As an online course creator, you have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a platform for your courses. Thinkific vs Teachable vs Kajabi are some of the most popular course creation platforms of the moment — but deciding on one of them might feel like a confusing maze.
So, which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll look at all three platforms from five main points of view:
– Technical ability & ease of use
– Video hosting
Furthermore, we will also look at some of the main pros and cons of each platform, to give you a bird’s eye view of what each of them does best (and what they don’t do that well too.)
Customization – Thinkific vs Teachable vs Kajabi
When you create a course you want to make it really yours. So it’s essential that your chosen course platform allows for customization. That’s where Thinkific, Teachable, and Kajabi really shine — all of them offer plenty of customization options, allowing you to create a course that really speaks to your brand.
Here are some of the differentiators, though.
This platform allows for complete customization of colors, fonts, layouts and branding. When it comes to building out the website and pages it offers a limited number of themes but they are all highly customizable.
You can choose from 3 different themes and each theme has a few different styles available. All in all you are getting almost a dozen different styles to choose from to build out your website and course.
You can also change the theme code in the backend if you want to customize it even further and you can import custom themes as well. So you really get options with Thinkific.
As far as the actual page builder, they have over 20 different “sections” you can add so you should find what you need in order to build the page(s) that you want.
Teachable doesn’t have the same type of themes that Thinkific has to build out the site. They have a default template and then all of the websites are built using that. Yes you can customize that template of course but your site is going to still “look and feel” like a lot of other teachable sites. For example you can’t change much on the header or the footer so it’s clear that the settings aren’t as customizable.
You are able to to change some of the default theme with their “Power Editor” but you cannot import any custom themes.
The page builder itself is a bit more restrictive than both Thinkific and Kajabi as it has fewer options and elements to choose from.
This platform offers more themes to choose from to build the website and also offers a lot of customization. The landing page and build page builder functionality is pretty robust, so you should be able to customize pages as much as you want.
When it comes to customization, we’ll have to give our prize to Thinkific, followed by either Teachable or Kajabi, depending on how code-savvy you are.
Other than allowing you to create courses that look and feel professional, your course creation platform should also make it easy for you to market and promote your content. Here’s how all three tools (Thinkific vs Teachable vs Kajabi) stand on the marketing ground.
Thinkific is a great option for those of you who want to have complete control over the marketing and promotion of your courses. It integrates directly with many email marketing platforms like ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign and dozens of other marketing tools.
They also have some nice flexibility in terms of their pricing options. You can create subscriptions and upsells for example.
This is decent at giving you tools for marketing your courses but it falls in last place in this comparison for this category. .
Although it doesn’t offer quite as many integrations with 3rd party platforms as Thinkific, it does come with some powerful built-in marketing features, such as the ability to create coupons and discount codes. Teachable also has a very nice 1-step check-out process which should increase conversions (as opposed to Thinkific’s 2-step process)
Kajabi prides itself with it’s marketing tools and considers it the biggest differentiating factor between it and other LMS platforms. We would tend to agree. It comes with some powerful features out of the box, such as the ability to create landing pages, email drip campaigns and email automations, webinars, and coupons.
If you don’t want to use Kajabi’s built-in email marketing system you can integrate Mailchimp, Drip and ConvertKit.
Once again Kajabi beats the competition here when it comes to marketing tools because of tools that are included as well as the extensive training that they offer on how to use and tie them all together.
Creating a course is one thing — but being able to actually get it online, and make sure that everything works properly is another story altogether. This is why you need to make sure that your chosen platform doesn’t require a lot of technical know-how (if you don’t have it), and is actually fairly easy to use.
This platform is definitely geared towards those who don’t have much technical expertise. It’s very user-friendly, and even the most basic functions can be accomplished without any coding knowledge whatsoever.
Like Thinkific, Teachable leverages a drag and drop builder for creating the website as well as the courses. We do think the layout and interface of Teachable is a bit easier to use than Thinkific, and we give it the nod over Thinkific as far as ease-of-use.
Because Kajabi offers more features and has more tools, its learning curve is definitely higher than both Teachable and Thinkific. Yes it is still drag and drop and it’s definitely completely customizable without knowing how to code, but it will take a bit more time to get your head around everything.
Overall, all three platforms offer a good level of technical support and ease of use. However, we have to give the slight nod to Teachable for being the most user friendly and easiest to pick up and build your course.
Obviously, you want to know what you get for your money, so let’s take a look at the pricing structures of each platform.
One of the great things about Thinkific is that it offers a free plan (in addition to three paid ones, at $39, $79, and $399/ month. Furthermore, the paid plans also come with a free 30-day trial, which means that you can try out the platform before committing to anything.
Some of the main differentiators between the plans Thinkific offers include the ability to create private courses, use custom branding, offer student support, as well as get access to advanced features such as automatic emails and funnels.
Teachable is not a cheap platform — but the good news is that they do offer a free plan too, for those who are just starting out. The paid plans come at $348, $1188, respectively $2988 per year. Some of the main differentiators between these plans include more community and membership features, lower transaction fees, and so on.
Kajabi offers users three main plans:
– $149/ month
– $199/ month
– $399/ month
Some of the main features that make the difference between these plans include how many products and websites you can include on one account, how many contacts you can include, how many Admin Users you can add, and so on.
None of the three platforms is a specific winner here, as it all depends on what you are looking for. Thinkific is great because they have a free plan, as well as free trials for the paid plans. However, Kajabi might make more sense to you if the pricing scheme offers the features you’re looking for. Teachable is by far the most expensive one, but it also has a free option great for those starting out.
Video Hosting for Course Creators
Because your courses will most likely be delivered in a video format, you want to make sure your course creation platform’s video hosting is on point. Here’s how the three main tools differ.
Thinkific can host your videos for your courses by directly uploading to them. There are some limitations to this, however, For example, there is a 2 GB file size limit. You will also have limited player customizations and options.
They do also let you add video vie embed by using the WYSIWYG editor that is available when you create lessons.
Teachable is pretty similar to Thinkific when it comes to video for your lessons and courses. They give you the option to upload directly to them or use their “code block” to add any custom HTML.
Kajabi has its own video hosting service that is included in the price of all plans. This means that you don’t have to worry about finding a separate host or paying for one. You’ll also get great features such as HD quality, transcripts, and more.
However, going for this option might not be smart if you want your pages to load fast and if you want to be able to use your course content on other platforms (such as on social or on your site). For these reasons, going with a third-party video hosting option will be better for you.
The Pros and Cons of Thinkific vs Teachable vs Kajabi
Nothing is ever perfect, and that’s also the case when it comes to these course creation platforms. Here are some of the pros and cons of each
Pros of Using Thinkific
Thinkific has a lot of amazing features and a pricing scheme that makes sense for both beginners and more experienced users. It also has a free plan and free trials available for all its paid plans, making it very accessible and easy to try out.
Cons of Using Thinkific
Despite the fact that they offer great features, there are still some limitations when using Thinkific — such as restrictions on video quality and other aspects. Furthermore, some clients say that their customer support could also be improved.
Pros of Using Teachable
Teachable has a lot of great features, especially when it comes to selling and community building. Their pricing plan is very competitive for this type of platform, and their customer support is good too.
Cons of Using Teachable
However, there are certain limitations when it comes to their features and integrations and the transaction fees might be a huge drawback for many users.
Pros of Using Kajabi
Kajabi is great because it offers all the tools you need to build, sell and market your online course on one platform. They have good customer support and their platform is very user-friendly.
Cons of Using Kajabi
The only drawback here is their pricing — which is on the high end when compared to other similar platforms.
Which One Should You Use? Thinkific vs Teachable vs Kajabi
The first decision here should be whether you want to use Kajabi, or whether you want to go the other route. Kajabi is different enough from Thinkific and Teachable that it should be clear if it makes more sense for you.
Do you want all of your marketing tools under one roof? Can you afford their plans, knowing they are the most expensive option? Are you an already established brand or already making money with your courses and need a streamlined solution? The best fit for you would be Kajabi.
If on the other hand your biggest concern right now is just getting your course up and quickly and painlessly as possible, then you will want either Teachable or Thinkific. If you don’t need any marketing tools like an email service provider or webinar platform right now, or you have preferential systems you already use and don’t want to use Kajabi for that, then these two are going to be the better fit.
We have to give Thinkific the winner here of the two. While not as super easy to use as Teachable, its interface is still drag and drop and still user friendly. It has a nice amount of integrations and the course builder has just the right amount of features without trying to do too much. We feel like Teachable is great if you really want the simplest and easiest and don’t worry about anything else. But if scaling and marketing is of concern, Thinkific is going to be winner.
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