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Thinkific Alternatives (2020): Which LMS Should You Choose for Your Online Courses?

With the advent of learning management systems (LMS) like Thinkific, building and selling your online course and services have become a breeze. Thinkific is among the highly-rated LMS today, thanks to its user-friendly interface, robust learning tools, and reasonable monthly fees. However, if you’re looking for Thinkific alternatives, we recommend considering the following LMS: Podia, LearnDash, Teachable, and Kajabi. We discuss in more depth below why they are among the best Thinkific alternatives so you can choose which platform can best serve your business. 

Thinkific Alternatives Comparison Chart

NameThinkificPodiaLearnDashTeachableKajabi
 Thinkific logopodia logo

learndash logo

teachable logokajabi logo
PriceCheck Price on ThinkificCheck Price on PodiaCheck Price on LearnDashCheck Price on TeachableCheck Price on Kajabi
Standout FeaturesFeature-packed, Offers a completely free plan Supports selling digital products, Affordable plansBest LMS for WordPress sitesFeature-packed, Offers more budget-friendly plansAll-in-One platform
Transaction Fees0%0%0% 5% for Basic, 0% for higher-tier planso%
Number of Courses3 to unlimitedUnlimited UnlimitedUnlimited3 to 100
StudentsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUp to 20,000
AutomationYesYesYes

Yes

Yes
Affiliate ProgramYesYes NoYesYes
Native CertificationYesNoNoYesNo
Discount CouponsYesYesNoYesNo
Free Trial Forever free plan available 14 days
No, just a 30-day money-back guarantee
14 days14 days

Podia

The best affordable Thinkific alternative

thinkific alternatives podia
Podia makes selling digital products with your online courses easy and effortless

Providing a straightforward way of selling digital products is what gives Podia the edge over Thinkific and the other LMS on our list. Thinkific and other alternative LMS like Teachable and Kajabi let you sell and deliver online courses, but if you want to sell other digital products like e-books, templates, and presets, it’s not as effortless as doing so on Podia. Podia also lets you embed an offsite buy button into your other website or platforms.  

Podia’s user interface is also simple, clean, and user-friendly, just like Thinkific and the other alternatives on our list. If you upgrade to the higher-tier plan, you can set up a blog in your shop seamlessly as well. With the other LMS, this is also possible, but the process is more complicated. However, where Thinkific outshines Podia is in its page designs. Unlike Thinkific, Podia’s storefronts or home pages are not as easily customizable. 

Pricing

You can choose from Podia’s Mover and Shaker plans. The price jump from the base Mover plan is quite significant, but you do get your money’s worth if you opt for the higher-tier Shaker plan. On top of the core features such as unlimited courses, digital downloads, webinars, and email marketing, you can also offer memberships, live Zoom classes, set-up a blog, start an affiliate program, and use third-party tools on the Shaker plan. Subscribing to Podia’s annual plans will save you $78/year on the Mover plan and $158/year on the Shaker plan. 

You can try Podia’s features for free here. For a more in-depth comparison of Thinkific and Podia, click here.

LearnDash

Best Thinkific alternative for WordPress websites

OptinMoster, one of the most widely-used opt-in tools today, hosts its training programs on LearnDash

Existing WordPress website owners will find LearnDash as the best Thinkific alternative on WordPress. If you already have enough traffic coming into your WordPress site, it makes more sense to just use an LMS plugin instead of creating another one on a separate platform. LearnDash also integrates seamlessly with page builders like Beaver Builder, Elementor, and Divi, so you have more control over how your training platform will look like. Its plans are more affordable than Thinkific’s, too. 

Just like Thinkific, LearnDash features unlimited students, courses, advanced quizzing tools, and content automation. However, LearnDash requires integration with more plugins for hosting your videos and digital content and other integral learning functionalities. For instance, if you want to award certificates and badges, create forums where your community can engage, or offer memberships, you might have to install three separate plugins just to be able to do so. This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on how you see it. The upside to this is you can choose the exact software you want for a specific purpose and not have to settle for what a dedicated hosting platform has to offer.

On the other hand, Thinkific hosts all your content for you so you don’t have to subscribe to Vimeo or Wistia for video hosting. Thinkific’s higher-tier plans also have onboard membership tools, Zoom integration for live coaching calls, and student discussion tools, thus requiring fewer integrations when setting up your online courses. 

Pricing Plans

kajabi alternatives learndash

Unlike all the other Thinkific alternatives on our list, LearnDash only offers annual plans. You can choose from Basic, Plus, and Pro packages, with each offering similar features. The higher the plan, the more site licenses you get. The Plus and Pro packages also let you use the LearnDash ProPanel, a tool that makes it easier for you to view and monitor your LMS data. 

At a glance, LearnDash seems like the most cost-effective Thinkific alternative because its annual fees are much lower than the other LMS on our list. However, keep in mind that LearnDash needs integration with more tools and their separate fees will add up in the end. We only recommend LearnDash if your website is on WordPress and you don’t mind spending more hours setting up your online training platform or paying someone to set it up for you. 

LearnDash lets you try its platform risk-free for 30 days here. For a more in-depth comparison of Thinkific and LearnDash, click here.

Teachable

Teachable is one of the biggest and most popular LMS today

Make Fabulous Cakes hosts its training courses on Teachable

No list of Thinkific alternatives will be complete without Teachable. Boasting more than 100,000 course creators and online coaches, it’s one of the top LMS out there. Thinkific and Teachable offer similar tools such as unlimited students and courses, memberships, native certification, drip content, advanced quizzes, email marketing, and affiliate marketing. Where Teachable slightly outperforms Thinkific is in its course builder, which is more intuitive than Thinkific’s. 

Teachable provides topnotch support as well. They even take care of EU VAT filing on the creators’ behalf. Just like Thinkific, Teachable hosts all your data for you and makes sure that the systems are up to date and everything is secure. If you have authors, contributors, admin, or team members, Teachable makes it easy to assign user roles so they have different levels of access to your training systems. Paying them through Teachable is straightforward, too. 

Pricing Plans

Teachable’s pricing plans when you opt for monthly billing instead of annual  

Thinkific and Teachable have three paid plans you can choose from. Their base plan costs the same, but Teachable charges a transaction fee for every sale you make if you’re only subscribed to its Basic plan. Thinkific is more generous in this regard as it doesn’t charge a transaction fee across the board. You can even take advantage of Thinkific’s forever free plan where you can sell up to three courses totally free.

Teachable gives discounts when you opt for an annual subscription. The monthly fees displayed above get reduced to $29, $99, and $259 per month if you choose to be billed annually instead of monthly. All the plans let you have unlimited students and courses, but the higher plans provide more advanced customizations and features such as affiliate marketing, group coaching calls, memberships, and the ability to add more admin users. 

You can try Teachable’s features for free for 14 days here. For a more in-depth comparison of Thinkific and Teachable, click here.

Kajabi

Kajabi is a premium Thinkific alternative that boasts extensive marketing and page-building tools

thinkific alternatives kajabi

From beautiful landing pages to email marketing tools, Kajabi provides most of what you need to run your online course or coaching business smoothly

Kajabi brands itself as an all-in-one solution for your business. It’s the most expensive LMS on our list of Thinkific alternatives, but that’s also because it promises to do more than just host your online courses. Like Thinkific, Kajabi lets you design landing pages for your courses and provide quizzes. It also has onboard analytics and email marketing tools so you won’t need to subscribe to software like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, or SamCart. One of Kajabi’s unique features is the Kajabi Pipelines, a tool that helps you design your funnels without having to use another platform like ClickFunnels or GetResponse. 

As much as Kajabi offers powerful tools, it’s not without its downsides. For one, it doesn’t have native certification and discount coupon functionalities, features that are available on Thinkific and other LMS alternatives such as Teachable and Podia. As a popular LMS, however, Kajabi can be integrated with Zapier so you can still connect your preferred tools if you wish. 

Pricing Plans

Kajabi’s pricing plans if you choose monthly billing instead of an annual subscription

Of the Thinkific alternatives on our list, Kajabi is the only one that doesn’t offer unlimited products and students/members in its plans. Its Basic monthly plan starts at $149 if you opt for monthly billing, but choosing Kajabi’s annual subscription will save you 20% off the regular monthly cost. The Growth and Pro plans provide you with affiliate program management tools and higher bandwidth so you can have more products, pipelines, and members. 

You can try Kajabi’s features for 14 days for free here. For a more in-depth comparison of Thinkific and Kajabi, click here.

Verdict

Podia is the best Thinkific alternative overall while LearnDash is a solid Thinkific alternative if you have a WordPress website

Podia

Best Thinkific alternative overall

best Kajabi alternative

LearnDash

The best Thinkific alternative for WordPress site users

Best kajabi alternative on WordPress

Thinkific is among the most trusted LMS today and its forever free plan makes it an attractive option for those who want to test the waters risk-free. However, some features such as setting up a blog or selling digital products such as e-books are not as straightforward on Thinkific. Alternatives like Podia and Kajabi offer more tools so you won’t have to use another platform to be able to do these. If you’re looking for an LMS that offers the most similar features as Thinkific, then Teachable is your best bet. 

For WordPress websites, the best Thinkific alternative is LearnDash, a premium WordPress plugin. LearnDash is more affordable than the other alternatives on our list, but it’s the one that also requires a higher learning curve and more third-party integrations. We only recommend LearnDash if you already have a WordPress website and want your tools, courses, and memberships in one platform. 

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What are the best Thinkific alternatives?

The best Thinkific alternatives are Podia, Teachable, and Kajabi. For a more detailed comparison, see our chart above.

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the best Thinkific alternative for WordPress websites?

LearnDash is the best Thinkific alternative for WordPress websites. This premium plugin can seamlessly integrate with an array of WordPress plugins and offers more control and customization options.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Thinkific better than Teachable?

Thinkific is overall better than Teachable in the sense that it offers more comprehensive learning tools for your online courses. Meanwhile, Teachable’s interface is more intuitive and it has more dynamic affiliate marketing tools than Thinkific. A major difference between the two is Thinkific doesn’t charge transaction fees for your sales while Teachable charges a 5% fee if you’re only subscribed to its core plan.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Thinkific free?

Yes, Thinkific has a forever free plan which lets you sell up to three products. The free plan includes standard features such as unlimited students, content hosting, and quizzes and surveys.

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.