Both WordPress & WP-Tonic and Thinkific are platforms that allow you to create, market, and sell courses online. Both offer hosted online learning websites, powerful learning management systems, and membership functionality.
A COMPLETE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO CREATING, LAUNCHING & GROWING A SUCCESSFUL MEMBERSHIP WEBSITE
But while Thinkific’s features are geared towards businesses and enterprise users, WordPress & WP-Tonic is for entrepreneurs and small business owners who’d like to sell courses online.
Better Integrations, Better Automation
Thinkific’s extent of integration with your email marketing platform is limited to sending out a notification whenever a student starts or completes a course.
With WP-Tonic, you can combine administrative and marketing tasks and put them on autopilot thanks to the platform’s built-in “If and Then” automation rules. Best of all, you can customize these rules based on your specific business processes.
Whenever a student purchases a course, signs up for a membership, or expresses interest in a course bundle, your pre-defined marketing automation rules will be triggered to take some sort of action – such as, increasing up-selling opportunities.
Thinkific makes individual lessons, courses, and memberships distinct which means more manual work for you when it comes to granting students access. With WP-Tonic’s use of tags, you’ll be able to grant students and members access to downloadable resources, special discounts and offers, and much more!
Flexible and Fully Customizable
Although Thinkific is aimed at both businesses and enterprise users, its customization options are pretty limited. Business owners who are serious about launching a professional online learning website might be put off by the limited design flexibility.
Unless you want to edit templates by using custom code, you’ll only have a handful of themes and templates to choose from. Plus, there’s always the possibility that you’ll end up with a site that looks very similar to other Thinkific-based websites.
WP-Tonic brings the combined power of WordPress and LifterLMS to the table offering you the flexibility and customizability of the popular content management system. Experience true design freedom with WP-Tonic’s integrated, WordPress-powered platform.
Member Profiles and Directories
Although Thinkific supports memberships, it doesn’t come with a separate member directory page.
WP-Tonic’s powerful, feature-rich membership functionality lets you set up a member’s directory that your online learning site’s members can choose to be listed in. You get to decide which information to display in the member’s directory such as member bios and course progress details.
Members are able to edit their personal information directly from their user accounts on your site. If you decide to integrate with a CRM tool at any point, the user data will automatically be synced across your membership site and the CRM tool.
Licensed Courses, Multiple Instructors, and Submissions
Thinkific allows you to license your courses to a group of students or teams but limits the number of groups you can license them to based on the plan you’re subscribed to.
With WP-Tonic, you have the option to sell packages of licenses for your courses and have a group administrator assign user accounts. This feature is especially useful for instructors who offer corporate training material to offices or worksheets for students.
Thinkific lets you add multiple instructors to your online learning website but limits the number of instructors you can add based on the plan you’re subscribed to.
WP-Tonic allows you to add an unlimited number of instructors to your online learning website. This gives you the opportunity to explore collaboration opportunities with other online instructors, work with teaching assistants, or allow other instructors to sell courses through your site.
Unlike Thinkific, WP-Tonic makes it easy for students to submit course work, homework, assignments, projects, and quizzes simply by uploading it to the website through their user account. Thinkific doesn’t offer students the ability to turn in their work through the online learning website.
Unlimited Courses, Teachers, and Members
Thinkific’s integration limits are based on the plan you’re subscribed to and can potentially limit your business’s growth by indirectly affecting the number of courses you can offer and the number of members you can have.
What this means is that you’ll face limitations when you’re building email lists and when you’re converting leads into paying members.
WP-Tonic, on the other hand, encourages you to grow your business – without paying extra – while it takes care of everything else. You have the freedom to launch unlimited courses, enroll unlimited students, add unlimited instructors and admins, and have unlimited members on your online learning website. The more the merrier!
An Open-Source, Extendable Alternative to Thinkific
Thinkific is a hosted online learning platform which means that you’ll be locked into the platform – and the platform’s terms and conditions – when you subscribe to a plan.
If you ever decide to cancel your subscription, you’ll have a difficult time exporting the data – including course content, lessons, landing pages, and video content – you’ve uploaded to the platform.
The benefit of opting for an open-source platform – like WP-Tonic’s integrated, WordPress-based platform – is that you always have the option to install plugins, themes, add-ons, and custom code to extend its functionality.
Additionally, it’s incredibly easy to take complete backups of your entire LMS and membership website and export your data in case you ever want to move on to a different online learning platform.
With WP-Tonic, you get full control over your site – everything from its look and feel to its functionality!