It’s a great moment to sell educational content online. Why? Because the eLearning market is booming and attracts new instructors and learners every day.
Online courses could be the best option for you, regardless of whether you are a veteran in your field or just looking to share your knowledge with a wider audience.
It’s easier than ever to sell and create online educational content. Platforms such as Thinkific and Podia give you all the tools that you need to build stunning online schools…without writing a single line code. These SaaS’s offer a lot, from design and presentation tools to sales and marketing features.
If you are looking for an online platform to build courses, then look no further. This article will compare Thinkific and Podia. We hope you will be able to decide which one (if any) is best for your audience and content by the end.
Let’s get started!
Podia vs. Thinkific: What is Podia?
Podia was founded in 2014. They aim to be the most user-friendly web service for creating online courses. You can create e-courses with Podia. Additionally, you can sell digital downloads and memberships.
Podia’s all-in-one design is what makes it stand out. This SaaS includes affiliate marketing tools, email, and course creation features. It is not just a course creator, but, like many other competitors, Podia provides everything you need for creating a website or online school.
Podia vs. Thinkific: What is Thinkific?
Thinkific was founded over 11 years ago by Greg Smith, its CEO. When he tried to teach a weekend course, he found other platforms too restrictive. He created Thinkific to solve this problem.
With a variety of templates available, Thinkific is simple to set up and customize. Thinkific’s professionally-designed layouts will help you build your online school. Its drag-and-drop course editor and site editor are easy to use.
Thinkific’s most prominent features include the ability to register multiple instructors, drip-feed your content, set evergreen content and publish materials with an expiry.
Pricing: Thinkific vs. Podia
Podia keeps the paid-for plans simple. Podia’s pricing structure is transparent and simple. It charges a flat fee for monthly billing, with no transaction fees. There are only two packages available!
It’s worth noting that you get two months free of charge if your annual payment is made. You can also take advantage of the 14-day trial to test out Podia’s features and not risk your hard-earned money.
Every Podia plan includes 7-day support and unlimited storage and courses. As you might have guessed there are no restrictions on selling potential.
Mover (39 monthly-to-month billing).
If you are just starting to create online courses, the Mover plan is ideal. This plan provides everything you need to build your website and create a course, so you can get started quickly.
All the features of the Mover plan are included in the Mover plan:
- Your storefront, hosted either on Podia’s subdomain (or via your custom domain name).
- Online courses can be created and sold
- Digital downloads can be uploaded and sold
- Email marketing features: Send one-off newsletters or targeted emails to your entire list. You can track and analyze your email performance (including unsubscribe rates, open rates, click rates, and unsubscribe rates) and send drip emails.
- Webinars are available for free or paid. You can schedule them in advance or deliver live. Replays can be shared.
- Messaging: Students can communicate directly with Podia through the built-in live chat tool.
- No hassle migration: All products are included in any annual plan. This includes up to 2,000 customers. Click ‘Start your migration’ to fill out a form online. Depending on the amount of content, migrations can usually be completed in two weeks. The team will keep you informed of any developments throughout the process.
Shaker (79-month-to-month billing
The Shaker plan, on the other hand, is more suitable for people who are looking to expand their business. The Shaker plan includes all of the Mover plans’ features, plus some new ones.
- Memberships can be sold
- A blog can be added to your website
- To increase sales, you can add offsite buy buttons. These can be embedded on landing pages, websites, blogs, and other web sites. So that your visitors can buy your products from any page.
- Access to marketing tools for affiliates: You can provide codes to your affiliates to allow them to sell your course. You pay them a commission based on their sales.
- Third-party code snippets can be added to your website (Facebook Pixels, Sumos, Olarks, etc.).
Consider the possibilities of pricing
You can try Thinkific for free before you decide to upgrade to one of its premium plans. You can use it for as long as you want to experience its interface and features.
Thinkific’s freemium plan allows you to:
- Three courses
- Register unlimited students
- Ask students to take surveys and quizzes
- You can host your content ( to upload video , audio and pdf files).
- Instant access to your funds
The free plan is perfect if you are still not sure if online course creation is right for you, or if your topic is still unclear. Once you feel more in control, it is easy to upgrade to one Thinkific’s premium plans. You can also get a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service. So, give Thinkific a chance!
The Basic Plan ( $49 per month or $39 per month)
The Basic plan provides core features to build your online courses or launch a website.
- You can create unlimited courses and have as many students as possible
- Coupons and discounts can be managed and set up by you.
- Individual students can be emailed.
- You can drip feed your content
- Access to affiliate reporting
- You get a custom web domain
- Access to email integrations (AWeber ConvertKit Constant Contact and Mailchimp), and Zapier triggers. (See more information about Thinkific’s relationship and Zapier under the “Integration” section).
- Students can be enrolled manually
- Reports: These reports generate revenue, order and enrollment insights, as well as student engagement.
The Pro Plan ( $99 per month or $ 79 per month)
The Pro plan is an upgrade to the Basic package and focuses more on creating amazing student experiences. This plan is ideal for those who already have a client base and are ready to expand your business.
The Pro plan adds additional features to the Basic plan.
- Two site administrators have access
- Five course administrators/authors
- Private and secret courses can be created.
- Pricing options for advanced courses
- You can make memberships or product bundles.
- Students can be granted and managed certificates.
- Advanced customization: If you know how to modify the HTML or CSS of your site, you can make any changes via the code.
- Access to Thinkific’s priority assistance
- Students can be assigned assignments
- One community: Thinkific’s communities can be described as forums, where students can post, comment and follow other threads. When they get an answer, they will be notified and can create a basic profile.
The Premier Plan ( $499 per month or 399 per month) – This plan is paid annually.
Thinkific’s Premier package is a great option if you are looking to create a larger educational website.
The Premier plan gives you access to:
- Five accounts for site administrators
- 15 Group Analysts
- 50 course administrators/authors (contact Thinkific for a quote if more authors are required)
- Single sign-on (SSO).
- Thinkific’s Onboarding Package includes an onboarding call as well as training
The Growth plan can be added to Thinkific’s Professional plan. These features are available for free to the first 100 students. After that, $0.10 per month for each active student enrolled in a course is charged (upto $499).
The Pro Plan’s Growth Bundle adds these features to the Pro Plan.
- Groups. Sell courses quickly to groups or organizations, and assign analysts for reporting.
- You can remove Thinkific’s branding – This means that you can white-label both your website and student course players.
- Advanced segmentation. Search filters and bookmarks can be used to organize student communications, progress tracking, and other information.
- Webhooks. These enable developers to send course data to Thinkfic from other tools in their kit. Webhooks can be used to integrate with Thinkific applications.
- Bulk email: Send emails to multiple students simultaneously, using Thinkific’s dashboard
- Bulk enrollment – You can quickly add and remove students from courses or bundles, and enroll multiple students at the same time.
- Import students – You can import students from other databases easily using XLSX and CSV files.
You can also integrate Zapier with ActiveCampaign and InfusionSoft.
Comparison of Thinkific and Podia: How does their customer service compare?
No matter what kind of software you buy, excellent customer service is vital, especially if it’s the foundation of your venture.
Can you really count on one of these providers? Let’s see…
Podia promises human-to-human interactions through its live chat. Their contact form allows you to get in touch with them. You can see the average time it takes for one of their staff members to reply to you. Podia does not believe in AI-fuelled replies or support tickets. Podia values human-to-human connections.
The live chat is available Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM ET and on weekends 10 AM to 2 PM ET. On weekends, the average response time is two minutes. Podia encourages you to still send a message to them even if they are not available. They will respond to your message as quickly as possible, sometimes even outside of official contact hours.
Thinkific provides extensive self-help resources to instructors via their website. You can see a demonstration of their features and topics, including how to migrate your content to Thinkific and getting started to managing learning content and customizing your site.
You can also fill out an online form to reach the team. Thinkific offers support via phone, Monday through Friday 9-5 PST.
Podia vs. Thinkingific: Integrations
Both Podia as well as Thinkific can be integrated with Zapier. This makes it easy to connect with thousands of third party apps. Both platforms also offer native integrations.
Some of Podia’s built-in integrations include:
- Google Analytics
Thinkific works with, amongst other things:
- Google Analytics
We would like to clarify that Thinkific has two levels of integration with Zapier. The Basic plan allows you to set triggers for third-party apps which will kickstart action. This includes automating tasks such as updating MailChimp mailing lists.
The Growth plan unlocks Zapier’s second level integration. This allows you to send triggers back from other apps to Thinkific. This permits you to enroll students via third-party apps.
Podia vs. Thinkific: The Pros & Cons
Each SaaS comes with its own pros and cons. This makes it even more important to carefully weigh your options before you choose a provider.
We’ve listed the most obvious pros and cons of both Podia (and Thinkific) to help you make an informed decision.
- Each plan includes email marketing tools. This is not a comprehensive service, but it will save you money if your email marketing needs don’t require a lot of work.
- There are no transaction fees
- You have access to a simple and transparent pricing system
- Podia is a great value, especially for DIY instructors and solo creators. Podia’s Basic plan unlocks loads for $39 per month and offers features that other platforms only reserve for their higher tiers.
- You can create unlimited products and register infinite students. Additionally, you can host as many courses as you like and file as many files.
- Podia’s live-chat integration is only available to Podia right at this moment.
- Podia provides hassle-free migration for all its plans. You can easily transfer content to Podia using another data file or platform.
- Podia allows you to sell digital products and memberships. Podia, on the contrary, is more focused on course creation and therefore less versatile.
- Podia is intuitive and offers a smooth learning curve to beginners.
Here are the drawbacks of Podia:
- It is not possible to award student certificates.
- It is impossible to set standards for compliance.
- Podia is not as customizable as other programs. Customers complain that they are unable to adjust the font size or remove empty spaces between sections. This platform may be restrictive if you value creativity.
- Podia’s email tools are very limited. Podia’s email features are not sufficient to create more complex or advanced campaigns. Most likely, you will need to subscribe with your favorite email service provider.
- There is no free plan. Podia offers only a 14-day free trial.
Let’s get to the brighter side.
- You can customize Thinkific in many ways. The HTML and CSS codes can be accessed from the Thinkific website, so customization is possible.
- Tinkific’s templates are as professional as they look.
- Thinkific offers a free plan! This plan allows you to create 3 courses and test its functionality with unlimited students.
- Thinkific does not charge transaction fees for its paid plains, so you can enjoy flat-fee transparent pricing.
- Thinkific has more options for pricing than Podia when it comes to creating online schools on a large scale. You’ll be able to offer higher-quality educational content by using a Growth package, which includes onboarding and more advanced school management features.
- Students can be awarded course certifications.
- You can establish compliance standards, graded questions, surveys, or narrated presentations.
The Thinkific Cons
- Podia’s email marketing features for Thinkific are more limited than Podia. Podia lets you send both one-off newsletters or drip-campaigns. Thinkific does not allow you to send emails to students based on your segmentation settings. You can’t send bulk emails to students until you have a higher-priced plan.
- Thinkific is a course-building platform. Podia, however, allows you to offer other digital products. Although you can sell memberships through Thinkific (99$ per month, compared to $79), it is more expensive than Podia ($79 per month). Thinkific may be too restrictive if you plan to expand your business and sell other types content in the future.
Podia or Thinkific? Which online course builder is right for your business?
We’re done with this Thinkific vs comparison . Now it’s up to you. Which course creator is right for you? Both offer the same tools to their customers and similar pricing for their cheaper plans.
If you are still uncertain, here are the providers we recommend:
Podia is a great choice if your goal is to have an intuitive and transparent service. Their online course editor is extremely intuitive and their customer service is highly regarded. It will be easy to understand.
Podia also offers a flexible service, which includes live-chat as well as email marketing tools. It allows you to sell digital products beyond just online courses. This affordable option allows you to grow into other types of content in the long-term.
Podia is a great choice for solopreneurs or DIY course instructors.
If you are more concerned about design flexibility, Thinkific might be the right choice. These templates are simple to edit and you can even put your web development skills to good use if you have the necessary knowledge. Thinkific is also more than Podia in terms of course creation. With a mix of quizzes and surveys, interactive presentations and many other features, along with compliance standards and certificates, you can keep your audience interested!
Thinkific costs a bit more than Podia and you will need to subscribe third-party tools in order to have better email marketing features.
Thinkific is ideal for creating a traditional learning environment and scaling up online schools.
You can sign up for Thinkific’s free plan and/or Podia’s trial period if you are unsure. You’ll be able assess their core features yourself.
Are you familiar with these online course creators? Let us know about your experience in the comments section below. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you!