Thinkific vs Teachable – A Comprehensive Review
The Covid 19 epidemic has been pushing us to exist according to rigorous guidelines for over a year now. E-learning, online education, and online classrooms have all become inseparable parts of our everyday lives. We may say that the pandemic promoted online learning and accelerated its evolution. Studying and teaching have shifted to e-learning platforms in recent years, resulting in many webinars, online courses, and online course platforms.
According to Global Market Insights, the value of the e-learning industry has reached $250 billion in 2020, with projections to hit $trillion through 2027. This period of expanding popularity is ideal for starting your online school. Since last year, there has been a considerable growth in interest in online courses. People are looking for various online schools, ranging from arts and crafts to technology and computer sciences.
Furthermore, educators were placed in a difficult position during the epidemic to become accustomed to multiple internet platforms quickly. Unfortunately, many of them did not embrace the opportunity to give a higher-quality learning experience, instead opting to read contents from the presentation during a group video chat.
Today, we are coming to you with an in-depth comparison of two viral course creators: Teachable and Thinkific.
Both Teachable and Thinkific are commonly used online course platforms. Those two sites are being in a so-called competition resulting in the race of adding new, better features, offering affordable pricing plans, and overall being very similar. They are considered one of the best online course platforms, used by many bloggers, coaches, and other small businesses to create and sell online courses successfully.
This is what makes it so complicated to decide which one is better. Both have unique features and are constantly improving, which is why we need to compare them thoroughly to determine which is the best course-creating platform right now.
In this article, we’ll educate you about what Thinkific and Teachable are, how they are different in various aspects, the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, and the best alternative for both of them available online.
Before we begin with an in-depth comparison of the two platforms, we should tell you more about what each of them entails.
Thinkific was launched in 2012 by brothers Greg Smith and Matt Smith as a software platform for creating, marketing, selling and delivering online courses. Today, this website is a place for over 50,000 course creators, with over 100 million courses taken by visitors.
Over 270 employees work for Thinkific, which provides services in over 15 countries. Over the years, Thinkific managed to revolutionize the public’s approach to online education.
Some of the elements that make Thinkific stand out from the rest are how simple it is to use the platform, the freedom that it gives to creators and members’ data safety for both creators and students.
Once you quickly set up your course, which you don’t need any developer-level knowledge of, you can focus on analytics and marketing tools that Thinkific also gives you access to as a creator.
Teachable is a course-creation platform created in 2014 by Ankur Nagpal, and since then, it’s been Thinkific’s biggest competitor. Today, this company has over 150 employees and boasts over 100,000 instructors registered on its platform.
You can create courses about subjects you’re knowledgeable or passionate about, publish them, and make money from them on this platform. You don’t need any knowledge about programming or web design because Teachable’s team handles everything. You just need to make the content.
The features with which Teachable differentiates from others are their simple to use drag-and-drop course builder, extensive analytics and extraordinary marketing tools.
In case you didn’t know already, uptime is when a website is available to users online.
The uptime of a Learning Management System (LMS) website with courses sold as digital products is a crucial element to look out for. After all, any sort of downtime can potentially lose revenue and students for many online course-creators.
Every website on the Internet faces downtime occasionally, and Thinkific and Teachable are no exception. Thankfully, checking if there was any downtime for a website can be done simply online, both for Thinkific and Teachable.
Visiting both of these links will lead to noticing that Thinkific has lower downtime than Teachable does.
Thinkific claims to have a 99.9% uptime on their website, while Teachable has no such claims. Although, both websites have a monitoring team available at all times to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
However, Teachable still has more downtime and reported issues, like problems with connecting and significant delays. Thinkific also faced this kind of problem from time to time, but they always solved it accordingly and efficiently.
Thinkific is more transparent when it comes to website problems. Besides claiming that their monitoring team works 24/7 and has a 99.9% uptime, they also write about every issue they encounter and update their clients on the fixing process, which is a big plus.
We have to say that when it comes to uptime, Thinkific has better numbers and greater transparency as a company than Teachable does.
Setting up and running your online course business isn’t a simple task. This is why the platform’s job is to make it as easy as possible for its customers, whether they’re creators or students.
Any problems or advice should be dealt with by adequate customer support, which is readily available and professional when it comes to solving issues. The crucial traits of an excellent customer support system are proactive help and efficiency.
Both Thinkific and Teachable offer an excellent customer support system, especially compared to some other learning platforms available online. On both of these websites, you can get various types of support through online tutorials, support tickets, onboarding emails, knowledge base, and even Facebook communities.
If you’re contacting the customer support team through a support ticket, you can expect a response for both websites in the next 24 hours. However, Thinkfic offers more personalized and efficient answers to customers’ issues. Also, while customer support at Teachable is only available Monday through Friday, Thinkific’s support system is available to customers every day of the week.
On the other hand, Teachable offers live chat support, which can be extremely useful as any issue can impact creators’ revenue, but only if you purchase the Professional plan, which costs $99/month. In this way, Techable’s customer support is limited.
Thinkific also offers additional support, whether a customer needs help with migration, launching, 1v1 onboarding or account managers at various plan levels. Both websites have Facebook groups where you can ask any questions.
Or final thoughts on customer support on Thinkific and Teachable are that they both have advantages and disadvantages. However, they still manage to offer excellent and efficient customer support for anyone who needs it.
One of the few crucial elements you need to watch out for is how they handle cybersecurity when opting for a platform to host your online business. According to the most recent data, cybercrime is exponentially growing and it’s going to cost people $10.5 trillion by the year 2025.
This is why online payments are constantly threatened, but thankfully, both Thinkific and Teachable have robust security measures set in place to keep your assets and data safe.
To start, Thinkific’s team monitors the platform every day to verify there aren’t any security breaches and offer automatic security updates.
The platform is secured by built-in SSL certificates, cloud hosting, and regular automatic backups, all of which ensure that your data is safe and untouched by outside sources. Also, every content you post on their website legally belongs to you, meaning that you possess full ownership.
On the other hand, Teachable also has extraordinary cybersecurity measures installed as a part of its platform. Like Thinkific, they have a built-in SSL certificate, customers receive automatic security updates on any new features and you entirely own the content you post.
To maintain data security ultimately, Teachable is integrated with only PCI level-1 compliant payment providers, making your financial data safe.
When comparing these two, it’s noticeable that Thinkific has more cybersecurity features available. However, they are both safe to use and proficient at keeping your data secure.
Without a doubt, the crucial aspect of every online course platform is course creation. Suppose you want to start making course content on any website. In that case, you’ll undoubtedly require an interface that’s elementary to use but that still manages to possess plenty of unique tools and design options.
Both Thinkfic and Teachable unquestionably fit this description. Their simplicity and directness are what make them one of the most sought out platforms by course creators. To start, both of these platforms utilize a drag-and-drop builder in course creation, so every customer can quickly build a course without any developer knowledge required.
This builder can add content that fits into various file types, like PDFs, text, pictures, and videos. On Teachable, you can even add files stored on cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. Similarly, Thinkific offers you the option of a Video Library. You can store videos and reuse them in various courses later on in this place, so uploading and resuing videos are made easy.
Creating a course is done quickly with templates and you can divide your courses into lessons and chapters, just like on most e-learning platforms. While Thinkific provides you with an offer to choose between six distinctive templates, on Teachable, you only have the option to choose between three different ones.
We can confidently say that both of these platforms cover the basics of course creation and course customization. However, there are some elements and features regarding this process that Thinkific possesses and Teachable doesn’t, which we have to point out.
For starters, Thinkific gives you the option to create advanced quizzes with valuable elements like attempt tracking, explanations on the correct answers, multimedia and the ability to integrate with 3rd party exam providers. On the other hand, the option for quizzes on Teachable is limited and only allows short questions and answers without an upload feature.
Thinkific also gives you the option to create surveys you can utilize for both eams and feedback on your work, among other things. They can be long-form or short, based on a rating or a scale, or single-answer and multi-answer questions.
Some of the other features exclusive to Thinkific include prerequisites or content locking, where you can set up prerequisite lessons that your students have to listen to if they want to move ahead with the course.
Thinkific also lets you create high-quality presentations and slide shows on which you can add a voiceover. It also enables you to add so-called one-click multimedia like links, forms, and Google docs without the need to embed or code.
When it comes to the basic design of your page and courses, both Thinkific and Teachable offer excellent and completely functional options. You can easily create courses, landing pages, and custom pages on both of these platforms, and they permit you to modify your checkout and thank-you pages where you can add upsells or social media links.
Despite that, we consider that Thinkific has better and more extensive site design options than Teachable does.
Now that we determined that both platforms possess completely functional essential elements and design features, even though Thinkific is better in this area, it’s time to look out for things that make your content stand out from the rest — customization elements.
Many online course-creating platforms add many customization options, elements, tools, and features to maintain a modern and immersive environment for both creators and students. Many of these options, especially the ones regarding course creation, make e-learning exciting and something worth paying attention to.
The customization of landing pages and sales pages is simple on both platforms, which will make you stand out from the rest. The first impression you’ll make on visitors and future potential clients who visit your page will be right there. And as we all know, an excellent first impression is half the work.
Both Thinkific and Teachable offer basic course templates that you can use for even more straightforward course creation and they have an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder included.
Every online business owner wants their page to stand out from the rest, which is achieved by different looks. When it comes to this, Thinkific is better than Teachable because it provides you with an option to choose between various distinctive themes for your page, all of which can be customized.
When you choose one of the various themes from the theme library on Thinkfic, you also get to select the theme’s style. Once you opt for one adding it to your page is effortless and you can track your design process through the preview.
On the other hand, Teachable may offer you the option of only one default theme, but it is a highly customizable one where you modify your logo, branding, font and theme colors. This theme is modern and straightforward, but it doesn’t give you as many customization choices. Some people prefer this process to be uncomplex and without many options, depending on the user’s requirements.
It’s safe to say that both of these platforms cover the basics of page building and design, but Thinkific offers more options in general. Thinkific also lets you modify codes to reach your customization objectives if you have any back-end developer knowledge. Teachable allows you to create multiple sales pages for the same courses.
Also, both platforms let you create and publish pages and courses with minimum effort, complications, and no coding knowledge required. As we mentioned before, the elements and features that you can add to courses are also highly customizable and supreme. However, we have to point out again that Thinkific is a leader in this area.
Both platforms let you create pages run by multiple instructors, so you aren’t the only person to take care of the account. This is an excellent option for online schools where numerous instructors create courses on various subjects.
As we said before, Thinkific has more advanced options when it comes to page customization. If you’re a developer or have coding knowledge, you can get full access to the theme code, where you can freely transform and modify pages, sections, styles, layouts, and assets. The only thing required of you is the knowledge of HTML, CSS or LIQUID.
On the other hand, Teachable doesn’t provide you with this much freedom regarding site customization, but you can edit separate HTML blocks when modifying your theme. The downside is that you can’t add new files or upload individual assets.
Additionally, when it comes to advanced theme modification, Thinkific gives you the option to import or export site themes, including elements like fonts or images. Teachable doesn’t provide you with this option.
Another point where Thinkific exceeds is the language options. You can choose between over 30 languages to create your website in, while Teachable only offers a couple.
Customization-wise, both platforms offer you the option of a custom domain name if you opt for one of the paid plans, while free plans provide you with a free subdomain.
Also, both platforms allow you to use the drip schedule feature. This feature is used to unlock certain parts of your lessons based on various categories, like specific dates or a time after enrollment. The students can be notified about newly available lessons via email.
Once every student finishes a course, they are provided with a course completion certificate that you can customize based on your requirements and wishes. This is available on both Thinkific and Teachable.
Of course, both of these platforms have an excellent and highly responsive design, meaning that both you and students can visit them simply no matter what device you’re using, whether it’s a computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
The bottom line is that we consider that, although both websites do more than enough to cover all the design and customization basics, Thikific is a clear winner because it has more advanced features and is a better option in this area if you’re already a skilled user.
Running any business is dependant on customers’ data, but this is especially true for online businesses. When you establish an online business, especially if it’s a new one, you need to know what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. This is where analytics can help.
Analyzing your content, process, and customers’ reactions is crucial to improve and grow your online school. This is why you need to opt for an online course-creating platform with excellent analytic tools and business insights that you can track in real-time.
Lucky for you, both Thinkific and Teachable have outstanding analytic features. Both have basic analytics that you’ll see on any website for online sales, with comprehensive dashboards containing all the essential information about progress and sales you may need. However, they also have some additional features to watch out for.
For example, Thinkific lets you check the progress and status of every individual student on your course. You also have the option to integrate your online school with third-party data analytic tools like Google AdWords and similar gadgets.
On Teachable, you can export data about students and course sales to use on third-party apps or tools for even better solutions. It also lets you know which started campaign is how your students today signed up for your class.
When it comes to members’ data and analytics, we have to say that it’s close to a draw between these two websites. Both have excellent analytics and data tracking that you can utilize for further growth. However, Teachable does have a more robust system with various additional features you can use.
We already discussed the element of cyber security and secure payment gateways on both of these platforms. Of course, superb cybersecurity, in general, is a crucial aspect of any online business that deals with e-commerce. However, cybersecurity regarding payment options doesn’t rely only on the platform but also the payment providers used.
Any third-party payment integration must be completely secure and robust, and both Thinkific and Teachable possess payment providers that fit into this category.
These platforms offer completely secure integration with payment providers such as PayPal and Stripe, although there are some differences. You can use credit cards on both platforms.
For example, Thinkific also has Stunning, a Stripe partner that keeps an eye on failed payments made through this provider. This way, you can easily track and prevent any failed payment attempts to help you run your course business smoothly. Stunning also supports you in achieving greater customer satisfaction due to fewer failed payments.
Thinkific also lets you integrate with third-party tools and elements used for handling taxes, so you even take care of this part of running an online business effortlessly.
On the other hand, Teachable can also handle VAT taxes, but their EU VAT collection feature isn’t completely reliable at all times.
When it comes to payment providers, we have to say that, even though both platforms offer the basic and utterly secure payment methods that we can see anywhere online, Thinkific offers more third-party integrations that you can use to run your business smoothly.
Another crucial point of running a successful online business is utilizing the correct marketing tools. When we run a website on our own or have an independent company, we have to take care of all the marketing aspects by ourselves. However, every good platform for online creators has built-in marketing features to support them.
When opting for an adequate platform to host your course business on, make sure to choose the one with the best possible marketing aspects for your work. These are what will make most of your potential students choose to become attendees of your online course.
Lucky or you, both Thinkific and Teachable have superb marketing aspects as a part of their platforms, both built-in and the ones that you can integrate using other third-party tools. The only disadvantage is that, unlike with platforms like Skillshare, Udemy, or Kajabi, on Thinkific and Teachable, you have to be the one to market your business.
Both of these websites provide you with an option to use some of the essential marketing tools like bundles, upsells, affiliate marketing, coupons, and recurring products. Although, they may have a different approach to some of these.
For example, their approach to coupons is slightly different. While this feature on Thinkific is more advanced and gives you many options, the coupons or Teachable are more fundamental.
Both platforms support easily trackable affiliate programs and incentivizing affiliates. This way, you don’t have to utilize third-party tools for marketing, and the process is made simple.
As we mentioned before, every good website for running an online business has to possess adequate data tracking and analysis tools, and Thinkific and Teachable are no exceptions. Good analytics help you figure out what kind of marketing works for you.
Both of these platforms offer an extraordinary number of possible third-party integrations that you can utilize to make your business run smoothly. For example, Thikific lets you integrate with over 1,000 third-party marketing tools, and Teachable isn’t so far behind. Both offer integrations with some of the leading third-party marketing tools like MailChimp, Zapier, Infusionosft, Mixpanel, and others.
When it comes to WordPress plugins, while Thinkific lets you connect to a WordPress website directly, Teachable can only do this through tools like Zapier.
You can create customized pricing options on both websites and the check-out process is simple. However, Teachable does have a more straightforward and highly optimized checkout process where customers can finish the payment process without leaving the page they were on. This is better and more efficient than Thinkific’s two-step payment process.
On the other hand, Thinkific offers options like course testimonials by customers and SEO sitemaps, which can immensely help you gain new students.
Both platforms also offer you an option for blogging, but blogs created on Thinkific are optimized better due to access to SEO sitemaps you can utilize. Additionally, Thinkific allows social logins for students, while Teachable doesn’t.
All in all, both platforms offer excellent marketing tools that you can utilize to run and grow your business immensely.
Last but not least, opting for a platform with an adequate pricing plan that fits the size of your business, your budget, and your requirements is a given. This is why we have to compare the Thinkific and Teachable pricing plans while determining which one gives the best offer for the price we pay.
Considering both of these websites constantly work hard on updating their features, they also tend to change their prices accordingly. However, they are both on a very similar level when it comes to features and prices offered.
Similar to each other, both platforms also offer a free plan for those who don’t want to commit or just want to try out the features but also have other priced plans that customers can opt for.
The main difference that we can point out regarding free plans is that free plans on Thinkific are entirely free, while the free plan on Teachable involves transaction fees. Every time you sell a course on Teachable as a free plan user, you have to pay a 10% transaction fee and $1 for every new enrollment.
For prices plans, both websites offer discounts if you choose to pay for a plan annually. Here’s a breakdown of payment plans and what they entail on both Thinkific and Teachable.
Teachable offers a Basic plan more affordable than Thinkifics, but when comparing the rest of the prices, we can see a different situation. Also, Teachable’s Basic plan still holds translation fees, albeit lower than the Free plan does.
All in all, both websites have similar prices and are affordable for both new and established course creators, especially when you count on all the valuable features you can utilize for your courses.
- Free plan — the free plan on Thinkific lets you use all the core features, take unlimited student enrollments, surveys, quizzes, content hosting, and create up to three courses.
- Basic plan — with $49/month, you get all the features that are a part of the Free plan, but with unlimited courses and valuable features like drip content, email marketing and integrations, affiliate marketing, custom domains and manual student enrollments and exports.
- Pro plan — for $99/month, you get access to all the Basic plan features but with additional five course instructors, two site admins, memberships and bundles, progressive customization options, private and hidden courses, certificates, and priority customer support.
- Premier plan — for $499/month, you’re provided with all the features from the Pro plan, 50 course instructors, five admins, an onboarding package, one sign-in option and the ability to utilize growth packages created by Thinkific.
- Free plan — Teachable also has a free plan available to its customers, but, as we mentioned before, it comes with additional fees.
- Basic plan — for $39/month, you gain access to all of the basic features on Teachable, although you still have a 5% transaction fee. Other features include two admins, custom domain name, instant payout, product support, drip content, email and affiliate marketing, coupon codes and various third-party integrations.
- Professional plan — for $119/month, you get everything included in the Basic plan, but without transaction fees. Other features include five admins, progressive customization options, priority customer support, advanced reports, graded quizzes, completion certificates and course compliance.
- Business plan — for $299/month, you gain everything included in the Professional plan, plus 100 admins, custom user roles, manual import of attendees and bulk enrollments.
Those are all of the most significant features and differences that these two platforms hold. As we can see, there are so many points made for both sides, so it’s going to be simpler if we just point out the advantages and disadvantages that Thinkific and Teachable have.
- Excellent website uptime and 24/7 monitoring for issues
- Efficient customer support that works every day of the week
- Advanced cybersecurity to make sure to keep all your data and payments secure
- Simple course creation with various customization tools and additional features using a power editor
- The ability to customize your pages in multiple ways without developer knowledge utilizing a functional page builder
- Complete HTML and CSS access to theme codes in case you do know how to code
- You can create as many courses as you wish
- Payment providers PayPal and Stripe are entirely safe to use and there’s an additional partnership with Stunning to make sure every transaction made through Stripe is running smoothly.
- Over 1,000 possible integration with third-party apps are available
- Zero transaction fees for every plan, even the free one
- Functionality, responsive design and mobile-friendliness
- The Free plan comes with limited features, so you can’t try out every part of the website before committing.
- No live chat option for customer support
- No chance for live office hours or workshops
- No apps for mobile devices
- The option of live chat customer support
- Advanced cybersecurity to make sure to keep all your data and payments secure
- Courses are created simply and effortlessly and have plenty of available additional features
- The interface is simple and user-friendly
- incredible ease-of-use
- Live chat support for the Professional plan and higher
- Plenty of available integrations
- Responsive design and mobile-friendly, with an iOS app
- Has better analytics and data collecting than Thinkific does
- The 1-step checkout pages process lets customers sign up and pay without having t leave the page
- Teachable can take care of VAT taxes for you
- Customer support only works Monday through Friday
- Not as many additional features and customizations as Thinkific has
- Only one basic website theme
- No app for Android devices
If you don’t feel like trying out either Thinkific or Teachable, we strongly recommend opting for GroupApp. GroupApp is a membership site similar to Thinkific and Teachable, where you can create courses and make money from them. The main difference is that GroupApp isn’t just a place for courses. It’s a place for creating an online community.
On GroupApp, you can create courses with various additional features, and both courses and your page are highly customizable with different themes available. You can add various file types to online courses, like PDFs, videos, and text.
When it comes to marketing tools that you can utilize, creating a community is probably one of the greatest ones. In this section, you can create different channels and topics for various membership levels and see different members’ profiles to easily get in touch with them.
However, you also have access to email notifications, coupons, trial periods, various integrations including Zapier and custom domain names.
The data and analytic are easily tracked through the admin dashboard. Everything that you put on GroupApp belongs entirely to you, and the website design is highly responsive.
Hopefully, this in-depth comparison is going to help you choose an adequate course-creating platform you’re going to choose, whether it’s Thinkific or Teachable. In our opinion, while Thinkific offers better design options and customizations, Teachable is a better option if you’re looking for something more fundamental.
However, we suggest trying out GroupApp before checking any of these platforms. It’s a membership-based platform where you can create not only courses but also a community around them.
On GroupApp, you can create, publish and sell courses effortlessly while handling your community! Sign up for Group today to try it out!