Are you looking to get into the course creation industry?
In today’s post I aim to compare the two leading online course platforms with each other to help you make a decision. If you are planning to start your own online course or even dream of having a huge teaching academy, Thinkific and Teachable are (without a doubt) the two dedicated tools to help you.
Well, Thinkific vs. Teachable — which Platform is better? Which one is cheaper? Which one offers the most capabilities?
Keep on reading if you want to know more about Thinkific and Teachable course creation capabilities, pricing, marketing, affiliate marketing options, payment features and more. I know it can be challenging to do your research and compare the two with one another- which is why I have done the work for you!
I also want to point out that we are looking at two extremely similar platforms that both offer excellent services when it comes to building your online courses.
You can’t really fail when choosing one platform above the other (because both are reputable, high-powered online course building and selling platforms – at the end of the day it’s more about making an informed decision and choosing which platform works best for YOUR NEEDS.
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What do Teachable and Thinkific offer? What do they have in common?
First of all, both are cloud-based LMSes (learning management systems). This means rather than having our courses on our own website, they take the responsibility of hosting for us. This way we don’t need to install any software, or upload any plugins to our own page. We don’t need to worry about the loading speed of our website and it crashing down when there are too many students active at the same time.
But Teachable and Thinkific are not only Pages where we can create and host our online courses, coaching programs, memberships sites (and so much more) but they are also e-commerce platforms.
Once we are signed up, we can create our own Teaching academy, upload unlimited numbers of courses to our school and create a sales page to sell our courses. With their paid tiers, we can also add affiliates that will help us promote our courses and do some of the marketing for us, which is great.
Both the platforms allow us to create and upload content and manage our students and customize the design of our course and website.
They also both offer various features to provide our students with an excellent learning experience.
Are Teachable and Thinkific Marketplaces?
Noooo! They are absolutely not in the same category. Skillshare and Udemy are course marketplaces. Udemy has over 185000 courses and 49 million students and Skillshare offers over 27,000 courses to premium students and has over 2 million students.
If you have courses on Udemy or Skillshare you are part of an eco – system of already existing students that are looking for specific topics.
A big advantage of Udemy and Skillshare is that they do all the marketing for you. On the other hand, Teachable and Thinkific are great if you want more control and want to set your own prices, branding etc.
I actually have various creative art courses and courses for aspiring Entrepreneurs on Udemy, but in today’s post we will not focus on the Pros and Cons of hosting your course on a marketplace. If you like I can do a post on this topic another time and share my experience=)
Who uses Teachable and Thinkific?
The two platforms are used by small enterprises, creatives, consultants, coaches, authors, presenters, and trainers, as well as professional associations, larger companies, and institutions.
And when it comes to the big names, Thinkific is used and trusted by well-known figures such as Lewis Howes (School of Greatness), John Lee Dumas (Entrepreneur on Fire), and Sunny Lenarduzzi (YouTube guru).
Teachable is used by big names like Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income) and Carrie-Anne Moss (Annapurna Living). I heard about Teachable the first time through Top Udemy Instructors like Phil Ebiner (who has more than 2 Million Students) and others and I believe Videoschool was the first course I enrolled in as a student.
This is how my Teachable dashboard looks like (from the perspective of a student):
I really like this, because any time I log into Teachable to access one of my courses, I see the other course instructors/schools in my dashboard as well, which means (subconsciously) I always get reminded of the other brands.
Every now and then I might click through their courses or websites and see what’s new. So this is also something to take into account if you choose an online platform, you’d want to take one that is already popular among students anyway!
I am sure it works similarly on Thinkific, but I can’t share my experience on that because I have only ever been a student of one course that is hosted on the Thinkific platform. (by Grumo.com)
Quick Overview of some of the benefits and downsides of Teachable and Thinkific
Course builder is very user-friendly and flexible
iOS app included
Better analytics and course reporting tools
Well- optimized 1-step checkout
Support for Apple and Google pay on native gateways
EU VAT tax handling
Offers live chat support
Payment gateway integrated with Stripe and PayPal
With the paid plans you can create an unlimited number of courses
Has an integrated Blog Feature
Transaction fees on free and Basic Plan
White labeling is not possible
Limited multi-lingual support.
✅ Has zero transaction fees
✅ The platform is super user-friendly to use
✅ Provides excellent student experience
✅ Inbuilt support for surveys and assignments
✅ Use your own domain on Basic, Pro, and Premier plans
✅ Comes with various beautiful themes to choose from
✅ Ability to customize course page to match an existing brand, access HTML and CSS
✅ Scalable from the free plan to premier and you can create unlimited number of courses in the paid options
✅ Bulk-sell courses and manage students easily
✅ Ability to build a standalone community space
❌ No EU VAT handling
❌ No ability for live workshops
❌ Thinkific has a Two–Step Checkout Page, which means you might lose some buyers because of the extra step (Teachable has a one page checkout).
Teachable Plans and Pricing Review
Teachable is an amazing platform for Course Creators and Coaches and offers four pricing plans: Free, Basic, Pro and Business. You can decide to pay a monthly subscription for Teachable or an annual payment that comes 20% cheaper. It’s totally up to you how you decide.
TEACHABLE FREE PLAN
With Teachable, you can create one course for free and stay on the free plan for as long as you wish. If you have one signature course and don’t ever plan to create more courses, this course could be enough for you. But keep in mind that you would be paying a transaction fee of $1 plus 10% commission to Teachable.
Nevertheless, I think this is a great plan to get started as you gain access to a lot of amazing features to build your Online Business and scale it to the next level.
As your business grows you can always upgrade to a paid plan so that you gain access to affiliates and better features to increase the quality of your online school.
TEACHABLE BASIC PLAN
With Teachables Basic plan you will still be paying a fee of 5% on sales, but you gain access to amazing features like custom domain support, built in email marketing, access to various third party integrations, a training for creators, coupon codes and so much more!
Unlike other course creation platforms out there, you get to create an unlimited number of courses and can have an unlimited number of students enroll too! That’s amazing.
TEACHABLE PRO PLAN
This is Teachable‘s most popular plan. I totally get it why it’s so popular because once you unlock the Pro plan, you gain access to the features that might really boost your Business such as the affiliate program, course completion certificates, graded quizzes, reports and upsells.
With the Teachable Pro plan you pay absolutely no transaction fees and get your payout instantly. Keep in mind though that you will need to calculate Processing Fees as well, such as Credit Card, Paypal Fees, Chargeeback fees etc.
TEACHABLE BUSINESS PLAN
Teachable’s Business plan is great for larger businesses, brands and organizations where there will be multiple instructors and admins uploading material.
I included it in this blog Post to simply show you Teachable’s four pricing models. However, I won’t go into too much detail and also not compare it to Thinkific’s model because realistically most of you will be small business owners and will already be able to build an amazing online school with the first three tiers..
To know which Platform is better, let’s look at my Thinkific Plans and Pricing Review
Thinkific offers 6 pricing plans and my review will be covering 4, including the Free plan, Basic plan ($49), Pro plan ($99), and Premier plan ($499) if you pay monthly. If you decide to pay yearly, you get 20% off.
THINKIFIC FREE PLAN
Thinkific offers a Test Drive option with core features, this means it has relatively restricted functionalities, as this version is intended to test the platform and then upgrade to a paid version.
I think the Thinkific free plan is very generous. You can have unlimited students on their free plan and can build up to three courses. This means you can take all the time you need to build a professional page and market it, without having to worry about money-plus once you make sales you pay zero transation fees to Thinkific.
(Remember that if you start with the Free or Basic plan of Teachable, you will pay transaction fees.)
The core features include:
- Course building – drag-and-drop course builder
- eCommerce capabilities – e.g. accept Paypal or Credit Card payments
- No transaction fees
- Page builder templates – drag-and-drop page builder (including CSS customization)
- Instant access to your funds
- Student notifications (emails)
- Content Hosting – including video, pdfs, and more
THINKIFIC BASIC PLAN
I think this tier is a great option for Solopreneurs and everyone who is first getting started with the Online Course Creation.
With the Basic Feature you obviously get everything that I have already mentioned in the free option plus:
- Custom domain – which means connecting your website instead of having a Thinkific site such as myschool.thinkific.com
- Secure cloud hosting with a free SSL certificate
- Customer support live chat
THINKIFIC PRO PLAN
According to Thinkific, this tier is for course creators ready to build a successful online course business, a complete suite of tools to create an amazing student experience. With this premium option you get everything mentioned in the Core and Basic Tier, plus:
- Priority Support
- Private & hidden courses
- Subscription & Flexible Pricing
- Completion Certificates
- Single Communities
- Live lessons
- Advanced Course Building
- Thinkific Academy Pro Courses
If you are serious about your Online Course Business and able to scale it, you will probaly upgrade to the Pro Plan at some point. The Pro plan gives you access to Thinkific’s premium features that are good for you as a course creator. You get to access some of Thinkific’s most powerful tools, as well as priority support.
This tier is priced at $499 and suitable for course creators with a big audience, I will not review this tier in detail and compare it with Teachable, because I assume that my readers are small Business owners or aspiring Entrepreneurs that are just getting started, which means you will likely be looking at the first three options.
As I said earlier, Thinkific has 6 different plans. The platform appears to have only four plans at a first glance, however, there are actually six.
I only covered 3 in my analysis because this Blog post is meant for small business owners. If you want to learn more about the higher priced tiers, please go to their website here.
WOW TWO AMAZING PLATFORMS- WHICH ONE DO YOU CHOOSE?
Both the Teachable Basic and Pro plan are very comparable to Thinkific Basic and Pro plans. And you can see that both offer amazing features to create high quality courses and a good user experience for your students.
I gave you a very neutral side by side comparison up to this point and trust that you will be able to make an informed decision which platform to go with. But it won’t hurt to share my personal preference with you, right? =)
There are some key differences that make Teachable more attractive to me:
✅ Teachable will handle EU VAT for you.
I think this is a big one. I am a European citizen and I have purchased courses from all over the world, which is why I know that I will probably also attract students from all over the world. After all, the point of creating an online course is to make it accessible worldwide-right? So unless your courses are created in a language that is not spoken globally, I’d say this is a point you should not take lightly.
Another thing that draws me to Teachable is the fact that they offer
✅ a one pay checkout, as I previously mentioned, which looks like this:
❌ With Thinkific on the other hand, students will need to follow a two step process. First they are asked to sign up and make an account with Thinkific and in the second step they are asked to put in their details to sign up for your course.
Some course creators say this is a risk because it gives students time to overthink their purchase. Personally I think this is something to take into account if you are offering higher end prices, but if you are creating courses below $300, it’s probably not that big of a deal.
Even though I personally like Teachable a little bit more (this might also be influenced by the fact that I am already a student of many instructors that are hosting their teaching academy on Teachable) –I think Thinkific is a great option for someone who is just getting started because they charge 0 transaction fees.
Incase both platforms look equally interesting to you and you have a hard time deciding, I’d say follow the masses.
Statistics don’t lie! Teachable is the clear winner when it comes to the number of creators that are loyal to the platform.
NOW IT’S TIME TO CREATE YOUR AMAZING COURSE !
Remember that with both platforms you get to control how you set up your Online School and you set your own prices.
Your earning potential is up to you. Now it’s your time to shine.
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