Thinkific vs Teachable (May 2019): What’s the Best Way to Sell Online Courses?

Selling your own online course doesn't have to be scary. In fact, you don't even need to be a web designer. That's thanks to the wide variety of online sales platforms and website building tools made just for online courses. Today, we're pitting Thinkific vs Teachable to see which one might be best for your situation.

Both Thinkific and Teachable are reputable, high-powered online course building and selling platforms. There are also some other options to choose from, like the ever so popular Udemy, but Thinkific and Teachable are more similar because they're sold as “all-in-one” platforms. By this we mean that you pay a monthly fee for all of the features you need. This includes hosting, SSL certificate, and domain names. Therefore, when we look at Thinkific vs Teachable it's clear that they are quite different when compared to WooCommerce (where you have to configure your own site and hosting) or Udemy (where the system is set up for you but you don't have full control over your website).

thinkific vs teachable - teachable homepage

In general, there are many features to look for when seeking out an online course selling platform. In this article, we'll outline everything from pricing to features, and design to customer support. You'll learn about the in-depth offerings provided by both systems and have a better understanding of what you're paying for.

thinkific vs teachable - thinkific homepage

Let's get started.

Thinkific vs Teachable: Pricing/Fees

As our first test in the Thinkific vs Teachable comparison, we obviously want to see how much the tools cost! Most smaller businesses and entrepreneurs care quite a bit about cost savings, so it makes sense to get that out of the way.

Starting off with Thinkific, you can actually test out the core features without paying a dime. The plan looks like it's technically just for testing, so I wouldn't expect to run a store for free. That said, it's nice that you don't have to worry about a free trial ending or working with a limited set of features.  Having said that, you are able to create three courses with the free plan, so if you only decide to have a small course website, it might work!

Here's a roundup of all Thinkific pricing plans:

  • Free – $0 for all of the core features, three courses, unlimited students, quizzes and surveys, content hosting, and immediate access to your funds.
  • Basic – $49 per month for all of the features in the previous plan, unlimited courses and students, coupons, email communications with students, drip content, affiliate reporting, custom domains, email integrations, Zapier triggers, and manual student exports, and enrollment.
  • Pro – $99 per month for all of the features from the previous plan, unlimited courses and students, two site admins, five course admins, hidden and private courses, advanced pricing, memberships and bundles, advanced customizations, priority support, and certificates.
  • Premier – $499 per month for all features in previous plans, unlimited courses and students, five admin accounts, 50 course admins, a single sign in option, onboarding package, and access to growth packages from Thinkific.

The Growth Package

The growth package pricing depends on how many students you have. The first 100 students are free, but it could potentially go up to $499 per month. On the lower end, you would pay $10 per month for 200 students. The Pro Plan is required for the Growth Package.

After that, you receive things like groups, bulk emails, advanced segmentation, Public API access, webhooks, the removal of Thinkific branding, Brillium Exams integration, ActiveCampaign integration, and Infusionshot integrations.

These features could be rather valueable for adding more students to your courses. We particularly like it if you want full customization of your website with the API and webhooks.

The Enterprise Plan from Thinkific

High-volume users and large companies most likely fall into the Enterprise category. Some companies that use Thinkific include Intuit, Samsung, and Hootsuite, whether it be for internal training courses or helping out customers.

The Enterprise solution is a completely customizable plan, so you have to contact the sales team at Thinkific to see what can be done for your brand.

Onto Teachable Pricing

Now that we have a good take on what you would have to pay for Thinkific, let's dive into the Teachable pricing plans. Teachable also has a free plan for smaller course websites or for testing out the platform. After that, you can upgrade to one some of the other more powerful options.

  • Free – $0 for unlimited courses and students. That said, you have to pay a $1 + 10% transaction fee for all of your paid courses. The Processing fees are also there, so you have to take that into consideration. Other than that, you receive access to basic features like integrated payments, student management, discussion forums, and basic quizzes. Email support is provided.
  • Basic – $29 per month for all base features, 5% transaction fees, instant payouts, two admin users, product support, course creation training, custom domains, coupon codes, drip content, integrated affiliate marketing, email marketing, and other third-party integrations.
  • Professional – $79 per month for everything in the previous plan, but with no transaction fees. You also gain access to instant payouts, five admin users, priority customer support, graded quizzes, advanced customization, advanced reports, an unbranded site, completion certificates, and course compliance.
  • Business – $399 per month for everything in the previous plan, 100 admin users, priority support, manual student importing, custom user roles, and bulk enrollments. You also still get the instant payouts and no transaction fees with this plan.

So, which one is the better value? One thing's for sure. The Teachable free plan is far better than that of Thinkific because it supports an unlimited number of courses and students. It also looks like the lower tier princing plan from Teachable is more desirable for companies just getting started. The features definitely vary between platforms, so some of the more unique features may press you to choose one over the other. But on the surface, Teachable appears to be a better deal in general.

Winner: Teachable

Thinkific vs Teachable: Overall Feature-sets

When looking at Teachable, it's packed with excellent features. You also get the advantage of unlimited courses and students for all plans. That being said, Thinkific is no slouch. In fact, Thinkific has more unique packages and integrations for companies that are looking for an advanced course building and selling tool.

From designing your course pages to quickly uploading media like images and videos, you have plenty of features to play around with in Thinkific. I especially like the fact that you can connect items like Google Docs and Articulate. With both platforms, you should know that all of your website content is hosted for you. This means there's no need to go out and install something like WordPress on a host.

Moving on now, let's explore some of our favorite features from Thinkific: 

  • Quick customization tools for branding your website and matching courses to your brand.
  • Instant uploading and support for video, text, quizzes, discussions, Google Docs, and more.
  • You can add downloads to all of your courses.
  • Support for both private and hidden courses.
  • Prerequisite lessons for people to take prior to signing up for a class.
  • Tools for building a complete membership website.
  • Drip content to slowly reveal lessons as users move through your courses.
  • Options for multiple instructors.
  • Cohorts.
  • Expiring and evergeeen content.
  • Themes made for a wide variety of industries.
  • A beautiful drag and drop builder for all experience levels.
  • The option to utilize your own unique domain name.
  • Full access to CSS and HTML areas–allowing for the ultimate customization.
  • Membership and subscription site tools.
  • Coupons and promotions.
  • Instant payment from over 100 currencies.
  • Affiliate tools.
  • Email marketing integrations.
  • Advanced data tracking.
  • Integrations with thousands of marketing and business apps.

As you can see, Thinkific has a nice list of features for you to sink your teeth into. Some of them are rather unique, such as the integrations and amazing themes.

Now, let's switch over to Teachable to see what features look most appealing:

  • Options to add all sorts of media like audio, PDF files, and videos.
  • Import all of your media from places like OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
  • Build your entire site through Teachable or integrate it with your current website.
  • Teachable has a drag and drop builder with some initial templates to work with.
  • Access to the site code for advanced customization.
  • Sales landing pages for improving your conversions.
  • The option to connect your own domain to the website.
  • Support for a wide variety of languages.
  • Quizzes and completion certificates to evaluate and reward students.
  • A full discussion forum for students to chat with each other and ask questions.
  • Tools for collecting student feedback through surveys and Google Forms.
  • Integrations for things like email marketing and customer support.
  • Segmentation options for your student list.
  • Promotions and coupons.
  • Advanced pricing.
  • A built-in affiliate program to reward those who refer others to your courses.
  • Support for up over 130 currencies around the world. You can also accept all major credit cards and PayPal.
  • An area to incorporate conversion pixels for tracking.
  • Excellent stats and insights to learn about your students and where they come from.

Disregarding which of these features come with which pricing plan, it's clear that both Thinkific and Teachable have loads of features for you to utilize when selling courses online. They both have promotions and coupons, integrations for email marketing, and support for many types of media and content.

Membership and affiliate tools come in both platforms, and you can access CSS and HTML code in either.

I do believe that the overall Thinkific design is better, but let's save that for the next section. As for the features when comparing Thinkific vs Teachable, it's close to a tie, but we'll give the edge to Teachable because of its beautifully crafted sales pages. These are essential for when users click through your Facebook or Google ads, so it's nice that you don't have to go out and pay for a separate landing page platform.

Winner: Teachable (but not by much)

Thinkific vs Teachable: Design

As we mentioned in the section above, Thinkific and Teachable each provide CSS and HTML file access. This means that you or a developer can go into the files and adjust or add your own code. This is an incredible freedom for site designers, since you can brand your website the way you want and potentially change just about any style, font, or item location.

In addition, the default site designs from both platforms look clean, modern, and easy enough for beginners to use. Therefore, you can take advantage of the design tools from both, whether you're an experienced designer or a beginner. It's also nice to know that you at least have the option to hire a designer to modify site files.

Yes, we enjoy the sales pages from Teachable, but the design area is where Thinkific really excels. Teachable has a base website template that pretty much all of its users start with. You can change the design a bit by uploading your images, adding a logo, and adjusting the colors. It also has a drag and drop builder for ease of use.

However, Thinkific takes it to the next level with a large collection of beautiful templates. Do you plan on selling fitness courses? There's a theme just for that. What about a course on blogging for revenue? That's provided as well!

Thinkific is always adding new templates for you to choose from, but the library looks pretty useful right now for a wide range of industries and products. Combine that with the drag and drop builder, the options for your own domain name and full access to site files and you've found an option with some of the best design tools in the business.

Winner: Thinkific

Thinkific vs Teachable: Customer Support

Thinkific provides a help center, resources, and a blog for if you would like to complete your own research when you encounter a situation with the platform. The company also has a training site where you can purchase online courses for building your Thinkific site and making more money online with courses. The only problem is that these online courses are pretty expensive. It looks like it's more of a second revenue stream for Thinkific and not so much a support module for customers.

The Thinkific help center is solid, and you can also tap into the community forum where users chat about problems or tactics. Other than that, you can send in an email for direct support. There isn't anything in terms of phone or chat support.

Lastly, you can find a page for Thinkific experts if you need help with marketing, web design or anything else.

Teachable, on the other hand, offers a knowledgebase and blog for its online support. You can also find experts for things like web design and more. The primary form of direct contact information is through email, where you would be placed into a ticketing system.

Both Thinkific and Teachable have social pages as well, if that's how you like to get your support or contact information.

Overall, Thinkific seems to have better online resources than Teachable, but they are both pretty solid in the customer service department. We'll give the edge to Thinkific on this one.

Winner: Thinkific

Thinkific vs Teachable: Student Communications

Completion certificates are given in both platforms, so you're able to reward people for when they move onto a different part of the course.

Thinkific provides discussion areas and options to communicate with your students through quizzes. You also have options for direct messaging to students.

Thinkific vs Teachable

Teachable is very much the same, with forum tools for users to chat, and some direct messaging fields. Quizzes and surveys are also part of the equation, so it looks like Thinkific and Teachable are on the same playing field when it comes to student communications.

That said, Thinkific does have plenty of customer service integrations, so if you use any of those you might find that Thinkific does a better job with communication. However, it all depends on your third-party tools. When comparing Thinkific vs Teachable in the realm of customer service, it really is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Thinkific vs Teachable: Which One is Right for You?

This is one of the closest comparisons we've done on this site, and it's because when you pit Thinkific vs Teachable against each other you start to realize that they have very similar features. Both of them are pre-built website platforms made just for online courses. You can integrate with several marketing tools, and the payment processing is all handled for you. Not to mention, domain names are supported and you don't have to find your own hosting.

That being said, here are some suggestions:

  • Teachable makes the most sense if you're strictly worried about price.
  • Teachable and Thinkific has similar features, but we like Thinkific for its integrations and Teachable for its sales landing pages.
  • The template designs are amazing on Thinkific. Teachable only really has one starting design that you customize.

There you have it! That does it for our Thinkific vs Teachable comparison. If you have any questions or would like to share your experience with either Thinkific or Teachable, let us know in the comments below.

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a freelance writer who creates tools and resources to help other writers get more productive and market their work.