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Setting Up Your Thinkific Website

Applicable plans Starter Essentials Business Advanced

Thinkific is a powerful platform to run your online education business from. There are many features and options you can take advantage of, but there are some basic tasks that every course creator should accomplish first.


This article will provide you with a roadmap to launching your first online course from your own Thinkific course site:


Skip to a section:


After Signing Up

Create Your First Course

Import Content

Create New Lessons

Design a Landing Page & Course Card

Pricing Your Course

Publishing Your Course

Customize Your Course Site

Branding

Custom Domains

Automated Email Notifications for Students

Integrate Other Tools

Configure Student Feedback Settings

Adding Your Team

Next Steps


After Signing Up

After signing up for Thinkific and creating your course website, we’ll send an email to the address you used during signup. This email will contain all the information you need to log in to your Thinkific website again.


If you didn’t receive this email, know that you can log in from Thinkific.com, or by going to your Thinkific website and clicking the Sign In button.


Find the sign in link in your Thinkific website's header


Learn more about your account here »



Create Your First Course

Your Thinkific website has five different parts by default and new visitors will funnel through most of them when enrolling in one of your courses. It’s helpful to understand the difference between each page:

  1. Site Landing Page* - Think of this as your course catalog or a directory for new visitors to discover your products with.

    * This page is hidden unless you have at least two courses published. Visitors are automatically redirected to your only published course's landing page.

  2. Course Landing Page - This is where leads read or watch your sales material before continuing to the checkout.

  3. Sign Up and Checkout - A new student user account needs to be created before your lead pays for and enrolls in the course via your checkout.

  4. Course Player - Where enrolled students access course content and discussions.

  5. Student Dashboard - Where your students can resume a course they’ve enrolled in and edit their account details.


You create a new course when you first log into your course site, and you can access this course from My Courses in your Admin Dashboard. If you skipped this step, you can also create your first course from the My Courses page.


Create a new course or edit an existing one from My Courses


You can edit the content of your course’s landing page and the curriculum through the Course Builder.


The Thinkific Course Builder on the Page Builder tab


Learn more about creating a course here »



Import Content

There’s a lot you can do when setting up a new course, but the best place to start is the Bulk Importer. You can quickly upload PDF files, video files, and audio files and Thinkific will set them up as individual lessons in your course’s curriculum for you.


Drag and drop video, pdf, or audio files into the drag and drop area of the Bulk Importer


Learn more about the Bulk Importer here »



Create Lessons

You can create and configure individual lessons from your Curriculum tab. Create quizzes, surveys, narrated presentations, text lessons and embed tools and websites from other services right into your Course Player.


Click on the Add Content button to reveal the lesson types menu


Learn more about creating lessons here »



Design a Landing Page & Course Card

Every course created for your Thinkific website has its own sales landing page. These landing pages are designed to contain your sales material and link to the sign-up/sign in and checkout forms.



A Thinkific course landing page reading Convert more leads with delightful copy

Learn more about Course Landing Pages here »


As well, a Course Card is associated with each course. The Course Card is a miniature sales page that gets displayed on your Site Landing Page’s course catalog if you have more than one course published.


The Course Card image also gets used in social media posts linking to the course.


Example course cards on a Thinkific site landing page


Learn more about Course Cards here »



Configure Course Settings

Your course’s Settings control which certificate template the course is associated with, the name of the course and URL it is available at, SEO settings, and more.


The course builder menu with the settings tab highlighted


Most settings for your course are optional but can help with controlling course visibility and increasing your completion rates.



Price Your Course

Before pricing your course, you’ll need to connect to a third party payment processor. Thinkific directly integrates with Stripe and PayPal, but you’re also able to take payments through Infusionsoft, and you can connect with an external payment processor through an integration with Zapier or through the Thinkific API.


Company logos for Stripe, Zapier, Infusionsoft, and PayPal


Once you have connected with Stripe or PayPal, the course pricing options enabled for your Thinkific plan will be enabled in your courses' Pricing tab. Besides one time fees, you can also charge a recurring subscription price, and/or split a one time fee into multiple payments with a payment plan.


Learn more about pricing here »



Publish Your Course

When your course is complete, you may publish it to make it accessible when someone visits your Thinkific website.


Clicking the publish this course button in the Publish tab of the Thinkific course builder


After publishing your first course, traffic to your Thinkific website will be redirected to that course’s sales landing page and will be able to buy and enroll in your course.


Publishing the second course will add your Course Cards to a Site Landing Page and new visitors to your Thinkific website will land on this page instead.


Note: You may wish to hold off publishing the course until finishing the next section below (Customize Your Course Site).


Learn more about publishing here »



Customize Your Course Site

Remember, after creating your first course, until you publish your second course, new visitors to your Thinkific website will only see your first course’s landing page.


However, there are other pages that you can brand and other important course site settings for you to configure before launching.



Branding

You can configure global brand settings that affect most parts of your Thinkific website’s design in your Branding section. This includes uploading a logo, favicon, brand colors, and customizing the look of your Site Landing Page.


The branding tab of the Thinkific admin dashboard open to show the branding color options


Learn more about branding here »



Custom Domains

Every new Thinkific website is served at a subdomain of ‘.thinkific.com’ by default.


For example: https://training.thinkific.com/


You can appear more professional and maintain brand consistency with an existing web property by setting up a custom domain for your Thinkific website.


If you already have your own domain name, you can have your Thinkific website served at it or a subdomain of it.


For example: https://education.hootsuite.com/


Learn more about adding a custom domain here »



Set up Automated Email Notifications for Students

Your Thinkific website can automatically send emails to your students after they take certain actions. These automated notifications can be customized and personalized with email variables that pull in the student’s details (like first name, the name of the course they’re enrolling in, etc.).


Editing a completion email from the Notifications tab of the Thinkific Admin Dashboard


Learn more about automated email notifications here »



Integrate Your Other Tools

We know you already trust your existing tools and we’re not going to ask you to abandon them. You can integrate your course site with thousands of other tools and web applications, either directly, indirectly through Zapier, or by installing their scripts on your Thinkific website.


A group of logos for the tools that integrate with Thinkific


Learn more about adding integrations here »



Configure Student Feedback Settings

Your students can communicate with you and other students through reviews and discussions on your course site.


Discussions are enabled by default but can be disabled if you wish. Enabling this setting will add a forum to each of your courses for students to discuss the course content or ask questions in.


An example of a discussion forum in a Thinkific course player


Learn more about course discussions here »


Reviews are not enabled by default and can be enabled to allow your students to submit a review of the course right from the course player. All reviews are subject to approval and can appear on any of your course landing pages.


The Rate This Course button in the Thinkific Course Player


Learn more about student reviews here »



Adding Your Team

Your employees, developers, designers, affiliates, and instructors can all join you in managing your Thinkific website.


Your courses can be managed by users called Course Admins which have limited permissions in your Thinkific course site. Alternatively, you can set up extra Site Admins which have the same level of access you do as the site owner.


As well, you can set up your own affiliate program with tracking and payouts, and/or a revenue sharing system for your instructors with Product Payees.


Editing user roles in Thinkific


Learn more about user roles here »



Next Steps

If you’ve considered all of the above aspects of your course site, you should be in a great place to start planning your Thinkific course launch. Congratulations!


Thinkific has several different features designed to help you promote and sell your online courses. Your next steps should be to investigate how you can use these features to do just that!


Learn more about promoting and selling your courses here »

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