Thinkific and LearnWorlds are both great options to market, sell and deliver your online courses.
And they actually have a lot in common!
Hence why it’s worth getting into the details of what exactly sets them apart and which one may be a better choice for you.
What’s the difference between Thinkific and LearnWorlds?
As mentioned above, the two platforms have a lot in common feature wise.
They are both “Course-Only” platforms, meaning that they provide all of the basic tools you need to get paid for your online programs and provide a member’s area where your content can be accessed.
It also means that these are not all-in-one platforms, which also provide tools like email marketing or advanced funnel systems.
We’ll see exactly how the feature set breaks down later…
So the main differences between Thinkific and LearnWorlds will be in the details.
For a quick overview, let’s quickly go over their main pros and cons:
As you can see, the difference isn’t any major feature but more of a preference for certain functionality!
So let’s break it down feature by feature so you can make the best choice for your online courses!
Tools & Feature Comparison
Since Thinkific and LearnWorlds are very similar platforms, it makes sense to do a feature to feature comparison!
We’ve broken down this feature review into the few main categories for online course platforms and the main tools you need:
- Website/Funnel building: allowing you to create sales pages, opt in pages but also an actual website with blogs, a homepage and anything else you might need.
- Checkout & Affiliate System: this is the selling part to take payment and give access to your digital courses. You also have the option to create an affiliate program to allow partners to sell your products and get a commission.
- Online Course Delivery: this is the actual member’s area with your course content: video, community, downloads, resources, assessments, etc.
Let’s dive into it:
Website & Funnel Building
Thinkific and LearnWorlds both provide a site builder with choices for different themes and “feel”.
You can customize global elements like color palette, font-family, header and footer, favicon and a few other elements.
Right off the bat, LearnWorlds does have more element options like pop-up, XML sitemaps options, code access,...
A main website feature LearnWorlds has over Thinkific too is the ability to create a Blog!
This includes a blog homepage, creating new posts and everything you need SEO wise for them to be found on search engines:
Point taken for LearnWorlds on overall website features!
And jumping into the page building experience, the difference becomes even more stark…
The main difference between the two platforms here is that LearnWorlds provides a real front-end page building tool, whereas Thinkific doesn’t get you fully there…
To be more specific, you’ll edit each section with the sidebar and will be limited to pre-designed blocks.
These blocks can be limiting and restrictive if you want to build a page that converts well.
LearnWorlds has a lot more options and plug and play sections you can pick from to build your pages faster.
On top of that, the page builder customization is just more in-depth and handy than Thinkific.
To summarize here, LearnWorlds is a clear winner on this feature.
Checkout & Affiliate System
The cart system can make an important difference depending on what kind of digital products you’re trying to sell.
Thinkific and LearnWorlds have quite a few similarities here:
- They’re both not really suited to sell physical products
- They only allow for subscription and other more advanced pricing options on their pro plan (so not on the entry package).
- You can only edit the cart design overall and not for a specific course.
The process to set up your payment, most course creators will fine to integrate Stripe and Paypal which both platform support, but LearnWorlds also allow for a few more if that’s needed.
As far as the affiliate system, once again, LearnWorlds does have a few bells and whistles!
First of all, you can enable affiliates to self-register and automatically get access to their affiliate links… whereas this has to be manual with Thinkific.
You’ll then have a lot more flexibility when it comes to cookie expiration, commission payout window and payout methods…
Here again, overall LearnWorlds has a much more robust system than Thinkific
Online Course Delivery
Both platforms really shine here!
The way you’ll build your course is by adding content in the back-end and see it populate in the front-end course player:
Although both platforms are rather limited in terms of the design and allowing for different layout, the course experience is relatively good.
Students can navigate from videos to video via the main sidebar and resume their progression automatically.
One of the most important things to compare here is the different learning tools you get at your disposal.
Things like assignments, certificates of completion, quizzes, surveys, exams,etc.
It does turn out that both Thinkific and LearnWorlds particularly stand out in this area, both offering a wide variety of learning tools:
If your course does need to be SCORM compliant, LearnWorlds might be a better option…
But otherwise both platforms compare fairly well on this feature and this shouldn’t be a big criteria to consider!
Other Tools & Features
Beyond the main features we have compared so far, there are some other smaller but exciting tools you might be interested in considering that could make a difference in your decision:
- Community: both Thinkific and LearnWorlds have a community feature, although limited these can be a good way to get the conversation started in your programs
- Interactive Video: LearnWorlds on its higher plan allows for some very cool in-video actions and triggers. This can be ideal for relevant upsells or just dramatically improving your students' learning experience.
- Thinkific Apps: Thinkific recently launched their “App store” where you’ll find some interesting native integration with a range of tolls → see our dedicated article here
- Mobile App: LearnWorlds can for an extra fee build a mobile app for your students to consume your programs (Thinkific does not offer a mobile app)
Although these are extra cool features, they can be a real deal maker for some course creators!
Pricing: Comparison Kajabi vs WordPress
This is a relevant and important comparison!
Beyond just looking at which one is more expensive, it’s good to understand the value for your money with either Thinkific or LearnWorlds:
The first thing to notice is that Thinkific offers a free plan for people to get their feet wet.
You can find out a bit more about this in our dedicated article, but this can be a great way to get started with the platform!
LearnWorlds teaser plan (Starter) is also interesting, but you’ll realize soon enough that your options will be limited.
Specifically how you can price your programs (only one-off payments with this plan), and the hefty transaction fee!
Very similar situation with Thinkific and their Basic plan.
So essentially what you’ll find out is that you’ll need to upgrade to LearnWorlds and Thinkific’s Pro plan if you want to really unlock everything you need as a course creator.
Support and Community: Kajabi vs WordPress
A criteria we always like to emphasize is one that’s harder to see from the outside, but could make a huge difference in your course creator journey!
Community and support go hand in hand to help you progress and make the most out of the platform.
The main difference between Thinkific and LearnWorlds here in terms of community is that, despite having a great user-base, LearnWorlds does not have any Facebook group or ways you can connect with fellow users…
This is a little disappointing and surely an advantage here for Thinkific, which does have a very active community on Facebook:
But what LearnWorlds lacks in community, they make up in support with a fast and efficient system as well as weekly webinars and a fully fledged Academy.
Thinkific makes it a little difficult to submit a support ticket and has no live chat feature on the free plan.
Both have overall good ways to get your questions answered however, so again this won’t be a huge differentiator.
Thinkific vs LearnWorlds : The Bottom Line
Thinkific would be a better choice if
LearnWorlds would be a better choice if