Looking for the best course builder and membership site platform between Podia vs Thinkific?
We’re going compare the features of both platforms, pricing, pros, and cons.
You see, the eLearning industry is booming, attracting new learners every day and if you ask me, right now is the best time to start an online education business.
To create content and share your knowledge with an online course, you need a platform.
And luckily, platforms for online learning such as Podia and Thinkific provide the necessary tools to help you achieve the aforementioned without having to write code.
If you’re in the market searching for a platform for online learning, your worries will end today with this Podia vs Thinkific comparison guide.
Podia vs Thinkific: Overview
Let’s take a deep dive into this vs guide and see what Podia and Thinkific offers.
Starting with Podia:
What is Podia?
Podia is an easy to use platform that gives you the essential tools you need to create an all-in-one digital storefront for selling courses, webinars, and memberships, and digital products.
The platform has grown over the years and has over 20,000 content creators using the platform.
Podia helps you to replace 5+ tools for the price of one.
It describes itself as the platform that gives you all you need to sell courses, memberships, digital downloads, run email marketing, and affiliate management.
Essentially, Podia aims to help you turn your passion into income (without worrying too much about the tech).
No, you don’t need in-depth tech know-how (or coding skills) to use Podia.
With a beautiful, beginner-friendly user interface, the simplicity and easiness to use of Podia really stand out. Suitable for newbies and experienced digital product creators.
Here’s what you can do on Podia in a nutshell:
- Build and customize your digital storefront or website
- Create Build beautiful landing pages and sales pages
- Host your courses to share your knowledge with the world
- Manage a blog and publish posts to your blog to attract a new audience
- Host and sell digital downloads and products
- Launch and manage a paid membership community
- Receive payments instantly via Stripe and/or PayPal
- Send messages to your audience and run automated drip campaigns
- Manage and reward affiliates who promote your products
And much more.
Let’s dive into the other side and take a look at Thinkific.
Click here to explore Podia for digital downloads.
What is Thinkific?
Thinkific is a learning management system and one of the numerous platforms for online courses that give you the required tools to build a course that students love.
You get all you need to create, market, and sell your own courses with ease.
With over 51,000 students and 64 million courses taken, Thinkific is regarded as one of the leading giants of online education and is usually compared to Teachable.
They boast of over 36,000-course creators using their easy to use tools to upload course content, structure course, create sales pages as well as course pages, and receive payments, recruit affiliates, and more with Thinkific.
With Thinkific, you are empowered to share and sell their knowledge with tools to do the following:
- Build your course site and sales page
- Upload your course content in any format (text, videos, audio files, PDFs, quizzes, type forms, surveys, and more)
- Give quizzes, award certificates, and host a community/discussion forums for your students
- Get paid for your course with ease
- Integrate with third-party payment and email apps
- Use coupon to promote your courses on other third-party platforms
- Manage affiliates so you can get more sales
- Track your students to know how they improve with your course
Click here to explore the Thinkific course builder
Podia vs Thinkific Feature Comparison
This section would see me compare both platforms with a set of features to see them better and you can be better informed when making the choice of getting an online course platform.
Let the battle begin.
#1. User Interface
Podia wins it when it comes to the user interface. They have an amazing UI and UX making it easy for any beginner to understand and get used to the platform right off the bat.
With eye-catching animations, you’re sure to have an amazing experience running your courses on Podia.
On the other hand, the Thinkific user interface feels quite dated. Thinkific uses a sidebar-centric approach to arranging its menu which could be unintuitive as compared to Podia’s top-bar navigation.
If you ask me, Thinkific’s interface is quite good but could be better. With many options unintuitively arranged, there’s room for lots of improvement in Thinkific’s user interface.
#2. Course Creation
Podia allows you to upload your course content online for your students. This includes files, links, text, quizzes, and sections for any course.
And with each individual section, you can include any number of lectures with any format of content.
When you click on the options for any section, you’ll be offered to enter the “drip” settings, and also you will be allowed to send email announcements to your students whenever the sections get unlocked.
Uploading your course content on Thinkific is also smooth.
You can host content in various formats such as text, videos, audio files, PDFs, quizzes, type forms, surveys, presentations, and more.
As a course-centric platform, Thinkific shines more when it comes to course creation than Podia.
There are better features to create your course easily and even add in-class surveys, exams to ensure your students are learning as they progress.
To cap it up, your students can make use of Thinkific certification generation features to generate certificates after they have successfully completed your course.
Really, really wonderful.
#3. Email Marketing Automation
Podia allows you to send one-time emails and newsletters to your students. And you can also run powerful drip campaigns on the platform.
With the Drip campaign feature, you can choose a trigger for your campaign and send out a series of emails when that condition is triggered.
Running a drip campaign to send an email series to your audience to pre-launch is one use case.
Thinkific has an email marketing system with pretty basic automation capabilities. You are able to do audience segmentation. This means you can segment your students based on several conditions and send them emails.
But Podia’s is much more massive.
Podia comes with a variety of third-party email platforms as a major focus. To run email campaigns, you can connect with apps such as ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Drip, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite.
Apart from email solutions, Podia also integrates with Google Analytics for tracking and analytics and for payments, Stripe, and PayPal.
Podia’s integrations are actually limited. And this is where Zapier comes in to rescue in cases where Podia doesn’t support direct integration.
Thinkific has robust integrations than Podia. You can connect with apps in various categories such as e-commerce, automation tools, analytics, email marketing, student success, and Growth tools.
And if you don’t find your desired third-party tool in any of the above categories, you can try using Zapier to connect third-party applications without a built-in integration.
#5. Transaction Fees
Both platforms have zero transaction fees so you’ll be getting your exact amount charged upon withdrawal.
#6. Membership Site
Podia has a dedicated membership site feature that allows you to create your membership content and allow your customers to subscribe.
You can create membership subscription plans, add content to your membership site, and allow it to drip over a period of time.
Thinkific doesn’t have an essential, robust membership site feature as Podia. But you can use your courses by offering them as a membership package and drip feed the content over time. Your students would have to lock into your subscription pricing option.
#7. Site Building
When it comes to site-building and creating a full-fledged website one is definitely stronger than the other.
In fact, Podia is weak in this aspect.
Thinkific course builder offers a reasonable library of website themes, and the page builder is more powerful than Podia’s as well, so you can create a fully-fledged website with Thinkific.
#8. Customer Support
If you ask Podia customers, they’ll tell you the customer service they receive is second to none.
And from my experience,, they’re quite responsive compared to a lot of marketing platforms I’ve used and still using.
They have a live chat support option and give speedy responses (withing minutes) to queries using this option. As an alternative, you can also get support via email as a Podia customer. No telephone support.
Thinkific offers telephone and email support for its customers. However, its telephone support option is unfortunately restricted to only their customers based in the United States.
So if you’re an international Thinkific user based outside the US, sorry! You have to depend on their e-mail support for customer service.
This is where I gave them a thumbs down. Cuz I’m nowhere near the US.
Also, they don’t have a live chat feature.
Thinkific vs Podia Price Comparison
Both Podia and Thinkific pricing are very similar in the sense that there is no transaction fee on any of the plans.
But there are also a few details to know:
Podia has two pricing plans with interesting, unusual names.
And on each plan, you get unlimited core features with zero transaction fees to sell your courses and memberships.
Plus, Podia gives you a 14-day free trial (no cc) to test-drive the platform (no free plan) and see if it’s a great fit for running your digital business.
No credit card is needed for the free trial period and you can even cancel anytime when you feel it’s not worth it.
Plus, if you decide to pay annually, there’s a little discount. Let’s take a look at each of the plans.
Mover Plan for $39 per month
Great for beginners and first-time digital product creators, you get to save $78 when you pay yearly ($390 billed annually) on this plan.
And here’s what you get on the Mover plan:
- Your own storefront
- Online courses
- Digital downloads
- Email marketing
- Additional teammates ($20/mo each)
- Zero transaction fees
- Unlimited everything
- 7-days-a-week support
- Free migrations
More about the Mover plan here.
Shaker Plan for $79 per month
This plan is suitable for experienced digital product creators who are ready to grow their business.
Paying yearly, your price reduces to $ per month ($790 billed annually) and you get all the features in the Mover plan plus:
- Offsite Buy Buttons
- Affiliate marketing
- Third-party code
Thinkific has four pricing plans, along with a free plan to choose from.
On each plan, you get unlimited students, zero transaction fees, a support team, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Plus, you get a 20% annual discount on all paid plans.
Before we dive into each plan, here’re the core features you get on all Thinkific plans include:
- Instant access to your funds
- Student notifications
- Full e-Commerce
- Upsell offers
- Easy drag and drop Course Builder
- Discussion forums
- Build out your entire website
- Secure cloud hosting
- Multiple instructor profiles
- Choose your site language
- Easy, built-in SSL certificates
- Email and phone support
Now, to the main pricing plans.
As a user of the online course platform, this free plan lets you test-drive Thinkific’s core feature without paying a dime.
Here’s exactly what you get on the Thinkific free plan:
- All Thinkific core features plus
- 3 Courses
- Unlimited students
- Quizzes & surveys
- Content hosting
- Instant access to your fund
Access Thinkific plan for FREE here (no cc required)
Thinkific Basic for $49 per month
On this plan, you get fewer restrictions and a lot more features you need to have a better course creation experience.
The price reduces to $39 per month ($468 billed annually) when you pay yearly and here’s what you get:
- All features on the Thinkific free plan plus
- Unlimited courses & students
- Drip (scheduled) content
- Affiliate reporting
- Custom domain
- Email integrations
- Zapier triggers
- Manual student enrollment & exports
Thinkific Pro for $99 per month
Suitable for experienced digital product creators with a lot of courses to manage, the Pro plan is the most popular Thinkific plan. You can get it for $79 per month ($948 billed annually).
And you get the following features:
- All features on the Thinkific basic plan plus
- Courses & students (Unlimited)
- 2 Site admin accounts
- 5 Course admins/authors
- Private & hidden courses
- Advanced course pricing options
- Memberships and bundles
- Advanced Customization
- Priority Support
Thinkific Premier for $499 per month
This plan was created for the advanced course and digital product creators who are ready to build an online education empire with no restrictions.
Paying yearly, the price for the premier plan reduces to $399 per month ($4788 billed annually) and you get access to the following features:
- All features on the Thinkific Pro plan plus
- Courses & students (Unlimited)
- 5 Site admin accounts
- 15 Group Analysts
- 50 Course admins/authors
- Single sign-on (SSO)
- Onboarding package
- Unlimited Growth Package
Thinkific Plus Plan
This plan is suitable for large companies, businesses, schools, and high volume course creators.
It is like an enterprise package and the pricing is not widely advertised. You get unlimited features and you need to reach out to the Thinkific admin to determine your pricing based on your custom needs.
Frequently Asked Question
Which is more expensive, Podia or Thinkific?
In my opinion, I would say Thinkific looks more expensive than Podia. Although they provide a free account for starters which is impressive. But on the paid side for advanced features – it’s more expensive.
Do Podia and Thinkific have trial periods?
Yes, both have a free 14-day trial period.
You can get started with Podia here.
You can get started with Thinkific here.
Do Thinkific and Podia have refund policies?
Yes, both Podia and Thinkific have a money-back guarantee. However, I still think the free trial periods are enough for you to make a smart decision on whether to stay or not before getting billed for the monthly plan.
Can I build my marketing sales funnel on Podia and Thinkific?
The short answer is NO.
While I so much love the concept of sales funnel – none of the above platforms can be used for building a complete funnel.
Although, Thinkific doesn’t do as good a job as Podia when it comes to sales and marketing tools. But nothing near building a sales funnel, unlike Kajabi and a few alternatives here used for building a complete marketing funnel to help market and sell your courses.
That said, I can’t recommend Kartra enough for both memberships and at the same time building sophisticated funnels among other stuff.
Is Podia better than Thinkific?
The main difference between the two is that Podia provides better marketing features, while Thinkific offers better site design and course creation.
Which is better for courses?
Without mincing words, Thinkific is incredibly and reliably better for courses.
Which is better for digital downloads and eBooks?
Podia has a special feature that takes care of helping you market and sell your digital downloads or eBooks. Conviently.
Podia supports all kinds of digital products, from text, images, audio files, quizzes and links to more complex files like PSDs, and so much more.
If it’s downloadable, you can upload and sell it on Podia easily.
Which is better for webinars?
There are over a dozen webinar software in the market you can integrate to your chosen course builder. However, Podia gives you the ability to create webinars through the native Zoom integration or you can embed YouTube live.
All within Podia. Plus, they also take care of automating the process and sending the reminder emails.
So, yeah you should definitely go with Podia for webinars.
Which Should You Go For Podia or Thinkific?
As you can see from this Podia vs Thinkific comparison piece, Podia and Thinkific are both great options for creating and delivering online courses to your audience.
And both of these tools won’t charge you any transaction fee in their paid plans. Which is awesome!
Podia is great if you need an all-in-one platform for building a dedicated membership site, selling digital product selling, online course management, and drip email marketing. While Thinkific is focused on helping you create and deliver your courses. With a pretty nicer membership experience.
Thinkific has a free forever plan while Podia has paid plans only. Plus, when it comes to integrations, it has a wide range of integration options.
To decide on the best option, it makes sense to actually explore both solutions to see for yourself.
Thankfully, they both have free trials that won’t take a dime from your pocket.
Drop a comment below let me know your choice platform between Podia vs Thinkific.