The debate about Teachable vs. Thinkific , arguably the top two online learning platforms, is an ever evolving one. All kinds of opinions from experienced instructors who have used both platforms can be found online in lengthy, in-depth analyses and comparisons of Teachable vs. Thinkific features.
If you are a Udemy instructor who is experiencing some success, or who has ambitious online teaching goals, you will no doubt come to a point where you will want to start looking at Teachable and Thinkific more closely to see what your post-Udemy move might be.
For efficiency, we thought it might be helpful to highlight only key differences between Teachable and Thinkific, rather than provide a comprehensive in-depth discussion of every feature on both platforms.
What you should know is that both of these platforms have much to offer in terms of features and functionality. On many levels, they offer equally good “all in one” course publishing and marketing capabilities. Their pricing is almost exactly the same. They both provide plenty of course building, marketing and sales features as well as support and training.
So for any one particular instructor, the devil will be in the details. So we’ve rounded up many of those “details” – real differences between Teachable and Thinkific – at least for now, they are always changing.
Note for each feature compared, where applicable, we’ve highlighted the “winner” in bold.
Teachable vs. Thinkific – Overview
|Students||15 million +||16 million +|
|Instructor Earnings||$260 million||$ 200 million +|
|Alexa Ranking |
(as of 3.13.19)
Global – 2,248
|USA – 2,903|
Global – 7,777
Takeaway: Teachable is more popular, and Thinkific instructors may earn slightly more (based on these estimates only), but both platforms are doing really well.
Pricing Tiers vs. Features
Both platforms have the same annualized pricing tiers. The monthly pricing tiers are Free, $29, $79, and $399 if paid annually. While there are many shared features at these price levels, following are some key differences between Teachable and Thinkific at each price tier.
|FREE PLAN||Email Notifications |
|BASIC – $29|
| Integrated Affiliate |
| ConvertKit, AWeber, |
|Export Student Data||NO||YES|
|>1 admin user||YES||NO|
|PRO PLAN – |
|Create Private /Invite |
|Video Order Compliance||YES||NO|
|Live Chat Support||YES||NO|
|Number of Admin Users||100||50|
*Comes with Teachable Pro Plan
Takeaway: It’s really hard to say which plans are better or offer more – they are just different. If you are using the free plan to get a lay of the land, you get more with Teachable, but you pay for those extras with transaction fees. For an idea of all that is offered, you can check out these links for a comparison of Teachable plan features here and Thinkific plan features here.
|WordPress Style Backend||NO||YES|
|Simple Text Editor Style||YES||NO|
| Must know HTML/CSS to Customize |
|Built in Surveys||NO||YES|
|Pre-Populated Course Templates||NO||YES|
|Suggestion Box for Improving Course||NO||YES|
| Ability to Upload SCORM and Tin Can API |
|Advanced Quizzes Capability||NO||YES|
Takeaway: Thinkific’s interface is more modern and more user friendly, especially if you do not know any code. It also has some more specific features such as surveys and sample templates. That said the lack of a bulk editor can be a real pain if you have lots of courses to edit. Teachable’s editor is just fine, but if you want to do anything “fancy” you will need to know some CSS/HTML and there are no easy sample templates provided to give you ideas.
|Multiple Content Types in 1 lesson||YES||Only video and text|
|Total Control over Features||YES||NO|
Takeaway: In general, Teachable provides the better course delivery experience.
|Coding Needed to Customize |
|1 Click Upsell||YES||NO|
|Coding Needed to Customize |
|Course Curriculum Display||YES||NO|
|Free Lesson Preview||YES||NO|
|Course Reviews Embedded on |
Takeaway: Once again, Teachable’s pages are a bit hard to customize and navigate unless you are comfortable coding a little. If you are not tech savvy, Thinkific is a better choice and is often praised for its user friendly interface.
However for Marketing oriented pages, it’s a toss up – having reviews on a sales page is very useful (Thinkific), but so is having a free lesson preview (Teachable). And Teachable is widely praised for its conversion friendly single, 1 step check out page – a very important sales factor.
|Instant Payments via 3rd party |
|Pro & Business Plans |
|Instant Payments Outside of |
|Proprietary Payment Processing||YES||NO|
|Manage Affiliate Payouts for You**||YES||NO|
|VAT Tax Collection||YES||NO|
*If you use Teachable’s gateway available for other plans only if you are in N. America. ** If you use Teachable’s Payout system only and pay 2% fee. ***Prevents failed Stripe payments.
Takeaway: If you are not the best at managing your books, Teachable can do a lot of it for you, provided you use their payment system and pay a 2% fee. If you are going to do high volumes of sales and payments and want to make sure you are paid quickly, without fail, Thinkific is better.
Sales and Marketing
|Affiliate Cookie Control||YES||NO|
|Select Which Courses Affiliates Get |
|Integrations for Marketing||6||>14|
|Customisable Checkout Page||YES||NO|
|1 Step Checkout||YES||NO|
|Bulk Coupon Generator Built In||YES||NO|
Takeaway: Generally, Teachable has a better sales and marketing flow with its affiliate management tools, coupon generator and easy, well designed checkout. However, if you like 3rd party integrations for things like email campaigns, Thinkific provides a lot more choice.
|Comments System Built In||YES||NO|
|Blogging Platform Add-on||YES||NO|
|100% White labeling||NO*||YES|
|Multiple Currency Pricing||YES||NO|
|Custom Length Subscriptions||NO||YES|
|Live Chat Support||Pro and Business Plan||NO|
*Although Teachable offers white labeling, the URL on the login page and the checkout URLs will have Teachable references in them.
Takeaway: Teachable has some interesting added features that might grab you for one reason or another. But if you want true pure branding for your school when you grow big enough, only Thinkific provides that.
As you can tell from the many details compared, in the Teachable vs. Thinkific debate, you can’t really lose. Both platforms provide great products, great customer support, equivalent pricing for most levels of features, albeit with key differences. On the whole, Teachable is known for it’s sales, marketing and checkout flow, which is important to conversions – no small matter. However, if you are not technically savvy, Teachable’s interface for course creation and other page creation can be difficult and a bit frustrating, which is also not a small factor. And all Teachable pages kind of look the same for all schools that use the platform, even if many believe they are better looking in the end than Thinkific’s.
On the payments end, both platforms are fine, but Thinkific payment is more straightforward and instantaneous, particularly for non-US instructors. That said, it is Teachable which offers pricing in multiple currencies and EU VAT collection. And, if you don’t want the hassle of managing the books for your online school, Teachable can do a lot of that for you way there for small fee.
And let’s not forget what happens as you grow really big, Thinkific may have the edge here with it’s pure white labeling and ability to sell courses in bulk and with a bigger variety of pricing plans.
In short – who wins the debate of Teachable vs. Thinkific is really up to you! But know this: You can’t lose!