Teachable vs Thinkific: 2021 Comparison

teachable vs thinkific

Have you been researching the best online course platform for your business? Well, you’re sure to have come across two names in your search – Teachable and Thinkific. Are you wondering which of the two is better for your business?

That’s exactly what we’ll help you to know in this article. 

Though Thinkific and Teachable are comparable, they are not equal at all, and understanding the pros and cons will help you to make a better decision. In this review, we will be comparing the two articles across different features to help you decide which is more suited for your business. 

Before we jump in, it’s good to know that Thinkific has a 1 month free trial to give you a hands-on feel of the different features offered, so you can explore them without worrying about a commitment. Teachable, on the other hand, offers a 14-day free trial to get you started. 

Table of Contents

What is Teachable and Thinkific?

Teachable and Thinkific are two popular course creation platforms that offer a wide range of features to make it easy to create and sell your courses to a global audience. 

Though both have similar features, Teachable has better sales and marketing features while Thinkific has better site design and customization, so it depends on what you’re looking for.

Thinkific is mostly used by professional course creators, entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, and mid-sized businesses that want to make a full-time revenue by providing an impactful education for their audience. 

Teachable, on the other hand, is ideal for professionals and businesses who want to make a steady revenue from online courses and also for a wider range of individuals who want to share their expertise and make some money online.

You can also read our Teachable review for more detailed info on each feature.

Detailed Comparison

Now that you have an idea of the two platforms, let’s jump to a head-to-head comparison of their features.

Course Creation

The core functionality of both Thinkific and Teachable is to allow you to focus on content creation and selling while the technical aspects of upload and maintenance are handled by these companies. 

This means you don’t need any technical or coding knowledge to create and sell courses through both these platforms.

Further, both the platforms are not marketplaces, so you have complete control over what you offer and own the student data you collect. Still, there are some differences between them.

Thinkific

In Thinkific, you can set a prerequisite course that students have to complete before accessing the rest of the content. Also, you can reuse content across multiple relevant courses if you need it.

The other advantage is you can create side presentations with a voice-over directly on Thinkific to offer a stunning slideshow for your students. 

Teachable

In Teachable, you can upload any content directly from your cloud storage and it allows you to have multiple contents like quizzes, videos, and text in the same lesson.

Teachable also supports both bulk uploading and adding content to individual lessons.

Verdict

Though both platforms make it easy to create courses, Thinkific is slightly better than Teachable as it has a handy captivate/storyline where you can add custom multimedia content to any lesson.

Also, its presentations with voice-over is a handy feature to explain complex ideas and concepts. 

Due to these two features, Thinkific is marginally better than Teachable in course creation features.

Course Builder

Teachable and Thinkific are two popular course creations platforms that keep your focus on the content.

Besides, they provide unlimited hosting for your content, make it easy to break your course into lessons or chapters, add multiple types of content such as text, videos, quizzes, etc. to the same lesson, and more. 

That said, there are many differences in the usability of the course builder in both the platforms. 

Thinkific

Thinkific has an advanced video library where you can manage all your videos in one place and maybe even reuse them across courses.

Also, you can bulk upload your content and reorganize it by mere drag and drop. The overall course builder is intuitive and easy to use.

Teachable

Teachable’s course builder allows you to bulk upload lessons and use it across courses. You can also change settings to publish, allow download, or preview right from the main page without having to go to the page of individual lessons. 

The other advantage is you can easily add different types of content to your lessons directly from Google Drive or Dropbox and this could be handy as well.

Course Creation

The core functionality of both Thinkific and Teachable is to allow you to focus on content creation and selling while the technical aspects of upload and maintenance are handled by these companies. 

This means you don’t need any technical or coding knowledge to create and sell courses through both these platforms.

Further, both the platforms are not marketplaces, so you have complete control over what you offer and own the student data you collect. Still, there are some differences between them.

Thinkific

In Thinkific, you can set a prerequisite course that students have to complete before accessing the rest of the content. Also, you can reuse content across multiple relevant courses if you need it.

The other advantage is you can create side presentations with a voice-over directly on Thinkific to offer a stunning slideshow for your students. 

Teachable

In Teachable, you can upload any content directly from your cloud storage and it allows you to have multiple contents like quizzes, videos, and text in the same lesson.

Teachable also supports both bulk uploading and adding content to individual lessons.

Verdict

Though both platforms make it easy to create courses, Thinkific is slightly better than Teachable as it has a handy captivate/storyline where you can add custom multimedia content to any lesson.

Also, its presentations with voice-over is a handy feature to explain complex ideas and concepts. 

Due to these two features, Thinkific is marginally better than Teachable in course creation features.

Content Delivery

If creating courses is one side of the coin, its effective delivery to end-users is what enhances its effectiveness.

Again, both the platforms have a good content delivery feature, yet some differences are good to know.

Thinkific

Thinkific has upgraded its content delivery player recently and it comes with many advanced features. 

It allows students to search lesson titles in a course to quickly find what they want. Also, it offers a full-screen mode to enhance effectiveness and reduce distractions for students.

The other advantage is you can offer a standalone content that is not attached to any course. 

Teachable

Teachable’s content delivery player is modern, professional, and aesthetically-appealing to students. It is highly user-friendly as well, and students can easily navigate between lessons and read through the comments and discussions of each lesson.

Another advantage is Teachable has a native iOS app to provide offline viewing of content for students. So, it offers a good learning experience for students who want to view it on their mobile devices.

Verdict

Both Teachable and Thinkific are winners in this category because their respective content players are advanced and come with many features to provide excellent content delivery to students.

Both are winners because of the unique and non-overlapping features they offer. You have to pick the one whose features you think are important for you.

Student Interactions

Interactions between students are essential to give them a sense of belonging to the course and network better with like-minded students.

Both Thinkific and Teachable offer student interactions, but in different ways.

Thinkific

In Thinkific, you can create a group or a community similar to Facebook groups, and students can network and interact with each other in it. 

It is highly user-friendly as well. Students can start a new discussion by simply clicking the “Create New Post” button. They can follow any conversation and participate in it easily.

Teachable

Teachable doesn’t support a community, but it has a neat comments sections in each lecture/lesson and students can interact with each other or with the instructor through it. 

Verdict

Though Thinkific has a comments section, it is not so well-developed and can’t be included in individual lectures. Moreover, sending comments from a mobile device can be cumbersome.

Despite this, Thinkific is the winner because its group feature is comprehensive and facilitates easy interaction between students. It also encourages participation and provides a sense of belonging to a community.

Quizzes and Assignments

Quizzes and exams are an integral part of any course as they are an innovative way to assess the progress and understanding of each student. 

Thinkific

Multimedia quizzes can be created easily from a randomized question bank. It also facilitates easy grading and tracking of multiple attempts.

From a course creator’s perspective, questions are easy to upload and correct answers and explanations can be given easily. You can also import questions and add images for each.

Thinkific also integrates well with third-party quizzing apps to give you more options. 

Another cool feature is surveys that can be used to provide long exams, instructor feedback, and more. These survey answers can be single or multiple and you can even include a rating scale, depending on your needs.

You can even add assignments to your course and accept/reject submissions from your students. 

Teachable

Teachable’s quiz feature is highly limited as you can just have plain text. 

The good aspect is you can integrate with third-party apps like ProProfs to create interactive quizzes, but that may require some amount of coding. 

Verdict

Overall, Thinkific is the hands-down winner when it comes to quizzes and assignments because they are easy to create, upload, and use. It also comes with extensive options to test the progress of students and helps for self-evaluation as well. 

Drip Content

Providing subscription-based content or providing content at a predefined date or schedule is supported by both platforms. Setting up drip content is easy as well.

The only difference is that Teachable sends automatic drip emails to students to announce the release of new content whereas Thinkific doesn’t send these emails.

If sending emails is important for you, choose Teachable. Otherwise, either one is good for drip content. 

Completion certificate

Though Thinkific and teachable offer completion certificates, they do it differently.

Thinkific

Thinkific doesn’t offer completion certificates natively but integrates with a third-party app called Accredible that creates and sends certificates to students on your behalf. 

The good news is you don’t have to pay separately for Accredible provided you have a Pro or Business plan. 

This integration with Accredible opens a lot more options in design and comes with features such as an expiry date for the certificates. 

Teachable

Teachable allows you to create completion certificates natively on its platform, so your work is quick and easy. You can also choose from three templates or code a template from scratch. 

Also, certificates are automatically linked to a course, so it is sent to the students when they complete a course. This reduces your time and effort greatly.

Verdict

Teachable is the better option here because certificates are sent automatically. Though there are limitations in design and other features such as expiry date, it is overall faster and easier as it requires no integration with a third-party app.

Payment Processing And Checkout Process

Secure payment processing has become essential in today’s digital world and both Thinkific and Teachable integrate with Stripe and PayPal to make it easy to pay.

Thinkific

Thinkific not only integrates well with Stripe and PayPal but also integrates with Stunning to prevent failed transactions on Stripe. With this, there are fewer downtimes and failed transactions. 

The other salient aspect is Thinkific integrates with different third-party apps to help you handle taxes well. 

But the downside is Thinkific has a two-step checkout process where a user has to create an account first and then make a payment on the next page. 

Teachable

Teachable also integrates with PayPal and Stripe, but not with Stunning. Though it handles taxes too, the EU VAT collection can be cumbersome.

The advantage with Teachable is that it has a highly optimized one-step checkout process, so users can enter their personal information and make the payment on the same page. 

You can add many custom elements such as testimonials and money-back guarantees to enhance your credibility. 

Verdict

Thinkific’s integration with Stunning and the ease of tax handling makes it a good choice. But when compared to the two, Teachable is better mainly because of its single-step checkout process. 

The two-step checkout of Thinkific can reduce the number of users, hence it is not the best choice. 

Website Builder

A good looking website is a prerequisite to bringing in more students to your course and both platforms offer a slew of features to create aesthetically-appealing websites quickly. 

They offer free hosting and you get a free subdomain as well. You also have the choice to use a custom domain and integrate it with these platforms.

Both platforms have a drag and drop builder that helps with customization as well. 

Thinkific

Thinkific has three well-developed site themes and many styles for each theme, so you can choose the one you like the most and it will be applied to your website instantly.

You can also customize it to meet your preferences. It gives the option to modify the code in the backend or import custom themes.

Teachable

Teachable, on the other hand, has only one default theme that you can customize by adding your logo, font style, and size. Besides that, there aren’t many choices.

It comes with a Power Editor that allows you to change the code of the default theme, but this requires some coding knowledge. 

Verdict

Thinkific is the clear winner because of its many customization options.

Affiliate Marketing

Both platforms support affiliate marketing and payouts. You can set custom commission rates and choose the courses that are open for affiliate marketing.

Also, each affiliate gets a private dashboard where they can track their progress.

However, Teachable is the better option as it comes with advanced features. First off, you can set a custom cookie period and the payouts are automatic if you use Teachable’s gateway. This can be a huge time-saver when you have many affiliates. 

Overall, Teachable is the winner in this category because of the additional features and the interface also looks cleaner and better. 

Integrations

Both platforms are equally good when it comes to integration with third-party tools. They connect with Zapier as well to open up opportunities to thousands of apps. 

Security

Both platforms are equally good when it comes to integration with third-party tools. They connect with Zapier as well to open up opportunities to thousands of apps. 

Thinkific

Thinkific uses secure cloud hosting and has an automatic backup process to keep your data safe at all times. It also has built-in SSL certificates to protect your website.

Automatic security updates and continuous monitoring of your website are other security features offered by Thinkific.

Teachable

Teachable also uses 2048-bit SSL certificates and handles security updates automatically to protect your data. Also, it integrates only with reputed payment providers for security.

Verdict

When you compare the two, Thinkific is more secure as it monitors your website at all times. Also, secure cloud hosting and other security measures make it the winner in this category

Marketing

Marketing is a critical function that is necessary to popularize your courses and make a steady stream of revenue from it.

Thinkific

Thinkific supports many marketing channels like affiliate marketing, rewards, instant payouts, integration with email providers for email marketing, integration with more than 1,000 applications for marketing, data tracking, and analytics, all of which can give you many options to market and sell your courses easily.

Teachable

Teachable comes with a host of features to support your marketing efforts. It makes tracking and payouts for affiliate marketing a breeze, so more people are likely to promote your course.

You have the flexibility to offer promotion codes and create coupons to entice new users to sign up for your courses. 

You can also bundle courses, offer customized pricing, have subscription payment plans, accept payments from more than 130 currencies, and do so much more to reach a global audience.

Verdict

Teachable is the hands-down winner as it gives you more tools and options to provide personalized and optimized offerings. Also, its marketing suite is powerful, and at the same time, easy to use. 

Customization

Providing an intuitive end-user experience has been the hallmark of every platform and both these platforms support it with many customization options. Here’s a closer look at the customization options in both Thinkific and Teachable.

Thinkific

Thinkific allows the learner to see the introduction video or the prerequisite course to get an idea of what is being offered. This can also double-up as a marketing tool to reach out to more students.

It also allows you to customize your themes and content and also categorize your learning into hidden courses to facilitate free and paid options.

Teachable

Teachable, on the other hand, helps to create innovative web pages instantly with minimal changes in configuration. It offers a ton of extra support for users, provides many customization options, and makes it easy to start animated discussions right away.

Verdict

Though both platforms offer extensive customization options, Thinkific scores over Teachable as it helps to offer customized courses quickly. Since it supports multitasking and is suited to a wide range of learners, Thinkific is the winner here. 

Analytics

You have to stay on top of the performance of your students, courses, and your overall business at all times, so analytics and reporting are key capabilities you need in an online platform.

Thinkific

With Thinkific, you can easily track your users’ progress in each course, and based on it, you can offer customizations. However, you can view the performance of users only at the individual level and no reports are available to understand course completion rates.

Similarly, you can know the performance of your videos, based on which you can make the necessary changes. But the catch is you can see the videos only one at a time and there’s no comprehensive report for viewing the performance of all your videos.

Teachable

Teachable offers comprehensive reports to see all the information you want. There is a dedicated reports section in your dashboard where you can see different reports such as the Lecture Completion Report that will show you the completion rates of different categories of students.

The Leaderboards Report is another useful one that shows the completion rate of individual students. Likewise, the Video Stats report shows the play rate of all your videos and their engagement rates.

Verdict

Overall, both platforms give a comprehensive idea of your courses’ performance, so you can work on the areas that need improvement. When compared to the two, Teachable is the winner because its reports are more comprehensive and detailed when compared to Thinkific. 

Customer support and Community

Customer support is an essential part of every service, right from the time you set up your account and all through every action. Without robust customer service, it’ll be difficult to deliver great service to your end-customers.

Thinkific

Thinkific provides support for tickets, online tutorials, and a good knowledge base of articles to answer the most common queries.  

However, you can reach Thinkific’s customer support only by filling a form and not directly by phone or email. This lack of live support is a drawback.

Thinkific has a vibrant Facebook community to somewhat make up for the lack of live support. 

Teachable

Teachable also has a good repository of articles and tutorials to answer common questions. Besides, it also offers live support on its Professional plan. 

It comes with an active Facebook group too. 

Verdict

Teachable is slightly better than Thinkific as it offers live support on its professional plan. On all other aspects, both platforms are equally good. 

So, if you have a Professional plan and if you think live support is important, opt for Teachable. Otherwise, both are the same when it comes to customer support.

Ease of Use

You want a platform that’s intuitive and user-friendly, and both Teachable and Thinkific fit this requirement well.

Thinkific

Thinkific offers a drag and drop feature to easily upload your content and launch your course quickly. Besides, it offers a host of features such as support for all content types and free hosting of video content.

It is easy to access the built-in themes and integrates well with many leading apps. 

Teachable

Teachable also provides support for multiple content types and along with it, offers the options to link directly from cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. 

It comes with a drag and drop interface as well and the website is highly responsive to omnichannel access. The page editor feature allows you to launch courses instantly and you can easily modify languages, leverage optimized sales templates, and implement highly customized features.

Verdict

Teachable is the hands-down winner when it comes to ease of use as it gives more options to customize your course offering. Also, the features are simple to use and intuitive and are ideal for users of all knowledge and expertise. Navigation is also easier on Teachable when compared to Thinkific. 

Performance and Availability

You’d want your course builder to be up and available at all times, especially when a student is exploring your offering or is about to buy/enroll in a course. Though availability is something that we take for granted, it is nonetheless an important feature to consider. 

Thinkific

Thinkific monitors your website 24/7 and provides a 99.9% uptime, according to its website. This is a transparent move that holds the company responsible for its claims.

Teachable

Teachable’s support team also monitors your website around the clock to ensure that it up and running well. But there are no claims made anywhere about its availability.

Verdict

When you run through the past incidents of both these services, you can see that Teachable has slightly more incidents than Thinkific, and most of them were related to latency, connectivity, and 504 errors. 

Though Thinkific had its share of problems too with responsiveness, its team has worked well to improve efficiency and performance. Also, its transparency claims are impressive.

Due to these reasons and the overall performance, Thinkific is the winner though Teachable is also fast catching up. 

Thus, these are how the two platforms stack up against each other across different areas. 

Pricing Structure

Teachable

Teachable pricing has a three-tier plan, namely:

  • Basic ($29/month)
  • Pro ($99/month)
  • Business ($249/month)

Thinkific

Thinkific also has a three-tier plan:

  • Basic ($39/month)
  • Pro ($79/month)
  • Premier ($349/month)

Conclusion

Now that we have compared both Teachable and Thinkific across all areas including pricing, it is time to decide which of the two is better.

The truth is each tool has its pros and cons, so the choice depends on what you need. 

In general, choose Thinkific if you want to,

  • Add custom multimedia content to your lessons
  • Offer advanced assessment and quizzes to your students
  • Provide a standalone community like a Facebook group is essential for student interaction
  • Use a service that doesn’t charge transaction fees.
  • Design your site well and have many advanced templates and customization options
  • Set up prerequisites for your courses or lessons.
  • Prevent failed transactions on Stripe
  • Prioritize performance, availability, and security over everything else.
  • Have an extensive video library that allows you to reuse videos across courses
  • Choose from many themes for courses spread across different industries. 
  • Allow your students to choose through lesson titles to quickly find the content they want
  • Provide standalone content that is not attached to any course
  • Have more design options and features for completion certificates

On the other hand, choose Teachable when you want to

  • Quickly develop your courses with a flexible course builder. 
  • Have live chat support
  • Use a native iOS app for offline viewing of your content
  • Provide a simple and one-step checkout process to your end-customers
  • See detailed analysis and reporting
  • Automatically handle the EU VAT tax
  • Add content directly from your cloud storage
  • Have more tools for marketing and optimization
  • Set up a built-in affiliate program that provides an instant payout to affiliates and gives you complete control over their activities. 
  • Get an in-depth idea of your students’ progress and to understand the effectiveness of your videos. 
  • Accept payments in more than 130 currencies around the world
  • Use conversion pixels for easy tracking
  • Send automatic emails for drip content

We hope this comparison helps you to decide the right platform for building your courses.