While Udemy is a decent platform for hosting your online course there may be some things that you just don’t like about them.
Maybe it’s the fact that you don’t have complete control over your course or that they don’t let you steer your students to your own personal mailing list, or that they have regulated pricing within there platform.
Whatever the reason there are definitely other options out there for you to consider and in this article, I’m going to share 5 of the top platforms out there.
Before I dive in though I just want to mention that I am an affiliate of two of these platforms, mainly Teachable and Thinkific. However, if you do decide to go with either of these platforms I will earn a commission and I just want to say thank you upfront for supporting us over here at Side Hustle Academy.
Now on to more important things.
The first Udemy alternative to consider is Teachable. Previously known as Fedora, launched in 2014 this platform was one of the first online course platforms around. This is also my preferred platform to use to create my courses.
In this section, I’ll share everything from the pros and cons to why you should consider Teachable, and even a few related articles I wrote.
9.5 out of 10
- Teachable Review – This is my definitive review on Teachable. I also share a video that gives an inside look at this platform and what you all get as a member.
- Teachable vs Udemy – In this article, I did a complete comparison between Teachable and Udemy showing where they are similar and where they aren’t.
- Free Plan
- Basic Plan $39 a month
- Professional Plan $99 a month
- Business Plan $499 a month
Pros of Teachable
#1 Full Control Over Students
The first big benefit is that you have a full control over your students, so if you want to send them to other promotional offers not related to your courses you can. Unlike Udemy you can also decide how much you want to charge for your course. Udemy usually forces course creators into only charging $10 to $20 for their courses.
To me this is just crazy, you put all of this hard work and effort into creating a course and you only get a few bucks for all of your efforts. If you want to charge more for your courses then Udemy may not be the answer for you and Teachable may.
#2 Start For Free
Teachable also lets you start for free, so if you’re someone who wants to bootstrap your online course business then this could be the answer for you.
However, not only can you start for free but you can create unlimited courses for free, minus a small transaction fee of course. I’ll cover more on that in a bit. The only platform that gives you this much control and allows you to do it for free like this is Teachable.
Finally, the other great benefit behind Teachable is that they have a great course on how to create your first online course called The Profitable Teacher this course is designed to walk you through the steps of creating, marketing, and selling your course.
Side Note: This course comes included with Teachable when you sign up for the professinal plan.
Cons of Teachable
#1 Transaction Fees
When it comes to the downsides of Teachable their are only a few I want to hit on and the first is transaction fees. Teachable charges a transaction fee for each course you sell under the Free and Basic plan.
This is not to be confused with the credit card processing fees but rather the fee that is collected by Teachable for selling your course. If you are in the Professional or Business plan you will not be charged any fees.
Below are the current transaction fee Teachable charges.
- Free Plan – $1 plus 10% of every course you sell. So if you have a $100 course you will pay $10 + $1 for a total of $11 for every course you sell.
- Basic Plan – 5% of every course that you sell. So if you have a $100 course you will pay $5 per course you sell.
One final note I want to mention is that if you have a free course using the free plan you will not have to pay any transaction fee since no money was exchanged.
If this sounds a bit much for you just remember Udemy charges a transaction fee as well. If you sell your course through your blog, mailing list, social media, you will be charged a 3% transaction fee, and if you sell your course through Udemy’s marketplace or mailing promotion you will only get 50% of the sale.
#2 No Market Place
The final con to Teachable is that you have no marketplace to sell your course to like Udemy. Which means it’ll be up to you to market and sell your courses.
However, once you have students signed up for one course in your school you can cross-promote other courses to them since they are your students.
Why Consider Teachable
Bootstrap. If you’re looking to start with almost no money then this may be the way to go. Teachable offers a free plan that lets you start at no cost. This means you don’t have to pay for any video hosting cost or software to run your course business.
This means you can start on the cheaper side of things till you get your business up and running and can afford one of the paid plans.
No Tech Stuff. Also if you’re someone who does not want to deal with all the tech stuff like design and setting up course software this may be an option for you as Teachable handles all of these things for you so you can focus on the more important things like creating more courses.
Thinkific is an all-in-one course solution similar to Teachable. They have over 25,000 course creators in 15 countries and growing.
In this section, I’ll share the pros and cons plus why you may want to consider Thinkific.
9.8 out of 10
- Thinkific Review – This is my complete review of Thinkific plus video giving an inside look at everything you’ll get.
- Thinkific vs Udemy – This article compares all the top points between Udemy and Thinkific.
- Free Plan – Create up to 3 courses for free.
- Basic Plan – $39 a month
- Pro Plan – $99 a month
- Premier Plan – $499 a month
You can save 20% by paying annually.
Pros of Thinkific
#1 No Transaction Fees
One of the most recent benefits to come about with Thinkific is that they do not charge any transaction fees when you sell a course.
Side Note: This does not include credit card transaction fees but rather the transaction fee Thinkific charged for every course that was sold.
They recently dropped these fees, however, as a result, they also limited the number of free courses you could create.
#2 Instant Payouts
With Thinkific you also get instant payouts paid to your Stripe Merchant account whenever a sale is generated. Compare this with any other course platforms and you’ll have to wait a minimum of 30 days to cover the return policy.
#3 Get Started For Free
As I already mentioned with Thinkific you can get started for free and you don’t even need to give up your credit card information.
However, you can only create 3 courses on the free plan but once you do have three courses you’ll like be earning enough to switch to one of the paid plans.
Cons of Thinkific
One of the first big cons to Thinkific is that they don’t offer much in the way of training. They don’t offer any courses or on how to create a great course.
Afterall if you want people to stick around and become a lifelong member of your platform wouldn’t you want to teach them the best way to succeed with it?
Second, the cost is a bit higher than other course platforms. Compared to Teachable they are $10 more per month and if you’re looking to do things a bit cheaper initially this may not be the better option for you.
Why Consider Thinkific
If you want to bootstrap – Again if you want to bootstrap things upfront then Thinkific may the better option for you. Add the fact that they don’t charge any transaction fees when you sell your courses and you’ll be doing everything for free.
If you want a quality looking site without all the work – I have to admit Thinkific has the best-looking platform and if you’re someone who isn’t that good at design then this may the answer for you.
This learning management solution was started back in 2014 when to guys, Jason Zook, and Gerlando Piro meet at a conference in Fargo, North Dakota.
6.0 out of 10
Teachery vs Teachable – In this article, I compare Teachery and Teachable and share where they are similar and where they are not.
- $49 a month plan. This plan is those who are a beginner in creating an online course.
- $470 a month plan. The second option is the advanced plan.
Save 20% on the monthly plans when you pay annually.
Pros of Teachary
#1 No Transaction Fees
To start Teachery does not charge any transaction fees when you sell a course through them. Now I’m not talking about credit card transaction fees here but rather the fees that would be earned for every course sold.
Teachery doesn’t charge this primarily because they only have a 2-week free trial offer and not an unlimited free offer.
#2 Well Designed
Second, I’ve found Teachery’s platform to have a nice minimalist look to it. Now don’t get me wrong having all the nice options is great but sometimes all this does is makes things more complicated.
Rather Teachery focuses on quality first and functionality second.
Finally, Teachery does offer a nice training solution. When you sign up as a member you get access to their courses that will teach you everything you need to know about creating your first course.
You won’t have to pay extra for this and you’ll have it for as long as you’re a member.
Cons of Teachary
#1 No Cloud Storage
One of the biggest issues I noticed with Teachery right away was that they don’t offer any type of cloud storage for your course. In fact, you will have to provide this if you plan to host courses on Teachery.
For example, if you plan to host a video on Teachery you’ll have to integrate YouTube, Wistia, or Vimeo. If you want to host audio you’ll need to link up Soundcloud. If you want to host images or pdf’s you’ll need to use Google Drive or Dropbox and if you want to use a slide deck you’ll have to use Slideshare.
So basically what this means is that you’ll have to a variety of different 3rd party solutions to create your course with Teachery.
#2 No Full Free Plan
Unlike the previous two options, Teachery does not offer a completely free plan. Rather they online offer a 2-week free trial offer. You don’t have to input any credit card details to get started but you will only have it for 2 weeks.
#3 The Cost
The pricing is what baffles me the most about this platform. With other platforms, they charge higher prices simply because they are in paying for all the hosting cost even if you’re on a free plan. However, with Teachery they don’t have any hosting cost and it makes me wonder why they charge this much.
On top of that, you’ll have to pay for the extra 3rd part cost. If you plan to host video or have downloadable pdf’s you’ll be paying extra for services like Vimeo, Wistia, or Dropbox. In the end, this platform will cost you more than even the best LMS platforms out there.
Why Consider Teachery
If you want complete control of your data then Teachery may be the option for you. Since Teachery gives you complete control does not handle any of it but rather run it from 3rd party solutions you don’t have to worry about them abusing what is yours.
When it comes down to it Teachery does not offer nearly as much in benefits but it’s still a viable option if you are looking for something different.
Looking for an alternative to Udemy that’s very similar then Skillshare is as close as they come. Skillshare was founded in 2010 by Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong in New York City. Since then this platform has featured instructors from Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Guy Kawasaki.
5.0 out of 10
No cost to sign up or monthly plans.
Pros of Skillshare
#1 No Cost
To start Skillshare does not charge a monthly fee to use their platform. So if you’re looking for a platform that does not charge a monthly fee this is the program.
#2 Mobile App
Another benefit is that they have a mobile app that allows students to access their courses in a convenient way on their mobile device. Udemy, Skillshare, and Teachable are the only online platforms that have an app.
Cons of Skillshare
#1 Royalty Pool
To start Skillshare does not operate like other course platforms. Rather their business model is to get people to sign up to their monthly membership which starts at $15 a month unless you pay annually.
The way they pay their course creators is via a royalty pool. So basically if more people sign up for your course the more of that royalty pool you’ll get.
Which brings me to my next point.
If you’re looking to get paid big bucks for every student that enrolls in your course then think again. Skillshare is similar to Udemy in that they are more focused on quantity than quality and you will earn very little for every student that signs up to your course.
If you prefer quality over quantity then this may not be the platform for you.
Finally, when it comes to Skillshare they also do not give you much control over what you can do with your course. Similar to Udemy they decide how your course will look, feel, and most importatly earn you.
If you’re going for your own unique look then this may not be the course for you.
Why Consider Skillshare
No Cost to Start. If you’re looking for a platform that does not cost you anything to start and won’t cost you anything then Skillshare may be the option for you.
The final Udemy alternative to consider is Kajabi, also known as New Kajabi. This platform was founded in 2010 by Kenny Rueter, Travis Rosser. If your looking for a solution that has everything this may be the option for you.
8.2 out of 10
- Teachable vs Kajabi – In this article, I compare Teachable and Kajabi and see where they are alike and where they don’t.
- Thinkific vs Kajabi – If you want to compare Thinkific and Kajabi then this article will share all the areas where they’re alike and where they differ.
- Basic Plan – $129 a Month
- Pro Plan – $389 a Month
You can also save 20% per month if you pay annually.
Pros of Kajabi
#1 All-in-One Platform
To start if you’re looking for a platform that has everything then this may be the option for you. Kajabi does nearly everything you could imagine without having to buy a whole bunch of other 3rd party tools. Kajabi takes care of everything from your email list, setting up funnels, and even hosting webinars.
#2 Market Place
Kajabi also has a marketplace for you to sell your courses on. Now I’ll be honest it’s not an extensive marketplace like Udemy’s but overtime this marketplace will start to grow and develop.
#3 No Transaction Fees
Finally, the last benefit is that Kajabi doesn’t charge any transaction fees unlike Udemy, Skillshare, and Teachable who do charge a transaction fee to some degree. With Kajabi you only pay your monthly or annual fee and that is it.
Cons of Kajabi
#1 High Cost
As a downside, Kajabi is one of the highest priced platforms. Starting at a $129 a month it cost far more than any of the other platforms. Sure it has all the bells and whistles but if you’re starting on a shoestring budget this may not be the way to go.
#2 Limited Courses, Students, and Emails
The platform also limits the number of courses you can create depending on the plan that you have as well. Combine that with the cost that you are paying and it almost sounds a bit unreasonable.
The basic plan only allows you the option to create 5 products costing you $129 a month. The Pro Plan will let you create 100 products at $389 a month and it isn’t until you join the Enterprise plan where you will be able to create unlimited courses and products.
This same can also be said about the number of students and active email members. With email, you only send 25,000 emails per month on the Basic Plan and 75,000 on the Pro Plan. With the number of students, you can only have 1000 active students and the Pro Plan will only let you have 10,000.
With Teachable and Thinkific you can have unlimited courses, students, and active email users and far less the cost.
Why Consider Kajabi
If you want an all in one solution then this may be the option for you. As I mentioned earlier Kajabi is an all in one option that will let you grow your business without having to use any 3rd party software but you will pay for it and it has more restrictions than some of the previous platforms I mentioned.
Which Platform is Right For You?
So which alternative to Udemy is right for you?
Does Teachable or Thinkific sound interesting to you, or is Skillshare something that interests you more since it resembles Udemy more. How about Teachery, with its simplistic design, or does Kajabi interest you because it’s an all-in-one solution?
What platform are you thinking about signing up for? Also, do you have any questions I could help you answer about any of the platforms I’ve mentioned above?
Take a moment and let me know in the comments below.