We found Thinkific to be a comprehensive course and membership community builder.
Moreover, we liked the range of subscription plans it offers users. The six plans allow users to upgrade with only modest price increases as they expand their business.
Customers also rated Thinkific very highly, which is reflected in its Trustpilot score of 4.6 out of five stars.
- Thinkific has powerful course, community, and membership features
- The platform is rated 4.6/5 stars on Trustpilot
Thinkific Review at a Glance
To summarize our experience of using Thinkific, we’ve rated it on its features, user experience, and pricing.
Here is what we thought:
The platform is solely focused on a few verticals: courses, communities, and memberships.
When reviewing these features, we found them to provide all the key tools to create, host, and deliver courses and communities; and for anything not included, you can use a third-party app from its store.
However, we think several additional features would take the platform to the next level, these include an e-commerce store for physical products, a CRM for high-ticket course sales, and more powerful marketing tools.
When creating and building on Thinkific, we found it to be an intuitive experience. When creating a community, we were guided by pop-ups and explanations from Thinkific. This experience was replicated when using all its other features also.
In addition to the pop-up guides, all the platform’s builders are drag-and-drop. This includes its site, course, community, and membership builders. Therefore, when customizing each section we could do it quickly without the need for any technical knowledge.
Moreover, whenever we got stuck, we could easily reference Thinkific’s blog section, which houses hundreds of tutorials that cover almost every feature and tool.
Thinkific’s pricing for its lowest four subscription offers gets progressively more expensive, and with each step up they give you access to additional features that will unlock more growth.
Therefore, it is great when you’re first starting and beginning to scale as you can move up the plans without having to stomach a large increase in costs.
However, its two most expensive plans are considerably more expensive yet lack additional features to justify the pricing.
For this reason, we’d give the platform’s pricing a rating of 4.6 out of 5.
What Is Thinkific?
Thinkific lets users build, host, and sell courses, create communities, and offer memberships to customers.
They do this by providing an easy-to-use platform with powerful features to create a great-looking site to list your products, advertise and sell them.
The platform was built for course and community creators across every industry. It is currently used by both small and large companies to sell courses, deliver in-house training, and create communities.
After testing the platform and its features, we’ve come up with five Thinkific pros:
- Full Stack – Thinkific offers all the features required to create a website, upload courses, create a community, and process payments. You don’t need to integrate other platforms of software.
- Subscription Pricing – The company has six subscription plans, meaning there is an offering for all business sizes. Unlike other platforms, the pricing will increase progressively as you expand, and there won’t be large jumps.
- Transaction Fees – The platform charges no transaction fees, which means that all of the revenue generated from sales will go to you.
- Easy to Use – When we were creating courses and communities, we found the builders to be easy to use and require no previous tech knowledge.
- Support and Examples – We like that Thinkific provides customers with extensive training, customer examples, and access to its Academy to help them get started.
Although there are many positive things to say about the platform, it’s important to be aware of the cons we found:
- Too Focused – As the features are solely focused on selling courses and community memberships. If you’re looking to expand into physical products or another vertical, you’ll need to use another platform.
- Cost of Premium Plans – The Expand and Plus plans are incredibly expensive and are a large increase from the previous offerings and in our opinion, don’t give you enough additional features to justify the price.
- No Funnel Feature – Many course sellers utilize funnels to build compelling landing pages, generate sales, and upsell with subscriptions and products. Unfortunately, Thinkific doesn’t offer them.
- No Blogging Tool – Unfortunately, the platform does not offer a blogging tool. Therefore, you will need to use another software and integrate it.
Thinkific Review of Features
When we first started making a course on Thinkific, it guided us through the complete process with helpful pop-ups.
The pop-ups showed us what we needed to do at each step, including the following:
- Adding lessons
- Uploading different lesson formats
- Digital downloadables
After you’ve started uploading your lessons, you can then organize them into ‘Chapters.’ You can think of chapters as Thinkific’s word for modules, as each of them contains lessons.
Other features we liked:
- Bulk Importer – If you’re migrating from one platform to another, this makes it a lot simpler.
- Settings – Here, you’ll be able to change the branding, set your lesson completion requirements for students, award certificates after completion, and control the admin and affiliate permissions.
- Drip Content – Control when the course participants can access the lessons.
- Pricing – Set your pricing with options that include monthly payment plans, subscriptions, and one-time payments.
- Upsells – Post-purchase, you can create a flow that offers other products for students to purchase.
- Publishing Settings – Decide whether you want to enable pre-ordering, leave it as a draft, or publish it live.
Overall, we found the process of creating a course very straightforward. It didn’t require us to look at any additional documentation or training.
We also liked that you have many options for pricing, dripping content, and the types of lessons that you can deliver.
The first thing Thinkific asks when you create a community is how you want to set up the access. You have two options: a free or paid checkout and based on course or group settings.
This means that you can sell your course as a standalone product, or you can include community access when the customer purchases a course.
After you’ve created your community, the platform will give you a series of prompts to help you get started:
- Profile set up
- Publishing your first post
- Configuring your settings
We like that Thinkific shows you the first steps when you create your first community since it can often be overwhelming.
Other features that we tested when building a community:
- Spaces – These are great for organizing your community, as they’re areas where your members can discuss specific topics.
- Course and Community – If you’re selling a course, creating a community is a great way to enhance students’ learning. Your students will see better results and will improve their retention.
- User Profiles – Each new member can create a profile, which increases members’ connections.
- Web Notifications – These will notify your members if they’ve been mentioned in a discussion, drawing them back and increasing engagement.
Another powerful tool we liked was the Live Events feature. This is when you go live inside your community for all members to watch. Example events can be Q & A sessions, podcasts, and live lessons.
Quizzes and Surveys
Thinkific does offer many assessment tools for you to use when creating courses; these include quizzes, surveys, assignments, exams, and certificates.
Here’s a more in-depth review of each:
- Quizzes – When a student has just completed a longer or more in-depth lesson, we will give them a multiple-choice questionnaire before moving on to ensure they understood the topics.
- Survey – We found giving a post-course completion survey effective in improving content and future students’ learning.
- Assignment – You can also give your students assignments to complete to complement the course lessons.
- Exams – Between lessons, modules, or after completing a course you can give your student an exam to test their understanding.
When combined with the certificate feature, we found that these four tools mean that Thinkific can act as an LMS provider to companies.
Payments and Pricing Options
When testing and reviewing Thinkific’s features for increasing sales and growing course and community companies, we looked at many strategies that the platform support:
- Memberships – Charge monthly for access to your courses and communities.
- Free Trials – To entice customers into becoming paying customers, you can offer free access for a limited time.
- Bulk Sell Checkout – Sell multiple seats for your course to a single buyer. This can be useful for corporate training programs.
- Product Bundles – You can create custom bundles that include courses and memberships to sell at different price points.
- Additional Pricing – You can let the customer decide between a one-off payment, subscription, or payment plan at checkout.
- Coupons and Promotions – Offer one-time or continual discount codes to customers.
- Affiliate Reporting – Set up an affiliate program that rewards those that promote and sell your products.
These powerful features can accelerate growth, and when you compare them to similar platforms, they aren’t lacking any additional tools.
Thinkific also has its payment processor called TCommerce, which enables you to accept all major credit and debit cards. Moreover, the platform lets you also process PayPal payments.
We found the payment processor to be comprehensive and competitively priced.
We know how important integrations, Zapier, APIs, and webhooks are to online creators. Therefore, we’ve broken each of these features down to review:
- Zapier – The platform allows you to set up triggers and actions for Zapier. However, it should be noted that ‘actions’ are only available on the Grow plan or above.
- Standard API & Webhooks – Grow plan subscribers will gain access to this feature that allows for up to 120 requests per minute.
- Enterprise API & Webhooks – For users that require more requests, you can negotiate the number directly with Thinkific.
Overall we think that Thinkific supports all of the necessary integrations and requirements to run a course and community business of any scale.
We also like that the features increase as you subscribe to more premium plans, as it’s unlikely a new seller will require advanced API access.
Security and Support Features
Although we found Thinkific to be straightforward and easy to use, there were a few times we needed extra help.
When this happened, we could access the Thinkific Academy, contact their support team, and reference their blog.
Depending on the plan you choose, you will also have access to priority phone and email support and even a dedicated customer success team.
We like the fact that Thinkific prioritizes support.
Many of the support and security features are core features and are available to all subscription plans:
- Thinkific Academy
- 99.9% uptime & 24/7 monitoring
- Comprehensive knowledge base
- Private instructor community
- Secure cloud hosting & daily backups
- reCAPTCHA traffic protection
There are also a series of many features and tools available to Thinkific subscribers that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Here is a list of our favorites:
- Zoom Direct Integration – When hosting webinars, meetings, and live streams, you can integrate Zoom into the platform.
- App Store – Thinkific has an extensive app store with many platforms that can give you additional features and tools.
- Custom Domains – All paid subscribers can use their own custom domain; however, it must be purchased from a third-party provider.
- Advanced Analytics – This tool tracks transactions, orders, revenue, enrollments, and student engagement.
- Email Notifications – You can automate your emails such as order confirmations, welcome, and course completion.
- Site Themes – Thinkific has a range of themes for you to get quickly set up, so you won’t have to worry about designing it yourself.
- Branding Removal – You can completely remove Thinkific’s logos and branding from your site and lessons.
We found that these features enhanced our Thinkific course and community-building experience.
Thinkific Pricing Plan Review
Thinkific has six subscription plans; each gets progressively more expensive and has increasingly more features.
The Free Plan Review
We found this plan to be great if you’re looking to test out the platform and begin getting familiar with it.
It is 100% free and has access to many course and community features to begin selling.
When compared to other platforms, very few offer a Free plan, which is something we really like about Thinkific.
The Free Plan’s features summarized:
- 1 published course
- 1 community
- 2 spaces per community
- Unlimited current students
- Email and chat bot support
- Access to the Thinkific app store
- Drag-and-drop course builder
- Full video & content hosting
- Digital downloads
- Evergreen classes
- Course and community connection
- User profiles
- Rich text and mentions
- Web notifications
- Live events
- In-course discussions
- Site builder
- Instant sales pages
- Connection to your existing website
- Site themes
- Zapier triggers
The Basic Plan Review
The Basic plan is Thinkific’s lowest-priced paid subscription; it costs $49 per month, which can be reduced to $36 per month when paid annually.
This plan offers many upgraded and new features in addition to the core features contained in the Free Plan.
For example, you will be able to create, publish, and sell unlimited courses. We found this to be an extremely powerful feature for a plan that is priced so low.
Other additional features:
- 5 spaces per community
- Scheduled content
- Custom domain
- Affiliate reporting
- Coupons and promotions
- Manual student enrollment
After testing the platform, we found that if you only want to make one-off course sales and not offer paid memberships, this plan will likely suffice.
The Start Plan Review
The Start Plan is the third subscription package they offer; it costs $99 per month but can be reduced to $74 per month when paid annually.
This is the minimum subscription required to offer paid memberships, award completion certificates, create private and hidden courses, and use course compliance tools.
Another powerful feature that we would consider upgrading for is payment plans. If you’re selling a higher-priced digital product, you will likely see more sales if you offer customers a payment plan.
Moreover, you can use the after-purchase flows and product bundle tools to increase the average order value.
Some additional features:
- Host Storyline, Captivate, and more course creation software creations
- Bundle with courses
- 50 Students per group
- Zoom meetings and webinars
- Members-only website section
- Advanced CSS/HTML editing
The Grow Plan Review
The fourth plan that Thinkific offers is the Grow Plan, which costs $199 per month but can be reduced to $149 per month if you pay annually.
After testing the plan, we suggest it to users looking to use LMS features with their courses. This is because the plan gives you access to Thinkific’s gamification features, including the randomized quiz question bank and Brillium exams integration.
The other two tools and features we liked about this plan are that you get access to Standard API and webhooks and can remove Thinkific’s branding.
In addition to all of the Start Plan’s features, the Grow Plan has the following:
- 3 communities
- 20 spaces per community
- 2 site administrator accounts
- 5 course administrator accounts
- 3 share revenue with partners
- 3 group analyst accounts
- Bulk emailing
- 100 students per group
The Expand Plan Review
The fifth plan we tested was the Expand Plan costing $499 per month, which can be reduced to $374 when paid annually.
There are very few feature differences between the previously mentioned Grow plan and this Expand plan:
- 10 communities
- Unlimited spaces per community
- 5 site administrator accounts
- 15 course administrator accounts
- 10 share revenue with partners
- 15 group analyst accounts
- Unlimited number of spaces
- Priority phone support
- Unlimited students per group
Due to the limited differences between this plan and the cheaper Grow subscription, we would not recommend purchasing it.
The Plus Plan Review
The final plan that Thinkific offers is the Plus Plan – the platform’s premier subscription offering.
All the previously limited features now become unlimited, and you also gain access to a few more features.
New features you can use:
- Dedicated customer success team
- Bulk sell check out
- Enterprise API & webhooks
- Single sign-on
- Plus portal
- Launch preparedness review
- Dedicated sandbox site
- Advanced password complexity
- Service level agreement
- Master services agreement
This comprehensive subscription offering is everything a course, community, and paid membership site owner could need.
However, as the company does not release the price, we can’t confirm if it is good value for money.
Thinkific User Reviews
You’ve already heard about our own experience of the platform, so we thought it was important to include some other perspectives from Thinkific customers.
Therefore, we’ve summarized the feedback and reviews they have received from Trustpilot below.
- The platform is intuitive and easy to use.
- A lot of great course and community features.
- Support, guides, and training are very detailed and helpful.
Although the overwhelming majority of reviews are positive, as reflected by the 4.6-star rating, we have sourced a few negative ones for balance.
- Issues that needed technical assistance took a longer time to resolve.
- Pricing has increased a lot over the past few years.
- The site builder is limited.
Frequently Asked Questions
Customers rate Thinkific very highly, which is reflected by the 4.6 out of 5-star rating it received on Trustpilot. Many of the positive reviews talk about the easy-to-use interface and powerful features the platform offers.
Thinkific is a great platform for people that create courses and build communities. Its features allow you to set up a landing page, create, host, and sell courses, and offer community access.
Thinkific is a great option for selling courses online. You can create a complete site, create courses, and sell them through the platform. Other features they have are evergreen classes, gamification, and community membership.