Selling courses online is one of the best ways to make money online.
It gives you control and flexibility, the way you would over your own business, but without the overhead costs.
Plus, you can make money by doing something you ENJOY, which is the best way of making money. And you’re bringing something of value to people’s lives!
If you’re interested in selling courses online, you’ve probably come across Teachable and Kajabi.
Both are great options for selling classes on the internet. But one might be better for you—so let’s check out our two contenders:
Table of Contents
Creators on Teachable have earned over $300 MILLION on the platform in sales.
And some of those creators are very high profile.
And then there’s Kajabi:
Over $1 BILLION in transactions has been made through Kajabi, and through 41 million customers.
While Kajabi might seem to have the bigger numbers, it’s clear that both of these players are enormous forces.
So which one is best for you? Let’s find out.
Performance is key: you’re not just hosting a hobby blog for a couple friends/family to read here and there.
You’re selling your educational content. That means your site always needs to be up, and your software needs to be running smoothly—otherwise you might lose business.
I’ll jump right in.
Here’s what Teachable’s performance looks like:
Yep. And this is just about always the case.
Plus, the nice thing about Teachable’s status page is that it lets you view many of the subcomponents and features of the service:
And like I said, usually just about everything is working.
Teachable has had outages on certain functionalities from time to time, though not when I’ve been using the service.
However, these are pretty rare. All in all, Teachable’s performance is pretty good.
So let’s tackle Kajabi’s performance now.
Frankly, I don’t have much to say:
I’ve found Kajabi to be fully functional the entire time I’ve used it.
And it’s not just “my opinion”:
You can even check out Kajabi’s status page to see if there are any recent outages. But chances are, you won’t find any incidents for a long time.
Now, I don’t want to fool you. Kajabi is not perfect:
This is what the uptime looked like earlier in 2019, before I was testing it.
And in those given months—August especially—the uptime doesn’t seem super strong.
But overall, especially recently, Kajabi seems to have really good performance.
And the thing is, these errors of app availability don’t affect EVERYTHING at once.
For example, in August 2019, the red Square didn’t mean the entire app was down—on that day, email broadcasts got delayed.
And on September 5th, 2019, the error affected payment processing via Stripe. Again, not the entire app.
So overall, Kajabi’s performance is great. Outages may happen here and there in the future, but they are likely to affect only a part of your setup.
Is that “okay”?
Not quite. But it’s still pretty solid in my opinion.
Now, Teachable’s outages are similar in that they don’t happen often, and when they do, affect certain features/components of the main service.
That’s just kind of how these software-as-a-service things go. But here’s the difference:
Teachable’s outages are less severe than Kajabi’s.
It’s not such a significant difference that I would automatically recommend Teachable over Kajabi.
But it’s still a NOTABLE difference in performance, at least towards the last few months of 2019.
So there you have it:
Both perform very well. The vast majority of the time, your experience will be unaffected.
However, issues do pop up from time to time on both platforms—Teachable tend to be less frequent and less severe (generally).
All this talk of components being down brings up an important issue:
What components are there in these platforms?
So let’s address that question next:
Ease of Use Comparison
Some of you will have different preferences for ease of use, and that’s fine.
But ease of use is still pretty important:
The big reason is that if you’re interested in using Teachable or Kajabi, you ALREADY want a platform optimized for selling online courses and educational content.
Otherwise, you could do everything on your own—set up a Shopify store, use ecommerce integrations on WordPress, etc.
But still, most of us don’t want things to be SO simple that we lose the ability to control our site or courses.
So I’ll be taking a look now and how easy Teachable and Kajabi are, and what the nuances of that ‘easiness’ are.
Let’s start with Teachable. Teachable hammers home how easy it is to get started:
And it really is that easy. Clicking ‘next step’ on their homepage will take you to a super simple signup form.
Once you enter in the basics, you’ll be asked more questions to optimize the process:
Once you’ve answered the questions, you’ll be directed straight to your dashboard, and can immediately get to work:
In all, the whole setup process took me 2-3 minutes.
You can see how user-friendly the interface is. But aside from being a straightforward design, Teachable also puts the most useful tutorials right in front, so you can view them immediately.
Here’s another example of super easy navigation:
Clicking on the settings tab from the menu on the left reveals a sub-menu with many more options.
In this example, of course, I’m on the notifications tab. Note how easy it is to manage notification settings: do you want X notification on or off?
Some of the other tabs are more open-ended, but things are still very simple.
What’s more contentious is this ease of use applied to customization.
Have a look at this, it’s a good example:
Super simple, right? Set up a favicon, logo, backgrounds, font family, etc.
But what if you want to upload your own font family? What if you want more precision over the background image?
It’s not the end of the world, or significantly worse than some easy-to-use site builders. But it’s still not ideal for people who want easy customization that’s also got detailed features.
That’s not ALL you can control, though. That’s just the basics of your site settings.
You can use a fairly modern website builder interface when editing your pages:
I’m not crazy about it, because it feels a little too limited at times, but it’s still a reliable designer tool.
But perhaps most essential is ease for creating courses.
And that, I’d say, is a test Teachable passes with flying colors:
So that’s Teachable.
It’s a very clean interface that keeps things simple and to the point. At times it can seem a little constricting, but I think that’d be the case more for people who want to lean in heavily on customization.
But to really appraise which platform is better on ease of use, I’ve got to cover both.
So here’s Kajabi. Getting started on Kajabi is about as easy as it is on Teachable:
Kajabi also asks you some questions, though not as many as Teachable:
Like Teachable, the whole thing took me 2-3 minutes. So far, easy-peasy.
Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll be directed to your dashboard:
You’re immediately presented with some quick stats on your site/courses.
Also, Kajabi has a very cool search bar at the top of the dashboard, called Kajabi Assistant.
It’s out of your way, but is super handy when you need something:
It instantly brings up features and tools you want, not to mention support articles.
Kajabi also has a very user-friendly site editor:
The style of this is pretty similar to Teachable’s, which is to say it’s kind of similar to WordPress (you use a sidebar on the left to do the bulk of the editing).
But this all captures the gist of Kajabi’s user-friendliness.
The question now is which one is better.
They’re both very easy to use, but I think Teachable focuses more on the basics and Kajabi tries combine simplicity and complexity.
For some people, Teachable may be too simple, especially if they want to take charge of design more.
For such people, Kajabi would be doing the best in user-friendliness—retaining the control they like but still keeping things easy.
However, beginners would probably find Teachable is better for them, because it’s concerned first and foremost with the basics of creating content.
And people who just want to work mostly on courses may also appreciate Teachable’s design.
So there’s no clear winner here—both are very good at ease of use.
Clearly, the features offered is an important issue that’s been coming into play. So let’s explore it fully next!
Pricing and Features Comparison
For a lot of you, this is going to be the most important section (especially since we covered performance).
Naturally, we should cover price first, since features relate to the price you pay.
Here’s what Teachable costs:
This is paid annually. When paid monthly, the range is $39 to $499 a month.
Compared to Kajabi, these prices are not too bad. But we need to look at features for both before we can get into the real comparison.
So here’s what you get for those prices:
Each plan has at minimum, unlimited students, instant payouts, 2 admins, coupon codes, affiliate and email marketing, and some third party integrations.
Plus, there’s drip content: this is essentially a way of scheduling course content. You “drip” your course to a certain amount of time after a student enrolls.
It’s nothing crazy, but it’s useful.
The higher points so far is that you can have unlimited students at such a low cost. The other features are also good.
You can see the screenshots above for all the things you get as you upgrade, but these are some of the more notable ones:
Negating transaction fees is good (especially because 5% is kind of high), plus quizzes, advanced themes, reports, and unbranded websites are excellent.
The highest tier is best for those who are basically running larger operations: you can have up to a hundred admins, and get better tools for handling large amounts of students/customers.
So that’s what Teachable’s major features are on paper.
But I think you’d benefit from a look under the hood.
I’ll start with something that’s a minor perk:
Teachable has a little sub-topic in the settings menu for taxes. At first, I was kind of excited by this.
A few ecommerce and marketing platforms have sections of their web-apps that are dedicated to providing you with tax assistance. This is super useful if you’re running an online business.
But it’s not super common yet and I wasn’t expecting it from Teachable. But then I saw it:
It’s not much, right?
I mean sure, it’s useful if customers from the EU sign up for your courses. It’s better than nothing. But outside that, it doesn’t seem super useful.
Now, you might wonder what customization features you get. The customization tools are decent, but a little limited.
I showed you some of it in the ease of use section, and that should give you an idea of it.
Here’s one point that I did like:
You can at least choose color to a fair degree of precision. If you know the color codes you want, you’ll be fine.
But that’s about as advanced as it gets—the rest is about choosing from simple options.
You can manage all the essentials, don’t get me wrong: it’s easy to effectively manage pages, bios of teachers (useful if it’s not just you in a course), handle navigation settings, and so on.
Now, there is one thing that I find kind of unique:
This ‘custom text’ page. Now, it’s not that other content management systems or website builders don’t give you this option; they do.
But the fact that this little menu is separated from the rest and has a lot of options is pretty cool.
And you can do this ‘custom text’ thing for more than just the header, by the way: you can use it for the footer, checkout, courses, lectures, comments, and so on.
There are literally HUNDREDS of types of custom text options, all of them customizable.
Most people, myself included, will leave the vast majority of them alone. But it’s good to have the option…especially for those who want to add some more subtle personality to their store.
Now, if you paid attention to the last section, you’ll remember that I showed you the page builder tool on Teachable.
For a refresher, here it is again:
It’s basically a website builder interface, more in the WordPress sidebar style.
But you can’t do much to change the overall website structure or theme with it—so it’s really a page builder more than a site builder.
It’s useful and I think it will allow most users to get a site design they’re happy with.
I will note here, however, that Teachable sites usually look similar—they all have roughly the same structure.
And that hasn’t seemed to hurt a lot of them; if anything, the common site structure for online courses by small creators may make things easier for everyone.
And don’t forget that higher tiers get more advanced customization—so it’s not entirely lacking from the whole software.
But if you want a site that stands out more, that’s a point worth noting.
Teachable also has marketing features, a major asset of any all-in-one platform.
And the bulk of those marketing features are available from the first tier onwards, which is also great. As for how advanced they are:
They’re pretty good. Not as advanced as software built solely for marketing, obviously, but it’s on par with the marketing features included with other all-in-one packages for website and shop builders.
Which is to say it’s good enough for most small businesses.
I think the most key point here is that Teachable supports integrations:
It’s a small number, but it covers the most popular integrations. Which means that if need be, you can boost your marketing or analytics tools on your own terms.
Again, don’t expect too much—there aren’t that many integrations available—but it’s enough to tide over whatever you find lacking in Teachable.
We’re almost done with Teachable’s features! But before we jump to Kajabi, let’s get to the meat of Teachable’s service:
The course creator.
You saw what the very beginning of making a course looks like in the last section. But here’s what it looks like when you actually try to manage a course:
You can exert solid control over your courses.
Aside from managing all sorts of things about the course delivery and accessibility (coupons, drip, the pricing setup) you can also manage the content itself handily:
The text editor may seem simple, but don’t let it throw you off:
The ability to add just about any sort of media file (especially video/audio files), quizzes, custom HTML, all goes hand in hand with text to make a super customizable lecture.
This is where one of the most fundamental differences between Teachable and Kajabi comes into play, as well:
Teachable is much more open-ended about the course content. “Here’s a basic editor—make stuff with it.”
It’s not a bad approach—you could even make the case that this forces creators to prioritize good content over flashy design.
But that debate will come in later in this section. Let’s move on to Kajabi to make that happen!
Kajabi has three plans, and they can be paid annually or monthly:
Paid yearly, they have the prices above. Monthly, it’s $149 to $399.
And here’s what those prices get you in terms of features:
All plans have some solid things going for them:
No transaction fees, support in the form of Kajabi University and live chat, the ability to run webinars, basic marketing automations, and quizzes for your students.
All plans also have at least 10,000 contacts and 1,000 active members, which is pretty good—if you’ve got 1,000 active members, you can probably afford $119 a month.
The bigger issue for me is the “3 products” and “3 pipelines” part of these plans.
A product here, would mean a course (not a lecture), membership program, coaching program, etc.
The products themselves are more open-ended—which I’ll explain in a sec—so you can find a way to make them last.
But the key point is that at the first tier, you can only sell three products…at a kind of stiff price. The second tier is more reasonable, proportionately.
The fact that you’re not limited by landing pages and marketing emails at any tier is a nice positive, however. And big increases in the number of admin-level users is nice.
Now to be honest, the structure of Kajabi’s software is fairly similar to Teachable when you actually use it.
So instead of showing you every single thing about the software, I’m going to show some areas that highlight the differences between Kajabi and Teachable.
One major point of difference is the website builder. I already showed it to you in the last section, but it’s worth another look because of its depth.
It’s pretty similar to Teachable’s page builder, except it affects more fundamental things about the site:
It also lets you edit more on the page than Teachable:
Once again, let me remind you of what I said about Teachable: you do get more advanced customization features at higher tiers.
Kajabi may have much better customization features from its first tier than Teachable, but that same first tier is way more expensive than Teachable’s.
So the customization difference isn’t as extreme in actuality.
Now, another point of distinction is the main product tools.
One thing I like about Kajabi is that it offers you preset categories of products with their own templates pre-made:
This of course includes traditional courses and the option of building something from scratch, but it’s a nice thing to have.
And it’s not simply an “ease of use” point—if you’re already working on selling more traditional online courses, this is great for branching into related products.
Now, you may be wondering if the course creation tools are better or worse than Teachable, since that’s a core focus of both platforms.
It’s pretty good:
It’s not better than Teachable’s, per se:
As I highlighted previously, it’s more about style and interface preferences. Teachable is more open-ended. Kajabi has such open-ended options, but focuses more on premade stuff:
You can choose from templates, with the options being what I showed you just now, and those premade templates have very clear outlines that are easy to edit (duh).
Personally, I like Teachable because I like to have more control over the courses from the get-go, and I think Teachable’s design lets me focus on core content most.
But I understand not everyone has the same tastes, and if you really value the ease factor in making educational products online, Kajabi may be better suited to you.
The last major point of distinction is the marketing tools. Kajabi’s are, frankly, a little more robust than Teachable’s:
And like Teachable, Kajabi has integrations that can boost things even further.
Just as Teachable only has a few integrations available, Kajabi’s only got a handful. So you can’t really say that either is a winner in integrations/apps.
So if marketing is super important to you, things are kind of dicey: Kajabi’s tools are better, but whether they’re so much better that they’re worth the price difference is questionable.
And since the integration options are roughly the same, you can level up what Teachable lacks in marketing and STILL pay less.
But all together, that wraps up the differences in features. To put it simply:
Kajabi has more features, and the features can change more. You can customize and market with more depth on Kajabi.
Even though Teachable has more advanced tools on its higher tiers, Kajabi does as well—so the calculus is roughly the same.
But per price, Teachable is much more affordable.
Whether Kajabi’s higher price is worth it for you comes down in large part to your situation, but IN GENERAL here’s how I’d judge the comparison:
Teachable’s lower price makes its more basic feature set worth it. In other words, Kajabi’s advantage in tools doesn’t scale with its higher price.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean Teachable is better, right off the bat. We’ve still got other factors to consider, so let’s keep going!
Customer support is never something to dismiss.
It’s not just essential when something goes wrong: it’s dang useful in helping you use the software you pay for, to its full potential.
Let’s check out what Teachable has in terms of onsite support.
It’s a pretty straightforward layout:
Clicking any of those squares (they’re not the only ones, by the way) reveals subtopics that have their own sets of articles.
The articles? They’re pretty solid. No real complaints there.
Teachable’s knowledge base is the bulk of its onsite info. But it also has this thing called TeachableU:
Now, I thought this was a bit of a scam at first:
You pay the platform so that you can sell courses, and the platform you use tries to sell courses on how to use the platform to you?
Sounds a bit like a pyramid scheme.
But of course, this is not a required resource and its only for those who want to pay for extra training.
And as Teachable is highly reputable and immensely successful, TeachableU isn’t too shady. It’s just Teachable’s version of the type of paid webinars that a lot of software companies offer.
Teachable has a blog as well. A lot of SAAS (software as a service) companies do, but I think Teachable’s has relatively more concrete material in its blog than others.
They’ve even got a podcast, which I can’t say I’ve listened to. It’s hardly an essential resource, but hey—it’s there.
So all in all, Teachable’s onsite resources are pretty good. Even if you exclude the extra stuff (TeachableU, the blog, or podcast), the help center alone is pretty decent.
As for customer representatives, they’re very solid.
The live chat responses are fast, and helpful. The same thing goes for the support tickets.
So overall, the representatives and onsite information come together to form a pretty strong customer support system.
Can Kajabi beat it?
Let’s find out. Here’s Kajabi’s help center:
Don’t worry, it’s just not a search bar!
Scroll down the page and you’ll find tons of topic categories.
Clicking on any of those topic categories will bring you to a page where you can view all the articles in that category:
In my view, this is the best help center layout. It may sound nitpicky, but this is generally the easiest way for people who are both browsing articles and trying to find certain articles quickly.
One section of the knowledge base/help center is the FAQ section:
It’s not a minor section at all. Instead, it’s one of the biggest categories/subtopics in the help center and is a pretty valuable resource in its own right.
As far as the articles themselves go, they’re pretty solid as well.
So overall, Kajabi’s help center (its main resource of information) is good: its well organized and has good articles.
Is there any other repository of on-site info?
Nope, not really.
There’s the blog, but I don’t really count company blogs unless they stand out in usefulness.
Nonetheless, Kajabi overall has a pretty strong customer support in terms of information.
As for representatives, Kajabi is also pretty strong.
In fact, Kajabi hammers it into you the moment you set up your account. You’ll probably be greeted with this when you first see your dashboard:
Which is pretty cool.
When you actually talk to representatives over chat or ticket, it’s usually decent.
But it can sometimes be slow in live chat terms, especially compared to Teachable. Here’s an example:
As you can see, it took a few minutes for me to get a REAL response.
Now, 5-6 minutes is really not the end of the world. But it’s certainly not the best I’ve seen.
Overall, however, the representatives at Kajabi do a good job.
Like Teachable, Kajabi’s resources and support come together to make a great customer support package.
So…is one better?
I’d say that both are pretty good, but Teachable has an edge: the live chat is generally faster, and the onsite support is more comprehensive.
But I don’t think the difference in quality is so big that you should really prioritize Teachable over Kajabi simply for this.
Let’s move onto our last factor under consideration:
Security is pretty obviously important here:
You’re handling the data of customers and students, and payments! Security is essential to business.
Not to destroy any hype you may have had, but neither platform talks a whole lot about security.
This is unfortunately common for a lot of software-as-a-service companies, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the security is bad.
Just keep this in mind as I explain how both of them stand.
First up, as usual, is Teachable:
Teachable takes basic precautions. Skim this, for example:
It all sounds good, but it’s actually just standard behavior: it’s to be expected of any reputable company that mostly conducts business online.
Still, it’s good that they do the basics.
With Kajabi, we basically have the same thing (just read the highlighted part):
Although Kajabi does take the extra step of identifying physical security measures, it basically amounts to:
“We’ll try, but if something goes wrong, it’s not on us.”
But again, that’s hardly uncommon.
One more note: both platforms are PCI compliant (which means they’re certified to process card transactions online) and use strong encryption.
But that about sums it up. Like I said, there’s nothing crazy or stand-out with either platform in terms of security, but they meet all the basics.
Another point in favor of them is that they’re trusted by so many people, and have handled hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions securely.
Not to mention all the reputable brands that use Teachable and Kajabi.
So overall, I wish we knew more, but I’m not sweating about it either.
So after all this comparing, do we have a clear winner?
Put simply, here’s how they stack up:
Teachable and Kajabi both perform very well. Teachable may perform slightly better, but it’s hardly a big gap.
They are both easy to use and have good customer support:
Teachable may have a slight edge in customer support, and is simpler, but Kajabi does a better job of streamlining a large amount of tools.
In general, Kajabi has more features, including better customization and marketing tools.
Teachable has less, but the features it has are still solid.
But Kajabi is WAY more expensive than Teachable. By a considerable margin.
So here’s the question:
Do the differences between the two justify Kajabi’s price?
I’d have to say that for most, smaller course creators, the price isn’t quite justified…especially because you’re limited in how many products you can sell with Kajabi’s first tier.
Sure, Teachable has less advanced tools, but it has enough to get the job done just fine, especially for smaller online businesses.
Even those who want an all-in-one, easy platform to work with wouldn’t be significantly troubled by a few integrations.
They’re still easy to handle and can keep costs down while boosting features.
Here’s the exception: if Kajabi’s price seems reasonable to you, and you really want an out-of-the-box marketing suite, Kajabi has the edge.
But I think for most people reading this, Teachable is the better pick: it offers all the necessary features and performs very well, for a significantly lower cost.
Don’t worry. You can find out for yourself!