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

TeachableThinkific
Instructors62,000+36,000+
Courses154,000+not revealed
Students15 million +16 million +
Instructor Earnings$260 million$ 200 million +
Alexa Ranking
(as of 3.13.19)
USA -1,081
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.

Teachable Thinkific
FREE PLANEmail Notifications
and Integrations
YESNO
Transaction Fee10%NO
Bundling/SubscriptionYESNO*
Google AnalyticsYESNO
BASIC – $29
Transaction Fee5%None
Integrated Affiliate
Marketing
YES NO
Zapier Triggers* NO YES
ConvertKit, AWeber,
Mailchimp
Integration
NO YES
Export Student Data NO YES
>1 admin user YES NO
PRO PLAN –
$79
Create Private /Invite
Only Courses
NOYES
Video Order ComplianceYESNO
Live Chat SupportYESNO
PREMIER/
BUSINESS –
$399
Onboarding TrainingNOYES
Number of Admin Users10050

*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.

Course Creator

TeachableThinkific
WordPress Style Backend NO YES
Simple Text Editor Style YES NO
Must know HTML/CSS to Customize
Design Features
YES NO
Built in Surveys NO YES
Pre-Populated Course Templates NO YES
Suggestion Box for Improving Course NO YES
Bulk Edit YES NO
Ability to Upload SCORM and Tin Can API
Compliant Materials
NO YES
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, sample templates, and SCORM capability. 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.

Course Delivery

TeachableThinkific
Multiple Content Types in 1 lessonYESOnly video and text
Mobile AppYESNO
Total Control over FeaturesYESNO

Takeaway: In general, Teachable provides the better course delivery experience.

Other Pages

TeachableThinkific
Course
Landing
Page
Coding Needed to Customize
Landing Page
YES NO
Checkout
Page
Video YES NO
1 Click Upsell YES NO
Sales Page
Coding Needed to Customize
Sales Page
YES NO
Course Curriculum Display YES NO
Free Lesson Preview YES NO
Course Reviews Embedded on
Sales Page
NO YES

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.

Payments

TeachableThinkific
Instant Payments via 3rd party
gateways (Paylpal/Stripe)
Pro & Business Plans
only*
All plans
Instant Payments Outside of
N. America
NOYES
Proprietary Payment Processing YESNO
Manage Affiliate Payouts for You**YESNO
Stunning Integration***NOYES
Transaction FeesYESNO
VAT Tax CollectionYESNO

*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

TeachableThinkific
Group/Bulk SalesNOYES
Affiliate Cookie ControlYESNO
Select Which Courses Affiliates Get
Commission On
YESNO
Integrations for Marketing6>14
Customisable Checkout PageYESNO
1 Step CheckoutYESNO
Bulk Coupon Generator Built InYESNO

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.

Other Features

Teachable Thinkific
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 SupportPro 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.

Summary

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!

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