The best time to start selling instructional content on the internet is right now.
Why is that?
The eLearning sector is flourishing, with more students and instructors joining every day.
In this Podia vs Thinkific comparison, you’re going to find out which platform to use to get in on the action.
You could be a seasoned professional searching for a new goal or simply want to share your knowledge and interests with a larger audience.
Either way, establishing an online course may be your next logical step.
It’s considerably easier than you might imagine to generate and sell online instructional stuff these days.
Tools like Podia and Thinkific provide you with all the resources you need to build a beautiful online school without knowing how to code.
These kinds of SaaS have a lot to offer, from design and presentation tools to marketing and sales features.
Now, if you’re looking for a platform to create online courses, look no further.
In this post, we’ll look at how Podia and Thinkific stack up against each other.
By the end of this article, you should have a clearer sense of which one is best for your content and target audience. Let’s get to it.
Podia vs Thinkific: The Basics
Before we get into their in-depth comparison, let’s get to know these two giants in the online course industry.
Who is Podia?
Podia, which was founded in 2014, aspires to be the most creator-friendly solution for creating online courses.
I must say they do pretty well.
Podia can also be used to offer digital downloads, memberships, and subscriptions in addition to e-courses.
The all-in-one quality of Podia is what sets it apart from its competition.
This SaaS is more than simply a course builder, with email and affiliate marketing capabilities and a variety of course development features.
Like many of its rivals, Podia also includes everything you need to establish a site and online school.
Podia’s Standout Features
- It is exceptionally straightforward to use.
- It is a fantastic solution if you want your courses up and running right away.
- The security of the platform is tight.
- No transaction fees
- You get instant payouts as a course creator. Funds are deposited to your account via Paypal or Stripe.
Podia’s Main Selling Point
Podia’s dashboard lets users send emails to students.
You may also track and evaluate your open rates.
At this time, Thinkific’s course development system does not include these kinds of metrics.
Related Reading: Podia vs Kajabi – Check Out The Comparison Here.
Who is Thinkific?
Greg Smith, the CEO of Thinkific, founded the company over 11 years ago.
When he tried to teach a weekend course on other platforms, he found them to be too restrictive.
As a result of this predicament, he founded Thinkific.
Thinkific is simple to set up and configure, and it comes with a variety of attractive layouts to select from.
Any of Thinkific’s professional-looking layouts would be ideal for your online school’s foundation.
Moreover, its drag-and-drop course creation capabilities and site editor are straightforward to use.
You can register several instructors, drip-feed your content, set evergreen content, and publish materials with an expiration date.
Thinkific’s Standout Features
- Intuitive online course developer
- You can include quizzes, polls, and videos in your courses.
- Drip scheduling lets you pace your lessons the way you want.
- It comes with a website builder, which you can use to house your online learning business.
- Excellent third-party integrations
- It has a free plan that lets users check its services before fully committing.
Thinkific’s Main Selling Point
Course developers have more opportunities to interact with their students.
For example, you can include and use a discussion forum as part of your course.
You can also keep track of your student’s progress and award completion certificates to those who complete the entire lesson.
Podia does not have these types of student interaction features at the time of writing.
Within your storefront page, Thinkific also allows you to create many pages.
I’m talking about things like about me pages, blog entries, FAQs, and so on.
You can publish nearly any type of web page for your business.
The Key Contrasts Between Podia vs Thinkific
- Thinkific features a variety of appealing templates and allows you to change the HTML, but Podia is highly beginner-friendly.
- Thinkific does not have a dedicated email marketing solution, although Podia does.
- Podia uses a basic website template that does not allow for much modification, but Thinkific does.
- Thinkific features a three-tier price structure, whereas Podia has a rudimentary two-tier pricing structure.
- Thinkific is better suited to certified higher education institutions, whereas podia are better suited to self-publishing online course creators.
- Podia has superior video presentation features, whereas Thinkific provides more interactive classroom features.
- Thinkific only permits individual emails below the “Pro” account, but Podia supports mass emailing at lower-cost tiers.
Related Reading: Best Online Course Platforms – Click Here To Read More.
Podia vs Thinkific: The In-Depth Comparison
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way let’s get into the nitty-gritty of these platforms.
I’ll give you my takeaway for every section to illustrate the “winner” for all the features of these services.
Both platforms include a straightforward and user-friendly interface that makes it simple for anyone to get a course up and running regardless of skill level.
The drag-and-drop builders on the individual platforms are especially beneficial for easily creating a personalized site.
Let’s take a deeper look at the other features that these course development software programs have to offer in terms of course creation.
Podia Course Creator
Podia is a creator-friendly platform for developing and selling excellent online courses, digital downloads, and memberships and subscriptions.
This well-known platform strives to be an all-in-one solution, including capabilities for email marketing, affiliate marketing, course promotion, and more.
To put it another way, this single platform will provide you with everything you need to design, publish, market, and sell your online course.
Plus, you can do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The course creator is incredibly simple to use.
Files, links, text, and quizzes can all be added to your courses, and these will make up your lessons.
You can drag and drop the distinct elements into the desired order.
You may quickly add headings, links, bullet-point lists, and images with the rich text editor.
You may also add videos to Podia by simply copying and pasting the URL.
Thinkific Course Creator
While Thinkific has sophisticated capabilities, it emphasizes ease of use.
Its platform is built so that even absolute beginners with no technical experience may use the platform to create an online course.
You can incorporate various sorts of multimedia content (such as photos, videos, type-form, surveys, quizzes, conversations, and comments).
Additionally, you can host all of your video material for free, eliminating the need to integrate a third-party application or pay for video hosting services.
In terms of course creation capabilities, the features listed above show that Thinkific has a lot more to offer than Podia.
On Thinkific, the process of creating a course is significantly more straightforward.
The many design aspects are much easier to grasp, especially for novice users with little to no technical skills.
Marketing For Your School and Courses
As an online course designer, having the correct tools to market and sell your courses is critical.
So, let’s look at how each of these platforms may help you market your online course business.
Podia also offers excellent marketing solutions to assist course developers in getting the most out of their money.
The all-in-one course creation platform is geared for single course developers and entrepreneurs, but companies of all sizes may use the capabilities.
You’ll be able to develop a beautiful digital storefront to sell your courses.
You can also create a range of course alternatives using a variety of multimedia kinds like digital downloads, videos, PDFs, webinars, and more.
This will make it much easier for you to market your course to a larger group of people.
Thinkific integrates with a variety of email marketing platforms, including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, and others.
This way, you can manage your email marketing campaigns and provide content to your students from a single location.
A comprehensive Affiliate Center for managing and paying affiliates who sell your courses online is one of the many capabilities available to enhance your marketing initiatives.
Affiliates may be tracked directly from your dashboard.
Plus, you can utilize a range of commission rates to entice others to sell your courses on your behalf.
Thinkific also features advanced data tracking capabilities that let you understand what works and what doesn’t so you can get the most out of your campaign.
Although Thinkific includes a number of school and course marketing options, Podia has more sophisticated email marketing tools that let you send one-time newsletters, drip content, and more.
While Thinkific provides more marketing software integrations, Podia has the vital Google Analytics, PayPal, and Stripe integrations.
You need a platform as an online course creator that allows you to create a visually beautiful, engaging, and intuitive consumer experience.
Fortunately, both of these systems have tremendous capabilities that allow you to customize your students’ experience completely.
It’s pretty simple to create a new course on Podia.
Once you’ve joined up, all you have to do is click the “Add New Product” button.
You’ll then be able to create a variety of items, including webinars, bundles, digital downloads, and online courses.
You’ll have your very own course structure ready to be filled with content as soon as you select “Course.”
The objective here is to offer a simple, rapid, and seamless course-building experience, so you can start adding different forms of information, such as text, files, links, quizzes, and so on.
Thinkific gives you a lot of customization choices, so you may create a genuinely unique online learning service that stands out from the crowd.
For example, there are a variety of themes to choose from, all of which have been skillfully created to meet industry requirements.
You may showcase your material in whatever way you like with these attractive layouts, and you can also use other features like:
- Private and hidden courses
- Drip scheduling
- Multiple instructors in real-time
- Prerequisite lessons
- Membership sites
- Completion certificates
My Takeaway – Podia vs Thinkific
Thinkific is the clear victor when it comes to personalizing student experiences.
Although Podia is best for novices, Thinkific has a lot more possibilities for the types of media files or information you can upload.
In contrast to Podia, the platform has more themes to pick from and more comprehensive customization capabilities.
There is also a slew of native connectors with other essential software tools and apps, making this a more versatile platform.
It’s an excellent service for those who like to multitask and cater to a more extensive, more diversified range of students.
Related Reading: Thinkific vs Teachable – Read The Full Comparison Here.
Metrics and Analytics
The course platform you choose should have robust analytics capabilities that allow you to see a clear picture of all your metrics.
You’ll need this information so you can work to create the finest online course experience for your students and, in turn, expand your online school.
Here are the analytics features that Thinkific and Podia have to offer.
The analytics tool in Podia is intended to assist you in tracking and analyzing your churn.
It gives you metrics, reporting, and analytics to help you identify any growth issues so you may outperform your competition and fulfill your sales targets.
Aside from complex reporting for email marketing, the platform also interfaces with a number of other technologies, such as Google Analytics and HotJar, to provide you with more precise statistics.
The sales tab in the top navigation menu will show you your course sales.
Everything will be visible, including:
- All sales and transactions
- Products and plans
- All invoices
- Types of sales
- Enrollment dates
- Completed lessons
- Course progress for every student
- Students’ last active time
It’s simple to make sense of the data created by your users and marketing initiatives with Thinkific.
Everything on your dashboard is set out in a clear and straightforward manner.
In effect, you gain actionable insights at a glance and make data-driven decisions to enhance your business.
There are four categories in which you can find the information you need:
- Student Engagement
You’ll get a simplified data overview, but you may switch to the “Details” tab for more details on individual items.
Time, product bundle, single course, payment methods, affiliates, currency, new or returning consumers, and many more parameters can be used to split down the data.
Through the use of particular filters in the platform, you can also check on the status of any of your students.
The growth and batch reporting capabilities allow you to analyze and optimize multiple elements of your business from your dashboard.
You get data exports and sophisticated email segmentation for email marketing.
Users also have the opportunity to connect their Thinkific account to Google and Facebook’s advertising and remarketing capabilities.
My Takeaway – Podia vs Thinkific
Podia performs well at offering basic data analytics capabilities and Google Analytics and HotJar integrations.
However, Thinkific comes out on top in this area.
The platform includes a collection of data analytics tools that are both powerful and simple to use, allowing you to follow the customer journey and identify potential development efficiently.
Retention Tools For Students
You increase your chances of repeat students and recommendations if you foster a fantastic student experience.
Courses are considered valuable if many folks find it easy to retain information from them.
Here’s a quick rundown of how Thinkific and Podia can help you create an exceptional student experience.
Podia Student Experience
To help your Podia students get the most out of your course, you can give them quizzes and tasks.
You can also start conversations around your courses within your own community.
However, there aren’t many customization possibilities for generating individual quiz and assignment sites on the website.
There are no course completion certificates.
Still, you can offer drip content to keep students interested in your course and keep them coming back for more.
Thinkific Student Experience
Thinkific provides various tools to help you provide your students with the best possible experience.
For example, students have their personalized dashboard, and you have the opportunity to tailor their sign-in experience completely.
You can include videos, custom pages, and other content that is only visible to course participants.
Language translation options are also available on the platform, allowing you to deliver your course in over 30 languages to students all around the world.
Another valuable tool to help you build a fantastic student experience is the mobile access option.
In fact, Thinkific’s entire platform is mobile adaptable, allowing your students to switch between desktop and mobile devices smoothly.
So, your customers can track their progress and access their courses at any time.
White-labeled URLs are included in the course software, allowing you to expose your own website address to learners.
My Takeaway – Podia vs Thinkific
There is no debate here:
Thinkific is the winner.
Instructors can use a variety of tools, such as course welcome/completion emails, custom course completion pages with upselling offers, white-labeled URLs, and a fully mobile-responsive platform with progress tracking.
Students get a custom dashboard and content translation into 30 languages to create exceptional learning experiences.
Related Reading: Thinkific Vs Kajabi – Check Out The Review Here.
Tools For Developers (Advanced Features)
For the most part, having a basic drag-and-drop page editor is enough.
But if you’re more tech-savvy, you’ll enjoy a platform that gives you full access to its HTML/CSS editing environment so you can get the most out of the software.
Podia Editing Tools
Podia lacks some of Thinkific’s more advanced capabilities.
The platform is designed to be user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners and the less tech-savvy.
However, the “Earthquaker” plan includes the ability to use third-party code.
Thinkific Editing Tools
Thinkific has a theme importer as well as SSO (single sign-on) capabilities.
Developers will appreciate the platform’s robust API architecture, which includes a facility for importing and exporting themes for sophisticated customization.
You can use this method to import, export, build, or alter entire website themes across many sites, including images, forms, and other content elements.
You can use HTML, CSS, or Liquid for more complex customization.
You’ll have complete control over the theme code, allowing you to add pages, layouts, sections, snippets, styles, and bespoke assets.
Thinkific has a lot more to offer in terms of advanced tools and developer features, as you can see.
Developers will have a lot more access than with Podia, which lacks several web administration and developer tools.
For both course instructors and students, security is critical.
Your personal information and financial transactions must be kept safe at all times.
That’s why selecting an online course platform with strong security measures is crucial.
Podia takes platform security very seriously and has implemented strong data privacy, security, and compliance policies.
PayPal and Stripe, for example, protect your Podia checkout.
When any of your customers complete the checkout process, the platform does not collect any information.
The checkout pages are entirely safe, and all transactions are encrypted and protected with 128-bit SSL technology.
Thinkific provides secure cloud hosting for data security around the clock.
The platform does regular automatic backups to prevent data loss and periodic security updates, so you don’t have to worry about anything.
All of your data is under your complete control and possession.
Thanks to the course creation platform’s built-in SSL certificates, your content is saved on safe servers.
The security team constantly monitors the platform so that immediate action may be taken in the event of a security breach.
Both platforms have excellent security features.
However, if I had to go for one, I’d go with Podia because it recognizes that potential students will not buy from you if your website or checkout page doesn’t inspire confidence.
The platform focuses on generating and maintaining data and payment information security.
At the same time, it conveys that security and turns it into a sense of ease and peace of mind, so clients don’t hesitate to perform transactions.
Many people choose the best online course platform solely on the basis of price, but this should not be the case.
Still, getting the most bang for your buck is still crucial. So, let’s see how these two course-building software packages compare in terms of price.
The platform offers a variety of growth-oriented solutions to accommodate businesses of all sizes and budgets.
They are as follows:
This plan includes limitless everything, zero transaction fees, complimentary migrations, and round-the-clock support for $39 per month.
You can also hire more people and use your website to sell online courses, webinars, and digital downloads.
Plus, you can offer product bundles, run a community, and use customer messaging.
The “Shaker” plan, which costs $89 a month, includes many of the same features as the “Mover” plan.
However, you can also sell coaching and create a paid community with up to 15,000 members, compared to 1,000 on the Mover plan.
To increase conversions, you can create course certificates, leverage the affiliate marketing feature, and use the embedded checkout feature.
At $199 a month, this package provides five extra teammates at no additional cost.
You can have up to 100 community members and as many community topics as you want.
You get email marketing tools with unlimited email subscribers, the same as the previous plans.
However, your monthly subscribers increase to 50,000, compared to 15,000 on the “Shaker” plan.
The platform migrates your content and clients for free if you go for an annual subscription.
Thinkific’s price is straightforward. You can choose from four monthly membership options or pay annually to save 20% and avoid transaction fees.
The free plan of Thinkific allows you to check out the software and determine if the features are a good fit for your business.
This subscription allows you to create up to three courses with an infinite number of students.
You may also use the platform’s complete eCommerce capability and host content, and conduct polls and quizzes.
Trying a free plan is always a plus in my book. You don’t have to invest right away and you get a feel for the platform.
A free plan is also a service’s way of saying that they believe in their product.
This $39/month Basic Plan is ideal for anyone who wants the fundamental tools to get started with online course design and launch their first course quickly.
You can offer unlimited courses, students, and content, as well as a custom domain, coupons and promotions, drip content, and Thinkific App Store integration.
The option to create unlimited courses is crucial if you want to scale your business over time.
You’ll also need a custom domain if you want you online learning business to seem professional.
You’ll get a lot done even with Thinkific’s basic plan.
I can’t say that about other services in this industry. A typical basic plan is pretty limited.
This plan will have you covered if you need to establish an outstanding student experience.
You get an extra website admin account, priority support, and the opportunity to set secret and hidden courses, among other things, for $79/month.
The premier plan, which costs $399 a month, offers all of the other plans’ features as well as five site admin accounts.
You also get a slew of extras like groups, onboarding, limitless communities, white-labeling, and API access.
You can also integrate Brillium assessments and have up to 15 group analysts.
Both systems provide flexible options to fit everyone’s needs, but Thinkific takes the cake because it offers a free trial.
This means you may try out all of the basic features risk-free before committing to a subscription membership to get a feel for the UI and course authoring process.
It makes no difference what software you choose; outstanding customer service is critical – especially when it’s the lifeblood of your business!
So, can you rely on one of these two service providers? Let’s have a look.
Podia Customer Support
Podia’s website’s live chat offers all-human, no-bot conversations.
You can also contact them through their website’s contact form to initiate one.
Podia isn’t a fan of support tickets or AI-driven responses.
Instead, it places a premium on human-to-human interaction.
Their live chat is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET, with an average response time of two minutes.
Podia invites you to send a message even if the chat is not operational if you require assistance outside of these hours.
Customer support professionals will address your queries as soon as they can, typically outside of regular business hours.
Thinkific Customer Support
On its website, Thinkific provides substantial self-help materials for educators.
This includes a demonstration of their features as well as discussions on issues such as moving your material to Thinkific, getting started, managing learning content, personalizing your site, and marketing tools and selling.
If you need to communicate with the team, you can do so by filling out an online form, and someone will respond.
Thinkific also has a phone number for help, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST.
Podia is renowned for its customer support.
Going for Podia ensures that your questions are answered quickly if you don’t like to figure things out on your own.
If you don’t like hand-holding and prefer to study on your own, then Thinkific’s vast resources should suffice.
Related Reading: LearnWorlds vs Teachable vs Thinkific – Read The Full Comparison Here.
Podia vs Thinkific: The Verdict
It’s a difficult decision because both course platform alternatives are excellent.
In terms of course creation, you can use either one to construct attractive, different courses.
They both perform similarly in that regard.
Their integrations are also somewhat similar.
Still, both have disadvantages.
It’s inconvenient not to be able to notify your customers when fresh drip content is launched, and this is where Thinkific falls short.
On the other hand, Podia’s courses and websites aren’t nearly as customizable as Thinkific’s.
It’s not an easy decision to make outright.
But if you have a vision for the type of online learning business you want to establish, then it should be easier.
Either way, joining this industry with either of these services is a step in the right direction as an entrepreneur.
We tried to be as objective as possible, but in full disclosure, I ultimately decided that Podia was the best fit for my business.