Podia vs Thinkific; Which is the Best Course Platform for 2022?

by | Jul 19, 2022

Podia vs Thinkific are both powerful platforms to sell online courses. However, while Podia is designed to sell digital downloads and host courses, Thinkific is only an online course platform.

One of the major drawbacks of Thinkific is that it lacks membership options for lower pricing plans, making Podia a preferred platform for many. Additionally, Podia has better email marketing features.

But Thinkific makes up for those drawbacks with a seamless course-creation experience with some well-rounded e-learning tools that Podia lacks.

So, as a solopreneur or digital nomad, which platform should you select for your business? Let’s find out in this Podia vs Thinkific comparative review.

Podia vs Thinkific: TL;DR

podia vs thinkific comparison table

Pros of Podia

  • Podia offers decent email marketing tools that can cover most of your needs. If you need highly advanced features, third-party integrations are available.
  • With Podia you can create unlimited courses and accommodate unlimited students using any paid plan.
  • Podia offers integrated blogging features for its higher pricing plans. Thinkific doesn’t offer this feature at all.
  • It offers free migration from another platform irrespective of the paid plan you choose.
  • With Podia you can sell a variety of digital products including courses.
Try Podia

Pros of Thinkific

  • Thinkific has more powerful course creation tools compared to Podia.
  • The course creation process with Thinkific is easier because of its ready-made templates.
  • It integrates with Brillium so that you can create elaborate tests. Podia lacks this feature.
  • Unlike Podia, Thinkific has more interactive classroom features such as narrated presentations and surveys.
  • Thinkific allows issuing course completion certificates to students.
Try Thinkific

Podia vs Thinkific: Detailed Comparison

Thinkific and Podia comparison breakdown by features:

  • User interface
  • Course creation experience
  • Design and customization
  • Digital products
  • Marketing features
  • Community features
  • Data analytics
  • Customer support
  • Pricing

Podia vs Thinkific: User Interface

Both Podia and Thinkific are online course platforms with simple and intuitive interfaces, but who wins?

Podia

podia-vs-thinkific-podia-ui

Podia has a neat interface with a horizontal top menu and logically nested items that you can find quickly. The user dashboard gives a clear and concise view of account activity.

Not only is the UI polished, but it also loads quickly. Students can easily access lessons on a variety of mobile devices.

Thinkific

thinkific-ui

The Thinkifc online course platform also offers a clean UI with left navigation and well-nested menu items.

However, Thinkific employs a slightly different logic in arranging different features in the menu.

For instance, ‘Integrations’ that usually come under ‘Settings’ is placed under ‘Market and Sell.’ But that is not a problem, at all.

Winner: Tie because both the online course platforms offer a polished and intuitive UI.

Try Thinkific Try Podia

Podia vs Thinkific: Course Creation Experience

The best online course platform must allow you to create online courses easily. Who does a better job?

Podia

podia-vs-thinkific-podia-course-creation

With Podia’s online course platform, you must start by selecting the product type you want to create. Once you select the ‘Online Course’ type, you can start structuring the course with ‘Chapters’ and ‘Lessons.’

podia-course-details

Unfortunately, with Podia you don’t get pre-made course templates. Formatting the course is very similar to the formatting features of Google Docs and Microsoft Word.

You can create a presell landing page before creating the course, but there is no template for that. You must create it from scratch outside the course builder.

The content formats that you can add with Podia are limited to only four choices – Files, Links, Text, and Quizzes. The ‘Files’ type will allow you to upload videos, audios, PDFs, etc.

Podia will allow unlimited video hosting and bulk content upload. It also allows dripping online courses.

Course compliance features are missing in Podia. You cannot set restrictions and make an assessment a prerequisite to continue with the next chapter or lesson. You can’t set a passing grade.

You can, however, issue completion certificates only for higher plans.

Thinkific

podia-vs-thinkific-thinkific-course-creation

Thinkific offers pre-made templates for courses or you can start from scratch. You can set a presell landing page using a template within the course builder.

thinkific-content-types

With this platform, you get many content formats including videos, narrated presentations, surveys, live streams, Brillium exams, PDFs, images, quizzes, multimedia, audios, and more.

podia-vs-thinkific-thinkific-video-library

Thinkific also offers unlimited video hosting and a robust video gallery for easy management of videos. Just like Podia, you can upload content in bulk and then arrange them.

The drip content feature is also available. You can also set private and hidden courses from the Pro plan onward. This feature is absent in Podia.

You can set restrictions and make an assessment a prerequisite for the next chapter or lesson. You can set a minimum passing score.

You can also issue completion certificates but only for higher plans.

Winner: Thinkific because it offers better course creation features and course compliance options than Podia.

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Podia vs Thinkific: Design and Customization

Both the course builder platforms allow design editing and customization features but who wins?

Podia

podia-builder

Podia offers a simple site builder to customize your online courses. You can launch the Podia Editor from the dashboard by clicking on the ‘Edit site’ button.

From there you get to add multiple sections to your site using drag-and-drop elements such as newsletter, videos, testimonials, etc.

You can view the changes in real-time. However, there are no theme templates. You can only switch between dark and light modes.

If you want, you can use the custom mode to edit all colors, but advanced customization options are absent.

Thinkific

podia-vs-thinkific-thinkific-theme-library

Thinkific will provide you with pre-made theme templates with its drag-and-drop site builder.

You can also play with the colors and typography of your Thinkific site. The platform will also allow you to add various elements.

If you know how to code, you can import custom themes or export the existing theme styles and edit them to create a custom look. This feature is not available with Podia, but with its ‘Earthquaker’ plan, Podia will allow adding third-party codes.

Winner: Thinkific due to it’s variety of customization options.

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Podia vs Thinkific: Digital Products

Online courses are digital products, but they aren’t the only type. Will both Podia and Thinkific allow you to sell digital products apart from online courses?

Podia

podia-product-types

Podia allows creators to sell online courses, digital downloads, coaching services, and webinars. This feature allows online businesses to expand beyond selling online courses.

Thinkific

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Thinkific is a great choice for course creators because of its excellent course creation capabilities and student engagement features. However, it lacks the ability to sell other digital products.

Winner: Podia because it allows to sell other types of digital products.

Try Podia

Podia vs Thinkific: Marketing Features

Setting up an online school, creating course pages, and having great course content is not sufficient. You must have tools to market and sell your online courses.

Podia

podia-email-marketing

Podia offers a set of basic email marketing tools. You can send one-off newsletters or you can set drip campaigns for your courses.

The drip campaign feature is quite powerful and you can define a trigger to shoot the email sequence. However, if you need more advanced email marketing features, third-party integrations are available.

Podia also offers a blogging feature for content marketing and link building.

Thinkific

podia-vs-thinkific-thinkific-email-marketing-and-notifications

Thinkific’s email marketing features are basic. You can send course updates and other important communications.

The most you can do is segment your students based on certain conditions and then send them emails.

For advanced automations, you must rely on third-party email marketing integrations. There is no blogging option available yet.

Winner: Podia because of more advanced email marketing features and blogging capabilities.

Try Podia

Podia vs Thinkific: Community Features

Community features for student engagement are essential. Both platforms offer this feature, but who wins?

Podia

podia-community-feed

Podia offers online community features even for its free plan and allows unlimited students. You can offer the communities for free or charge them.

You can bundle communities with other digital products or offer them as subscriptions or stand-alone products.

There is no limit to the number of membership tiers you want to create with each tier offering different products, perks, and access levels.

Thinkific

podia-vs-thinkific-thinkific-community-feed

Thinkific also offers community features for all its plans including the free plan.

You can provide community access to everyone or to selected students based on groups or courses. There is no way to convert a community into a standalone product and sell it.

Winner: Podia wins because it allows charging for communities.

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Podia vs Thinkific: Data Analytics

Data analytics is important to understand the success of marketing strategies. Both Podia and Thinkific offer this feature.

Podia

podia-analytics

Podia’s analytics helps to track and analyze the churn rate. You will get reports and metrics to identify growth bottlenecks.

Podia will also provide detailed email analytics. If you need, Google Analytics and Hotjar integrations are also available.

Podia will also show sales metrics such as total sales and transactions, types of sales, invoices, etc.

You will also find engagement metrics like enrollment date, student progress, last active time, etc., for specific courses.

Thinkific

podia-vs-thinkific-thinkific-analytics

Thinkific will provide a simplified data overview to help you understand everything. There are four data categories – Revenue, Orders, Enrollments, and Student Engagement.

You can switch to a detailed view and use various parameters like single course, product bundle, time, currency, affiliates, etc., to break down the data and receive actionable insights.

Thinkific also has cohort and growth reporting features and it can connect with Google Analytics and Facebook remarketing tools.

Winner: Thinkific wins because of better data segmentation and the ability to give actionable insights.

Try Thinkific

Podia vs Thinkific: Customer Support

An online learning platform with advanced tools is useless if you can’t get customer support when needed.

Podia

podia-customer-support

Podia will offer live chat support irrespective of your plan. Though it will provide support 7 days a week, it is not 24/7 support.

You will also receive free migration of products on its paid plans. However, if you are looking for priority support and onboarding calls, they are available only for their most expensive plan.

Thinkific

podia-vs-thinkific-thinkific-customer-support

Thinkific does not have live chat support for its free plan. It is available for the Basic plan and above. Their priority support is available only for the users of the Pro plan or above. A 30-minute onboarding call is available only for the Premier plan users.

Winner: Podia because it offers live chat support and free migrations, both of which are absent in Thinkific.

Try Podia

Podia vs Thinkific: Pricing

For solopreneurs and digital nomads new to online course business, the cost is an important factor.

Podia

Podia offers one free plan and three paid plans all of which offer live chat support and email marketing features.

However, for the free plan, Podia charges 8% transaction fees as opposed to zero transaction fees for the paid plans. Here is a quick view of Podia’s payment plans:

Free Plan: $0 (forever free)

  • Full website
  • Community
  • 1 download & 1 coaching product.

Mover Plan: $39 a month

  • Full website
  • Community
  • Unlimited downloads, coaching, and courses
  • Free migration for 1 product

Shaker Plan: $89 a month

  • Full website
  • Community
  • Unlimited downloads, coaching, courses, and webinars
  • Free migration for 5 products
  • Affiliate program
  • Zapier actions

Earthquaker Plan: $199 a month

  • Full website
  • Community
  • Unlimited downloads, coaching, courses, and webinars
  • Free migration for 10 products
  • Affiliate program
  • Priority support
  • Onboarding calls
  • Zapier actions
  • Third-party code
Try Podia

Thinkific

Thinkific offers zero transaction fees and email & phone support for all plans including the free plan. Custom domain, live chat, and drip content are available for all paid plans.

The course completion certificate is available only for the Pro and Premier plans. Here is a quick view of Thinkific’s plans:

Free Plan: $0 (forever free)

  • Up to three courses
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support

Basic Plan: $49 a month

  • Unlimited students and courses
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support
  • Thinkific Academy basic courses

Pro Plan: $99 a month

  • Unlimited courses and students
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support
  • Private & hidden courses
  • Thinkific Academy pro courses

Premier Plan: $499 a month

  • Unlimited courses and students
  • Drag-and-drop course builder
  • Full e-commerce functionalities
  • Website templates
  • Email and phone support
  • Private & hidden courses
  • Thinkific Academy pro courses
  • White labeling
  • Brillium integration
  • API access

Thinkific also offers a Growth package that you can purchase with the Pro plan. This Growth package or add-on unlocks some of the advanced features available in the Premier plan. If you pay yearly, you can enjoy a 20% discount for all tiers.

Try Thinkific

Podia vs Thinkific: FAQ

Is Podia easy to use?

Yes, Podia is very easy to use with a refined UI and a nearly non-existent learning curve.

However, if you are migrating from a platform like Thinkific, the course creation experience will not be as smooth due to the lack of pre-made course templates.

Still, it has all the features you need to run a successful online course business.

Is Thinkific better than Podia?

Thinkific offers a better online course creation process with multiple course content formats. There are various student assessment and course compliance features that Podia lacks. Thus, Thinkific offers a better student experience.

Podia, on the other hand, offers instant access to support through its live chat feature. Its incredible customer service is perfect for course instructors who are new to the game.

Is WordPress better than Podia and Thinkific?

WordPress is a blogging platform while Podia and Thinkific are online course platforms with all the core features needed for creating, marketing, and selling online courses.

You can use WordPress to achieve that, but you will need multiple third-party apps to add additional features required to create membership sites and courses.

This will increase your monthly expenses because WordPress, though flexible, is not an online learning platform.

Try Thinkific Try Podia

Podia vs Thinkific: Summary

Both Podia and Thinkific are great platforms for course creators. However, Podia is a better choice for those who want to expand beyond online courses and sell additional digital products.

Thinkific is best for course creators who want to focus on student experience and course delivery. With Thinkific, you can even add multiple instructors to a single course.

However, both platforms provide decent email marketing and analytics features that will suffice unless you need highly advanced features. In that case, integration with third-party apps will be necessary.

As a solopreneur or digital nomad, the platform you choose will depend on your current needs and future plans.

Please share with anyone you think this might benefit. Thank you 🙂

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