Teachable vs Thinkific: Which One is Better For You?

Online course platforms give you the freedom to create and sell your courses. You get paid and they get a percentage of your earnings for helping you market and manage them.

But there are so many that it can be frustrating trying to figure out the best platform for your courses. So to save you precious time, we decided to head straight for the top 2 online course platforms we could find.

We set them against each other, Teachable vs Thinkific, for an in-depth comparison.

These are two of the most dynamic and trustworthy course platforms on the market today. We evaluated the pros and cons so you can pick and choose which one best fits your online needs.

Teachable vs Thinkific

Teachable

Teachable is an online platform that lets you create your own online courses. They handle all the necessary requirements like web hosting and advertising. They’re also responsible for the payment process.

Signing up is an easy process and it’s free. You just need an email account and you’re ready to start.

Once you sign up, you’ll be automatically enrolled in the ‘Free’ plan. There are 4 basic plans to choose from.

Each of these plans comes with its distinct features and levels of support. If you choose a paid plan, you can choose to be billed by the month or just annually.

You can change between any of these four plans at any time. Plus, Teachable offers a 30-day money-back policy. All you have to do is request a refund and they’ll cancel your paid plan easy and hassle-free.

Thinkific

Thinkific is a company that offers a platform to online course creators and students. They provide you with assistance and all the tools you need to build, launch, market, and sell your courses.

They currently have more than 2500 course creators and students from over 164 countries.

To register, all you have to do is complete four easy steps and you’re done

  1. Type in the name of your business (or school)
  2. Type in the name of your course
  3. Pick a starting point for this course
  4. Make a few confirmations and some design adjustments

Then, Thinkific takes care of the rest.

If at any time you wish to edit your school page, click on ‘Build Landing Page’. You’ll find templates, examples, and suggestions to help guide you.

Once you’ve signed up, you’re automatically set into the Free Plan. You can upgrade or downgrade at any time.

Features of Online Course Platforms

These platforms are a means to connect you to students. They help deliver your courses without any risks. Your personal information, as well as the students’, is completely protected.

Most platforms have features that overlap and cover most of the same details. We only focused our search on Teachable vs Thinkific because they’re the best 2 available.

They’re preferred by many because they offer the following:

  • Privacy of your personal information
  • Security of courses and other learning material
  • Tracking students’ progress
  • Interactive quizzes, tests, and surveys
  • Videos and other hosting benefits

One of the great benefits of course platforms is that businesses and startups can create courses for their employees. They can be used to gauge the employees’ ability to understand the material and their progress.

Your content can be displayed in two ways. Students can either enter directly the school/business page or jump straight into your courses page.

Your School

Students have the option of enrolling in your have to enroll in your school before signing up for any courses in that school.

There are cases when students have enrolled in a school, but not in any courses. It could be that they’re interested in what you have to offer, but not yet ready to commit to any particular course.

A good idea to email these students with special deals and new courses on a regular basis. This can improve their chances of purchasing a course.

Or it could be they got lost and confused while on your school page. One way to make your school page more user-friendly. Organizing your school homepage to make it easier for students to find the course sales page.

Some people choose to do away with the ‘school enrollment’ button from their site. This makes it easier for students to head straight to the courses they want.

Your Courses

Another way that students can enroll is by first signing up for one of your courses. This automatically sets up an account with your school.

Usually, students will start their search with the courses they’re interested in. Sometimes they’re referred, either by a friend or through an ad, to one of your courses.

This way, they can get to know your courses before becoming more familiar with your school in terms of what it has to offer on a wider scale. It’s a bit simpler and more straightforward than starting out by enrolling in your school.

Teachable

Since its debut in 2014, Teachable has been growing rapidly, and for good reason. It offers a variety of easy-to-use features that attract course creators and students.

If you’re someone who’s looking for the biggest bang for their buck and make a name for themselves in the online course market, Teachable provides you with a built-in blog and easy customization of your school page. You can go with your own domain name or choose one for the readily available domains on Teachable.

There are 1-click drag-and-drop features to easily create an engaging website. You can import text, audio, and video files from Dropbox, OneDrive, or GoogleDrive.

Teachable also makes it easy to communicate with your students through its email system, discussion forums, or comment sections. You have the ability to moderate the comments before publishing them.

In order for your courses to gain traction, Teachable offers affiliate marketing. You also can choose from several coupons to give as promotional gifts to students who’ve already bought previous courses.

You can also give them out to students who’ve subscribed to your school but haven’t bought any courses yet as an incentive.

What We Like

  • Free Plan gives you access to unlimited video bandwidth, hosting, and CORE features
  • The ‘checkout’ and ‘thank-you’ pages are easily created and edited
  • Strong 1-click upsell
  • Has powerful affiliates
  • Facilitates technical aspects like tax payments and marketing
  • Offers efficient course reporting tools
  • Editing bulk content is easy
  • Has an iOS app
  • Gives you the option of displaying pricing in several currencies
  • Handles the EU VAT (value-added tax) automatically

What We Don’t LIke

  • You can’t preview what your page will look like as you’re editing
  • Its interface hasn’t been recently updated
  • The text editor is quite basic
  • You receive payouts once every 30 days
  • There are no email notifications with the Free Plan
  • The Free Plan limits the number of students to 10
  • Requires external tools, like Google Forms, to create a survey

Thinkific

Thinkific has made powering online learning its mission since 2012 when it was first launched. It’s the top software platform on the market in terms of facilitating course technology. It gives you a great deal of customization and control over your courses and school page.

They’ve refashioned how people learn. By providing instructors with an outlet for their knowledge, they’ve helped thousands of people become successful course creators who have benefited many. Plus, they now know how to turn their skills into a viable business.

Students can now study at their own pace. Learning online means your schedule is flexible. You can listen to your courses, study, and take quizzes on-the-go. It gives you the opportunity to do more during the day. That’s the beauty of the Internet.

What We Like

  • Free Plan gives you access to unlimited video bandwidth, hosting, and CORE features
  • A video pop-up appears to introduce you to the platform as soon as you register
  • Provides course templates with demos
  • The live site builder is easy to use
  • Each section has easy-to-follow video demos
  • Your payouts are deposited immediately after each course sale
  • The Free Plan has email notifications
  • Page builder makes for a great, hassle-free user experience
  • Has in-built survey generator
  • The Course Builder makes it easy to create and edit various types of content

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t have editing for bulk content
  • Doesn’t have an iOS app
  • Offers only certain languages
  • Provides limited design choices for the ‘checkout’ and ‘thank-you’ pages
  • Offers coupons for an extra cost

Teachable vs Thinkific: Pricing

Teachable

There are four main ways to sign up for Teachable. But the last two have very similar features, so we put them together.

Free

This is the best choice if you’re starting out and don’t want to risk any upfront investment.

  • Teachable takes 10% from every sale + $1
  • You don’t get email notifications or email integration

Basic

Professional and Business

  • You pay $99/month set up fees
  • 0% transaction fees
  • You get access to HTML/CSS editing which boosts customizations on your pages
  • There’s a priority live and support chat to answer any questions you may have
  • You’re provided with advanced integrations

Thinkific

There are subtle differences between each of these plans. Yet you can see that each one has its own set of features to make it stand out from the rest.

Free

This is the best choice if you’re starting out and don’t want to risk any upfront investment.

  • 10% from every paid course you sell

Basic

  • You pay $40/month set up monthly fees
  • Thinkific gets 5% in transaction fees
  • You get access to integrations and drip content
  • You can choose a custom URL
  • Provides you with more student details
  • There are more coupons, upsells, and promotion bundles

Professional and Business

  • You pay $99/month set up fees
  • 0% transaction fees
  • You get access to HTML/CSS editing which really boosts customizations on your pages
  • There’s a priority live and support chat to answer any questions you may have
  • You get an Onboarding Call, in addition to a launch preparedness review and training
  • You’re provided with advanced integrations

Verdict

The prices listed here are based on a monthly payment plan. Both platforms make it easy to reach out to them by giving you lucrative features on the Free Plan. Yet Teachable is the winner when it comes to pricing because its pricing is more suitable for businesses just starting out. Plus, it supports an unrestricted number of courses and students.

Teachable vs Thinkific: Payment Plans

Teachable

Here are the three payment options. They’re hassle-free and easy to set up.

Teachable Payments

This type of payment is only used if you’re based in the US or Canada. You can use your credit or debit card to complete these transactions. They’re processed through Stripe Express or PayPal.

You can choose between:

  • Daily (transactions are processed over 2 business days)
  • Weekly (every Thursday)
  • Monthly (every 30 days on the 1st business day of the month)

You choose your payout timeline.

Monthly Payment Gateway

You can process payments through the Monthly Payment plan if you’re based anywhere outside the US or Canada. Credit and debit card transactions are processed monthly and paid out every 30 days via PayPal.

You can use BackOffice, which is a service offered by Teachable, to help facilitate how students pay, as well as how you receive your payouts.

Customized Payment Gateway (only for those on the Professional Plan or higher)

Through this payment plan, you can create a custom plan by connecting either your Stripe Express or PayPal account.

Mixed Payment Gateway

This type of payment plan happens when one school has several payment gateways. For example, a school can be using a custom payment gateway via PayPal or Stripe. Yet at the same time, be also using the Monthly Payment Gateway or the Teachable Payments plan.

When this happens, the two gateways will have separate payout schedules, refund policies, transaction fees, and tax requirements.

Also, BackOffice will only be available for transactions carried out through the Monthly Payment Gateway or Teachable Payments.

After choosing your school and payment plans, you have to set up your school, then prepare your courses for enrollment.

Thinkific

Thinkific follows a more straightforward and simple approach to its payment plan. There are only two ways to receive payouts on Thinkific; Stripe, and PayPal.

Stripe sends your payouts to your bank account after each sale. You can set up your payment schedule according to your country. This could be either daily, a minimum of 2 business days, or weekly.

You can even choose to send your payouts manually to your bank account. Simply turn off the ‘automatic payout’ option in the Dashboard.

PayPal, on the other hand, doesn’t offer an ‘automatic payout’ option. The money stays in your PayPal account until you transfer it manually.

Verdict

Teachable presents more options which are always good to have.

Teachable vs Thinkific: Student Communication and Course Development

Teachable

Teachable offers course tracking and the ability to receive real-time feedback to help you improve your courses. Yet there are no in-built surveys or polls. You have to use 3rd party tools. It does have great user-friendly features that focus more on the instructional aspect of your courses.

Teachable provides your students with completion certificates each time they finish one part of the course and move onto the next. For direct communication with your students, there are discussion forums, comment sections, and direct messaging.

Thinkific

Collecting feedback and assessments of your courses plays a big part in how successfully you run your school/business. Thinkific makes it easy with its on-site survey and poll builders. It also offers extensive options for quizzes, tests, and course evaluations.

Yet what makes Thinkific really stand out is its customer service integration for better communication with your students. There are discussion areas, comment sections, and an email system. There are also completion certificates to give out as rewards and incentives.

Verdict

Thinkific seems to provide better options, so it could have the upper hand on this one, but not by much.

Teachable vs Thinkific: Design

Teachable

Teachable isn’t really flexible when it comes to customizing your website design. It offers limited options and editing tools. Yet it does provide you with HTML/CSS coding to help you adjust and modify your page.

Thinkific

Thinkific has an in-built website builder with various themes and styles to truly make your page unique and stand out. This gives you the freedom to customize how the website looks. Plus, you can edit it at any time with a few clicks.

Verdict

When it comes to custom branding and having plenty of design choices, then Thinkific is the winner.

Teachable vs Thinkific: Technical Support

Teachable

Real-time assistance is a very valuable asset in online platforms. Teachable offers personalized, live chat support. Yet it’s only accessed if you’ve purchased their professional/business plan. With its other plans, you’re only provided with email support. It also has social pages and community forums to help you out when you’re stuck.

Thinkific

Thinkific has a blog, a community forum, and a help center for helping you out if you have a problem on their platform. There’s also a Thinkific experts page with tips on almost every topic you need, like marketing or designing. It also has social pages that offer support and tips as well.

Verdict

Both seem to be pretty close when it comes to technical and customer support.

What Teachable and Thinkific have in Common

Digital learning is one of the most sought-after digital products of the decade.

So you think to yourself, ‘I’m knowledgeable in a certain topic and people can pay money for that knowledge’. That’s when you decide to come up with an idea for an online course.

To start strong, read these tips to make the most of your courses on either platform or both!

Choosing a Course Type

There are six main types of online courses.

Masterclass

This is the type of course given by an expert with a certain skill. There’s a long list of skills you could teach the world, such as painting, writing, music, cooking, and many others.

A successful masterclass depends on how well you, the expert, can captivate the audience’s attention. It’s also about taking the students’ comments seriously and growing from them.

Another factor that determines your course’s success is how much your students improve after taking it.

Coaching

Coaching is similar to Masterclass. It requires a coach who helps learners reach a specific goal through guidance and training.

The topics can be in the fields of business, meditation, career, relationships, and more. This type depends on a variety of communication techniques. Providing different approaches helps learners achieve their goals more efficiently.

MOOC

MOOC (massive open online course) is designed to reach an unlimited number of participants. It has many benefits, such as learning at your own pace and at times that are most suitable for you.

It offers traditional courses that can be repeated without any trouble. They include transcriptions, quizzes, and tests so students can assess their performance.

Mini-Course

Mini-courses bring exactly what they promise. They usually don’t go over two hours. It doesn’t take up that much time on your part. Yet it can be a great way to introduce yourself to the world of online courses.

You can even give it to your students as a free promotional idea. This can help get the word out and increase sales on your other courses.

Corporate Training

Organizations opt for this type of online courses for training and educating their employees. In return for their time and effort, some businesses offer certificates. They’re used as motivational tools. Also, they help employers recognize employees who excel and prove their expertise.

Academy and Software Onboarding

Onboarding is the process of introducing new employees to your services or products. It can also be used with customers or clients.

Conclusion

When choosing an online course platform, there are many aspects to consider.

This is why it’s difficult to call a winner in the Teachable vs Thinkific debate. Both offer practical features and almost identical payment plans.

We’ve listed the pros, cons, and everything in between, in this broad comparison.

They share many similarities. Yet the differences are there in the fine print. It’s up to you to try each one and see which is the perfect fit for your online learning courses.

If you feel that you favor functionality without compromising the freedom of personalizing your school page, then your top choice should be to go with Thinkific. It gives you free rein to create advanced assessments, quizzes, and surveys to measure how much students liked and benefited from your courses.

However, if you prefer easy navigation on your website and hassle-free page-building tools, then I’d recommend Teachable. It’s the online platform that best allows you to focus your energy on engaging with your students and providing them with interactive teaching elements.

 

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