See how Podia’s online course platform stacks up against the competition

Compare features, pricing and more

There are lots of online course platforms out there, and choosing one can be overwhelming.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to pick the best platform for you, even if it’s not Podia.

Below is a handy guide to help you compare us to the competition.

Still have questions? Check out our online course platform buyer's guide.

Or, if you're still thinking about whether or not to create a course, read our guide to creating and selling your first online course.

Pricing
Starts at $39/mo
Starts at $129/mo
Starts at $39/mo
Starts at $49/mo
Starts at $159/y
Transaction fees
No
No
Yes, 5%
Yes, 5%
No
“Free” Plan
No
No
Yes, with $1 + 10% transaction fee
Yes, with limited features and 10% transaction fee
No
Free migration
Yes, with Shaker (or annual Mover) plan
No
No
No
No
Payout
Instantly
Instantly
30 day delay
Instantly
Instantly
Video hosting
Yes, unlimited
Yes, unlimited
Yes
Yes, unlimited
No
Sell Memberships
Yes
No
No
No
No
Sell Downloads
Yes
No
No
No
No
Live chat support
Yes
No
No
No
No
Unlimited products
Yes
No, 5 product limit
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unlimited students
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unlimited storage
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
N/A
Unlimited emails
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes

What you should know about the key differences between online course platforms

Sometimes, the differences are obvious (for example, does the platform offer live chat support or not?).

But there are also differences that lurk beneath the surface. For example, there are cases where a “free” plan might cost you more than a paid plan because of its high transaction fees.

The breakdown below can help you compare online course platforms and make the best decision for you.

Pricing

You’ll encounter a variety of pricing plans, and they’re not all created equal.

Pricing ranges from “free” (with transaction fees) to $39/month for Podia’s paid plan, all the way up to $499 month for Thinkific’s top plan.

When considering pricing plans for online teaching platforms, be sure to take into account:

  1. Transaction fees, which range from 0% on Podia to as high as 10% on other platforms (more on that below)
  2. Account limits that require you to pay more for additional file hosting or students (for example, Kajabi will force you to upgrade to a higher plan after you pass 1,000 students).
  3. Included features, as they won’t all be the same. For example, LearnDash doesn’t include video hosting, so you’ll need to find (and pay for) another provider for that.
Pricing
Starts at $39/mo
Starts at $129/mo
Starts at $39/mo
Starts at $49/mo
Starts at $159/y

Transaction fees

Transaction fees are one of the “sneaky” ways that online course platforms can cost you more money than you think.

For example, Teachable’s $29/month plan tacks on a 5% transaction fee, so $500 in sales will cost you an additional $25/month.

Podia charges zero transaction fees.

Transaction fees
No
No
Yes, 5%
Yes, 5%
No

“Free” plan

Free plans can be tempting, but be sure you know all of the hidden costs before you sign up.

You might choose a free plan like Teachable’s to not pay any money upfront, but then you’ll pay $1 plus 10% every time you sell an online course to a student.

So once you’ve sold $400 of online courses (which won’t take you very long to work up to if you follow our guide!), you’ll already be spending $44 per month on online teaching platform fees.

“Free” Plan
No
No
Yes, with $1 + 10% transaction fee
Yes, with limited features and 10% transaction fee
No

Free migration

If you have existing online course content, consider the time it will take you to import all of that content into your new teaching platform.

One unique feature that Podia offers is free migrations for anyone who signs up for annual billing (or our Shaker plan). Depending on how much content you have, this could save you many hours of time.

Free migration
Yes, with Shaker (or annual Mover) plan
No
No
No
No

Payout

Once a student buys your online course, how do you get your money?

Some platforms hold on to your money for up to 30 days before letting you have it.

Because Podia integrates directly with payment gateways like Stripe and PayPal to let you accept payments, you’ll get paid instantly the minute a student purchases from you.

Payout
Instantly
Instantly
30 day delay
Instantly
Instantly

Video hosting

Video files are large and can be very expensive to host. Platforms like LearnDash force you to find your own video host, while other platforms (like Podia) include unlimited video hosting for your online courses.

Payout
Video hosting
Yes, unlimited
Yes
Yes, unlimited
No

Sell Memberships

Once a student completes your course, how do you continue your relationship with them?

Sure, you could keep creating courses month after month.

Or you could offer a membership plan that lets your student pay monthly for exclusive access to new content.

Recurring revenue in the bank for you (without have to launch, launch and re-launch new courses), and ongoing value for your students.

Podia is the only online course platform that also lets you sell membership subscriptions to your audience without needing to buy an additional membership plugin.

Sell Memberships
Yes
No
No
No
No

Sell Downloads

Want to sell something smaller than a course, like an eBook, audio file or PDF template?

Be sure that your online course platform allows you to do this, too, or you’ll need to find (and pay for) an additional tool.

Sell Downloads
Yes
No
No
No
No

Live chat support

When you’re launching an online course, every minute matters.

It’s important to understand what kind of customer service you can expect from your course platform.

Do they offer live chat support 24/7, or do you need to email them to submit a ticket and hope to hear back in the next 24-48 hours?

The answer could end up having a big impact on your business.

Live chat support
Yes
No
No
No
No

Account limits

Your business will grow, and you’ll create more courses, acquire more students, host more files and send more emails.

Will the pricing plan that you choose grow with you?

Or will you be on the hook for a much pricier plan?

Podia’s base plan ($39/month) includes unlimited products, students, storage and emails.

Unlimited products
Yes
No, 5 product limit
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unlimited students
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unlimited storage
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
N/A
Unlimited emails
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes

Prepare your business for growth 📈

Nobody wakes up in the morning and says “I hope my business doesn’t grow.” We all plan to get more successful over time.

So think about what you want the next several years of your business to look like.

Will you continue only offering courses?

Or would you like to expand to other streams of revenue as well, like memberships and digital downloads? If so, make sure your platform lets you sell those, too.

This will let you keep your online business — products, customers, payments and all — in one place, with no need to juggle multiple software tools.

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Unique features we’ve built to make your online courses, memberships, and downloads sell like 🔥

Q&A to answer any questions or concerns you have about whether Podia is the right fit for you 💬