Teachable vs Thinkific vs Kajabi 

 Updated: June 5, 2024

Teachable, Thinkific and Kajabi are probably the 3 most recognizable names in the online course industry.

They've all been around for the better part of the last 15 years and pioneered the concept of using a specialized platform to host and deliver online programs.

kajabi home

In this article we’ll compare them together and break down how different they are.

Overall this should help you decide which one might be a good fit for your needs.

Pricing: Which Offers The Most Value?

Let’s first start by taking a look at pricing since this is one of the main criteria new course creators have when looking at such platforms.

When it comes to getting started to try out any of the 3 platforms, let’s note that Teachable and Thinkific both offer a free plan, while Kajabi offers a 14 day (or 30 day extended) free trials on any plan of your choice:

  • Teachable pricing

  • Kajabi pricing

  • Thinkific pricing

The first thing that jumps out when looking at these pricing is that Teachable and Thinkific have very similar pricing plans.

And that Kajabi starts at a significantly higher price.

Indeed, Kajabi is an all-in-one platform and generally provides more tools and features than the other 2… More on that later.

Overall, these 3 competitors are relatively fairly priced and upgrading from one plan to another will come down to increasing your allowance for certain features.

Features: Which One Provides The Best Tools?

Let’s now explore the main features each platform offer and compare them together,

But first here is the highlight of each platform’s feature

Kajabi:

  • Design and host courses
  • Live lesson feature
  • Send and automate emails campaigns
  • Podcast hosting and distribution
  • Take Payments and setup Affiliate Programs
  • Create 1-Click Upsell/Downsell
  • Build a website and marketing funnel
  • Access the code editor
  • Create a Blog
  • Offer a Community or Forum
  • Coaching capability
  • Mobile App

Thinkific:

  • Course Hosting/Design
  • Assessments & Certificates
  • Checkout + Affiliate Program
  • Upsells
  • Basic Page & Site Builder
  • Community Tool

Teachable:

  • Course Hosting/Design
  • Cart + Affiliate Program
  • Basic Page Builder
  • Coaching Product
  • Email students only 
  • Blog
  • Mobile App

Website & Page Building

All 3 of these platforms have a native website and page builder.

Let’s note here that very few people tend to use Thinkific or Teachable to build a whole website, but usually only for sales pages and checkout.

Whereas Kajabi is meant to be used as a one stop shop.

Furthermore, Kajabi’s website builder will be a lot more flexible.

Kajabi page builder

Kajabi Page Builder

You’ll have more flexibility in terms of how the Blocks work together and more diversity in the type of section you can create.

Especially if you use the Widgets available, which offer even more types of content.

Kajabi Widgets

Thinkific and Teachable on the other hand have a similar but less flexible page builder.

These work by building through premade sections and simply populating your content.

Thinkific Page Builder

It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nicely designed page but it will take more effort and you’ll have to make some compromises.

Another point to mention here is that Kajabi allows for the creation of funnels, to capture name and email addresses and take the prospect through a sequence of pages or email sequence.

This is not possible in Thinkific and Teachable, which again are mostly used just for the checkout and course part of their features.

Marketing & Sales

As mentioned above, Thinkific and Teachable have limited marketing tools at your disposal.

There is no way to build a list or funnel through their page builder.

What most people end up doing is either building their website elsewhere or integrating a 3rd party email system, which is possible.

thinkific app store email app

Thinkific Apps & Integrations

One of the main appeals of Kajabi is that this is all built-in and you can build a list, segment your audience, send broadcast emails or set up autoresponders.

Kajabi also helps with content creation with the Creator Studio which allows you to repurpose pieces of content for multiple platforms:

Kajabi Creator Studio

When it comes to payment and creating checkout, Thinkific and Teachable are much more competitive.

Teachable probably has the best checkout system here with integrated tax and VAT calculation.

The affiliate program feature is also more advanced.

Although that’s something both Kajabi and Thinkific also offer, Teachable is the only one for example to offer automated affiliate payment.

Kajabi has the most flexible checkout in terms of design and with Kajabi Payment opens up to more payment gateways such as Buy Now Pay Later options like Klarna.

Thinkific tends to be a little behind here with nothing that particularly stands out in the way they provide a checkout.

Online Courses

This is of course the main feature for Kajabi, Teachable and Thinkific.

Note that all 3 of them handle the course curriculum creation relatively similarly with a back-end builder:

Teachable Course Builder

You’ll upload your content (video hosting is included) and then create sections and subsections to organize it.

Thinkific has much more learning tools to offer here, with Quiz, Assignments, Surveys and Exams.

Thinkific Learning Tools

This will allow you to create a much more immersive learning experience for your students.

This is something Teachable lacks in comparison and Kajabi is only slightly better at.

That being said, Kajabi is the only platform here that offers a native live feature to run sessions inside of your online courses without the use of platforms like Zoom.

Kajabi Live Video

Teachable and Thinkific only allows you to do so by connecting your Zoom account.

Also, when it comes to the design of your course from the student’s perspective, Kajabi also has a lot more flexibility here with multiple templates available:

Kajabi Course Themes

There are about 6 templates that you can choose from as well as other 3rd party ones you can purchase from experts.

You’ll have much more control over the branding and layout of your program than Teachable and Thinkific that really only offer one:

Teachable Course Theme

This might not be a deal breaker for most course creators but certainly worth mentioning.

It does come with a downside of Kajabi which is the limit on the number of Products you can have depending on your plan.

This is not a limitation that exists on Thinkific for instance that offers unlimited courses on any paid plan.

Other Features

Although Teachable and Thinkific have a relatively similar set of features, let’s review some other ones that stand out here.

Community: all 3 platforms offer this to some extent but Kajabi has a much better feature here after they’ve acquired a specialist platform called Vibely and integrated it to their offer.

Kajabi Community

On the other hand, Thinkific and Teachable community tools are rather basic.

Mobile App: Teachable and Kajabi allows your student to view their courses on the dedicated app, this is something Thinkific does not offer at the moment. Kajabi however is the only platform here that also offers a custom branded app option (at an extra cost).

kajabi app store

The Bottom Line: Teachable vs Thinkific vs Kajabi

Kajabi is better for: people that value having everything in place including marketing tools and more design flexibility

Teachable is better for: people that already have a website and just need a straightforward course platform, but also need to have VAT handled. in the payment process.

Thinkific is better for: people that need as many tools as possible when it comes to the learning experience.

Kajabi Pros

  • The Apple of online course platform: you can't really go wrong
  • Outstanding UX and course delivery/design
  • Probably the best community and support in the industry

Kajabi Cons

  • Page builder lacks a bit of flexibility and easy-to-use templates
  • Small premium on pricing

Teachable Pros

  • Affordable for a standalone platform
  • Simple to use for beginners
  • Large community of users

Teachable Cons

  • Limited customization throughout all features
  • Poor support

Thinkific Pros

  • Great features
  • Sleek platform
  • Great community

Thinkific Cons

  • Odd pricing structure
  • Basic page builder

Joey Mazars

Online Course Platform Expert

Hi, there! I've literally spent thousands of hours helping clients build their online courses on these platforms through my marketing services.

I've become obsessed with helping them find the right fit for their needs and decided to guide other creators through their decision process with these detailed reviews.

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