Selling online courses isn’t as hard as you think, especially if you’re using the right online course platform. And while there are many course builder platforms out there, Kajabi and Thinkific are widely considered two of the best.
These course platforms have everything you need to jumpstart your career as an online course business. They are both user-friendly, handle sales and marketing, and have good customer support.
That’s the reason why you’d often see posts pitting Kajabi vs Thinkific against each other.
So let’s go ahead and do a side-by-side comparison of both of these course creators to see which you should use to create your course.
Table of Contents
- About Kajabi and Thinkific
- #1. Course Creation & Student Engagement
- #2. Site Design & Customization
- #3. Sales and Marketing Features
- #4. Customer Support & Training
- #5. Kajabi vs Thinkific Pricing
- Kajabi vs Thinkific — Final Recommendations
Kajabi vs Thinkific Summary
Thinkific delivers essential features you need to market and sell your courses. It’s significantly more affordable than Kajabi, with a basic plan that costs $39 per month. There’s also a free plan that gives you limited access to its features.
Kajabi offers all the features you need to create online courses, including marketing tools to bring your courses directly in front of potential customers. It’s more comprehensive than Thinkific in some ways but at a cost, with its Basic plan starting at $149 per month.
Thinkific: Pros and Cons
- Thinkific pricing is way more affordable, especially for beginners.
- All paying subscribers get unlimited courses and unlimited students.
- There’s support for advanced quiz features.
- You can sell courses to students in bulk.
- Allows for private and hidden courses on certain paid plans.
- There is no live chat support.
- Thinkific’s features are limited compared to Kajabi.
- You’d have to pay for transaction fees.
- You don’t get mobile app support.
Kajabi: Pros and Cons
- Kajabi has a built-in blogging feature.
- You get access to a sales pipeline builder and marketing automation tools.
- There are more than 10 themes to choose from with customization options.
- You can use the iOS or Android mobile app to access your account.
- Kajabi offers 24/7 live chat support.
- Kajabi can be expensive, especially for first-time course creators.
- There’s no free plan like the one you’ll find on Thinkific.
- You don’t get unlimited courses and students as with Thinkific.
About Kajabi and Thinkific
Great online course platforms can handle everything from hosting your course content, helping with sales and marketing, providing a website builder, and other tasks that improve the student experience.
Both Kajabi and Thinkific handle most of these tasks. But their responsibilities don’t end there.
They are also responsible for preventing outsiders from compromising the security of your online course platforms. They will shield your course websites from attacks that can bring your business down.
And it’s also worth mentioning that both Kajabi and Thinkific make their interface so easy to use; even those who have never used course creators should have no trouble publishing their course content.
With that said, let’s take a look at the core features that Kajabi and Thinkific have to offer and how they can help entrepreneurs launch their online business.
#1. Course Creation & Student Engagement
Let’s start with the most crucial features — course creation and student engagement.
If a course platform doesn’t give you everything you need to develop online courses, then there’s simply no point.
We can’t do a Thinkific vs Kajabi post without addressing their course creation features and how they help meet your student’s needs.
Fortunately, both platforms deserve praise in this department. We have a lot of positive things to say about how easy their course builder is to use. Let’s dig in a little deeper, shall we?
Course Content Uploading and Creation
Kajabi and Thinkific are terrific options for anyone looking to publish online courses quickly and efficiently.
And you don’t need to learn how to code either. Both tools have a drag-and-drop interface built right in. So you can simply import media content and documents of varying file types as needed.
Video hosting shouldn’t be a problem either, as both of these course creation platforms offer unlimited video hosting thanks to their partnership with Wistia.
So what’s the experience like? Let’s take a look.
With Kajabi, you start by selecting a Product Blueprint. This gives your course some much-needed structure. But you also have the option to start from scratch by selecting a Blank Blueprint.
From here, you can do several things. You can add products that are your courses. You can add Categories that you can look at as modules. And you can add lessons that Kajabi refers to as Posts.
If you want finer control over the structure of your course, feel free to add Subcategories.
When you click on individual posts, you can insert your media content, PDF files, downloadable lesson plans, audio player files, and other things that your students will need.
If you have a lot of files to upload, you can use the bulk uploader feature. Alternatively, you can use Dropbox or Google Drive to upload files.
You can also turn on the comments section to make it easy for you and your students to interact with one another.
You can change other settings, like adding a poster image and editing your titles, category, and main body text. If you’re familiar with WordPress, the layout is quite similar.
Thinkific also works the same way. You can choose from ready-made templates or start your course from the bottom up.
One major difference, however, is that you only get to add lessons and modules on Thinkific.
Unlike in Kajabi, there’s no way to add subcategories to your courses. Also, you can’t upload files through Dropbox or Google Drive.
But as for the rest of it, Thinkific works just like Kajabi. You can upload files to your lessons either individually or in bulk.
Or you can use the Video Library feature, where you upload media content once and use it across all your lessons and courses.
Those of you who use Captivate and Storyline to create courses will be happy to know that Thinkific supports files from these tools.
One major difference, however, is that you only get to add lessons and modules on Thinkific. Unlike in Kajabi, there’s no way to add subcategories to your courses. Also, you can’t upload files through Dropbox or Google Drive.
But as for the rest of it, Thinkific works just like Kajabi. You can upload files to your lessons either individually or in bulk.
Or you can use the Video Library feature where you upload media content once and use it across all your lessons and courses.
Those of you who use Captivate and Storyline to create courses will be happy to know that Thinkific supports files from these tools.
Content Delivery Experience
Having the right video player design makes it easy for students to go through your course. Not only can it raise student engagement, but it can also improve your online business’ branding.
If you go with Kajabi, you’ll gain access to over 10 player themes. So you’ll have no problem finding a player that matches your branding.
One interesting thing about Kajabi is that it lets you customize your video player. For example, you can have it display the progress bar or instructor bio. Or you can remove the sidebar completely for a more immersive experience.
Thinkific does not have as many options, but its player is also good. Its sole player theme is well-suited for viewing course videos. You can show your logo and modify the fonts and colors used.
It gets the job done.
Student Discussions and Community
If you want your users to have the best student experience, you’ll need to communicate with them regularly.
Kajabi has a dedicated area for users to enter any question or comment they could have about the lesson they’re watching.
But if that’s not enough, you can create a special section called Community where you can have more in-depth conversations. Think of it as a forum that all your students can take part in.
While Thinkific does have a comment feature, it’s not as powerful as the one you’d find in Kajabi. And it’s also not nearly as polished as its competition.
Assignments and Quizzes
You need a way to assess if your students grasp what you’re teaching them. This is where assignments and quizzes come in.
Kajabi has a feature called Assessments. Here, you can publish surveys, assignments, and quizzes that students can take as part of your courses.
All you need to do is set your questions and answers. When students take the exam, Kajabi will grade the answers for you and give a passing grade based on your set parameters.
Not to be outdone, Thinkific has its own testing system. Thinkific works a little differently. For example, you can customize quizzes to include random question banks and add explanations to correct answers.
Thinkific also works with a third-party exam platform called Brillium. This setup is ideal for those who prefer using advanced software to handle exams. Aside from quizzes, Thinkific also handles assignments.
After a student finishes a course, you may want to provide course completion certificates. Unfortunately, Kajabi does not offer support for completion certificate distribution. So you’ll have to use a third-party solution.
That’s not the case with Thinkific, though. Thinkific works with Accredible, a third-party platform that provides certificates for course completion.
However, do note that you can only access this integration if you’re signed up for the Pro or Business plan.
Having this feature enabled means you can issue certificates automatically. Students only need to download their certificates as a PDF or share the certificates directly through social media platforms.
Drip Content and Guarding
Drip content or guarding refers to scheduling the release of lessons. Some users like this option because it makes sure that all students are learning at the same pace.
Sometimes it’s used to make sure that there are enough students enrolled before lessons start.
Kajabi, being an all-in-one course creator, has additional features. For example, it lets you send automated drip emails. This lets students know whenever new content becomes accessible to them.
You can also lock certain courses if a student has yet to finish the pre-requisite courses.
But other than those, you can expect Thinkific to have the same drip content and guarding features as Kajabi.
You can also assign prerequisite courses on Thinkific, but instead of locking specific lessons, you’d have to lock an entire module.
Kajabi offers native automation triggers on its platform, while Thinkific relies on Zapier to connect to third-party marketing tools to handle its automation triggers.
So Kajabi has an overwhelming advantage when it comes to automating tasks using when/then rules.
It’s a great way to keep your student engagement high.
For example, students who have remained inactive over a specified time period can receive email notifications without the need to do so manually.
But there are other use cases for this feature. You can use this to motivate your students, introduce new courses, or provide additional resources that aren’t available within the course they bought.
Course Reporting and Analytics
You can keep track of how you market and sell your online business using the analytics and reporting features of Kajaabi and Thinkific.
It lets you go over student scores, completion rates, and other metrics to know if you’re doing a good job with your courses.
On Kajabi, you can track completion rates by student or lesson. You can also see the play rate and engagement of your video content.
With Thinkific, you’ll see how each student progresses through your course, but you can’t look at the course’s analytics as a whole, which is a bummer.
You can also look at your videos’ engagement rate, though not in the same detail as Kajabi.
Course Creation — Which Does It Better?
The all-in-one course platform Kajabi has the upper hand when it comes to course creation. It beats Thinkific in almost every aspect.
But don’t take it to mean that Thinkific is no good. In almost all areas, these two products can do the same thing.
It’s just that Kajabi has more features to offer, making it more suitable for an advanced online course business.
Kajabi also gets extra credit for having a mobile companion app for both iOS and Android.
You can also use Kajabi to send automatic emails to students and have better tools for communicating with your students.
But if quizzes and certificates are important features for you, then Thinkific might be the better option, especially since Kajabi does not offer certificates.
#2. Site Design & Customization
Building a course is one thing. But if you’re serious, you’d want to create and design a site that can host be the entry portal to your company and brand. A front-end website that funnels people to your courses.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re launching a course website. You need to have free hosting and an SSL certificate. And you want a hosting provider that can do regular maintenance work and perform security patches.
Both Kajabi and Thinkific have everything you need to launch your site. They both offer custom domains for good measure (setting up a custom domain is always recommended). You can even remove all their branding on your own website to make it truly your own.
Let’s look at what else these two platforms have to offer.
Thinkific and Kajabi offer website themes giving your site a professional look to it.
Kajabi offers themes under its Legacy Themes wing. But since they’re no longer being updated, you’d want to choose their Layout Preset themes instead, which is their latest website themes.
The themes are customizable and you can install them with one click.
Thinkific also has a website builder. And themes are also just as easy to install. In just one click, you’re on your way to building clean and modern landing pages for your course website.
If you’re knowledgeable with coding, you can edit the code to personalize your sites.
Creating pages is also easier using the drag-and-drop builder that both Thinkific and Kajabi provide.
Thinkific lets you choose from several pre-built templates that let you change background images and insert pricing information, countdown timers, or other features to help users see what your business offers.
Of course, you can also change text, colors, and other visual elements.
Kajabi also has these website-building features. But on top of those, you can also add other page elements like animations. You also get fine control over page elements like padding.
There’s also an option to set which elements are visible on mobile devices.
If you’re building a website, you might want to consider adding a blog.
Not only does a blog help you put out useful information for your students, but it can also help you optimize your site for search engines so you can get be found by your target audience via organic traffic.
Unfortunately, Thinkific does not have blogging capabilities baked in.
So if this is an important feature for you, then you’d have to go with Kajabi. Here, you can publish posts about your course as you would on any other content management system like WordPress.
While Kajabi’s features can’t match what WordPress can offer, you can still accomplish quite a bit.
Website Creation — Which Does It Better?
So Thinkific vs Kajabi — between the two, who does website creation better?
The two platforms offer similar features for both the front-end website and back-end course site creation. And regardless of which of them you go with, you should be able to publish your online courses without issue.
The biggest deal-breaker would have to be Thinkific’s inability to publish blog posts. So Kajabi has to be the winner in this category.
The bottom line: In Kajabi vs Thinkific Website Creation, Kajabi wins.
#3. Sales and Marketing Features
A good online course platform gives its users access to marketing tools to promote their courses and website.
By default, a good course platform should provide course creators with the means to process payments, have a standard checkout process experience, some sales funnel capabilities, and introduce incentives like coupons.
In this section of our Kajabi vs Thinkific comparison, we’re looking at how the all-in-one Kajabi fares against all the things that Thinkific offers for selling and marketing courses.
Course Pricing Options
The good news is that Kajabi and Thinkific allow you to set your own pricing tiers. You can do a one-time fee or set up your pricing to a recurring model.
Regarding the latter, you’re free to do monthly or yearly subscriptions (or any value in between).
It’s worth noting, however, that with Kajabi, you can do weekly or bi-weekly subscriptions. This is not something you can do with Thinkific at this time.
Another difference is that Kajabi lets you set the currency depending on the course the student selected. The site sets Thinkific’s currency.
This is a minor detail, but if you’re building a course website that appeals to both local and international audiences, it’s something to keep in mind.
Payments & Processing
We should also take a look at how Thinkific vs Kajabi handles payments and processing.
Students can pay for an online course using Stripe, PayPal, or their credit card on both platforms. And when they do, their payments will go straight to your account.
With Kajabi, students can use PayPal to pay regardless of what type of billing they selected (one-time vs recurring payments).
Sadly, this isn’t the case with Thinkific. When students use Thinkific, PayPal payments are limited to one-time USD payment transactions.
Checkout Pages & 1-Click Upsells
One of the best marketing tools you could have on your checkout page is 1-click upsells. So which of these two platforms have it as part of its core features?
Kajabi’s checkout page is awesome because it’s a one-step process. So students can enter their personal information and pay for the course on one page.
Requiring fewer clicks means you have a higher chance of converting customers.
Of course, you can personalize the checkout page so that it’s consistent with your branding. And you also have control over what data you can get from your customers.
Then there’s the 1-click upsell. Students can trigger the upsell once they reach the checkout page or the thank you page.
Thinkific, for its part, uses a 2-page checkout system. Students are first required to create an account before they could buy the online course.
It also has a 1-click upsell option, but you’d have to enable it throughout the site. You can’t choose to have it appear on just a specific course.
And its upsell pages look lackluster.
Sales Funnels & Landing Pages
Kajabi has extra marketing tools like the Sales Pipeline Builder that add even more value to your all in one online subscription.
The Sales Pipeline Builder is a collection of blueprints that you could then use to set your marketing funnel and create landing pages to reflect just that.
It’s a painless way to capture leads with funnels and move them toward conversion.
Basically, it creates all the landing pages, including sales pages, automation, upsells, and other key features that make up a sales funnel at a click of a button.
If you need to edit any of the pages, you can do so with Kajabi’s landing page builder.
So whether you’re new to selling online courses or simply want to set up landing pages quickly, this feature will certainly be useful.
Thinkific does not have an equivalent feature. In fact, there’s not another online course platform in the online course industry that has as many advanced features as Kajabi.
Email Marketing Features
Email marketing tools are a must for any course builder. So it’s no surprise that this section makes an appearance in this Thinkific vs Kajabi post.
There’s no other way around it. Kajabi definitely has a better email marketing offering. This platform does more than send emails.
You can automate email sequences and set them when you want them deployed. And you can also set conditions to specify which students receive which emails.
It’s got everything you’d want in an email marketing system to nurture leads.
Thinkific offers basic email marketing that’s nowhere near what Kajabi has. You can’t even set autoresponders like in Kajabi.
Third-party tools give a course builder more functionality. So it’s worth finding a platform that supports them.
Kajabi has the following third party integrations – Zapier, Google Analytics, Facebook, Segment, ConvertKit, MailChimp, Aweber, Active Campaign, and Drip.
Thinkific can integrate the same tools (minus Drip) plus a few others, like Constant Contact and Infusionsoft.
Kajabi gives you complete control of your own affiliate program. You have the option to create a separate landing page for affiliates with your own text and logo. These are approved automatically.
Thinkific requires students to sign up first before they can become affiliates. And you’d have to review their application manually.
Sales & Marketing — Who Does It Better?
The bottom line: In Kajabi vs Thinkific Sales and Marketing, Kajabi is the clear winner.
#4. Customer Support & Training
When choosing any course or membership site platform, you want to pick one with excellent customer support. If you ever run into issues, the platform should provide excellent customer service.
You’d be glad to hear that Thinkific’s customer support is great. Their team is willing to go above and beyond to make you happy.
The same can be said about Kajabi’s customer support. The only difference is that Thinkific does not have chat support, unlike Kajabi (which is available 24/7, by the way).
Thinkific has email support that’s available on weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM (PST). If you need help on the weekend, then you’re out of luck.
The bottom line: In Kajabi vs Thinkific Customer Support and Training, Kajabi wins.
#5. Kajabi vs Thinkific Pricing
We can talk about how easy it is to use these platforms, what email marketing options they provide, product themes, or how easy to use either course creator is.
But if you’re faced with a platform that costs too much, then your online business can’t get started.
The platform needs to justify its pricing, so it’s worth subscribing to. Otherwise, it won’t make business sense.
The Thinkific course platform experienced a lot of setbacks in this comparison review. But if you want to create an online course and share it with the world, Thinkific is the most affordable option.
Not only is there a 30-day money-back guarantee, but it also has a free plan. There’s just no comparison price-wise.
The Basic plan is just $39/month. The Pro plan is $79/month, while the Premier plan is $399/month.
Both Premiere and Pro plan give you at least two admin accounts and five admins/authors.
Kajabi’s pricing is way higher. This isn’t all that bad considering all the extra features it comes with that you won’t find on Thinkific.
The Basic plan is $119/month. The Growth plan is $159/month, and the Pro plan is $319/month.
All of Kajabi’s plans start with a 14-day free trial. You get charged regular prices after the 14-day free trial is up.
Note: All prices mentioned are for annual subscriptions. Monthly plans cost more.
Thinkific might seem like a great deal — and it is. But that’s assuming you don’t need advanced features.
You should also remember that Kajabi is an all-in-one tool. That means it comes with key features for users who want to take their online business to the next level.
An example would be the blogging feature we discussed earlier.
The bottom line: In Kajabi vs Thinkific Pricing, Thinkific wins, especially if all you’re after, are basic features that’ll get your business started.
Kajabi vs Thinkific — Final Recommendations
If you’re only looking for the best online course builder and you have the budget for it, then Kajabi is what you’re looking for to start creating online courses.
It’s the ultimate all-in-one course builder with all the tools you need in the education creation business. But Thinkific offers an alternative.
The decision as to which of the two is better, like most things, is subjective. There’s no clear-cut winner between these platforms.
For certain types of online courses, the Thinkific platform is actually better.
If you need clarification, here’s a guide on which platform might work best for you.
Kajabi Is Better Suited for You If:
1. You want a one-stop platform for course development
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform. Here you can do everything. You can build your course, set up an email marketing campaign, publish blogs — pretty much anything that an online business needs. You can even create sales funnels if that’s what you need.
2. You want to launch a course website that uses a subscription model.
Kajabi’s tools are purpose-built for membership sites. You get an interactive community, better analytics features, and it allows students to pay recurring subscriptions through PayPal.
3. You don’t mind the premium pricing.
As you may have noticed by now, Kajabi beats Thinkific on almost every level, with pricing being the only exception. It’s the superior platform—no doubt about it.
So if your business can handle the costs, then you should definitely go with Kajabi.
Thinkific Is Better Suited for You If:
1. You already have a business website and marketing funnel ready.
If you already have a website and a marketing funnel, then you don’t need a platform like Kajabi and its unique features. Thinkific would be more than enough.
2. You want to build a more traditional course business.
If you want to launch simple courses with quizzes and course compliance features, then Thinkific is the better option. And on the plus side, Thinkific offers certificates while Kajabi currently doesn’t.
3. You are just starting out and don’t need advanced features.
You don’t need to aim for the stars right out of the gate. There is a learning curve to building courses.
And you don’t want to pay premium pricing while learning the ropes. For now, you can stick to Thinkific and upgrade to another platform later on when you’re more comfortable with the business.
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