As an online course creator for almost 10 years, I’m always on the search for the perfect online course platform where I can create, host, and sell my courses.
When I started out, I went through a process of using password protected WordPress pages in the simplest format, and a Facebook group for the community,
Then I advanced into custom designed courses on my own website (at a premium cost), with a mish-mash of plugins to allow me to take payments, enrol members, drip content and more.
I’m not going to lie, it was painful!
While I had all the autonomy to run my own courses on my own websites, I was also fully responsible for updates, upgrades, hosting and all the tech integration. It was a constant headache.
Then I discovered the power and ease of online course platforms, that pretty much took care of everything for you when it came to launching and running your online courses.
With the online course industry continuing to grow exponentially, there are more and more platforms coming on the market claiming to do everything you need to launch and sell your own profitable online course.
If you’re considering launching your damn course in 2020, then you are already at an advantage thanks to the plethora of ‘done for you’ online course platforms available to you.
Today, I’m focusing on just two of them. I’m intimate with both platforms having used them for years, and I think they are two of the best when it comes to the ease and low-tech knowledge required to get started.
For years, I used Teachable and for good reason (which I’ll dive deeper into further down this post).
However, midway through 2019 I came upon Podia and was really pleasantly surprised to learn about all their awesome features that make my life as an online course creator easier.
If you’ve seen my in-depth video review of them, then you’ll see how big of a fan I’ve become of Podia.
Podia or Teachable – which platform is better?
I’ll be doing a comparison for you today and breaking down each feature of both Podia and Teachable so that you can better decide which platform is best for you.
Disclaimer: I use affiliate links throughout this post. If you signup to one of these platforms through my link I receive a small commission, so thank you!
Podia is a one-stop-shop with which you can run an entire course business without having to spend any extra money on hosting, a website, marketing or payment software, and more.
It’s one of the few platforms that allows you to host and sell online courses, digital products, webinars AND have a basic membership.
It’s incredibly easy to start marketing and selling your courses without any other tools using Podia, and it’s also a relatively easy to use platform in terms of controls and layout.
Of particular note is the wonderful storefront you can customize using Podia’s plethora of tools. Adding images, text, videos, and more to your pages is quick and simple, and you’ll be able to reorder different page elements until everything looks exactly the way you imagined.
A big advantage Podia has over Teachable is that they let you buy and sell as many courses as you want to – no limits or extra costs! You can also bundle courses and include upsells.
You can easily duplicate a course if you want to run live cohorts of it, but keep all the videos, workbooks etc that go with it.
Or if you wish to make a mini course and offer fewer of the modules that make up your main ‘signature program’.
It’s membership functionality is basic but it works great if you combine it with a Facebook Group or other space to host the member community.
I haven’t even started talking about the wonderful email marketing function which could easily replace your own email provider.
You’re able to send newsletters to people who optin to your freebie digital product or course, and also drip emails for students in your course.
Plus you can track sends, opens and clickthroughs, as well as the progress of students through your courses.
5 Key Podia Highlights:
- Mover (Basic) $39.00/month, no transaction fees
- Shaker – $79.00/month includes advanced functionalities like affiliates and membership, no fees
Payout schedule – Instant Payouts
- Podia pays out instantly, which is a big deal as a course creator to have the income hitting your account as it comes in.
Excellent Customer Service ** biggest advantage**
- Podia offers a chat function that allows contact with a business rep instantly during business hours, and guarantees 24 hour turnaround, 7 days a week on all communications.
- Podia transfers content from your current online course platform right into Podia. Easy and stress-free. This is a big deal.
14-day Free Trial
- So you can test out all the features. They kindly gave me this affiliate link to give you 15% off your subscription for life, on either plan.
Teachable is a powerful online course builder platform. It does feature a fairly intuitive website builder; you “drag and drop” different page elements in the place, so it’s particularly beginner-friendly.
You’ll also be able to dig into the code to implement your own more advanced customizations if you have some experience, as otherwise their sales pages are quite basic.
Many real-world teachers might appreciate that Teachable lets you offer both quizzes in your course (Podia does as well) and certificates of completion.
These may not seem super important, but they can go a long way toward making your course seem more legitimate and drive student engagement.
As with Podia, you’ll be able to create various coupons or promotions when the time comes to sell your course. You can use these to incentivize sign-ups, or even implement advanced monthly pricing options.
Payment plans, one-off payments, subscriptions, and the like are all available for you to set up depending on what works best for your course model. They accept payments in over 130 international currencies – with this feature, your courses might draw revenue from a multi-national audience over time!
Teachable only provides monthly payouts to course creators, which is a significant downside.
They recently introduced the ability to sell coaching through Teachable, which is a cool feature, particularly as most course creators often also offer coaching, whether 1-1 or a group program as an upsell or extension to their course.
5 Key Teachable Highlights:
- Free Plan (bonus!) BUT you pay a $1 + 10% commission on any course you sell
- Basic -$39.00/month with a 5% transaction fee
- Professional – $99.00/month (no transaction fees)
- Business – $500/month (no transaction fees)
This is my biggest gripe with Teachable. They used to pay you out within a few days of someone paying for and enrolling in your online course, now you have to wait 30 days (for the refund period of most courses).
Customer Service from 10:00am – 6:00pm
- Reviews explain they tend to prioritize higher-paying customers
Teachable Mobile App
- Able to check on online courses and answer client/student questions on-the-go
Course Creator Training
- They have Teachable University which has really great free courses on how to use their platform and also how to create great courses.
Curious about launching your own online course? Then come to my live training webinar on September 2nd.
Which is better, Podia or Teachable?
Podia offers unlimited products, customers, emails sent, sales and files hosted, 24/7 customer service, and 0% transaction fees. For the same price as Teachable, Podia offers more functionality and customer support.
- Personal opinion: Don’t stick with a previous online course creation platform that you’re not happy with because you’re nervous to trust a new one!
- Podia offers FREE migration with no time investment from you and won’t disrupt your client/students’ courses.
- Plus, you can test out Podia with a 14-day free trial to see how you feel!
For Teachable’s Basic account, the 5% transaction fee is a bit of bummer. For example, the more clients/students you have signed up for your course, the more you pay to Teachable.
- Not a great reward for the good work that you’re investing your time and knowledge in, don’t you think?
Signing up for an online course platform is an investment for you and your business, so at the end of the day, which course is the best investment and has better value?
- Podia Mover Annual Plan (using 15% off code with a free trial): $331.50
- Podia Shaker Annual Plan (using 15% off code with a free trial): $671.50
- Teachable Basic Annual Plan: $348.00 + 5% transaction fees
- Teachable Professional Annual Plan: $948.00
Here is a more in-depth break down of “basic” and “professional” plans for Podia vs. Teachable. I’ve highlighted the key differences.
Mover (Basic) Plan $39.00/month:
- Online course hosting platform
- Allows you to host, sell or give away digital downloads such as eBooks, printables, worksheets, workbooks, prints, etc.
- Email marketing
- Quizzes to be used in your courses
- Unlimited customers, emails, products to sell
- ZERO transaction fees (Stripe or PayPal does charge transaction fees)
- Instant payments – get paid for your hard work!
- 24/7 Customer Service via email, video, and chat
Shaker Plan $79.00/month:
Includes all of the above in the Mover Plan, plus:
- Membership Site hosting – it’s basic but this is a really great feature no other online course platform offers.
- Embedded checkout (for quick and easy buying on your own website)
- Affiliate program – so you can give commissions to those promoting your courses
- Free migration of your courses from another online course platform
- Able to use third-party codes
Basic Plan $39.00/month + 5% transaction fee:
- Online course hosting platform
- Quizzes to be used in your courses
- Unlimited customers, courses, video
- Student only needs one login to access all their courses in one dashboard (not just yours, but others they’ve bought)
- 5% transaction fees
Professional Plan $99.00/month
Includes all of the above in the Basic Plan, plus:
- No transaction fees (Stripe or PayPal does charge transaction fees)
- Priority support
- 5 admin accounts allowed
- Graded quizzes
- Unbranded website – as in free of their logo and branding
Podia takes the cake here, to be honest. Even the basic plan comes with a top-tier email marketing system that allows you to implement effective email marketing plans for your courses.
Drip campaigns and one-off newsletters are both possible using this tool and they keep improving this functionality.
It even allows you to capture data regarding your email marketing so you can tailor your marketing strategy better the longer you keep it going.
Even better, you get access to affiliate marketing tools if you jump up to the Shaker Plan. Pre-selling your courses and accelerating your online courses’ success will be even easier with these tools.
In contrast, Teachable does come with an email marketing tool, that allows you to do drip email marketing, but it doesn’t come with the auto-trigger you can find with Podia, i.e you have to go in and activate that drip content.
Both online course platforms let you know schedule enrolment in your course for a specific date, and to be able to drip out content, so students unlock new sections or modules or lessons over the timeframe you wish.
Comparing the payout systems between both course builders makes the differences all the starker.
Imagine getting instantly paid for all your hard work as soon as someone signs up for a course – huzzah! That’s Podia.
Now imagine having to wait an entire month before you get a payout. It’s just not the same, right?
It’s a big part of why I made the switch. I believe course creators should be responsible for their own refund policy and responsible for honouring that.
Furthermore, Teachable only allows for no transaction fees on the Professional Plan.
With both platforms you’ll still have to deal with some extra fees because they both integrate with PayPal and Stripe.
Podia’s just better value for money no matter which way you look at it.
Both platforms allow you to interact with your customers; Podia’s big point is the chat function that lets you instantaneously connect with any one of your students. Teachable has a top-tier mobile app that enables you to stay in touch with your students even while on the go.
But they do differ in terms of their company’s customer service. Podia’s customer service reps are available 24/7 across a variety of channels, and their live chat is from 9 AM to 6 PM EST, while Teachable’s reps, while ostensibly present, tend to prioritize higher-paying customers instead of everybody. They’re also only available from 10 AM to 6 PM EST.
One other big difference between Podia and Teachable is that, while Teachable does offer unlimited students, this is sharply different from how Podia lets you create unlimited courses to sell. In effect, Teachable caps your earning potential by limiting how many courses you can make before incurring additional fees. Boo!
Both platforms have excellent teaching features and functionalities, especially where quizzes are concerned.
However, Teachable does let you create gradable quizzes – you can automatically set a passing grade for them.
You can’t do this with Podia, so you have to evaluate your students one by one, which may become time-consuming as you become more successful with your course business.
Plus Teachable’s analytics and statistics for student progress through your courses is more advanced and user friendly.
Both Podia and Teachable are super easy and intuitive to use, and create and set up courses in minutes, and I appreciate they both have a clean interface.
Obviously with Podia you can also set up digital products and a membership super fast, Teachable offers just courses.
Below is an example of the backend of Podia setting up or editing a course you have.
They both let you upload or embed videos, hosted by them or by your video hosting platform of choice – I love Vimeo.
They both also make it easy to upload files like audios, PDFs, workbooks etc and both make it super student friendly to progress through a course, and see which lesson they got up to when they last logged in.
This shot below is what my Life Pilot course on Teachable looks like to a student.
But my biggest pain point with Teachable is simply logging in, depending on where your school is hosted, and if you’re taking other people’s courses on Teachable, the login switching drives me nuts and usually leads to errors.
My biggest pain point with Podia is the lack of customisation on a sales page, although Teachable also has this problem, but is more flexible if you know how to code.
I’ve found that no one platform will ever meet all your needs, but in this case Podia wins out on being super easy and friendly to do pretty much everything to get up and running to sell your knowledge!
Podia makes it incredibly easy to try out their course hosting platform since they offer free migration. Sorry, Teachable – it’s not a contest here!
I like both these platforms and still have courses on both, but ultimately Podia offers for flexibility and functionality for a one stop online business.
The fact that you can sell not just online courses, but also digital products, webinars (both free and paid) and have a membership was what tipped me over to use Podia.
You get more features on all the plans, no transaction fees which is huge, 24/7 customer support, and a user-friendly interface with one of the best email marketing functions I’ve seen for an extremely affordable monthly price.
While Teachable has its advantages, it’s not nearly as worthwhile when you consider the limitations on payments and how many courses you can make and sell.
Podia is affordable, user-friendly, and a top choice for marketing your courses before or after they’re ready.
It’s my top pick and I hope you find it perfect for your needs.