentation features and track basic campaign metrics like opening rates.

Thinkific’s email marketing is basic, as creators can only send welcome and completion messages to their network. However, creators can integrate their Thinkific account with a CRM, like ConvertKit, to manage email campaigns.

Podia’s plans are more pocket-friendly.

Podia offers three pricing plans, starting with a free version that supports decent features. However, it charges an 8% transaction fee which may negate your savings on the subscription. For more advanced features, creators need to subscribe to the paid plans, starting at $33 per month.

Use Podia If:

  • You are a beginner looking to sell digital products like courses, webinars, and ebooks.
  • You want a premium community chat service.
  • You want instant payouts from sales.

Final Verdict

Community building platforms rarely offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Creators have different requirements depending on their experience with course building, the type of audience they cater to, and the complexity of their brand identity. And, as you can see in this guide, each Thinkific alternative tries to address the gap left by the other platforms.

Overall, Thinkific packs decent features. However, it lacks native marketing features like Teachable offers and the interactive community-building tools found in Mighty Networks.

That’s why, based on our testing, we recommend:

  • Teachable for creators that plan to use integrated marketing features.
  • LearnDash for creators with an existing WordPress website.
  • LearnWorlds for educators who need to create courses for a growing community.

Note: We also compared Thinkific to one of the best course creation platforms out there — Kajabi. Check out our Kajabi vs Thinkific comparison.


Mihael Cacic
Miha is a writer and an expert in comparative content. After graduating from Physics, Mihael left his job as a software engineer developing SaaS products and began writing about them instead. He gets a kick from writing in-depth, objective, and though through software reviews, knowing his readers will find the best software for their needs.
Mihael Cacic
Miha is a writer and an expert in comparative content. After graduating from Physics, Mihael left his job as a software engineer developing SaaS products and began writing about them instead. He gets a kick from writing in-depth, objective, and though through software reviews, knowing his readers will find the best software for their needs.