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Thinkific vs Teachable (2020): Which Is Better For Your Online Course?

There is no doubt that online education is hugely popular these days. For many students and professionals, the ability to access educational materials anytime and anywhere makes e-learning—as the industry is called—an attractive option. Moreover, the flexibility of studying at your own pace appeals to people who are simply to busy to attend a brick-and-mortar school. 

If you want to be involved in the e-learning industry as a content provider, then you’ll need an online course platform. In this line, Thinkific and Teachable are two of the most popular cloud-based learning management systems out there. Both are known for their ease-of-use and robust course builders. But as course creator, which one is better for you? Here, we compare Thinkific and Teachable based on their key features, integrations, and pricing. 

Thinkific vs Teachable Comparison Chart

NameThinkificTeachable
 
PriceCheck Price at Thinkific.comCheck Price at Teachable.com
Best FeatureExtensive third-party integrations, and customizable site settingsBulk editing of courses, and extensive sales and marketing features
Transaction FeesNoYes, 5% on Basic plan
Number of CoursesUnlimitedUnlimited
Number of StudentsUnlimitedUnlimited
Payment IntegrationsPayPal, Stripe, StunningPayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Mobile AppNoYes, iOS only
BlogsNoYes
Surveys and PollsYesNo
Affiliate ProgramsYesYes
Live Customer SupportNoYes

Course Builder

Thinkific’s course builder allows for more advanced quiz features while Teachable puts a premium on ease-of-use and mixed media content.

Thinkific includes a randomized question bank (left) and the ability to add surveys (right).

Thinkific and Teachable are both cloud-based learning platforms used to create, launch, and sell online courses from your own website. In terms of building an actual course, there are a lot of similarities between the two. For instance, Thinkific and Teachable allow you to upload a variety of multimedia, including audio, video, pdf files, and quizzes. You can also bulk upload content onto both platforms, and organize them easily through a drag-and-drop interface. Here, lessons can be organized into modules, and courses structured. 

Key Difference

Unlike Teachable however, Thinkific allows you to create surveys and polls. This should come in handy when trying to get student feedback for a course. For quizzes, you also get randomized question banks and will have the ability to import questions—features not supported by Teachable.

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Moreover, if you’re really into building comprehensive e-learning content, you’ll be pleased to know that Thinkific is compatible with Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and iSpring. You can simply export the files created using these course authoring platforms to Thinkific as web (HTML5). 

Meanwhile, Teachable has the advantage when it comes to ease-of-use and navigation. On the platform, you can carry out bulk processes, including changing the settings for multiple lessons. With Thinkific, you’ll have to do this individually. Teachable’s course builder is also more flexible, allowing you to add and arrange different types of media for a single lecture. You can even import content from Google Drive, One Drive, or Dropbox. Plus, comments are native to the platform whereas Thinkific will require integration with Disqus. 

Overall, Thinkific offers more advanced features when creating assessments and quizzes. Plus, it already comes with a number of course templates, which should speed up content creation. But course authors who want a platform that’s easier to operate will find Teachable’s interface to be more intuitive and flexible. And if design and appearance is important to you, Teachable courses do look better. 

Website Builder and Customization

Thinkific offers a more powerful site builder compared to Teachable.

Here’s a look at Thinkific’s site customization settings.

As an out-of-the-box solution, Thinkific and Teachable try to offer a complete solution. Both platforms allow you to host your courses in a website using either a free subdomain or, for paid plans, a custom domain. The subscription already comes with free hosting and SSL certificate. In addition, you have the option to modify the default site text, or change the language to any of those supported by these learning platforms.

In terms of site customizability, however, Thinkific is better. Unlike Teachable which comes with just a single, default template, Thinkific offers multiple themes. These designs can be modified even if you don’t have coding experience.

Landing page, text, and button colors can all be adjusted to fit your branding or aesthetic. Moreover, you can resize fonts and upload a custom favicon, header, or footer. For more substantial customizations, users can modify a theme’s code or import a custom theme instead.

While Teachable’s default theme looks sophisticated, quick modifications are limited. You can change the font style and colors, as well as upload a logo and background. However, you won’t be able to easily customize buttons, headers, and footers. For this, you’ll have to use their Power Editor feature and have some some experience with HTML/CSS. 

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Integrations

Between the two platforms, Thinkific supports more third-party solutions including native integrations. 

Here’s a look at Teachable’s intuitive dashboard.

When it comes to integrations, Thinkific has the edge. The platform currently supports a number of third-party solutions across e-mail marketing, communication, and analytics. However, it does share similar integrations with Teachable, including Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, and Segment. Both platforms also support Zapier and Sumo.

However, Thinkific comes with practical native integrations. For instance, the platform enjoys an exclusive software for custom assessments—exams, surveys, and tests—courtesy of Brillium. There’s also native integration with Accredible, which is a digital certificate generator. 

Marketing, Sign Up, and Payments

Teachable has better sales and marketing features. 

Teachable’s courses are optimized for all devices, including tablets and smartphones.

While content is your main promotional vehicle for an online course, having sales and marketing tools are indispensable for the success of your business. As mentioned above, Thinkific and Teachable both enjoy direct integrations with a number of e-mail marketing and automation tools. With Teachable, you get ConvertKit and MailChimp.

On the other hand, Thinkific adds Constant Contact, AWeber, and ActiveCampaign to the list. To raise awareness about your course, Thinkific and Teachable also support affiliate marketing. In both cases, you can set up custom commission rates but it will apply to all courses instead of specific ones.

Signing up and paying for a course is easier with Teachable. The platform’s checkout flow are all on one-page, so registration, payments, and testimonials are all seamlessly integrated. In contrast, Thinkific requires users to create an account first before being directed to a payment page. Knowing that customers want simplicity, one page checkouts often lead to higher conversions.

Payment Gateways and Options

For payments, both platforms have reliable integrations with PayPal and Stripe. With Thinkific, you get instant payouts the moment a student signs up for your course. Teachable only has this option if you’re residing in the US or Canada. Next, if you’re selling a high volume of your course, Thinkific also comes with Stunning integration to secure you from failed Stripe transactions. To its credit, Teachable does accept payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay. It’s a practical offering in an increasingly mobile-driven world. Moreover, you can also accept credit card transactions even if PayPal and Stripe is not supported in your country. 

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Pricing

Thinkific doesn’t charge transaction fees to its plans. However, some subscriptions are more expensive than Teachable’s. Both platforms offer discounts for annual subscriptions.

Here’s a look at the plans offered by Thinkific (top) and Teachable (bottom) billed annually and with discounted monthly fees.

Thinkific and Teachable offer free and paid-for plans. In both cases, the free plan comes with enough functionality to test the platforms before signing up for a paid version. However, if you do sell a course using Teachable’s free plan, you will be charged a transaction fee and credit card processing fee. 

Plans

With Thinkific, you can choose between Basic for $49/mo, Pro at $99/mo, or Premier, which costs $499/mo. Similarly, Teachable offers three paid plans: Basic for $39/mo, Pro at $199/mo, and Business, for $299/mo. Both follow tiered-pricing models, with Pro as both their most popular plans. All paid-plans allow for unlimited courses and students.

However, Teachable does charge a 5% transaction fee for Basic. In addition, you’ll have to sign up for either the Pro or Business plan in order to enjoy instant payouts. Thinkific also offers a 20% discount on Basic, Pro, and Premier if you opt for an annual billing. On Teachable, you can save around 16% if you pay for the plans yearly. 

Verdict

Thinkific offers more powerful quiz, course, and site building features, alongside extensive integrations. On the other hand, Teachable leverages on an intuitive interface, more refined sales and marketing features, as well as better payment options. 

Choosing between Thinkific and Teachable comes down to your needs and preferences. On certain areas, one platform has the advantage over the other, so the choice will largely be influenced by how much you need a specific feature.

For instance, Thinkific has more advanced quiz features, along with a powerful site and course builder. If you need comprehensive tools to create exams and put a premium on branding, then this is the platform for you. You can try Thinkific here. However, keep in mind the platform is constrained when it comes to using mixed media for lectures. 

Teachable, on the other hand, has the more intuitive course builder interface. What it lacks in integrations, it makes up with an optimized check-out process for higher conversions or enrollments. Plus, you get more payment options as well as dynamic affiliate marketing tools. You can check Teachable plans here. Just keep in mind, however, that instant payouts are available only on select regions and on higher plans.

 

FAQs

📌 Does Thinkific support Hebrew and Arabic?

While it support overs 30 languages, Thinkific currently doesn’t support right to left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic.

📌 How many course templates does Thinkific offer?

Thinkific currently offers six (6) course templates, each of which is designed for a specific purpose like building an audience, pre-selling a course, or offering a webinar replay.

📌 What’s the main difference between Thinkific and Teachable plans?

Thinkific offers zero transaction fees on all plans. On the other hand, Teachable comes with transactions fees for both its free and Basic plans.

📌 Does Teachable have a mobile app?

Yes, Teachable comes with a mobile application, which is available only in iOS.

Mari Bassig
Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.