One of the most intimidating decisions you can face as you are thinking about launching your online course is choosing where to build it.
When you put the time and effort into creating a great course, you want to make sure that you host it on the right platform.
Podia is an online course platform and digital download gate that gives you the tools to create an online course. While it does some things well, it's missing an app option, and a few other fundamentals that a course platform should have.
So, in this article, we're going to walk you through what to consider when choosing an alternative to Podia. We will then introduce you to 5 Podia alternatives that you can think about as you create your course.
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In this article...
What to look for in a Podia Alternative
As we mentioned in the introduction, Podia is lacking a few key features that any online course platform should have. So when you're looking for a Podia alternative, a few of them have these missing features included. So it’s a no-brainer when you can get a platform that does everything you need it to do.
Here are some of the features to consider:
Any good alternative to Podia should give you some options to sell and market your courses. While there are different approaches to this, it's great to have a point of sale system built in, the option to create bundles, and the ability to sell in different currencies.
In short, you shouldn't have to blend three platforms together to build a functional course business. You should be able to build and sell your courses on the same platform.
Speaking of courses, Podia's main value is that it gives you the ability to create an online course. So obviously, any alternative to Podia should also give you this capability.
But we'd like to take this beyond a simple course capability. The right Podia alternative should let you create the course that you want, with intuitive upload and design features, easy navigation for your members, the option to add feedback, and even a community – which we'll talk about next.
We are living in a golden age for online course creation. There's no reason to have a platform that doesn't let you build beautiful courses.
We mentioned this a second ago, but COMMUNITY! Your online course creator should give you the option to add a community to your course.
As you might know, way back in the beginning of online course creation, creators realized that it was hard to get people to stick with the course and also to provide answers to questions students might have.
The answer? A community!
And while many of those early creators tried to stitch together a plug-in on their blog with a separate community option like Facebook groups, this is no longer necessary.
There’s no reason not to have a platform that lets you host a course and community in the same place. And that's what we'll be looking for.
Last, but definitely not least, we are thinking about access options. Any good online course creator should give your students multiple ways to access your course.
And it goes without saying that this should include an app. Unfortunately, Podia doesn't have one. But some of these alternatives to Podia do.
5 Podia alternatives
1. Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is an all-in-one cultural software platform, that helps you build and sell elegant, engaging courses. Mighty's unique software brings together courses with community, content, commerce, and live events. Whether you choose to teach a synchronous, pre-recorded course, or teaching live through a cohort course, this platform has you covered. With a ton of different options for course design, layouts, and engagement features, Mighty Networks gives you the tools to build your thriving course business.
With Mighty Networks, your course runs on community too. Mighty's powerful Spaces let you mix features like live streaming, live events, discussion forums, messaging, and long and short-form content. Each course can have its own community space, with places to chat and engage throughout. Even individual lessons have comment options.
And you have a ton of flexibility to sell access to your course, or to include it with your community access, or to create different bundles.
It's the perfect tool for growing a course business.
Kajabi is another well known course creator. It lets you build courses by uploading course material, including videos which are hosted on Wistia, and it gives you a bunch of options for organizing and presenting that material.
While Mighty Networks' strength is it's all in one, community platform, Kajabi's strength is its options for creating complex marketing systems and funnels. You can define your customer's journey with a series of landing pages, and automate other marketing features.
While Kajabi is a great alternative to Podia, it has two major disadvantages.
- Cost: Kajabi is probably the most expensive consumer, course-creation software on the market.
- Limited community: while the marketing features are great, Kajabi lacks a strong community feature. Many creators using Kajabi are forced to go to other platforms for community.
Teachable is another Podia alternative. Teachable has a pretty solid course platform, and gives you lots of options for building and customizing your course. It also lets you create landing pages which help for conversion.
One of the best features of Teachable is that you can easily add an affiliate program, meaning that you can enlist the help of others to sell your course. Whether this means people who have already taken your course, or influencers in your same niche, the affiliate program lets you split commission with the people who bring you students, which could be a good marketing tactic.
Teachable does have a few downsides. First of all, it doesn't have an app. This is a huge miss at a time when most students will use an app to access your course.
Secondly, Teachable doesn't include any community options. This means that many creators building their courses on Teachable are forced to find a third-party solution for their community, or abandon the platform altogether.
Udemy is a totally different kind of Podia alternative. Unlike the options mentioned so far, Udemy is a course marketplace; there are hundreds and thousands of other creators posting their courses there. You’ll build your course on their platform, for free, and add it to the mix.
This model has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it may be easier to make some sales, especially if you don't have an existing audience. There are already potential customers on the platform.
On the other hand, there is a TON of competition on Udemy. Your course will need to stand out on a platform that has thousands of others, perhaps even with the same niche, which can be tough.
One more thing we should mention. When somebody finds your course in the Udemy library, the platform only pays you 37% of the sale amount. For all your work, you end up with less money in your pocket.
Skillshare is a lot like Udemy. It's also a course marketplace that gives you a space to build and launch courses. Skillshare has a solid course building platform, and other good features like a review system and a project option so that people taking a course can compare notes with others in the same course. Skillshare is best known as a space for creatives, and its existing course offerings are strongest in this area.
Like Udemy, the marketplace function of Skillshare comes with advantages and disadvantages. It can be great to have an existing network of customers looking for courses. But it can also be tough to make your course stand out in a sea of others. (See our advice here for choosing the right name).
While its platform and existing audience make it a good Podia alternative, one of the things that really stinks is that Skillshare works on a revenue-share model. They divide up a part of their revenue between creators, and pro-rate their payments according to the time watched.
This is great if you happen to have one of the top courses. But if your course hasn't got much traction yet, chances are you might make… almost nothing.
If you're going to choose Skillshare as a Podia alternative, it's important to realize what it doesn't doesn't do.
We hope this list has been helpful for you, and given you a solid understanding of the top alternatives to Podia. With so many good course platforms out there, there's no need to sacrifice the features you need.
Don't forget, if you want to try your hand at building a course with Mighty Networks, you can try it for free! No credit card is required and you get a 14-day trial.