Kajabi calls itself an “all-in-one online membership and course platform.” It’s one of the most complex software platforms available today for marketing and running paid online courses and content on the Internet.
But before you go all-in on Kajabi, it’s good practice to look at its strengths and weaknesses and understand the alternatives available to ensure you’ve chosen the right platform for your goals.
The last thing you want is to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours setting up your online courses on Kajabi only to realize its significant gaps. It’s better to go into your platform decision with your eyes wide open on both the good and the bad.
In this article, we’ll cover what Kajabi does well and what motivates creators to leave its platform if and when they decide to make that move. From there, we’ll give you the top 3 alternatives to Kajabi and what each does well.
Where Kajabi Shines
Let’s get this out of the way. There are people running their courses on Kajabi and making millions of dollars each year. It’s a stable, savvy platform for running paid memberships and online courses.
When Kajabi talks about being an “all-in-one” platform, they are specifically talking about marketing online courses, selling online courses, and delivering online courses. While Kajabi has a web-based forum feature, most people who use Kajabi also use a Facebook Group to run their course community.
Kajabi’s features include:
- The ability to set up and run online courses with text, files, photos, and videos you upload to a third-party video hosting service called Wistia
- The ability to choose different ways to deliver an online course, from making everything available at one time to dripping course content by date or requiring a student to finish the prior lesson first
- The ability to engage students with quizzes and polls
But where Kajabi really makes its mark is on how it lets instructors market and sell their courses:
- Robust marketing tools to deliver email campaigns, welcome flows, weekly updates, and more
- Effective marketing landing pages to create email waitlists or sell exclusive “windows” for purchase
- Checkout and payments that support multiple currencies around the world
Where Kajabi Falls Short
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that membership sites and online courses are only growing in popularity. It seems every day there’s a new podcaster, author, influencer, or coach announcing their latest online course or launching a new monthly membership.
Creativity and innovation are increasingly becoming the name of the online course game. What works today increasingly leaves Kajabi behind scrambling to catch up.
The 4 most commonly mentioned shortcomings of Kajabi are:
- No Community. While Kajabi says it offers “a community,” it’s an extremely limited forum feature. It’s web-only and pales in comparison to the features and accessibility of a Facebook Group, which is why so many Kajabi instructors start a separate Facebook Group in addition to using Kajabi. And yet, it’s increasingly the course community that’s playing a bigger and bigger role in getting people to buy, engage, and refer new people to an online course. Not having a best-in-class community available via mobile apps as part of an “all-in-one” solution has become a showstopper.
- Extremely Limited Mobile Apps. One of Kajabi’s strengths is the way people can brand their marketing pages and courses on the platform as their own. Think about Kajabi as a private label service similar to Shopify but for digital as opposed to physical products. So when Kajabi launched its first native mobile app in late 2019, it was a surprisingly limited Kajabi app with no option for instructors to offer their courses on their own private label mobile apps. At a time when most people only use native mobile apps on their phones, the lack of mobile access and community features on Kajabi are striking.
- Limited Analytics. The last frustration with Kajabi is around analytics. With so much of a person’s business riding on Kajabi, the lack of analytics is a challenge.
- The Most Expensive Platform in the Market. Kajabi’s strength in marketing online courses has meant that it could charge instructors a lot of money for its platform. It remains the most expensive platform for delivering online courses and content in the market.
The Best Kajabi Alternatives
We’ve researched a dozen different alternatives to Kajabi for this analysis. After kicking out custom development either on WordPress or a homegrown online course website or native mobile combination, we’ve narrowed down the list to the top two options.
Depending on whether you’re simply looking for a different course platform to Kajabi or you’re ready to bring your online courses and community together in the same place under your brand, you have choices.
Kajabi Alternative #1 – Mighty Networks: The “All-in-One” Course and Community Platform
Mighty Networks is a new entrant into the world of paid online courses. It started as a world-class community platform with a feature set similar to a Facebook Group and added paid online courses and memberships over the past two years.
A Mighty Network stands out from both Kajabi and Teachable in the way it delivers a community on par with a Facebook Group in the same place it enables you to run paid online courses or mastermind groups. With a Mighty Network, you can start simple and scale to bundles of online courses, groups, and more.
The best part of a Mighty Network? It’s instantly available to your members or students on every platform–web, iOS, and Android. Over 65% of Mighty’s rapidly growing engagement happens on its native mobile apps. And when you’re ready, you can upgrade to offer your entire package of courses, community, and memberships on your own native mobile apps available directly in the Apple App and Google Play Stores.
While a Mighty Network doesn’t have the same level of complex marketing flows as Kajabi, the power of the community and native mobile apps drive better results, faster growth, and deeper engagement. They more than make up for what’s lost with Kajabi’s more aggressive marketing tactics.
Kajabi Alternative #2 – Teachable: The Next Best Course Only Platform
If you’re happy having your online courses and community spread across multiple places, then Teachable is the best alternative to Kajabi.
Now, it should be said that most instructors start off on Teachable for their early online courses and tend to upgrade to Kajabi once they are successful. However, if you’re not happy with Kajabi, the primary online course alternative is Teachable.
Teachable has all the features you need to create courses, enroll students, and collect payments. It doesn’t have integrated email nor does it offer the same kinds of complex marketing features Kajabi is known for.
With Teachable, you’ll have your online courses taken care of, but you’ll still need the following to sell and engage your online courses:
- An email provider like ConvertKit or MailChimp
- An online marketing platform like Clickfunnels
- A Facebook Group or a Slack channel to engage people on a mobile app (Teachable doesn’t have mobile apps)
Choosing Teachable means managing more services in different places, but it’s still cheaper and simpler to use than Kajabi.
The Winner: Mighty Networks
When you start a Mighty Network, you’re choosing a much more powerful platform that gets more valuable for everyone in your course with each new person who joins and contributes. Compared to swapping out Kajabi for Teachable and then needing to augment it with other services, the decision to use a Mighty Network is pretty clear.
Choose The Right Kajabi Alternative for You
Between Kajabi, Teachable, and a Mighty Network, you’ve got three great options for running your online courses and memberships. Whether your emphasis is on aggressive marketing tactics, a course-only alternative, or you’re ready to scale faster by bringing your courses and community together in one place, there’s a platform for you.