Options are great to have.
That is… until you have so many choices, and they’re so hard to compare, that you have no idea which one to choose.
And here’s the thing.
You have amazing knowledge and expertise to share with the world. Your audience needs what you’re teaching. And you’re ready to start building your course so you can share it — and create an additional income stream for your business.
Problem is, you’re stuck at the part where you need to choose the right learning management system (LMS) for your specific needs.
And that little voice inside your head keeps asking:
What if I waste valuable time and energy I can’t get back?
What if I commit to the wrong LMS and it’s too expensive to switch?
It’s completely understandable to be cautious. This is a big choice, after all. Different platforms will have different features, specialties, and so much more. And every difference could impact the future of your course.
That’s why we’ve done a ton of work (and research) to help you confidently make the right choice for your online course business.
Because let’s face it, you didn’t get into course building because you wanted to spend hours and hours looking at LMS options. You want to start building your course – now – and get on with your life.
Let’s find out.
In this side-by-side guide, here’s what we’ll compare for you:
This Post at a Glance
- Kajabi vs. Thinkific: Price
- Kajabi vs. Thinkific: Course Setup
- Kajabi vs. Thinkific: Student Experience
- Kajabi vs. Thinkific: 2 Key Points to Consider
- Which of These LMS Platforms is Best for Your Course(s)?
Kajabi vs. Thinkific: Price
Let’s be honest. When it comes to choosing a course creation platform, the BIGGEST question on your mind is probably:
How much is this going to cost me?
Here’s a detailed look at how Kajabi and Thinkific pricing stacks up.
First, let’s take a quick look at Kajabi’s three pricing tiers — Basic, Growth, and Pro.
Here’s a breakdown of monthly vs. annual pricing:
Pricing structure when you pay monthly:
Pricing structure when you pay annually:
- Basic: $1,788 ($149/month)
- Growth: $2,388 ($199/month)
- Pro: $4,788 ($399/month)
- Basic: $1,428 ($119/month)
- Growth: $1,908 ($159/month)
- Pro: $3,828 ($319/month)
The plans for Kajabi start at a higher dollar amount than Thinkific, but the Kajabi Pro plan is less expensive. Meaning, it’s cheaper to get started with Thinkific, but Thinkific charges more to upgrade to their most expensive plan.
There’s a reason for Kajabi’s higher basic prices — they start their users off with a huge number of features.
Kajabi offers a robust set of features at every level, and the higher price includes other marketing tools you would typically have to pay for separately with other platforms (a website, blog, and email marketing capabilities, for example).
At the end of the day, the math could be a no brainer if you need those extra features, but you may not need such a robust set of options. Paying for features you don’t need doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (or cents… 😉 ).
Kajabi offers a 14-day free trial, which allows you to play around with the different features if you don’t know which ones you need just yet.
Next, let’s take a look at Thinkific’s pricing plans.
What are the differences when you pay annually, instead of monthly?
Pricing structure when you pay monthly:
Pricing structure when you pay annually:
- Basic: $588 ($49/month)
- Pro: $1188 ($99/month)
- Growth: $1181 + $.10 per active student (first 100 students free) ($99/month + $.10 per active student)
- Premier: $5988 ($499/month)
- Basic: $469 ($39/month)
- Pro: $948 ($79/month)
- Growth: $948 + $.10 per active student (first 100 students free) ($79/month + $.10 per active student)
- Premier: $4788 ($399/month)
Each Thinkific plan offers unlimited courses and students (making it a great choice if you want to focus on streamlined content creation).
Remember, the features may be less extensive starting off — but they grow as you go.
The Thinkific Basic plan may not include all the bells and whistles of Kajabi’s Basic plan, but Thinkific offers a simple, effective, and affordable platform for aspiring course creators.
Next, let’s take a look at how easy it can be to set up your course.
Kajabi vs. Thinkific: Course Setup
The ease – or difficulty – of setting up a course is a HUGE factor in deciding which learning management system you should use.
Are you a tech wiz? Or does technology tremble in your presence (because it’s worried you’re going to break it)?
Depending on the answer, you may want an LMS that allows for a ton of customization — or you might need something with less of a learning curve.
There’s no shame either way. The best choice for you will always come back to this: which LMS has the features you need, is easy to use, and allows you to focus on sharing your knowledge (rather than fighting with technology)?
And don’t forget, both Kajabi and Thinkific have free trials. If you really want to take a deep dive into which is easiest to set up, you can always sign up and explore the features of each.
Here’s what course setup looks like for each platform.
Kajabi Course Setup
First things first, it’s time to create your course.
Step 1: Name your course.
Step 2: Use the dashboard to see and edit your course from a bird’s eye view.
Step 3: Click a lesson and build it out by adding text, media, resources, and other details.
Step 4: Set up your first offer.
Step 5: Set up your course marketing.
The marketing options are where Kajabi differentiates itself from the competition. The platform supports its own email marketing and pipeline creation, giving you an all-in-one platform to create and sell your course.
This robust marketing pipeline is part of the reason for the higher price point.
Now, let’s take a look at setting up a course in Thinkific.
Thinkific Course Setup
Your course setup in Thinkific starts a little bit differently.
Step 1: Name your school.
Step 2: Name your course.
Step 3: Start building your course.
Thinkific offers a course template you can use to make course setup a breeze.
Step 4: Choose your style.
Step 5: Build out your course basics.
Step 6: Use Thinkific’s tools to learn how to generate leads.
Step 7: Get your first enrollments!
Thinkific offers an incredibly user-friendly solution for course creation.
But you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your students. What’s the experience like for them?
Kajabi vs. Thinkific: Student Experience
Your students’ experience while taking your course is hugely important when it comes to getting referrals, testimonials, and encouraging word-of-mouth marketing.
Ultimately, you’re creating your course for your students.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how each platform performs on the student side of things:
Kajabi Student Experience
Kajabi offers different themes to help you tailor the course just the way you want.
The platform offers a complete student experience, giving them access to your website, blog, and tools like assignments, if you choose to use those features.
Here’s what the student sees when they open up their first course:
Inside each lesson looks like this:
Thinkific Student Experience
Thinkific’s presentation is visually appealing and easy to follow. It offers a clear dashboard that shows students their progress, and allows them to look ahead to see what’s next in your course.
When they open your course, here’s what they’ll see:
The student can expand or collapse each lesson via a drop-down menu, which holds all the different things you’ve added to that lesson — text, audio, video, etc.
Both platforms offer quality user experiences, making it super easy for the student to achieve the outcomes they want.
So far, we’ve covered price, your experience as an instructor, and the student experience. While that’s a great start, there are still a few more things to think about.
Kajabi vs. Thinkific: 2 Key Points to Consider
No LMS comparison post would be complete without looking over a few additional factors in your decision making process.
1. How many students will you teach?
Kajabi’s plans include a cap on the number of active students you can have at any point.
- Basic: 3 courses and 1,000 active students
- Growth: 15 courses and 10,000 active students
- Pro: 100 courses and 20,000 active students
In comparison, Thinkific offers unlimited courses and students for every plan level.
2. Do you want your website, blog, email list, course, and more in one place?
In general, more customization and features = more expensive.
Here is a detailed breakdown of what to expect from both Kajabi and Thinkific in terms of features and customization:
Now it’s time to make the big choice…
Which of These LMS Platforms is Best for Your Course(s)?
It’s time for the critical question: Is Kajabi or Thinkific the right choice for your needs as a course creator?
Both offer quality experiences for your students, and both have tools to make the experience unique. Both are relatively user-friendly and can help you set up a course the way you want, with just a few differences along the way.
But this post wouldn’t be very helpful if we didn’t help you pick which is right for you and your courses, now would it? 😉
Let’s take a quick look at the circumstances where you might choose one over the other:
Kajabi is better for course creators who are looking for an all-in-one course building and marketing tool — and are willing to pay for those extra features.Looking for the perfect LMS? Kajabi is great for course creators who are looking for an all-in-one course building and marketing tool.Click To Tweet
You may end up spending more time creating your course, but in exchange, you’ll have more control over the customization. Your students will also have access to a full course website and blog, offering a very well-rounded experience for every student.
Thinkific, on the other hand, is better for course creators who already have a website, blog, and marketing funnels, and just want to create an amazing course.Want to know which LMS is best for you? @thinkific is great for course creators who don't want to fuss with complicated technology.Click To Tweet
It’s perfect for the first-time course creator, allowing for a simple step-by-step process to create your course. It could also be the perfect choice for more advanced course creators who don’t want to fuss with complicated technology.
Regardless of your decision, remember that you can take advantage of the free trials that both platforms offer, so you can get a first-hand feel for each one.
Now it’s time for you to get back to the real work: creating amazing courses and helping your students overcome their biggest challenges and achieve their greatest dreams.
And if you’re still not sure exactly how to help them do that, or you need some assistance to clarify or clean up your current course, you can sign up for our free Course Builder’s Bootcamp!
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