Podia vs Teachable (Jul 2020): Two Online Course Platforms Go Head to Head

Is One Better Than the Other?

There are plenty of SaaS providers that furnish you with the tools you need for creating, marketing, and selling online courses. Two such services include Podia and Teachable. In light of that, we’re taking an in-depth look at both providers in this Podia vs Teachable review. Hopefully, by the end, you should have a definite answer to the question: which tool's best for creating and selling courses online?

Teaching is often the logical next step in any career, no matter your industry. Once you've reached a certain level of expertise, you'll often find that others in your niche are willing to pay for your advice and consultation.

That's why so many industry leaders are creating online courses. Selling these digital products presents an excellent money-making opportunity. So, if you're considering going down a similar route, you might be wondering, “How do I create educational content and market it online?”

Luckily, the answer's more straightforward than you might think.

Let's dive in!

Podia vs Teachable: Who's Podia?

Podia was founded in 2014 and, although it's the smaller platform of the two, with over 25,000 creators using its services, it's undoubtedly one of the most creator-friendly tools on the market. With Podia, building and selling online courses, digital downloads, membership subscriptions,etc., is a breeze!

Their mission is to put creators first by offering an accessible platform that everyone can use. They aim to be friendly, fun, and innovative – paving the way for content creators of the future.

Podia provides course creators with the tools they need to streamline their selling process. They boast functions for everything from site creation, to blogging, to creating online courses, to selling them online. Podia also offers tons of marketing features like off-site buttons, email marketing tools, and affiliate marketing features – all of which come in handy for getting the word out about your brand!

As you may have already guessed, Podia’s platform is incredibly easy to use. During the editing process, you simply add images, rich text, videos, and testimonials to your pages (as and when you want them) and edit away until everything looks just right.

You can preview web pages inside of Podia, so you don't have to publish anything live to the web until you're 100% happy with it.

Podia vs Teachable: Who's Teachable?

teachable homepage

Teachable is designed to support you as you go about designing and launching an online school. Its various features enable you to create and publish engaging content for your students – including things like webinars, video tutorials, step-by-step guides, quizzes, etc.

Today, the platform boasts over 275k active courses, sold by more than 83k instructors. Their total student body comprises over 23 million individuals!

Teachable offers multi-platform access, so your students can engage with your online courses using any device. This includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. A handy asset for any course creator that wants to ensure their content is accessible to all.

Teachable's customization tools are just as easy to use as Podia’s. A simple drag and drop editor allows you to build and edit your own website and blog, brand your content, and design your courses.

On top of that, Teachable also has a code power editor where you can modify any aspect of your website. So, if you have some programming know-how and you want to flex these skills, there's scope for that too!

Podia vs Teachable: All the Pros at a Glance

Podia: The Pros

Person-to-Person Customer Support

Podia doesn’t believe in customer support tickets. They promise that when you open the live chat window on their website, you will speak to a real-life person, every time.

There's isn't an automated system or complicated call re-routing, just excellent customer care. This is a big plus for anyone that doesn’t like chatting with robots and thinks they'll need a helping hand as they embark on their course creation venture.

Simple Pricing, No Transaction Fees

The lack of transaction fees for a lesser monthly subscription than Teachable’s Basic plan ($119 a month) where you're charged a 5% transaction fee, means you keep more of your profits with Podia. In short, there's the potential to make more money with Podia.

Podia’s pricing is simple, straightforward, and caps at a very reasonable price, so you can scale your business without ever having to face daunting monthly subscription fees.

Selling Memberships

Podia selling memberships

If you have a collection of courses, your students might prefer to buy a membership where they can gain access to all of them. This kind of course bundling technique and subscription-based payment model is an excellent way of generating recurring monthly income. All that to say, Podia give you the option to do exactly that.

Immediate Payouts

Podia gets the money you earn from selling courses to you immediately – there's no holding period. You just link your Stripe or PayPal account to Podia, and they'll automatically transfer the funds. Whereas with Teachable, they only guarantee immediate payouts when you use Teachable Payments – all other payment gateways take a month to be sent to your account.

Hassle-Free Migration

Podia migration

With Podia's annual plan, or by pre-paying $249 towards your podia account, Podia offers hassle-free migration. This means they'll help you move your content and audience over to Podia if you want to switch from another service. If you're already using an online course provider but are thinking of changing, this certainly makes moving less daunting.

Teachable: The Pros

A Free Plan

Teachable offers a fabulous free package where you can test out how it works, which is ideal if you're uncertain whether this platform is for you.

However, the free plan limits you to ten students and imposes a $1 + 10% transaction fee on all your sales, which is a hefty price. But, to simply play around with its tools, this is a neat feature to consider.

The Explore-Courses Beta

Teachable is now running a beta on its ‘explore-courses' section on its website. This feature is slowly transitioning Teachable from just an independent course creation platform to a digital course marketplace.

Thanks to this, creators have a chance to market their courses via Teachable’s own platform and gain some exposure and traffic. It's yet to be seen whether this feature is here to stay and how much value it will provide to users. But, it's safe to say, we're excited to see how this pans out!

Course Completion Certificates

Teachable learning

Teachable offers more expensive pricing tiers, and this may be because Teachable provides a few features that Podia doesn't. These types of tools often come in handy for more established brands and educational organizations.

Unlike Podia, Teachable offers course completion certificates. This is especially important to have if you're teaching in an official capacity, as students can then use these certifications as evidence of their efforts.

Teachable also offers better course compliance standards. This way, your students can reach milestones and fulfill specific criteria to achieve course completion. This is a must-have for all institutions that provide officially recognized qualifications.

You Can Create a Great Learning Experience

As we've already mentioned, you can set students quizzes and award them with course completion certifications – but that's not all. Teachable offers tons of other features that empower you to provide a pleasant learning experience, especially if you're catering content to more traditional students.

For instance, you can add a discussion forum inside of your online school where students can chat with each other and communicate with you. Collecting student feedback is also easy, as Teachable integrates with Google Forms, which makes creating student surveys and analyzing the results an effortless task.

Not to mention, you can upload all types of media, including audio, PDFs, videos, and text files, to help engage your pupils.

Advanced Customization

Similar to Podia, Teachable also provides users with an easy and intuitive drag-and-drop editor. But beyond that, you can dig into the code with its power editor (providing you have the know-how to do so). For anyone with web development knowledge, this is a nifty asset to have in the event; you need to work around any of Teachable's customization limitations.

Note: Teachable unlocks advanced developer customization on its more expensive business plan.

Students Can Access Your Courses on All Devices

Thanks to Teachable’s mobile app, students can consume your course content from anywhere and from any device – including mobiles, tablets, laptops, and computers. This is a brilliant selling point for encouraging students to enroll, as you're able to provide a more flexible learning experience.

You Can Handle EU VAT

Taxes are never fun, and the fact Teachable sorts EU VAT out for you is a useful feature that very few other platforms provide.

Now for the Drawbacks. What Are the Cons of Using Podia vs Teachable?

Podia: The Cons

Podia Doesn’t Offer Course Completion Certificates

While Podia offers memberships and digital downloads, it doesn't give you the option of setting graded quizzes or awarding course completion certifications. This makes it difficult to give your courses an official appeal and could be a sticking point for students who want to prove they've invested in their professional development.

There are Limited Customization Options

When it comes to Podia's customization abilities, both in terms of course and website building, Podia is somewhat limited. Also, some users complain that Podia's templates look a little too similar to one another. So, anyone with precise brand requirements might find Podia too restrictive – for full creative freedom look elsewhere.

Some customers report that even simple edits like getting rid of blank spaces between sections and changing font sizes have proven difficult with Podia.

Limited Email Marketing Tools

While Podia comes with a useful email marketing feature that permits you to drip-feed your email campaigns to unlimited users and subscribers, the tool is rather limited. To create and run more complex campaigns, you'll have to integrate Podia with third-party software.

There's No Course Marketplace

The absence of an online course marketplace isn't in and of itself a dire drawback, but it does mean you'll have to make more effort to market yourself and drive traffic to your site. When you're able to list your course on a marketplace, you instantly increase the likelihood of being found by a wider audience, which unfortunately isn't something Podia offers.

Teachable: The Cons

The Transaction Fees

If your budget is your first priority, Podia's a better choice for you. Even though both platforms charge the same for their first paid-for plan, Teachable lumps a 5% transaction fee on top of the subscription fee.

That means for every sale of $100 you make; you lose $5. This could easily eat into your profits – so do the maths before making any final decisions as to which SaaS best suits your needs.

Limited Product Options

When it comes to selling variety, Podia has Teachable beat.

Teachable doesn’t let you sell memberships. You also can’t sell digital downloads. Depending on your niche, this may limit your options and hold you back from profiting from a recurring monthly income.

Customer Support Comes with a Price Tag

Teachable offers live web chat support, and many of its customers are more than happy with its service. However, live chat only becomes available when you sign up for the Professional plan (or higher). This puts a price tag of $99 a month on live chat support. Otherwise, you can only contact Teachable through support tickets and emails.

Value for Money

Compared to Podia, at least, Teachable seems to provide less value for money. Considering the hefty transaction fees that come with Teachable's most basic paid-for plan, Podia is much less of a burden on your wallet.

Between its Mover and Shaker plan, you can unlock all of Podia's features for a much smaller price tag than Teachable does. For instance, affiliate marketing becomes available at Podia's $79 Shaker tier, whereas you don't get access to similar tools with Teachable unless you shell out for their Professional plan at $99 a month.

Branded Websites

Freeing your site from Teachable's branding is another feature that comes with the Professional plan – this means you have to pay a whopping $99 a month before you can create an online school and website that isn't plastered with Teachable's ads all over it.

Podia vs Teachable Pricing Compared

Podia Pricing Plans

Podia keeps its pricing simple and straightforward with just two flat-fee plans: Mover and Shaker. These are paid every month, but you can save on two months' fees when you pay for a year upfront. They also offer a 14-day free trial.

Mover

Podia’s Mover plan costs $39 a month. It's intended for creators who are designing and launching their digital products for the first time. This package unlocks your own digital storefront, where you can sell the online courses and digital downloads you've created using Podia's software. You can also run webinars, email marketing campaigns, a live-chat tool where you and your students can converse with one another, and access hassle-free migrations.

Shaker

For $79 a month, you can unlock Podia's Shaker plan. This is explicitly designed for entrepreneurs ready to grow their business. On top of all the features included in the Mover plan, you'll also get an on-site blog, off-site buy buttons, affiliate marketing tools, you can insert third-party snippets of code, and you can create and sell membership products.

Both plans come with 7-days-a-week support and unlimited everything: That means no limit on the number of products you can list, customers, emails, sales, or hosted files.

It’s also worth noting that neither plan charges transaction fees. It’s the same monthly price, no matter whether you make $5 or $5000. Neat, right?

Teachable Pricing Plans

podia vs teachable pricing

Teachable has a few more pricing tiers than Podia that scale to higher amounts. But, similar to Podia, you'll also get a discount if you pay annually.

As we've already said, there's a restrictive free plan that limits you to 10 students. All plans come with unlimited courses, video, and hosting. That's as well as integrated payment processing and student management tools. They also enable you to set basic quizzes, and there are no fees on free classes. EU VAT is also already calculated for you.

Free – $0 for unlimited courses and limited to 10 students. That said, you have to pay a $1 + 10% transaction fee for all of your paid courses.

Basic ($39, month-to-month or $29 a month billed yearly)

As we've said already, the Basic plan charges 5% transaction fees on all the sales you make. However, you can engage two admin-level users, gain product support, use your own web domain, create and manage coupon codes, and create drip course content. The plan comes with email marketing tools, third-party integrations, and course creator training.

Professional ($119, month-to-month, or $99 a month billed yearly)

The Professional plan includes everything in the Basic package. But, you can register five admin-level users, and you're not charged transaction fees when you make a sale. You get an unbranded website; you can generate advanced reports, set graded quizzes, reward students with course completion certificates, set course compliance criteria, and access affiliate marketing tools.

Business ($299, month-to-month or $249 billed yearly)

With the Business program, you can unlock up to 20 admin users. You can assign customer's user roles, enroll students in bulk, and you'll enjoy advanced theme customization. You can also host group coaching calls and manually import students. You'll also receive priority product support.

Transaction Fees

You can start selling with Teachable’s free plan, but paid courses are charged a transaction fee of $1 + 10% on every sale you make. This lowers to 5% on the Basic plan, and finally, no transaction fees on the Professional and Business plan.

On top of these transaction fees, there also credit card costs. For US sales, this is 2.9% + 30 cents on all plans. For international credit and debit card sales, this is 3.9% + 30 cents.

Podia vs Teachable – Sales and Marketing Features

Besides creating great online schools, any digital course builder worth its salt needs to provide a decent set of sales and marketing features. These are imperative for helping you grow your audience and profits.

So, with that in mind, here’s what both SaaS providers offer in terms of sales and marketing features:

Coupons and Promotions

As we've already hinted at, both Teachable and Podia allow you to create coupons. You can set these to offer either dollar-amounts or percentage-off values and you can create custom expiration times. These work wonders for incentivizing students to enroll in your course!

Podia vs Teachable

Pricing Options

Teachable allows you to set one-time fees and sell subscriptions. You can also set up payment plans and offer individual or bundled courses.

Podia, too lets you set payment plans, you can also bundle digital products together to sell as a package, and set membership-based subscriptions.

Sales Features

Podia features

Podia provides the tools you need to create and market a lead magnet. By this, we mean, it's easy to offer prospective students and customers a freebie (like an ebook) in exchange for their name and email addresses. Collecting this sort of personal data is imperative for nurturing and building a relationship with a string of potential customers.

You can also upsell to students while they're checking out, which comes in handy for boosting the value of any given order.

Teachable provides plenty of customizable and high-converting templates for your sales pages. These are designed to draw in as many leads as possible, so make good use of them! Teachable’s highly customizable design options, is where this platform really shines.

Integrated Live Chat

Podia is the only course platform on the market that comes with an integrated live chat. This feature is worth its weight in gold when it comes to communicating directly with customers and students. Needless to say, this personal touch not only helps with building rapport with your audience but when used to the fullest, you can use this feature to help boost your sales rate.

It's a reliable and convenient way for prospects to get in touch with you wherever they are. You can capture customer questions, provide feedback, and take requests while you’re unavailable, or get back to them straight away when you (or someone from your customer service team) is manning the live chat. The choice is yours.

Email Marketing

Teachable student marketing

Both Teachable and Podia allow you to send newsletters and drip email campaigns. Done well, you'll be in a better position to move your leads down your sales funnel.

It's also worth noting that both platforms enable you to segment your email list and track and analyze the performance of your email marketing campaigns.

However, neither platform offers advanced email marketing features. If you want to run more complex campaigns, you'll need to integrate with an alternative email service provider.

Affiliate Marketing

Podia and Teachable both empower you to set up your own affiliate programs. This comes in handy if you want to encourage students to recommend your course to others – or if you have colleagues or friends in your industry who can promote your e-course to their audience.

For those who are unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, this is when someone promotes your products for you, sells them, and then they enjoy a commission (i.e., a percentage of the sale(s) they make).

However, Podia allows you to set up an affiliate program a little more cheaply than Teachable. Affiliate marketing is unlocked in its $79 a month Shaker plan, whereas with Teachable you'll have to shell out $99 a month for its Professional plan.

Marketing Integrations

Podia email providers

Teachable integrates with an endless number of third-party apps thanks to its Zapier integration.

This includes marketing tools such as:

  • Mailchimp
  • AWeber
  • Infusionsoft
  • Mixpanel
  • ConvertKit
  • Segment
  • Google Analytics

Similarly, Podia also sports the following native integrations and also integrates with Zapier:

  • Convert kit
  • Mailchimp
  • Drip
  • AWeber
  • ActiveCampaign
  • MailerLite

Podia vs Teachable: Their Key Similarities and Differences at a Glance

Differences:

  • Podia doesn’t charge transaction fees on either of its plans, whereas, Teachable charges 5% on its Basic package, and then 0% with its more expensive subscriptions.
  • Podia provides users with live chat customer support on all its plans, whereas, Teachable only offers this with its Professional plan (and upwards).
  • Teachable provides a limited free plan where you can engage with up to ten students, conversely, Podia only offers a 14-day free trial.
  • You can’t sell memberships with Teachable, whereas you can with Podia's Shaker plan.
  • Teachable allows for more advanced customization over the design of your online school. For example, you get greater control over the spacing between each element and the general aesthetic of your brand. This is especially true if you have the coding know-how to utilize its Power editor. While Podia, too, allows you to insert snippets of third-party code and you can install widgets, its overall customization options are much more restrictive.
  • Teachable allows you to register multiple admin-level users, which isn't something Podia offers.
  • Teachable enables you to reward students with course completion certifications, you can set course compliance standards, and they'll handle the EU VAT on your sales. Unfortunately, Podia doesn't offer these features.

Similarities:

  • Podia and Teachable share similar email and affiliate marketing capabilities
  • Podia and Teachable both make it possible to build a website and blog to market and sell your online courses from.
  • Both platforms enable you to use your own web domain, or you can utilize their subdomain to get started with.
  • Both SaaS's provide customer support via email and live chat
  • You can sell unlimited courses and products to as many students as you want with all their paid plans.
  • Both Teachable and Podia provide users with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor for customizing the structure of your online course and your website.

Podia vs Teachable – What’s the Bottom line? Which Online Course Platform Best Suits your Business?

Now we’ve taken an in-depth look at what both Podia and teachable have to offer, it’s time to decide which service is right for you.

Each platform comes highly recommended, boasts a great set of tools and features, and is affordably priced. So it might come down to your personal preference, alongside a few potential deciding factors.

Podia is the better choice for you if:

  • You’re looking for great value for money. Podia’s simple pricing makes it easy to see exactly what you get for your money with just a glance. Plus, with Podia you unlock features Teachable only offers with its more expensive packages. Podia also doesn’t impose any transaction fees, so if you’re starting out and want a cheap plan that enables you to sell unlimited courses with no extra fees, Podia is the one for you.
  • You're switching from another platform. Podia makes migrating your course content and customer list from other platforms a breeze. Podia claims they'll migrate everything over within 24 hours! So, if you're switching from another digital course platform, this hassle-free migration is a great asset.
  • You want to sell memberships. If you have a large community that's likely to stick around to receive your new content, memberships are a great way of engaging and retaining your audience. This is something Teachable doesn’t offer, so if creating and running membership-based products is essential for your business, stick with Podia.
  • You’re a singular instructor, working on your own. Podia doesn’t lend itself to multi-instructor usage. The platform is less geared towards larger schools and groups, and more towards single instructors and entrepreneurs.

On the other hand, Teachable is an excellent choice if:

  • You want more customizability.  Teachable offers more in terms of templates and customization than Podia does. So, if you have specific branding needs, this might be a better platform for you.
  • You're selling to more traditional students. If you’re a more conventional teaching institution, then Teachable enables you to award course certifications and set graded quizzes.
  • You're an extensive operation with a more flexible budget and wish to work with other instructors. It's no secret that Teachable scales up into higher pricing tiers (in comparison to Podia). So, its more advanced features might not be needed by those with smaller budgets. However, if you're working with a team of instructors to help manage your online school, their multi admin-level user support is a must-have.

As you can see, each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. However, as online course building tools go, these two are not too dissimilar. Either choice will help you get started selling educational content online and display it beautifully. D

Don't forget, Podia offers a 14-day trial, and Teachable lets you try its core features in its free plan. That means there's no reason not to go and try them both out! Afterward, you’ll have a better idea of which platform you're more comfortable using.

Which one of these platforms will you opt for in the end? If neither Podia or Teachable have grabbed your attention, there are, of course, other SaaS options available, like Udemy, Thinkific, or Kajabi. Let us know in the comments below which platform you’ll go for.

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.