If you sell online courses or have an online course business, it’s crucial you pick the right course builder to market your product. These days you can take an online course on literally any topic you can think of. From how to go viral on Tik Tok to building up your email list, if you want to learn more about it, someone’s created an online course for it.
With reports that the online education space could hit $350 billion (yep, that’s with a “B”!) by 2025, now’s the time to get in the online course game if you have something to teach.
But before you start creating and selling on just any old online course platform, you want to make sure it’s the best course builder platform with strong marketing tools to create and sell your membership site, digital product, or online course.
You want your online course builder to be:
- Easy to use (both for you + customers)
- Provide a great customer service experience
- Helpful in terms of customer service for you as you’re building your course
- Flexible enough to grow along with your business.
And if you sell online courses and want the revenue from that course to grow — you need the course to look good AND actually provide results for your customers.
KAJABI VS TEACHABLE
There are loads of different online course platforms out there, but today I’m going to break down 2 of the biggest: Kajabi vs. Teachable. They just so happen to be the 2 platforms I have personal and professional experience using and selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of online courses on, too. So I’ll add in my personal experience and opinions were applicable.
Let’s hop in!
So you’re wondering when it comes to Kajabi vs. Teachable, what’s the best fit for YOUR business needs? Today I’m going to break down the pros and cons (and I see it!) for both Kajabi and Teachable and why I recently made the switch.
Almost 4 years ago, when I started the Ultimate Bundle™, I created it as a “course” (even though it’s actually a digital product with legal templates and video trainings) in Teachable. Ever since, that’s where the Ultimate Bundle™ has lived and breathed. But last month, after welcoming 100s and 100s of online coaches and service-providers into the Bundle on Teachable, I made the big switch:
I took the Ultimate Bundle™ and everything along with it over to Kajabi instead.
I’ll share a bit about why I made the switch and which features sealed the deal for me in this post — but really I want to highlight the features, pros and cons of each platform to help you decide which is right for your business.
WHAT IS KAJABI?
Kajabi (affiliate link) is an online platform that, as they say, has “everything you need for your knowledge business. All in one place.” Kajabi is an all-in-one tool where you can build your:
- Website & blog
- Online courses
- Digital product
- Membership site
- Sales pages
- Checkout pages
- Email marketing system
- Funnel building
- Landing pages, & more…
Kajabi offers course creators and online marketers the chance to have their entire business all in one place (and provides the option for affiliate marketing). By using Kajabi, you could easily replace tools like ConvertKit, Leadpages, Katra, Thinkific, SamCart, etc. and consolidate with Kajabi.
You could always use Kajabi just as a course builder, but the options are endless to fully utilize Kajabi to replace so many tech tools in your business.
WHAT IS TEACHABLE?
Teachable is an online platform that is much more focused on building and selling courses than being an all-in-one solution like Kajabi. (Admittedly, Teachable has now added a “Coaching” element to their product suite, but since I have never offered coaching services or used this new feature, I won’t review it here.)
Teachable offers you the ability to build a course via their own sales page builder and checkout system. Their course platform allows you to build out your program with videos, handouts, quizzes and more.
KAJABI VS TEACHABLE PRICING
As of November 2020, Teachable offers 3 pricing plans: basic ($29/month), pro ($99/month) and business ($249/month) (all billed annually. Monthly plans increase $10, $20 and $50 more per month, respectively). Teachable used to offer a free plan, but I don’t see that option available anymore.
With Teachable, all pricing plans include unlimited video, courses, hosting, students, comments, basic quizzes, fee-less free courses, VAT taxes for EU.
The “basic” plan takes a 5% transaction fee from all purchases students make from your site. You can only have 2 administrative users on this account, so this probably isn’t the best option for you if you have a bigger team. Although you get support on this plan, you don’t get priority support.
The professional plan includes all the basic features, plus no transaction fees, 5 administrative user accounts, priority support, advanced reports, unbranded website (you can remove Teachable’s logo and more purely make it your own), and offer your students course completion certificates.
Business plan includes everything from basic + pro, plus 20 administrative users, manual student imports and bulk enrollments, and more advanced theme customization options.
Kajabi also has 3 pricing plans: Basic, Growth & Pro. All 3 levels of Kajabi’s pricing plans come with unlimited landing pages, a website, a 0% transaction fee, the ability to host webinars and events, automations, and chat support. There’s no free plan available, other than offering a free 28-day trial (affiliate link).
Kajabi’s basic pricing plan enables you to create and sell 3 “products” (could be a course, digital product, program, etc.) and create 3 “pipelines” (what most of us call funnels). With 10,000 contacts and 1,000 active customers allowed, the basic plan is a great place to start with Kajabi.
The Growth plan bumps you up to 15 products, 15 pipelines, 25,000 contacts, and 10,000 active customers. You also get up to 10 admin users, making it a better option for those with teams.
The Pro plan is the mac daddy plan, giving you 100 products, 100 pipelines, 2 million marketing emails (yep!), 100k contacts and 20k active members. You can also host up to 3 websites with pro, making it a great option for entrepreneurs with a few different businesses.
Category winner: it’s a draw! Their pricing plans aren’t apples to apples. It really depends on whether you’re going to use Kajabi’s additional features or not. For me, I don’t even use Kajabi’s additional features and I still find it worth it.
COURSE DELIVERY AND ENGAGEMENT
Both Teachable and Kajabi deliver their courses via a curriculum-looking portal, where customers can see all of your various modules and sections.
In Teachable, each module is laid out with the individual lessons underneath that module. You can see the length of each module (if you include video). Although Teachable’s curriculum layout is fine, it’s more the lesson layout I have an issue with. Once you click on any individual lesson within a module, it’s very messy and confusing looking to see what content is actually in that lesson.
For example, if your lesson includes both a video and a handout, it’s difficult for students to see what’s included — especially because the videos take up the majority of the screen.
Although Kajabi’s initial curriculum layout is similar, where it really shines is when you click on the individual lessons. Kajabi’s lessons are much better organized because if you include a video in your lesson, it’s always placed in the video box at the top of the page. All downloads or handouts are located on the right hand side of the page, as links. As you watch a lesson in Kajabi, you can also see the rest of the lessons left in that section on the right hand side of your screen. My customers have reported how much easier it is to know where they’re at and what they have left with Kajabi vs. Teachable. In terms of best course builder, Kajabi has my vote on this one.
Here’s what the Ultimate Bundle layout looks like in Kajabi (top) vs. Teachable (bottom):
Both Teachable and Kajabi allow your customers to leave comments on the lessons themselves. Both provide an option to offer a community, too. That’s especially helpful for you if you want to get off Facebook or create an insular membership site directly on your platform.
Kajabi allows you to create automations based on really specific course actions. For example, you can set an automation to send a student or member an email once they’ve completed a specific lesson. This gives you endless possibilities to nurture and encourage your students as they go through your course.
Category winner: Kajabi, by a lot! The overall layout and accessibility of the course lessons, videos, and materials in Kajabi is easier and prettier to use.
SITE DESIGN AND CUSTOMIZATION
With Kajabi, you actually get to host and create your own website. On Teachable, you can only create sales pages to sell your courses and memberships, but not an entire website.
With Teachable, you can build your sales pages with text boxes, video and pictures, testimonials, and checkout buttons/boxes. When I started the Ultimate Bundle back in 2017, Teachable’s sales page builder was perfectly fine for my needs. Teachable’s sales page builder is intuitive and easy to use. But as my Ultimate Bundle product grew, and as I added more pricing options, editions, and features, Teachable’s functionality grew limited.
On Kajabi, you can build so much more than Teachable: from sales pages, to landing pages to build your email list, to checkout pages for products, membership sites and online courses, and even your blog. The site design is good, but not as good as a custom site of course.
With both Kajabi and Teachable, you can customize your courses and membership sites with your company’s branding, logos, colors, etc. I don’t believe either platform allows you to use your custom fonts, which I found frustrating.
Category winner: Kajabi, for offering more page-building options.
SALES AND MARKETING TOOLS
Kajabi is the clear winner when it comes to sales and marketing tools. Since you can use Kajabi to build your entire website (or just a section of your product funnel), you get many more options to promote your digital products using a variety of marketing features. For example, Kajabi allows you to create landing pages, sales pages AND checkout pages, all in one place. You could also create a blog and blog posts on Kajabi, driving traffic to your products using SEO. There is also an option to connect Google Analytics with Kajabi which is super handy (and super simple).
With Teachable, you can build a sales page for your online course or digital product. So you’d have to link to your sales page from somewhere else — like your website or social media — to drive traffic to your Teachable sales page. All of the marketing and content building you’d need to do to drive traffic to that sales page would have to happen outside of Teachable. That means you’d need a separate website, blog, etc. to drive traffic to your sales page in Teachable.
Category winner: Kajabi, for being an all-in-one tool where you can build out funnels and marketing campaigns (and have the opportunity to be part of their affiliate program).
Both platforms offer support at all pricing plan levels. Both Kajabi and Teachable have “ticket” support setup anytime. Meaning you can submit a message to their agents and someone will get back to you on their time.
Probably the most important feature of any platform to me, though, is whether or not they have good chat support. Any course creator knows that when you have an issue and need help, you don’t want to submit a ticket and wait for someone to help later. Having assistance in real time is invaluable in my business, and that’s why I place such a heavy emphasis on whether a course platform offers solid chat support.
Having utilized both in my own business, I can tell you that Kajabi’s chat support is much more helpful. Kajabi’s chat support is available during more hours of the day. The chat support agents seem much more willing to get in the trenches with you and figure out answers to your questions. Once you move up to the Growth or Pro pricing plans with Kajabi, you get 24/7 chat support.
With Teachable, I have chat support available on my plan, but I may be grandfathered in since I’ve had Teachable for so long. As of the writing of this post, I don’t see chat support advertised in Teachable’s features list under any pricing plan. It may be offered, but I don’t see it. Just as an example, I logged in to Teachable today at 9:15am ET, and Teachable didn’t have chat support available (even to me) but Kajabi did.
Category winner: Kajabi, by a landslide. Because for me, chat features win the day!
KAJABI VS TEACHABLE: Which is it? | Final Verdict
So as you can probably tell from this post, for me it’s Kajabi. If nothing else, Kajabi won me over with the course builder layout and more robust automations features. If you want to, Kajabi gives you the ability to cancel and consolidate lots of tools in your business (cutting down on your business expenses!), too.
Why I Made the Switch
I made the switch from Teachable to Kajabi for 2 major reasons:
1 // User Experience
I take user experience really seriously in my business. I want the Ultimate Bundle members to have the best login and content experience they can. The Bundle members are busy entrepreneurs and they want to be able to access the content quickly and easily that they need to get legally legit. I can also see how Kajabi will allow me to build out so many unique and meaningful customer experiences using their automations tools, too.
2 // Login Nightmares
I couldn’t take Teachable’s login situation 1 more day. Teachable has this crazy thing with allowing your students to login to a course. When they sign up, students either setup a MyTeachable account or they don’t. Depending on whether they setup an account or not, the login link to your course is TOTALLY different. This led to a total cluster of frantic emails from students thinking they were “blocked” from logging in to the course, when in fact, they were logging in under the “wrong” link because they did or didn’t have a MyTeachable account.
Literally the ONLY customer service emails I’ve received in the past 3 years were from people complaining about Teachable’s login process. No one could ever find their course or figure out how to get in. That left me feeling super frustrated. And with that alone, I was ready for a new system. PS. Kajabi only has 1 login page for your entire product — so no more frustrated logins 🙂
Phew! That was a LOT to digest about Teachable vs. Kajabi. I hope this was helpful, friends!
Ready to give Kajabi a spin? They’re now offering a free 28-day trial (that’s 2x longer than their normal trial!) right here (affiliate link).
Next Step: Watch my free legal workshop
If you’re ready to legally protect your business and have the legal knowledge you need to know what to do with difficult clients, watch my free workshop ‘5 Steps to Legally Protect & Grow Your Online Business’ right now by saving your seat here.
In that workshop, you’ll learn:
- How contracts can actually save your (vegan, GF) bacon — if you have the right one.
- What your website needs to be legally protected.
- How to keep copycats off your content.
- The mindset shift you’ve got to make if you want to actually grow your business without looking over your (online) shoulder.
- The only way to form your business so that you’re personally and professionally protected.
Ready to watch? Sign up for my free legal workshop right here:
And before you go…
What questions do you have for me about Teachable or Kajabi as course builders or membership sites? Comment below and let me know!