Table of Contents
- Teachable vs Thinkific
- Pricing Plans
- Site Designing
- Sales and Marketing Tools
- Course Delivery and Student Engagement
Some of the key advantages of online courses are:
- Digital courses help to build awareness for your brand.
- They are a great way to earn income.
- They are a great way where your teams can be trained on auto-pilot without a lot of intervention.
- These courses can help to increase sales effectiveness.
- Online courses can help to automate the lead generation effort for your business.
Among the plethora of online courses available, the two most popular ones are Teachable and Thinkific. Both of them are teaching platforms that let you create and market online courses. Both have excellent features and are very user-friendly; however, they have their differences too. In this article, we will be comparing the two online platforms, Teachable and Thinkific and evaluating their pros and cons too that will enable you to decide on which online platform is best for you.
Both Teachable and Thinkific are popular digital course platforms offering robust solutions and have several common features. Both allow unlimited courses, bandwidth, video storage and users, and both the online course platforms offer quite affordable pricing.
Both the online course platforms have 4 monthly pricing plans and both offer annual plans too. When you consider the features, the transaction fees and monthly cost, both Teachable and Thinkific are quite similar.
- Cost: $0 per month + 10% transaction fees
- Teachable Charges: $1 for sales of each course
- Cost: $39 per month
The Basic Plan includes the base features and 5% transaction fees, 2 owners, monthly payouts, customer domain and product support, coupon codes, integrated email and affiliate marketing, drip course content and third-party integrations.
- Cost: $99 per month
The Professional Plan includes all the features of the Basic Plan and no transaction fees, supports 5 owners, instant payouts, graded quizzes, product support on priority, advanced theme customization, an unbranded website and advanced reports.
- Cost: $299 per month
The High Volume Plan includes all the features of the Professional Plan along with no transaction fees, supports 25 owners, instant payouts, manual student imports, priority product support and bulk student enrolments.
- Cost: $0
Offers the core features along with a 10% transaction fee, unlimited courses and students, support to create, deliver and market online courses, course upsells, basic integrations, content hosting, payments accepted via Paypal and Stripe and instant access to the funds.
- Cost: $49 per month
Includes all core and Starter Plan features along with a 5% transaction fee, monthly subscriptions, promotions and coupons, essential integrations, course bundles, drip content, basic Zapier, bulk student mailer, a custom domain and additional course prices.
- Cost: $99 per month
Includes all core and Essentials Plan features plus no transaction fees, hidden and private courses, completion certificates, Host Storyline, Captivate, webhooks, intermediate Zapier, advanced HTML/CSS editing, priority support, 3 course admin accounts, onboarding call, instructor payout reporting, intermediate integrations and payment plans.
- Cost: $279 per month
Includes all core and Business Plan features plus no transaction fees, 10 course admin accounts, 3 site admin accounts, onboarding package and specialist, public API, advanced Zapier, advanced integrations and email white labeling.
An attractive and user-friendly website design is an essential part of online courses and both, Thinkific as well as Teachable allow you to create nice looking websites and also allow you to customize them as per your requirements.
You do not have any themes in Teachable and the platform allows you to only modify the color and font. However, Teachable has a page builder with a drag and drop feature that allows you to design the various pages on your website such as your homepage, sales page, etc. and you can place the various elements by dragging and dropping them. The page builder of Teachable offers many elements that allow you to create a great looking website and if you want custom elements, you can use custom coding on the front end.
On the other hand, Thinkific features a theme library that has several themes you can choose from and apply to your online course website immediately. You also have a drag-and-drop page builder which you can use for the pages of the site such as homepage, course sales page, bundle sales page, etc. If you want any custom elements, on Thinkific, you need to work on the backend of the themes.
Teachable has blogging capability and lets you create a blog on the website which is very useful, especially if you’re just starting out as it allows you to have all the things on the same platform. Thinkific, however, does not support blogging and you need to use an external blogging platform such as WordPress.
Both platforms offer SSL certificates free of cost across your website such as login, signup and checkout pages. Even if you are using your own domain, the SSL certificate is available to you.
The checkout process of Teachable is a 1-step highly-optimized process where the user can enter their personal information and also make payments on the same page. You can also add custom elements to your checkout page such as money back guarantee, testimonials, etc., which can help to improve the conversion rate.
Thinkific, on the other hand, has a 2-step checkout process, where you need to create an account first and the next page allows you to make your payment. The checkout page of Thinkific cannot be customized and you also cannot add custom elements to it. Both Thinkific and Teachable let you add 1-click upsells on the “Thank You” page and this enables the average transaction per customer to be maximized.
The “Thank You” page of Teachable can be customized and you can add many elements such as text, coupons, videos, etc. which makes Teachable’s upsell page highly optimixed for conversion. Thinkific’s “Thank You” page is quite basic and allows you to add a feature that allows users to enroll to the course and the upsell page cannot be customized easily. You cannot automatically apply a coupon to the upsell offer and have limited customization options.
Teachable allows you to have multiple pricing options for your various courses and you can also offer course bundles. It allows you to have a subscription, one-time pricing and a payment plan for the same course and it also supports the course pricing in various currencies. For instance, students can make a one-time payment or a payment in installments and they can pay in USD, AUD and NZD, among the other options available.
Thinkable also allows you to create varied pricing options for the courses you offer; however, it does not support varied pricing options for the course bundles. Thinkable also restricts the payment only to a single currency and does not support different currencies.
Apart from the course fee charges, Teachable lets you charge the users EU VAT and they pay taxes to the respective authorities on your behalf when you make use of their gateway instead of a PayPal or Stripe account. Thinkific does not have the facility of collecting EU VAT from the users. However, it can be integrated with Quaderno that calculates your tax liability, but the tax must be paid by you from your earnings. This is especially important if you live in Europe or most of your students belong to European countries.
Thinkific offers instant payouts, which means that when a user buys a course, the money is deposited into your PayPal or Stripe account directly. In the case of Teachable, there are 2 methods of collecting student payments i.e. via the custom payment gateway or the Teachable payment gateway.
The custom payment gateway allows you to collect payments from the students using your Stripe or PayPal account and the money is directly deposited into your account without any delays. However, this can be used only on Teachable’s High Volume and Professional Plans. You can also use the Teachable gateway for payments, the money goes into Teachable’s account and the tutors are paid on the 1st of the month for the transactions that have occurred 30 days before the 1st, which essentially means that you receive your payouts after 30-60 days.
In short, Thinkific offers instant payouts on all their plans, whereas, Teachable gives you instant payouts only on plans of $99 per month and above.
The primary reason for the popularity of both Thinkific and Teachable is you can create online courses on both of them effortlessly and both the platforms let you upload various kinds of content such as text, PDFs, videos, audios and other types of multimedia content. You can organize your courses into modules and lessons very easily. The platforms allow you to upload your content in bulk and then organize it by using drag and drop.
Thinkific offers an added advantage and has a survey feature that lets you do assessments and take feedback. However, on Teachable, if you want any feedback on your course, you will have to use solutions such as Google Forms.
Teachable lets you create multiple-choice kind of quizzes, whereas on Thinkific you can create basic, as well as, advanced type of quizzes such as question banks, etc. You can also make use of external sources such as ProProfs for advanced quizzes, which you can then integrate into your courses on both Teachable and Thinkific.
The course area of Thinkific is rather outdated and does not have a very premium feel. The user experience is not very smooth and each time the user clicks on the “Next” button, they get a transition screen before they can move ahead to the next lecture, which may be a bit annoying. Also, Thinkific does not offer the flexibility to add multiple types of content in a lesson i.e. it is not possible to have a lesson with text, video, discussion area and native quiz, all together. The course player of Thinkific is not customizable i.e. you cannot change the design of the content area.
Teachable’s course player, on the other hand, is well-designed, has a modern, professional look and feel, and is extremely flexible. When the user selects the “Complete and Continue” button, they can directly go to the next lecture. Teachable allows you to add different types of content in the same lesson i.e. text, embedded comments, videos, quizzes and a whole lot more.
The native comments system on Teachable lets students ask questions and discuss and it also allows the tutors to respond to student queries. It allows the comment blocks to be embedded into the lectures and allows the students to engage and discuss with the tutor, as well as the community. Teachable also has an iOS app that allows students to take the courses on their mobile phones.
Thinkific also supports the native comment system and also joins with Disqus; however, the discussion system of Thinkific cannot be embedded into lectures and to begin a discussion, the student needs to click on the “Discussion” icon and leave a comment, which is quite difficult when the course is being taken on a cell phone as the discussion area cannot be seen.
The “Groups” feature of Thinkific lets you sell the courses to organizations or other partners and you can also sell your course in bulk, enroll many students, organize the students, generate reports and track your students’ progress. Teachable does not have this feature but allows you to create coupons that enable many students to enroll in the course. The coupon code also allows you to generate reports and also track the students’ progress.
Both Teachable, as well as Thinkific, offer excellent customer support to their users. Teachable offers live chat customer support on the Professional Plan and above, while Thinkific does not offer live chat support to its users. Both platforms have active groups on Facebook, where you can ask your queries and get advice from the community.
So overall, when you compare the two, Teachable and Thinkific, both are loaded with features, which allow you to design, create online courses and sell them. They also allow you to constantly engage with your students. Both have their respective pros and cons and it is a good idea to evaluate the two in great detail and decide the one that can deliver the best in terms of revenue for your business as well as features that your students will appreciate the most.