Wondering which platform to choose for your e-learning business?
With so many options on the market, choosing the right learning management system for your online business can be difficult.
But, if your search led you to a quandary debating LearnWorlds vs Thinkific, then you may find this article useful. Because it’s all about LearnWorlds vs Thinkific and the range of tools these two platforms offer to their customers.
Some reviewers think that LearnWorlds puts a bit more emphasis on course building and less on sales and marketing while with Thinkific, it’s the other way around. Others say that Thinkific lacks advanced features and is best suited for creating your first course while LearnWorlds is for larger businesses.
But, it’s not quite that simple. That’s why, like Sinatra, we’ll do this exploration our way. Of course, we’ll take into account everything we learned from others, but we’ll try to build our own opinion, based on our research.
LearnWorlds doesn’t offer a free plan, but it does offer a 30-day trial period. No credit card is required, which is always a relief. You just need an email address and a name for your course site, and you’re well on your way to test-driving LearnWorlds.
There are 4 pricing plans, one of which is a custom enterprise plan:
These are the monthly subscriptions. As usual, there are discounts on annual subscriptions. These are the prices paid on an annual basis:
- Starter: $24/month, which saves you $60 yearly
- Pro Trainer: $79/month, saves you $240 yearly
- Learning Center: $249/month, saves you $600 yearly
As you’ll see shortly, the entry-level LearnWorlds plan is cheaper than the entry-level Thinkific plan. The same applies to the most expensive plans: the most expensive LearnWorlds plan is less expensive than the most expensive Thinkific plan.
Here is a list of core features that the LearnWorlds plans share:
- Unlimited courses
- Video library
- Responsive design
- Multiple language support
- Theme editor
- Predesigned templates
- Font customization
- Lead generation
- Coupons and upsells
- Built-in social network
- Learner profiles
- Automated newspaper
- Interactive ebook
- Quizzes, assignments, and exams
- Conversion tracking
Thinkific has a free plan in its offer, one custom enterprise plan, three paid plans, and a Pro plan add-on. Let’s check them out:
The Pro plan add-on is called Growth Package and it’s envisioned as a set of supplemental features that bridge the gap between the Pro and Premier plans. It’s free for the first 100 students. Afterward, Thinkific charges 10 cents for each new active student. Although this might not sound like much, costs can accumulate significantly over time.
The enterprise plan is called Thinkific Plus, and with it, you can get access to all the possible features available at Thinkific.
Just like with LearnWorlds, here too the prices are lower if you pay annually:
- Basic: $39/month, which saves you $120 yearly
- Pro: $79, saves you $240 yearly
- Premier: $399, saves you $1200 yearly
Here’s a list of features found in each Thinkific pricing plan:
- Instant access to your funds
- Student notifications
- Full eCommerce
- Drag-and-drop course builder
- Discussion forums for every course
- Site/page builder
- Secure cloud hosting
- Multiple instructor profiles
- Multiple language support
- SSL certificates
- Email and phone support
Features and Customization
We looked at what some of the core features are on both sides. Now let’s have a look at even more features to get a clearer picture of LearnWorlds and Thinkific.
Before we dive deeper into this topic, let me just note that LearnWorlds and Thinkific have a lot in common.
First, the number and the types of features they offer are quite similar, so you’ll find many shared features, like drip content, video hosting, downloadable content, discussions, private courses, prerequisites, and certifications. In addition to this, both platforms can handle a high volume of incoming traffic and simultaneous users.
Next, when it comes to course creation, both platforms offer basic to intermediate features.
Lastly, regarding marketing, emails, and sales funnels, 3rd party integrations would work a bit better than the comparable tools available out of the box for both of them.
LearnWorlds offers a good selection of customizable responsive page templates and many opportunities to shape various aspects of your site the way you like it.
With LearnWorlds you can:
- Modify text, images, and buttons
- Add new sections
- Switch between hundreds of different layouts
- Rearrange columns of your chosen layout
- Add and position a widget wherever you wish on your page
- Select what you need from a gallery of icons, buttons, and different media types
- Control whether specific parts of your site are visible to certain users or not, based on analytics and visitors’ behavioral patterns
- Create ebooks choosing from the available ebook templates or by uploading Word files from your local machine
- Create coupons, promotions, course bundles, and subscription plans for your students
- Create customized certificates
- Create a question bank, which will help you generate better and randomized tests
- Create graded and ungraded quizzes
- Set rules for how your students advance through your course: whether they skip parts or need to fulfill certain requirements to make progress
- Create customized and interactive videos
- Communicate with your students and encourage communication among them through each course’s social network
- Gain more profits through an affiliate system
- Make good use of the analytics and SEO tools to advance your business growth
- Capitalize on the available one-click sales funnels option
- Connect your WordPress site with your course site on LearnWorlds through the WordPress SSO (single sign-on) plugin, so your customers can easily navigate through both sites with one account
- Create quizzes for testing knowledge and understanding of a subject not for grading
It should be also said that LearnWorlds is GDPR compliant. But one of the best things about the platform is that it has developed a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.
On the downside, LearnWorlds doesn’t exactly shine in the email marketing and, generally speaking, eCommerce area, despite being eCommerce-ready right out of the box.
Thinkific too offers customizable templates for different types of pages and courses. However, it should be noted that the site builder is very basic and it doesn’t provide much in terms of customization options, but things stand much better with the course builder, so you can create beautiful looking courses with a user-friendly interface.
Of course, this is not the only highlight of Thinkific. Most of the notable features from the list of the LearnWorlds features are part of the Thinkific assortment of tools as well. Here, I’ll only list those that weren’t mentioned before, like:
- Discussion forums for your courses
- Advanced customization with HTML and CSS
- Awesome progress tracking tools
- Course duplication
- Student course reviews
- Several types of course content
- Sandbox site
- Onboarding call
- Email white labeling
- Removal of company’s branding from your site
- Cohorts, meaning a possibility to sell courses to entire groups and companies
- Membership sites
- Ability to charge in more than 100 currencies
Keep in mind that here I’m giving a general list of features, which means that not every single listed feature is available with each pricing plan.
Compared to some other learning platforms, like Teachable, Thinkific’s sales and marketing tools are not that great, but they’re still better than what LearnWorlds offers in this segment. On the other hand, at the expense of this facet, LearnWorlds has the upper hand when it comes to site-building and site customization because it provides more options than Thinkific.
LearnWorlds and Thinkific are not exactly all-in-one course platforms. Both call for integrations to make their clients’ sites function as smoothly as possible. Different pricing plans allow for different integrations. The higher you go, the more advanced the integrations are.
There are 50+ integrations for LearnWorlds sorted into eleven categories: finances, email marketing, eCommerce, video, social proof, affiliates, growth tools, analytics, video conferencing and webinars, customer service, and marketing. Some of the most recognizable names among them are ActiveCampaign, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, PayPal, Shopify, Stripe, Vimeo, Zapier, Zendesk, Zoom, and more.
There aren’t many integrations with Thinkific, but those that are available are grouped into six categories: analytics, automation, eCommerce, email marketing, growth tools, and student success.
It comes as no surprise that most apps from the list of notable LearnWorlds integrations can be found here too, like ActiveCampaign, Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, PayPal, Shopify, Stripe, Zapier, and Zoom. One noteworthy exception is Brillium, which integrates with Thinkific, but not with LearnWorlds.
While LearnWorlds provides a blogging option, Thinkific doesn’t. There isn’t a built-in blogging option nor a blogging tool among the list of integrations. This is, actually, a blessing in disguise because even if there was, there’s no way it wouldn’t match the quality of DropInBlog - an elegant, simple, and easy-to-use blogging software that integrates seamlessly with Thinkific and many other platforms. Check out this guide and learn how to get started blogging with Thinkific.
Ease of Use
Both platforms are simple and easy to use. It’s easy to navigate and find whatever you need on both platforms’ sites and they both provide intuitive dashboards.
The LearnWorlds dashboard looks a bit more crowded, but it’s still pretty easy to find your way around it:
And here’s the Thinkific dashboard:
Creating courses and customizing pages with LearnWorlds and Thinkific are fairly simple processes that don’t require serious technical skills unless you need advanced customization that involves coding.
You can’t really say that a company is good unless it provides good customer support. Let’s see how LearnWorlds and Thinkific stand in this area.
LearnWorlds provides help through a support page, social media, contact page, ticketing system, email, and phone (Mon-Fri 08.00-17.00 EST).
The usual response time via email is 24 hours. When it comes to phone support, there are two options: a US phone number and a UK phone number. A call to the first one is toll-free.
Naturally, there’ll always be unhappy customers, but the bulk of reviews for the LearnWorlds customer support service are positive. Some users even consider this to be one of the company’s main strengths. On the other side of the spectrum, the biggest disadvantage is the lack of a live chat option, which slows down things.
Thinkific provides support via different channels: a contact page, social media, a help center, a Facebook page of the Thinkific community, a training center, and email. But the greatest asset of the platform’s customer support center is the fact that it provides support by phone (Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00 PST).
There’s a general agreement among reviewers and clients that the customer support staff is friendly, helpful, professional, and responsive. The only downside to the Thinkific customer support service is considered to be the absence of a live chat option which would noticeably speed up things. Imagine that you were in a precarious situation desperately needing help only to find out that you’ll have to wait for hours if not a whole day to receive a reply to your email. Thinkific says that 98% of the emails receive a reply within one day and 50% of the emails get a reply within one hour. However, it seems that most of the reviewers complain about the slowness of its service, despite being overall satisfied by the customer support staff.
So what conclusions can we draw at the end of this LearnWorlds vs Thinkific review?
First, these two platforms are so much alike, it seems very difficult to single out one of them as clearly the better learning management system. If we judge based on the stats from SimilarWeb, it turns out that Thinkific is the way more popular platform.
This may be, but it doesn’t have to be a relevant indicator of higher quality. On the other hand, LearnWorlds has a great overall rating when it comes to user reviews on websites like Trustpilot, Capterra, and eLearning Industry. So, you might say it’s a draw.
Both platforms are suitable for all sizes of eLearning businesses and they both include various types of necessary tools for these businesses to flourish. They both allow users to integrate more sophisticated and advanced tools if those available out of the box don’t float their boat.
However, at least this can be said: if you put a lot of emphasis on aesthetics and you feel like you’ll need more customization options right off the bat, then LearnWorlds is the better option. Other than that, Thinkific would do the job just perfectly.