Thinkific vs Kajabi [Nov 2019]: Which Course Platform is Best?

By David Borgogni | Courses

Thinkific vs Kajabi

Last Updated on

Today we are going to be looking at two of the most powerful cloud-based online course builder and membership site software: Thinkific vs Kajabi.

The online course business is booming, and if you have a valuable skill to share then you have a fantastic opportunity to create a passive income source for your business by selling an online course. 

There are lots of platforms available which you could use to create and host your course or membership site, so it can be tricky trying to work out which one would suit your needs best. 

When comparing these two solutions,  Thinkific vs Kajabi we will be reviewing features, benefits, and pricing to help you make a decision on which online course platform will work best for your business.

Main Differences Between Thinkific vs Kajabi 

The main differences between Thinkific and Kajabi are:

  • Thinkific offers a free plan, whereas Kajabi only has a 14-day free trial 
  • Thinkific is MUCH cheaper than Kajabi 
  • Thinkific offers a better pure course builder comapred to Kajabi
  • Thinkific offers certifications, whereas Kajabi does not
  • Kajabi has sales automation tagging features, whereas Thinkific does not
  • Kajabi has a built-in email provider, whereas Thinkific does not
  • Kajabi has a landing page builder, whereas Thinkific does not

Both Thinkific and Kajabi are known as Learning Management Systems (LMS), and they not only provide you will all the tools you need to build your course, but also the tools you will need to market and sell your course too, such as payment processing, sales funnel building, and more. 

Thinkific vs Kajabi each have different features, so today we are going to compare the two side by side, so you can see for yourself which one would suit your needs best. As well as looking at the features they offer, we will also be looking at the pros and cons of each, and the pricing, which could be a factor in your decision too. 

Let’s dive in, shall we? 

Thinkific Review 2019 

Thinkific home page

Thinkific is a powerful all-in-one platform that entrepreneurs can use to create, market, and sell online courses. You can use Thinkific to build your entire website, so you have everything you need in one place, with none of the hassles of trying to ‘glue’ elements from different platforms together. 

The themes available have been designed specifically for online course businesses, and all of your pages can be completely customized by using their drag and drop page builder. Any of the themes can be updated to match your style and branding, and you can also connect your courses to an existing website if you wish. 

Get Started Free with Thinkific

When it comes to building your course content, you have the option to use the premade course templates that give you a guide to how and where your content would work best, and if you have already written your training content, you have the option to upload it all at once to make things simple for you. 

There is no need to use any coding to build your site, and you can customize the hundreds of features available so you can build your course to look exactly the way you want it to. 

You can add all sorts of different elements to your courses, including: 

  • Quizzes 
  • Videos 
  • Multimedia 
  • Text 
  • Surveys
  • PDF 
  • Disqus 
  • Audio 
  • Downloads 
  • Presentations
  • Exams 

You can create certificates of achievement for your students, and they can see their progress through the course as a percentage, so they know how far they have to go, and you can also encourage them and make sure they are staying on track with automated check-ins. 

Thinkific’s marketing automation features save you hours of time each week by automatically onboarding your students, sending them progress emails, and messages right when they need to be sent. 

When it comes to payment processing, you can pair your account with your chosen payment processor such as PayPal, or Stripe, and you also have the option to charge a one time fee, and offer payment plans or subscriptions. You can even offer free courses to get people interested, and free trial periods or a discount on the first payment. 

Thinkific payment processor

Building a free course is a great way to start building your following. You can collect emails and other data from these people and offer paid courses to them in the future. 

When you are ready to start scaling your business, you have the option to sell your courses through affiliates, who you don’t need to pay until they have made a sale, meaning you can scale your business quickly with no extra effort on your part. 

There are lots of integrations available, so if you are already using an email service provider that you know and love, you can easily integrate it with your Thinkific account.  

Security is a top priority, and with secure cloud hosting and daily back-ups, there’s no need to worry about the security of your content and course data. SSL certificates are included, and since it’s all on the cloud all the updates are automatic. Thinkific has 99.9% uptime, and 24/7 monitoring, so you can be sure your site will always be up and running when you need it to be. 

Thinkific provides support, advice, and training in their help center, so if you are ever having trouble or need advice you know where to go for help, allowing you to have complete confidence when you are building your website. 

Thinkific provides support

You can also contact Thinkific by phone and email, and they pride themselves in answering 90% of questions in under 5 hours. 

The Main Features of Thinkific 

  • Drag and drop page builder
  • Quickly upload any existing content 
  • Rich multimedia course content 
  • Free video hosting 
  • Private and hidden courses 
  • Multiple instructors
  • Drip content 
  • Evergreen and expiring content 
  • Membership sites 
  • Specifically designed education themes available 
  • Custom domain names
  • Full access to HTML and CSS if required 
  • Flexible pricing 
  • Immediate payments 
  • Take payments in 100+ currencies 
  • 100% secure payment processing
  • Sell through affiliates 
  • Integrate with over 1000 external marketing apps 

The Benefits of Using Thinkific to Host Your Online Course 

  • Build a beautifully branded website and online course using the drag and drop page builder
  • All themes are created specifically for online courses, so you can be sure that all the elements you need are already included
  • There is a free plan available, which is perfect if you are just getting started and you want to test the waters before jumping into a bigger plan
  • You can use Thinkific to build membership sites as well as online courses
  • Use affiliates to easily scale your business with little effort on your part
  • Great training and support are available, by both email and phone, as well as the help area. There will always be someone available to help you if you get stuck 

The Downsides of Using Thinkific to Host Your Online Course 

Since Thinkific does not have its own marketplace like other course platforms such as Udemy, whether or not your course sells will depend entirely on your own marketing efforts. This shouldn’t be a massive problem if you already have an audience or following, but maybe a problem for you if you have no one you can promote your course to. In this case, you would probably need to look at paid advertising sources and affiliates to get your course out there. 

Kajabi Review 2019 

Kajabi homepage

Kajabi is an all-in-one online course platform that allows you to create and market your own online courses. You can also use Kajabi to build your entire website, as well as to create beautiful landing pages that get noticed. 

It is one of the most popular LMS platforms out there and has been the market leader for the last 9 years. Over 16,000 businesses use and trust Kajabi, and the platform is used by top thought leaders such as Amy Porterfield and Brendan Burchard.  

Kajabi makes it easy to market and sell your online courses, and it gives you all the tools you need to get started, so you have everything in one place. 

There are beautiful, high converting pre-made templates for you to choose from for your landing pages, websites, course pages, and sales pages, and they have all been rigorously tested and optimized for conversion, so you can rest assured that you are getting started on the right foot. 

Kajabi pre-made templates

All of the templates available can be customized to suit your brand, and you can add your own logos and images, as well as change any of the colors, so you can make sure your website looks exactly the way you want it to. The themes available are all fully mobile responsive, so your website and courses will look perfect no matter what device you are using to access them. 

You can create online courses, websites, membership sites, and quizzes and surveys, and when it comes to marketing your products, everything you need is in one place too. 

Kajabi lets you create as many pages as you want to for your website, so you can include things like and ‘about us’ page, as well as any other information you would like to share with your students. You also have the opportunity to create a blog, by using the integrated blog feature that comes with your website. 

Landing pages can be created using the drag and drop page builder, so there’s no need for any coding. You can also create events, such as webinars, and email automation so that you can stay in touch with your followers and build a connection from the first point of contact. 

When you are ready to build a funnel, you can do this with just a couple of clicks, and you can use the same funnels over and over again if they are working well, and there are also pre-built templates that you can use for your product launches, webinars and sales campaigns. 

It’s easy to collect payments for your products, and there are zero transaction fees. You can completely customize your checkout pages, and offer one-click upsells to boost your revenue. 

There is a reports dashboard which allows you to see all the sales you have made, as well as keeping track of your affiliate sales reports. Reports can be sorted and viewed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, so you always know where you are with your business. 

Kajabi has excellent customer support with 24/7 live chat and email support, so if you get stuck you can be sure there will always be someone there to help you out. 

The Main Features of Kajabi 

  • Create websites, online courses, membership sites, and landing pages 
  • Library of fully customizable themes to choose from 
  • Custom URLs 
  • Built-in blog 
  • Reports and analytics 
  • Fully mobile responsive themes 
  • Video hosting 
  • Downloads 
  • Community building 
  • Drip content 
  • Bulk user import 
  • Member dashboard 
  • Multi-step checkouts 
  • Announcements 
  • Tagging- segment users based on behavior 
  • Pipeline blueprints 
  • Custom forms  
  • Capture leads 
  • Email analytics 
  • Email broadcasts 
  • Assessments  
  • Webinars and events 
  • Affiliate program 

The Benefits of Using Kajabi to Host Your Online Course 

  • Kajabi has a built-in email service, so you can send broadcast emails out to your users without the need to integrate with a third-party email provider 
  • Build pipelines and sales funnels with the pipeline blueprints 
  • Tag and segment your users based on the previous behavior, and then you can send them more targeted marketing emails  
  • Create assessments and quizzes for your students, so that you can assess their progress at the end of each module 
  • Build beautiful landing pages and use them to capture leads to enter your pipeline 
  • Create membership websites with drip content 
  • Everything you need to build and run your online education business is in one place, and everything works seamlessly together 

The Downsides of Using Kajabi to Host Your Online Course 

The main downside to Kajabi is the high price. There is no free plan available like there is on Thinkific, and even the most basic plan is quite expensive compared to its competitors. 

If you want to use affiliates to sell your products and courses then you will need to go straight to the ‘Growth’ plan, since the ‘Basic’ plan does not include affiliates. The basic plan also doesn’t include advanced automation, or the ability to remove the Kajabi branding, which seems very unreasonable, especially as the basic plan is still quite expensive. 

Pricing: Thinkific vs Kajabi Compared 

Thinkific Pricing: 

Thinkific Pricing

One of the best things about Thinkific is that there is a free plan available, so you can test drive the core features before you decide to sign up to a paid plan.  The free plan includes access to all core features, plus it lets you create up to 3 courses with unlimited students. You can also create quizzes and surveys, and you have access to content hosting. All plans offer instant access to your funds, including the free plan. 

The next plan available is the ‘Basic’ plan which is a very reasonable $49/month. This plan includes all of the features from the free plan, as well as unlimited courses, coupons, email students individually, drip content, affiliate reporting, custom domains, email integrations, and zapier triggers. 

Next up is the ‘Pro’ plan, which is the most popular option, and costs just $99/month. This plan includes everything in the free and basic plans, as well as private and hidden courses, memberships and bundles, certificates, advanced customizations, additional admins and authors, and assignments. 

Finally, we have the ‘Premier’ plan, which is $499/month. This plan includes everything from the other plans, as well as 5 site admin accounts, 15 group analysts, 50-course admins/authors, single sign-on, onboarding package, and the unlimited growth package which gives you access to lots of extra features such as an inbuilt email automation provider and much more. 

The Growth Package is an ‘add on’ which can be added to the ‘Pro’ plan. It’s free for the first 100 students and then costs $10 for every 100 students above that. 

Sign up for Thinkific’s free plan now to test out all the core features! 

Kajabi Pricing: 

Kajabi Pricing

Kajabi has three plans to choose from. Basic, Growth, and Pro. The Basic plan costs $149/month and allows you to create 3 products and 3 pipelines. You can create unlimited landing pages and emails and have 10,000 contacts, 1000 active members, one website and 1 admin user. The other features included with this plan are Hero University, 0% transaction fees, webinars, and events, ready to use templates, quizzes, and surveys, chat support, and automation. 

The next plan is the ‘Growth’ plan, which is the best value at $199/month. This plan includes everything from the basic plan, as well as 15 products, 15 pipelines, 25,000 contacts, 10,000 active members, 1 website, and 10 admin users. It also offers advanced automation, the affiliate program, and the ability to remove the Kajabi branding. 

Finally, we have the ‘Pro’ plan, which includes everything from the ‘Growth’ plan, as well as 100 products, 100 pipelines, 100,000 contacts, 20,000 active members, 3 websites, and 25 admin users. There is also a code editor if you need to do any advanced coding on your courses or websites. 

Kajabi offers a free 14-day trial, so you can try all the features before you decide whether it’s the right option for you or not. Sign up for free here. 

Thinkific vs Kajabi Compared: Which one is Better? 

After comparing Thinkific vs Kajabi, it is clear to see that each has its own benefits, as well as its own pros and cons, so which one is the winner from the two?  

Drumroll, please… 

The winner here is Thinkific!

Kajabi is a great all-in-one (one-stop shop) marketing solution, but I think it tries to do TOO MUCH and is much more EXPENSIVE.

The price does seem expensive when you compare it to Thinkific, and other cheaper online learning platforms such as Teachable and Udemy, but you have to think of all of the other areas where you are saving money.

Thinkific is a great platform for anyone who wants to test the waters with online courses, or anyone who is bootstrapping their business, because there is a completely free plan which gives you access to all of the core features. 

Bottom Line: Yes, Kajabi offers an all in one marketing suite. If you are a professional internet marketer I think there’s value in that. BUT, for the average course creator, Thinkific just does a better job at the actual building of courses. Isn’t that the point, afterall? 

You can try Kajabi for free for two weeks by clicking here

And if you would like to give Thinkific a go, then try their FREE plan now. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Thinkific vs Kajabi 

I would like to switch over to Thinkific from another online learning platform, how can I do this? 

When you are transferring your course and student data to Thinkific from another platform you can use the bulk enrolling tool to ensure a smooth transition for you and your students. The Thinkific team is always on hand to help ensure there is a seamless transition for you, and you can be sure that all vital information such as student enrollment dates, student progress, and logins, are all the same once they are transitioned onto the Thinkific platform, so there is nothing to worry about. 

Does Kajabi offer a money-back guarantee if I am not happy with the service? 

Yes, Kajabi offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you are not happy with the service, you can simply contact the support team and they will process the refund for you. 

Can I build my entire website on Thinkific? 

Yes, Thinkific has all the tools you need to build your website and online courses. There are also tools to enable you to effectively market your online course business such as landing pages, email marketing, and pipelines. 

Can I use my own domain name with Kajabi? 

Yes! Kajabi provides you with a free mykajabi.com domain (yourdomain.mykajabi.com), but you can easily add your own domain if you wish to. 

Does Thinkific take a cut of my course sales? 

No. Thinkific doesn’t take any commission from your sales or charge any transaction fees. The only thing you need to pay for is your monthly plan. 

Do I need to pay for web hosting with Kajabi? 

No, all plans include unlimited secure hosting so there are no extra fees to pay.  

We hope you were able to find our Thinkific vs Kajabi comparison guide helpful in better highlighting the key differences between the platforms. But if you are interested in other alternatives here are other related articles you may be interested in:

About the Author

David Borgogni is a professional digital marketer who specializes in SEO. He’s the founder of First Click Content, a digital marketing agency that focuses on content development driven by organic search data analysis. He’s also a passionate content strategist and writer in the entrepreneurial sectors for new business.