Thinkific vs Teachable – both platforms have quite a bit in common. They both offer a long list of benefits for the e-learning world, and are designed to give serious street cred to your online course.
But of course there are some differences. Thinkific doesn’t charge transaction fees on any of their plans while ConvertKit integrates more easily with sales funnel builders.
Which you choose will depend on the services you need.
How does Thinkific work?
Thinkific is a software-based platform that puts e-learning at the forefront. Whether you have tons of teaching experience, or none at all, you create your online course step-by-step with Thinkific. You don’t even need your own website to get started – you can add it later on with this platform – which means you have almost everything you need to get started.
After creating an account, you will have access to your dashboard. From there, you focus on creating your course, again, step-by-step. The course setup is a five-step process, including:
- Creating and managing your learning content
- Designing your site
- Marketing and selling your course
- Learning how to use the advanced reporting tools
- Supporting your students by setting up payment options and course tools
Pricing for Thinkific
There are four pricing plans offered:
Free: The free option includes all of the creation and integration tools, plus ability to add in quizzes and surveys and create a custom domain name. You have access to all payment processing options and zero transaction fees.
Basic: For $29 per month, you have the benefits of the free account, but you can create an unlimited number of courses.
Pro:The $99 per month plan gives you the same features as the Basic, but you can add your own coding for complete customization, and add live courses. You can also add payment plans for your users and have access to membership and community options.
Premier: For $499 per month, you have the benefits of Pro, but receive personalized on-boarding help. You also have access to an unlimited number of communities you can create. This is the most advanced version of Thinkific and allows for the most number of users and administrators.
How does Teachable work?
Teachable is another online e-learning platform, designed to help you create your course and educational content as easily as possible. Teachable is a cloud-based learning management system (LMS). This means everything you do is tied to the Teachable server. Everything from your course creation to your sales pages are all hosted through Teachable.
To get started, it’s similar to Thinkific in that you must create an account and then you’ll be taken to your Teachable dashboard. Everything you need to get started is right at your fingertips, including your analytics.
Once your course is up and running you will see live feed to the right of your dashboard, and this notifies you when you have a brand-new course enrollee.
Pricing for Teachable
Teachable has three plans to choose from:
Basic: For $29 a month, this plan includes unlimited courses and hosting. It also comes with student management, basic quizzes, and has drip scheduling available.
Payment processing is also included which allows for instant payouts, VAT tax for EU students, but it comes with a 5% transaction fee.
Pro: For $99 per month, you receive the Basic package but without the transaction fees. Plus you have the ability to add affiliate marketing with this plan and more administrative users.
Business: For $249 per month you have everything with the Pro plan, but can add more admin accounts and customize your courses to a greater extent. Plus you are able to create group coaching calls.
Similar features of Thinkific and Teachable
Thinkific offers no shortage of features designed to make your online course creation and community as accessible as possible – but the same can be said of Teachable. Here are the most common options you’ll find available with both programs.
Drag and drop editor: This allows you to quickly create beautiful courses and design it exactly how you want. The best part is you don’t have to know how to code anything.
Expansive multimedia capabilities: Whether you want to insert a video, PowerPoint, Google Doc, quizzes, surveys, or add downloads, you can add practically anything to your course with the number of media Thinkific and Teachable allows.
Customize your course schedule: One reason creating an online course is so popular among digital entrepreneurs is the fact you can sell a course literally while you sleep. Thinkific and Teachable make it easy for you to schedule courses way ahead of time, whether it’s evergreen or drip content.
Live feature: This allows you to talk to your students one-on-one if you want to schedule this type of communication with a student. This is what you would use if you’d like to incorporate a coaching option, instead of an online course only.
Create a community: Both platforms allow you to create a community centered around your course. Whether it’s a membership site, connecting your course to your email list, or a subscription course – you can continue building long after your course is uploaded.
Create your own website: If you don’t have a website already, you can purchase a custom domain through Thinkific or Teachable and create your own site. If you do have one already, you can simply add the course directly to your own site.
Payments made easy: Thinkific gives you the ability to accept payment in over 100 currencies and various credit cards, which means you have a wider reach available to you for your course. If you’d like to add a coupon or discount for your course, there is an option to add it. Plus you get paid immediately, which is always a major bonus. Teachable offers the same convenience, but accepts payments from 130 currencies globally.
Marketing tools: Thinkific and Teachable give you plenty of marketing tools at your disposal, including adding affiliates for your course and third-party marketing apps.
Where Teachable differs from Thinkific
While the two are similar, there are a few differences between them – and could be enough to sway you one way or the other.
Teachable is compatible with sales funnels: If you use a service such as LeadPages or ClickFunnels, you can easily integrate this with the Teachable platform, whereas Thinkific does not offer a sales funnel integration option.
Bulk media uploader: Like Thinkific, you can upload multiple forms of media. But one feature you may find saves you a ton of time is the bulk file uploader. Teachable allows you to upload your videos,.png or .jpg files, PDFs, or whatever other media you use, all at once, saving you time and effort.
Seamless text editing: Another solution Teachable offers is the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. This means you can watch along on your screen as you’re making changes. This allows you to view the course as it’s coming together, which makes your creation come to life more quickly.
Easily have multiple users: If you have authors to bring in, or administrators, Teachable allows you to give permission to a large number of contributors. Teachable will even handle the payments to each of these contributors for you.
Course marketplace is available: Once you’ve created your course, Teachable has an online marketplace for others to find you.
Mobile app: Teachable offers a mobile app option for course takers, whereas Thinkific does not currently have one available. This is another marketing option for students and allows you to potentially reach more users.
VAT is handled for you: If you sell your course to someone in the European Union, Teachable automatically handles the VAT tax for your transaction.
Transaction fees: Both Teachable and Thinkific have pricing plans without transaction fees. However, Thinkific offers this for all plans, no matter which level you choose. With Teachable, you have to upgrade to the $99 per month plan to avoid the fees.
Pros and cons of Thinkific
Thinkific offers a number of pros, including:
- Unlimited courses and students allowed
- Ability to easily add coupons and discount codes
- Flexible scheduling such as a drip schedule content
- Affiliate sales and reporting
- Email integration option
- Custom domain and site
- Private courses
- Flexible pricing plans, including no transaction fees
But before you leap into business with Thinkific, there are a few cons to bear in mind too:
Customer service complaints: Many reviews lament the fact you can’t engage in live chat with Thinkific and customer service is sometimes slow in their response.
Lack of sales funnel integration: If you rely on sales funnels as a marketing tool, you’ll be frustrated with Thinkific’s inability to integrate with funnels, such as LeadPages or ClickFunnels.
Marketing is a must: Since there is no marketplace with Thinkific, customers won’t “land” on your course, unless you market to them.
Overall, Thinkific offers enough features to complete your course from start to finish, and with a handful of marketing tools to help you get the word out.
Pros and cons of Teachable
Teachable offers many positive aspects for creating an online course, including:
- Unlimited number of students and courses
- Works with sales funnels to create entire sales and marketing process
- Works with a large number of third-party integrations to run and market your course
- Great option for those who want to focus on offering coaching sessions
- Affordable pricing options
But there are a few potential downsides you should consider, such as:
Mobile app is lacking in features. If you envision creating your course while on the go, you will be disappointed in the app version.
Sign up process is cumbersome: Some complain that to get started and sign up involves too many steps and is not as intuitive as other sites.
Must purchase the Business Plan for access to the best customization tools, like the Power Editor.
Transaction fees are charged if you select the Basic $29 per month plan. You will avoid these charges if you opt for the upgraded packages.
Thinkific vs. Teachable, which should I use for my online course?
Do you want to integrate your sales funnel? Do you want your course published in a marketplace? If it’s one of these two, then Teachable is the better option.
But if you want to avoid any transaction fees for the basic plans or use the easiest drag and drop editor, then Thinkific is the better option.
Both are solid choices for creating online courses, so it will likely come down to one or two, perhaps small, differences for launching your online education entrepreneurship.