So, you’ve decided to go with a hosted course provider and now you need to know which one to choose! In this article I want to talk about the 3 mainstream providers for online courses: Thinkific, Teachable and Kajabi. There are other platforms out there, such as Ruzuku, Podia and ClickFunnels and Kartra, but either there are significant features lacking or they are not mainly focussed on Course Creation so I will not cover them here.
In general all 3 platforms offer you the capacity to create and host your course content, upload it to their site, create landing and sales pages and collect payments, however there are some important differences (and a huge difference in price so read on for a summary on each platform.
If you’re looking simply for a place to upload your online course materials to and you are going to be using another service provider such as ConvertKit to deliver your marketing emails and course-related emails, then Thinkific would be my go to platform.
Thinkific offers a variety of features that teachable either doesn’t have or doesn’t implement well enough to really benefit from them. This includes:
- Course Templates that allow for different designs
- Multimedia content that can be directly embedded into a lesson without any hassle
- Course Reviews that can be automatically collected upon course completion
- Create any combination of bundles of courses (great if you’re thinking of bundling courses into one monthly subscription)
- Upsells possible in multiple places (eg. when someone purchases a course AND when someone completes a course) allowing you to funnel your students into your next program
- Flexible coupons
- Custom course welcome emails
- Checkout handled entirely on your domain
- Group-based sales if you’re selling to an organisation
- Custom Signup Field to gather additional necessary information from students
All in all if you’re looking for only course hosting services and nothing else, then I would go for thinkific any day. It has the most flexibility when it comes to design and setup.
Teachable is a solid option, but it is by far not as flexible as thinkific.
Course landing pages are always the same and cannot be easily customised. Course layouts are also always pretty much the same and can’t be changed. Coupon Codes are offered, but they are not as flexible.
Teachable however can collect VAT payments and handle VAT MOSS automatically, so that is attractive for European customers.
Kajabi has a significantly higher price tag and comes with a few other features that neither thinkific nor teachable offer. Kajabi’s aim is to be a one-stop shop for content creators offering both the online course features AND email marketing automation. Heck, ideally they’d like you to build your entire website in Kajabi and have it all under one roof.
I love the online course features in Kajabi and the high customisability of the landing pages and sales pages, as well as the check out page – however the email marketing automation is fairly basic. If you’re new to selling online products, then the automation features available will be just fine and you could easily let go of your email marketing provider, particularly if you’re not really making use of it at the moment.
Overall, you won’t regret going with thinkific or Kajabi, as long as you can make the most of the system.
Are you ready to finally launch your online course?
But you are so pushed for time that there is no way that'll happen any time soon?
Then we should talk. I can help you to find the right platform to host your courses, set up all of the niggly tech stuff for you and leave you to focus on creating the content and selling the thing.