In today’s digital age, online courses have become increasingly popular as people seek to learn new skills and improve their knowledge. Online course platforms make it easy for creators to share their expertise with a global audience, and for learners to access high-quality educational content from the comfort of their homes. In this article, we will compare some of the best online course platforms, including Thinkific, Teachable, and Kajabi and help you make an educated and informed decision for online course creation.
Until recently, if you wanted to create an online course, you didn’t have many options. You could deliver your video content in large zip files, which was inconvenient for the user, or you could custom code a website, which is expensive to develop and maintain. After going through both of those options for our photography education, SLR Lounge Premium, we were ecstatic to discover online course platforms that offered everything we needed for reasonable monthly or annual fees.
For us, this was a huge decision. With over 1500 hours of content and over 30 courses to add to the platform, we knew that migration would be a pain and we would need to stick to our decision. After starting trial accounts and uploading courses to all of the major competitors, Kajabi, Teachable, Thinkific, and Podia, we created a list of pros and cons that we want to share with you here in this article in case any of you are thinking of diversifying your business into teaching online courses. Let’s get started with our comparison of the best online course platforms.
Best Online Course Platforms
Founded in 2012, Thinkific is a popular online course platform that offers a user-friendly interface and a range of features. It allows creators to easily design and customize their courses, as well as integrate with third-party tools. Thinkific offers a range of pricing options, from free to enterprise-level plans, and has received positive customer reviews. However, some users have reported issues with the limited customization options and the lack of a built-in email marketing system.
Founded in 2014, Teachable is an online course platform that offers an intuitive course creation and management interface. It allows creators to customize the look and feel of their courses, as well as easily integrate with other tools such as email marketing software. Teachable also offers various pricing options, ranging from a basic plan to an enterprise plan. However, some users have reported issues with the limited course design options and the difficulty of integrating with third-party tools.
Founded in 2010, Kajabi is an all-in-one platform for creating, marketing, and selling online courses, memberships, and digital products. It offers an easy-to-use interface that allows creators to design and customize their courses without the need for coding skills. Kajabi also offers a range of features, including customizable landing pages, built-in email marketing, and automated marketing campaigns.
Kajabi integrates seamlessly with various third-party tools, such as Zapier, Google Analytics, and Stripe. Pricing options are also available, ranging from a basic plan to an enterprise-level plan. Kajabi has received positive customer reviews, with users praising its ease of use and exceptional customer support.
A newcomer on the block is Course Creator 360, created by the minds behind Course Creator Pro. CC360 is designed to be an all-in-one software solution for course creators, encompassing funnel and page building, course hosting, CRM, social media posting, blogging, automations, and many other features.
Comparison of Different Platforms
When comparing the different online course platforms, several factors must be considered, such as ease of use, features, and integration options.
In this comparison, we will focus on Kajabi, Teachable, and Thinkific. All of these best online course platform competitors offer comparable features, such as the following:
- Create Online course(s)
- Unlimited Video Hosting
- Drip Content
- Collect subscription and online payments
- Start with an intuitive, professional design and interface out-of-the-box
- Customize the design (to varying degrees)
- Offer quizzes and Surveys
- Sync with Zapier, Email Service Providers, and Other Platforms
- Use a custom domain
- Track Affiliate Sales
In our experience, here are the primary differences between the different platforms.
Customization and Branding
With Thinkific, Podia, and Teachable, you can choose from existing themes/templates and further customize the colors, font and other design elements. Kajabi gives you the most flexibility best customization options, allowing you to build your landing pages from scratch using their builder. Thinkific looks great out of the box but offers limited customization options. Teachable is simple and easy-to-use, but doesn’t look as good as Thinkific and Kajabi.
Kajabi provides email marketing tools that offer the basic functionality of email service providers (ESPs). So instead of using a separate ESP, like Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Ontraport, Etc, you can send out your basic campaigns directly from Kajabi. If you’re looking for advanced funnel building, you might still want to connect a dedicated ESP, but for most educational programs, Kajabi’s built-in system will be sufficient. ESPs are not cheap, so this functionality can mean significant savings depending on your email list size.
Mobile App for Online Course Platforms
Kajabi and Teachable provide mobile apps for students of your courses, while Teachable and Podia do not. However, the platforms that offer mobile apps are not customizable and branded as the Kajabi and Teachable, respectively. In other words, they are Kajabi and Teachable apps that allow your students to access your courses, along with all other courses they purchased that use their platforms.
Why Kajabi is The Best Online Course Platform
Spoiler alert, we decided to go with Kajabi to host SLR Lounge Premium. Why? Long story short, Kajabi offered all of the features we needed, as the most flexibility and in two important areas: 1) Design and 2) Billing Options. In addition, Kajabi comes with a robust email system that replaced our more expensive email service providers, saving hundreds of dollars a month. You can read our full Kajabi Review for more details.
Other Online Course Platforms to Consider
Besides the Best Online Course Platforms mentioned above, there are a plethora of other options that we have not directly tested. Here’s a comprehensive list. If there are others that we missed, please let us know!
- Mighty Networks
- Academy of Mine
- Youtube Subscriptions
Choosing the right online course platform is critical to the success of any online course creator. While there are several options available, Kajabi stands out as the ultimate choice. Its user-friendly interface, range of