But it’s missing the marketing features that come with other platforms.
So, is it worth compromising paying the price but missing out on the built-in marketing tools?
In this article, we’ll assess Thinkific’s pricing plans and highlight its most valuable features. We’ll also compare it to competing platforms and recommend alternatives for specific types of course creators.
|✅️ 2021 Shortlist on Capterra.com
✅️ Rated 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.com
✅️ Fall 2021 Leader on G2.com
|Starting Price: Free|
|Thinkific is a reliable LMS platform with an intuitive course-creation process featuring variable lesson and assessment types. Communities are a core feature of the platform, which is ideal for engaging an unlimited number of students. On top of that, Thinkific offers 90+ integrations, which support both the marketing operations and the learning experience of your business.|
|Try the Free plan
(no credit card required)
Thinkific offers valuable quotas for its lower plans but reserves community monetization for the top plans.
|Free Plan||Basic Plan||Start Plan||Grow Plan|
|Admins and students||1 Admin
Limited email support
|Additional Features||Website themes
Affiliates and coupons
Thinkific offers a valuable free lifetime plan and three paid plans: Basic, Start, and Grow. On annual subscriptions, you’ll get a 25% discount on all paid plans plus free access to Thinkific’s accelerator program.
There are two additional premier plans—Thinkific Expand and Thinkific Plus—but their pricing isn’t specified. The Plus plan is scalable for enterprises, featuring unlimited admins and a dedicated success manager.
Thinkfic offers a free lifetime plan with no transaction fees. However, you can only create one course and one community on this plan. There are two spaces available in the community so you can split the discussions by topic. They also offer user-friendly website templates with which you can build a beautiful website or a landing page that will help with the course sales right from the start.
The best thing about Thinkific’s free plan is that you can have an unlimited number of enrolled students at any time. But, you won’t be able to monetize this large community through paid subscriptions.
Thinkific’s free plan is best for testing out a new course and building a loyal community around your knowledge. You get to sell courses to an unlimited number of students for free. But you’ll eventually need to upgrade to a paid plan because the educational experience is missing key tools like assignments and course compliance controls.
|Thinkific Free Plan: $0/month|
|✅ Unlimited students||❌ No paid subscriptions|
|✅ No transaction fees||❌ Limited support|
|✅ Connected course and community||❌ Limited educational tools|
The Basic plan is Thinkific’s most affordable plan. It costs $49 per month for monthly payments and $36 per month for the annual pricing option.
Its most valuable addition compared to the free plan is the option to publish an unlimited number of courses. There are no added options for communities and you still won’t be able to monetize with memberships but you’ll get three extra spaces to organize your community more efficiently.
In terms of branding, you’ll be able to add a custom domain, but the Thinkific branding will remain on your website. There are a few additional sales and marketing features, like affiliates, coupons, 1:1 emails, and manual student enrollment.
So overall, the Basic plan on Thinkific is valuable to online course creators aiming to offer a large number of courses.
The community only serves as a discussion space for courses, but the plan’s affordable price will allow you to invest in integrations from the Thinkific app store.
|Thinkific Basic Plan: $49/month|
|✅ Unlimited courses||❌ No paid memberships|
|✅ Manual student enrollments||❌ Limited educational tools|
|✅ Scheduled courses (drip feature)||❌ Limited marketing tools|
The Start plan costs $74 per month when paid annually and $99 per month for a monthly payment plan.
This plan offers much more value compared to the Basic plan.
You’ll get most of Thinkific’s advanced course-creation options, including certificates, assignments, and course compliance controls.
There’s still only one community allowed on the Start plan, but the spaces are bumped up to 10. And most importantly, you’ll be able to monetize communities through paid memberships and bundle them with courses.
The Start plan is best for small teams running an engaging online course business. There are two site admin accounts and a revenue-sharing option. This is also the plan to go for if you need to monetize a community with a single niche.
|Thinkific Start Plan: $99/month|
|✅ Advanced course-creation tools (live lessons, assignments, completion certificates…)||❌ Can’t remove Thinkific branding|
|✅ Paid memberships||❌ No Zapier actions|
|✅ Admin accounts and revenue-sharing||❌ No built-in analytics|
The Grow plan is Thinkific’s most popular plan. It starts at $149 per month when paid annually and costs $199 per month for monthly subscriptions.
On this plan, you’ll finally get to remove the Thinkific branding from your website and expand your team with more admin accounts.
You’ll also get two additional communities with 20 spaces per community. The bulk emails and larger group sizes will allow you to communicate with a growing number of students more efficiently. Plus, you’ll get the Brillium exam integration, which adds more advanced options for student evaluation.
The Grow plan is particularly valuable for business models built around paid subscriptions. It also suits teachers with interactive courses because of its Brillium exams integration.
|Thinkific Grow Plan: $199/month|
|✅ Three communities||❌ No built-in email|
|✅ More admin roles||❌ No built-in automations|
|✅ Advanced assignment options|
All of Thinkific’s paid plans offer unlimited students and courses. However, they differ in terms of community spaces and monetization. Top plans also have more advanced educational tools. Here’s how to choose your ideal pricing plan.
Choose the Free plan if:
- You’re testing out a new course idea.
- You’ve got one high-ticket course.
- You need to gather your fan base in a private community.
Choose the Basic plan if:
- You want to add a custom domain.
- You’ve got a large number of courses.
- You want to invest in third-party tools.
Choose the Start plan if:
- You want to monetize community memberships.
- You need advanced course-creation tools.
- You need a mobile app.
Choose the Grow plan if:
- You have several community ideas.
- If you need more interactive assignments.
- You have a large team of admins.
Thinkific has a free lifetime plan with no credit card required, but its functionality is limited. You can, however, try most of the advanced features on the free trial of the Start plan ($99/month). The trial lasts for 30 days and requires a credit card for registration.
Thinkific has valuable educational tools, but it relies on integrations for marketing.
Thinkific leads online course platforms with its intuitive drag-and-drop course builder, which allows for various lesson types for the most engaging course content — including assignments & quizzes, live lessons, downloadables, and more.
Thinkific platform offers a built-in payment processor, website, community, and cart features. But it doesn’t include a built-in email tool and advanced analytics is only available starting from the Grow plan up.
Still, Thinkific has an extensive list of integrations on its Thinkific App Store, including:
- Selling & Conversion,
- Email & Marketing,
- Learning Experience,
- Site Design,
- Engagement & Assessment,
- Connections & Social,
- Business Operations.
These integrations give you the flexibility of adding features that are available on competing learning management system platforms. For instance, you can create a learning experience that is similar to the one on Xperiencify (but not as advanced) by using the apps Motrain and Pointagram, which offer gamification features.
Thinkific communities offer valuable quotas, but they’re less advanced than standalone alternatives.
Thinkific offers a community on all its plans, including its free plan. You can also enroll an unlimited number of students on all plans.
However, Thinkific limits the number of spaces you can have on each plan and its interface isn’t interactive, compared to some standalone community platforms.
For instance, Mighty Networks has a better layout, more engaging post types, and offers an unlimited number of spaces.
Thinkific’s free plan is valuable for beginners, but the Grow plan offers the highest value on the platform. In addition to offering unlimited courses and a mobile app, the Grow plan allows you to monetize three separate communities. You’ll also get access to all the educational features that Thinkific offers.
Thinkific has no transaction fees, but it relies on external tools.
There are a few additional costs that you may incur when using Thinkific, including:
- Payment processing fees: Thinkific integrates with Stripe and PayPal to process payments from your students. These platforms charge a fee for each transaction, which varies depending on your location and currency. For example, Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢ per successful charge in the US.
- Third-party integrations: Some of the integrations on Thikific’s App Store are free, while others require a paid subscription or a one-time fee.
- Custom domain: You can use your custom domain starting from the Basic plan, which costs around $10-$15 per year.
Thinkific’s starting price is affordable, compared to other course creation platforms but its lower tiers limit community monetization and some course features.
In terms of built-in tools, Thinkific scores less when compared to all-in-one platforms like Kajabi. However, Thinkific offers more integrations for software that might perform even better than built-in tools, since they’re often being developed for that specific use only.
Here are our suggested alternatives that address common concerns when choosing Thinkific:
|Thinkific Concerns||Suggested Alternatives|
|Limited options on free plan||New Zenler, FreshLearn, Teachable|
|Limited community features||Skool, Mighty Networks, Kajabi, LearnWorlds|
|Limited website||Kajabi, LearnWorlds|
|No built-in gamification||Xperiencify, LearnWorlds, Skool|
|No automations||Kajabi, New Zenler|
They have a very unique Thinkific feature for that: Tcommerce, a built-in payment processor. But it’s only available for users in the US, UK, and Canada. You can also use Stripe or PayPal on Thinkific with standard processing fees.
Thinkific doesn’t include a built-in email but it integrates with top third-party email marketing tools, such as Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and ConvertKit. You can only use bulk emailing starting from the Grow plan.
Thinkific is an affordable course-creation platform, but it’s best used with third-party tools.
To sum up, the Thinkific course creation platform provides high value by offering unlimited students and courses in every plan.
However, if your business thrives on communities, you can consider platforms that offer membership monetization for lower pricing plans.
Overall, Thinkific is ideal for knowledge providers who want to offer interactive learning experiences and engage with their students on multiple levels. Its affordable plans will allow you to invest in third-party integrations if you’re not satisfied with the built-in tools on other learning platforms.