Thinkific vs Teachable: 13 Crucial Differences to Consider (Sep 2021)

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Ah, Thinkific and Teachable.

These are two of the best online learning platforms.

They also double down as two of the most affordable online course platforms you can find right now.

Both are also easy to use online learning management systems, complete with several student engagement tools.

You can also fully customize your course’s look and feel with these two. That’s crucial when building a recognizable image online.

Even though Teachable and Thinkific have numerous similarities, they are not equal.

There are over a dozen areas you’d need to compare to notice the differences.

But not to worry.

We looked deep for the comparison points that make all the difference so you won’t have to.

By the end of this Thinkific vs Teachable course platforms review, you’ll know which of the two is the best course creation software for your specific needs.

Here’s a quick breakdown to begin with:

FeaturesThinkificTeachable
Transaction feeNone in all plans5% in the free plan
Lowest Plan$39/month $29/month
CustomizationIt has a library of themesThe only default template is available
CouponsAdvanced options are available. Supports site-wide, single, or multi-course couponsDon’t support multi-month coupons, only specific pricing single coupons are available
Import/Export themes You can import/export themes along with fonts and imagesYou can’t import/export themes
Bulk editing featuresYou need to edit one-by-oneYou can edit in bulk
Email marketing integrationsIntegrates with upto 7 email marketing softwareIt has fewer integrations
Creating course bundlesComes with advanced features, you can bundle any courseYou can’t bundle a primary course of another bundle
Creating surveysYou can survey your studentsNo option
Live previewAllows you to preview the changes without the need for publishingYou can’t preview without publishing the edits
Welcome and completion emails for coursesYou can create custom emails on a course basisWelcome them and congratulate them on completing the course.Not present

Right from start, notice something here.

Both are self-hosted course platforms. They are not mass online course marketplaces such as Udemy and Skillshare.

Why is that a big deal?

  • Well, for starters, you’ll have more control over how your Teachable or Thinkific course looks and feels. That means you can do more on both to suit your target learners or your brand’s personality than on, say, Skillshare.
  • Second, you’ll have the freedom to price your online course however you choose. You won’t wake up one morning to see your course priced at 90% off on Udemy, for example.

You don’t want potential students thinking your course is pure fluff because it is dirt-cheap now, do you?

Is Udemy a good course platform

Think that’s interesting?

There’s more, so you’ll want to sit down for this comparison.

Thinkific vs Teachable: An Overview

Here’s the TLDR.

With their free plans and low monthly subscriptions, Teachable and Thinkific are excellent budget course creation platforms. Or are they?

Thinkific had a lot going on for it these past few months.

Thinkific Homepage

Check these out:

  1. Over 50,000+ course creators.
  2. 63 million course enrollments in 2020 (1.5 million per week).
  3. Thinkific course creators earned $630 million in revenue in 2020.
  4. The e-learning platform just raised $22 million to fuel its growth.
  5. Thinkific has been profitable since 2018.

On the other hand, Teachable is a seasoned industry player since its Fedora days.

Teachable Homepage

It has truckloads of extraordinary things going on for it, too.

  1. About 184,000 courses and 17,686 coaching products launched there in 2020.
  2. Teachable course creators made over $1 billion in course sales
  3. They earned $457 million in that year alone.
  4. Teachable was still making over $250 million in course and coaching product sales before the pandemic hit.
  5. E-learning giant, Hotmart, just acquired Teachable to power its future growth.

In short, you’ll not go wrong with picking the best of the two for your online courses business.

They both consistently pay good money to course creators like you and I.

They both have a robust future.

And, they are both incredibly popular with online learners.

People are already flocking to and browsing through these two platforms. So it can mean it will be easier for you to attract paying students to your course without doing too much marketing.

Here’s a quick summary for you.

What I Like About Thinkific Over Teachable?

  • Unlike Teachable, which charges a 5% transaction fee on its free plan, Thinkific doesn’t charge the fee in any of its plans.
  • Thinkific offers three different course creation templates. You can also design your course from scratch to make it look and feel however you envision.
  • You can easily survey students to know what areas of your course to improve.
  • It has unique lesson types such as narrated/voiceover presentations and assignment lessons.
  • It offers true White Label features, so you can customize your Thinkific site better compared to a Teachable site.
  • Thinkific lets course creators develop sophisticated exams with its Brillium integration at no extra cost.
  • It also provides seamless integration with Accredible to provide several certificates of completion templates and tools. No extra cost, either.
  • You can use customized Sales Widgets to sell your course on any website.

What I Like About Teachable Over Thinkific?

  • You can use testimonials and course guarantee badges on your course checkout pages to help increase sales.
  • Students can post comments right below a specific lecture, which can help boost student engagement. Thinkific doesn’t make it as easy to start a discussion.
  • Teachable will let you import your course content from cloud-based storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.
  • You can make bulk-edits to your course content with Teachable.
  • Teachable will let you convert your course content into downloadable files.
  • If you want your students to access your course on the go, Teachable offers an IOS app.
  • One-step checkouts and upsells makes Teachable better at conversion optimization than Thinkific.
  • If you need built-in ability to handle EU VAT, Teachable does that without needing an integration like Thinkific would.
  • You can create a blog right inside Teachable which you can’t do on Thinkific.
  • Teachable will help you send automated email notifications when you unlock a lesson/drip content.
  • It also provides a robust webhooks management system and more Zapier features.

Akshay recommends:
1. How to Find and Validate Online Course Ideas? (with Real-Life Examples)
2. Teachable vs Kajabi: Literally A No-Brainer Choice (Complete Showdown)
3. Podia vs Thinkific: 10 Aspects Compared In-Depth
4. Kajabi vs Thinkific: 10 Aspects Compared In Detail

And now here’s the full review.

Interface

A clean dashboard means you can get to creating the course faster.

But the best course platforms also include shortcuts to several key tools, so you can get to the right item in seconds instead of minutes.

So, it makes sense then that Thinkific provides a neat sidebar menu.

It also offers several shortcuts you can use to access an existing course or go create one for the first time.

Thinkific User Interface

Click the menu items on the sidebar to reveal what’s under each of them. It might not be what you expect with Thinkific.

For example, Thinkific decided to place its Integrations feature under Market & Sell.

If you’ve used any other course creation platform before you might remember that almost every one of them has Integrations under Settings. But it won’t take you too long to get its flow.

Compare that to the Teachable dashboard:

Teachable interface

Here’s how it’ll look when you already have a course or more published:

Teachable Interface 2

Like Thinkific, Teachable provides a sidebar with quick-action menu items.

Again, the goal is to make it easy for you to find tools quickly. You might find its color scheme attractive as well. Your choice.

Beyond looks, the two platforms are mobile-friendly. Expect them to load fast on phones and tablets as well as be responsive to various screen sizes.

That’s crucial when you have students logging into your course portal with mobile devices.

Bottomline: You’ll get clean dashboards that don’t feel overly nested so you’ll find what you need fast. Yet if you prefer to tweak things on the go, Teachable offers an IOS mobile app. It doesn’t have an app for Android devices.

Course creation

Is Teachable better than Thinkific when creating your course curriculum?

Or, is Thinkific’s course creation process better?

We’ll break the answer into eight sections as follows:

Course curriculum & structure

Suppose you want to gauge if there is enough demand for the kind of knowledge you want to package in a course.

In that case, Thinkific will let you create a landing page where you can:

  • Collect potential students’ emails
  • Pre-sell the course
  • Publish your course creation progress for your waitlist

Teachable doesn’t offer that. Instead, it goes straight to presenting two types of online teaching opportunities: course and coaching.

Pick Course if you want to package your know-how into a short or elaborate curriculum. Otherwise, Coaching is ideal for course creators who want to offer one-on-one training on a schedule.

Now, if you’d like to speed up your course creation process by using course templates, Thinkific offers some.

Thinkific Course Templates

Yet you can choose the Blank canvas if you want to have more control over your course curriculum design.

Where Teachable gets us is how it makes filling out course details, such as the course name, an easy, step-by-step process.

Teachable Course Creation Process

After the naming rites, Teachable will let you add two course layers: Sections and Lectures. You can also duplicate or make the course material downloadable.

Teachable Course Structure

Thinkific offers Chapters and Lessons, which is a similar concept:

Thinkific course structure

Think of the layers as ways to introduce headers, subheadings, and content into your course curriculum.

The goal here is to help you structure the course in a way that looks and feels easy to follow. You do not want to overwhelm learners with content that feels all over the place now, do you?

In both cases, you can drag and drop sections around to organize them however you feel is best for your students.

Bottomline: Pick Thinkific if you prefer to use a ready course layout. Still, Teachable offers a smooth, four-step course creation process.

Course content formats

Remember, each student has a unique learning style. Some are visual. Others prefer to read text at their pace.

Either way, Teachable will let you use content in the form of:

  • Text
  • Videos (limited at 720p (HD), 2GB, and .avi, .mp4, or .mov, file types)
  • Images
  • Audio (mp3 and AAC files)
  • PDFs
  • Downloadable files
  • Surveys
  • Embed content with custom code

But Thinkific takes things further.

Thinkific Content Formats

On top of the file formats Teachable supports, Thinkific will let you upload the following course content types:

  • Narrated presentations
  • Elaborate quizzes
  • Live streams
  • Surveys
  • Webinar content
  • Brillium exams
  • Disqus comments/discussions

However, Thinkific does not support SCORM files. But you can use Storyline and Captivate files with it.

And, perhaps more importantly, Thinkific will let you use more than one content type in the same lecture. For example, you can use text and multimedia files and videos in the same lesson.

That’s great for providing illustrations and getting your points across.

Bottomline: If you are not too keen on using multiple content files, Teachable will serve you just fine. But if you want to increase student engagement with various content formats, Thinkific offers a far superior platform.

Uploading course content

We like that you can upload content in bulk in both cases.

The Bulk Upload button is clear inside the Teachable course editor.

Bulk Importing Course Content in Teachable

Hit that button and Teachable brings up a bunch of options with which you can upload course content.

Uploading Course Content to Teachable

They include:

  • Upload from your computer
  • Dropbox
  • Google Drive
  • Web Images
  • OneDrive
  • Embed Links

That’s handy if you have content ready in a separate storage option.

You can also bulk-upload content in Thinkific. Unlike Teachable, you can use almost any file type you can think of.

how to upload multiple videos with Thinkific

But unlike Thinkific, you can use Teachable’s power editor to make bulk edits instead of going to each individual section to make changes.

Time saving!

Teachable will let you make your course material downloadable and previewable with the click of a button. Sweet.

Teachables Course Curriculum Tools

But Thinkific has a trick up its Video Library.

Thinkific Video Library

You can upload video files directly to the Library from your computer, FTP site, and cloud storage options such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive.

Upload videos to Thinkific

The video files need to be less than 1GB in size.

Once you upload videos to it, you can reuse the clips in different courses or sections/lessons of the same course. So the library will become a sort of online storage for reusable course materials, too.

Another thing.

Both Teachable and Thinkific host videos with Wistia. Teachable no longer supports hosting content on Vizia.

Wistia is a great video hosting option for its high-quality visuals and insightful analytics. The feature comes free with any Thinkific or Teachable plan.

Some of you would prefer YouTube and Vimeo to be included. They are not, sadly.

Bottomline: Teachable will let you upload content directly from cloud-storage sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Thinkific is a good option if you want to take advantage of its Video Library tricks.

Course delivery

Both platforms offer attractive course players.

You can change the course players’ look, feel, and functionality in easy steps.

Students can toggle the players to fullscreen, as well as play videos at a suitable speed and quality. The players can also automatically mark lessons as complete when they finish watching a video.

Unlike LearnWorlds, which offers interactive elements directly in the videos, such as interactive quizzes, Thinkific does not. Teachable used to let course creators use Vizia to add a poll, quiz, response, or call-to-action right in a video lesson.

Adding Interactive Quizzes in a Teachable Course

That’s awesome when you want to boost student engagement. Unfortunately, Teachable is no longer supporting new Vizia integrations.

Commenting on a lecture will require that your students raise a discussion point (Thinkific) or comment (Teachable) in a separate tab/page.

Fortunately they only have to scroll to the bottom of the lecture to Post a Comment in Teachable.

In Thinkific, they’ll need to click the Discussion button on the side of the course player.

But, not so fast.

Thinkific offers seamless Live Lessons where you can train your learners in a live class using, say, Zoom.

That can give students a feeling of being in a real-world, real-time class session.

Perhaps that can help them concentrate more on what you are teaching, motivate them to attend the lessons in time, and overall, take your course more seriously.

That benefit is only available in the Coaching version of Teachable, not when doing courses.

Drip course content

If you do not want learners to binge on your content in a hurry, consider enabling the drip feature on both platforms.

In both, you can drip course content based on:

  • After a specific number of days after a student first enrolls in the course
  • A specific date

Here’s the difference, though.

Teachable will send an automated email announcement to students when you unlock a new lecture. Thinkific won’t.

Drip feeding Content with Teachable

Oh, in case you are wondering:

While Thinkific pegs its mobile-friendly web application, Teachable offers an IOS mobile app for creators and students who want to teach and learn on the go.

Most of its functionality is a boon for students, not for course creators.

Students can:

  • Stream lectures
  • View handouts/worksheets
  • Pick up a lecture where they left off on another device,
  • Take quizzes
  • Sync progress across different devices

Still, we don’t get how Teachable thought it is a cool idea to lock Android app users out, seeing that international students likely make up the majority of the platform’s student population.

Bottomline: Both platforms offer handy course delivery options including drip-feeding and friendly course player options. Content scheduling is only available in paid plans.

Course compliance features

So you want to ensure your students are getting what you are teaching?

You can enforce specific requirements to help you with that.

Teachable will give you three options:

Teachable course compliance
  • Enforce lecture order where students need to follow the order in which you placed the lectures.
  • Enforce video watching where they need to watch an entire video to proceed to the next lecture.
  • Enforce graded quiz completion where they need to get a pass mark to proceed to the next step. In case a student fails to make the grade, Teachable sends a quiz reset request to you, the creator. Then you get to decide if the learner should retake the quiz.

With Thinkific, you can set:

How to create Prerequisite Quizzes with Thinkific
Setting up Thinkific’s Prerequisite Quizzes
  • Prerequisite questions where students need to answer those accurately before they can proceed to the next lesson.
  • Video completion (%) requirement where students need to watch a specific video length before they can continue to the next step
  • Set a passing grade where learners need to get a minimum score to qualify for the next lessons.

Course compliance tools like those are extremely important for several reasons.

For example, if students skim through the course and fail to grasp your concepts, they are likely to report low course satisfaction.

Consequently, they could rate your course poorly, demand a refund, and bad-mouth you out there. So be sure to use the course compliance features, will you?

Bottomline: Both platforms offer awesome course compliance features if you want your students to take your course more seriously.

Still with us?

There’s another tool to help you avoid those issues while ensuring your students get the best from your course.

Test them.

Here’s how.

Assessments and quizzes

Thinkific brings out some big guns to this fight.

From start, Thinkific will let you create assessments/quizzes/exams in several effective ways:

  • Add multiple-choice questions.
  • Upload a video and image into a Thinkific quiz.
  • A student can upload a video, PDF, or image to answer a question.
  • Let students answer open-ended questions and explain their answers in paragraph form.
Thinkifics Explanation Quizzes

Now picture this:

How to set up Randomized Questions Bank inside Thinkific
Thinkific’s Randomized Questions Bank

That is Thinkific’s Randomized Quiz Bank.

It is a kind of repository for up to 100 questions.

You can use the Thinkific quiz questions template to create solid quizzes.

Guide to creating Thinkific Quiz assessments
Thinkific’s Quiz assessment template

Then import the questions into the bank to proceed.

How to Import Quizzes in Thinkific

Thinkific will then automatically select up to 25 random questions to serve to a student and test his or her understanding of your course concepts.

That’s unheard of from even the best Thinkific alternatives, let alone Teachable.

But there’s more.

Thinkific has a direct integration with Brillium.

Why that matters?

Brillium is a brilliant exam solution that helps creators like you and me create sophisticated digital exams. It has excellent exam creation, administration, grading, and analysis tools.

So, you can add a bunch of filters to get a deep understand of your students’ performance–even at an individual level, such as:

  • View what specific areas of your course they could be struggling with.
  • Allow them to retake an exam.
  • You can also hide correct answers so that a student can retake a quiz until they hit a passing mark (Teachable offers that, too).
  • See whether they retook the assessment.
  • Discover how many times they have retaken an exam and whether they are improving.

Quick Tip: If you want to offer more in-depth, individual student feedback, and at the same time require students to submit their homework before proceeding along the course, just create an Assignments Lesson like this:

Create a Thinkific Assignments Lesson

Since the Thinkific-Brillium integration is a direct one, it comes included in your paid Thinkific plan.

So, unlike integrating Brillium with Teachable, you won’t need to pay extra to use Brillium with Thinkific.

Thinkific will go further and even lets you ask students how they are finding the course.

Creating Surveys with Thinkific

That way, you can get real feedback directly from the students.

Bottomline: If this section sounds as if it was all about Thinkific, that’s because what you can do with Teachable’s graded quizzes dims in comparison.

Certificate of completion

Teachable makes a comeback here with its solid course certification features.

Unlike Kajabi and Podia, Teachable provides three direct ways to create and award students with certificates immediately after they complete the course successfully.

  • Choose from one of the three certificate templates
  • Use HTML/Liquid to create a custom Teachable certificate
Teachable native certificate generation

To create a Teachable certificate, click a course from the admin sidebar, and then click the Certificates sub-menu like this:

Create A Teachable Certificate of Completion

But we said there are three ways, right?

Teachable will also let you create certificates manually. No integrations required. No complicated back and forth like when trying to manually create certificates with Thinkific.

But why create certificates manually in the first place?

It will help you choose specific students, time, and context to issue the award. It will also give you more control over activating, deactivating, editing and deleting certificates.

To create a certificate with Thinkific, click the Settings sub-menu.

Create Thinkific Certificates

Click Create Certificate. From there, choose a certificate template from a selection of seven.

Thinkific Certificate Templates

Thinkific has direct integration with Accredible, the reputed digital certificates solution. That means you can issue automatic lessons immediately after a student completes the course successfully.

You won’t have to pay extra to use Accredible with Thinkific–unless you want to create certificates manually.

Bottomline: Both platforms offer native course certification tools. Yet, Teachable provides more and easy-to-use tools to help manage certificates.

Creating membership sites

Memberships offer plenty of benefits.

One: you can provide members-only content among other privileges.

Second, you can gate your membership site’s content. You can require anyone wanting to read your content on an ongoing basis to pay a monthly fee for it.

Thinkific provides a basic landing page, which you can customize to turn into your membership site.

Teachable puts in more effort. You can create different subscription levels for your paid content.

Teachable Membership Site Subscriptions

In both platforms, you can also use membership subscriptions to:

  • Bundle different courses and offer them as a discounted offer.
  • Manage who can access the paid content.
  • Drip the content as a trial or freebie.
  • Create different subscription levels with varying subscription fees.
  • Use the different subscription levels to upsell members.

Bottomline: While both will let you create membership sites, Teachable offers more detailed membership tools.

Analytics and reporting

If you are a numbers person, both Teachable and Thinkific are sure to impress here.

They offer tons of both raw data and filtered information you can use to inform your decisions.

Picture this:

Thinkific quizze attempts analytics
You’ll even see how many quiz attempts your students have made trying to pass your assessment

Thinkific will tell you who attempted what quizzes in which course, how many times, and whether they completed each attempt.

You’ll need to have a Pro or Growth plan to enjoy the most in-depth reports, complete with numerous filters and advanced details as in this image:

Thinkific Advanced Reporting and Analytics

Now picture this:

Teachable Analytics and Reporting

What Thinkific can report Thinkific can do, too.

But can it do it better?

Teachable will add finer details such as whether the students who’ve completed your course are free or paying learners.

Teachable Course Reporting Tools

You can really filter details down to the individual student, course, or cohort levels with Teachable.

Bottomline: Both platforms offer plenty of actionable data although Teachable goes a bit deeper than Thinkific.

Selling digital products

Both platforms will let you offer video tutorials, case studies, and other digital products.

But, can you sell physical products with Teachable?

Yes.

In fact, Teachable will also let you include a billing and shipping address form on the checkout page.

You Can Selling Physical Products on Teachable

When course buyers fill in their account and payment details, you can use the details to make the delivery to their doorstep. Transportation is up to you to organize.

Trying to sell physical products on Thinkific is a complicated mess we won’t delve into for now.

Bottomline: Teachable is excellent for selling both digital and physical products from one place.

Design and customization options

You’ve probably heard it say a million times before.

We are visual beings.

So, it matters how your course looks and feels.

Something else.

The social media channels your students use daily have spoilt them to expect vibrant apps, pages, and seamless transitions.

So, can you fully customize your course with Teachable?

Both platforms use a visual, drag-n-drop editor.

Making changes will feel simple and breezy. You’ll see the changes you make almost instantly, so you can revert any undesirable tweaks on the spot to save you time.

Teachable design editor

Teachable only offers a single theme.

But you can tweak it in several ways such as:

Customizing Teachables Theme
  • Change the theme’s color scheme, including on-course page headers, subtitles, footers, and body text.
  • Personalize its typography.
  • Use custom text.
  • Add a custom logo, favicon, and navigation.

If you want to do more and fully customize almost every aspect of your course pages, you can code it in with Teachable’s Power Editor 2.0.

It can get as technical as it may be exciting when you know your way around HTML, custom CSS, code snippets, and Teachable’s Liquid coding language.

Also, the changes you make to the Teachable theme apply on a website-wide level; not just on a specific page.

Compare that to Thinkific, where you can make page-level customizations without affecting the rest of the pages.

There’s more.

Thinkific offers several theme templates you can pick from to get started quickly. They may feel a tad gloomy if you prefer something a little more colorful.

Thinkific site features

So, once you pick your choicest theme, you can customize it further in as many ways as Teachable offers.

Thinkific’s drag-n-drop editor is also a good place to do your tweaks since it is smooth and responsive. Personalizing sales pages, checkout pages, and other landing pages feels easy with Thinkific.

Thinkific design options

Oh, another thing.

You can go full white-label or use either’s API to further customize the look and feel of your course pages.

However, you’ll still see Teachable’s branding in the login, sign up, and checkout pages. Contrary, with Thinkific, your students will just see your custom URLs.

Bottomline: Teachable’s design options are awesome if you prefer to use custom code to tweak things. But if coding is not your thing, and you’d prefer learners to see only your custom domains, Thinkific may be the better option.

Marketing courses online

You know that you need to get word out there that you have an amazing course on sale.

Remember, even the best courses won’t turn a profit if you don’t get enough eyeballs and pockets dying to buy your course.

That said, here’s what both platforms will let you do:

  • Bundle courses, promote, and sell them as discounted offers.
  • Use coupon codes for promotions.
  • Pre-sell courses on custom landing pages.
  • Pre-launch courses–capture the emails of the people who have expressed interest in your course.
  • Use affiliates
  • Use basic email marketing

Now, on to some differences.

Teachable offers a built-in blogging feature. Can you do some power content marketing with it?

No. It is pretty basic and won’t be a robust replacement for your website or WordPress blog. Thinkific doesn’t offer such a tool, though.

Also, compared to Kajabi and Podia, Thinkific and Teachable have almost non-existent email marketing features. The integrated email system is best used for sending course updates.

But at least Teachable will let you set up the updates to go out to students automatically. With Thinkific, you have to send them out manually.

Affiliate marketing

Both offer similar affiliate marketing and affiliates management tools.

Here’s a quick glimpse at what to expect:

  1. Track affiliate cookies for up to 30 days.
  2. Permit affiliates to self-register.
  3. Or, invite people you know to become your course’s affiliates.
  4. Set commission rates.
  5. Change the rate as you wish.
  6. See affiliate’s details such as the specific customers they referred to you.

You can also see and analyze your affiliate sales reports to see the way forward.

Thinkific Affiliates 1

Here’s how your Teachable affiliate marketing dashboard will look like:

Set up Affiliate Marketing Settings on Teachable

The unique thing about Teachable here is that you can import affiliate details in bulk from a CSV file. That might help save you set-up time.

Bottomline: Both offer decent affiliate marketing capabilities. Also, note that affiliate marketing is a premium feature in both camps. So it is available only as a part of the higher-paid plans.

Sales and upselling

The goal of any checkout page should be to boost your ability to make a sale.

Teachable seems to know that. So it comes out swinging compared to what Thinkific can do.

Here’s what it provides to help you in conversion optimization:

  1. Create bulk coupons with ease so you can use them in many different promotions at the same time.
  2. Use its one-step checkout to reduce cart abandonment.
  3. Take advantage of one-click upsells to maximize sales potential.
  4. Unlike Thinkific, Teachable will let you use videos on the sales page. Use them as Thank You notes, upsell pitches, tutorials, and so on. Instead, Thinkific supports Thank You pages and not much else in the way of upselling tools.

Teachable doesn’t stop there, no.

You can also add testimonials to your checkout page, a crucial conversion optimization feature that Thinkific doesn’t support as of this writing.

It also supports several course guarantee badge designs, another powerful conversion optimization tool you’ll want to have on a checkout page. You won’t have it on your Thinkific checkout pages because it doesn’t provide them.

Add Course Guarantees on Teachable Checkout Pages

Now, Thinkific has used a two-page checkout process for the longest time. That’s no longer the case.

They have just released a new, built-from-scratch, single-page checkout tool.

Thinkifics New Single page Checkout

Reducing those steps helps reduce cart abandonment, so we are excited about the long-overdue change.

To test the feature, first enable SSL on your site. Then activate the checkout tool under Settings>>Streamlined Checkout>>New Streamlined Checkout like this:

Activate Single page Checkout on Thinkific

There’s something else.

Thinkific will let you place Sales Widgets on multiple websites, blogs, or third-party sites to promote your course.

Site Widgets are small “call-to-action” buttons or course cards that’ll help you sell your course on any website.

How to Set Up Thinkific Sales Widgets

When a potential buyer clicks on one, they won’t have to navigate to your Thinkific site to complete the purchase, which helps reduce cart abandonment.

Instead, they can enter their name and payment details right there and purchase the course in minutes.

How Thinkific Sales Widgets Work 1

Moreover, Thinkific will let you:

  • Bundle courses and sell them as a discounted package.
  • Use multiple coupons for separate promotions and courses.
  • Let students purchase a course in installments.
  • Create one-time offers.

Bottomline: While Thinkific is improving its checkout process, Teachable still offers a superior process, includes more and powerful conversion optimization tools, and makes upselling super-easy to do.

Integrations

Both platforms offer numerous integrations.

But we figured Thinkific supports more direct integrations than Teachable.

Direct integrations often mean you won’t have to spend extra cash to purchase them when you have already paid for a Thinkific plan.

Thinkific integrations

Take email marketing integrations, for example.

Thinkific provides more direct integrations–up to 7 email marketing software.

Teachable integrations

If you want to go all out on customizations, both platforms support Webhooks, Zapier, have SPIs, and can do full White Label.

Webhook and Zapier integrations

Bottomline: While Thinkific offers more native integrations, Teachable provides robust webhooks management as well as more Zapier triggers.

Payment processors

Your students can buy your course with Stripe, Credit or debits cards, and PayPal in both cases.

Teachable also supports Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Your U.S.-based students can also use their PayPal account to buy your subscriptions and payment plans.

They just have to set up PayPal Key. PayPal Key is the feature you need to link a virtual card number directly to a PayPal account.

Teachable Payment Gateways

But they are only available for one-time purchases and schools using Teachable Payments or the Monthly Payment Gateway.

But you can now sell Thinkific courses on Shopify, too:

Thinkific Payment gateways

Your visitors can also checkout with credit cards using the Stripe integration. And, you’ll receive payouts in your bank’s direct deposit account via Stripe, or PayPal.

Quick TIP: If you need to add custom payment gateways, such as SamCart and Thrivecart, you’ll need to integrate them using Zapier or Webhooks.

Bottomline: You decide what’s more important to you; Teachable offers plenty of mobile money payment options while Thinkific will let your students buy courses directly through Shopify.

Customer support

Expect responsive support from both camps.

Plus, you can reach their respective customer support ninjas right from any page. Just click the Help buttons on the bottom-right corners.

Teachable offers email and ticket support as well as a Help Center in all plans. Live chat is only available in the Pro plan.

Teachable Customer Support Options

Thinkific offers email, ticket, Help Library support in all plans. No live chat anywhere.

Thinkific Customer Support Options

No 24/7 support in either platform. And, they operate within U.S. business hours, so international users may have to wait quite a while before they can get help.

Bottomline: On top, of course, creator training, which Teachable offers, Thinkific also provides a 30-60-minute onboarding call, launch preparedness training, and advanced training on a dedicated site.

Pricing and plans

Now, look:

I’m not sure about you but I prefer free trials–with the option to downgrade to a free plan–over free plans.

Why?

Take Thinkific’s free plan for example.

It offers bucketloads of restrictions to the point that you may not get an accurate feel of how its unlimited plans work.

It won’t let you use coupons, affiliates, drip content, email notifications, course compliance tools, or Zapier triggers. But you can enroll unlimited students in up to 3 courses.

I’m not alone in this. Teachable no longer offers a free plan. Instead, it provides a 14-days trial, which is similar to a Kajabi trial duration.

You’ll be using all the features included in Teachable’s $99/Month Pro Plan during the trial run. That’s more like it!

Still, you can extend your Teachable trial up to 30 days–which is what LearnWorlds offers.

Extend Teachable Free Trial

Teachable will let you create unlimited courses and enroll unlimited students in the $29 Basic Plan.

The catch is it charges a 5% transaction fee on all sales. So, don’t be surprised if the plan ends up costing more than Thinkific’s $39/month base plan ($49 when billed monthly).

In fact, Teachable’s $29 plan ($39 when billed monthly) does not offer the following:

  • Graded quizzes
  • Custom domain
  • Course completion certificates
  • Upsells
  • Course compliance tools
  • Affiliate marketing tools

You know what, here’s a more thorough breakdown for you:

PlansThinkificTeachable
Free PlanCore features plus:
3 Courses max
Unlimited students
Quizzes & surveys
Content hosting (Video, PDFs, and Audio)
Instant access to your funds
No longer offers a free plan
Basic PlanFree features plus:
Unlimited courses, students, video, and hosting
Coupons
Email students
Drip (scheduled) content
Affiliate reporting
Custom domain
Email integrations
Zapier triggers
Manual student enrollment & exports
All base features plus: 
Unlimited video, courses, students, and hosting
5% transaction fees + payment gateway processing fees

Instant payouts (Teachable Payments)
2 admin-level users
Product support (No live chat)
Course creator training
Custom domain support
Coupon codes
Drip course content
Integrated affiliate marketing
Integrated email marketing
Third-party integrations
Pro PlanAll Basic Plan features plus: 
Unlimited courses & students
2 Site admin accounts
5 Course admins/authors
Private & hidden courses
Advanced course pricing options
Memberships and bundles
Certificates
Advanced Customization
Priority Support
Assignments
All Basic Plan features plus:
No fees
Instant payouts
5 admin-level users
Priority product support
Graded quizzes
Advanced theme customization
Advanced reports
Unbranded website
Course completion certificates
Course compliance
Business PlanAll Pro Plan features plus:
Unlimited courses & students
5 Site admin accounts
15 Group Analysts
50 Course admins/authors
Single sign-on (SSO)
Onboarding package
Unlimited Growth Package
All Pro Plan features plus:
No fees
Instant payouts
100 admin-level users
Priority product support
Manual student imports
Bulk student enrollments
Custom user roles

Teachable pricing plans (billed annually):

Teachable Pricing

Compare with these Thinkific pricing plans (billed annually):

Thinkific Pricing 1

Bottomline: You choose.

Teachable vs Thinkific: Frequently Asked Questions

Do these course platforms come with transaction fees?

Thinkific doesn’t come with any fees. But Teachable comes with 5% transaction fees. But you need to consider if the extra features I’ve described are worth it.

Can I export the themes?

You can export or import the themes along with images in the case of Thinkific. But you can’t do it with Teachable as they have power editor like I have discussed.

Can I bundle my courses to and sell them as upsells?

You can bundle the courses with both these platforms.

Do these platforms allow me to send welcome and course completion emails?

With Thinkific you can create and send custom course emails. But you can’t do this with Teachable.

Do they have a free plan?

Yes. Both platforms offer free plans with limited features. Teachable has a generous free plan with unlimited students, courses, and hosting. Thinkific has course limitations with its free plan.

Thinkific vs Teachable: Which is the Best?

Thinkific and Teachable are arguably the fiercest competitors in the online course creation industry.

So, which is the best course platform for selling your courses online?

Here’s a quick recap:

Thinkific is a suitable course platform if you want to:

  • Upload a colossal number of different file types in your course curriculum
  • Use more than one type of content format in a lesson
  • Use themes and templates to ease, speed up, and take the stress out of customizing the look and feel of your course
  • Test or start your course creator journey with a free plan
  • Pick the most affordable paid plan that offers the most features
  • Create sophisticated exams
  • Use Sales Widgets on any website to promote your course

On the other hand, Teachable is superior in the following areas:

  • An easy-to-use and attractive course editor.
  • Excellent tools to help boost the likelihood of making a sale (guarantee badge, testimonials, custom thank you pages, e.t.c)
  • Optimizing the checkout page for upsells
  • Selling physical products
  • Creating membership sites/subscriptions
  • Bulk-editing course content
  • Basic blogging

Still on the fence about Teachable vs Thinkific?

Or, has this mammoth comparison helped you choose the best course platform for your needs?

Akshay HallurAbout me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures.

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

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I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to the blogging community. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media networks. SHARING IS ♥️

2 thoughts on “Thinkific vs Teachable: 13 Crucial Differences to Consider (Sep 2021)”

  1. Thanks for the thorough review. There is a new kid on the block and I am trying to find thorough comparison before making a decision who I am signing up with. Do you have insights on FreshLMS?

  2. Thank you so much for this! Very thorough and helpful! You clearly put a ton of time and effort into this review and it is much appreciated.

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