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Courses

Thinkific vs. Teachable – The Ultimate Comparison for 2024

We’ll compare Teachable and Thinkific and help you decide where to launch your course business.

By The Mighty Team

December 31, 2023

9 min read

IN THIS ARTICLE

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    Building an online course is an incredible and rewarding way to share what you know with the world, build your personal brand, and scale your income. But a course platform is also a big investment of your most valuable asset, your time, and you want to make sure you start in the right place.


    So in this post, we’re looking at two top contenders: Thinkific vs. Teachable. We’ll line them up and compare based on features, price, business model, and access.


    If you want more support in building your online course and community, come join OUR Mighty Community for free and meet other new and established community owners! We’d love to meet you. Join for free!





    ((toc))


    What is an online course platform?


    An online course platform is a software service that provides you with a robust set of pre-built tools and features to build and deploy online courses. There’s no need for coding, the learning platform has done the development for you and you just need to focus on creating an awesome course.


    Creators choose online course platforms because it allows them to focus on what matters: their members and their content.


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    Thinkific vs. Teachable: Overview


    Features

    Thinkific

    Teachable

    Custom Landing Pages

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    Multi-Media Course Builder

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    Unlimited Courses

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    Integrated Community

    Yes (Not on the Free Plan)

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    Apps

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    iOS Only

    Native Live Streaming

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    Live Events

    Yes (*Zoom Integration)

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    Analytics

    Native Progress Reports + GA Integration

    3rd-Party (Google Analytics Integration)





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    Thinkific vs. Teachable: Who are they?


    Before we get started, let's look at what each of these platforms does:


    Thinkific


    Thinkific is an online course platform that has a major focus on content creation. On Thinkific, you can create and sell online courses that use a variety of third-party integrations.


    Graphics - Thinkific


    On top of that, you can deliver both dripped courses (where you release material for your course as you create it) as well as full content drops all at once.


    It comes pre-loaded with a drag-and-drop course builder, some nifty marketing functions, multiple currency sales, and an affiliate program.


    Teachable


    Teachable is an online course platform that focuses on customization and ease of use.


    teachable homepage


    The “power editor” tool allows you to create multimedia content from live coaching sessions to lectures, on top of offering third-party surveys for members to interact with.


    Like Thinkific, it comes with a drag-and-drop page builder plus an affiliate program.


    Thinkific vs. Teachable: Judgment criteria


    Here's the criteria we’re looking at for this comparison:



    • Customization and course features: What do they actually give you to build and deliver your course? Can you teach in different ways? Can you get your students the results they need?

    • Monetization & business ops: Beyond running a course, can you run a course business -- monetizing and growing your revenue.

    • Engagement features: Standalone asynchronous courses are fine, but more and more teachers are seeing better results with cohort courses, discussions, live events, and other integrated tools for hybrid learning.

    • Availability: Can you get the course delivered on any device?


    There are plenty of ways to evaluable online course platforms, but we believe these criteria are the most important. These are what make a difference to course teachers.


    So now we can get on to the main event: Thinkific vs. Teachable. Let’s dive deep into what these platforms have going on.


    Thinkific vs. Teachable


    Customization and features


    Let's talk customization and course features.


    Thinkific


    Thinkific and Teachable offer a lot of the same features. But here are some of the strongest points for Thinkific:



    • Solid LMS with different options to deliver content, coaching, and courses--primarily in an asynchronous format.

    • Easy and intuitive drag-and-drop course builder.

    • Integrated quiz tools, feedback surveys, and more evaluation options that Thinkific.

    • An "app store" with over 80 useful integrations.

    • More course website options than Teachable with themes, multi-pages, and custom domains. Lots of options for branding control.


    Thinkific also has a free plan which is great for those just getting started and testing their market.





    Thinkific - styles



    Weaknesses



    • Limited features on free version

    • Limited analytics

    • Any live teaching requires a Zoom integration (and is available on Pro only)





    Thinkific- Course Builder



    Teachable


    Teachable course image


    Teachable was an early online course platform. As a result, they have a really good asynchronous course platform (for prerecorded courses), but the platform hasn't evolved much.


    With Teachable, you can:



    • Create and edit courses and lessons with "power editor" software for video lectures and coaching sessions and dripping content.

    • Drag-and-drop course pages to get the look you want with unlimited access to video bandwidth, students, and the number of courses you can offer.

    • Use quizzes and create certificates.


    teachable - mix yoga


    Weaknesses



    • Only pre-recorded content

    • Best customization options require Business Plan

    • Reported downtime


    Which is best?


    Judging by the features and customization of the course platform, Thinkific is probably the better option. It has slightly more in terms of course delivery tools, more options for landing pages and integrated websites.


    But, unfortunately, both platforms are missing real options for cohort courses (AKA live courses). We've seen the creator economy take a real shift towards live teaching, and neither have really developed their live tools.


    But again, of the two, Thinkific at least gives you a simpler Zoom integration that can be used for live teaching, even if it's not native livestreaming.


    Thinkific Zoom integration


    Monetization & business operations


    Chances are, you're looking for more than just a LMS. You want to start an online course business. You want to be able to add a price to an online course and earn.


    Here's what each of these two offers for a robust course business:


    Thinkific


    Thinkific - styles


    Here are some of the features Thinkific offers for building a course-based business.



    • Integrated e-commerce business tools like sales, coupons, an affiliate program, and running email marketing.

    • Sell memberships for repeat business or bundles or one-time access--Thinkific will automatically collect relevant taxes.

    • Add coupons and discounts--including for reengagement--and create special offers.

    • Appoint unlimited admin to help scale your online business.

    • Basic in-course analytic information to see how your members are doing and you can integrate with Google Analytics.


    Weaknesses



    • Not able to charge in multiple currencies at a time. You can set your home currency, but if you’re selling in markets around the world you still need to use a fixed currency.

    • Limited native analytics.

    • Thinkific's built-in email software is really basic--almost unusable for any serious marketing.


    Thinkific Email


    Teachable


    Here are some of the tools Teachable gives you to run your course business.



    • Sell different subscription models including bundles and memberships.

    • Teachable will automatically collect the taxes on your purchase based on the student’s location.

    • Good business tools for selling courses, upsells and downsells, and building an affiliate program.

    • Some useful native analytics and integrations with Google Analytics.


    Weaknesses:



    • Live chat support only with Pro & Business plans

    • The email feature is still quite basic.

    • $1 + 10% transaction fee on “free” plan, 5% on basic plans. These costs add up.


    Which is best?


    Honsetly, the differences here are pretty minor. Teachable's integrated email is slightly better (but still not great). Thinkific has slightly better e-commerce features.


    Neither is a clear winner.


    Engagement features


    Lack of engagement becomes a pain point for course creators, as asynchronous courses suffer from high drop-off rates and discouraged students.


    If only a handful of your students finish, have you succeeded as a course creator?


    The answer is to build engagement into the course. Think about things like:



    • Livestreaming

    • Online communities

    • Course discussions

    • Course events


    Adding some of these features can increase revenue (through membership fees), and you can experience the value of the network effect, which helps keep your members motivated and accountable.


    Here’s how these two options rank for their engagement features:


    Thinkific


    Thinkific - community


    When it comes to engagement features, Thinkific has been genuinely working to add in options.


    Here's what this looks like:



    • An online community feature that’s basically a forum.

    • The community can be added to an existing course, and members can post, like, and comment on others’ posts.

    • You can organize conversations, and members can subscribe or unsubscribe to topics that interest them.

    • The community lives in Thinkific, which is great – there’s no need to add a third-party app.





    Thinkific Course



    Weaknesses



    • Thinkific’s community engine is really basic… It doesn't compete with a modern community platform.

    • It’s just a question and response forum that doesn’t even have the power of a Facebook group.

    • It's missing key features like native livestreaming, live events, etc. (Some can be accomplished with the Zoom integration.)


    Teachable


    Native community is where Teachable falls short from its competitors. And instead of adding one, one of the Teachable founders decided to start a new community company, Circle.so. While Circle is a fairly good community platform and can be integrated with Teachable, having to juggle and pay for two different platforms creates a more complicated UX for your members, and it means you’re paying twice to get a feature that other platforms build in.


    Weaknesses



    • No real native engagement features.


    Which is best?


    There's no question, Thinkific is the better choice for engagement features. But even still, it's missing really robust community features.


    Apps & Access


    Many people want to interact with content and communities on the go. Whether it’s on their phone, tablet, or computer, having your course available in many places is incredibly valuable.


    Thinkific


    Thinkific app


    Thinkific has mobile apps for every device, which is great. However, they are plagues by glitches and complaints (2.1 stars on the App Store & 2.6 stars on the Google Play Store).


    Teachable


    While Teachable does have an app, it isn’t designed to be used as a primary option for members to interact with your online course.


    On top of that, it’s only available on iOS which prevents 70% of mobile users from accessing your course.


    Thinkific vs. Teachable: Which is the winner?


    So is Thinkific better than Teachable? The two platforms are offering you very similar experiences for building online courses.


    If you’re only comparing Thinkific vs. Teachable then it will largely depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish with online courses.


    Thinkific is probably best for course creators that want maximum design customization and some engagement features. Teachable is probably best for those who want a “create it and leave it” course with a slighty better built-in email.


    But for some of the other things we talked about above, both platforms are missing key features. Thinkific has a very basic course platform, but it’s an afterthought–hardly a home for a thriving community. Teachable doesn’t even have one.


    Want a better option?





    So what if you could get a robust, immersive course experience and pair it with the community option that G2 ranked best in the business? And what if that course came with a beautiful app built-in, no matter what device you have?


    That, my friend, is why you need a better option.


    Mighty - Live Cohort Courses


    Mighty combines everything you need for live teaching and asynchronous learning--easily stepping between the two with a world-class modern community platform.


    MN - Graphics - 2024 - ModernCreator-Join


    Here are just a few of the many awesome features of Mighty's flexible Spaces:



    • An easy-to-use visual course LMS with audio, video, text, PDFs, etc.

    • Unrivaled engagement features, each space can have livestreaming, discussion forums, live events, DM & messaging, and more.

    • Integrated AI features including auto course outlines, auto landing pages, and the “make it better” text editor.

    • Advanced content features like dripping, assessments, and analytics.

    • Courses can be packaged into bundles with things like paid memberships, community access, private groups, coaching, and/or live events.

    • Create polls, quizzes, and surveys.

    • Built-in ConvertKit integration.


    Features Comparison


    Features

    Thinkific

    Thinkific

    Mighty Networks

    Custom Landing Pages

    Icon checked
    Icon checked
    Icon checked

    Multi-Media Course Builder

    Icon checked
    Icon checked
    Icon checked

    Unlimited Courses

    Icon checked
    Icon checked
    Icon checked

    Integrated Community

    Yes (Not on the Free Plan)

    Icon not checked
    Icon checked

    Apps

    Icon not checked

    iOS Only

    Icon checked

    Native Live Streaming

    Icon not checked
    Icon not checked
    Icon checked

    Built in Polls & Questions

    Icon not checked
    Icon not checked
    Icon checked

    Live Events

    Icon checked
    Icon not checked
    Icon checked

    Analytics

    Native Progress Reports + GA Integration

    3rd-Party (Google Analytics Integration)

    Comprehensive Native Analytics + GA Integration


    And on top of all those features, your Mighty Network is available across the web, iOS, and Android which gives your members flexibility for how they interact with each other and your content.


    Try it out for yourself. It’s free to try for 14 days, no credit card required.


    What kind of online course will you build?


    Ready to start building your community?

    Start Your Own Mighty Network Today!No credit card required.

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