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Kajabi vs Thinkific: Which is the best choice for creators?

See how Kajabi and Thinkific compare to each other (and to Podia) to help you decide what is the best platform for you.

This table has Podia,Kajabi,Thinkific columns and 10 rows

Quick summary

Podia

Kajabi

Thinkific

Price

Podia isStarts at $39/mo

Kajabi isStarts at $149/mo

Thinkific isStarts at $49/mo

Sell courses, memberships, and webinars

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Sell digital downloads

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is no

Sell one to one coaching

Podia is yes

Kajabi isYes (with workaround)

Thinkific is no

Unlimited products

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Unlimited students

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Free migrations

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is no

Live chat on your storefront/sales page

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is no

Built-in email marketing

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific isYes, but limited

7 day a week live chat support

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is no

Finding the right home for your online business can be challenging, especially with so many platform options and competing information online.

While it’s tempting to just pick whatever platform you stumble on first (or whichever platform offers a “free” plan), we recommend reading through independent reviews, talking with other creators, and reading through articles like this one (which is based on public information, including customer reviews and information from each of the platforms’ websites).

While it may seem a little tedious, investing even just a few minutes of research will help you understand the core differences between the various platforms out there so you can make a confident, informed decision that’s right for you and your business.

Before we dive in, we just want to say that we believe our competitors are great and this is not about tearing anyone down — if anything, it’s about highlighting the best parts of each (and yes, the downsides), so the right creators can get matched with the right platforms.

With that said, let’s dive into our honest review of Kajabi vs Thinkific!

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Kajabi: A quick overview

Kajabi is one of many “all-in-one” platforms for creators who sell online courses, memberships, and coaching.

Kajabi has been around for just over ten years and according to their website, they serve about “40,000+ serious experts, entrepreneurs and influencers around the world.”

On their website, Kajabi emphasizes the “all-in-one” aspect of their platform, while also focusing on key features including their customization templates (for websites, courses, and emails), as well as their robust, built-in analytics feature and marketing automation tools.

Based on their online reviews, Kajabi’s customers often highlight the “all-in-one” aspect with customers saying things like “Kajabi has everything you need all in one place. No more piecing together various platforms to build your business” and “Kajabi sells itself as the one home for your whole business - websites, courses, checkout, membership, landing pages, email. And all those features are pretty decent. Not best in class, but pretty good.”

And even though Kajabai is known as one of the more expensive online course creation platforms out there, one reviewer says, “when you consider that you can run online programs, host your website and blog, have emails, and more, it’s really pretty reasonable.”

Reviewers also like the fact that Kajabi provides a helpful onboarding experience to new users, as one reviewer put it: "They have the ‘onboarding a new customer’ process down. From the training to the welcome video from the founder, they do make you feel like you have made a good choice right from the start.”

Finally, customer reviews also called out the fact that Kajabi is constantly improving their product with people saying things like “They really are making it better all the time” and “I’ve been with them since the launch of the new Kajabi a couple years ago and there has been constant improvement.”

Kajabi is rated 4.3/5 stars on Capterra and 4.4/5 stars on G2.

Who is Kajabi best for?

Within the industry, Kajabi is typically considered the more “premium” option for more advanced course creators who want an all-in-one platform with a focus on analytics and marketing automation.

Because Kajabi is one of the more expensive online course platforms (and there are limitations on products, customers, etc), we believe Kajabi is best for advanced creators who:

  • Have a small number of products
  • Are not constrained by budget or price
  • Are more focused on automation and analytics
  • Are more technically savvy and comfortable with a learning curve
  • Have an established online business and want to scale their success

Kajabi’s key features

We know comparing platforms can be challenging, especially when they seem so similar, so we’ve pulled out the key features of Kajabi below (and Thinkific further down the page) so you can get a clearer sense of what each platform has to offer.

Products

Kajabi supports all kinds of products, from online courses and digital downloads to membership sites, subscriptions, coaching, and more.

As with many online course platforms, there are limits on the number of products you can host/market/sell within each of Kajabi’s plans. For example, the Basic plan ($149/month) has a limit of 3 products while the Pro plan ($399/month) allows for up to 100 products.

Websites/landing pages

With unlimited, dynamic landing pages, you can build your whole website on Kajabi or create as many landing pages as you like.

Templates

Kajabi offers “blueprints” (which are essentially pre-designed themes or templates) so you don’t have to build your product or pages from scratch (though you can if you like). Each template can be customized to fit your aesthetic and content needs.

Payment processing

Kajabi offers a payment gateway that integrates with Stripe and PayPal to make payments quick and seamless. Kajabi also offers instant payouts and does not take any additional transaction fees.

Email marketing tools

Kajabi offers advanced, built-in email marketing tools, including one-time and automated email sequences, email templates, a visual editor (for fast and easy customization), as well as audience segmentation and email analytics.

Pipelines

Kajabi offers ready-to-use “pipelines” (or sales funnels) you can customize and use to automatically capture email addresses, nurture leads, make sales, re-engage customers who abandon during the cart or checkout process, and more.

Analytics

Kajabi offers built-in analytics and reporting so you can easily track your growth across a variety of KPI’s like customers, revenue, churn rate, pageviews, and more. They also offer integrations with a variety of analytics tools including Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and more.

Customer management

Kajabi offers built-in customer management tools to help you organize/segment your contacts, communicate with your customers, automate key interactions, track student progress, and more.

Webinars/events

With “Kajabi Events” you can host webinars, live trainings, virtual conferences, pre-recorded events, and more (ideal for coaches).

Quizzes and surveys

Kajabi calls them “assessments,” but they’re essentially just quiz and survey tools that you can use to engage your students, gauge their progress, or assess how well they understand a lesson.

Chat support

Previously, live chat was only available on Kajabi’s most premium plans, but they now offer live chat support to all of their customers, regardless of which plan they’re on (available Monday-Friday, 6AM-5PM PST).

Kajabi university training

If you have a question, need help, or just want to learn more about a particular topic, check out Kajabi University which has free bootcamps, trainings, and resources.

Kajabi pricing: A quick breakdown

In comparison to all online course platforms, Kajabi is definitely one of the more expensive options, with plans starting at $149/month and going all the way up to nearly $400/month.

That being said, when you compare Kajabi’s plans to Thinkific’s Pro and Premier plans, they are not all that different in terms of pricing (though they do vary in terms of feature restrictions, product limitations, etc — more on that later in this article).

Below is a breakdown of Kajabi’s pricing across their 3 core plans and a high-level overview of what’s included in each:

Basic ($149/month or $1,428/year)Growth ($199/month or $1,788/year)Pro ($399/month or $3,828/year)

3 products

15 products

100 products

3 pipelines

15 pipelines

100 pipelines

Unlimited emails

Unlimited emails

2,000,000 emails

10,000 contacts

25,000 contacts

100,000 contacts

1,000 active members

10,000 active members

20,000 active members

1 website

1 website

3 websites

1 admin user

10 admin users

25 admin users


Chat support

Code editor


Advanced automations



Remove Kajabi branding



Affiliate program


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Thinkific: A quick overview

Like Kajabi, Thinkific also markets itself as an “all-in-one online course platform” that “empowers anyone to quickly create and deliver stunning courses on their own branded site.”

Thinkific has been around for about a decade and according to their website, their platform “makes it easy to share your knowledge, grow your audience, and scale your business” and they serve over 50,000 creators.

On Thinkific’s website, they emphasize the “all-in-one” aspect of their product as well as the "exceptional student experiences” they help their customers deliver with customers saying, “I love how easy and straightforward it is to use! Students have also shared that it is user-friendly” and “I love the simplicity of Thinkific from an administration standpoint and that it’s so user-friendly for those who take my courses. I’ve never once had a participant email me with any issues navigating this platform!”

Based on their recent reviews, customers seem to love the fact that Thinkific is easy to learn and use with customers saying things like “Thinkific was easy to use right from the start,” “I love the simplicity and ease of setting things up in Thinkific,” and “[Thinkific is] easy to use and set up. I am not a tech person and I set up a whole online course in 3 days so it’s pretty cool.”

Thinkific also emphasizes the ease of use and have a whole section on their website dedicated to their customer support with claims such as “we don’t go home until every question has been answered” and “90% of questions answered in less than 5 hours.”

Customers seemed to echo this claim on review sites saying things like “ I appreciate the helpful support from the Thinkific team. They do a great job of answering our many questions, “customer service was outstanding and helpful” and “the Thinkific Helpdesk is genuinely helpful, and their response time is lightning fast.”

Thinkific is rated 4.6/5 on Capterra and 4.7/5 on G2.

Who is Thinkific best for?

While Thinkific claims they are best for “everyone from small businesses, creatives, consultants, coaches, authors, speakers, and trainers to professional associations, larger companies and universities use Thinkific today,” we think their ideal audience is:

  • Creators who are more budget conscious
  • Creators who don’t want to spend a ton of time on design
  • Beginners who want to test the waters with a limited, but free plan
  • Creators who want very customized courses/student experiences
  • Creators who want to get up and running quickly without a steep learning curve
  • Creators who are more focused on the course/student experience vs growing/scaling their businesses

Thinkific’s key features

Just like we covered Kajabi’s key features above, it’s time to shine a spotlight on everything Thinkific has to offer so you can get a clearer sense of which online course platform is best for you.

Course builder

Like many online course platforms, Thinkific offers a drag-and-drop course builder that makes it easy to add content to your course, including video, audio, pdf, text, quizzes, and assignments. Thinkific also has pre-built course templates you can use to get set up faster and more efficiently.

Course website/landing pages

With Thinkific, you can build a site for your course using customizable course landing pages. Thinkific’s course websites includes 3 primary pre-designed themes you can choose from (with 3-4 styles for a total of 12 theme + style combos) and features such as a pre-built instructor, curriculum, key learnings, and course review sections.

Live lessons with Zoom

With Thinkific, you can offer live lessons (individual or group) with Zoom Meetings or Zoom Webinars, directly from within the platform (requires a paid Zoom account).

Integrations with email service providers

While Thinkific does not offer advanced built-in email marketing tools, they do offer native integrations with popular email service providers such as Aweber, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, and ActiveCampaign.

Communities

Create conversations in a supportive environment with Thinkific’s Community feature. Communities live as a dedicated page on your Thinkific site and act like a Facebook group in that students and instructors can converse via written posts and comments.

Assignments

Just like in a real classroom, you can require your students to submit assignments that need to be approved before they can complete your course.

Quizzes

Test your students’ knowledge and recall with multiple choice quizzes at the end of your learning modules.

On-Lesson discussions

Allow your students to create conversation, ask questions, or provide feedback within your course. Discussions can be public or hidden and admins and/or students can be notified when there is activity on discussion threads.

Exams integration

Create highly customizable exams and surveys with a variety of question types including multiple choice, ranking and more (please note that this feature does require a third-party integration and also has limitations on how many responses you can collect).

Student surveys

Collect feedback from your students at the beginning and end of your course or anytime you want specific insight into their experiences.

Course completion certificates

Reward and motivate students with built-in course completion certifications. Thinkific offers a few different templates you can customize and automatically send to students who complete your courses.

Automated student messages

While Thinkific doesn’t offer advanced built-in email marketing tools, they do offer the ability to send customizable messages to students which could be helpful for welcoming new students, progress notifications, and more.

Student course reviews

Capture feedback and testimonials by automatically requesting reviews after students complete your courses.

Student progress tracking

With Thinkific, both you and your students can track progress within the student experience, and within your activity feed as well as in progress reports which include when a student last signed in, quiz and survey results, and video performance metrics.

Deliver self-directed, group, or hybrid courses

Thinkific supports all types of courses, including self-guided courses (where students start and end on their own schedules), group courses, and hybrid courses which may include interactive and self-directed lessons.

Evergreen vs scheduled courses or lessons

Create courses and classes that are always available (evergreen) or courses and classes that have a specific start and end date.

Private or hidden courses

Control who has access to your courses with private or hidden courses, which are only visible to specific students (perfect for when you want to market a course, but don’t want students to enroll yet).

Prerequisite courses or lessons

Require students to complete certain courses, lessons, or assignments before starting a new module or course.

Require video completion

Similar to perquisite courses or lessons, you can require students to watch certain (or all of your) videos before moving on to the next lesson.

Drip courses

Deliver your course content over time with drip courses. Drip courses are perfect for when you want to pre-launch a course (and have an official start date) or whenever you’d like to control how fast or how slowly your students consume your content.

Coupons + promotions

Entice students to buy with evergreen or limited-time only coupon codes that can be applied to your course or subscription offering.

Payment processing + Instant payouts

Like most online course platforms, Thinkific also offers a secure payment gateway for accepting student payments and also offers creators instant payouts.

Integrations with analytics providers

While you can use Thinkific to track student progress, you’ll need to integrate with a third-party analytics tool (like Mixpanel, Google Analytics, etc) to get access to more robust tracking, analytics & reporting.

Affiliates

Make your students your biggest advocates by creating your own affiliate program through Thinkific. An affiliate program is a great way to promote your online course (and hopefully make more sales) without doing the promotion yourself.

Thinkific pricing: A quick breakdown

Thinkific offers 4 plans ranging from $0 (Core plan) all the way up to $499/month (Premier plan), which is actually more expensive than Kajabi’s “Pro” plan, which is their most expensive.

In terms of pricing, the main differences between Thinkific and Kajabi are that Thinkific offers a free plan and two plans that are more affordable than Kajabi’s least expensive plan, making Thinkific the better options for creators who are just getting started or for those who are more budget conscious.

That being said, once you get past Thinkific’s first two plans, their “Pro” and “Premier” plans start to feel more similar to Kajabi, at least in terms of price.

They both have similar limitations on features and number of products, admin users, etc, but it is important to know that in general, you will get more features/functionality with Kajabi (i.e. - more customization, better reporting/analytics, advanced email marketing tools, etc) than with Thinkific.

Core (Free plan)Basic ($49/mo or $468/year)Pro ($99/mo or $948/year)Premier ($499/mo or $4,788/year)

3 courses

Everything in Core plus:

Everything in Basic plus:

Everything in Pro plus:

Quizzes & surveys

Unlimited courses

2 site admin accounts

5 site admin accounts

Content hosting (video, audie, PDF)

Access Thinkific App Store

5 course admin/authors

50 course admins/authors


Drip (scheduled) content

Remove Thinkific branding

15 group analytics


Completion certificates

Custom code (HTML/CSS) editor

API access


Assignments

Group/cohort selling

Onboarding package


Live lessons

Private and hidden courses



Communities

Bulk import



Coupons




Affiliate reporting




Manual import



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Kajabi vs Thinkific pros and cons

Now that you know the basic elements of Kajabi vs Thinkific, let’s breakdown the pros and cons of each.

Above we covered the basics of Kajabi vs Thinkific, from how they present themselves online and what their customers think about them, to their key features, plans, and pricing.

In this section, we dive deeper into the pros and cons of both platforms, giving you more insights to consider during your decision-making process.

Kajabi Pros

There’s a lot to love about Kajabi, from the robust feature set to advanced customization and analytics features, however, there are a few specific pros about Kajabi that may be important to keep in mind comparing it to Thinkific or other all-in-one course platforms.

Built-in email marketing tools (even on the “Basic” plan)

Unlike Thinkific, Kajabi offers advanced, built-in email marketing tools with one-off emails or complex drip sequences, advanced segmentation capabilities, robust email analytics, and more (they even include email marketing on their “Basic” plan, which Thinkific does not).

While you can send student messages in Thinkific, you’d need to use one of their email integrations with ConvertKit, MailChimp, and others to leverage more advanced email marketing strategies.

Built-in pipelines/sales funnels

Unlike Thinkific, Kajabi offers a robust “Pipelines” feature which includes ready-to-use funnels that you can use to automatically capture email addresses, nurture leads, make sales, re-engage customers who abandon during the cart or checkout process, and more.

Built-in membership tools

While Thinkific allows you to create a membership site, it’s not a “native” feature and does require a couple of workarounds within the product (i.e. - creating a bundle, setting up recurring payments with Stripe, creating a community, etc).

Kajabi, on the other hand, offers a built-in Membership feature which allows you to instantly create a polished, professional membership site in one click.

More design/customization options

While Thinkific offers some “expertly designed templates” for both courses and sales pages, Kajabi offers more of them with more customization options.

That being said, both Kajabi and Thinkific offer advanced customization options (access to code editor for customizing HTML/CSS), which means you have the ability to get granular with your design if you so choose (for access to the code editor, you’d have to pay at least $199/month with Kajabi and $99/month with Thinkific, plus the cost of a designer/developer, if needed).

More robust reporting + analytics

While Thinkific offers some reporting, it’s focused more on tracking student engagement, though it does provide some light analytics around sales, revenue, etc.

Kajabi, on the other hand, offers much more advanced reporting and analytics covering all ends of your business, from page views and site traffic to student progress, revenue, and more. That being said, Thinkific does offer integrations with analytics tools such as Mixpanel, Google Analytics, etc.

Built-in blog

While you can use Thinkific to create a site for your course, you won’t be able to add a blog, which is something you can absolutely do with Kajabi.

Live chat support (5 days/week)

While Thinkific offers phone and email support, they do not offer live chat support (compare to Kajabi which offers live chat support (5 days/week) on all of their plans).

14-day free trial

Like many all-in-one online course platforms, Kajabi offers a 14-day free trial, but it does require a credit card to get started (compare to Thinkific which offers a free plan).

Zero transaction fees

Like Thinkific, Kajabi does not charge transaction fees, which allows creators to keep more of what they earn.

Kajabi Cons

No all-in-one course platform is without its drawbacks and Kajabi is no exception. Below we cover some of the potential cons of Kajabi to keep in mind when comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific.

Expensive

With Kajabi, you’re getting a robust, all-in-one platform for building, marketing, and selling your digital products, but it comes with a hefty price tag. Kajabi’s “least expensive” plan is $149/month and goes all the way up to $399/month (though it’s important to know that Thinkific’s pricing structure is not all that different).

No free plan

While Thinkfic offers a free plan Kajabi only offers a 14-day free trial that requires a credit card, which is not ideal for budget-conscious creators or those who are just getting started.

More focused on the “business” side vs the student experience

While Thinkific is laser-focused on helping creators deliver an exceptional education experience, Kajabi is more focused on providing creators with the tools they need to turn their knowledge into a thriving business.

That’s not to say that Kajabi doesn’t offer a high-quality student experience, but it just doesn’t offer the same level of customization for courses/the student experience as Thinkific does (and vice versa, Thinkific is lacking when it comes to the sales/marketing/analytics side of things).

No built-in course completion certificates

Unlike Thinkific (which offers native course completion certificates that can be customized and automatically delivered to students when they complete a course), Kajabi does not offer built-in course completion certificates (you’d have to use a third-party tool like Canva to create them then set up automated emails to deliver them upon course completion).

Limits on just about everything

Kajabi’s plans have restrictions on just about everything, from the number of products you can sell to the number of pipelines, emails, contacts, admin seats, and more. That being said, Thinkific’s plans also have limits around things like admin seats, and access to specific features, so they’re not all that different in that respect.

May be too complicated for certain creators

While Kajabi offers a ton of amazing features, learning how to use each one (and how they work together) can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting started and aren’t as tech-savvy (Thinkific, on the other hand, seems to have less of a learning curve, with customers lauding their simplicity and ease of use).

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Thinkific pros

Like Kajabi, Thinkific also has a lot of pros that may be important to consider when comparing Kajabi vs Thinkific. Let’s get into the pros first to see how they stack up against Kajabi.

Offers a free plan

While Kajabi does offer a 14-day free trial, it requires a credit card and once the trial is over, the plans are quite expensive. Thinkific, on the other hand, offers a free plan and a “Basic” plan ($49/month) which are much more accessible to new creators or creators who are more budget conscious.

Unlimited courses, students, and video/content hosting on all paid plans

Like Kajabi, Thinkific allows creators to have an unlimited number of students and unlimited video and content hosting for all courses (or other products) you create. However, unlike Kajabi, Thinkific allows creators to sell an unlimited number of courses (Kajabi has limits on every plan).

Focused on educators and the student experience

While Kajabi is laser-focused on providing creators with the tools they need to build, market, and sell their products, Thinkific is laser-focused on providing creators with the tools they need to build and deliver exceptional education experiences for their students.

Of course, there is overlap, but if the student experience is very important to you (and you want to customize a lot about it), Thinkific is going to be the better choice.

Large suite of student engagement tools

If interacting with students and keeping them engaged is important to you, you’ll love the large suite of student engagement tools Thinkific has to offer, including discussions, assignments, student course reviews, quizzes, surveys, automated student messages, and more. Kajabi offers some of these features, but not all.

Ability to customize course content

While Kajabi also offers the ability to customize your course content, Thinkific seems to offer the most options, from the type of course and the lessons you offer (self-directed, group, hybrid, evergreen, scheduled, etc) to controlling visibility (private vs hidden courses), having prerequisite lessons or courses, adding quizzes, surveys, and assessments into the content, video course compliance features, and more.

No transaction fees

Like Kajabi, Thinkific also does not charge transaction fees, which means creators get to keep more of what they earn without being dinged by hefty fees.

Advanced CSS/HTML editing available

Like Kajabi, Thinkific offers advanced customization options for creators on their “Pro” plan ($99/month), however, on Kajabi, you have to upgrade to their most expensive plan (Pro plan, $399/month) to get access.

Affiliate features available on Basic plan

With Thinkific’s Basic plan ($49/month), you can have your own affiliate program complete with affiliate reporting. To get those same features on Kajabi, you’d have to upgrade to their Growth plan ($199/month) which is significantly more expensive.

Phone + email support

Like Kajabi, Thinkific also offers email support, but unlike Kajabi, Thinkific also offers phone support which may be a big plus for certain creators. That being said, Kajabi does offer live chat support 5 days a week while Thinkific does not offer live chat support at all.

More third-party integrations

While both Kajabi and Thinkific offer many third-party integrations, Thinkific has their own “app store” with similar integrations as Kajabi offers, plus unique integrations with Sumo, Mixpanel, CartStack, and Shopify (which are not available on Kajabi).

Intuitive and easy to use

After reading through hundreds of public reviews, it’s clear that the majority of Thinkific’s customers love that the platform is intuitive and easy to use.

This lack of a learning curve makes it an ideal option for newer creators or those who just want to get set up and running quickly and without delay (compare to Kajabi which may be more time-consuming and difficult to learn for certain creators).

Thinkific cons

Just like Kajabi, Thinkific has drawbacks that may be important to consider when comparing the two all-in-one online course platforms. Keep in mind, some of the cons listed below may not be an issue for some creators, but may be deal-breakers for others. It’s up to you to decide!

Primarily for courses, not memberships, digital downloads, or webinars

While one of Thinkific’s pros is being laser-focused on courses, that is also a downside in that they don’t offer the same level of quality or support for other digital products, including memberships and digital downloads.

Thinkific does not allow you to sell digital downloads directly and to sell a membership, you have to leverage several “workarounds” to create it, as it’s not a native feature the same way it is on Kajabi.

Free plan has major limitations

While having access to a free plan is awesome (especially for new creators), it’s not going to give you everything you need to build, market, and sell your courses.

For example, the free plan only allows you to host one course and does not include key features like email integrations, analytics integrations, a custom domain, drip content, or most of the other things you’d need to scale and grow.

Think of the free plan more as a “free sample,” which is great for testing out the product, but not great if you’re trying to build a successful, thriving business.

“Email marketing” is very basic (no robust functionality)

While Thinkific offers email marketing integrations with Aweber, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, and ActiveCampaign, the email tools they offer are very basic and do not allow you to send complex drip sequences nor do they offer robust analytics or segmentation (like Kajabi does).

If email is a big component of your business (and for many creators, it is), you’ll have to use one of their third-party email integrations and pay for the software in addition to your Thinkific monthly subscription.

No built-in pipelines/sales funnels

Similar to above, Thinkific does not offer built-in pipelines/funnels, which means no “ready-to-use” templates for capturing email addresses, nurturing leads, re-engaging customers, and more.

No ability to add a blog to your course website

Using Thinkific, you can create a website for your course with as many pages as you like, but one thing you cannot add to your site is a blog, which is an important component for SEO, organic discoverability, lead capture, showcasing authority, and more (compare to Kajabi which does allow you to add a blog to your website).

Limited reporting + analytics

While Thinkific does offer student progress reports (tracking metrics such as log in dates/times, course completion status, video views, and more), it does not offer advanced analytics for your site, email marketing, sales, etc.

That being said, Thinkific does offer integrations with analytics tools like Google Analytics and Mixpanel, but it does not offer the robust tracking or analytics available within Kajabi.

No live chat support

While Thinkific does offer email and phone support (which are very important to some creators), the platform does not offer live chat support (compare to Kajabi which offers live chat and email support 5 days a week, but no phone support).

No VAT processing

Thinkific markets itself as a “tax inclusive platform” which means “taxes are included in all of the prices,” however, they do not offer built-in VAT processing.

If you serve a lot of European based customers, you’ll need to use one of their workarounds, such as incorporating tax into the price (which isn’t ideal if you serve customers from a variety of locations) or integrating with Quaderno to help you calculate tax at different rates.

Dated aesthetics + UI

When reading through recent customer reviews, a good number of Thinkific customers complained that the Thinkific UI is not as modern and sleek as they’d like with reviewers saying things like “I find the surface a little outdated and for me it’s complicated to find my way through to set everything up” and “the design/interface of the course pages is not very modern when compared to other alternatives” and others calling the platform “clunky to work with” and “confusing to navigate.”

That being said, there were plenty of reviewers who did not mention that at all (or said the opposite), so take this “con” with a grain of salt.

Limits on design options/customization

Similar to the note above, some reviewers love the design and customization options Thinkific has to offer, while others complained of the limitations and that things like landing pages were difficult to build.

For example, one 2021 reviewer said “needs more functionality for the landing page. Not as easy to build. Limited features for adding text and images” and another said “Although you can build your landing pages, the level of customization is limited to only a few options.”

As mentioned above, there were plenty of reviews that did not mention this issue (or said the opposite), so take this “con” with a grain of salt.

Issues with “Discussions” feature

A few reviewers also called out issues with the “Discussions” feature within Thinkific, noting that “it doesn’t have an easy-to-use built-in discussion area” and that the “discussion forum definitely needs some work.” This review from 2021 said the Discussions feature was her “biggest disappointment” because the “functionality is really lacking.”

Again, this was only a handful of reviews, but may be important to consider if student discussions are particularly important to you.

Not “cheap” (especially in comparison to Kajabi)

While it’s true that Thinkific does offer a free plan and a Basic plan at just $49/month, both plans are very limited, which means if you really want to scale your business, you’re going to have to upgrade to one of the more expensive plans.

When you compare Thinkific’s plans to Kajabi’s (see below), they’re actually quite similar in terms of price, feature limitations, restrictions, etc.

PlanKajabiThinkific

Free plan

Not available

Core — $0/month

  • 3 courses
  • Quizzes & surveys
  • Content hosting (video, audio, PDF)

Plan 1

Basic — $149/month

  • 3 products
  • 3 pipelines (automations built around specific products)
  • Unlimited emails
  • 10,000 contacts
  • 1,000 active members
  • 1 website
  • 1 admin user

Basic — $49/month
Everything in Core plus:

  • Unlimited courses
  • Access Thinkific App Store
  • Drip (scheduled) Content
  • Completion Certificates
  • Assignments
  • Live Lessons
  • Communities
  • Custom domain
  • Coupons
  • Affiliate reporting
  • Manual import

Plan 2

Growth — $199/month
Everything in Basic, plus:

  • 15 products
  • 15 pipelines
  • Unlimited emails
  • 25,000 contacts
  • 10,000 active members
  • 1 website
  • 10 admin users
  • 24/7 chat support
  • Advanced automations
  • Remove Kajabi branding
  • Affiliate program

Pro — $99/month
Everything in Basic, plus:

  • Unlimited courses
  • Up to 2 site admin accounts
  • Up to 5 course admin/authors
  • Remove Thinkific branding
  • Custom code (HTML/CSS) editor
  • Group/cohort selling
  • Private & hidden courses
  • Bulk import

Plan 3

Pro — $399/month
Everything in Growth, plus:

  • 100 products
  • 100 pipelines
  • 2,000,000 emails
  • 100,000 contacts
  • 20,000 active members
  • 3 websites
  • 25 admin users
  • Code editor

Premier — $499/month
Everything in Pro, plus:

  • Unlimited courses
  • Up to 5 site admin accounts
  • Up to 15 group analytics
  • Up to 50 course admins/authors
  • API access
  • Onboarding package

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A third online course platform for comparison: Podia

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, we are here to provide an honest and straightforward review of some of our our top competitors, as well as our own platform (yes, even the downsides) to help you make the right decision for you and your business.

While it’s true that we have more insight into our own product than we do for Kajabi or Thinkific, we’ll do our best to put our biases aside and just focus on what we know to be true about our product and what people say about it in independent reviews.

Podia: A quick overview

Like Kajabi and Thinkific, Podia is also an all-in-one online course platform that gives creators everything they need to sell courses, webinars, downloads, and memberships.

Podia was founded in 2014 and the platform serves “50,000+ creators,” which is similar to both Thinkific and Kajabi in terms of audience size.

Like Kajabi, Podia also emphasizes the “all-in-one” aspect of the platform (and relieving the hassle of the “duct tape solution”) while emphasizing the fact that you can sell any kind of digital product on the platform, including online courses, webinars, memberships, and digital downloads (it’s worth noting that Thinkific is much more focused on online courses vs all types of digital products, which is one of Podia’s main selling points).

The Podia site also highlights their marketing tools, including our site builder (which allows you to build beautiful, modern, mobile-friendly websites or landing pages), their email marketing tools, live chat widget (a feature that’s totally unique to Podia), and their affiliate marketing feature.

Podia is also very focused on customer support, offering live chat and email support 7 days a week, as well as weekly demos and daily Q&A’s (Kajabi offers live chat and email support 5 days per week and Thinkific offers email and phone support 5 days a week from 9-5PM PST).

In terms of reviews, Podia’s customers tend to focus on the simple, intuitive design with customers saying things like “PODIA hands down is SIMPLE to use. No muss, no fuss, SIMPLE” and “I can say so many good things about Podia. It has helped me build my business with so much ease. I love how simple it is to build a course.”

One person also loves how the simplicity saves him time: “In using Podia for these past few days, I’m seeing how the simplicity can help me take more action faster & get more value to my people without getting hung up in the tech.”

Customers also seem to love the lack of limits on everything from products and customers to pages and emails, saying things like “looove the fact that you get unlimited everything, so no more tiers to squeeze through” and “I like the fact that Podia gives its users unlimited hosting of video content through one of the premium video platforms: Wistia. This means that you can upload all kinds of videos, as well as PDF and other types of learning materials, without having to worry about potentially ‘running out of storage’.”

Finally, Podia customers seem to love Podia’s stellar customer service, saying things like “The customer service is absolutely amazing!” and “they have exceptional chat customer service. If you have any problem, you can just ask them and they answer really fast.”

The free migration service is also a helpful bonus for those switching platforms and is mentioned throughout the reviews (“the team were able to migrate me in less than 24 hours and the support is so personal and caring”).

While very close, it’s also worth noting that Podia is rated 4.8/5 stars on Capterra, while Kajabi is rated 4.3/5 stars and Thinkific is rated 4.6/5 stars on Capterra.

Who is Podia best for?

At its core, Podia is for creators who are looking for a simple, intuitive, and affordable all-in-one platform that supports all types of digital products while providing seamless content delivery. It’s also ideal for creators who want the flexibility to grow their businesses without limitations and to get the helpful and responsive support they need to succeed.

In a nutshell, we believe Podia is best for creators who:

  • Want a simple, intuitive, and affordable all-in-one course platform
  • Sell (or plan to sell) online courses, webinars, memberships, and/or digital downloads
  • Want to offer live chat on their own storefront(s) and sales pages
  • Want fast, helpful, and friendly customer support 7 days a week
  • Don’t want limits on anything
  • Don’t want to pay transaction fees

Podia’s key features

While there’s a lot of love about Podia, below are the key features that are highlighted prominently on the Podia Features page and throughout the site, as well as what was mentioned most frequently in public reviews.

Online courses

Podia offers creators a simple and intuitive course builder that makes course creation easy. With Podia, you can build beautiful and modern standalone courses, drip courses, bundled courses, and more. You can even pre-sell courses, allowing you to validate ideas and earn sales before putting in any work.

Digital downloads

Podia supports every type of digital download you can imagine, for eBooks and PDFs to templates, music, audio, video, and more. Sell downloads on their own, use them as lead magnets to capture emails, or bundle them together with others products.

Webinars with live or pre-recorded videos

Host live or pre-recorded video sessions with unlimited participants by connecting your YouTube Live (all plans) or Zoom accounts, and your audience will be able to register - and pay - for access through your Podia site.

Membership sites

With Podia, you can create as many membership plans - for as many members - as you want, with each featuring different perks, content, and prices.

Membership sites include public and members-only posts, free trials for potential members, product bundling with your memberships, recurring subscriptions for members, and integrations with Facebook, Slack, or Palapa (only available on “Shaker” and “Earthquaker” plans).

Coaching

Run your coaching business directly from Podia! Sell one-to-one coaching sessions with built-in scheduling integrations with many popular platforms, including Calendly, Acuity, YouCanBookMe, and Savvycal (available on “Shaker” and “Earthquaker” plans).

You can also integrate coaching directly into your courses, which is especially helpful for student satisfaction and course completion rates.

Affiliate programs for your customers

Turn your fans into sales reps by launching your own affiliate program. Within your affiliate program, you can set custom commission terms, invite affiliates, and reward them for helping you grow your business (only available on “Shaker” and “Earthquaker” plans).

Beautiful, easy-to-build custom website/pages (no coding required)

Using Podia’s site editor, you can quickly and easily build a custom, professional-looking website for your online business (as well as custom landing/sales pages) without design or technical knowledge.

Built-in email marketing tools

Send one-off emails or automated, multi-touch sequences with Podia’s built-in email marketing tools. The built-in marketing tools also include email capture, segmentation capabilities, email analytics, and more. Bonus: Podia is also the only online course platform that gives you complete revenue metrics for every email you send.

Live chat messaging to interact with visitors and customers (exclusive to Podia)

The same way Podia offers live chat support to potential and current Podia customers, you can also offer live chat to your potential and current customers by enabling the “live chat” widget on your website and sales pages. This functionality is unique to Podia and is not available through Thinkific or Kajabi.

Embedded checkout

Sell in more places (and increase your chances of conversion) with Podia’s embedded checkout feature, which features a fast and simple checkout process that’s been tested and optimized for conversion (available on “Shaker” and “Earthquaker” plans).

Automatic VAT calculation for EU customers

If you’re in the EU, Podia will calculate the amount of VAT due from each customer, add the VAT to the customer’s bill, collect that money to your Stripe or PayPal account, and store all the tax data you need to make an accurate VAT return.

Payment plan options

If your customers prefer to pay in installments (vs all upfront), you can allow your students to pay over time with Podia’s simple payment plan options.

Coupons

Entice customers to buy (and make more sales) by creating custom coupons for individual customers, one-time purchase, limited-time deals, and more.

Pre-sell courses

If you have a course idea (or your course is WIP), you can use Podia to pre-sell your course, which means you can promote it, capture email addresses, and even collect payments before putting in any of the work (great for validating ideas, as well).

Bundles

Have similar products you want to sell together? Use Podia’s Bundle feature to sell complementary products together at a discounted rate as a way to increase sales.

Upsells

Increase the size of every order by offering relevant upsells (like additional products or a mix of products and live trainings, webinars, etc) to customers who purchase your digital downloads.

Quizzes

Test your students’ knowledge and ensure concepts are being properly absorbed by incorporating quizzes throughout your online courses.

Drip content

Want your content to arrive at specific intervals? Use Podia’s Drip Content feature to automatically deliver specific content at specific times throughout the customer journey.

Student comments

See student questions, get their feedback, or just start a conversation by allowing customers to “like” and comment directly within your course content.

Course completion certificates

When students complete a course, automatically recognize and reward their effort with a simple yet elegant course completion certificate (only available on “Shaker” and “Earthquaker” plans).

Podia pricing: A quick breakdown

With plans starting at just $39/month (and only going up to $179/month), Podia is considered much more accessible to creators at every level, which is why “good value for the money” tends to be a highlight across public reviews.

Kajabi, on the other hand, is much more expensive (and far more limiting) in comparison to Podia’s plans, even though Podia offers over 90% of the same features as Kajabi (check out the BIG comparison table at the end of the article to see what we mean).

At first glance, it may seem like Thinkific “wins” on pricing because they offer a free plan, but when you realize just how limited that free plan is (i.e. - only supports 3 courses, only certain types of content, and doesn’t give you access to the features you need to grow/scale your business), it’s clear that $39/month for Podia’s “Mover” plan is a much better option.

And speaking of limits, Kajabi has limits on just about everything, and while Thinkific has fewer limits on things like number of courses, students, etc, they have considerable limitations when it comes to email marketing and membership tools, lack of support for digital downloads, and more (compare to Podia which has nearly zero limits on everything across the board, built-in email marketing/membership tools, support for digital downloads, and more).

It’s also worth noting that Podia offers a 14-day free trial for ALL of their plans (no credit card required), which can be just as valuable as a “free” plan if you’re serious about starting or growing your online business.

Below is a high-level breakdown of what’s included in each of Podia’s 3 plans:

Podia pricing table

Now that you know a bit more about Podia, let’s dive further into the pros/cons, so you can compare them to the pros/cons of Kajabi vs Thinkific

It wouldn’t be a fair evaluation of all 3 online course platforms without a review of Podia’s pros and cons. Our honest assessment is below, but we encourage you to check out reviews sites and independent reviews of Podia to form your own conclusions.

Podia Pros

In addition to all of the key features listed above, below are some of the reasons creators love Podia, according to our internal data as well as public data on review sites.

A true “all-in-one” online course platform

Podia supports every type of digital product you can imagine (including online courses, digital downloads, memberships, webinars), plus, the platform offers built-in tools for building your own website/landing pages, capturing leads, sending emails, processing payments, tracking revenue, student progress, and so much more.

Simple, intuitive, and easy to use

There’s a reason Podia is rated so highly for “ease of use” in independent reviews — it’s dead simple. And it was intentionally designed that way, making it a great choice for creators at every level, regardless of their design or technical ability.

Affordable monthly plans

From the outside, it may seem like Thinkific is the most affordable option, given that they have a free plan and their first paid plan starts at $49. But if you’re serious about growing your business, at some point, that free plan isn’t going to work for you anymore, which means you’d have to upgrade to Thinkific’s $99/month plan.

The problem is, that plan has fewer features and more restrictions than Podia’s Mover plan which is just $39/month. Even if you’re OK with paying $49/month for Thinkific’s Basic plan, you may as well go with Podia’s Shaker plan which is close in price ($79/month) and still offers more features and very few restrictions.

Even Kajabi’s notoriously high prices end up being similar to Thinkific’s pricing when you compare them side-by-side like we did in the chart below:

This table has Podia,Kajabi,Thinkific columns and 4 rows

Plan

Podia

Kajabi

Thinkific

Free plan or trial

Podia is14-day free trial (no credit card required)

Kajabi is14-day free trial (credit card required)

Thinkific isFree plan (with limitations)

Paid plan 1

Podia isMover - $39/mo

Kajabi isBasic - $149/mo

Thinkific isBasic - $49/mo

Paid plan 2

Podia isShaker - $79/mo

Kajabi isGrowth - $199/mo

Thinkific isPro - $99/mo

Paid plan 3

Podia isEarthquaker - $179/mo

Kajabi isPro - $399/mo

Thinkific isPremier - $499/mo

Unlimited everything

Podia is nearly unlimited across the board, which means no limits on products, students, sales, hosting, and more.

In contrast, Kajabi has limits on nearly everything and while Thinkific has fewer limits on things like courses, students, etc, they’re also more limited in terms of functionality, especially when it comes to email marketing tools, membership tools, support for digital downloads, and more.

Zero transaction fees on all plans

While this is true for both Kajabi and Thinkific, it’s worth noting that Podia never has — and never will — charge transaction fees. This means creators keep more of what they earn, no matter which plan they’re on.

Live chat + email support 7 days a week

Podia is the only all-in-one course platform that provides live chat and email support 7 days a week, which means there’s always someone there if you have questions or need help. Kajabi and Thinkific both offer support (Kajabi offers email and live chat support, Thinkific offers email and phone support), but they are only available 5 days a week.

Free migrations (with any paid annual plan)

If you’re moving from another online course platform, Podia will migrate all of your content for free if you become a paying customer on one of the annual plans. Neither Kajabi nor Thinkific offer free or paid migrations, which means you have to make the time-consuming (and sometimes confusing) transition on your own.

Built-in live chat on your website/sales pages

Podia is the only all-in-one online course platform that offers a built-in, live chat widget that you can use to communicate with potential customers and paying customers who are logged in to Podia. With live chat on your website and sales pages, you can answer questions and offer tailored content to your leads, enticing them to buy or engage your students, answer questions, get feedback, and more.

Kajabi nor Thinkific offers built-in live chat, which means if you want that feature for your online business, you’ll have to pay an additional fee every month for expensive live chat software.

Podia Cons

As with all online course platforms, Podia also has a few downsides you be aware of when comparing it to other all-in-one online course platforms like Kajabi and Thinkific.

No advanced CSS/HTML customization options

While Thinkific and Kajabi both offer advanced customization options (which means you can access the code editor), Podia does not.

This means Podia is not ideal for creators who have a very specific design aesthetic that requires custom coding and is a much better fit for creators who want a sleek, modern, and professional-looking online business, but don’t want to spend a ton of time or money trying to get it.

No pre-set templates for website, courses, or landing pages

While these are all in the works, Podia does not currently offer a robust set of templates or themes that creators can use to create their websites, landing pages, or courses (compare to Thinkific and Kajabi which offer pre-design templates for courses and websites/pages).

That being said, Podia does offer plenty of easy-to-use design options (including changing colors, fonts, adding a logo and favicon, images, videos, adding sections, etc) that allow creators to build modern, professional-looking websites/landing pages that can be customized to fit your branding or aesthetic.

No phone support

While Thinkific offers email and phone support, Podia and Kajabi do not. That being said, both Kajabi and Podia offer email and live chat support (though it’s worth noting that Podia offers support 7 days a week while Kajabi only offers support 5 days a week).

No free plan

While Thinkific offers a free plan, Podia and Kajabi do not. That being said, both Kajabi and Podia offer a 14-day free trial, which gives creators plenty of time to test out each platform (however, it’s worth noting that Kajabi requires a credit card for their free trial while Podia does not).

Some limitations with email

Like Kajabi, Podia also has email marketing tools built directly into the product, but also like Kajabi, Podia’s email tools are not perfect, especially in comparison to email service providers that are only focused on email (vs Podia or Kajabi which are “all-in-one” tools focused on multiple features).

Both Kajabi and Podia offer very similar email capabilities, including the ability to send one-time emails or automated drip sequence and the ability to segment your audiences, however, Kajabi does offer some email templates and a “visual editor,” which allows you to move design components around (this is not currently available in Podia).

The good news is, if you don’t want to use the native email tools, both Kajabi and Podia offer integrations with popular email service providers like Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drip, and many others.

In comparison, Thinkific does not have an advanced, built-in email marketing system, as you’re really only able to send messages to students (vs leads) and cannot send more complex sequences (or track performance) without integrating with an email service provider like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Aweber, etc.

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How does Podia compare to Kajabi vs Thinkific?

Now that you know more about each of the three course platforms (including key features as well as their pros/cons), we’ll now compare Kajabi vs Thinkific to Podia so you can clearly see the differences between each platform.

Kajabi vs Podia

How do these two platforms stack up against each other? Check out the pro/con highlights below to see which platform might be the better choice for you.

Podia is simpler and easier to use

When you compare Podia vs Kajabi on Capterra, Kajabi has 4.0/5 stars for “ease of use” while Podia is rated 4.6/5 for the same category. It’s close, but Podia edges out Kajabi just slightly and we believe that’s due to the simplicity of the product.

While it is true that many Kajabi customers also find Kajabi easy and intuitive, we’ve also seen reviews (and heard from previous Kajabi customers) that it can be very time-consuming and difficult to learn, even if you have experience and some technical skill.

Podia is more affordable (better value)

As you can see from the chart further down the page (in the section “Let’s compare all 3 across every feature and offering”), Podia offers over 90% of the same features as Kajabi, but Kajabi costs anywhere from double to four times as much as Podia (the range depends on the plan).

Yes, Kajabi offers advanced customization options, more templates, and slightly better analytics (more on that below), but for some creators, that’s not a reason to pay up to 4x what they would pay with Podia for nearly the same features.

That being said, every creator is different and some are absolutely willing to pay more for those few extra options — it just depends on your business, goals, and budget.

This table has Podia,Kajabi columns and 3 rows

Plan

Podia

Kajabi

Plan 1

Podia isMover ($39/mo)

Kajabi isBasic ($149/mo)

Plan 2

Podia isShaker ($79/mo)

Kajabi isGrowth ($199/mo)

Plan 3

Podia isEarthquaker ($179/mo)

Kajabi isPro ($399/mo)

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Podia offers unlimited everything — Kajabi has limits on every plan

While Podia has nearly unlimited everything (including unlimited products, memberships, websites, pages, emails, students, hosting, etc), Kajabi has restrictive limits on just about everything you need to run a successful online business (including number of websites, products, contacts, emails, admin seats, etc).

This is not only restrictive, but can become very expensive as your business grows, as you’ll need to keep upgrading to more expensive plans in order to remove limitations.

Kajabi offers more advanced customization

Kajabi offers advanced customization options on their “Pro” plan, which will allow you access to the code editor so you can edit the HTML/CSS of your Kajabi site. Podia, on the other hand, does not offer advanced customization options at all.

Having access to the code editor is a key selling point for creators who have a specific aesthetic, but only if they can afford the hefty price tag ($399/month) that comes along with it.

And here’s the other thing: Unless you’re design and tech savvy, you still have to pay a designer and/or developer to design and code your Kajabi website for you, which is another added expense on top of the high monthly premium.

For some creators, that’s a price worth paying, but for others, it’s faster and more cost-efficient to use a platform like Podia which combines “just enough” customization options with an insanely easy-to-use website/page builder.

Kajabi offers more templates

It’s no secret that Kajabi offers pre-designed templates for products, websites, and pipelines/funnels, which makes it easy for creators to get up and running quickly.

While Podia does not offer templates for products or pipelines/funnels, Podia does offer basic website/page templates that can be customized (i.e. - changing colors, fonts, adding visuals, videos, logo, favicon, sections, etc) to fit your needs.

Podia also offers a variety of unique, free tools that can help you instantly build core components for your online business, including:

Kajabi has slightly more advanced analytics

As covered above, Kajabi and Podia offer almost exactly the same analytics, but Kajabi offers two analytic options that Podia does not: pageviews and being able to parse the data by a specific timeframe (but again, you can get those metrics by integrating with Google Analytics which is readily available within Podia).

In comparison to Podia, Kajabi’s analytics Dashboard is also a little clearer and easier to follow, but these are all things Podia is working to actively improve in 2021 and beyond. If analytics are extremely important to you, Kajabi may be the better option by a hair, but Podia is not far behind.

Podia offers live chat on storefronts and sales pages — Kajabi does not

Unlike Kajabi or Teachable, Podia is the only online course platform that offers on-page live chat so you can answer questions and close deals with site visitors and converse with customers who are logged in to their Podia accounts.

This feature is exclusive to Podia and it will give you many more opportunities to sell without having to spend additional money every month on expensive live chat software.

Podia offers course completion certificates — Kajabi does not

Like Thinkific, Podia offers built-in course completion certificates, but Kajabi does not (you’d have to use a third-party tool like Canva to create them then set up automated emails to deliver them upon course completion).

Podia offers free migrations — Kajabi does not

For anyone coming from another online course platform, Podia offers free migrations with any paid annual plan.

All you have to do is provide Podia with your login information and the Podia team will handle the rest for you. Kajabi does not offer a migration service of any kind, which means you’ll have to handle the time-consuming transition on your own.

Thinkific vs Podia

Now that you know how Kajabi compares to Podia, let’s compare Thinkific to Podia (including the top pros and cons) so you can clearly see which is the best choice for you and your business.

Podia supports ALL digital products, not just courses

While Thinkific’s marketing site emphasizes “courses and membership sites” once you look under the hood, it becomes clear that Thinkific is really focused on online courses vs Podia, which is focused on all types of digital products, from courses and digital downloads to webinars, coaching, and memberships.

If you’re a creator who sells more than just online courses (or plans to in the future), this is an important differentiator, as Thinkific simply does not offer the features and functionality you need to expand your product offering.

Because Podia supports all types of digital products, you can start with any kind of product then continue to expand your product inventory over time (which is a typical growth trajectory of successful online businesses).

Podia has a built-in membership feature — Thinkific does not

While you can sell a membership site through Thinkific, it’s not a native feature, which means you’ll need to use workarounds (i.e. - creating a bundle, setting up recurring payments with Stripe, creating a community, etc) to sell that kind of product.

Podia, on the other hand, offers a built-in membership feature, which allows you to create as many membership plans - for as many members - as you want, each with different perks, content, and prices. There’s no workaround or extra steps needed.

All memberships include public posts, free trials for your members (and offering monthly or yearly plans), comments and likes, bundling products together with your membership, and even connections between your Facebook, Slack, or Palapa groups.

Podia offers advanced email marketing tools — Thinkific does not

While Thinkific allows you to send messages to your students and gives you the ability to integrate with email service providers like Mailchimp, ConvertKit, and others, Thinkific does not offer advanced, built-in email marketing tools like Podia does.

With Podia’s built-in email marketing tools, you can send one-time emails or more complex drip sequences, segment your list, track performance and more — all without leaving the platform or paying for additional tools.

If you prefer to use your own email service provider, Podia also offers native email integrations with ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Drip, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, and MailerLite.

Thinkific offers more robust course customization

One of the benefits of Thinkific being so laser-focused on online courses is the fact that they offer so many customization options for your course/student experience.

With Thinkific, you can offer different types of courses and lessons (i.e. - self-directed, group, hybrid, evergreen, scheduled, etc), prerequisite lessons or courses, you can require video completion, control the visibility of your courses (public, private, hidden), and more.

While Podia does offer some of the above (such as self-directed, evergreen, dripped, and scheduled courses) Podia does not yet offer prerequisites, multiple course creators or revenue sharing options (though they are all in the works). Creators can, however, use our Zoom integration to organize group lessons as part of the course.

Thinkific has a few more student engagement tools than Podia

Similar to the above, Thinkific also has a slight advantage over Podia when it comes to student engagement tools. With Thinkific, you can include quizzes, assignments, exams (requires integration), student course reviews, surveys, automated check-ins, and more — all of which are great for keeping students engaged.

While Podia does offer some of the above (quizzes, ability to comment/like content within the course, progress indicators, and the ability to set up drip sequences for onboarding, check-ins, etc), Podia does not currently offer assignments, exam integrations, student course reviews, or student surveys.

Thinkific offers a free plan — Podia has a free trial

There’s no denying that Thinkific offers a free plan while Podia does not, however, when you look closely at Thinkific’s free plan, you’ll notice that it’s very limited and does not give you access to the features you need to grow/scale your online business.

For example, Thinkific’s free plan allows you to have 1 course, but you won’t be able to offer things like email marketing, live lessons, drip content, affiliates, and more (you won’t even be able to have a custom domain, which is pretty important for any online business).

Podia doesn’t offer a free plan, but it does offer a 14-day free trial (no credit card required) for ANY of the 3 plan options, giving you a full two weeks to test out the product and to make sure it’s the right choice for you without ever paying a single penny.

Thinkific offers phone support — Podia offers live chat + email support

If phone support is important to you, Thinkific is the ideal choice, as they offer phone and email support 5 days a week. However, if you want high-quality, responsive support every day of the week, Podia is the choice for you, as the platform offers live chat and email support 7 days a week and is known for its industry-leading response times.

Podia offers VAT processing — Thinkific does not

If you’re in the EU, Podia will calculate the amount of VAT due from each customer, add the VAT to the customer’s bill, collect that money to your Stripe or PayPal account, and store all the tax data you need to make an accurate VAT return.

Thinkific, on the other hand, does not offer built-in VAT tax processing, which means you’ll have to use a workaround or a third-party tool to help you.

You cannot have a blog on your Thinkific course website — on Podia, you can

As noted throughout this article, Thinkific will allow you to have a website for your course, but you can’t add a blog, which is crucial for SEO and organic discovery, as well as capturing leads at the top of the funnel, demonstrating authority, and more. In contrast, Podia allows you to have as many websites and pages as you like, all of which come with a built-in blog feature.

Podia offers free migrations — Thinkific does not

Any creator who’s migrated from another online course platform knows how time-consuming and frustrating that process can be, which is why Podia offers a free, white-glove migration service for customers on any paid annual plan. Neither Thinkific nor Kajabi offer this as a paid or free service, which means the entire transition is on your shoulders.

Podia has a built-in message feature between creators and students — Thinkific does not

If you don’t have live chat on your website or sales pages, you could be missing out on potential sales (not to mention engaging with and learning from potential and current customers, helping leads overcome objections, and more).

Knowing how important live chat is to the sales process, Podia offers a built-in live chat feature which allows creators to converse directly with leads and customers who are logged in to their Podia accounts. Neither Thinkific nor Kajabi offer a live chat feature.

Let’s compare all 3 online course platforms (Kajabi vs Thinkific vs Podia) across every feature and offering

Now that we have covered the basics as well as the pros/cons of each platform, here is an all-encompassing chart that will help you quickly and easily compare the 3 options across every feature and offering.

This table has Podia,Kajabi,Thinkific columns and 70 rows

Feature

Podia

Kajabi

Thinkific

Online courses

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Digital downloads

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is no

Memberships/Members-only community

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific isYes, but requires workarounds

Webinars/Events/Live lessons

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Coaching

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is no

Landing pages/Sales pages

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Custom website

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Live chat featured on your storefront/sales pages

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is no

Advanced, built-in email marketing tools

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific isNo, but email integrations are available

Broadcast (one-time) emails

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Automated email sequences

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is no

Email segmentation

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific isYes, but limited

Email analytics

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is no

Native email marketing integrations

Podia isConvertKit, Mailchimp, Drip, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, and MailerLite

Kajabi isAweber, Mailchimp, Drip, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign

Thinkific isAweber, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, and ActiveCampaign

Ability to capture leads

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Built-in affiliate program

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Live chat support

Podia isYes, available on all plans, 7 days per week

Kajabi isYes, available on all plans, 5 days per week

Thinkific is no

Email support

Podia isYes, available on all plans, 7 days per week

Kajabi isYes, available on all plans, 5 days per week

Thinkific isYes, available on all plans, 5 days per week

Phone support

Podia is no

Kajabi is no

Thinkific isYes, 5 days per week

Advanced developer customization/Access to code editor

Podia is no

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Unbranded (whitelabel) website/pages

Podia isYes, on the “Earthquaker” plan

Kajabi isYes, on the “Growth” and “Pro” plan

Thinkific isYes, on the “Pro” plan and above

Instant payouts

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Zero transaction fees

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

VAT tax support

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is no

Unlimited products

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific isYes, on Basic plan and above

Unlimited landing/sales pages

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Unlimited subscribers/contacts

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific isN/A

Unlimited students

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Unlimited website pages

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is no

Unlimited hosting

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Unlimited video hosting/bandwidth

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Unlimited admin users

Podia isNo, each plan has limits

Kajabi isNo, each plan has limits

Thinkific isNo, each plan has limits

Custom domain

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Student management

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Designed course templates

Podia is no

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Course comments/likes

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Coupons/discounts

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Surveys

Podia isYes, with Zapier integration

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Graded quizzes

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Drip course content

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Native analytics reporting

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Native analytics integrations

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Third-party analytics integrations

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Native Zapier integration

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Upsells

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Bundles

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Prerequisite lessons

Podia is no

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Require video completion

Podia is no

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Assignments

Podia is no

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Student progress indicators

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Automated check-ins

Podia is no

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Course completion certificates

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Deliver self-directed, group, and hybrid courses

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Deliver evergreen classes (individual start dates)

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Scheduled classes (cohort based-set start dates)

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Share revenue with partners

Podia is no

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Create private courses

Podia is yes

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is yes

Create hidden courses

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Webhooks

Podia isYes, with Zapier

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Embedded checkout

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Bulk import students

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Bulk import content

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Training and free resources

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Group coaching calls

Podia isYes — available on “Earthquaker” plan

Kajabi isNo — but each plan includes 1 “Customer Success Activation Call”

Thinkific isNo — but the “Premier” plan has a 30-mi onboarding call and 30-min “preparedness review”

Free trial of your courses/memberships (for your students)

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Payment plans

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Pre-sell/Pre-launch products

Podia is yes

Kajabi is yes

Thinkific is yes

Dedicated customer success manager

Podia isYes, on Earthquaker plan

Kajabi is no

Thinkific isYes, on "Plus" plan (for companies)

Free migration service

Podia isYes, on any paid annual plan

Kajabi is no

Thinkific is no

Free trial

Podia isYes — a 14-day free trial is included on all plans (no credit card required)

Kajabi isYes — a 14-day free trial is included on all plans (credit card IS required)

Thinkific isYes — but only on the “Core” plan


TL;DR: Why choose Podia over Kajabi and Teachable as your online course platform?

Whether you read through the entire piece or jumped down to this section, you may still be wondering: Which of these all-in-one online course platforms is the best choice for me?

While we can’t make the decision for you, we recommend reading through public reviews and each section above so you can get a clearer sense of how the platforms compare to each other.

But if you just want a few quick reasons for choosing Podia over Thinkific or Kajabi, check out the list below or simply give Podia a test drive yourself with our 14-day free trial (no credit card required!).

Simple and easy to use, regardless of experience or skill

On Capterra, Podia is rated highest for “ease of use” with a 4.6/5 rating (Thinkific is rated 4.5/5 and Kajabi is rated 4.0/5), making it a great choice for creators of all levels who want a platform that’s simple, intuitive, and easy to use.

With Podia, there’s no technical or design skills required, and if you do happen to have questions, you can always reach Podia’s world-class support team 7 days a week on live chat or email.

Just about everything is unlimited, with NO transaction fees

With Kajabi, just about everything is limited including restrictions on the number of products you can sell, who you can sell to, how many websites you can have, and more. While it’s true that Thinkific has fewer limitations in terms of courses, students, hosting, etc, they are lacking in terms when it comes email marketing, memberships, support for digital downloads, and more.

Podia, on the other hand, has nearly zero limits on everything, which means you can have unlimited students, sales, products, hosting, pages, websites, and more, without worrying about upgrading your account. Podia also offers robust email marketing and memberships tools, as well as support for digital downloads.

All 3 platforms offer zero transaction fees on product sales.

More bang for your buck

As you may have seen from the price comparison chart above, Podia offers the most affordable plans with the most features and least limitations, making it an ideal choice for beginners and advanced creators alike.

With Kajabi, you could pay up to 4x more for over 90% of the same features Podia offers. With Thinkific, you will pay similar prices to Kajabi to get the same (or fewer) features and more restrictions than what you’d get with Podia OR Kajabi.

A true “all-in-one” platform with more built-in tools

While Kajabi is certainly on par with Podia in terms of being an “all-in-one” product, Thinkific is not quite up to snuff when it comes to built-in product and marketing tools.

For example, Podia offers built-in support for all products — courses, digital downloads, memberships, and webinars — while Thinkific is really more focused on courses with some support for membership sites and webinars (but both require workarounds).

Podia also offers robust, built-in email marketing tools complete with broadcast and drip sequences, segmentation, and analytics, whereas Thinkific really only offers “student messaging” that’s framed as “email marketing,” as it doesn’t have the robust functionality you need to go beyond simple “welcome” or “check-in” style messages.

In our opinion, Thinkific is more focused on the course/student experience, which is great, but that alone isn’t going to help you build or scale a thriving business.

5-star live chat + email support 7 days a week

While Kajabi and Thinkific both offer great customer support, it’s only available 5 days a week, which isn’t ideal if you’re working on the weekends (which, let’s be honest, is pretty typical for creators). In contrast, Podia offers live chat and email support 7 days a week, so you always have knowledgeable, friendly assistance whenever you need it.

Live chat included on YOUR website and sales pages

There’s a reason live chat is featured on the websites of the world’s most successful companies — it’s an effective tool that can help you engage your visitors, overcome objections, and make more sales.

Knowing this, Podia has a live chat feature built into the product that you can add to your website and sales pages, so you can offer a more personalized customer experience and close more sales. This feature is exclusive to Podia and is not available through Kajabi, Thinkific, or other “all-in-one” online course platforms.

Free migration included in your paid annual plan

If you’re moving from another platform to Podia, you’ll love Podia’s free migration service which is included in any paid annual plan. Simply provide your login information to the Podia team and they’ll move all of your products, customers, and more to the Podia platform for free.

There’s no headache, frustration, or wasted time — you can just pick right back up where you left off. Neither Thinkific nor Kajabi offers a migration service of any kind, which means you have to make the time-consuming and sometimes frustrating “move” on your own.

Always evolving to accommodate industry trends & customer requests

If you want a platform that’s always open to your feedback and constantly making updates to the product, Podia is the right place for you.

Every month, the team ships updates to existing products while building out new ones to accommodate industry trends and customer requests, ensuring the product is always up-to-date and secure.

Try Podia for free to see how it compares to Kajabi and Thinkific

You could read all of the reviews and comparison articles in the world, but you won’t truly know which platform is right for you until you give them a try.

Try Podia today for FREE to see exactly how it stacks up against Kajabi, Thinkific, and other online course platforms. All Podia plans include a FREE 14-day trial and you don’t need a credit card to get started, so there’s really nothing standing in your way.

While we hope you become a Podia customer, we also want you to select the online course platform that’s right for you and your business, so no matter what you decide, we wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope you find success!

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