That’s where we come in. Here, you’ll find the ultimate comparison of the most popular course-selling platforms to grow your training business. But before taking a detailed look at alternatives, first, let’s see what Thinkific is and how it works.

Thinkific Review

Thinkific | Offical demo

Thinkific is a platform that allows individuals and businesses to create and deliver courses on their own branded websites. Like other similar solutions in the market, it has a course builder and e-commerce and marketing tools. However, what makes Thinkific unique is that it is highly customizable in terms of creating a course website and has a flexible feature able to fit every size and style of business.

Thinkific review

Building your course website

Thinkific lets you build various pages and completely customize them. With drag-and-drop page sections, you can create a sales page with all the courses you offer, a separate landing page for each course, and more. You can also integrate your training site with any other existing website using a custom domain to create a seamless brand experience for your audience.

Creating online courses

Thinkific has a Course Builder with templates that you only need to populate with your own content. Alternatively, if your business has an extensive catalog of courses, there’s the Bulk Importer functionality to save time in the course-creation process.

You can combine different learning activities and multimedia elements in the course builder to make courses more engaging. Some of the content formats that Thinkific supports are downloadable files such as videos, audio, and PDF documents. You can also add quizzes, text lessons, and surveys. 

The videos in Thinkific courses are hosted through Wistia. If your videos are on YouTube or Vimeo, you can embed the link. To add multimedia elements created in other platforms like H5P, Brillium Exams, webinars, and live streams, you can use iFrame. 

Marketing and selling

To promote courses, Thinkific has a full set of marketing tools. You can leverage your affiliate network and existing external apps to use discounts, upsells, bonuses, and create bundle memberships.

Thinkific offers different pricing options. You can choose between a one-time payment, subscription, or a monthly payment plan. 

Thinkific users

Thinkific is a good solution for those who are aiming to build a brand around online courses and can’t do so without in-depth customization options, advanced marketing tools, and integrations. 

Pricing

The paid plans start at $49/mo with access to the core features. Thinkific also allows you to use the platform for free but will charge you 10% of your earnings for each course that you sell, and you can only create up to 3 courses. 

iSpring Market

A great Thinkific alternative is iSpring Market. This is an easy-to-use platform that has a full set of options to get your training business up and running in no time. You can quickly build online courses, set up a marketplace, add courses to your store, and immediately start selling to customers.

iSpring Market platform

Building your course website

You can create your digital storefront with just one click and customize it with a logo, color scheme, and other branding features to match your brand. 

iSpring Market allows you to add all your courses on one page or organize them into categories to make it easier for customers to navigate and find the courses that interest them. To attract more attention to some specific courses, you can promote them with the featuring option.

Creating online courses

You can upload ready-made courses or make compound courses by combining various content items right in the built-in course builder. For example, you can make a course that is a set of PPT presentations, audio, video, and reference documents. Unlike many other similar platforms, iSpring Market also supports SCORM packages. So you can upload and sell interactive slide-based courses, quizzes, and simulations created in eLearning authoring tools like iSpring Suite

There are a lot of settings that can be customized so that your course is perfectly suited to your learners. For example, you can specify completion dates and conditions and select a certificate to be issued after the course is passed.

Marketing and selling

With iSpring Market, you can offer not only paid courses but free courses as well. So, to incentivize your customers, you can use some of your courses as a free gift. The platform also allows you to generate your own coupon codes that can be used for selling certain courses with a discount. Distributing coupons among your students-to-be via social media, forums, and email may be an effective way to increase sales of your courses.

There are a variety of payment options available in iSpring Market. You can use PayPal, Stripe, or Authorize.net to accept payments in 30 international currencies worldwide. 

iSpring Market users

iSpring Market perfectly suits training centers and businesses that need to sell online courses fast and easy to individual learners and organizations. This is one of the few platforms that works as a real LMS and fits for serious employee training and certification programs when it’s necessary to keep track of how people learn and what results they got. 

Pricing

Starts at $444 per 500 users per year. There are no transaction fees, no matter how many courses you sell.

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Teachable

Teachable | Official Demo

Teachable is another popular platform to build and sell online courses. You can create multimedia lectures, enhance them with quizzes, and put your courses on the website that you can build with the Teachable intuitive drag-and-drop builder. The platform offers various hosting options to fit most levels of individual or business – you can use the Teachable free domain, host under your own domain name, or link to a subdomain.

Building your course website

With Teachable, you can quickly create a responsive course website by using its ready-made sales page template. For those who need their own custom landing pages, the platform offers Power Editor, which allows for digging into the code and modifying any aspect of a “school”.

Creating online courses

You can create compound courses that consist of several “sections” (lessons). Each “section” can contain “lectures” that are typically different learning materials on a specific topic. “Lectures” can be presented in rather limited content types: including video, images, PDF documents, and audio files. You can still embed materials in unsupported formats, but they will be downloadable files for the learners to run using external software. 

Marketing and selling

Coupons and time-limited offers, affiliate programs, bundles, flexible pricing options, and tracking pixels like Facebook Pixel are some of the marketing tools in Teachable.

You can accept payments from 130+ international currencies through Stripe Connect credit card processing or PayPal. 

Teachable users

Teachable will suit training organizations, solopreneurs, or online entrepreneurs that don’t require advanced course building features or an option to upload and play interactive content. 

Pricing

Starts at $29 per month (billed annually). Teachable has a free plan, but you can only have 10 students, and you will be charged per each course you sell. There are transaction fees for the free and basic plans on the courses you sell.

Podia

Podia | Official Demo

Podia positions itself as a platform that allows for selling not only online courses, but also digital downloads like eBooks, PDFs, checklists, video files, and audio files, and membership sites. The platform also has extensive features for marketing and selling all these products. 

Podia interface

Building your course website

With Podia, you can build a digital storefront where your customers will see the products you offer and customize it with the visual editor. The platform also makes it easy to add other pages on your website, including sales pages and product pages. If you have an idea to attract your audience with content marketing, you can make a blog and publish posts that can be seen by anyone.

Creating online courses

Podia has an intuitive course editor that allows you to create simple courses that are made up of “Sections” and “Content”. Your content part can be presented by text, images, videos, links, and quizzes.

For uploading digital products, there’s a drag-and-drop feature.

Marketing and selling

Podia allows you to do everything you need to capture email addresses and send letters to your customers. What is unique about Podia is that it enables you to drip content and emails within the platform. You can also offer bundles of courses and coupons, upsells and cross-sell, and organize the work with affiliates.

To accept payments, you can integrate both Stripe and PayPal with WithCoach. Paypal is available for the premium option, while Stripe can be connected at all levels.

Podia users

Podia suits entrepreneurs and individuals who want to sell their digital products with a branded website. However, it doesn’t have an academic focus and can be limiting in course creation and selling for training organizations. 

Pricing

Starts at $39 per month. Podia doesn’t charge transaction fees for the courses you sell.

Teachery

Teachery overview

Teachery is another Thinkific alternative, and it claims to be a platform with “unlimited everything”. It offers a single pricing plan that allows you to build as many courses and landing and payment pages as you like and have as many learners as you need for a single price. However, it is hardly fitting for those who rely heavily on creating courses with a variety of files and multimedia elements.

Building your course website

With a Teachery account, you get a storefront where all of your courses will be kept. You can also create landing pages for each course separately. These can be heavily customized and styled to match your existing branding.

Creating online courses

Teachery provides two customizable course templates. You just need to choose one and fill it with the necessary content: video, audio, images, or slide presentations. However, unlike other similar platforms, Teachery doesn’t host your content. All the materials you want to add must be saved on your own host or file storage services. It supports the embedding of content from some of the most popular storage services like Google Drive, Slideshare, or YouTube.  

You can style your courses to have a similar look to your corporate website, for example, by changing the colors, fonts, headings, and buttons. 

Marketing and selling

Teachery allows you to build an unlimited number of landing pages tailored for different purposes and payment pages aimed at various kinds of customers. It also has affiliate links, promo codes, and discounts for the online courses. To include other marketing functionalities such as funnels, newsletters, and campaigns, you will need to integrate Zapier.

For the payment processors, Teachery only currently supports Stripe. 

Teachery users

Teachery can be a good solution for individuals who are aiming to create and sell simple courses and for those that are not bothered by the fact that their content must be hosted on other storage services.

Pricing

Monthly: $49 per month; Annual: $470 per year. There are no transaction fees for the courses you sell using this platform. 

LearnDash

LearnDash | Official Demo

LearnDash LMS is a plugin for WordPress, which makes it easy to create self-hosted courses that you have full control of. It is designed for people who want to sell courses online but do it on their own site on WordPress. Learndash offers a great number of plugins to make it suitable for almost any business model.

LearnDash overview

Building your course website

Building the storefront and other pages in LearnDash works in the same way as adding a new page or post on a WordPress site. This could be advantageous for businesses that already have experience using this CMS.

The plugin works with WordPress themes, which makes it easy to match your storefront branding with your existing website. However, some customization might require paid add-ons that are not included in the LearnDash pricing. 

Creating online courses

The course builder is quite easy-to-use. It lets you add “Sections” and “Lessons” and fill the latter with text, audio, video, images, documents, and HTML5 packages. A big advantage is that you can reuse all your content items for new courses. 

You can enhance your courses with quizzes, motivate students by awarding them with certificates, and encourage conversation among learners by adding a course-specific forum.

The plugin allows you to drip-feed your courses and collect all your learners’ results in the LearnDash Gradebook. 

Marketing and selling

LearnDash doesn’t provide any marketing tools, so you need to promote your courses yourself. However, you can integrate some marketing plugins like Mailchimp, Convertkit, and WPFusion that may help you do some marketing tasks.

LearnDash allows you to receive PayPal and Stripe payments. But if you want to offer coupons, vouchers, and discounts, you need to use third-party plugins like WooCommerce or Cartflows. 

LearnDash users

LearnDash is good for training centers and individuals who already have their sites built in WordPress or are familiar with the WordPress environment.

Pricing

1 site license: $199 lifetime (1-year support and updates)

Thinkific Alternatives: Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many platforms in the market to build and sell online courses. Here, we took a detailed look at 5 Thinkific alternatives and for what case each platform is best for. Analyze your requirements and find the best option for your business. 

If you’re searching for a reliable platform that will let you get started with creating and selling courses fast, test drive iSpring Market by signing up for a free trial.

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