Podia vs Thinkific - Which is Better For You as a Creator?

Ultimate Guide Table of Contents

You’re on a mission to earn income by sharing your knowledge and expertise with the world - and there are so many ways you can go about that. You can sell digital downloads, courses, memberships, webinars - you name it.

But, building and growing your info products business is a challenge as it is. Setting yourself up for success with the right tools is key to achieving your goals and creating a thriving business that doesn’t just print cash for you - it creates a sense of fulfillment as you help others become better versions of themselves.

Two really common choices you’ll have in terms of where to host your community are Podia vs Thinkific. They share a lot of similarities, but a few key intricacies between them will mean that one is better than the other depending on your unique goals. To help you set out on the right foot and make your business vision a reality, we’re going to take a deep dive in comparing Thinkific vs Podia. First, here’s a general overview of each platform.

A General Overview of Podia and Thinkific

Before we get into the comparison phase of this conversation, we want to begin by saying that both Podia and Thinkific are incredible platforms for creators from all walks of life. You can build and grow a community that thrives on either platform. 

However, which is best for you will depend on a few factors: your goals, the size of your community, what features you want access to, and more. We’ll cover all this shortly - but first, we’re going to provide a general overview of some important takeaways from both Podia and Thinkific.

Introducing Podia

Podia is one of the most simple, intuitive ways to build a community from scratch, design and sell courses, and monetize your expertise however you see fit. What separates this platform from others is the modern website-building platform that makes it easier than ever to get your business off the ground.

Recently, Podia rolled out their free plan - which is shaking things up a bit. Because as you’ll learn below, offering a free plan was one of the ways Thinkific had a leg up on Podia. That’s not the case any longer, though. 

The free plan allows you to create a website and gain access to email marketing capabilities, community-building tools, and 1 course + 1 digital download product. There are 8% transaction fees here, which will cut into your profits. At a certain point, it makes more sense to upgrade to a Mover or Shaker account. 

Each of these plans offers your own online storefront with courses, digital downloads, webinars, email marketing, messaging, and zero transaction fees. Everything is unlimited on these plans. And, they each offer 7-days-a-week live chat support, free migrations with an annual plan, your own custom domain, integrated payment processing, and perhaps most importantly, instant payouts. Here’s how they differ, though:

  • Mover $39/month ($390 annually): Everything listed so far - with additional features like quizzes, drip course content, pre-sells, and bundles. 
  • Shaker $79/month ($790 annually): Everything from Mover along with membership creation/pricing, blog functionality, the ability to embed purchase buttons, affiliate marketing opportunities, Zoom integration, and support for 3rd party code snippets - like Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics.

If you plan on building with team members, you’ll have to pay additional monthly fees to add them to your account. You can define custom user roles for $20/member.

Introducing Thinkific

Thinkific used to be known primarily as a sophisticated course creation platform. And at the time, that’s where Podia had a huge advantage - being an all-in-one platform for creators. These days, though, Thinkific has caught up and overhauled its platform. Now, it’s also a simple, scalable platform for not just course creation - but community management and membership monetization.

There are four plans you can choose from as a Thinkific creator. Each of these grants the course builder, instant access to funds, student notifications, upsell offers, discussion forums, instructor profiles, SSL certifications, zero transaction fees, and unlimited enrollments. However, they vary in terms of scalability: 

  • Free: Up to 3 courses with quizzes/surveys and content hosting for videos, PDFs, etc.
  • Basic $36/month: Unlimited courses and students, coupons, the ability to email students, drop course content capabilities, custom domain, and email integrations (such as ConvertKit or Klaviyo).
  • Start $74/month: 2 site admins, 5 course admins, affiliate reporting, private & hidden courses, memberships and bundles with different pricing options for members, course certificates, priority support, and a student community for discussion. Note: you can add the Growth Package to this tier which will unlock additional integrations, Groups for managing students, bulk email-sending abilities, advanced segmentation, and hidden Thinkific for your site. It’s free for the first 100 customers of your business and then becomes an additional $10/month.
  • Premier $499/month ($4,788 annually): 5 site admin accounts, 50 course admins, unlimited student discussion communities, and an onboarding call with training & a launch review.

Thinkific does support larger plans which are better for enterprise customers - but for now, let’s get to what you came here for. Comparing Podia vs Thinkific side by side.

Podia vs Thinkific: Which is Better For You as a Creator?

After reading thus far, you may already start to get a sense of which platform is right for you in the Thinkific vs Podia debate. But we’re far from finished - we’re going to show you key features, costs, and opportunities between the two platforms side by side.

To help you make the most ideal choice based on your unique goals as a creator, we’re going to compare Podia’s Mover & Shaker plans to Thinkific’s Basic & Pro plans below - as these are comparable in terms of price and features. 

Then, we’ll highlight a few advantages each of these platforms has over the other before we give you our take on which of these two platforms is superior.

Comparing Thinkific’s Basic Plan vs Podia’s Mover Plan

Podia’s Mover plan comes in at just $33/month at the time of writing this (it’s currently on sale - but whether that’s permanent or temporary remains to be seen). Meanwhile, Thinkific’s Basic plan is $49/month - which is a difference of just under $200/annually. But price isn’t everything - let’s talk about the plans themselves.

Both of these include unlimited courses/students, coupons, the ability to email students, drip course content, use a custom domain, and install third-party email integrations. How do they differ, though? If affiliate reporting matters to you, then you’ll want to go with Thinkific’s Basic plan - Podia doesn’t offer this in their mover plan. Otherwise, the Mover plan takes the cake.

You can sell access to webinars and digital downloads, expanding your income possibilities dramatically. And, you gain more advanced email marketing capabilities, direct messaging with students, 7-day-a-week chat support, and free migrations.

Comparing Thinkific’s Pro Plan vs Podia’s Shaker Plan

Again, Thinkific is the more expensive option in this comparison at $99/month compared to Podia at $75/month with their current promotion. You can save nearly $300/annually by going with Podia’s Shaker plan over Thinkific’s Pro plan. 

Again, though, we need to take a look at what you’re getting for that cost in each plan. That includes unlimited courses & students, private/hidden course capabilities, more advanced course pricing options, and the ability to sell memberships. 

Thinkific’s Pro plan gives you access to 2 site admins and 5 course admins, more advanced HTML customization, and perhaps most importantly, a discussion community for your students to interact with each other. This creates a more engaged, thriving community. 

But, just like the previous plan comparison, you can sell more products on Podia’s Shaker plan - webinars and digital downloads. Plus, you gain access to advanced email marketing capabilities, messaging, Zoom integration, a blog, and the ability to embed purchase buttons as you see fit.

Why is Thinkific Better Than Podia?

Why is Thinkific better than Podia? Before the introduction of Podia’s free plan, the fact that Thinkific allowed you to start your community and course creation business for free was a huge advantage. But since Podia released its own free trial, that competitive advantage has vanished. Nevertheless, Thinkific is better than Podia in some ways.

Some features you gain access to with Thinkific that you’ll miss out on Podia include student discussion boards, site and course admins included with certain plans, more advanced student management capabilities, and of course, the onboarding package with the Premium plan. Thinkific also offers more Zapier triggers than Podia, which may not matter if you aren’t into automation. While Podia offers 7 days a week live chat support, Thinkific offers phone support - sometimes you just want to hear someone’s voice! Here are a few other missing pieces from Podia that you get with Thinkific:

  • Course reviews, which can really help with social proof
  • Student progress reporting 
  • More advanced exams
  • Multiple instructors
  • Voice over presentations
  • Course completion certificates
  • Bulk student/course content import
  • Drag and drop site builder
  • Prerequisite lessons and courses
  • Time-Limited Courses
  • App Store
  • Webhooks
  • API Access

Why is Podia Better Than Thinkific?

At one point, Podia was the obvious choice for any creator looking for a platform that could do it all - sell courses, create membership opportunities, etc. But these days, Thinkific has expanded its own platform capabilities to offer these capabilities too. Still, there are a few ways in which Podia takes the edge in this conversation:

Podia offers a few more advanced features that Thinkific does not. A few of the most notable is the ability to message students one-on-one and advanced email automation functionality. Messaging your community like this creates a real connection and allows you to command higher prices for membership. Similarly, setting up email automation can help you grow your revenue without lifting a finger.

What’s more, you can sell more than just online courses, memberships, and bundles on Podia. This is just the beginning of what’s possible. You can also sell digital downloads and webinars, too. As a creator, you are free to monetize your knowledge as you see fit. And this versatility is one of the reasons creators lean towards this platform in the Podia vs Thinkific debate. Here are a few additional advantages of Podia over Thinkific:

  • Free migration
  • Coaching
  • Embeddable purchase buttons
  • Webinars
  • Chat support
  • Messaging

It’s also worth noting that Podia boasts a higher creator friendliness score than Thinkific - at 90.91 vs 87.01.

So, Which Platform Should You Build on - Podia vs Thinkific?

Hopefully, you already have an idea of where you should build on Podia vs Thinkific after reading this far. We’ve done all the hard work of unpacking each platform and comparing & contrasting the different plans against each other.

At the end of the day, you’ll have to determine which features matter more to you in a platform. Each of these is a great way to build and grow your online community and monetize your expertise. Podia has the edge in terms of products offered, support, creator friendliness, and cost. On the other hand, Thinkific offers more advanced student management capabilities and automation within the platform.

If we had to give the edge to one platform over the other, we’d choose Podia - simply because it’s easier to get up and running on, you spend less in the long run, and you can sell a more diverse range of products. Digital downloads and webinars are a great way to monetize your community - and the fact that these are lacking on Thinkific is a bit of a dealbreaker.

Wrapping Up Our Thinkific vs Podia Comparison

At this point, it’s time to wrap up our Thinkific vs Podia comparison post. Before you run out and start building your online community, you may want to explore a few other options you have at your disposal. We wrote similar comparison articles on Podia vs Kajabi, Thinkific vs Kajabi, and Podia vs Teachable. But, you can also consider Circle vs Tribe or Circle vs Mighty Networks

Now more than ever, creators are equipped to turn their knowledge and experience into an income-generating community that fulfills your deepest purpose. So what are you waiting for? Get started with either Podia vs Thinkific today!

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