Teachable vs Thinkific – Comparison of Course Creation Tools

Thinkific vs Teachable

Teachable and Thinkific are both learning platforms for instructors and teachers. Both of these two platforms let you create your own course website, control your branding, see student data, message students and other teachers, and control pricing all from one easy interface.

In this review, we’ll compare Thinkific and Teachable in terms of pricing plans, features, support, design, and anything else we can use to help you determine which platform is best for you.

Teachable vs Thinkific: An Overview

Teachable is an LMS or learning management system, on which you can create online courses and coaching services. You can teach anything on Teachable, including (but not limited to) hand lettering, drone flying, chess, and coding. If you don’t sign up to teach, you can sign up as a member and communicate with your instructors or other students.

Thinkific is a similar LMS that allows people and businesses to create and share online courses, then deliver or sell them based on how much they’d like to earn. Thinkific is for people who want to market their knowledge or learn new things from experts in the field. Just like Teachable, you can teach (or learn) anything on Thinkific. If you want to teach, you can sign up as a course instructor. If you just want to learn, you can sign up as a student.

Both Teachable and Thinkific are learning management systems that offer a variety of online coursework for you to learn almost anything. However, the two platforms have some key differences that can make someone choose one over the other. Let’s do a comparison of the two platforms to see some differences between the two.

WHAT IS THINKIFIC?

Thinkific is an online, all-in-one course building tool that also comes with some stellar marketing features. If you want to turn an idea into a course, and have help every step of the way, Thinkific was designed for you.
You take your knowledge, and put it into a linear, modular setup through the intuitive course building tools offered by Thinkific.
From there, they help you market your courses, they help you with payment portals, and everything you need to build an online education empire from the ground up. As an all-in-one service, you can choose to go with Thinkific and not require any other service.

What is Teachable

Teachable is an all-in-one, SaaS-based online program that allows you to make your own courses, market them, sell them, and build a brand.

Teachable


Create your own online courses from the ground up with their intuitive course building options, and design one of the best online education experiences in your field. Teachable offers white label solutions, meaning when you build and promote your online courses, you appear as an independent brand: you aren’t a subdomain of Teachable, and they have no presence on your website.


They act as the foundation by allowing you to market your courses, accept payments, and explore their unending platform updates to enhance and revolutionize your courses as time marches on.

FEATURES

This is a hard one to wrap around in a single guide. There are a lot of features to go over, so we’re going to break some common ground here and discuss what all three of these services do right.

  • Complete Course Building: From the ground up, use all three of these services to design, publish, and host your courses.
  • Hosting: No third-party hosting at all. These services all host your sites for you so there’s no middleman.
  • Marketing Tools: While the solutions are variable depending on the service, all three provide excellent marketing tools to sell your courses.
  • Drip Content: Content dripping is important for any online course builder, and all three services give you the ability to do this with extreme ease.


These course builders aren’t going to meet eye to eye on every feature, but it’s important that part-way through this guide, we recognize that they each offer powerful solutions for your online education empire.


Courses


Thinkific allows you to put DLC such as text-based documents, images like infographics, and more.
The thing is, Teachable does not let you host your own live videos, so that can be difficult if you’re going for a live, webinar-style teaching feel.
While we’re on that subject, the only one that lets you host videos from the service itself is Thinkific. We’re comparing these services based on how easy they are to use and how integrated they are, and in this department, Thinkific takes the cake.
While it might be a little harder to make a course on Thinkific due to the slew of options, it can still technically be labeled as a better option.


Course Creation

Course creation has two main points to look at: depth, and ease of use. Generally speaking, you don’t have an easy-to-use interface and great depth, because the deeper a program is to learn, the harder it is to use.
Thinkific definitely offers the most options here, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. Teachable has a very linear system to use to access all the various points of creating a course, including uploading content. That being said, Kajabi is right behind them.
Simply because there are a ton of options, Thinkific is a little less first-time user friendly, but the added options make them better for customization. Teachable is the easiest to use here, and Kajabi sits right in the middle between them and Thinkific for in-depth features.

Templates

teachable templates

Templates are important, because they tell your students how they can navigate the site. You could make your own custom look and feel, but templates give you the ability to organize your site in an interactive, intuitive way that enhances the overall UI.
Thinkific has some of the most marketable templates out there, so you’ll be able to make your website design appeal to just about everyone. With multiple templates and customization options, you can mix and match features until it feels just right.
That’s a step up from Teachable and Kajabi, but not by a whole lot. With the templates that they offer, you can get close to the same look and feel of Thinkific sites, just with a few less options at the ready.
Thinkific just offers more custom features here, so they win this round. If you knew 50,000 people used one service, wouldn’t you want to make your website appear as unique and different as possible so it didn’t resemble theirs? That’s what Thinkific lets you do.

Teaching Methods


Modular learning is one of the best (and most common) ways that we learn. Part by part, videos, text, and images are displayed to help us understand a subject.


Well, there are other teaching methods integrated into module-based learning as well. Thinkific lets you provide a voice over PowerPoint, which is a powerful tool in online teaching.


However, Teachable lets you sell individual course materials and templates for planners, as well as other education content, through a DLC-style storefront.


When you break into the courses themselves, Thinkific and Teachable offer similar experiences to your students. While there are some notable differences, you’d do well with any of these services for your students.

Thinkific vs Teachable: Performance and Uptime

The site’s performance and uptime are two of the most important features to consider when choosing between Teachable and Thinkific. If the site is down, you won’t only lose money but it could damage your reputation in the online learning community. Therefore, minimal downtime is essential.

Both Thinkific and Teachable offer monitoring of the site so you can make sure it’s always up and running. Thinkific has claimed that they have 99.9% uptime and 24/7 monitoring. Teachable also continually monitors the site to make sure it’s always running smoothly for optimum student engagement. You can check the status and history of uptime through both Teachable and Thinkific as well.

Although Teachable claims that they have excellent uptime, you can see through their logs that the platform logs more incidents of downtime than Thinkific. Historically, the issues reported include problems with payment and billing information, connectivity issues, and latency errors. Thinkific has had downtime in the past as well but with such a bold claim (99.9% uptime) on their website, they’re being very transparent.

We’ve got to give this category win to Thinkific.

Thinkific vs Teachable: Course Creation

The next most important thing to consider is course creation. In terms of the creation menu, Thinkific and Teachable have very easy-to-use interfaces to get started with course creation. Both platforms have efficient layouts for courses’ content, the ability to create streamlined online courses, and a great way to distribute courses to students. Here’s an overview of the features for course creators within each one:

Teachable and Thinkific comparision

Thinkific PROS

  • Multiple Student Payment Options: Imagine going down a sales funnel, being ready to buy a product, and then realizing that you can’t pay because they don’t support your payment method. Thinkific gives you plenty of options to grant to your students to pay.
  • Voice Over PowerPoint: An understated feature, but a powerful one. Run a PowerPoint, and use the in-app video production mode to create a voice over to explain what’s going on. This comes in handy more than you think.
  • Customization Options: You choose how your students view your site. You choose how they get to interact with everything. With the customization options, you can do more than just what the templates offer.
  • Powerful Marketing Tools: Thinkific earns that monthly and annual price tag based on the marketing tools they give you access to. Coupons, tiers, membership perks, content dripping—the list goes on and on.
  • Drag and drop content in the site builder
  • No coding or web designer experience needed
  • Support for multimedia content
  • Free hosting of video content for courses
  • Integrates with email marketing software
  • Templates for easy course building
  • Thinkific Growth Package

THINKIFIC CONS

  • Zero Chat Support: For being the top of the food chain when it comes to full-scale, all-in-one LMS systems, they dropped the ball on this one. You can’t get live chat support, and the phone support is only good if there’s no waiting period. Otherwise, you’d better prepare for elevator music.
  • Limited Sales Pages: You can make a landing page if you’re creative, but making a sales funnel? Forget about it. Sales funnels can be made on separate pages, but for this all-in-one service, this should be integrated as well as the other marketing features they have available.

Teachable PROS

  • First-Time Friendly: If you’ve never built a website before, let alone an online course, then you’re in luck. Teachable was designed to be helpful to first-timers, making their valuation that much higher.
  • Multiple Product Sales: Don’t want to only sell courses? No big deal. You can sell spreadsheets, print-outs, lesson plans, and basically any educational material you want through the other channels of selling digital goods on Teachable.
  • Automatic Affiliate Payments: You can get affiliates to help sell your courses for you, but when it comes time to give them their piece of the pie, Teachable will actually dole out the cash for you instead of you having to do extra bookkeeping. When you factor that into the lowered cost, this is pretty remarkable.
  • Cheaper Than the Competition: Out of the three of these services, you can get Teachable for a lot less than their competitors, and with the highest level package available. Of course, cost isn’t everything, but the idea that you could save more than $2,000 per year compared to others (even at the annual price) is nothing to scoff at.
  • Drag and drop content in the online course builder
  • Add media from cloud storage services
  • Responsive editing
  • Launch new sites and pages quickly
  • Drag and drop content for courses
  • Desktop, tablet, and smartphone compatible
  • Modify languages of course content
  • Conversion-optimized sales templates

TEACHABLE CONS

  • Can’t Do Live Videos: Looking to host some live classes? Not on Teachable, you’re not. You can only use pre-recorded videos, so if you’re trying to make a webinar-exclusive learning experience for people, Teachable flat out just isn’t it.
  • Minimal Third-Party Integration: Third-party apps can be integral to your site… if you can, you know, get them to work. There’s minimal ways for you to integrate other apps or plugins, so you can’t do as much as other platforms.

With both Thinkific and Teachable, you have great course creation features for excellent student engagement. Thinkific’s growth package is great for growing businesses. You can get course templates that allow you to create beautiful courses for your students. Both sites have a lot of great course features, but we’re giving this win to the Teachable online course platform for course creation. They offers far more customization options for course creators and is easy to use.

Mobile Apps


Well considering that Thinkific doesn’t offer a mobile app, they’re out of the running in this category.


That being said, they do have a responsive website that works very well on mobile, it’s just not going to be its own separate app. You’ll have to access it through your smartphone or tablet browser.

Teachable’s app might be the most intuitive yet. While you can build entire courses through the mobile application, there are limitations. The app is responsive, has a great UI, and information is laid out very evenly.


However, at the end of the day, you shouldn’t be using a mobile app to design a course. Even on an iPad Pro or something along those lines, it’s going to interfere with your ability to maintain the quality of your course. Out of all three services, nobody recommends actually building a course on their apps. These are more for checking in with students and sending out push notifications than anything else.

thinkific courses

PLUGINS


Plugins make the world of online learning go ‘round. With all-in-one sites, you’re not expected to need plugins, but… some plugins are really cool and offer certain values that LMS systems (Learning Management systems) can’t always keep up with.


Thinkific doesn’t offer nearly as many third-party integrations as the other services. You can get access to Stripe, Zapier, and miniOrange though. However, Teachable actually hosts a list of different integrations, such as Zoom, ConvertKit, and Mailchimp on their site.


Overall, Teachable integrates apps that really matter and help boost your online education effectiveness, so they take the cake in this round.

Thinkific vs Teachable: Security

Another important aspect to consider when deciding between these two online learning platforms is security for courses. When accepting payments online, you need to be sure that the platform is as secure as possible to ensure course security.

Thinkific Security

Thinkific offers secure cloud hosting so your data and course are safe at all times. You receive regular backups of your data and course(s) so if anything goes wrong with the platform, your data and course(s) are secure and backed up so you can retrieve them. It also comes with a built-in SSL certificate so all your course content is stored securely. Finally, you get complete ownership of your course data; no third party will have control of your course materials or course teachings.

Teachable Security

Teachable also offers many course security features that make it a great online course platform. For one, they have integration with the most secure online payment providers (PCI level-1 compliant). They also has a 2048-bit SSL certificate. Teachable provides security updates so you can get the latest security features when they become available, and (just like Thinkific) you have full ownership of your data and course(s).

Although both platforms have great security features, Thinkific takes the cake with their extra security features for each course.

Thinkific vs Teachable: Payment Integration

When thinking about Thinkific vs Teachable, you may want to consider the payment integration. Both platforms offer reliable integration with PayPal and Stripe, but there are some other things you may want to consider when choosing an online course learning platform.

For one, Thinkific comes equipped with Stunning. Stunning is a Stripe partner that helps protect your business from failed payments. Stunning also helps your business recover funds from any lost or missed payments in case you sell online courses and something weird happens. Teachable can also handle EU VAT or other VAT taxes, a good thing to advertise on your course sales page if you’re teaching to international students.

We give this category to Thinkific when comparing Teachable and Thinkific to each other. Both platforms Teachable and Thinkific both have safe and secure payment integration for each course, but Thinkific’s is a little more user-friendly. Your business deserves secure and easy payment integration, and Thinkific offers just that. Plus, they offer third-party integrations so you can handle taxes efficiently.

Thinkific vs Teachable: Pricing

Pricing is big on most people’s minds when it comes to these course platforms. You also need to consider whether the platform you want to use as a transaction fee for their plans.

Thinkific Pricing Plan

Thinkific has up to five different options, but one of them is for enterprise, fortune 500 level entrepreneurs. We’ll focus on their four main packages.

pricing categories on thinkific
  • Free: Free means free. While Thinkific will try to upsell you rather frequently, you can’t really complain when you’re not paying anything. There’s no custom domain, but there are plenty of starter options that work well for first-time course builders. You can always upgrade later.
  • Basic: For $49 per month or $39 per month through the annual package, you have access to a custom domain, email integration, affiliate benefits, SEO structuring, and more.
  • Pro: For $99 per month or $79 per month through the annual package, you have live Zoom meeting integration, multiple course admin options, a community building feature, email integration, and more.
  • Premier: For $499 per month or $399 per month through the annual package, you’ll get access to enhanced onboarding features, unlimited and dedicated customer support, up to 50 course admins, group analysts, and more.


Pricing is something that we really need to discuss. While you’ll notice that a lot of features and benefits from each of these LMS systems differ, their pricing structures do as well.
Weigh the prices against the benefits and our pros and cons list so you can know what’s going to work best for you.

Teachable Pricing Plan

pricing plan on teachable

With Teachable, the prices are packaged much more moderately than other sites, even for their highest level. While some features are restricted, you could grow to a seven-figure business on their highest plan.

  • Basic: For $39 per month or $29 per month through the annual package, you get access to unlimited students, course products, coaching products, membership-exclusive community features, and custom domain support.
  • Pro: For $119 per month or $99 per month through the annual package, you get access to unlimited students, no transaction fees, five admin users, priority product support, graded quizzes, and more.
  • Business: For $299 per month or $249 per month through the annual package, you get access to unlimited students, zero transaction fees, instant payouts, up to 20 admins, bulk student enrollment packages, manual imports, priority product support

Thinkific vs Teachable: Transaction Fees

In terms of transaction fees, Teachable has a 5% transaction fee for basic courses. Thinkific has zero transaction fees for each course and plan. This is convenient for the Thinkific learning platform because it lets you save money, and you can pass those savings on to your students when doing their course.

Both allow your customers to pay through PayPal, Stripe, and major credit and debit cards such as Visa and Mastercard.
There’s nothing major to report here: they’re all onboard with the most popular payment methods. That being said, if you’re going to use Teachable, you should read their FAQ on international payments and mixed gateways before signing up with them.

Again, we’ve got to give the win to Thinkific for their advanced Free plan. Although the Freemium plan for Teachable gives you some basic features for each course, Thinkific just gives you more for each course in comparison to Teachable’s free plan. It’s also more reasonable for small business owners to afford. Plus, there are plenty of Thinkific offers and coupons available online if the price is too high for you.

Teachable vs Thinkific: Customer Support

Customer support is important in the online course industry. A lot of LMS systems offer support for any course issues through online tutorials and support tickets, but both platforms have amazing customer support. Teachable offers live chat support so anytime you have an issue, you can get online and chat with a human being to get your problem resolved.

Thinkific has yet to offer live chat support on its platform, so that’s a negative tick for hem. However, the Thinkific customer service is still great. They have support videos so if you get in a pinch, you can watch those videos to try and resolve your issue yourself. If not, you can contact Thinkific customer support to get your course content back up and running. Teachable wins this one!

Teachable vs Thinkific: Marketing and Sales

Your course may be excellent and you may have a great knowledge base to start teaching, but marketing and sales will determine your course’s ultimate success. Both online course platforms offer several solutions for marketing, such as:

  • Creating subscriptions
  • Bundling courses
  • Launching affiliate marketing programs
  • Marketing tools for content and courses
  • And much more

However, there are differences between the online course platforms that can make or break your decision to choose one over the other. For one, Teachable lets you create blogs to generate web traffic. Thinkific doesn’t have this functionality. Teachable also has an efficient check-out process: Thinkific requires students to create an account, then purchase. Teachable lets them just fill in their information.

If you’re concerned with just affiliate marketing, email campaigns, marketing tools, and other basic marketing and sales functions, you’re good with either Teachable or Thinkific. However, if you want the ability to create and post blogs, videos, and other content, you’re better off using Teachable.

Teachable vs Thinkific: From the Students’ Standpoint

We can go back and forth about the technical aspects of the site for hours, but what really matters is what the students think of the online course. The content is the most important part, but when comparing Teachable and Thinkific against each other in terms of the student experience, we need to turn to what they use from the site the most.

  • Teachable has an iOS app that students can use to access online content. Thinkific offers no mobile app for content at this time. Point: Teachable.
  • Thinkific allows students to do a payment plan to pay off their courses. Teachable also offers payment plans. On this one, point to both Thinkific and Teachable.
  • Thinkific and Teachable both offer videos and video lectures on a course player. The course player makes it easier for students to follow along and understand the material. Point to both Thinkific and Teachable.
  • Teachable allows you to post content on blogs. Thinkific does not have this functionality and would need a third party to post blogs on. Blogs let students understand the material better and learn on their own time. Point: Teachable.
  • Teachable offers EU VAT handling for people paying for their courses, while Thinkific allows a third-party to handle those transactions for them. Between the two platforms, we give this point to Teachable.
  • Thinkific lets students have the experience of doing surveys and polls for things related to their courses. Teachable does not have this capability. Point: Thinkific.

From the students’ standpoint, it appears that Teachable is the best learning platform for online learning. With the course player, iOS app, and several other things, the student experience on Teachable seems to be better than the student experience on Thinkific.

Comparisons:

Thinkific vs Teachable: Final Thoughts

Both of these learning platforms offer a lot of features to get started with online learning. However, when it comes to the ultimate comparison between the two (and to other platforms like Learnworlds), there are a few key features you need to prioritize. These include the ability to drag and drop for course setup, capability for unlimited courses, customer support for the platform, transaction fees, and how well the platform operates on the students’ end. For these key comparison features and for our review above, we actually have a tie!

Both of these platforms are great options for online learning by comparison. Thinkific’s course platform wins out on performance and uptime for having content available almost all the time, but Teachable wins for marketing and sales so you can run your learning business as a business. Teachable offers unlimited courses with its paid plans, but Thinkific lets you get started on its free plan with no limit on students.

Overall, it comes down to what you need for your business as a learning course platform. Thinkific vs Teachable depends on what you’re looking for in online platforms, and what your course (or courses) needs to succeed. Our advice: Try out the free plan on both platforms and see which one feels better for you.