Starting your own course business is a hot topic these days. After all, you can teach people something you know and earn a nice side income or full-time income from it.
With platforms like Teachable and Thinkific available making this dream, a reality may not be as far-fetched as you might think. In this article, I’m going to compare the two hottest learning management solutions on the market, Thinkific and Teachable.
With that said let’s get started.
Before You Start
Before we get started I just want to share a few things you should know up front.
First, I am an affiliate of both of these platforms and will earn a commission if you buy through my link. If you do I just want to say thank you up front for supporting us and what we do here.
Second, I recommend signing up for a free account on both platforms. This will help you see the differences for yourself and chose the one that’s best for you. You can sign up for the Thinkific Free Plan here and Sign up for the Teachable Free Plan here.
Thinkific vs Teachable – A Complete Comparison Chart
Below is a complete comparison chart of all the most important things to know about Thinkific and Teachable.
Side Note: Make sure you read the whole article as I will share the 10 major differences between each platform after the chart plus who I think the winner is.
|Can You Create Unlimited Courses?||Yes||Yes|
|Do They Offer SSL?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Customize Your Site Design?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Setup a Custom Domain Name?||Offered with paid plans||Offered with paid plans|
|Do You Have Complete Control of Course Material?||You own the course and can co whatever you want with It||You own the course and can co whatever you want with It|
|Can You Control Pricing?||You can price your course for as much as you want or even offer it for free||You can price your course for as much as you want or even offer it for free|
|Do They Offer a Marketplace?||No||No|
|Can You Offer Coupons and Promotional Discounts?||Yes, you set any kind of discount for as long as you want||Yes, you set any kind of discount for as long as you want|
|Can You Offer an Affiliate Program for Your Course?||Yes, and you can also determine the commission percentage||Yes, and you can also determine the commission percentage|
|Allow You to Monitor Students Progress?||Yes, detailed reporting and analytics||Yes, detailed reporting and analytics|
|Do You Have Complete Control Over Students?||Yes, they are your students||Yes, they are your students|
|Do They Offer Quizzes?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Offer Drip Content?||Yes, offered with paid plans only||Yes, offered with paid plans only|
|Can You Have Multiple Instructors?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Share Course Revenue?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Offer Course Bundles?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Offer Course Up Sells?||Yes||Yes|
|Do You Offer On boarding Calls||Yes, with Business Plans and up||Yes, with Professional Plans and up|
|Can You Get Instant Access to Your Funds?||Yes, allows you to integrate Stripe or PayPal on Free plan||Not with Free Plans. Must be on the Professional Plan to get instant payouts.|
|Do They Offer Integrations?||Thinkific integrates with several companies from PayPal to Zapier||Yes, but you need to be on the Basic Plan or higher|
|Offers Voice Over Power Point Tool||Yes||No|
|Do You Offer Advanced CSS/HTML Editing?||Yes||Yes|
|Do You Offer Free Video Hosting?||Yes||Yes|
|Can You Create Additional Pages?||Yes||Yes|
|Do They Offer Their Own Payment Gateway?||No||Yes|
|Do You Offer Instant Payouts?||Yes, from the Free Plan and up||Yes, but only on the Professional Plan and up|
|Can You Offer a Free Trial of Your Course?||Yes||No|
|Do You Offer Group Sales?||Yes, based on the plan you have.||No|
|Do They Offer Training?||Has a comprehensive Knowledge base||Has a course that will teach you how to create your first course|
|Do They Offer an App?||No||Yes|
|Credit Credit Card Processing Fees||Based on PayPal and Stripe fees||2.9% plus 30 cents. With Pro Plans and up you negotiate lower fees when you integrate Stripe or PayPal.|
|What Kind of Pricing Options Do You Have?||- Free|
- One Time Payments
- Recurring Payments
- Payment Plan
- One Time Payments
- Recurring Payments
- Payment Plan
|Are There Course Transaction Fees?||- 10% for Free Plans|
- 5% for Essential Plans
- 0% for Business and up
|- 10% + $1 for Free Plans
- 5% for the Basic
- 0% for the Professional Plan and up
|Are There Monthly Payment Plans?||Yes|
- Essentials $49/Monthly
- Business $99/Monthly
- Advanced $279/year
- Basic Plan $39/Month
- Professional Plan $99/Month
- High Volume Plan $299/month
|Do They Offer Annual Plans?||-Essentials Plan $39/month = $468/year |
- Business Plan $79/month = $948/year
- Advanced Plan $219/month = $2628/year
|- Basic Plan $33.25/month = $399/year
- Professional Plan $83.25/month = $999/year
- High Volume Plan $249.91/month or $2999/year
|How Much Do You Save By Paying Annually?||20%||14% to 16% depending on the plan|
|Click Here to Sign Up For Thinkific||Click Here to Sign Up for Teachable|
10 Ways Thinkific and Teachable Differ From Each Other
Now that you’ve had a chance to compare each platform here are 10 of the biggest differences when it comes to Thinkific and Teachable.
#1 Payment Gateways
To start Teachable is the only one of the two platforms that offer its own internal payment gateway. You can link your PayPal or Stripe account to Teachable but you will need to upgrade to the Professional Plan or higher to be able to do this.
Teachables payment gateway allows you to collect payment with minimal setup. The only downside to this is that you won’t receive your payments for at least 30 days.
Thinkific doesn’t offer a payment gateway but rather lets you link your Stripe or PayPal account day 1 even on with the free account.
#2 Transaction Fees
Next, Teachable has slightly higher transaction fees than Thinkific. The free plan on both platforms charge a 10% transaction fee, however Teachable also collects an extra $1 per transaction.
So if you have a course that sells for $97, Thinkific and Teachable would collect a $9.70 fee, but Teachable would collect an extra $1 taking $10.70 total.
The paid plans all collect the same fees. The Teachable Basic Plan and the Thinkific Essentials Plan both collect a 5% transaction fee and the Teachable Advanced and Thinkific Business collect no transaction fees.
So if you’re looking to earn as much as possible then Thinkific could be the better option here.
#3 Higher Savings on Annual Plans
I also noticed that Thinkific offers bigger savings than Teachable if you sign up for one of their annual plans. When you sign up for a Thinkific paid plan you get a 20% discount over paying monthly.
Whereas with Teachable you only get a 14 to 16% discount when you sign up for one of their paid plans. Now I should add that this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be paying less overall just because you have a bigger discount.
I’ll talk more about this in point 10.
#4 Instant Payouts
Thinkific also offers instant payouts on all sales that you make, meaning you won’t have to wait to get your money. The reason Thinkific can do this is that they allow you to integrate PayPal and Stripe even on the free plan.
On the other hand, Teachable doesn’t let you integrate PayPal and Stripe till you sign up the $99 Professional Plan.
#5 Presentation Tools
Thinkific also offers a valuable presentation tool that lets you do voice over for your slides. So whether you use PowerPoint or Keynote this tool lets you create awesome presentations especially if you’re on a tight budget.
To be honest I haven’t personally used this tool yet but I can see how this tool could be a huge value.
#6 Trial Offers
Want to get people to try your first lesson out for free?
Thinkific is the only program that offers this option. What I like about this option is that when you’re first getting started it can be hard to get people to buy your course when you haven’t really built up a brand for yourself yet.
When you have the option to offer one or two lessons for free it lets people try out your course and see if you’re a good fit for them. The best part about this is that you can even offer this with the free plan.
#7 Group Sales
Thinkific also gives you the option to do group sales. So if you have a course company or organization that would be a good fit for your course you could sell it to them at a group rate package. However, the amount of people you can allow on the course depends on the package you have.
- Free Plan – Groups of 5
- Essential Plan – Groups of 25
- Business Plan – Groups of 500
- Advanced Plan – Groups of 2500
Teachable on the other hand doesn’t offer anything like this.
One area Thinkific doesn’t do well is that they don’t have a mobile app. I feel this is a huge downside to there program. With the growing amount of people using mobile devices an app would make perfect sense here, however, for whatever reason, they don’t have one yet.
Teachable, on the other hand, does have a mobile app and is one of my favorite things about this platform and I’m sure the people who take my course and eventually yours will like this feature as well.
With a mobile app, you can work on a course while on your lunch break at work, while sitting down and relaxing for the night, or even while you’re waiting at the doctor’s office. When it comes down to it people just aren’t as motivated to sit down in front of their computer and take a course, but with an app, it gives them an additional way to do it in their spare time.
When it comes to starting an online course business you won’t be able to do it all yourself. You will need some type of help and this is where education comes into the mix and both platforms do this way differently.
With Teachable you really don’t get much in the way of education unless you sign up or the Professional Plan where you will get access to The Profitable Teacher, a course made by Teachable on how to create your own course.
Wih Thinkific they offer a resource center which anybody can access, free to the highest paid package, the only problem is that they don’t give you an all in one solution to help you from start to finish. Having something like this will not only help you get started the right way but also avoid a lot of the big mistakes as well.
#10 Monthly Fees
Finally, we have monthly fees and both platforms are priced differently. Let’s start with their basic plans.
- Teachabe’s Basic Plan runs $39/month or $399/year
- Thinkific Essential Plan runs $49/month or $468/year
When it comes to the basic plan Teachable is far cheaper on the monthly and annual cost. Now let’s look at there professional plans.
- Teachable’s Business Plan runs $99/month or $999/year
- Thinkific’s ProfProfessionaln runs $99/month or $948year
When it comes to the professional plans the monthly cost will be the same but with the annual plan, you can save over $50 a year. Now let’s look at the advanced plans.
- Teachable’s High Volume Plan runs $299/month or $2999/year
- Thinkific’s Advanced Plan runs $279/month or $2628/year
Again when it comes to this plan Thinkific has the better deal. In the end, Thinkific beats them in pricing in two of the three plans.
And The Winner Is…
When it comes down to it I feel Thinkific is the winner here, however, it’s certainly not by a landslide but rather the small things that make Thinkific stand out just a little more.
Thinkific’s backend is cleaner and simple to use, and they just offer more features. My only issue is that they lack the training and that they don’t have a mobile app. While these are a disadvantage I don’t feel they would cause me to switch.
So which platform do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.