What Are Kajabi And Thinkific?
If you look at the top 5 of our best ranked online course platform, Kajabi and Thinkific have a comfortable position.
Both are very popular in their own categories, but a direct comparison is still relevant to see which one could be the best for you!
It is important to note, as we just hinted at, that these two platforms technically belong to different categories and therefore tend to fulfill slightly different needs.
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform, meaning that it’s meant to stand on its own and provide all of the tools you need as a course creator under the same umbrella.
Thinkific is a course-only platform, which entails that its main purpose is to simply help you sell and deliver your online programs… and a bit more!
We’ll see exactly how that translates in this article by breaking down the main comparison points: features, user experience, value for money and community & support.
Below is a quick overview if you just want the short answer:
What You Should Know
Includes all of the features you need, striking a great balance between depth and ease of use - making it a top choice for beginner course creators.
Outstanding UX for both you and your students and allows for great customization of their journey and learning experience with a sleek interface.
User Experience: 10
Support & Community: 10
What You Should Know
Great site builder without all the fuss of a WordPress setup, allowing course creators to build a well-designed funnel to get started.
Best free plan in the industry, which is a perfect starting point for beginners looking to validate their course idea without breaking the bank.
User Experience: 9
Support & Community: 9
If you’re interested in understanding the full details of how Kajabi and Thinkific compare, keep reading!
Feature: Kajabi vs Thinkific
Even if Kajabi and Thinkific are in different categories, they still have a lot of features in common and it’s fair to compare them directly.
The main feature we can’t compare and that is a major difference and could be a deal maker, is the email marketing system.
Kajabi, as an all-in-one, has an integrated email and automation feature. Thinkific doesn’t and you will have to integrate 3rd party platforms (e.g. ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp) to be able to market to your list.
Communication with paid members is still available on Thinkific.
Here is a the highlight and overview of the main features for both platforms:
Now, let’s break it down:
Site & Page Builder
Thinkific is not an all-in-one, but compares very well to Kajabi here.
You can pick among different themes, colors palette and font to apply across the site to keep it consistent.
You can also build site-wide headers and footers.
Regretfully, neither Kajabi or Thinkific allow for sections on one page to be easily copied over to another page…
Thinkific page builder is far from an easy drag & drop front editor and feels rather clunky.
Section customization is limited and very block-y, preventing you from really making it yours and building high-converting pages.
There’s also a real lack in templates and pre-designed sections, which is a handful to save time and effort.
Kajabi’s page builder, although not perfect, is fairly superior.
With several ready-made templates, you can also easily buy gorgeous ones online and import them in your account.
The page builder is much more flexible and intuitive:
You can even take it one step further with Animations, pop-ups, 2-step optin and other tools to spice up your designs.
And with access to the code editor and CSS, there’s no limit to how you can build your funnel.
The fact that the email marketing system is an integrated part of Kajabi also helps to build this in your pages and capture more leads.
Selling / Checkout / Affiliate System
Setting a cart and pricing is relatively simple for both Kajabi and Thinkific.
It’s important to note that Thinkific will only allow for subscription and payment plans on their Basic plans and above (from $79/mo), more on pricing later.
Coupons are available and fairly similar for both platforms.
Both platform’s pricing setup flow is pretty straightforward, but here again Kajabi does have a few more bells and whistles.
With the integrated Automations and other extra tools it provides, Kajabi offers powerful ways to set up a smooth sales process and on-boarding.
That includes one-click upsells and downsells, and bump offers to increase cart value and build a robust sales funnel.
Upsells are also available on Thinkific but the client will have to re-enter their credit card details to buy the upsell offer, which isn’t ideal for conversions.
The only upside of Thinkific here is the ability to have multiple pricing options on the same checkout, which Kajabi doesn’t natively allow for.
Lastly, the affiliate systems are relatively similar for both platforms with very little customization available for things like cookie expiration, flat commission rate or promo materials for your affiliates.
Both Kajabi and Thinkific will do the job just fine for your affiliate program but don’t expect too much.
Online Course & Teaching Tools
This is of course the core of any online course platforms: the actual members area and other tools where your program’s content will be available.
In this regard, both Kajabi and Thinkific have some unique tricks up their sleeves.
First, Kajabi does have robust and varied themes and customization options that allow you to make each course different and create a custom experience for your members:
This is something that Thinkific lacks and really only has 1 possible layout for courses with little to no customization.
On the other hand, Thinkific does have a vantage point in terms of teaching tools and lessons’ content abilities.
With a wide range Lesson type such as: quizzes, survey, presentation, assignments, live,etc.
Kajabi really only has a few options here including video, audio, text, downloadables and Assessment (which are relatively limited).
Both Kajabi and Thinkific have a Community feature to allow your members to connect, discuss and ask questions to you or their fellow students.
However Kajabi provides a greater community building experience here:
On the other hand, the Thinkific community tool is very basic...
Overall, it’s a bit of a tie here and will depend on what you value for your online programs: the variety of teaching options with Thinkific, or the design and customization Kajabi offers.
Other Features To Take Into Account
Although it might be a little unfair to compare Kajabi and Thinkific features directly, it’s important to repeat that Thinkific does not have an integrated email marketing system.
But beyond that here are a few more features that Kajabi offers, if any of these are a deal maker for you:
Kajabi Coaching: allowing to easily schedule your coaching calls in and keep track of progress
Kajabi Podcast: acting as a podcast distributor and enabling you to simply upload your episodes once for them to be streamcasted on all the big streaming platforms.
Again, different platforms and different needs - see the pricing section further down to calculate how much adding these extra tools (if necessary) would cost and the total value for money of each platform for you.
User Experience: Kajabi vs Thinkific
UX and UI is an area both Kajabi and Thinkific excel at.
They are both very intuitive and relatively easy to pick up so it shouldn’t be a big deciding factor.
Now, it’s true that Kajabi being an all-in-one platform with a few more tools in store (see Feature section), has a bigger challenge to take on to stay beginner-friendly.
As you can see above, both platform’s back-end are slick and easy to navigate.
Another piece of the User Experience is the end-user flow, aka your student’s experience, and how much control you have over that.
In that area, Kajabi and it’s more customizable member’s area, as well as well-rounded automation, does have a slight advantage over Thinkific.
Thinkific really doesn’t lack in this area however and, as mentioned before, both platforms are relatively on the same level overall.
Pricing: Kajabi vs Thinkific
Beyond simply comparing pricing for these platforms, which would be comparing apples to oranges, let’s look at the value for your money.
Here are both platforms plans:
We have more in-depth articles for Kajabi Pricing and Thinkific Pricing if you’re interested in understanding more.
Thinkific is actually #1 in our Best If You’re On A Budget ranking.
That’s because of its outstanding free plan which allows beginner course creators to get their feet wet and validate their ideas.
Kajabi, being on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, does still provide a lot of value for your money.
Simply because you won’t have to pay for almost anything else, but especially for an email marketing tool like you will have with Thinkific.
And that could easily be an extra $50/mo, depending on your list size.
Community & Support: Kajabi vs Thinkific
Being supported, both by the company of the platforms you go for and the community of fellow users, can make a big difference in your success as a course creator.
Now, being some of the most popular platforms in the industry, Kajabi and Thinkific both have a large user-base of raving fans and experts, ready to help anyone investing in the community.
Kajabi currently has about 40,000+ users and Thinkific 50,000+.
The private Kajabi Facebook does have the reputation of being the best in the industry and you will have your pick at the best answer to your questions.
Not a massive difference here between the two platforms, but the following might be.
Both Thinkific and Kajabi have great support resources.
Whether that's a helpful tutorial and how-to articles on anything you may want to achieve.
Support quality is also comparable, the major difference being that Thinkific does not have a live chat, whereas Kajabi does.
This could make a difference for urgent matters and in these situations where you need to talk to someone sooner rather than later.
Both support are very reactive and knowledgeable however and will be available during the weekdays and business hours.
Kajabi VS Thinkific: The Bottom Line
Kajabi would be a better choice if
Thinkific would be a better choice if