When it comes to online course creation, Thinkific and Teachable are the two platforms that one would consider.
In our detailed Thinkific vs. Teachable comparison, we have evaluated the platforms from all angles to give you a precise picture of where each platform stands out.
If you are an online course creator or educator, you would understand the importance of putting your course out to a wider audience. More than ever before, people have taken to online learning in 2020. And this number will keep going in 2021 as well.
And fortunately, it does not only involve kids or college students. Entrepreneurs, professionals, and even elderly people are enrolling in courses that that think will benefit them in one way or the other.
What is Thinkific
Thinkific is an online content creating platform. It was founded in 2012 by Greg Smith, Matt Payne, Matt Smith, and Miranda Lievers.
It has 100 employees and is headquartered in Vancouver.
What is Teachable
Teachable started as Fedora in 2013 and was later renamed to Teachable in 2015. With over 150+ people in 2020, Teachable is home to over 100,000 creators.
Teachable was founded by Ankur Nagpal and has headquarters in New York.
Who needs an online course creation platform?
- Educators and Coaches who are looking to create a passive income from their courses.
- Creatives who are looking to teach people their way of creating things.
- Educators who want to spread awareness and education free of cost to millions of people worldwide through their free courses.
Before embarking on a neutral, objective comparison of both platforms, let us look at some of their most prominent features.
Features of Thinkific
- Supports multimedia courses.
- Supports quizzes, surveys, Google docs, and Typeform.
- Supports authoring tools like Adobe Captivate and Articulate.
- Highly customizable course creation options.
- Inbuilt website creation to sell courses.
- Linking of websites outside Thikinfic to your courses.
- Promotional features like coupon codes for easy selling of courses.
- Supports 100+ currencies for payment.
- Affiliate options available.
- Wide integration with 3rd party tools.
- Advanced Analytics and data tracking.
- Student-specific features like goal setting, customized learning environments, progress indicators, unlimited replays.
- Student engagement features like course completion reminders, progress emails.
- Easy communication with students to keep them motivated to learn.
- Enhanced security of data and content with a built-in SSL certification.
Features of Teachable
- Easily customizable options to create engaging courses and coaching lessons.
- Teachable supports 3rd party integrations like Zapier, MailChimp, Convertkit, Google Analytics, and others. A host of other 3rd party apps can be used through the Webhooks feature.
- Sales landing page editor available.
- Easy tracking of student insights and sales.
- Contributors and team members can be included and paid for through the platform.
- Ability to create unlimited courses and coaching sessions and take in unlimited students.
- One-on-one sessions with students available.
- Complete control over courses with the course compliance feature of passing through one level to go to the other.
- Quizzes and course completion certificates available for students.
- Supports advance payment features like subscriptions, coupons, memberships, one-time payment, bundled payment, etc.
- Affiliate membership is supported.
- Supports more than 130 currencies worldwide for payment.
- SSL secured payment pages.
- Optimum data and fraud security – Teachable has a fraud detection team as well.
- A sturdy knowledgebase of articles and a webinar to get you started with the platform.
- Robust customer support team.
Comparison between Thinkific and Teachable
To help you decide and choose between the platform, read below our in-depth Thikific vs. Teachable comparison and our verdict on each section.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of the prime factors to consider when it comes to online platforms for creation, be it a video editor, blogging platform, or platforms, of course, creation.
Ease of use pertains to both front-end and dashboard/portal accessibility and navigation ease. You can have a great portal, but a poorly worded front page that does not attract course creators will fail to draw potential customers.
On the other hand, an interactive home page with a difficult portal experience is no good either. You’ll have your members leave your platform just after a few days, with a good chance of never returning back again.
Let us see who fares better in terms of platform ease of use.
From the front end aspect
- Thinkific has a neat structure with easy, understandable content that makes for a great read.
- The navigation is simple and easy.
- Teachable is a clean, minimal website with easy navigation.
- It has a very Squarespace kind of a clean feel to its website design with large fonts and big chunks of pictures scattered around.
Though both Thinkific and Teachable have great front end websites, Thinkable has a slight edge over Teachable in overall website front end ease, mainly because the content of their website is more explanatory and explicit than that of Teachable.
From the back end and dashboard/portal area aspect
- Thinkific has a drag-and-drop content creator to help build a curriculum faster.
- Thinkific has terrific course creation options – you can create private courses and even hide courses.
- You can drip schedule your courses. This means that you can control your content to get delivered on certain course completion factors. The next level in the course gets delivered only when your students have met the criteria of either finishing the previous level or chapter.
- You can set your course content to the evergreen mode or with an expiration date.
- Apart from the seamless linking of your website to Thinkific, you can create amazing course websites with the help of their pre-built templates. The templates have great design, but just in case you would like to custom create your Thinkific pages, you can do so too with custom code.
- You can make your course more engaging by incorporating surveys, Typeform, and multimedia.
- Teachable allows your website to link to teachable under its domain name. For example, you have a website called abc.com, and you plan to connect your site to Teachable, it will have a new link for itself called abc.teachable.com.
- You can also start creating a course right from scratch by using the in-built power editor. You can integrate multimedia and other engaging aspects like quizzes.
- Teachable is also built keeping the online coaching industry in mind, or in other ways, it markets itself so. The direct integration with Calendly allows for creating one on one learning schedules.
- You can create self-paced and drip scheduled courses.
- Apart from quizzes and course completion certification, you can run live chat sessions and create course milestones.
Both Thinkific and Teachable has wonderful course creation options. Both come out victorious in the most important aspect of course creation and customization.
There are many common features in both, like drip schedule courses, quizzes, 3rd part integration, etc.
There are only some exclusive features for each. For example, with Thinkific, you can create private and hidden courses. With Teachable, you can create tasks for a course and host calls directly with students.
We can safely say that both platforms are equally good in terms of the most important feature of course creation and optimization. You just need to check which additional feature on Thinkific and Teachable you are more attracted to. And bingo, choice made!
Marketing and Sales Features
Almost 90% of course creators and coaches create content for selling, i.e., they want to make money out of selling the content.
Thankfully, both Thinkific and Teachable understand this very well, and both have put in consistent efforts to make their platform marketing-friendly. Let us see in detail who excels.
- Thinkific lets brand customization to its fullest.
- Thinific integrates with thousands of external marketing tools like Keap, MailChimp, Zapier, and so on. There is no inbuilt sales feature, but integration with 3rd party apps is facilitated by Thinkific.
- You can track your ad performances in Google Adwords and Facebook. You can also retarget ad campaigns.
- Affiliate marketing is made easy with custom commissions and direct tracking.
- Teachable supports creating sales pages using their powerful page editor.
- You can integrate a lot of 3rd party marketing tools using Zapier and through Webhooks. The marketing customization possibilities through 3rd party apps are wide and open to experimentation to see what best suits your course.
- Affiliate marketing is well supported with custom payments. You can either take the responsibility of handling affiliate payouts or let Teachable do it for you.
- You can track Facebook and Google Ads through Teachable.
Both Thinkific and Teachable score the same in terms of marketing and sales. Both the platforms have a lot of 3rd party integrations, enable ad tracking, and make affiliate marketing a piece of cake.
Thinkific and Teachable both have inbuilt page creator that can be used to build sales landing pages. There’s not much either offer more in comparison to the other.
Resources and Knowledge Center
While navigation and ease of use are important, having a library of ‘how-to’ articles and videos does help a lot in getting started. Often times, we find great looking software that looks intuitive and has scores of features. For using those features to the optimum, it is best to read and understand them, and that is what a resource or knowledge center on a website is for.
- Thinkific has a Help Center, an FAQ page, and a Resources page. It has Case Studies. They have everything literally to get you started smoothly! These guys have painstakingly recorded answers to your every possible question, videos on how-tos, articles and guides, demo videos! You name it, and they have the answer available in one of these sections.
- Thinkific also has a training site to get you started on creating your courses. The videos come free with all paid plans.
- With Teachable, you can register for a free webinar covering the important topics of creating courses, uploading videos, customizing your brand, building sales pages, and setting up payments.
- Teachable also has a knowledge center that has scores of articles on practically every feature that Teachable offers.
Thinkific is hands down the winner in terms of knowledge base and resources. Teachable does a fair job and has a good resource center as well – good enough to get you started and address your queries.
Times are busy, and even with a well-equipped resources library, you might want to find a quick fix by approaching customer support. Reaching out to customer support can also help in tight schedules wherein you do not have the time to browse through pages of how-to or watch longish videos.
- Thinkific specified on their website that 90% of the questions asked are answered within 5 hours.
- The customer support team is reachable through phone and email. They make their email communication personal and are very responsive to queries.
- Thinkific is available 24/7 through chat, phone, and email. Whoa!
- Teachable customer support is limited – they operate only on weekdays.
- You have a live chat option available only on their Pro plan and upwards. The Basic plan is not covered.
Thinkific all the way! Thinkific makes reaching out to their customer support team easier and getting responses to queries faster.
Payment Options and Features
Offering courses and coaching globally online needs the support of multi-currency and payment options. Let us see what each platform has to offer in this area.
- Thinkific supports memberships and subscriptions as modes of payment.
- It offers promotional features like coupon codes and free trials. You can also boost sales through payment plans and customizable first-payment options.
- More than 100 currencies are accepted.
- All major credit cards are accepted.
- Thinkific ascertains through their website that payments are 100 % secure.
- You get subscription options, memberships, one-time payment options, payment plans, and bundles as part of your flexible pricing options.
- BackOffice feature: Enable PayPal payment mode, tax compliance, author payment, and other important formalities.
- Teachable offers coupon codes.
- More than 130 currencies are accepted.
- EU VAT is taken care of by Teachable.
- Payment providers with PCI level 1 compliance are accepted, making your payment completely secure.
Teachable scores better in payment options. It supports more number of currencies, and EU taxation is well taken care of.
Website, data, payment – all of these need one thing in common – a totally secure platform to hold them safe.
- Your pages come secure with inbuilt SSL in Thinkific. All your data is securely hosted in the cloud.
- All versions and updates are automatically installed on your pages.
- Teachable supports instant updates to all versions.
- Your data, pages, and online school are secure in Teachable through their 2048-bit SSL security.
Both Thinkific and Teachable have heightened security around data and payment. Both sites are well-secured and have cloud protection. That said, none offers a back-up plan for your content. For that, you are recommended to keep a back-up of your data through 3rd party apps.
UpTime and Monitoring
Online courses and learning materials are leaning more towards video and audio than writing. This is due to the mass appeal of visual content. For example, a course on clay molding would be less than half as effective if it were only through writing.
- Thinkific states on their website that they have about 99.9% uptime.
- The platform offers 24/7 monitoring.
- Teachable offers 24/7 monitoring of its website and data.
- They speak about seamless hosting and monitoring to nip any outages in the early stage.
No platform is a clear winner here, though Teachable seems to be doing really well for the last 2 months.
Outages and uptimes are uncertain and vary from month to month. If you check the statuses of their outages in October and November, Thinkific was down 6 times with various issues while Teachable was down twice. The figures keep changing on a month to month basis.
If you are a new creator, pricing plays a major decisive role in choosing a platform. Let us look at the pricing plans for each platform.
- Thinkific has a Free plan in place with limited courses but unlimited students.
- The basic plan is priced at $49 per month.
- The pro plan is priced at $99 per month.
- The Premier plan is priced at $499 per month.
- Thinkific also has an Enterprise plan that offers custom pricing.
- All Thinkific Paid plans come with a 20% discount when paid annually. The prices of the plans reduce to $39, $79 and $399 respectively.
- There is no transaction fee on any of the plans.
- Teachable does not offer a free plan but has a free trial of 14 days.
- The Basic plan comes with a 5% transaction fee and is priced at $39 per month.
- The Pro Plan is priced at $119 per month and does not have a transaction fee.
- The Business Plan is priced at $299 per month with no transaction fee on-course sales.
- Custom plan purchase is available by contacting sales.
- All plans, when paid annuals, get a price reduction. The plan prices become $29, $99, and $249, respectively.
Thinkific emerges as the winner when it comes to the pricing part, especially for the individual and small enterprise plans. Not only do they have a free plan, but they also do not charge any transaction fee.
However, when it comes to the highest plans, Teachable might have an edge. The Business plan in Teachable is priced at $249 paid annually, whereas the Thinkific Premier plan is priced at $399 when paid annually.
If you ask us to name who’s better than whom, it’s up to you to choose the one which fulfills your needs and requirements. We have laid down all the details to make it easy for you!.
Both Thinkific and Teachable are equally good. But Thinkific has definitely an edge in every feature and is far more customizable than Teachable.
If you are still in a fix, we would suggest going for the free trial for Teachable and checking in with the Free plan at Thinkific before you arrive at a conclusion.
So which platform did you zero on? Teachable or Thinkific? Let us know in the comments below.