If you're going to launch an online course, you must have to choose which platform to use for hosting your course.
This article reviews Thinkific and Podia, which are both excellent solutions. Despite Thinkific's incredible popularity, keeping an open mind is essential. Podia has been helping entrepreneurs create and launch digital products for four years and has significant experience in this field.
Let's delve into it!
Podia vs Thinkific: An overview of both platforms
In December 2017, Podia rebranded and successfully established itself as a reliable platform for hosting online training courses. The platform provides a one-page storefront that course creators can customize, making it an excellent option for beginners selling digital products.
Key benefits include user-friendliness, fast course launch, high security, and no transaction fees. Payouts are available instantly through Stripe or PayPal.
Using Podia's dashboard, users can send emails to students and analyze open rates, which is not currently available in Thinkific's course creation system.
Thinkific, like Podia, allows you to host and sell online training programs and include various file types. Its user-friendliness and SSL certifications for all web pages inspire trust in your audience and Google's search engine.
One of its main features is more significant interaction with students, including the ability to add a discussion forum and monitor student progress, awarding completion certificates upon course completion.
At this time, Podia does not offer these interactive features. Additionally, Thinkific's storefront allows the creation of multiple pages, such as about me, blog, and FAQ pages, enabling you to publish almost any type of web page for your course.
After providing an overview comparison, we will examine both courses' specific aspects in greater detail.
Podia vs Thinkific: Comparison
1. The Course Builder Cost
Thinkific has a free starter plan to try the platform and create up to three courses with no transaction fees.
Paid plans, such as Basic ($49/month) and Pro ($99/month), offer additional features like unlimited courses, custom domains, and advanced pricing options.
The Premier Plan ($499/month) is for those who want to launch an educational empire and includes onboarding up to 50 admins and authors per course. Podia offers similar features for less cost.
On the other hand, Podia's pricing structure is more superficial and offers two plans but no free program.
The Mover Plan costs $39 per month or $390 per year and includes building, selling, and managing courses, selling digital content and downloads, creating sales pages, no transaction fees, and around-the-clock support.
The Shaker Plan costs $79 per month or $790 per year. It includes everything in the Mover Plan plus launching a subscription-based product, embedded buy buttons, launching an affiliate program, inserting third-party code, and migration services.
2. Customer Service
Podia's customer service is highly rated by its customers. The live chat feature is recommended for quick assistance, with a typical response time of a few minutes. They are committed to helping with any issues, even if they do not have an immediate answer. Email support is also available, but telephone support is not offered.
The customer support service provided by Thinkific is commendable as they offer phone assistance to their customers in the United States. However, those using Thinkific from other countries can only seek help via email, as the platform does not have a live chat feature. Nonetheless, their response time is usually prompt, and you can expect a reply within a day.
3. Course Builder Features
As stated earlier (depending on the chosen payment package), both platforms offer entrepreneurs the flexibility to create limitless courses for an unrestricted number of students. However, Podia goes the extra mile by providing available file space and bandwidth.
In addition, as mentioned previously, Podia has an email marketing integration that does not limit the number of subscribers or emails you can send. Course creators find this function particularly useful for scheduling emails that guide students through the course structure. It is ideal for sending these emails after a customer purchases your course. On the other hand, to access this feature, you must purchase the Essentials plan of Thinkific.
Although Podia offers a range of impressive features, Thinkific surpasses them in terms of functionality. To illustrate, here are several things Thinkific offers that Podia does not:
- Student progress reports
- Integrated student discussion forums
- The option for students to leave course reviews (which serves as excellent social proof for marketing your product)
- The ability to register multiple instructors and site administrators per course
- The capacity to upload voice-over presentations
- Issuing student completion certificates
- The ability to launch time-sensitive classes and prerequisite lessons before granting access to the entire course
- The capability to bulk import course content and student enrollments
- Access to a site builder featuring a drag-and-drop page designer
- Custom HTML/CSS for all web pages.
4. Customer Experience
A user-friendly checkout process is crucial for increasing sales, and Podia delivers on this front. However, when building a community among students, Thinkific outshines Podia. In addition to quizzes, Thinkific offers tests, surveys, discussion forums, and completion certificates that work together to create a cohesive learning environment.
It's worth noting that Podia allows student comments on course content. This feature enables students to interact with each other, ask questions, and receive more personalized support from the course creator and support team, who can track individual student progress.
Thinkific vs Podia: Differences
Here are some of the significant differences between Thinkific and Podia:
- Podia is known for its user-friendly interface, while Thinkific may require more technical expertise to navigate effectively.
- Thinkific offers more interactive classroom features, such as tests, surveys, and discussion forums, while Podia is reputed for its high-quality video presentation features.
- Thinkific provides more advanced customization options and technical integrations, while Podia focuses on delivering maximum functionality in a streamlined manner.
- Podia has a more straightforward two-tier pricing structure, whereas Thinkific has three pricing tiers.
- Podia allows for bulk email marketing at lower pricing tiers, whereas Thinkific limits email outreach to individual emails unless subscribed to the "Pro" account.
- Thinkific is well-suited for accredited higher education institutions, whereas Podia is a better option for DIY content creators.
Podia vs Thinkific: Final thoughts
Podia and Thinkific are dependable choices for designing and launching high-quality digital products. Nonetheless, for cost-conscious entrepreneurs who are open to sacrificing some of the design and student interaction features, Podia may be the better option.
On the other hand, Thinkific may be a better choice for course creators who have a specific vision for their online course design and are willing to pay extra to make it a reality.
Additionally, Thinkific offers a free plan that allows creators to take their time creating and uploading their course lessons without incurring costs. Once the course is ready to launch, creators can upgrade to paid plans that offer more features to sell their online courses.
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Read also: 9 Best Podia Alternatives in 2023