Thinkific vs. Teachable: Which Tool Wins?

Thinkific vs. Teachable: Which Tool Wins?

The global eLearning industry is expected to grow to about $370 billion by 2026


As an online course creator, you have to get a slice of that.


But, building, launching, and selling your online course isn’t always easy.


Luckily, there are loads of platforms available to help you create and deliver your online course to your users.


We'll be focusing on two popular platforms — Thinkific and Teachable — and we'll compare the two to help you decide which tool is best for you.


Let's get started.

1. Building your online course

Building a house and building an online course are both labors of love — they require time and effort to turn your vision into a reality.


Online course building platforms are like your construction team; packed with tools to help you get building.


Choosing a tool that works for you can be tricky.


Today we're going to make your choice easier — let's see which platform will be most suitable for your online business.

1.1. Choosing a platform: Thinkific vs. Teachable

Choosing a Platform: Thinkific vs. Teachable

Teachable and Thinkific offer everything you need to create, manage, and sell online courses — all in one place, for a single monthly fee.


Unlike other platforms, both Thinkific and Teachable can host your website and integrate ecommerce support.


That way, all of your content, branding, and sales tools remain entirely under your control.


Deciding which online course suite is best for you boils down to the following:

  • Course design
  • Course management
  • Site design
  • Sales tools
  • Customer support
  • Pricing

Let’s take a look at how Thinkific and Teachable stack up against one another.

2. Top features

Most course creator platforms offer long lists of fanciful features and try to snag your attention with sheer volume.


In addition, many of those features are over-simplified, so you’ll end up needing to use and pay for a host of external software platforms to accomplish even the most basic of tasks.


Do you really need all those tools?


Don’t be fooled by the over-filled feature catalogs.


Let’s show you which categories to focus on.


Or, better yet, head over to systeme.io for the full package — everything you need to create courses and support your entire business, in one place.

3. Course design

Teachable course design examples

Teachable's course design examples

Both Teachable and Thinkific offer easy and accessible course creation tools.


Quickly piece together audio, video (hosted by Wistia), text, pdf, interactive quizzes, with a variety of other media content to create the perfect course.


These platforms also offer setups to help you drip feed your content, send certificates of completion, and track student progress within a course.


There are, however, a few significant differences in terms of features available on each one:


Thinkific is recommended if:

  • You use either Captivate and Storyline files
  • You need a video library to reuse video content in other lessons and courses without uploading them again

We don’t recommend Thinkific if:

  • You’re new to building online courses — The user interface (UI) is a little difficult to get the hang of
  • You want flexibility — You can't add videos, text, pdfs, and quizzes within the same lecture on this platform

We recommend Teachable if:

  • You’re a newbie — The course builder is user-friendly and easier to navigate than Thikific’s
  • You want to include several different content types within the same lecture, in any order
  • You need speedy bulk uploading of all file types, directly from Dropbox or Google Drive

We don’t recommend Teachable if:

  • You use Captivate and Storyline files — There’s no support for these file types
  • You want to recycle content because to reuse video files you will have to individually upload them every time

Still not sure which tool is the better option?


Keep reading as we dig into the details and top features of these platforms.

4. Course management

These tools allow you to customize the course experience and maximize student engagement within the platform.


Let’s look at each platform’s course management capabilities.

4.1. Thinkific

Thinkific course management capabilities

Thinkific's course management capabilities

  • Embedded course player — Search the course by lesson title, making it easy to navigate
  • Full-screen mode — Decrease distraction for your students by removing the navigation bars while learning
  • Supports custom pages — Tailor your students’ experience with additional, separate content
  • Community area for student discussion — Manage access based on bundles and courses, and offer continued support and outside discussion for all of your students
  • Clumsy native commenting features — Especially on mobile devices where it can be hard to find. You can’t embed comments in individual lectures
  • Advanced quizzing options — Randomized question banks, add answer explanations, import questions, and add images or video to your questions
  • Native integration with Brillium — Include complete exams
  • Assignment tool — Add assignments to your lessons and have your students submit
  • Built-in survey tool — Collect feedback from your students
  • Fully integrated with Accredible — Provide certificates of completion to your students (automatic certificate creation is included for Pro or Business level plans at no additional charge)
  • Course compliance — Can be enforced at the lesson level and you can set video compliance to a certain percentage before the student can progress
  • Track student engagement and completion — Statistics for each video and progress reports, but no comprehensive reporting is available

4.2. Teachable

Teachable course management capabilities

Teachable's course management capabilities

  • Native iOS app — Easy for students to watch courses on mobile devices (and offline)
  • Embedded comments Grouped automatically, making it simple for instructors to engage with students within the course
  • Basic quiz function — Limited to plain text features
  • Integration to ProProfs — Include complete exams that may require coding and add expense
  • Accept assignments using Dropbox’s File request — No assignment feature on the current platform
  • Collect feedback — Use an alternative source, like Google Forms, or live chat with students
  • Native certificate creation — Three templates to choose from or build your own. Certificates will be sent to students upon course completion
  • Automatically drip new content — Via the included, automated email features
  • Course compliance — Can be set and enforced on a course level; video completion enforcement makes sure that students watch at least 90% of the course
  • Extensive course reporting features — Include lecture, course, video completion rates, and quiz scores with easy access to several convenient reporting functions

4.3. Which has better course management tools?

It’s hard to call a winner here — both platforms offer great course management solutions.


Thinkific provides additional opportunities like smart feedback and quizzing tools to maximize student engagement within a course.


Course compliance flexibility, custom pages, and a community area allow for more personalization within a course.


Teachable earns points for having a dedicated iOS app that students can even use offline.


They also offer powerful, comprehensive course reporting functions for you to tweak your course for better user engagement.

5. Site design

Teachable and Thinkific also include many options to successfully market your course online.


They both include free hosting and an SSL certificate.


Use your custom domain or the free subdomain that’s also included in your subscription with Teachable or Thinkific.


You can design your website and customize sales tools for maximum impact using either platform.


Check out some of the standout site design features of each course creator.

5.1. Thinkific

Thinkific site design

Thinkific's site design

  • Three site themes and several theme styles — Get started quickly by using these templates or modifying the theme code in the backend; you can also import custom themes
  • Drag-and-drop page builder with live editors — Quickly tailor your page using these 20+ pre-built sections in just a few clicks
  • Remove Thinkific branding — Add the Growth package to Pro-level and higher plans for $0.01 per student

5.2. Teachable

Teachable site design

Teachable's site design

  • Default website template — Upload thematic elements like a logo and a color scheme, change fonts, and customize other design elements
  • Power editor — You can modify the code of the default template, but it still doesn’t import custom themes
  • Sales pages — Build multiples sales pages for the same course
  • Blog functionality — Available but limited and difficult to alter
  • White-labeling — Included on the Pro-level and above plans, but Teachable login, signup, and checkout pages are on all Teachable subdomains

5.3. Which has better site design capabilities?

Thinkific allows you to have more control of your content with an intuitive site design platform.


This flexibility and ease of use make it the better choice of the two as far as site design is concerned.

6. Sales tools

Thinkific sales tools

Thinkific's sales tools

Thinkific and Teachable both offer fully supported marketing and sales features.


Managing affiliates and third-party integrations are possible, and students can check out and pay within both suites, but there are pretty striking differences in their approach.


Use this handy side-by-side comparison to see these differences for yourself:

comparison of Thinkific and Teachable

Both the Thinkific and Teachable platforms incorporate Zapier integration so that you can use other third-party apps.


Teachable’s simpler checkout process, expanded payment types, and flexibility, as well as more functional affiliate marketing tools, give it an edge over Thinkific here.

7. Customer support

Thinkific’s support promise

Thinkific’s support promise

Both companies offer quality customer support, but the Thinkific support team can only be reached by email.


For Professional plans (and up), Teachable users get live, real-time support — this can make all the difference if you need help urgently.


Both platforms have strong support communities and offer plenty of teaching resources.


Paid subscribers get free access to TeachableU (Teachable) and the Online Business Masterclass (Thinkific) which guides you through content creation and helps you maximize your experience.

8. Pricing

Although Teachable and Thinkific offer plans at similar price points, it’s difficult to judge which platform offers the better deal.


Because of the different features and additional fees that are associated with each plan, you’re often comparing apples to oranges.


These services offer diverse pricing structures that can vary significantly depending on the features that you need and the size of your operation.


Let’s break down the basics of each platform’s pricing and then we will compare the most popular plans of each.

8.1. Thinkific's pricing

Thinkific’s pricing plans

Thinkific’s pricing plans

Thinkific offers four different plans, each billed monthly: Free, Basic, Pro, and Premier.


There's also an alternative Growth plan add-on, which costs an extra $0.01 per student every month and tops out at $499 in addition to your monthly fee.


The Free plan entitles you to Thinkific’s core features and allows you to create three courses to serve an unlimited number of students.


To generate more, upgrade to Thinkific’s Basic plan at $49 per month.


To use the full functionality of Thinkific, you'll have to pay $499 a month for the Premier plan and get access to:

  • All of the Pro features
  • 5 admin accounts
  • 50 course administrators
  • Single sign-ins
  • Onboarding package (this makes setup a breeze)

If you pay for your subscription on an annual basis, you’ll receive a 20% discount on the monthly rate.

8.2. Teachable's pricing

Teachable’s pricing plans

Teachable’s pricing plans

Teachable offers four pricing plans with similar levels of service as Thinkific’s subscriptions: Free, Basic, Professional, and Business at similar price points.


They offer an annual billing discount and a free plan which is rather limited and has steep transaction fees ($1+10%).


The Basic subscription costs $39 per month in addition to a 5% transaction fee on your sales.


You’ll need at least a Basic subscription to support two admins and gain access to integrated affiliate marketing, email marketing, and third-party integration tools.


Teachable's high-volume Business-level plan runs $299 per month.


With Teachable Business, you get:

  • All of the features of the Pro plan
  • Up to 100 admins
  • Manual student importing
  • Custom user roles
  • Bulk enrolments
  • Instant payouts (available on Pro plan)
  • No transaction fees (available on Pro plan)

8.3. Plan comparison

Teachable’s pricing promise

Teachable’s pricing promise

Choosing between these two platforms is especially difficult because the tools are scaled differently with contrasting feature capabilities.


To illustrate what each platform is actually offering, we have set up a direct comparison between the most popular plans of each.


The Pro plans on both Thinkific and Teachable come standard with the following features:

  • Unlimited courses and students
  • No transaction fees
  • 5 course admins
  • Priority support
  • A members-only community
  • Basic quizzes
  • Course completion certificates
  • Course compliance

Here are some of the differences in what each tool has to offer:

differences between Thinkific and Teachable

Overall, Thinkific’s pricing is lower and more straightforward than Teachable’s unless you need to add on certain features, like bulk-emailing, custom branding, and Zapier integration.


All of which are part of Thinkific’s Growth plan designed to get you more students for an extra $0.01 per student per month, which can get expensive.


However, most of those same features are already included in Teachable plans at no additional charge.


This is the reason we would recommend Teachable as the lesser of two evils — you’ll still need to spend on other tools and integrations to support the rest of your online course business needs.


Luckily, these aren’t your only options!

9. The all-Inclusive alternative: systeme.io

systeme.io’s logo

systeme.io’s logo

Our platform, systeme.io, is well-known for its email marketing and funnel-building capabilities.


But did you know you can use us as a course creator too?


Keep reading to find out how systeme.io can support your online courses and grow your business into an eLearning empire!

9.1. Features and pricing comparison

systeme.io’s fully kitted-out features

systeme.io’s fully kitted-out features

Systeme.io supports your course creation and offers you so much more — like live and recorded webinars to cater to different students’ needs.


Because our platform is all-in-one, you don’t need to waste your money paying for multiple tools with clunky integrations.


Seamless integration between features means that once you’ve built your online course, you can:

This is an excellent solution to your eLearning support problems, so you must be wondering — how much does excellence cost?


Next to nothing, believe it or not.

systeme.io’s pricing plans

systeme.io’s pricing plans

With systeme.io you can get started without even entering your credit card details — and our Freemium plan is free forever.


The 4 plans offered on our platform are scalable and made to grow with you, rather than penalizing you for any boom in your business.


Let’s compare the systeme.io Webinar plan (perfect for an established eLearning business) to the recommended Pro plan from Teachable.

As you can see, systeme.io gives you a whole lot more functionality with far less financial stress.


The best part is, you can try out our tool for free — no strings attached.

10. Conclusion

Conclusion

Teachable and Thinkific are working to improve how online courses can be efficiently constructed, delivered, and sold.


But they’re being left in the dust by all-in-one solutions like systeme.io, for obvious reasons.


Move your existing eLearning business over and see how simple it is to use systeme.io to grow your eLearning empire.


Starting from scratch? No problem, sign up for your Freemium account today!

Get your free account

systeme.io is 100% free, forever