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 plans all from one easy interface. These online course-selling platforms are very similar, which confuses the course creators in selecting the best one.
In this comparison, 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 teaching courses and deliver your online learning service. 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.
Platforms to create and sell courses
Thinkific is a similar LMS (Learning Management System)that allows people and businesses to create and share 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.
How do You work on these platforms?
- Both Teachable and Thinkific have a drag-and-drop page builder, which allows teachers to create a course page from scratch.
- Both of them provide students with the ability to move around the site and collect course materials and information.
- Both have a search bar that allows teachers to quickly and easily find course materials and information.
- Both of them provide teachers with the ability to customize their course pages to fit their needs and the needs of their students.
- Both Teachable and Thinkific are learning management systems that offer a variety of online coursework for you to learn almost anything.
- Both of them can be used to build a successful online course business. There are multiple course instructors and students on both platforms.
However, the two platforms have 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?
- Online platform for creating and selling courses, communities, and memberships
- Multiple learning products for different business needs
- Key features: custom web themes, quizzes, mobile app, drip scheduling, live lessons
- Control over pricing, no hidden fees
- Customizable touchpoints for unique branding
- Integration with trusted learning and marketing tools via Thinkific App Store
- Detailed analytics for content optimization and marketing efforts
- Support: online/phone customer support, knowledge base, Thinkific Academy, Creator Community
- Scalable platform with flexible pricing plans and advanced features
- Expert Marketplace for professional assistance
- Over 50,000 successful Thinkific course creators and businesses
Thinkific is an online, all-in-one course-building tool 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
- Online platform for building knowledge business
- Offers online courses, digital downloads, and coaching products
- Easy-to-use course builder, no coding or design skills needed
- Free plan with foundational tools, upgrade options for more resources
- Monetization tools: upsells, bundles, order bumps
- Automated tax filings, fraud monitoring, chargeback support
- Paid plan subscribers access support programs, business training, creator community
- API and integrations for seamless communication with marketing and analytics tools
- Support resources: mini-course library, how-to blog, exclusive community for paid plan subscribers
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.
Create your own online teaching 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. The online course builder is simple yet full of helpful features such as drag-and-drop options, different editors, and tools.
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. Read the complete Teachable review.
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. The sales and marketing tools can be integrated and deployed easily to enhance sales.
- Drip Content: Content dripping is important for any course builder, and all three services give you the ability to do this with extreme ease.
These course marketplaces 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. These course-building membership sites increase your revenue.
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 (see also “Thinkific Courses“). 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. There are some specific course creation features present in the Thinkific for disabled people.
Moreover, it also offers to customize the course completion certificates for the students.
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.
The course creation process 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 and customization features 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. The easy-to-use customization features from one interface help the creators focus on improving the quality of their content. data analytics
Templates are important because they tell your students how to navigate the site. You could make your own custom look and feel, but templates allow you to organize your site in an interactive, intuitive way that enhances the overall UI.
Thinkific has some of the most marketable templates out there (see Thinkific examples), 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.
Modular learning is one of the best (and most common) ways to learn. Part by part, videos, text, and images are displayed to help us understand a subject. The interactive video elements are a miss and will be integrated in the future.
Well, there are other teaching methods integrated into module-based learning as well. Thinkific lets you provide a voice-over PowerPoint, a powerful tool in online teaching.
However, Teachable lets you sell individual course materials and templates for planners, as well as other educational 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 key 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 their online learning 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. See Thinkific review for more.
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 the creation of a course.
Both online learning platforms have efficient course creation features and layouts for courses’ content, the ability to create streamlined online courses, and a great way to distribute courses to students.
Both platforms offer enough capabilities that the same course can be created with different features. Here’s an overview of the features for course creators within each one:
Multiple Student Payment Options:
Imagine going down a sales funnel, is 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 automatically.
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.
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 complete control to. Coupons, tiers, membership perks, drip schedule content feature—the list goes on and on. These marketing and sales capabilities make it better than its competitor.
- 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
- Advanced data tracking
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 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 or sales pages 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. The landing pages also suffice the purpose, however, landing pages are a static method of acquiring clients.
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. You can also bulk sell courses to organizations.
Automatic Affiliate Payments:
You can get affiliates to help sell online 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, the 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.
Teachable allows you to create a blog on the platform. You can then share your blog with your students. The blog options and features are yet not very powerful compared to dedicated blogging websites such as WordPress. Thinkific doesn’t have a blog feature. However, you can create an online courses page with a blog and share it.
Can You Create A Blog On Thinkific?
- Drag and drop content in the online course builder
- Add media from cloud storage services
- multimedia content support
- Responsive Editing
- Free hosting of video content
- 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
- Instant payouts
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 tools can be integral to your site…if you can, you know, get them to work. There are 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. The different student account types give them the freedom to choose from.
Thinkific’s growth package is great for growing online course business. You can get course templates that allow you to create beautiful courses for your students. both the platforms have a lot of great course features, but we’re giving this win to the Teachable online course platform for the creation of courses. They offer far more customization options for course creators and all the core features which are easy to use.
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.
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. Is Teachable an LMS?
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. Both platforms offer multiple theme support.
Thinkific vs Teachable: Security
Another important aspect to consider when deciding between these two online learning platforms is security for training courses. When accepting payments online, you need to be sure that the platform is as secure as possible to ensure course security as well as absolute data 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 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 have 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 Thinkific vs Teachable platforms have great security features, Thinkific takes the cake with their extra security features instantly for each course.
Thinkific vs Teachable: Payment Integration
When thinking about Thinkific vs Teachable, you may want to consider 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 teaching 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 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 plans
Pricing plans are top on most people’s minds when it comes to these course-selling platforms. You also need to consider whether the platform you want to use as a transaction fee for their paid plans. Both platforms are running an online learning business model with slight differences in core features and pricing. Let’s check out:
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.
- 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: The basic plan starts at $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: The professional plan starts at $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. You can create unlimited courses.
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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
With Teachable, the pricing plans 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 including bulk sell courses.
- Basic: The basic plan starts at $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: The professional plan starts at $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 course platform because it lets you save money, and you can pass those savings on to your students when doing their courses. The data and financial transactions are secure and safe.
Both platforms allow your customers to pay through PayPal, Stripe, and major credit and debit cards such as Visa and Mastercard. All the user data is secure.
There’s nothing major to report here: they’re all on board 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.
Both professional and business plans of two platforms are offering similar fee structures, however, the user population is also an important factor to consider before finalizing the decision.
Again, we’ve got to give the win to Thinkific for their advanced Free plan. Although the Freemium plan (paid 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. There is no customized pricing plans, however.
Teachable vs Thinkific: Customer Support
Efficient 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 course selling platform, so that’s a negative tick for them. Thinkific has plans to offer live chat support very soon. However, the Thinkific customer service is still great. They have a great knowledge base and support videos on the platform so if you get in a pinch, course creators 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!
Moreover, both websites have active Facebook groups which make the platform highly functional. The Facebook group of both platforms has active admins and members who solve the problem and help the creators to streamline their work.
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 capabilities will determine your course’s ultimate success. Both online course platforms offer several solutions for marketing and sell courses, such as:
- Creating subscriptions
- Bundling courses
- Launching affiliate marketing programs
- Marketing tools for content and courses
- Highly personalized campaigns
- And much more
However, there are key 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. (see also ‘Can You Create A Blog On Thinkific?‘)
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. The checkout pages are simple and easy to use.
If you’re concerned with just affiliate marketing, email campaigns, marketing tools, and other basic marketing and sales capabilities, 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. The course reporting method is also better.
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 students paying for their courses, while Thinkific allows a third party to handle those transactions for them. Between the two online course 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.
The content dripping feature is a great way for students to engage with a topic in a different way than they might with textbooks. It helps students learn about the different ways in which information is delivered and how it can be used to create a deeper understanding of a topic.
Both Teachable and Thinkific provide detailed course reporting and analytics to help students better understand the effectiveness of courses. The major difference is that Thinkific provides course reports that are based on student data and feedback while Teachable course reports are based on course content and student responses. Both of them are providing useful information for students to better understand their courses and their performance.
From the student’s 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.
Thinkific vs Teachable: Final Thoughts
Both of these learning platforms offer many highly customized 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 drag and drop builder for course setup, capability for unlimited courses, customer support for the platform, transaction fees, and how well the platform operates on the students’ end. This drag-and-drop builder makes the work extremely easy for course creators who have little acquaintance with the platform.
Moreover, excellent data analytics solutions is also necessary to optimize and streamline the courses for higher sales and getting actionable business insights. The importance of data analytics tools in a course creating website is now a must. These data analytics tools help improve the course, marketing tactics as well as predictive analysis. For these key comparison features and for our review above, we actually have a tie!
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Both of these platforms are great options for online learning by comparison. Deciding which is the better online course platform is a tricky question. 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 plan. Teachable offers unlimited courses with its paid plans, but Thinkific lets you get started on its free plan with no limit on students. Both platforms are great to make money online by selling the courses (see also: How To Make Money With Thinkific?). The paid plans are best to choose for professional teachers as well as organizations.
After exploring the features of both Thinkific and Teachable, it’s clear that they both offer a lot of value to course creators. They allow you to create and sell courses, deliver content, and engage with students. However, each platform excels in different areas, and your choice will depend on your specific needs and priorities.
Thinkific has an edge in terms of quizzing capabilities, inbuilt assignment support, community building, bulk selling, and membership features. Its site-building features are superior, and it offers a more beginner-friendly pricing structure without transaction fees.
Teachable, on the other hand, is more user-friendly and has a more intuitive course builder. It’s better suited for those looking to create 1:1 coaching products and has more advanced sales and marketing features, including a well-optimized checkout process and better affiliate marketing tools.
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.
If you prioritize flexibility, bulk content management, and advanced quizzing and assessments, go for Thinkific. If student engagement, ease of navigation, and efficient customer conversion processes are more important to you, then Teachable may be the better option.
Our advice: Try out the free plan on both platforms and see which one feels better for you.