Thinkific vs. Teachable: Online Course Platforms Comparison of 2022
If you’re searching for a reliable platform to help you build a successful online course business and make money online, you’ve probably come across Thinkific and Teachable, two of the best online course platforms in the market today.
Both platforms offer intuitive course creation tools, they give you complete control over your course branding and pricing, they offer free hosting, and they allow you to collect student information that you can use to improve your future courses.
While both platforms are highly reliable, you’ll ultimately have to pick one of them. The question is, which of the two is the better online course platform?
To help you choose, I compared Teachable and Thinkific based on several factors, including their ease of use, uptime and performance, sales and marketing features, security, and so on.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have a good idea of which of the two platforms is best for you, based on your specific needs.
Thinkific Vs. Teachable Overview
What Is Thinkific?
What stands out to me about Thinkific are the beautifully designed themes and templates that allow anyone to build elegant, professional-looking online course websites. I also love that Thinkific doesn’t charge any transaction fees, even on the free plan.Try Thinkific
Thinkific is a web-based online learning service that allows you to design, create, market, and sell online courses. Since Thinkific was founded in 2012, over 100 million students have enrolled for online classes on the platform.
Thinkific provides a user-friendly course builder that greatly simplifies the course development process. It also allows you to build sleek websites to sell courses and manage your students. The best part is that you can do all this without writing a line of code.
What Is Teachable?
There are three things I love about Teachable. First, it has a very intuitive interface that most people will find easy to use. Second, it offers a great learning experience for your students. Finally, it has handy marketing features that simplify promoting and selling courses.Try Teachable
Teachable is the world’s second-largest online course creation platform after Udemy. From the time it opened its virtual doors in 2014, Teachable has attracted over 100,000 online course creators, who have earned over $1 billion selling online courses on the platform.
Like Thinkific, Teachable gives you simple course-building options, total control over your student’s learning experience, and advanced marketing tools to help you drive customers to your site and convert them into paying students.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Ease of Use for Course Creation
An online learning platform might have the best marketing tools, robust security, and support for multiple payment platforms. Still, the other benefits don’t count for much if the platform is difficult to use. Let’s check out how easy it is to develop online courses using Teachable and Thinkific.
Thinkific Ease of Use
Thinkific has a well-designed user interface that is fairly easy to use. It has a drag-and-drop builder that allows you to quickly build your course and website without any coding skills. Just move elements around the page and place them where you want. The process of uploading course content is also pretty simple.
The platform also gives you access to beautifully designed templates that allow you to quickly build a professional course website, even if you don’t have any design skills. Simply pick a template you like, edit the colors, add your content, and launch your course.
It’s good to note that Thinkific has many advanced features and customization options that might take some time to get used to. This results in a high learning curve for first-time users.
Teachable Ease of Use
Like Thinkific, Teachable gives you templates that you can use to quickly design and launch your online learning business. However, the template library is not as extensive as what you get on Teachable.
Despite not having as many templates and customization options as Thinkific, Teachable is the clear winner when it comes to ease of use. It’s very simple to navigate, and its course creation process feels more natural.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Key Features
It’s impossible to choose an online course platform without looking at the specific course creation features that come with the platform. Here, let’s look at the main features you get on Thinkific and Teachable.
Thinkific Key Features
- Drag and drop site builder: Thinkific offers a simple drag-and-drop site builder that makes it easy to build a personalized school that presents your courses in the best possible way.
- Website themes: Thinkific offers several professionally-designed themes that you can use to build an elegant-looking website, even if you don’t have any web design skills.
- Compatible with existing websites: You can use Thinkific to add online courses to existing websites, including websites built using WordPress, Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, and Virb.
- Customizable course sales pages: Thinkific has an inbuilt landing page builder that supports promotional videos and attention-grabbing calls to action. You can also link existing sales pages to your Thinkific school.
- Custom domains: You can use a personalized Thinkific subdomain (e.g., www.mycourse.thinkific.com) or set up your own custom domain (e.g., www.mycourse.com).
- Drag and drop course builder: Thinkific offers an intuitive drag-and-drop course builder that makes it very easy to create online courses. You can either use this builder to import existing content or create new content from scratch.
- Multiple content types: Thinkific supports multiple content types, including text, PDF, HTML, multimedia content, quizzes, presentations, surveys, and downloadable attachments. The platform also supports live and on-demand lessons.
- Assessments and certificates: With Thinkific, you can give assignments, engagement surveys, quizzes, and exams to gauge your students’ comprehension of the course content. You can also issue certificates to your students after they successfully complete your course.
- Student progress tracking: Thinkific allows you to monitor your students’ progress, which is a great way to identify students who need extra support.
- Communities and membership sites: Thinkific allows you to build membership sites, which are a great source of recurring revenue. The platform also has communities and student discussions that allow you to keep your students engaged. You can either use Thinkific’s built-in discussions tool, Disqus, or any other third-party discussion tool.
- Voice-over tool: Thinkific offers a voice-over tool that makes it easy to record audio narrations to go with your presentations. The voice-over tool is compatible with both PowerPoint and Keynote.
- Multiple payment methods: Thinkific works with both PayPal and Stripe, allowing you to accept payments in 130+ currencies in more than 100 countries. What’s more, Thinkific doesn’t charge any transaction fees when you make a sale and gives you instant payouts.
- Product flexibility: You can sell your online courses as standalone courses, subscriptions, and digital downloads. You can also bulk sell courses as course bundles.
- Free course trials: Thinkific lets you offer free trials of your online course, which is a great way of boosting conversions.
- Search engine optimization: Thinkific allows you to edit your course page URLs and meta tag keywords, which can give a boost to your search rankings.
- Rich student environment: Thinkific offers a highly engaging learning environment for your students, with features like video playback control buttons, unlimited content replays, and clear student progress indicators.
- Compatibility with multiple devices: Courses built with Thinkific are designed to be compatible with multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, mobile, and tablets.
- Advanced data tracking: Thinkific offers excellent data analytics solutions and course reporting tools that give in-depth data and analytics about your students. You can use insights gained from this data to optimize your course promotion efforts and improve your courses.
Teachable Key Features
- Drag and drop site builder: Like Thinkific, Teachable comes with an intuitive drag and drop site builder that anyone will find easy to use.
- Professional themes and templates: With hundreds of free themes and features to choose from, you can build professional-looking sales pages, checkout pages, and course pages within minutes. What’s more, these themes and templates are highly customizable.
- Easy-to-use course builder: Creating your courses on Teachable is amazingly easy, thanks to the simple drag-and-drop course builder. You can import existing course content or create new content directly within the course builder.
- Custom domain: Control and strengthen your brand by connecting your custom domain to your Teachable school.
- Multiple content formats: You can add various types of content to your Teachable course, including text, images, PDFs, multimedia content, presentations, and HTML files.
- Multiple selling options: Teachable allows you to sell your online courses using whatever option works best for your students. You have the choice to sell your courses as one-time purchases, subscriptions, course bundles, memberships, and so much more. Teachable also allows you to boost conversions by offering coupons and discounts.
- Student engagement: Teachable makes it easy to talk to your students live with features such as call hosting, an inbuilt email service, tasks, and milestones. These features provide a great way to have one-on-one conversations with your students and help them get the most out of your courses.
- Completion certificates: Teachable has dozens of certificate templates that you can customize and issue to your students after completing a course. This is a great way of making your course more trustworthy and rewarding your students for their hard work. However, this feature is only available on paid plans.
- Coaching: In addition to selling online courses, Teachable also makes it easy for you to offer coaching services. The platform has native integration with Calendly, which is useful for scheduling coaching sessions with your students. Teachable also has native integration with Zoom, which you can use to have live coaching sessions with your students.
- Multiple payment options: Teachable offers three payment options – an inbuilt payments system known as Teachable Payments, which is available in the US and Canada, Teachable Legacy Monthly Payments, and integration with third-party payment gateways, which allow you to get instant payouts. Using either of these methods, you can accept payments in over 130 currencies through PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and more.
- Multi-author profiles: This feature allows you to have multiple course instructors on the same course. This is a very handy feature when collaborating with other authors to create a course.
- Automatic tax management: Teachable handles all aspects of filling your tax forms and remitting your taxes, so you can focus on what really matters – building and selling high-quality courses.
- Reporting and data analytics tools: Teachable has a comprehensive dashboard with powerful course reporting tools that give detailed insights about your courses and students. You can monitor student enrolment and engagement, student progress, course completion rates, and so much more through the dashboard.
Both Thinkific and Teachable have powerful features that online course entrepreneurs like you will find very useful. While the features vary slightly, they help you achieve the same results, and therefore, it’s a draw between the two online course platforms in terms of features.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Performance and Uptime
Another important thing to consider is how reliable an online course platform is in terms of performance and uptime. The more downtime a learning platform experiences, the more likely your visitors are to find your website unavailable. This affects your income and could damage your reputation and brand.
So, how do Teachable and Thinkific compare in terms of performance and uptime?
Thinkific Performance and Uptime
Thinkific promises its course creators 99.99% uptime, so it’s very unlikely that your visitors will find your site unavailable. To ensure minimal downtime, Thinkific has a team monitoring the platform around the clock.
There have been instances when Thinkific has experienced some downtime and responsiveness issues, but these have always been resolved promptly.
Teachable Performance and Uptime
Teachable promises excellent uptime, but they don’t give specific figures about the amount of uptime you should expect. They also monitor the platform 24/7 to ensure that any issues are quickly identified and resolved.
However, Teachable has reported more downtime incidents than Thinkific over the last year, including latency and 404 error issues, connectivity issues, and payment and billing issues.
Both Thinkific and Teachable have excellent uptime, but Thinkific wins this round due to a 99.99% uptime guarantee and fewer downtime incidents reported in the past year.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Who Offers Better Security?
As an online course creator, you will be collecting payments on your website. Therefore, it’s important to consider security to protect your course content and your student’s personal and financial information.
Below, let’s look at the security measures taken by Teachable and Thinkific and how they compare against each other.
Thinkific puts a lot of effort into securing your data and financial transactions. Some of the security features you’ll find on Thinkific include:
- Secure cloud hosting
- Daily course and data backups to secure cloud servers to prevent accidental data loss. Thinkific keeps your backups on their servers for 30 days.
- Built-in SSL certificate
- Complete ownership over your course materials and data
- Automatic security updates
- Round-the-clock monitoring to quickly identify and stop any security breaches.
- Full GDPR compliance
Like Thinkific, Teachable is highly committed to protecting your data. Teachable employs the following measures to keep your data safe:
- Mandatory encryption during transmission and storage of sensitive information
- 2048-bit SSL certificate
- Only supports integration with payment providers who are PCI level-1 compliant
- Automatic security updates immediately they are available
- 24/7 site monitoring
- Full ownership and control over your data
Both Thinkific and Teachable take your site security seriously, and they both offer a similar level of features to protect your data. Therefore, in matters of security, it’s a tie between the two online course platforms.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Marketing and Sales
You could invest lots of time, money, and effort into creating the best possible online course on your topic, but all that counts for nothing if you can’t sell the course. Therefore, it’s important to consider marketing and sales capabilities when choosing an online course platform.
So, what sales and marketing features do Thinkific and Teachable offer?
Thinkific Sales and Marketing Tools
- Thinkific has a 2-step checkout process that requires a student to create an account before making a payment. However, requiring users to create an account before paying can lead to a drop in conversions. You can also add custom conversion elements to your Thinkific checkout page.
- Thinkific has an affiliate marketing feature that you can use to partner with digital marketers and reward them for promoting your online course. With this feature, you can easily track affiliate programs and automatically pay your affiliates based on their sales.
- Thinkific provides native integration with some of the best email marketing services, including ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, and Aweber. These integrations give Thinkific a drip schedule content feature that you can use to send automated emails to your students at predetermined schedules. However, Thinkific limits the kind of drip email campaigns you can create.
- Multiple pricing options, including one-time payments, installments, and recurring subscriptions.
- Thinkific supports integration with 1000+ external marketing tools.
- You can monitor, track, and optimize your marketing campaigns in real-time
Teachable Sales and Marketing Tools
- Teachable has a 1-step checkout process that allows students to pay before being asked to create an account. This results in increased conversions.
- You can boost conversions by adding custom elements like Money-back guarantees and testimonials to your Teachable checkout page.
- Teachable supports multiple pricing options and multiple currencies
- Teachable has an in-built affiliate marketing program
- Teachable allows you to create a very basic blog that you can use to build awareness about your online course and attract potential customers.
- Teachable has an in-built landing page builder that’s great for boosting your sales by building a high-conversion course sales page.
- Teachable only integrates natively with two email marketing services – Mailchimp and ConvertKit. However, you can use Zapier to connect Teachable to your favorite email marketing service, as well as 1000+ third-party marketing tools.
When it comes to sales and marketing, both platforms offer reliable integration with third-party tools, but it’s a clear win for Teachable. Teachable offers a more convenient 1-step checkout, better-designed checkout pages, and blogging capability, which allows you to take advantage of content marketing to promote your online course.
Thinkific vs. Teachable Pricing Plans
Most business decisions are made based on the available budget, so it’s important to consider how Teachable and Thinkific compare when it comes to pricing. So, which of the two platforms is more affordable?
Thinkific Pricing Plans
Thinkific has a free forever plan with support for 3 courses and unlimited students. This plan is a great choice for those on a limited budget. You can use it to start your online course business, then upgrade to a premium plan once you’ve started making some sales.
Thinkific’s premium pricing plans start at $39 for the Basic Plan, $79 for the Pro Plan, and $399 for the Premier plan. All paid plans allow you to host unlimited courses.
The yearly plans allow you to save 20% compared to the monthly plans. High-volume sellers can also request custom features and pricing under the Enterprise Plan.
Another notable thing about Thinkific’s pricing is that it doesn’t charge any transaction fees, which allows you to maximize your revenue.
Teachable Pricing Plans
Like Thinkific, Teachable has a free forever plan that offers a great way to get acquainted with the platform and start selling courses online. However, the free plan only supports 1 course and does not support a custom domain.
Teachable’s paid plans start at $29 for the Basic Plan, $99 for the Pro Plan, and $249 for the Business Plan. Like Thinkific, Teachable gives you unlimited courses on all paid plans. You can save up to 25% by choosing an annual rather than a monthly plan.
It’s good to note that Teachable charges a $1+10% transaction fee on the Free Plan and a 5% transaction fee on the Basic Plan. The Pro and Business Plans attract zero transaction fees.
While Teachable offers lower prices on all plans except the Pro Plan, Thinkific still wins this round because of two factors. First, Thinkific’s free forever plan is more practical since it supports 3 courses, compared to Teachable’s free forever plan, which supports 1 course.
Second, there are no transaction fees on Thinkific’s Free and Basic plans. Teachable’s transaction fees on the Free and Basic plans can easily make it more expensive than Thinkific. Therefore, the win goes to Thinkific.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Who Has Better Customer Support?
Hosting and delivering an online course is a highly technical undertaking. Even though using an online course platform makes everything easier, it’s not inconceivable that you might run into an issue or two.
In such situations, you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have knowledgeable and readily available customer support to help you out. Let’s see how these two online course giants compare in terms of customer support.
Thinkific Customer Support
Thinkific has great customer support. Their support staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and their response time is quick. Thinkific support is available via email for all plans, including the free forever plan. However, live chat support is only available on paid plans.
Besides email support, Thinkific has a huge knowledge base with hundreds of articles on how to get the most out of the platform and solve common problems.
If the knowledge base doesn’t contain what you’re looking for, there’s an active user community where you can get answers to your questions and advice from other Thinkific users.
Teachable also has an Online Business Masterclass, a premium training program available to all premium users. The Online Business Masterclass contains online tutorials and classes that teach various course creation aspects.
Teachable Customer Support
Teachable excellent customer support, which is available via email for all plans. Users on the Professional plan or above can also access live chat support.
Like Thinkific, Teachable has an extensive knowledge base and a very active community forum. With these two, you’ll find answers to any questions regarding the Teachable platform.
Teachable also has its own online training dubbed TeachableU, which offers multiple courses on becoming a better online course entrepreneur.
Both Thinkific and Teachable have impressive customer support available on both email, live chat support (paid plans), extensive knowledge bases, active user communities, and online training. Therefore, when it comes to customer support, it’s a tie between the two.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Who Has Better Customer Reviews?
When choosing between two online platforms, it’s important to consider reviews from current and past users. After all, experiences from other users are a huge predictor of what you should expect once you sign up on the platform. Here’s what other users have to say about their experience with the two platforms.
Thinkific User Reviews
People who have used Thinkific have praised the platform for its user-friendliness, handy course creation tools, robust free plan, and customization options.
However, some users feel its marketing tools and features are very limited. Others have complained that Thinkific needs to upgrade the platform’s design and aesthetics.
At the time of publishing this article, here’s how users rated Thinkific on various software review websites:
- 4.7 out of 5 stars on G2 (181 reviews)
- 4.6 out of 5 stars on Capterra (148 reviews)
- 4.55 out of 5 stars on Software Advice (148 reviews)
- 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot (545 reviews)
- 4.6 out of 5 stars on GetApp (148 reviews)
Teachable has also attracted lots of positive reviews on multiple software review sites. Some of the reasons why people love Teachable include its easy-to-use payments gateway, its intuitiveness, well-designed user interface, and very responsive customer support.
Still, Teachable has been criticized for its limited upsell feature and lack of support for lead magnets. Some users also feel the one-step checkout makes it impossible to recover abandoned carts.
Here are Thinkific’s user ratings on various software review sites at the time of writing this article:
- 4.0 out of 5 stars on G2 (37 reviews)
- 4.4 out of 5 stars on Capterra (135 reviews)
- 4.36 out of 5 stars on Software Advice (135 reviews)
- 3.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot (139 reviews)
- 4.4 out of 5 stars on GetApp (135 reviews)
Thinkific has a significantly higher rating on all the software review sites I considered for this article, so it takes the win.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: The Pros and Cons
- It has a free forever plan
- It supports multiple payment options, including one-off payments, installments, and subscriptions.
- Zero transaction fees
- It has a voice tool that allows you to record voiceovers for your presentations.
- Supports a custom domain on the paid plans
- Supports white labeling on the Business Plan
- Active peer group on Facebook with over 31,000 members
- Instant payouts for immediate access to your earnings
- Supports 1000+ third-party integrations
- Great customer support with short response times
- It supports multiple lesson types, including text, audio, video, surveys, and quizzes.
- Excellent data tracking and analytics
- Unlimited courses and unlimited students on all paid plans
- Allows HTML and CSS editing for advanced users
- It doesn’t have a course marketplace with a ready audience where you can promote and sell your courses.
- It doesn’t offer an inbuilt email marketing tool
- It doesn’t have an inbuilt sales funnel builder
- The two-step checkout process can lead to decreased conversions
- It doesn’t automate VAT payments. You have to use third-party tools for that.
- Offers a free forever plan
- It has an intuitive, user-friendly interface and a powerful course builder
- It comes with a drag-and-drop site builder
- It has an inbuilt email marketing automation feature that’s great for implementing highly personalized campaigns to promote your courses.
- Allows you to offer completion certificates to your students
- Supports unlimited courses and students on all paid plans
- Offers value-packed annual summits that you can attend for free
- Supports simple sales funnels
- Robust data tracking and reporting features
- Offers one-step checkout for faster conversions
- Excellent customer support
- Compatible with Zapier for 4000+ third-party integrations
- It gives you full control over your student data
- Supports upsell offers on the Thank You Page and within your courses
- It has an inbuilt payment processing option
- Supports multiple payment options
- It automatically handles VAT for sellers in the EU
- Excellent security
- A strong set of marketing features
- It supports multiple content formats, including text, image, PDF, audio, and video.
- High transaction fees on the Free and Basic plans
- It doesn’t give you access to course marketplaces
- Limited multi-lingual support
- Limited native integrations
- Long payout periods for sellers outside the US, UK, and Canada
- Limited customization options
Thinkific vs. Teachable FAQ
Teachable is cheaper than Thinkific on all corresponding plans, except the Pro Plan. However, Teachable charges transaction fees on the Free and Basic plans, which can drive up the costs of using the platform.
If you feel that Teachable doesn’t work for you after signing up for a paid plan, Teachable allows you to request a full refund within 30 days of signing up. Unfortunately, Thinkific doesn’t offer refunds.
No. Both Thinkific and Teachable are fully-featured platforms that give you free hosting for your courses. Therefore, you don’t need a third-party web host. However, if you already have a website hosted elsewhere, you can use either of these platforms to add courses to your site.
Yes. Thinkific and Teachable give you total ownership and control over your content and all the user data collected from your students. You can export your course content and student data whenever you want.
Thinkific vs. Teachable: Which Online Course Platform is Best for Me?
Thinkific and Teachable are powerful online learning platforms created solely to help you host and sell online courses. Therefore, they have very similar course creation features and few key differences. As a result, this was a very close comparison, and choosing the best between Teachable vs. Thinkific was not easy.
After comparing Teachable vs. Thinkific based on ease of use, key features, performance and uptime, security, sales and marketing tools, pricing, customer support, and customer reviews, Thinkific slightly edges out Teachable with one point.
Teachable takes the lead when it comes to ease of use and sales and marketing features, while Thinkific wins the rounds on performance and uptime, pricing, and customer reviews. The two online learning platforms tied on key features, security, and customer support.
Based on these factors, I recommend going with Thinkific if this is your first time using an online learning platform. Thinkific is especially a great choice if you’re more concerned about great design.
If you’re more concerned with marketing your online course and scaling your online education empire, however, you’ll find Teachable a better choice.