Thinkific vs WordPress

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Searching for the ultimate Online Course platform might lead to two popular options: Thinkific vs. WordPress. The question is, how do these two platforms stack up against each other?

Thinkific is an all-in-one platform that allows you to create and market your online courses. While more commonly recognized for its blogging function, WordPress can function as an interactive platform to host online courses. 

Essentially, Thinkific and WordPress are different platforms offering users a variety of features. It’s important to note that users can still successfully host online courses on both platforms. 

Thinkific vs WordPress


For many online course creators, Thinkific is the go-to platform. Not only is it an all-in-one platform that facilitates designing and marketing online courses, but it’s also user-friendly.

Unlike a number of its competitors, the Thinkific platform doesn’t restrict the number of users per course. The tools provided will have you launching your first course in no time!


Simply put, WordPress is a free, open-source website creation platform. Many users will associate WordPress with being the simplest and most advanced blog system and website builder on the market.

Installing a course building plug-in like MemberPress LMS makes it easy to host online courses on your WordPress website. The plug-in enables you to add lessons to your course as well as create course membership subscriptions. 

Thinkific vs. WordPress at a Glance

Free TrialYes, 14 days.No, but there is a free plan.
Pricing RangeFree – $0/month
Basic Plan – $49/month
Pro Plan – $99/month
Premier Plan – $499/month
*Save 20% when you pay annually
** Growth Package add-on with Pro Plan (costs based on active students)
Personal – $48 per year
Premium – $96 per year
Business – $300 per year
e-Commerce – $540 per year
Best ForSmall businesses, consultants, coaches, authors, speakers, trainers, schooling programs.A website builder that is universal and works for almost every business endeavor you can think of having online. There are vast numbers of official and third-party plugins.
User Interface Features
Thinkific is an all-in-one platform, so everything you’ll need is easily systemized in one place. The user interface looks DIY. Users will have to research and add plug-ins to create an online course, but everything is fully customizable.
Online CoursesSSO & segment
Course category option makes organizing simple
Audio & download content types for enhanced learning
Plugins to create online courses include:
MemberPress courses
Monetization OptionsAvailable with all plans.
Available starting with an E-Commerce plan.
Marketing OptionsThe most effective marketing options on Thinkific include the following:
Utilize SEO & Keyword Research
Email marketing
Customer validation – social proof
Focus on the result
Retarget ads
WordPress websites work best for SEO. Popular plug-ins include:
Responsive Block Editor Addon
Rank Math SEO
Smart Slider 3
ARVE – Advanced Responsive Video Embedder
Kismet Spam Protection

Let’s have a look at some of the contrasting features of these two platforms:

  • Unlike Thinkific, WordPress doesn’t offer a free trial period. However, WordPress does offer a free plan to create websites. There are limited features on the free plan, but it’s still possible to create an effective site with free online courses. 
  • Depending on the plan chosen, there might not be much difference between the yearly costs. 
  • The Thinkific interface is much easier to use with all the features in one easy platform. With WordPress some you’ll have to research the exact plug-in required to create course content.

While Thinkific is primarily an online course platform, WordPress is a website builder allowing you to create an online course section in your personal or company blog! 


Thinkific vs. WordPress: Pricing Comparison

Thinkific Pricing:

  • Free ($0 per month) – includes audio, video, and PDF hosting, unlimited students, and limited courses. Doesn’t support custom domain or membership sites.
  • Basic Plan ($49 per month or $39 per month if paid annually) – includes coupons, bulk emailing, affiliate reporting, custom domain, and allows unlimited courses and students. Doesn’t support membership sites.
  • Pro Plan ($99 per month or $89 per month if paid annually) – includes site and admin course accounts, flexible pricing, and membership sites, allows unlimited students and courses. 
  • Premier Plan ($499 per month or $399 per month if paid annually) includes group analysts, SSO, onboarding packages, and no limits on students or courses.

WordPress Pricing:

  • Free – The best option for getting started and familiarizing yourself with WordPress 
  • Personal ($4 per month or $48 annually) – Best for personal use, it offers unlimited Email support and best-in-class hosting—however, no access to advanced SEO tools. 
  • Premium ($8 per month or $96 annually) – Allows ad revenue earnings, premium themes, and Google Analytics integration. No Advanced SEO or any plug-ins. 
  • Business ($25 per month or $300 annually) – Provides SFTP(SSH File Transfer Protocol), Database Access, Advanced SEO tools and gives you access to 50,000 WordPress plug-ins. 
  • e-Commerce ($45 per month or $540 annually) – Best for online stores and offers the deluxe in WordPress features including Advanced SEO’s, plug-ins and Automated site backups, and one-click restore.

Add-ons such as hosting, plug-ins needed for building and marketing your online courses, and e-commerce plan subscriptions determine your final cost. You can build a uniquely custom site with SEO possibilities. Depending on the prices of the add-ons, the final cost of WordPress powered course could be cheaper or more expensive than a Thinkific subscription.

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Thinkific vs. WordPress: A Comparison of Features and Tools

Choosing the right platform to host your online training courses should be dependent on the features offered. Ideally, you want features that allow you to create a site easily. Features provided should give the teacher and student the tools to enhance their learning experience. Platforms that offer marketing tips and strategies are a bonus and could be the feature that swings your vote.


Online Courses

Well-designed online courses create a more engaging student experience and result in better revenues for course creators. Thinkific Online courses allow creators to educate an unlimited number of students with simple automation and customization functions.

With WordPress, you’ll have to purchase plug-ins like MemberPress to create your courses. This modularity might be daunting for novice users. 

Which Platform Offers a Better Solution for Hosting Online Courses?

Designed to facilitate online courses specifically, Thinkific is an easier option to use. As an all-in-one platform with all the features needed, there’s no need to purchase additional plug-ins or other add-ons.


Sales & Marketing Features

Thinkific and WordPress offer tips and guides to promote marketing and sales on your pages.

These two platforms also suggest promoting your online course page on all your other social media and online pages, with links taking potential students directly to your course page. Thinkific also offers coupons and promotional options. 

Which Platform Offers Better Sales & Marketing Solutions?

Since you don’t have to purchase specific add-ons with Thinkific, their promotional discounts and coupons go a long way towards giving you value for money. Additionally, Thinkific has a 55 tip guide on their blog with different pointers on promoting your courses.


Student Experience Features

Ultimately, student experience determines your success. Everyone wants web pages with straightforward navigation and excellent ease of use.

WordPress and Thinkific provide top-notch user experiences, which might make it difficult to choose the better option. 

Which Platform Offers Better Student Experience?

Thinkific provides a variety of features that make for an engaging user experience. Their interactive dashboard and quizzes function are among the most popular features.

  • WordPress offers thousands of plug-ins allowing you to create interactive and engaging experiences for your students. The only difference here is that with Thinkific, the features form part of the platform. 
laptop stats

Analytics Features

A good analytics feature provides you with visitor information and, in some cases, allows you to view student progress. Thinkific primarily makes use of Google Analytics, whereas WordPress makes use of different plug-in options. Popular WordPress plug-ins include WooCommerce Analytics, Affiliate Link Tracking, and Google Analytics. 

Which Platform Offers Better Analytics Features?

Since both use Google Analytics (or a derivative of it), the analytics experience is similar. This similarity makes it difficult to choose a clear winner in this feature. Once again, the only difference is that Thinkific doesn’t require add-on purchases.

pie chart

Customization Features

Top-Notch customization features make online courses more interactive. WordPress’s plug-ins give the course creator total control over the types of customizable features used.

Thinkific’s customizing feature allows you to set up a custom domain and use the site builder feature to create an engaging site. 

Which Platform Offers Better Customization Features?

Despite WordPress offering a wider variety of customizable functions, these all require the use of different plug-ins. Thinkific offers a considerable amount of customizable features already on the platform. The better option will depend on the features you’ll need and how many plug-ins your budget allows. 


Final Thoughts

  • Choose Thinkific if: you’re looking for an online course platform geared towards providing online course content only. 
  • Choose WordPress if: you’re looking to add online courses to an existing website or blog. If it’s easy SEO you’re looking for, then WordPress is also the platform of choice. 

Our research, and the customer reviews, show that either of these options could be an excellent choice for hosting and selling your online course.

It simply boils down to what you already have and what you’re looking for. If you’re focussing heavily on SEO in your websites and course content, then WordPress is the way to go for its integrated SEO friendliness as well as third-party SEO “wizard” plugins.

If you need a more feature-based platform focusing on enhancing the student experience, then with all its features and functions, Thinkific will be the best choice for your online course business.

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About Authors

  • Susan Tuttle

    Susan is a certified course creator and writer interested in online course platforms and learning management systems. Susan loves helping others through teaching and coaching. She is also passionate about helping businesses develop their online presence to reach prospective customers most effectively. Susan's background is in finance, marketing, and education. She has also spent time in the corporate world and the education space. Susan previously operated the Online Course Creation Coach consulting firm offering guidance on creating high-quality online courses and programs. Susan has been designing online courses since 2000 and has authored over 60 online courses. Susan is a current member of The Learning Guild and the Training Magazine Network.

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Disclosure: I am an independent Thinkific Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from Thinkific. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of Thinkific.