Kajabi vs Thinkific: A Comprehensive Guide To Choosing Your Platform

In the quest for the perfect online course platform, creators often find themselves at a crossroads, choosing between Kajabi and Thinkific. Both platforms offer a host of features designed to make online course creation and distribution as seamless as possible. Kajabi touts an all-inclusive suite of marketing tools, while Thinkific boasts ease of use with straightforward content delivery. 

But, what if there was another contender that not only matches these platforms but elevates the entire experience? Enter Disciple, the game-changer for coaches and course creators who want to build a community and take their business to the next level. Read on for a comprehensive comparison of Kajabi and Thinkific, before taking a look at what Disciple has to offer.

What is an online course platform?

An online course platform is a digital environment designed for creating, hosting, and delivering educational content. Ideal for educators and professionals, these platforms allow for the organization and uploading of a variety of course materials, including videos, texts, and interactive activities.

Their standout benefit is accessibility, enabling learners to engage with content from anywhere at any time, thus fitting seamlessly into diverse lifestyles. Additionally, these platforms simplify the course creation process with intuitive tools like drag-and-drop builders and customizable templates.

Besides content delivery, these platforms are dynamic hubs for interactive learning. They often come equipped with features like quizzes, forums, and assignments to foster active student participation and engagement. Real-time feedback mechanisms enhance the interaction between instructors and learners.

On the business side, they offer monetization options, including subscriptions and one-time payments, coupled with marketing tools for audience expansion. Analytics and performance tracking provide insights into learner progress and course effectiveness, ensuring these platforms are comprehensive solutions for modern education and professional development.

Recognizing the importance of on-the-go accessibility, the best online course platforms provide mobile apps, allowing learners to access content conveniently from their smartphones. This approach caters to the modern learner's lifestyle, ensuring continuous engagement with the course material irrespective of location. 

Furthermore, online course platforms are instrumental in helping course creators scale their businesses. They enable creators to widen their reach, grow their audience, and create multiple revenue streams. The emerging trend of building communities around course content is facilitated by some of these platforms, offering spaces for meaningful interactions and fostering a sense of belonging among learners. This shift towards community building within educational content is revolutionizing traditional online learning, making it a more immersive and collaborative experience.

Introducing Kajabi

Kajabi is a prominent online course platform that specializes in providing a comprehensive solution for content creation, marketing, and sales. It's tailored for entrepreneurs and business professionals who seek an all-in-one platform for their digital course needs. Kajabi stands out for its blend of course development tools with powerful marketing capabilities.


Pros of Kajabi:

  • Integrated marketing suite: Kajabi offers a robust set of marketing tools, including email marketing, funnels, and landing pages, all integrated into the platform. This makes it an ideal choice for course creators who want to streamline their marketing efforts alongside content creation.

  • Sophisticated course creation: The platform supports a range of content types and provides a sleek interface, making course creation both versatile and user-friendly.

  • User-friendly interface: Kajabi offers a clean, intuitive design that simplifies the course management process, allowing creators to focus more on content development and student engagement.

  • Comprehensive customization: It excels in customization and branding, offering extensive design options to align the look and feel of courses with the creator's brand identity.

Cons of Kajabi:

  • Limited community-building features: Kajabi’s community offering is very new and so far remains pretty basic. This means that Kajabi will likely be insufficient for course creators who proritise communing-building.

  • Waitlist for own-branded app: While it seems Kajabi will help it’s customers build their own branded app at some point in the future, there is currently a waitlist for this essential feature and its capabilities are unknown.

  • Complexity for creators: While feature-rich, the plethora of options and tools can be overwhelming for course creators who are just starting out or who are new to the platform.

  • Limited third-party integrations: Compared to some competitors, Kajabi may offer fewer integrations with external tools and services, potentially limiting certain functionalities.

Kajabi is a powerhouse for course creators who are serious about delivering high-quality content coupled with effective marketing strategies. Its comprehensive toolkit makes it a good choice for professionals who seek a platform for managing and marketing their online courses. It’s key weaknesses lie in its basic community-building features and lack of ability to create your own branded mobile app.

Introducing Thinkific

Thinkific is a widely recognized online course platform that has made a significant mark in the realm of digital education. It caters to a broad range of users, from individual educators to larger organizations, focusing on user-friendly course creation and delivery. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of using Thinkific for your online courses.


Pros of Thinkific:

  • Ease of use: Thinkific is celebrated for its straightforward and intuitive interface, making it accessible even to those who are new to online course creation.

  • Flexible course creation: The platform allows for a diverse range of course material types and delivery options, catering to the varied needs of educators and learners.

  • Free entry-level option: Thinkific provides a free tier, which is a great starting point for newcomers to the online course scene or those testing the waters before fully committing.

  • Strong focus on content: It prioritizes content delivery, ensuring that educators can focus on the quality of their material.

  • Engagement tools: Thinkific includes interactive features such as quizzes and discussion forums to enhance learner engagement.

Cons of Thinkific:

  • Dependence on third-party marketing tools: Unlike Kajabi, Thinkific does not have an extensive built-in marketing suite, often necessitating reliance on external tools for in-depth marketing campaigns.

  • Limited customization in lower tiers: While Thinkific offers customization, the range and depth of these options might be limited in its lower-priced plans.

  • Mixed reviews on mobile app: The new Thinkific mobile app has received mixed feedback regarding its functionality and user experience, which might affect learners who prefer mobile access.

Thinkific positions itself as a user-friendly platform that simplifies the course creation process without overwhelming its users with complex features. It's an excellent choice for new educators and content creators who value ease of use and content quality over intricate marketing tools. Its free tier and straightforward approach make it particularly appealing to those just starting in the online course industry. More established creators who are looking to scale their businesses may not find it sufficient.

Key feature comparison

Marketing tools

Marketing your course is as important as creating it. Kajabi understands this, offering an integrated marketing toolkit that’s robust and wide-ranging. Thinkific, while user-friendly, often requires you to lean on additional third-party services for in-depth marketing, which can complicate your strategy. Kajabi users can take advantage of built-in email marketing, funnels, and landing pages, streamlining their users' journey from prospect to paid student.

Winner: Kajabi

Course creation and delivery

Both Kajabi and Thinkific shine in course creation and delivery, but with nuanced differences. Kajabi's interface is sleek and aimed at entrepreneurs who are serious about marketing their expertise, while Thinkific caters to educators with a penchant for content first, offering a buffet of course material types and delivery options. However, they both share the goal of simplifying the course creation process with drag-and-drop builders and a variety of content support.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Pricing and value

Kajabi's pricing is on the premium side, justified by its extensive marketing and automation features. Thinkific offers a more gentle entry with a free tier, making it accessible to newcomers. Both platforms offer various tiers, but the costs can add up as your business grows, especially when third-party tools enter the mix for Thinkific users.

Winner: Thinkific

User experience and interface

User experience can make or break a platform. Kajabi and Thinkific offer clean, intuitive interfaces, reducing the learning curve for course creators. They both prioritize a hassle-free experience, allowing creators to focus more on content and less on navigation woes.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Mobile accessibility

In the age of smartphones, mobile accessibility is non-negotiable. Both platforms offer an app under their own branding, of which Kajabi’s receives more promising user reviews. Both platforms are also looking to support businesses to launch apps under their own branding, which is essential for building a successful brand in 2023. Thinkific has recently launched this feature, whereas we are still waiting to see what Kajabi will produce. For now, you are better off looking elsewhere if you own-branded mobile app is important to your business development or you think it may become important in the future.

Winner: Thinkific (but there are better options out there)


Customization and branding

Your brand's uniqueness should reflect in your courses. Kajabi and Thinkific provide various degrees of customization. Kajabi offers more in terms of landing page designs and marketing collateral, while Thinkific keeps it simple yet effective with a focus on course content.

Winner: It’s a tie!

Engagement and interactivity

Engagement keeps learners coming back. Both platforms include features like quizzes and discussion forums to encourage engagement on specific courses. Kajabi slightly takes the lead because of it’s marketing suite.

However, if you want to go a step further and build a community around your expertise, you will found that both of these platforms are lacking. The value of community cannot be overstated for learners and course creators. Community gives learners a sense of belonging and accountability that is extremely motivating. Your business also benefits from having an engaged community of superfans who want more of your content or even a membership to your offering. We’ll discuss it’s merits further below.

Winner: Kajabi (however there are alternatives that are far better suited to building a thriving community or membership) 

Disciple Media: the complete platform for building your coaching business

While Kajabi and Thinkific have their merits, Disciple Media is the platform that encompasses the strengths of both and goes beyond. Disciple Media is not just about building courses (though it does that well); it's about fostering a community. It's a space where engagement and learning coexist in a vibrant ecosystem tailored to your brand's essence.


Community building at its core

Disciple puts community building at the forefront, understanding that connection is the heart of learning. It offers a more personalized, focused environment for members to interact and engage, turning learners into a vibrant community.

All-in-one platform advantage

With Disciple, everything you need to build, manage, and grow your community is under one roof. From courses to forums to analytics, Disciple Media consolidates all facets of community management, eliminating the need for multiple tools.

Superior customization and brand presence

Disciple offers unparalleled customization, ensuring that every aspect of your community platform aligns with your brand. This commitment to brand presence helps solidify member loyalty and enhances the overall user experience.

Mobile-first approach

Recognizing the importance of mobile access, Disciple adopts a mobile-first approach, ensuring that your community and content are accessible anywhere, anytime, which is essential for today's on-the-go lifestyles. What’s key to note here is that with Disciple you can build your own, fully branded app for your community and courses. That means that your learners go to the App Stores and download YOUR app, and it’s YOUR app that they have on their phone - no going through an intermediary.

Value

Disciple Media not only competes in terms of features but also in value. It provides a cost-effective solution that delivers a high return on investment through community growth and member retention, making it a wise choice for any serious community builder.

Interested in learning more? Book a call with Disciple's community building experts today to learn how you could build a beautiful home for your community and content.


Conclusion

Choosing the right platform for your online courses and community is a pivotal decision in the digital content arena. Kajabi and Thinkific both offer solid foundations for course creation. However, for those who seek to not just educate but to cultivate a thriving, engaged community, Disciple Media emerges as the superior choice. It bridges the gap between content delivery and community interaction, with a suite of tools designed to foster growth and connection within a branded, mobile-first experience. With Disciple Media, you gain more than a platform; you gain a partner in building a legacy. It's time to move beyond the constraints of rented platforms and step into a space that's truly yours, with the control, customization, and community-centric features that will propel your vision forward.

FAQs

How do Kajabi and Thinkific differ in their marketing tools?

Kajabi offers an integrated suite of marketing tools, whereas Thinkific relies more on third-party integrations for advanced marketing needs.

Can I customize my course platform to match my brand on Thinkific and Kajabi?

Yes, both Kajabi and Thinkific offer customization options, but Kajabi provides more extensive tools for landing pages and marketing, while Thinkific focuses on course content.

What makes Disciple Media stand out from Kajabi and Thinkific?

Disciple Media excels in community building, offering a branded, all-in-one platform with superior customization, a mobile-first approach, and powerful engagement tools that enhance both value and your return on investment.

Is there a mobile app available for Kajabi and Thinkific?

Kajabi has a dedicated mobile app, while Thinkific's app has received mixed reviews. Both Kajabi and Thinkific are also moving towards allowing customers to create their own branded app. However, these are new offerings (Kajabi has opened their waiting list but not yet launched this product) and their capabilities may be limited. Disciple Media offers a robust mobile-first experience for superior on-the-go accessibility.

Which platform is best for community engagement?

While Kajabi and Thinkific provide basic engagement tools, Disciple Media specializes in creating genuine connections with a focus on community engagement and interaction.

How does the pricing of Disciple Media compare to Kajabi and Thinkific?

Disciple Media offers competitive pricing with clear, honest terms. It provides a more sustainable growth model through its community-focused features, which can lead to better ROI compared to the tiered pricing models of Kajabi and Thinkific.