In this engaging review, we’ll dive deep into two powerhouses of the online course creation world – Teachable and Podia.

Teachable, a specialist in its field, excels in course creation.

On the other hand, Podia is a newer entrant, is making serious waves with its all-in-one platform.

Podia doesn’t just stop at course creation – it’s also packed with features for email marketing, community setup, and even digital product sales.

This blog post is very comprehensive and indepth (based on my 3+ years of course design experience with both these platforms).

Intrigued?

Let’s explore these two platforms!

Here’s a quick table for comparison between Teachable vs. Podia:

FeaturesTeachablePodia
Advanced course featuresSpecialist with features like better course compliance, assessments, and course analytics. Limited
CommunityNewly launched with limited featuresPretty good
Selling digital productsNoYes with checkout embeds feature
EmailsNone.Has email marketing and automation abilities
Free migrationNoIt is possible with Shaker and annual Mover plan

⚡ Quick Decision

What I like about Teachable compared to Podia?

  • Better course features: Specialist platform with improved course compliance, assessments, and analytics.
  • Better analytics: Includes improved course-level analytics, per-student engagement metrics, heat maps, and retention graphs.
  • Customizable design: Offers superior design and customization options, including a power editor on their highest plan.
  • Powerful certification mechanisms: Includes powerful certification mechanisms with liquid templating abilities.
  • Mobile app for students: Provides an iOS app for students, unlike Podia.
  • EU VAT handling: Has inbuilt EU VAT handling capability, eliminating the need for integration with services like Quaderno.

What I like about Podia compared to Teachable?

  • Unlimited products: Podia allows unlimited product creation, Teachable limits to 5 on their $59/month plan.
  • Digital downloads: Podia offers a feature for selling digital products with embedded checkouts.
  • Email marketing: Podia provides a superior email marketing platform with various features.
  • Integration: Podia integrates with Zoom and YouTube Live, also offers good customer support and migration service.
  • Transaction fee: Podia does not charge transaction fees, Teachable charges a 5% fee on their $39/month plan.

Upfront bottomline

If you’re seeking an all-in-one platform to sell courses, create communities, sell digital products, and utilize robust email marketing software, Podia is an excellent choice.

On the other hand, Teachable is a specialist in course creation.

But one thing to note is that it has recently raised its subscription costs and now only supports up to 5 courses on their beginner plan, leading to criticism from existing customers who were forced out of the platform.

Both of these platforms lack a comprehensive community feature and do not offer any mobile apps, with Teachable only provides a quite limited iOS app. In my opinion, these are significant drawbacks.

After using both of these platforms, I personally like community-centric platforms that also come with course functionalities, like Circle, or even other Teachable alternatives, like say Kajabi which come with really good funnel marketing automation abilities.

All-in-one platforms allow for close integration of all features, leading to emergent use cases. This is more efficient than attempting to glue siloed apps using tools like Zapier.

However, if I would be picking one platform, I would pick Podia as they have an impressive track record of rolling out new features and they are creator-friendly.

Interface

Both these platforms are highly refined and have great UI/UX.

When you log in to Teachable, you can see the below screen.

teachable interface
Teachable interface

You can access all the features that Teachable offers you for your school under the sidebar and sub-menus under them.

podia interface

And, now let’s look at Podia.

When you first log in to Podia it’ll ask you whether to create:

  1. Membership
  2. Online Course
  3. Digital Download

You can create any of these.

Unlike the sidebar-centric UI of Teachable, Podia has a navigation-bar-centric UI which is more familiar; at least to me 👍

I personally like Podia’s UI and UX. I have high standards when it comes to user experience, and Podia delivers it.

🏆 Winner: Podia. Feels intuitive and easy on eyes. Nevertheless, both of these platforms have really good UI/UX and feel modern.

Course creation

Course uploading and structuring

In both these apps, you just need to create a new course and give it some details.

Once you create a course, you’ll be presented with the curriculum builder. Here you can add sections, and under each section, you have your own lectures.

teachable lesson content
Teachable lesson builder

Teachable offers flexibility when it comes to adding content to your lectures.

You are not restricted to just one lesson type, and can add various types of content such as files, texts, quizzes, and custom code (say embed a survey tool) on one lesson.

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Podia course builder

With Podia, each lesson can only have one content format, meaning that each lesson can only be a video, text, or quiz.

For example, you cannot have the lesson video and the quizzes related to it in a single lesson.

As a result, you might end up with a lot of lessons for each content type.

Now let’s talk about course delivery:

drip content feature
Teachable drip sections

Now, another crucial feature of course structuring is the ability for you to set drip lessons.

Both Teachable and Podia have drip content features for “sections”.

setting email announcements notifications
Podia drip sections

You can consider dripping the sections of your training course over a period of time to ensure that students don’t binge-watch your lectures.

And also, on both these platforms, you can set email announcements/notifications to the students whenever a new section/module is unlocked. This is a great feature to have.

All of the course creation features available in Podia are also present in Teachable.

But three features of Teachable I would like to see in Podia are:

  1. Automatic student progress tracking: Currently, when issuing certificates with Podia, students need to manually click the completion button.
  2. Enforcing lesson order: It’s important for better student compliance and dictating how they consume the course.
  3. Enhanced course analytics: For example, the ability to view per student course analytics for better accountability is an essential feature.

Student experience

Teachable is known for its familiar course interface and feature-rich player.

Teachable course player
Teachable’s front-end course experience.

Students can view the curriculum in the sidebar, adjust the player settings, take lesson-specific notes (like Udemy), and join discussions with other students in the discussion area.

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Podia’s frontend course experience

Podia also comes with a similar interface.

But unlike Teachable, it lacks a note-taking feature for students.

All in all, both Podia and Teachable have good course interfaces, very intuitive and feels at home.

Neither platform offers multiple templates for the course experience, resulting in a uniform course page design for all instructors using the platforms.

🏆 Winner: Teachable. It has more course-specific features.

Community feature

Conventionally, Teachable lacked a specific community feature, but recently, Teachable has also rolled out community feature, but it is pretty basic.

Teachable Community access

You can create a community and select students that are enrolled in specific courses to get access to the community.

Teachable community categories.

And also you can create various categories and also tags for your community to categorize the content.

There’s nothing more to this.

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Creating a membership plan for Podia communities

In Podia, you can set up a community where you can create plans with different pricing and restrict access to the content for a specific plan.

Untitled
Podia’s Community Features

Although their community feature is limited, it still has all the essential features for good engagement from the students.

🏆 Winner: Tie. Both Teachable and Podia have basic community features. However, if you are interested in a more community-centric learning approach, you may need to consider dedicated community building platforms like Circle. Even Kajabi, which has recently rolled out a lot of community gamification features, could be a good choice.

Digital products

Teachable is not meant for selling digital products. It does not come with digital product delivery and all the other supportive features.

However, Podia is an all-in-one platform that comes with course creation, membership and also digital product selling. You can have dedicated sales pages for each of the products you create in them.

digital downloads in podia

So if you are thinking of selling your own digital products somewhere in the future along with your online courses, then Podia maybe a way to go.

Podia digital download embed

However with Teachable if you want to sell your own digital products in the future you may need some separate shopping cart apps like Samcart or ThriveCart to enable this.

🏆 Winner: Podia (Teachable does not have digital product selling)

Theme and page builder

With Teachable, you have a default theme that you can customize. This theme will be applied across your entire site.

theme customization
Teachable’s theme options

There are several options to tweak like colors, fonts, logos, buttons, etc.

And also, there’s a more powerful editor for editing the course sales page, checkout page, and thank you page.

thank you page customizer
Teachable does not have a visual builder

Above is the screenshot of the thank you page customizer where I’m adding an upsell for my course.

The higher plans of Teachable also come with the Power Editor feature. It allows you to directly edit the design files of your site, resulting in much more customization possibilities for developers and designers.

But for course creators like me, I found it to be an overkill!

Now about Podia:

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Unlike Teachable, Podia doesn’t have various themes that can be applied site-wide.

But it offers various templates.

These give you a nice little head start!

podia page design blocks
Podia website builder

Podia’s page builder provides various blocks and sections for effective page creation. However, the number of blocks is relatively limited compared to platforms like WordPress or Kajabi.

Additionally, Podia lacks a separate feature for including multiple blocks in a single section.

Despite Podia’s aim for minimalism, complexities like padding and margins may pose challenges for power users.

Consequently, many might find Podia’s page builder limited and opt for dedicated page building software like Elementor for WordPress or LeadPages.

🏆 Winner: Using Podia’s page builder is easier since it is visual, unlike Teachable’s power editor which is only available in their highest plan and involves technicalities and coding.

Checkout experience

Both Podia and Teachable offer one-page checkout functionality that is useful for selling high-ticket offers also supports upsells feature.

Teachable checkout
Teachable’s checkout experience

The Teachable checkout page is optimized for conversions, allowing you to write bullet points, add guarantee badges, and overall provides a more conversion-friendly aspect to this.

teachable order bump
Teachable’s order bump functionality

It also allows you to add order bumps for add-on products, maximizing profits. This order bump functionality is not available in Podia.

Podia checkout
Podia’s checkout experience

On the other hand, Podia traditionally had a two-step checkout process, but more recently, they added a single-page checkout where customers can enter their basic and payment details on one page.

Podia checkout embed option

Additionally, Podia has a feature called embedded checkout functionality, which enables users to embed a specific button or link that triggers a pop-up.

This can significantly maximize your earnings, especially if you have a blog that receives a lot of traffic. For instance, if you have a travel blog and you share some trip-related information about Switzerland, you can upsell them to purchase (right in the popup) your complete guide on a trip to Switzerland!

🏆 Winner: Tie. While Teachable has good customization options, Podia has checkout embed functionality. I personally like Podia in this regard though!

Email marketing

teachable email marketing
Teachable’s email composer

Teachable comes with quite a basic email marketing features. It allows you to email your course students to keep the communication going regularly.

On the other hand, Podia has two types of email marketing:

  1. Drip campaigns
  2. One-off newsletters
podia emails

The Drip campaign enables you to send your students or pre-launch offer signups a series of emails over time.

Podia email templates 3

When creating emails, Podia offers a wide range of customizable templates. They are continuously enhancing their email marketing capabilities by adding new features.

Podia email segments

For instance, they recently made a significant update which enables you to send highly-targeted emails to a specific audience segment.

You can create segments based on tags, purchased products, memberships, and even the revenue they generated.

In this case, you can’t overlook the presence of integrated email marketing software inside an all-in-one platform, as it leads to many emergent benefits that may not be possible when using separate, siloed apps.

🏆 Winner: Podia. Teachable doesn’t come with any email features.

Integrations

Teachable offers many native integrations with popular tools in the fields of email marketing, analytics, and CRMs.

However, compared to Teachable, Podia has more limited native integrations.

Additionally, Teachable has dedicated webhook management functionality, allowing it to automatically send relevant events to a specific webhook URL and integrate with any app that supports incoming webhooks.

Nonetheless, both of these tools integrate with both Zapier and Make.com.

Payment processors

To start receiving payments from your students, you need to set up your payment processors with both Teachable and Podia.

Untitled

With Teachable, students can pay through their credit cards (via Stripe Express) or PayPal. With Teachable payments, you can choose to receive funds daily, weekly, or monthly.

Since this is Teachable’s proprietary payment gateway, you also get additional features such as automatic calculation, collection, and release of taxes on your behalf.

Teachable checkout feature

Also, the best thing about Teachable is that it handles EU/VAT tax, so you don’t have to worry about remitting the taxes. It has its own service called “backoffice” to handle complex payouts and affiliate payouts.

On the other hand, Podia integrates with Stripe and PayPal for payment processing. Also, they recently added that customers can now pay with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and iDEAL. Once the payment is made, it will be sent to your bank account or PayPal account within two business days.

🏆 Winner: Teachable. It does more compliance things for you.

Affiliate management

Both Teachable and Podia offer you to implement affiliate marketing functionality.

When it comes to managing your affiliates, both of these tools offer similar features.

However, with Podia, there’s no ability to set affiliate-specific commission rates. 👎

Also, you need to note that the affiliate marketing feature is only present in Teachable’s Professional plan, which costs $119/month, and Podia’s Shaker plan, which also costs $79/month.

It is available in the second-tier plans for both Podia and Teachable.

Pricing and support

Podia pricing 1

On the other hand, Podia offers two initial plans: the Free plan and the Startup plan.

Both come with transaction fees of 10% and 8% respectively. The limitation of these plans is that you can only have courses, webinars, and product bundles in draft mode.

To publish any products on Podia, you need to select either the Mover plan, costing $39 per month, or the Shaker plan, costing $89 per month.

Contrary to their initial stance against transaction fees, the Mover plan now imposes a 5% transaction fee.This contradicts their earlier advertisement as a creator-centric platform due to the absence of transaction fees.

For most people, the Mover plan would be ideal, unless they want to eliminate transaction fees and gain access to the affiliate feature.

Teachable pricing 1

On the other hand, the Basic plan of Teachable comes with a 5% transaction fee.

And both Pro and Pro+ plans doesn’t have transaction fee.

Previously, Teachable had the capability for you to create unlimited products on their basic plan.

However, in 2023, they removed this feature, leading to a backlash from many users who felt they were being held hostage and forced to pay to upgrade to a higher plan to have the unlimited feature. You can read more details here.

🏆 Winner: Podia. Because it doesn’t have any limitations, and offers live chat support with all their paid plans.

Bottomline

If you’re an online trainer who is solely focused on course creation and desires robust features such as superior course compliance, certification, and student analytics, Teachable is your best choice.

However, if you need an all-in-one platform for selling digital products and creating communities, and also want advanced email marketing automation, you should opt for Podia.

It’s important to note though, that while Podia does offer features like email marketing, a website builder, and a community feature, they are quite basic and they lack depth.

So, if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform with more comprehensive features, you might want to consider Kajabi.

Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that both of these platforms lack robust community features and don’t offer mobile apps, which are of course deal-breakers.