Are you looking for an online course platform that won’t break the bank?
Kajabi is one of the best out there.
But with a starting price of $149/month and limitations on the number of products and funnels in the beginner plan, it may not be the best choice for beginners.
Especially if you’re new to course creation and are just testing the waters!
Luckily, there are affordable alternatives!
Based on my 3- 4 years of experience trying out different funnel and LMS platforms, I have shortlisted some really affordable alternatives to Kajabi in this blog post.
Podia – Cheapest light-weight alternative
Podia is the closest alternative to Kajabi, offering a premium experience at an affordable price.
Here are main features:
- Courses: Podia’s courses feature comes with all the essential features like the ability to host unlimited videos, drip feed, quizzes, bundling, and also comes with unlimited video hosting. But unlike Teachable and Kajabi, it doesn’t come with the student-level course engagement analytics and video heat maps.
- Digital products: Podia allows you to upload multiple digital downloads for people who purchase your product. You can embed digital products conveniently on your website using various options such as links, buttons, or carts.
- Coaching: Podia has recently introduced coaching functionality. You can create multiple sessions for your coaching and embed any calendar book you have for people to easily book one-to-one sessions with you.
- Integration with webinar platforms: Podia integrates with webinar platforms like Zoom and YouTube Live. It doesn’t have any native streaming abilities like Kajabi Events. The integration with Zoom makes it possible for your community members to automatically watch the webinar replays.
- Email marketing: Podia comes with the ability to send one-off broadcasts and simple email sequences based on some conditions. But unlike Kajabi, as it lacks advanced marketing automation and funnels, you may still end up using an external email marketing software.
- Website chat: You can embed the chat widget on your website, thus it helps you save money on helpdesk softwares like Intercom that costs $74 per month.
- Affiliate marketing: Podia comes with the basic affiliate marketing feature where you can set a different commission rates for different products. However, it lacks certain features like setting affiliate-specific commission rates (important) and also multiple commission tiers.
But at times, you may feel that it lacks depth in its features. For example, it only integrates with other webinar platforms but does not have any native streaming capabilities
- Dozens of features for the price.
- Embeddable checkout forms (WordPress-ready).
- Email marketing broadcasts and drip campaigns.
- Unlimited courses even in their most basic plan unlike Kajabi.
- Zero transaction fee
- Affordable pricing.
- Doesn’t come with student-level course analytics
- Basic communities feature
- Lacks native streaming abilities unlike Kajabi Events.
- Lacks marketing automation features (you may need to use Zapier)
It’s beginner plan (Mover plan at $39/mo) offers unlimited courses, coaching, digital products, students, storage, and email, whereas Kajabi’s beginner plan (even at $149/month) has limitations.
If you want more advanced options, such as webinars, affiliates, and the ability to include third-party tracking codes on your website, you need to go with the Shaker plan.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for an all-in-one Kajabi alternative Podia is right for you. I’ve reviewed Podia in detail in one of my previous blog posts. Although it may lack some automation features compared to Kajabi, it has really competitive pricing compared to Kajabi and has good email marketing features.
Systeme – Closest alternative to Kajabi
Systeme is an all-in-one platform that allows users to create online courses, sales funnels launch membership sites, sell digital products, email marketing, all in one platform.
It is the closest alternative to Kajabi, and comes at a really affordable price.
While Systeme comes with most of the marketing automation features that Kajabi offers, it course creation features like student assessment, student level insights, and its powerful page builder.
The pricing starts from free and goes up to $97/month for advanced features.
This makes it very affordable compared to Kajabi which starts at $149/month.
- Simple drag-and-drop interface for easy course and membership site building.
- Integrated features for sales funnels, email marketing, and communities.
- Support for selling physical products alongside digital courses.
- Responsive support via phone, email, or live chat.
- Robust free plan with unlimited courses, emails, and members.
- Offers fewer options for customization and website builder options compared to advanced platforms.
- Lacks specialist course features and indepth analytics unlike Kajabi.
- Does not offer a dedicated mobile app, requiring users to access content through a web browser.
Bottomline: Systeme.io is best suited for entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants looking to launch their first online courses or membership sites without breaking the bank. The robust free version also makes it a good option to test the waters.
Thinkific – Best for courses
Thinkific is an excellent alternative to Kajabi and Teachable for creating online courses.
Similar to Teachable, Thinkific is not an all-in-one platform. It is only meant to be an online course platform.
In Thinkific, you can create your course, create sections and add lectures. There are options for you to create private courses, drip schedule content, cohorts, expiring content, membership sites, etc.
All of their paid plans come with access for you to create unlimited courses and have unlimited students on your platform.
You can see that the interface of Thinkific is relatively straightforward.
I personally think that interface of Thinkific is pretty dated. They certainly need to refine their UI/UX for a more premium feel.
Creating several types of courses
It also has Zapier integration to easily integrate Thinkific with various other tools in the market.
Thinkific comes with four plans – free, basic, pro, and premier. None of these plans come with a transaction fee like Teachable, which is a great upside.
- Free plan with no transaction fee
- Ability to create different types of courses
- Advanced course compliance features
- Student level course insights (for better accountability) and heatmap reports
- Interface feels dated
- Lacks marketing and automation features that Kajabi and Podia comes with.
Bottom line: Thinkific is an excellent alternative to Teachable for creating online courses. It offers incredible features like that of Teachable. However, this is not an all-in-one platform like that of Kajabi.
LearnWorlds is a really feature-rich learning management system out there. Along with the basic course creation abilities, it has good features like memberships, quizzes, certificates, course compliance, blogging, community feature, etc.
I found the interface of LearnWorlds to be quite overwhelming, with many features jammed together.
When it comes to features, there are a few outstanding ones that caught my attention:
- Support for surveys: The platform offers support for surveys, which is a valuable addition.
- SCORM/HTML5 support: It supports SCORM/HTML5 in course content. This means that migrating in and out of the platform can be done with just a click of a button, making it incredibly easy.
- Interactive videos: This feature enables the addition of interactive elements such as buttons, quizzes, and call-to-action buttons directly within the video.
I loved this interactive videos features a lot. This enhances student engagement and interactivity.
Features like community groups, public or private course discussions, and student profiles enable you to enhance interaction and collaboration among your students.
I was pleasantly surprised by looking at the sheer number of features this platform has got to offer you.
But the main downside is that most of these advanced features are only reserved for higher plans.
Coming to the pricing plans, their Starter plan costs you $29/month.
They charge a flat fee of $5 for every sale in their beginner plan.
Their Pro plan costs $99/month or $79/month (annual payment) and comes with no transaction fee.
The higher plans offer many additional features, such as website builder, blog, memberships, affiliate management, SCORM, and customizable checkout page. For more information, read my detailed LearnWorlds review.
- Interactive video content feature is excellent.
- It comes with a dozen of advanced features across different areas like courses, memberships, blogging, and community management.
- LearnWorlds has great customer support, but like Kajabi, their 24/7 instant support is not available in the Starter plan.
- It comes with white label functionality in their higher plans.
- Poor cluttered user interface.
- A lot of features are held back in their Pro plan.
- It lacks of some advanced marketing automation and checkout features.
- Lacks many marketing features compared to Kajabi.
Bottom line: LearnWorlds is an excellent all-in-one alternative to Kajabi that’s more focused on the academic course-creation side of things with a ton of features to play with.
Teachable – Most advanced for course creation
Teachable is one of the best platforms for creating online courses. It is designed to do one thing exceptionally well i.e online courses.
If you already have a website, email marketing, and a platform for list building and just need a course hosting platform, Teachable is the best option.
Because, Teachable is not an all-in-one platform.
For online courses, it comes with features like:
- Lesson notes (timestamped notes for students!)
- Advanced course-compliance features
- Course-completion certificates
- Own affiliate program
- Video-level analytics and heatmaps
- Student segmentation
- Advanced course creation features
- Superior video compliance features (for example unless a video is watched 90% of it’ll not be marked as complete).
- Set up your own affiliate platform.
- Own payment gateway for streamlined payout and tax management
- Has an iOS app.
- The free and basic plan charges you 10% and 5% transaction fees, respectively.
- Basic plan allows publishing only up to 5 products.
- They lack an Android app
The free plan allows publishing of only one product and has a 10% transaction fee.
Even their basic plan comes with a 5% transaction fee and allows publishing only five products. Previously, the basic plan supported the publishing of unlimited products. However, in 2023, they imposed this restriction, leading to a lot of backlash from existing members.
For most people, the Pro plan at $159 per month may seem viable because it comes with a 0% transaction fee and the ability to create and publish up to 50 products. It also includes additional features such as affiliate marketing, live chat support, and upsell functionality.
All the above plans support unlimited students, bandwidth, courses, similar to Podia. If you are interested, you can also refer to some of the Teachable alternatives.
Bottomline: Teachable may be worth it for you if you’re okay with their basic plan, which has a 5% transaction fee. However, their Pro plan, which costs $159 per month, may not be a good value for the money, considering that Teachable is not an all-in-one platform. At this price point, you may be better off with Kajabi. Additionally, the speed of implementation of new features with Teachable has lagged a lot since its acquisition by Hotmart in 2020.
FreshLearn is a unique all-in-one creator platform where you can not only create and sell digital products like courses, digital downloads, and live masterclasses but also build complex courses for continuing education and live cohorts.
It comes with the following advanced inbuilt features:
Unlike Kajabi, FreshLearn has no limits on students, enrollments, storage, or digital product creation in any of the plans. FreshLearn also offers a very generous free plan.
The course creation journey is self-explanatory. You can add elements like video, documents, audio, live links, assessments, and assignments to a chapter.
- Supports digital products like digital downloads, courses, masterclasses, etc.
- Option to generate branded and personalized completion certificates on successful completion of the course.
- Advanced assessments
- Unlimited courses, members, enrollments, and storage in all the plans.
- Gamification features like rewards, badges and challenges
- No transaction fee on any plan.
- Free forever plan.
- Not an all-in-one tool (lacks email marketing and automation)
- Less direct integrations. Zapier is available though.
- Need to add more support documentation.
LearnDash – Most advanced WordPress LMS
LearnDash is the most versatile learning management system for WordPress. If you already use WordPress and know the technical side of things, choosing LearnDash gives you more freedom and room for custom development.
It comes with only:
- Course creation
- Membership creation (groups feature)
It doesn’t come with email marketing, marketing automation, digital product selling, and other functionalities.
One of the strengths of LearnDash is its extensive range of addons and integrations with other WordPress plugins, which can be used to add payment processors (WooCommerce), customization options (Elementor), and enhance customer engagement features (Gamipress).
As LearnDash is integrable with Elementor and many other popular WordPress builders and themes, the web design and customization options are potentially endless.
LearnDash’s pricing starts from $199/year for 1 site license.
If you want access to 10 sites, including their Propanel access for advanced analytics (student-level reports), it would cost you $229/year.
You need to renew the plan at the complete price if you want ongoing updates and support.
Their support is really good. Along with regular customer support, they also have a highly active Facebook group to solve all your queries.
- LearnDash is extremely versatile WordPress plugin that comes with courses and memberships feature
- Almost all the popular WordPress plugins work seamlessly with LearnDash.
- It is really a cost-effective yet powerful solution for your learning management system needs.
- It involves a lot of learning curve if you are not familiar with WordPress as a CMS.
- LearnDash involves some tech and WordPress experience.
- It does not offer marketing automation, email marketing, or advanced marketing features like Kajabi or Teachable. It also lacks customization and design options out of the box, requiring basic HTML/CSS knowledge or the use of third-party apps.
Ruzuku is an online course platform that offers a range of features to help course creators build and sell their courses. The platform provides tools for course creation, marketing, and student engagement.
It has an intuitive course creation process. It allows you to easily upload and organize the content, including videos, PDFs, audio files, and quizzes. The course builder is user-friendly, and the drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create engaging and interactive courses.
When it comes to student engagement, Ruzuku offers a range of features to help keep students engaged and motivated throughout the course. These include discussion forums, quizzes, and assignments. It also allows you to track student progress and provide feedback.
It also offers a lot of marketing features to help you promote courses effectively. It provides tools for email marketing and affiliate marketing. You can also create landing pages and sales pages to help convert visitors into paying students.
Although Ruzuku offers a range of great features, there are a few things to consider:
- The pricing model is based on the number of students enrolled, which can be costly for mass-market courses.
- The design and user interface may be outdated compared to other online course platforms.
Overall, Ruzuku is a decent option for course creators looking for an intuitive course builder and a range of marketing and engagement features. However, the pricing model and outdated design may be drawbacks for some users. At $99/mo (their Core plan )and $199/mo (their Pro plan), the value for money is low.
Kartra is an all-in-one platform that offers a range of features to manage online businesses. It provides email marketing, landing pages, sales funnels, membership sites, video hosting, webinars, and more.
One of Kartra’s main benefits is that it’s an all-in-one solution.
It has excellent marketing features:
- Behavioral Adaptive Marketing (BAM): This feature allows you to display relevant offers based on prospects’ previous behaviors on your site.
- Dynamic OTOs: You can use this feature to show targeted one-time offers based on specific customer actions.
- Split testing landing pages: With this feature, you can test different elements on your landing pages to identify the ones that convert well.
However, one downside of Kartra is that it can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. The sheer number of features can be daunting, and it may take some time to learn.
Additionally, Kartra’s pricing can be a bit high compared to some of its competitors. While it does offer a 14-day trial for $1, the monthly pricing starts at $99 per month, which may not be affordable for everyone.
Overall, Kartra is a powerful all-in-one platform that offers a range of features for online businesses. While it may take some time to learn how to use it effectively, its marketing features are excellent. It’s more of a funnel platform or an alternative to ClickFunnels than an LMS.
There are a lot of platforms for course creation and memberships.
If you don’t want memberships and only course creation – Teachable won’t disappoint you, and it also excels in the marketing side of things.
I’ve done my job of comparing the different alternatives to Kajabi; it’s up to you now to decide by weighing different features.
If you have any doubts, leave them in the comments section.