Kajabi and HighLevel have both built a large user base of online course creators and business owners.
Kajabi has been around since 2010, so a full 8 years before HighLevel (founded in 2018) but both platforms are now shoulder to shoulder in the industry.
Through this comparison we’ll take an in-depth look at exactly how the platforms compare and divert but also how to decide which one is best for you!
What’s the difference between Kajabi and HighLevel?
Kajabi and HighLevel are both all-in-one platforms that online course creators can use to market, sell and deliver their products.
That being said they may cater to slightly different audiences.
Kajabi is specifically built for online course creators and each improvement made or features added to the platform is meant for this target audience in mind.
On the other hand, HighLevel is originally targeting agency owners. But you could very well create yourself a client account and build any kind of online business on the platform, including an education-based one!
Let’s take a look at the feature overview:
This should give you a good idea overall of how the platforms compare!
But let’s go deeper and see how these look in action:
Feature Breakdown: Kajabi vs HighLevel
What we’ll do mainly with this feature breakdown is compare apples to apples the features Kajabi and HighLevel have in common and that matters for course creators.
These are: the funnel builder, the checkout, the email marketing & CRM system and the online course builder.
We’ve then kept other features to mention in the Other section.
Funnel & Website builder
Building pages that can be customized to your brand and optimized for conversion is a key part of any online business.
That’s why this feature is at the core of platforms like Kajabi and HighLevel.
Kajabi has a front-end page builder where sections can be arranged and rearranged to your liking.
You can create sections and blocks of all sorts: text, video, form, pricing, cards,etc.
Kajabi’s builder is not limited but still not as easy to use as HighLevel.
The latter will allow you to start from a variety of templates - which Kajabi has a limited number of.
But more importantly, HighLevel funnel builder is a real drag & drop visual builder where everything is easy to move around and edit in real time and across devices.
You can also save sections to re-use later or set them up as Global Elements where changing it once will update it everywhere used. (all of which are not possible in Kajabi).
Ultimately, you can probably build the exact same page you wanted on both Kajabi and HighLevel, but the latter will make it a lot easier and faster!
Furthermore, the visual flow of your Funnels are relatively better on HighLevel, looking very much like a dedicated funnel software like ClickFunnels.
Other smaller features like a handy 301 redirect tool or Version History of pages (both non-existent in Kajabi) makes HighLevel the clear winner on this feature.
Checkout & Payments
Taking payments and directly delivering the products your customers are buying is also an important feature of such all-in-one platforms.
And this is where things between Kajabi and HighLevel go from “better” to “different”
Kajabi is specifically built to sell online courses and memberships.
And each new Offer/Checkout that you create will be linked to one of these courses and instantly accessible.
Although there are some workarounds, it’s difficult to and cumbersome to sell other things such as services, physical products or in person projects through Kajabi.
Technically, your customers will always have to create an account and get to a member’s area, which might not make sense depending on what you’re selling.
If you are selling digital programs however, the system is very easy and intuitive!
On the other hand, HighLevel allows for pretty much any kind of product to be sold and delivered.
This includes physical products and services with very flexible pricing options.
On top of that, HighLevel makes it easy to add different taxes and rates based on where your customer is. You can also integrate accounting systems like Quickbooks natively.
Checkout pages themselves and their different steps are also much more customizable than Kajabi.
That being said, the process of creating a product can be a little confusing in HighLevel…
You’ll have to create it separately in your dashboard, then add it to a specific funnel and add it as a Membership offer.
You can also use a handy Invoicing system:
Overall not the most intuitive experience! But that’s the price to pay for greater versatility.
Both Kajabi and HighLevel allow for 2 payment gateways: Stripe and Paypal.
Both platforms also allow for upsells and downsells as well as order bumps in your funnel.
The last key difference in this area is the fact that only Kajabi offers an affiliate marketing feature.
This would allow you to set up people as affiliates and provide unique links they can use to promote your offers and get a commission for it.
It can be very useful to spread the word about your products and provide an incentive for people to do so!
This is something that HighLevel doesn’t allow for at the moment.
Email marketing & CRM
Being able to send emails and create automated sequences is extremely important for any online business.
Both Kajabi and HighLevel allow you to do with both date-based email broadcasts, and automated sequences.
The email builder works similarly for both platforms, with a visual block builder.
Although here again, HighLevel is coming out on top a little.
You can create and save Templates to re-use later with both.
But where Kajabi clearly falls short is when it comes to automated sequences.
The Email Sequence builder is very basic and has several limitations like not having the ability to “pause” sequences for example.
You’re also not able to have several emails within 1 sequence going out on the same day.
On the other hand, HighLevel’s Automations are probably the most advanced of any all-in-one platforms and would even be comparable to a fully-fledged specialist tools like ActiveCampaign!
The easy visual flow and advanced Trigger and Conditions allows you to build very complex and useful workflows:
These are perfectly integrated with any part of the platform and act as a real CRM system for you to automate things you’d probably do manually otherwise.
This also includes the possibility to send SMS messages and start text conversations directly in the platform. (integrating Twilio)
We’re miles ahead of Kajabi here.
The only shortcoming of HighLevel here is the fact that you will probably have to get a separate SMTP provider.
You can only send up to 10,000 per month using the default email sender HighLevel provides which could be too little for most people.
Kajabi on the other hand allows for unlimited emails regardless of the plan you’re on.
Online Course & Membership
If selling online courses and membership is a part of your business, then of course this feature and the student learning experience that comes with it is important.
This is the area where Kajabi shines.
As mentioned before, the platform was specifically created for course creators, and it provides a few more bells and whistles than HighLevel.
First, there are many more themes and design for your online course that you’ll be able to use:
But each of these are also more easily customizable through the back-end or through the editor.
All of that is possible to a much lesser degree in HighLevel with only 2 layouts available at the moment and very little front-end customization possible.
It’s also pretty clear that HighLevel course experience has been greatly inspired by Kajabi as everything sort of looks the same at first glance.
But Kajabi still has a clear edge here, especially when it comes to learning tools, which HighLevel lacks very much of:
You won’t really be able to create assessments or tests for your students with native tools.
To top it up, Kajabi allows access (on the higher plan) to the code editor for these courses which would allow for even further customization.
After comparing the most important features Kajabi and HighLevel has to offer for course creators, let’s highlight some other tools that could make a difference in your decision process!
This is quick overview of what feature each platform has that the other doesn’t:
- Podcast: this feature allows you to host and distribute your podcast through Kajabi to the popular streaming platforms. You’ll also be able to see some basic stats like download, countries and devices and other useful data on your podcasts.
- Coaching: this different type of product will make it easy to run 1-1 coaching programs and allow your clients to book sessions with a built-in scheduler. Note that this isn’t really fitting for group coaching.
- Blog feature: You can create a blog and publish articles. This is a simple feature but worth noting as HighLevel doesn’t provide it.
- Mobile App: All Kajabi users can enable their students to consume their online programs on a mobile app.
- Community: Kajabi has acquired a specialized community tool in 2022 to offer its users an exceptional community building experience
- Appointment/Scheduler: this is a powerful tool that can easily replace Acuity or ScheduleOnce. You can add multiple Calendars and team members and add different rules for your appointments.
- Reputation Management: this is a handy tool to monitor and optimize your reviews online and encourage people to leave one. It will connect to your Google My Business. This probably caters more to local businesses.
- Social posts scheduler: this is exactly what it sounds like and will allow you to connect your social media accounts and schedule posts directly from the HighLevel platform.
- Paid ads reporting: Connect your Facebook manager account and Google Ads to report and track data in one place. Changes to campaigns are still better made in the respective platform.
Pricing: Kajabi vs HighLevel
All-in-one platforms like Kajabi and HighLevel come with the premise of helping you save the money you’d have to spend with multiple tools.
At first glance, HighLevel seem to provide a higher value for your money with more features and fewer limits:
Most people will be fine with the $97/month plan with pretty much no limitation on the number of members, page, products and anything else.
As we mentioned in the Feature section, there is at least one other expense to add here which is an external SMTP provider and will add another $35/month to your bill.
This would bring HighLevel shoulders to shoulders on pricing with the 1st Kajabi plan starting at $119/month.
Upgrading your Kajabi plan will unlock more Products among other things, which are sometimes a frustrating limit.
All in all I’d still say HighLevel provides more value here for all of that it brings but this of course wouldn't be the only criteria in your decision.
The last point of comparison between these two platforms is how much support and community you can expect when joining them.
The good news is that both Kajabi and HighLevel have top-tier support!
A live chat is available during business hours and very reactive.
Both platforms also have an extensive University and Help Center with articles and video tutorials to learn the platform.
HighLevel does have a slight edge with a 24/7 support line you can call anytime.
When it comes to meeting other fellow users, Kajabi is reputed to have the best community in the industry with an engaged group of over 35,000 people.
HighLevel has nothing to envy though, with a very large facebook group as well and a lot of specialist service providers to help you.
The two platforms compare very similarly here and you’d be happy to join either community on your journey!