Creating courses and communities online can be tough, but there are many platforms online to help you get started. Thinkific is a popular online platform that allows individuals or businesses to create courses and communities and sell them from their own website.  

Thinkific has become a strong choice for creators, but how good is it for a person looking to sell their online products? Read on for a complete guide to Thinkific and who can use it.  

What is Thinkific?

thinkific homepage

Thinkific is an online platform that allows experts in a variety of fields to share their knowledge through interactive products. In short, it’s a learning platform that lets users access educational materials. There are over 25,000 creators on Thinkific, teaching everything from musical instruments to advanced digital marketing skills.  

So how popular is Thinkific? Their website boasts a huge pool of 1 million published courses, $1.7 billion gross merchandise value (GMV) earned by users and over 378 million course enrolments. Thinkific has a range of tools for creators to engage their audience with media, quizzes, and surveys, plus dedicated spaces to host discussions and post course updates.  

What is Thinkific Used For?


Thinkific is for people looking to create or consume online courses and communities. With a focus on content that helps individuals to further their business, educational, or personal goals – there is a broad range of digital products listed on the site.  

Online courses 

Thinkific is primarily designed around selling online courses. Once you sign up and commit to a subscription, you will be able to create a course. These courses can be bought/subscribed to by an unlimited number of students, who can work through all of the content you upload.  

Online communities 

The second pillar of Thinkific’s design is the ability to create online communities. The platform lets you create online learning environments where students can engage in an interactive, communal learning experience. The learning community you create will have a dedicated page where students and teachers can converse through comments and posts.  


Thinkific enables you to sell memberships for content and digital products within courses and communities. Some of the most common content that is sold with memberships includes Q&A access, additional content libraries, 1:1 coaching sessions, and more.  

Selling on Thinkific 

Thinkific offers a range of packaging options, giving you the choice to sell your digital products in different ways. There are 3 distinct options a creator can offer their potential students: 

1. Standalone products 

Creators can choose to create standalone products. This means that they can price products individually, with tailored prices for each. 

2. Bundles 

You can also package courses or communities into a single bundle. This is a good choice for a creator who has a lot of content that they want to tie together and sell for a set price. 

3. Memberships 

Membership packaging is how a creator can provide continuous access to a user with a subscription pricing model. Memberships are the best choice for courses or communities that get frequent updates.  

What Do You Get With Thinkific? Features & Tools

Thinkific prides itself on a library of tools that makes creating courses and communities simple for creators. Thinkific is one of the more expansive platforms in terms of features, so it's important to understand each of them before deciding if it’s right for you.  

Course builder 

thinkific course builder

The core functionality of Thinkific is its innovative course builder. This has been designed to be user-friendly, allowing creators to make courses in just a few minutes. One of the most impressive parts of the course builder is how it helps creators with no experience to create a course.  

You can divide course content into Lessons and Chapters. Within these sub-sections, you can add a variety of content, including: 

  • Audio  
  • Quizzes 
  • Surveys 
  • PDFs 
  • Downloads 
  • Presentations  
  • Assignments 
  • Live lessons  

Once you’ve added a chapter title, you simply select a content type from the menu on the left-hand side of the page and upload any content you have. Thinkific also features a Bulk Importer that lets you add all your files at once.  

Website builder 

thinkific website builder

Thinkific features a drag-and-drop website builder. You can select from several templates to build landing pages for your courses. It’s also worth mentioning that Thinkific allows you to make your website with a domain and customize it to fit your brand.  

Like the course builder, the website builder is simple and can be used by somebody who has no prior website building experience. 

Marketing & sales tools 

thinkific marketing tools

The success of a course and/or community depends on marketing and sales. Thinkific comes with built-in email and affiliate marketing. You can also create unique sales widgets and coupons for your users. 


Another handy tool in Thinkific’s repertoire is a range of flexible payment options. You can choose how to charge your students, whether it’s a membership, monthly installments, or a one-off fee. 


Thinkific has been designed to help you track all areas of your business, from the number of enrolments to orders and final revenue. The reporting system within Thinkific is comprehensive and offers a series of tools to analyze student engagement.  

Thinkific app store 

thinkific app store

Thinkific also comes with a dedicated marketplace that helps to connect app developers with course creators. You can purchase dedicated apps that help to elevate your online courses.  

Certificate builder 

Users engaging in online courses will want certificates to summarize their new knowledge and experience. Thinkific has a dedicated certificates function that lets you design, create, and distribute them to students who have completed your courses. 

How Much Does Thinkific Cost?

thinkific cost

Thinkific has a broad range of pricing options. Let’s take a look at each to understand what tools users get under its different brackets:


Thinkific offers a free trial that allows users to build their first online course and community. The free trial gives you the chance to create one course and one community with two spaces. You can also add a digital download, use their email tools, and access their 0% transaction fee.  


The Basic version of Thinkific is billed at $36 per month. This gives you access to all the core features of the platform. You’ll get five digital downloads, email, live chat support and one administrator slot. You will also get access to their Accelerator Program which helps creators kickstart their online courses and communities. 


The next subscription bracket is called Start, priced at $76 per month. It offers you access to build unlimited courses with unlimited digital downloads. This is the next step up that’s suited to a creator who is committed to using Thinkific as the base for their online products.  


Then we have Grow, priced at $149 per month, which offers unlimited courses, three communities, 20 spaces per community, two administrator slots, and unlimited digital downloads. This gives you many of the advanced tools to create a network of courses and branching communities.  


Expand is the most expensive tier at $374 per month and offers you all the tools you will need for expanding your business. Whether you want to get more from your existing courses or launch even more – this tier offers you a lot of extra features like unlimited spaces and up to 10 communities.  

What About Thinkific+ ?

You can also access Thinkific +. This is an additional tier offering a completely scalable experience for creators and users.  

You can think of this as the unlimited form of Thinkific, offering all features from other brackets, as well as advanced analytics, a dedicated customer success team, CRM integration, and 1:1 onboarding and launch support. The price for Thinkific + can vary and you’ll have to enquire separately to learn more about this option.  

Is Thinkific Worth It? Pros and Cons

Thinkific is a large platform with a lot of tools and features. Because of this, it can be difficult to work out its strengths and weaknesses at a glance. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of this platform. 


  • Expansive, simple course builder 
    Thinkific’s course builder is one of the strongest out there. You can build a course from scratch with no experience needed. The builder is user-friendly, and you can design and upload a course within minutes.  
  • Number of tools 
    If you’re searching for a platform that offers you everything you’ll need to create a successful course or online community – Thinkific spares no expense. From course creation to analytics and marketing, every base is covered. This makes it a great choice for somebody who is new to creating digital products and wants a clear path to follow. 
  • Great support 
    Thinkific has an impressive support network. Whether it’s articles and guides to help out first-time course creators, or direct help from the support team, you will find them to be responsive and interactive with you.  
  • No commissions 
    Since Thinkific uses a subscription model, there is no commission on courses that you sell. This can be great as you won’t have to pay out more if your courses do well and you have a lot of students purchasing them. 

Cons :

  • Gated features
    While Thinkific doesn’t charge you a commission for selling your courses, its subscription model incentivizes you to pay for the higher, expensive tiers – especially if you want to create multiple communities or courses.  
    The lower tiers of their model (Free, Basic & Start) offer a limited version of their service. While these can be a good choice for creators just starting, experienced creators will find them restrictive. The higher tiers (Grow & Expand) have high price points.  
    While the custom tier (Thinkific +) is a nice option for large businesses who want additional support, there is no set price for this service, which requires you to contact the Thinkific team.  
  • Expensive apps  
    The Thinkific marketplace is an innovative way to connect app developers and course creators, but the price of apps can be expensive. This means that smaller creators won’t have the option to access these, and you may need to go elsewhere to find the right app for your course at a reasonable price.  
  • Physical products 
    Thinkific doesn’t offer users an easy way to sell physical products. This is a big downside if you are looking to sell a variety of products in different forms.  

The Best Thinkific Alternative: Whop 🙌 

thinkific alternative

While Thinkific is a popular choice for creators looking to build communities or courses online, its paywalling of features poses an issue for creators looking to scale. Those who want more flexibility or growing room might find the platform restrictive.  

If you are looking for a more flexible way to sell products online, Whop is a great alternative. Whop is a social commerce platform that helps creators sell their products, including courses, communities, downloads, eBooks and group memberships. With a range of pricing options, creators can sell courses under a subscription model or for a simple, one-off fee.  

Selling Courses and Communities With Whop

When selling with Whop, you start by creating your Whop Hub. Your hub is the home for your products and community, and can be built in any way you like. If you just want to simply sell courses, you can do that. If you want to add a community to your course, you can sell Telegram or Discord group memberships, or use the Whop chat app to keep your members in your hub. Plus, you can add ebooks, file downloads, host live video calls for webinars or coaching, host giveaways, and so much more - all from one place.

The best part? None of these features are paywalled. You can use all of these features for just one fee. There is just a small 3% fee on each sale. This fee lets you try the platform without commitment and launch new products without risk. Whop doesn't make money unless you make money.

So, if you’re a creator looking to design courses and/or communities online, join Whop today and get started for free!