Online education has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it allows individuals to learn new skills and gain knowledge from the comfort of their own homes. Many e-learning platforms are available, each with its features and capabilities. Two such platforms are New Zenler and Thinkific.
This comprehensive article will compare and contrast the features of these two online course platforms to help you determine the best fit for your needs. Whether you’re looking for an all-in-one solution or a place to suit all your online school needs, this comparison guide has everything you need to know.
What is New Zenler?
New Zenler is an e-learning platform that allows users to create and share interactive online courses. It provides tools for creating multimedia content, quizzes, and assessments to help users create engaging and interactive learning experiences. Primarily geared toward businesses, it shines in its robust marketing and sales tools to speed up engagement and make the learning experience more worthwhile.
New Zenler is the current version of the Zenler platform, which has been around for quite some time. The older version, which has shut down since 2020, had the same features but focused more on the learning management system (LMS) side. The latest version, however, aims to provide a fairly cheaper alternative to other all-in-one LMS software such as Kajabi.
Speaking of all-in-one, New Zenler is committed to providing all course creation and management needs in one place. It offers a wide range of features to help users create and deliver professional-looking and engaging online courses sold worldwide. It is ideal for businesses, educators, and trainers who want to create interactive and multimedia-rich online training programs.
What is Thinkific?
Thinkific is an online course platform that enables anyone to create and showcase their online courses to users and customers. It’s a complete and essential e-learning solution for building, marketing, and selling online products, such as courses, membership sites, and subscriptions. Thinkific provides excellent features and tools that help users create professional-looking and engaging online courses.
While New Zenler focuses more on the one-stop-shop aspect, Thinkific leans more toward the academic side. Its product-building capabilities are convenient, and its course management tools are a sight to behold, especially for content creators passionate about delivering valuable educational content. Its course player feature, for instance, provides plenty of customization options, making it easy for users to create unique and professional-looking online courses. On the other hand, including assignments and certificates is a perfect addition.
Although Thinkific shines best in its course content capabilities, it also does include useful features such as marketing and automation tools. Thinkific is widely used by course creators everywhere and is well-loved for being extremely beginner-friendly.
Now that we have a general understanding of what Zenler and Thinkific are and what they have to offer, let’s dive deeper into the features of these platforms. First, we’ll look at the user-friendly interface of both platforms, as this can greatly impact the overall user experience.
The user-friendly interface of an e-learning platform is a crucial aspect of the overall user experience, making it easy for course creators and students to navigate and use the platform. Having a beginner-friendly user design is essential for a successful online learning experience. While New Zenler’s UI is average at best, it does fall short compared to Thinkific.
New Zenler offers an easy interface to access and use, but only on rare occasions. Most of its users have been critical of the platform’s disorderly placement of tools – they have said that its UI needs to be easier to use due to the clunky design in most parts, such as the dashboard.
There may also be bugs within the interface, but that is to be expected because it is still in beta mode somehow. Users may go through a steeper learning curve considering its many features. Despite this, New Zenler has since taken a few steps to ensure it becomes easier to use, as evident with the recently-updated course builder.
As previously mentioned, Thinkific is well-known to be extremely beginner-friendly, making sense that its user interface reflects it. The platform is lauded by many for being intuitive and well-organized, making it easy to find and access the tools and features they may need.
Its course creation process is also straightforward, and its wide range of customization options for the course site design and layout, including customizable themes and templates, are easily within reach. Compared to New Zenler, Thinkific’s learning curve is short and less difficult, meaning even new users will enjoy smooth sailing as they navigate through the platform for the first time.
Both New Zenler and Thinkific offer interfaces that are easy to navigate to some degree, but they have their strengths and weaknesses. New Zenler has made strides in its ease of use, specifically with its course builder, but needs to improve in other areas, such as the clunky UI design and bugs. On the other hand, Thinkific offers a clean-cut interface optimized for course creators and students, ultimately making way for a more straightforward user experience.
In terms of having a user-friendly interface, Thinkific is the clear winner as it offers well-designed, intuitive, and, again, beginner-friendly access to tools and features within the platform. It’s important to mention that New Zenler is still in beta mode, so there may be improvements and changes. It could catch up with Thinkific and provide a sleeker user experience, even for beginners.
Course Creation and Management
The course creation and management tools offered by an e-learning platform are essential for creating and delivering engaging and effective online learning experiences. Based on their respective lineup of features that provide a great learning experience for students, New Zenler and Thinkific are intensely battling out which has the best course management!
New Zenler offers a jam-packed set of course creation and management tools, including a clean course player, a drag-and-drop course builder, and a wide range of learning and engagement tools, including quizzes and a community feature.
The drag-and-drop course builder is intuitive and easy to use, allowing users to create courses with maximalized content and as minimal effort as possible. However, certain features, such as certificate design options and a more bare community interface, still need to be added. Additionally, a noteworthy new offering that New Zenler recently provided is its live classes feature, made possible through its integration with Zoom.
Thinkific offers the same features as New Zenler but with more flexibility. The platform’s community feature is more dynamic in tools and friendly compared to the other one, and it provides more customization options for some features like the course player and certificates. Additionally, Thinkific’s course creation process is straightforward. It provides a wide range of customization options for the course site design and layout, including customizable themes and templates, making it easy for users to create a unique and professional-looking online course.
While New Zenler has recently introduced its live webinar feature, Thinkific has already included it as part of the course options, apart from the traditional courses, memberships, and subscriptions.
Both New Zenler and Thinkific shine in their respective ways in offering a wide range of course creation and management tools, but out of the two, Thinkific offers more flexibility and options to explore. New Zenler’s course management skills are commendable, and it’s hard to deny that there are many learning management tools to choose from. Thinkific, however, maybe the same, but some of its course management offerings have much more to provide its users.
So who wins this category this time? It’s hard to pick which platform is better because both LMS services provide great course management experiences for creators and instructors everywhere, but Thinkific wins by a close margin.
The learning journey goes well beyond just courses and memberships. A website is crucial in providing a presentable yet complete experience that students can immediately get. Both New Zenler and Thinkific have just the right solutions that you may need to create a full course website, as well as some landing pages and much more.
Every subscription to the New Zenler service entitles you to a free, fully-functioning website that you can make and edit however you like. Firstly, you get a free subdomain and an option to integrate with your custom domain. You also get unlimited hosting within the platform, an SSL certificate that guarantees advanced safety and protection over your pages, and multiple-language support, all of which you can access for free!
In addition, you can use the in-house blogging feature if you want to expand your reach with New Zenler. You can also white-label your whole website to tailor it to your brand.
Thinkific also offers website-building capabilities that allow users to create a professional and attractive course site. As with New Zenler, the platform provides you with a free subdomain, unlimited hosting, SSL certificate, multi-language support, and the ability to integrate it with your custom domain if you prefer.
You may also gain access to the white-labeling feature if you subscribe to any of its higher premium plans. Thinkific may not currently offer a native blog feature, unlike New Zenler, but it allows you to customize your pages to whatever you see fit, from sales pages to shops!
Out of all the online course platforms, New Zenler and Thinkific allow you the flexibility and freedom to create courses and fully-functioning websites. No matter which platform you choose, you can build any webpage to present your content to the rest of the world, such as landing pages, checkout pages, shop pages, and even thank you pages.
Both platforms provide creators with everything they may need to create a secure and optimized website, from SSL certification to support for multiple languages beyond English, like Spanish, Italian, and even Japanese.
Customization and Design Options
The customization and design options offered by an e-learning platform can have a big impact on the overall user experience, and it can help to create a solid first impression students may have for their instructors and their course content. When we compare these two platforms as far as customization is concerned, it’s clear early on that Thinkific takes the cake.
New Zenler may offer a few template options for its page builder. If you’re going to craft an immersive learning experience, you may be slightly discouraged as you will be stuck with only one default theme the platform provides – unless you know how to make complex custom themes yourself.
Despite this, New Zenler makes up for its wide and surprisingly dynamic range of customization options that allow you to personalize the look and feel of your website. So, if you’re stuck with one website theme, you can drag, drop, arrange, and even add some blocks and elements however you like!
Thinkific fares more than New Zenler right off the bat in terms of the website themes offered. That’s because it provides users with more than one in-house theme for them to use to present their courses to their students.
As for its drag-and-drop customization options, it’s pretty straightforward to use, and even beginners can get used to it. However, a few things could be improved, particularly the inability to add new sections to the webpage. Despite this, its customization capabilities extend beyond the website builder, as you can easily explore the vast range of course player editing options and even certificate-making. There are more designs than New Zenler could ever offer right now.
While both platforms allow users like you to create jam-packed learning experiences, Thinkific has more customization options for features that extend well beyond the website-building, such as the course player and certificates. This allows users to create a more full and unique online course-learning experience.
New Zenler needs to meet expectations regarding the customization options offered. Regardless, it shines best when it comes to allowing teachers to create custom-made websites near-exclusively by dragging and dropping elements and blocks freely compared to Thinkific.
Both platforms are great options for creating a professional and attractive website. Still, in its way, Thinkific provides more options for customizing the design and layout of the course site. At the same time, New Zenler focuses more on what matters most, providing straight functionality.
Marketing and Sales Tools
A fully-functional suite of sales and marketing tools are essential aspects of an e-learning platform, as they help users to promote and sell their courses to a global audience. Between the two, New Zenler stands out in its marketing skills, though its sales features are more or less similar to Thinkific’s.
As an all-in-one platform, New Zenler provides instructors with a complete educational experience for students in all aspects. Keeping up with the spirit, it offers an impressive and diverse range of marketing tools that will help you sell courses to the rest of the world.
Its inclusion of the built-in marketing funnel feature allows users, even with little marketing expertise, to build solid and highly optimized pipelines geared toward bringing more new customers to their content. In contrast, email marketing tools are quite robust. The sales, checkout, and payment tools are decent, but they offer some helpful benefits, particularly EU VAT handling.
While we can admire Thinkific’s ability to provide decent sales and marketing tools as an LMS platform, it’s easy to determine that it needs more when offering marketing features. Unlike New Zenler, it does not have crucial marketing tools, such as powerful email marketing tools and the ability to build effective sales funnels.
You will need to integrate with third-party platforms. That will be fine if you’re more into offering courses. As for selling online courses, it’s also decent, as with New Zenler; the only thing that needs to be added is the EU VAT handling, which you can only access with yet another third-party platform.
New Zenler wins this round over Thinkific in terms of marketing and skills, as, since it’s a one-stop course management platform, its desire to bring the same energy into this field shines through the best. However, while New Zenler has a big advantage, we can’t help but notice a handful of similarities, particularly in sales and payments.
With average-at-best affiliate marketing, the ability to make coupons and discounts, and the pricing and payment method options provided by both parties, you could have a satisfactory time selling your courses no matter which platform you choose.
Email Automation Functions
Aside from marketing and sales features, email automation functions are also just as crucial in any e-learning platform. You can use these tools to automate repetitive tasks and improve communication with students, even while you may be busy doing other things. Based on what we’ve found, New Zenler’s and Thinkific’s email automation functions are the same.
Like with most other online course platforms, New Zenler allows you to automate repetitive tasks and keep up communications with your students through its built-in email automation suite. The platform provides tools such as automated email sequences and drip campaigns, which you can use to send targeted and personalized messages to students based on their interactions and progress.
Additionally, its Email Broadcast feature allows users to create, customize, edit, and automatically send emails based on various student activities. However, these tools may have limitations in that they’re very basic and less flexible than expected in a platform as crazy powerful as, say, Kajabi.
While New Zenler’s email automation features are decent enough, Thinkific’s has had it worse. Here, you can only use its equivalent to the other’s Email Broadcasts feature, which you can use to send out messages to students for announcements and other educational activities.
You can’t exactly set up sequences and automations, so if you want to keep your students engaged with your content, you might have to integrate with third-party email automation platforms, like Mailchimp.
Both course creator platforms share one thing in common: offering what looks like the most basic email automation services they could provide. However, New Zenler may do better because it has decently-functioning email sequencing tools.
If you’re busy and want to keep your students engaged while you’re away, you may only go so far as to send automated emails in case of announcements and other stuff regarding your course content on either platform. So, if you’re keen on it, it would be better to integrate your account with other external platforms.
Integrations with Third-Party Apps
Speaking of integrations, both New Zenler and Thinkific have made it possible to expand your reach to a much wider audience thanks to their direct integration capabilities. An underrated aspect of an e-learning platform is the ability to connect with more powerful third-party services, which can help users extend the platform’s functionality and improve the overall user experience.
New Zenler takes on a more traditional approach to integrating with third-party apps that can help users extend the platform’s functionality. If you take a closer look at your dashboard over New Zenler, you’ll find plenty of services you can easily connect to your account to optimize your course-making and -selling experience further.
The platform provides integrations with popular apps such as Google Analytics (ads and sales); MailChimp and ConvertKit (email automation); Stripe, PayPal, and RazorPay (payment providers); ConvertBox (lead generation); and, most importantly, Zapier. New Zenler also offers a public API tool that experienced coders can use to integrate with even more apps.
A unique feature that distinguishes Thinkific from other online course platforms is its inclusion of the Thinkific App Store feature. It functions like the Apple App Store, but what makes it different is that it offers users hundreds of third-party tools and services to better optimize their course management ecosystems.
Such notable apps offered in the Thinkific App Store include MailChimp, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, the premier video call platform Zoom and the go-to online selling service Shopify. Aside from that, Thinkific also offers an API key in case users want to expand and improve their learning management functionality.
Both New Zenler and Thinkific succeed in their respective way when it comes to offering a wide number of integrations with third-party apps to improve and optimize the user experience for both teachers and students. While we commend New Zenler’s familiar approach to connecting courses with third-party apps, Thinkific provides more flexible and maximized options for integration, which can be a great advantage for users.
Thinkific may have stepped up further in the integrations game with its impressive App Store feature, but both platforms do well in optimizing the user experience. They also have what it takes to offer even more integrations with the help of Zapier and API.
More and more students are accessing online courses from their mobile devices even while on the go, so it’s very important for learning platforms to catch up with this phenomenon. Fortunately for both Thinkific and New Zenler, users won’t have to deal with many pressing issues with making a mobile-friendly version of their course experience.
New Zenler provides a fully mobile-friendly educational experience for students, allowing them to access their courses and learning materials wherever and whenever. The platform’s courses are automatically optimized for mobile devices, providing a responsive design that adapts to smaller screen sizes and resolutions. If you make a mobile version of a New Zenler-made webpage, you can omit certain parts to stay as cohesive as possible.
Additionally, New Zenler’s mobile app, available for both iOS and Android, offers similar features and functionalities as the web version, which allows students to continue their learning experience no matter where they are. Just so you know, this is fairly new, and there are certain limitations that you and your student can only access if you’re in front of your PC/laptop.
Thinkific, likewise, also lets course creators build mobile-friendly versions of their content, from the course player down to the landing and sales pages. When creating them, however, you may need to be reminded of certain limitations, such as the inability to leave out certain parts of a page.
The same elements and blocks found in the desktop version remain in the smartphone-compatible version, and you can only do something about it if you are okay with this one. Thinkific currently does not have a dedicated mobile app, but students can access the courses just fine, even if they use a mobile internet browser.
As expected, New Zenler and Thinkific offer a more accessible user experience, especially for students who don’t have direct access to a PC/laptop or are more outgoing. Both platforms are optimized for mobile devices and provide responsive course player and website designs that adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions – it’s not just smartphones but also tablets!
However, New Zenler has a clearer advantage thanks to its robust and user-friendly mobile app, while Thinkific doesn’t have it at all… yet. It promised its users that its mobile app is underway, although we need to pinpoint when it could happen.
New Zenler vs. Thinkific: Pricing Comparison
Of course, we cannot end our review of New Zenler and Thinkific without considering both platforms’ pricing plans. When comparing e-learning platforms, one important factor to consider is how much the features and services would cost when combined. In this section, we will compare the pricing plans of New Zenler and Thinkific, highlight their strengths and weaknesses, and, finally, determine which of the plans you should buy.
New Zenler currently comes with two paid plans, which allow you to take advantage of its full showcase of tools and features. The Pro plan, which starts at $67 per month, may be a lot to spend, but considering its all-in-one nature, it’s fairly reasonable.
Meanwhile, its Premium plan is for advanced and well-established content creators and mid-sized and large businesses. While you can enjoy a ton of New Zenler’s core features as early as the Pro plan, you cannot access most of its key features, such as the API tool, unlimited leads, and unlimited market funnels.
It’s worth noting that the current pricing plans from New Zenler are discounted for a limited time, as this version is still in beta mode and has yet to launch properly. So, once the period passes, the pricing would be slightly higher than the following:
- Pro plan – $67/month; $647/year (49% discounted monthly price of $53.9)
- Premium plan – $197/month; $1447/year (75.76% discounted monthly price of $120.6)
Thinkific offers a variety of pricing plans to suit the needs of different users, whether they are beginners or seasoned experts. Compared to New Zenler, the platform generously provides a free plan that allows first-timers in the course content creation space to build and sell one course, with limitations in some features.
However, the Basic plan, which starts at as low as $36 per month, provides access to most of its core features, while the Start, Grow, and Thinkific Plus plans offer additional features and customization options for more experienced creators and larger businesses. Thinkific has flexible pricing options that can adjust to the number of courses, spaces, and even active students you may want to have, which can be a great advantage.
Here is the following list of paid plans that Thinkific currently provides:
- Free plan – Free forever
- Basic plan – $49/month; $432/year (25% discounted monthly price of $36)
- Start plan – $99/month; $888/year (25% discounted monthly price of $74)
- Grow plan – $199/month; $1788/year (25% discounted monthly price of $149)
- Thinkific Plus – Custom pricing for larger businesses
Which Platform Should You Buy?
When deciding between New Zenler and Thinkific, pricing is an important factor to consider. While New Zenler’s entry-level Pro plan starts at $67/month, Thinkific starts with the Basic plan, which costs as low as $36/month, plus a completely free plan, making it more cost-effective for users just starting or having a small student base. Additionally, Thinkific offers more flexibility in pricing options, which can benefit users as they grow their student base and need more advanced features.
Meanwhile, New Zenler’s price range appears more appropriate for already-established individuals and businesses, especially considering its complete range of course creation and marketing features. However, it’s important to note that both the platform’s and Thinkific’s highest-priced plans are similar, from the pricing to the number of tools offered, giving ambitious larger businesses some noteworthy options.
Ultimately, deciding which platform to choose will depend on your specific needs, budget, and expected growth. It’s important to carefully evaluate your needs and budget before deciding. Thinkific can be a more cost-effective option for small to medium businesses. At the same time, both New Zenler’s overall pricing cost and Thinkific’s higher plans can be ideal for businesses and individuals looking to scale.
Bottom Line: Which is Better – Thinkific or New Zenler?
In conclusion, New Zenler and Thinkific are excellent e-learning platforms offering a wide range of features and tools for creating and managing online courses. However, they have their strengths and weaknesses.
Thinkific offers a well-designed and intuitive interface optimized for course creators and students, more flexibility and options to explore in terms of course creation and management, and more options for customizing certain features, such as the course player and certificates. On the other hand, New Zenler shines in terms of its drag-and-drop course builder, marketing and sales tools, and offering a more straightforward user experience.
Regarding pricing, Thinkific may be more cost-effective for small to medium businesses, but both platforms offer similar pricing options for businesses looking to scale.
In summary, Thinkific may be perfect for those who prefer a beginner- and user-friendly interface, more flexibility in course creation and management, and more options for customizing certain features. If you want a complete and straightforward course creation and learning experience with a stronger focus on functionality, New Zenler could be your best bet.
Ultimately, you must carefully evaluate your needs and budget before deciding. If you take a closer look at both of these services, they offer a good value for their pricing, but you could eventually find something in each of them that truly reflects your goals as a content creator.