Thinkific vs Ascend


Thinkific is an online course platform that allows you to create, market, and sell courses online, while Ascend is a full-suite business solution with features like marketing automation, customer support, and more. Both platforms enable users to quickly launch their own online course businesses without having to build from scratch.

Choosing the right platform for your online course business is essential for success. The right platform should offer the features you need to make your course successful, such as high-quality video hosting capabilities, robust monetization options, and advanced marketing tools. This article aims to compare Thinkific and Ascend in terms of their features and pricing so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your needs.



Overview of Thinkific’s features:

Thinkific is an online course platform that provides users with the tools to create, market, and sell courses online. It offers a range of powerful course creation tools, including course templates, multimedia support, quizzes, and surveys. It also has video hosting capabilities and the ability to password-protect videos. Additionally, Thinkific provides integrations with popular third-party services such as Google Analytics and Zapier.

Pros and cons of using Thinkific:

The main advantages of using Thinkific are its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features for course creation. On the downside, it can be expensive compared to some other platforms on the market. However, it does offer a free plan for those just starting out or who don’t need all the advanced features offered by paid plans.

Pricing and plans:

Thinkific offers several pricing plans depending on your needs, ranging from free to premium plans with additional features such as custom branding and advanced analytics. There are also options for bundles that allow you to purchase multiple courses at once at discounted rates.

Customer support and resources:

Thinkific offers excellent customer support via email or live chat with knowledgeable staff who can answer any questions you may have about their platform or how to use its features effectively. They also provide comprehensive resources in their Knowledge Base, which includes tutorials as well as articles on best practices for creating successful online courses.


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Overview of Ascend’s Features:

Ascend is an online course platform designed to help users create and manage their courses. It offers a range of features, including customizable course creation tools, multimedia support, quizzes and surveys, marketing automation, and analytics. Additionally, it provides powerful access control options for managing user permissions and subscriptions.

Pros and Cons of Using Ascend:

Some of the benefits of using Ascend include its intuitive user interface, extensive feature list, and great customer support. However, there are some drawbacks as well such as the limited customization options for course pages and the lack of video hosting capabilities.

Pricing and Plans:

Ascend offers a variety of pricing plans to suit different budgets. The basic plan starts at $99 per month, with additional add-ons available for extra features. Furthermore, there is also an Enterprise plan which includes premium features such as priority customer support and custom integrations.

Customer Support and Resources:

Ascend has excellent customer support that can be accessed via email or live chat. Additionally, they offer a comprehensive library of resources, such as tutorials, guides, FAQs, etc., to help users get started with their platform quickly and easily.


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When it comes to comparing Thinkific and Ascend, there are several factors that should be taken into account. Here is a breakdown of the main features and how they compare:

Course Creation and Customization Options:

Thinkific offers powerful course creation tools, including course templates, multimedia support, quizzes, and surveys. It also provides users with a range of customization options for their courses. Ascend also has course creation tools, but it is more focused on providing an intuitive user experience than customization options.

Marketing and Sales Features:

Both platforms offer a variety of marketing and sales features to help users promote their courses online. Thinkific provides users with the ability to create coupon codes and discount pricing plans, as well as email marketing integrations such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. Ascend’s marketing features are more limited, but it does offer automated campaigns for driving student enrollment.

Student Management and Analytics:

Thinkific provides extensive student management capabilities, including customizable registration forms, automated emails, and notifications, drip content schedule, etc.. It also offers detailed analytics on student progress, engagement metrics, etc. Ascend’s student management tools are less comprehensive, but it does provide basic tracking capabilities such as progress tracking reports or quiz results analysis etc.  

Integrations and Third-Party Tools:

Both Thinkific and Ascend offer third-party integration options for hosting webinars or connecting with payment processors such as Stripe or PayPal etc. However, Thinkific’s integration options are more comprehensive compared to Ascends, which has fewer integrations available at this time.


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Which one should you choose?

When selecting between Thinkific and Ascend, there are several factors to consider. These include the features each platform offers, pricing plans, customer service and support, ease of use, integrations with other services and tools, scalability, security features, and other factors such as customization options.

Factors to consider when choosing between Thinkific and Ascend:

Thinkific is an all-in-one course-building platform that provides users with a range of powerful features for creating courses from scratch or using existing templates. It also has a range of monetization options including membership plans and course bundles. In comparison to Ascend, Thinkific is more focused on providing users with a comprehensive suite of course creation tools rather than just video hosting capabilities.

Ascend is primarily designed as a video streaming platform but it also has some course-building tools that can be used to create basic online courses. Its main focus is on providing users with high-quality video playback as well as a range of monetization options including subscription plans and pay-per-view models. Compared to Thinkific, Ascend has fewer features for course creation but more powerful tools for hosting videos online.

Recommendations based on your business needs and goals:

Ultimately which platform you choose will depend on your specific business needs and goals. If you’re looking to create comprehensive online courses from scratch then Thinkific would be the better option due to its wide array of features for designing courses. On the other hand, if you’re mainly looking for video hosting capabilities then Ascend may be more suitable due to its strong focus on this area.


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Recap of the main points:

In this article, we compared Thinkific and Ascend with regard to their features and pricing. Thinkific is designed specifically for creating and managing online courses, while Ascend is more focused on providing marketing services to businesses. Both platforms offer a range of features, but they each have different strengths and weaknesses that make them suitable for different types of online course businesses.

Final thoughts and advice for choosing the right platform for your online course business:

Whether you choose Thinkific or Ascend will depend on your specific needs. If you are looking for an all-in-one solution, then Thinkific may be the better option as it provides powerful course creation tools in addition to marketing features. However, if you want more advanced marketing services such as automated emails, then Ascend may be the better choice. Ultimately, it comes down to which platform best meets your requirements and budget.

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