Thinkific vs. Udemy: Battle of Giants

Differences and similarities between Thinkific and Udemy

Thinkific and Udemy are some of the most popular online course platforms for first-time online course creators.

These are online platforms that enable instructors to host and sell their courses. However, Udemy and Thinkific’s comparison is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.

They are different platforms with unique features and pricing models. In this article, we will discuss and compare Thinkific vs. Udemy.

The analysis will help you understand the differences and identify which platform offers what you are searching for.


Benefits of thinkific

Thinkific is a course creation platform for teaching online recommended by top marketing experts.

It provides packages for everyone from free to premium. The platform has an easy and intuitive tool for designing your courses based on a simple drag-and-drop editor.

You can stack all the content you want to include & rearrange it however you choose.


  • You can create your brand with Thinkific, and it perfectly suits long-term business development in the online learning niche.
  • This platform supports most media types without limiting course inclusion.
  • It provides an easy tool to design your courses to your exact needs, even if you don’t have experience with coding or web design.
  • Unlimited students and content
  • Active peer support from over 12,000 members Facebook group
  • Powerful customization with the click of a button
  • There are multiple course payment options for various types of students and schools.
  • It optimizes mobile devices, and you can incorporate language controls in your courses.
  • Another great thing about Thinkific is the inclusion of several promotional and marketing tools. You can create schedules to send out automated emails to target the right audience. Email Marketing is one of the effective tools in digital marketing that Thinkific uses to run a successful campaign.


  • It doesn’t offer live chat for customer support
  • The platform can be costly for beginners. It charges a 10% transaction fee and will raise the prices if you build more courses. If you build a course on a free plan, you’ll find that you have to upgrade before publishing the work.
  • It also has limited customization and poor quality check-out.


about udemy platform

Udemy is a course creator and course hosting platform that allows people to share their skills with students.

It does most marketing for you, though you cannot manage your business with the lack of marketing tools. Compared to Thinkific, Udemy is student-centered rather than an instructor Center.

It is one of the largest online educational platforms with over 180,000 courses and over 44 million students. It is a well-established and proven marketplace with Global outreach.


  • Udemy courses are available starting at $11.99 and going up to $199.99.The platform doesn’t charge monthly fees, and you can earn 97% of all sales you drive with your coupon code
  • It offers close to 600 courses on the selection of topics
  • There is a wide selection of courses on dozens of categories and subcategories
  • The platform grants you access to every cause you adjust for life
  • Udemy would have a 30-day refund policy if the course weren’t what you expected
  • This platform focuses more on enabling learners to find tons of courses easily where they can choose whatever topic they like. It fits perfectly avid learners who wish to upskill without paying a lot of money.


  • On Udemy, there is not much easy to find guidance for instructors, and there is nothing like a complete list of features for instructors to use. Dig deep and search for more information on the options available for instructors.
  • Udemy focuses on helping learners rather than people who want to start an online education business.
  • You don’t own your students as the platform has strict guidelines on what you can do with your students.
  • The platform is not the best choice for an official certification because it doesn’t offer accredited certificates.
  • Since Udemy doesn’t create course content, it can compromise the quality of courses.
  • There is less chance of standing out because of the high level of noise in the marketplace.


Course creation

You can create unlimited courses on both Thinkific and Udemy.

However, they differ and how you can create and manage courses.


Thinkific platform allows you to do whatever you want with your course because you own it. You can create online courses and membership sites with Thinkific and enjoy the best support in the industry.

It is a platform where instructors can create a market and sell their courses on their course site. The platform focuses on instructors, like giving them all the tools to build, maintain and grow their online education business.


Udemy allows you to create online courses and find anything on your schedule. It is a big course market where everybody has their stand where they sell their courses. T

his platform suits complete beginners who want to manage an online learning niche and are not concerned about building their brand.

However, you won’t have your site with Udemy, but you’ll be part of a huge marketplace with other competitors.

The platform doesn’t allow you to have full ownership of your course though you can have your name on the course and update lessons.

Also, you aren’t able to remove the course from the platform and it doesn’t offer accredited certification after completing a course

Ease of use

Which platform is easy to use and intuitive

Both platforms are fairly easy to use and intuitive mostly. Udemy is easier and straightforward to use compared to Thinkific.

Its design doesn’t change across courses, making it easy for students and content creators.


You need a basic design idea and imagination to use Thinkific to build your site from scratch. Since there is no set pattern, it can take time for students to figure out the set pattern.

Hence it can be a challenge for non-tech-savvy students. However, you can get help from a developer from sites such as Upwork.


Udemy is simple and easy compared to Thinkific because it doesn’t offer customization options. You upload your content to an existing platform.

Students will be familiar with the look and feel special if they’ve taken other courses on Udemy. This familiarity enhances its ease of use.


pricing categories on thinkific

These platforms are different, so their pricing varies vastly. The choice depends on what is best for you. Thinkific offers several possibilities for pricing, so you can choose one that fits your bill.

For Udemy, there are no upfront costs as it charges nothing to upload your courses on the platform or create courses using their tools,


Thinkific pricing entails four plans: free, basic, pro, and premium.

  • The free starter plan provides you with complete access to their pro features. It has 3 courses and is ideal for those who want to explore the world of content creation. This free starter plan is a great option if you’re just getting started and are not sure how your online school will scale. It comes with unlimited students, analytics, and multiple types of course content. However, you can only create a few courses with the free starter plan.
  • The basic plan starts at $49 per month for the monthly subscription or a $39permonth annual subscription. It provides unlimited courses and is ideal for those starting the cause. It suits those in the early stages of an online education business development. The basic plan has unlimited courses, an affiliate program, and a custom domain.
  • The pro plan starts at $99/month billed monthly or $79/month annually. It is ideal for seasoned cause creators looking to expand the business. It, therefore, suits established instructors with a large community of students. This package comes with certificates of completion and memberships. You can also remove the Thinkific branding.
  • Lastly, the premium plan starts at $499 per month. This package suits those who will build a content empire. It suits well-established businesses going through significant growth. Some of its highlights include priority support and an infusion of integration, though the costs are high.

The unique benefit of Thinkific is that they don’t charge transaction fees when selling a course. However, this does not include the credit card transaction fee.


Udemy works on a commission basis. Signing up for teaching on this platform is like starting a partnership with a company.

They will take 50% of your earnings to help you create a course. For instance, if Udemy brings traffic to purchase your class, they take 50% of the money of a course.

However, they won’t take your money if you bring traffic to sell the course, except for minimum transaction costs.

You don’t need to pay a single penny to host your courses on Udemy, but they will take a commission from your payments when the sale happens. It also applies when a customer buys your course through the Udemy promotion.

Buyers can purchase using your coupon or a course referral link if you decide to promote your course through your marketing efforts.

Udemy can also promote you through their affiliate program of paid advertising, in which case you only get 25% from the sales. Fortunately, they offer non-stop discounts and big discounts at that. There is also a price cap policy when you can’t charge more than $200 for your course.

Customer support

Customer support page on udemy

Each of these platforms has excellent customer support and community. It is an important aspect of any business if you don’t want to lose customers.

Thinkific scores over Udemy in this category, offering phone support that is unavailable with Udemy.

However, the phone support is only available to those who have subscribed to high plans, and you will use it a lot less than you think.


Personal email and phone support are available to contact customer support at Thinkific. You also get webinar support and training areas to get started and grow your courses.

The platform provides the tools to connect with thousands of other creators to share ideas and ask questions via Facebook. Their support team is friendly and professional, with their emails answered within one day.

The support team monitors everything 24/7 and has a 99.9% uptime. You can rely on the help center section of the website, which contains many resources to help solve issues or learn how to do something properly.

The updates are automatic, meaning you always have the most up-to-date features available. However, there is no live chat feature, and you have to contact them via email when using a free plan.


Udemy offers email support and has a help center support page and contact page to contact the customer support team.

The lack of phone support is a disadvantage for Udemy users. However, it still provides useful material to get yourself familiar with the video creation process.

Final verdict

The winner is Thinkific because it has a lot of options to offer, including multiple payment options, design options, and complete control over your students. You can build your marketplace on Thinkific, unlike Udemy.

Many content creators start with Udemy to get a hands-on feel of course creation before moving onto comprehensive platforms like Thinkific. Choose Udemy if you’re starting and want to gauge how well you can deliver content.

It is the best choice if you want a hassle-free platform where someone else handles everything. You only need to get your course and upload it. You can use Udemy to showcase your skills to a wider user base and funnel them to your custom domain.

Thinkific is the best platform to replicate a classroom experience online. It’s the most scalable for multiple instructors, admins, and support staff. The platform provides flexibility to design courses the way you want, including their look and feel.

You can create a custom domain to brand your business, market your courses independently, and charge students at a competitive price. This platform integrates with many third-party applications to enhance the learning experience and improve the marketability of your course.