Learning Management Systems (LMS), online course solutions, online course platforms, etc. Whatever you prefer calling them, there’s no doubt that Kajabi is one of the best in the industry, with enough features to outshine potential Kajabi alternatives in multiple different ways.
On its website, Kajabi touts itself as the “All-In-One Online Business Platform” for people who are “serious about their online business”. I don’t know about you, but most of the online tutors who’ve tried out Kajabi admit that that much is indisputable.
You see, Kajabi isn’t just about building online courses. It gives you pretty much everything you need to set up, host, and grow your online course business.
On the Kajabi learning management system, you’ll find tools for designing your online course website, creating online courses, organizing online course content, marketing online courses, selling online courses, as well as managing your online students.
So, in short, we could say that Kajabi is a true all-in-one online course platform in every sense of the word.
Over 50,000 online tutors across 120 countries have, so far, used its learning management system to serve more than 61 million students worldwide. That translates to over $1.5 billion in sales, which, admittedly, is no easy feat for a platform that has only been around for a decade or so.
But then again, Kajabi isn’t for everyone. It does have its drawbacks, and if this is you what are the other options out there that will suit your and your business?
Introducing The 5 Best Kajabi Alternatives
While there are many potential alternatives on the market, only a handful can genuinely challenge the legendary Kajabi online course platform. I’m talking about the class of online course solutions that offer not only the basic learning management system tools, but also simplicity, dynamic flexibility, and reasonable pricing.
To identify them, our team conducted all sorts of user tests on a wide range of products. We tried out their course tools, reviewed their performance capabilities, as well as sampled opinions from various seasoned online tutors.
In the end, these five online course platforms were unanimously voted as the best solutions:
- Thinkific: Best For Growing Businesses and Enterprises – Thinkific vs Kajabi
- Teachable: Best For Beginners – Kajabi Vs Teachable
- Ruzuku: Best For Building Online Courses.
- Podia: Best Value.
- LearnDash: Best For WordPress Users.
Here’s everything you need to know about their main online course features, pricing plans, and overall suitability.
The 5 Best Kajabi Alternatives In 2020
The Best For Growing Businesses and Enterprises
Just like Kajabi, Thinkific is an all-in-one learning management system for building and hosting websites, creating online courses, managing online courses, marketing online courses, and selling online courses.
It offers the type of tools you’d need for not only setting up an online course business, but also scaling and growing it with time. Both beginners and large enterprises can comfortably run their e-learning sites on the platform.
And speaking of beginners, Thinkific also happens to be a free Kajabi alternative. It offers beginners a permanently free plan for building and selling online courses, as well as hosting e-learning students.
You even get to set up your own custom-branded website, complete with landing pages, branded course catalogs, and device-optimized pages. What’s more, Thinkific’s free plan allows you to integrate the online course platform with an existing site- and, in particular, it works well with WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, etc.
However, while the free provisions are commendable, Thinkific unleashes its real powers through its premium packages- which start at $39 a month. They essentially give tutors a robust suite of tools for setting up their websites on custom domains, as well as managing and selling an unlimited number of online courses.
Now, as you get started, one of the first things you’ll appreciate about Thinkific is its intuitive approach to design and customization. This comes with a pretty sleek drag-and-drop editor for creating web pages and online courses.
Unfortunately, though, Thinkific is not the best for in-depth customization. Turns out the editor here is best for visually-controlled tweaks and basic CSS/HTML editing. Otherwise, it doesn’t support custom CSS installation.
As for online courses, though, at least Thinkific is flexible enough to run multiple types. You can go ahead and set up free, paid, and time-limited courses, as well as scheduled classes, drip content, communities, and memberships.
Then when you finally go to town on the courses, you can organize your content into systematic chapters and lessons. The platform happens to support all sorts of files- including text, videos, and PDFs. You can even build surveys and quizzes right into your lessons.
And while you’re at it, you’ll notice that videos are particularly responsive on Thinkific, as the files are usually hosted by Wistia.
But, don’t get me wrong. Wistia’s arrangement with Thinkific doesn’t restrict videos from other platforms. You can freely embed stuff from YouTube or Vimeo into your lessons.
Other Thinkific provisions include; marketing integrations, advanced tools for student segmentation, course certificates, student tracking, payment management, and interactive learning environments.
Thinkific Online Course Platform Features
Building Online Courses: Wistia Video hosting, unlimited courses, student surveys, pass/fail quizzes, student discussions, voice-over PowerPoint presentation tools, downloadable content, built-in content creation tools, content importing, and multimedia content hosting.
Managing Online Students: Scheduled groups, self-directed programs, interactive student environment, plus Disqus and other third-party discussion tools.
Site Hosting: 99.99% uptime guarantee, regular site backups, third-party platform integration, 24/7 monitoring, expert customer support, built-in SSL, white-label, custom domains, custom site links, CSS/HTML tweaking, and custom course catalogs.
Thinkific Online Course Platform Pricing
- Free Plan: This package is completely free of charge, and it’s intended to give you a feeling of what’s under the hood.
- Basic Plan: If you intend to start an online tutoring career, the Basic plan offers standard online course building tools. That’ll cost you $49 per month on monthly billing, or $39 per month on annual billing.
- Pro: For $99 per month on monthly billing or $79 per month on annual billing, Pro happens to be the most popular package among Thinkific users. It offers pretty much everything you need to build an independent online course business from the ground up.
- Premier: Going for $499 per month on monthly billing or $399 per month on annual billing, the Premier package is specially developed for enterprise users. It removes all feature restrictions to facilitate unlimited scaling.
Who Should Consider Using Thinkific?
Thinkific should perfectly suit beginners who happen to be on a tight budget, solopreneurs who are trying to build an e-learning brand from the ground up, as well as growing companies that need dynamic tools to scale up their online course operations.
Best For Beginners
Kajabi and Thinkific are easy-to-use alright- but, the online course platform that deserves the simplicity crown is Teachable.
This is yet another reasonably-priced alternative that lets you set up a fully-functional website on a custom domain, and then proceed to build, market, manage, and sell online courses.
For as little as $29 a month, beginners can also host an unlimited number of students, create communities, collaborate with other tutors, plus run various third-party integrations.
And the best thing is, everything here is pleasantly straightforward. Teachable doesn’t have much of a learning curve. Beginners can go ahead and start building their websites and courses right off the bat.
You don’t even have to register your own custom domain. If you’re on a tight budget, you get to build your online courses on a free Teachable domain.
And when it comes to design and customization, Teachable principally relies on an intuitive drag-and-drop builder. You can play around with its element settings to visually tweak the basic layout attributes on your website.
But, customization doesn’t end there. Teachable allows coders to adjust even the smallest details through custom CSS programming.
That won’t be necessary though. You can build your own website from the ground up- complete with custom landing pages and a blog- without any design or coding skills.
And that’s not all. Since Teachable applies the same simplicity principle in its learning management system, you should have an easy time creating, promoting, selling, and distributing an unlimited number of online courses.
The courses themselves are organized into sections and lectures, within which you can build multimedia lessons. Thinkific is capable of hosting and distributing content in the form of text, PDF documents, and images, as well as audio and video streams. Plus, you can set up live webinars and multiple-choice quizzes.
Once everything is up and running, you can promote your online courses through affiliate programs, bundled packages, time-limited offers, discount coupons, and tracking pixels. But, for the best possible outcome, you might want to integrate dedicated marketing apps to help you with all that.
Teachable Online Course Platform Features
Building Online Courses: Course page editor, content importing, unlimited courses, tests engine, survey engine, live events, learning paths, online video content, custom course settings, reuse PPTs, PDFs, videos, built-in authoring tool, assignments engine, synchronous virtual classroom, blended learning, asynchronous self-paced, asynchronous instructor-led, live video webinar, live chat tools, and course discussions.
Selling Online Courses: Custom coupons, refund processing, student and revenue dashboard, payment processing, sales page templates, affiliate marketing, plus multiple advanced pricing options.
Managing Online Students: Student list segmentation, multiple instructor support, feedback collection, self-enrollment, automated enrollment, attendance tracking, certification by curriculum and course, predefined certification templates, multiple grading scales, course history tracking, automated report scheduling, and bulk user actions.
Site Hosting: Integrate existing websites, drag-and-drop site builder, team hierarchies, 2048-bit SSL certificate, instant upgrades, 24/7 server monitoring, and a custom domain.
Teachable Online Course Platform Pricing
- Basic: This Basic plan is particularly ideal for beginners who are thinking of trying their luck in the world of online tutoring. For $39 per month with monthly billing or $29 per month with annual billing, they get the basic tools for creating and selling online courses.
- Pro: For $119 per month with monthly billing or $99 per month with annual billing, the Pro package offers just the right balance of features you need to push your business to the next level. You get to market your online courses, as well as manage the students more dynamically.
- Business: For $299 per month with monthly billing or $249 per month with annual billing, the Business plan unleashes the best of Teachable. That means building, managing, marketing, and selling your online courses without any restrictions.
Who Should Consider Using Teachable?
Teachable is an intuitive online course platform that perfectly suits tutors who prioritize simplicity and cost-effectiveness over advanced capabilities. Both beginners and growing entrepreneurs are bound to have an easy time performing all the basic course management operations with Teachable’s straightforward tools.
Best For Building Online Courses
While Teachable is renowned for its all-around simplicity, Ruzuku happens to provide the most intuitive online course builder. It outshines other products when it comes to creating, organizing, tracking, and distributing online course content.
That’s not all it does though. Ruzuku is more of an all-inclusive learning management system- it supports custom domains, multiple instructors, unlimited students, unlimited courses, unlimited webinars, plus unlimited data.
So, in short, you could say it’s one of the most generous Kajabi alternatives. The only problem is, Ruzuku’s unlimited provisions push its prices beyond the beginner-friendly range. The lowest monthly subscription rate you could possibly pay here is $99.
On the flip side, however, that will give you the best-in-class course management tools. From the moment you log in, you can count on Ruzuku to help you set up and distribute content-rich courses.
The course editor itself accommodates multiple delivery systems. You can create evergreen courses with drip on-demand content, open-access courses with self-directed content, and free courses for promotional purposes.
Then get this- Ruzuku even allows you to schedule calendar-based courses. And once you create one, you can set the platform to send automatic email notifications to your subscribers in due time.
Another thing you’ll notice about the Ruzuku is, its content editor follows a simplistic but dynamic structure. You get to organize your unlimited courses into activities, which normally take the form of videos, PPT documents, PDFs, text, images, and audio.
Additionally, you can introduce discussion forums into the lessons to promote in-course interactions. Students can raise questions, hold debates, and even contribute to the courses by uploading supplementary resources.
Then to top it off, Ruzuku further gives you a host of course assessment capabilities. You could have your students tracking their own progress by marking activities as “complete”, while evaluating themselves through quizzes and polls.
Ruzuku Online Course Platform Features
Building Online Courses: Live (scheduled calendar-based) courses, on-demand (evergreen) courses with drip content, Unlimited audio and video uploads, unlimited courses, polls and quizzes, unlimited webinars, plus multiple instructors.
Selling Online Courses: MailChimp email integration, Integrated payment processing with PayPal and Stripe, subscriptions and payment plans, coupons, direct customer payments, 0% transaction fees, and automatic email notifications.
Managing Online Students: Unlimited students, host video broadcasts, course-wide Q&A and forum, course community, plus students’ social profiles integration. ,
Site Hosting: Daily site backups, multiple admins, custom domain, global content delivery network, dedicated, lightning-fast servers, dedicated account manager, comprehensive support, unlimited video, audio, and data hosting.
Ruzuku Online Course Platform Pricing
- Bootstrapper: For $99 per month when billed monthly or $74.75 per month when billed annually, solopreneurs get to integrate Ruzuku with their existing sites, and subsequently sell an unlimited number of courses without any student volume restrictions.
- Up-and-Comer: For $149 per month when billed monthly or $83.08 per month when billed annually, this package allows solopreneurs to slightly diversify their course offerings. You can choose to sell your content through subscription-based plans.
- University: For $199 per month when billed monthly or $125 per month when billed annually, the University package opens up the Ruzuku online course platform to a custom domain, plus multiple online tutors and site admins. Plus, you get specialized technical support from a dedicated account manager.
Who Should Consider Using Ruzuku As A Kajabi Alternative?
Ruzuku is ideal for tutors who need to hastily get their businesses started. Although the platform comes with limited customization capabilities, it makes course building a breeze. So much so that it only takes a couple of minutes to set up everything.
Best-Value Kajabi Alternative
Podia is another popular online course platform that’s widely recognized as a top Kajabi alternative – and rightfully so- because of its very generous provisions.
You see, Kajabi isn’t just a powerful learning management system. It gives you an unlimited amount of resources for selling your online courses.
In essence, you get to sign up an unlimited number of students, host an unlimited amount of files, upload and sell an unlimited number of products, send an unlimited number of emails, plus conduct an unlimited number of sales transactions.
Ok, I figure that would probably make this online course solution seem costly. But you know what? Turns out Podia offers all these limitless provisions for as low as $39 per month.
And it doesn’t stop there. The unlimited provisions are further accompanied by a website, free site migrations, a built-in live chat tool, email marketing tools, affiliate marketing capabilities, plus a couple of pre-built integrations.
Then when it comes to the practical bit, you’re bound to have an easy time setting up your website, as well as creating and managing the subsequent online courses.
Podia’s website builder, for instance, covers pretty much everything. It intuitively guides you through the process of creating and customizing a complete professional-looking site. You can even set up a systematic sales funnel that comprises blog pages, contact pages, landing pages, sales pages, and checkout pages.
The course editor, on the other hand, is great for simple one-tier structures. And if you choose to purchase Podia’s superior package, you get to sell even monthly and yearly subscription-based memberships.
Podia further allows you to add all types of media files into your lessons. You can upload an unlimited number of document files, as well as videos, audios, and images.
Then when it comes to marketing and promotions, you can bet that Podia will still have your back. It boasts built-in tools for email marketing, affiliate marketing, plus upselling and cross-selling campaigns.
You can, for example, work with affiliate marketers to win over new customers, or perhaps offer repeat buyers discount coupons.
Podia Online Course Platform Features
Building Online Courses: Multimedia course content, digital downloads, pre-launch courses, drip course content, unlimited products, fully customizable, validate products, live events, bundle products, members-only content, plus unlimited membership plans and levels.
Selling Online Courses: Newsletter sending, drip email campaigns, bundle products, coupons, affiliate partners, embeddable “buy” buttons, 1-click upsells, payment plans, sales pages, conversion-optimized checkout, capture emails, segment lists, and create complete sales funnels.
Managing Online Students: Unlimited students, track and analyze student performance, host live events, student messaging, connect your groups, interactive course discussions, and course quizzes.
Web Hosting: Unlimited data hosting, custom URL, unlimited bandwidth, free hosting, free migration, customizable branding, live previews, live customer support, and site builder
Podia Online Course Platform Pricing
- Mover: For $39 per month with monthly billing or $32.50 per month with annual billing, the Mover package will give you all the unlimited provisions to help you launch an online course business on a custom URL.
- Shaker: For $79 per month with monthly billing or $65.83 with annual billing, the Shaker Plan gives you additional sales and marketing features to help you push your online course business to the next level.
Who Should Consider Using Podia?
While Podia is capable of many things, it’s particularly recommended to online tutors who intend to scale their businesses on a budget. For a small fee, they get to take advantage of unrestricted hosting and unlimited course provisions. Additionally, Podia will even migrate your site from Kajabi at no extra charge.
Best For WordPress
If you were thinking of integrating Kajabi with your WordPress site, you might want to consider LearnDash too.
While there are many WordPress learning management system plugins out there, LearnDash is one of the few that offer the entire package. I’m talking about the basic platform features for building and selling online courses, coupled with a couple of supplementary advanced tools that you might find handy while managing everything.
You can, for instance, expect a powerful course builder that runs separately from WordPress’ standard site editors. With its tools, you could set up drip-content courses, bundled courses, subscription-based courses, or perhaps proceed with the traditional membership-based course structure.
And that’s not all. LearnDash even gives you the rare privilege of creating a course marketplace like Udemy. Then once it’s up and running, you could offer your customers special course licenses.
As for the course content, LearnDash happens to support quite a broad range of files. You can go ahead and attach documents, ebooks, audios, videos, Google Docs, etc.
Then as your students progress through their programs, you could gauge them using advanced quizzes and dynamic assignments. These should then be followed up with relevant course certificates and awards.
And while you’re at it, you can count on LearnDash to help you manage everything smoothly. You’ll find group management tools that work hand-in-hand with student user profiles, automatic email notification triggers, and detailed reporting. What’s more, you could even create forums to drive increased student interactions.
Sadly, though, LearnDash is not for everyone. These online course platform features are only reserved for WordPress users.
LearnDash Online Course Platform Features
Building Online Courses: Unlimited courses, unlimited students, drag and drop course builder, create a guided learning path, drip-feed content, dedicated virtual learning environment, multimedia course content, compatible with standard WordPress themes, and capable of running in sync across multiple sites.
Selling Online Courses: Recurring payments and subscriptions support, can sell course licenses in bulk to organizations, sell your courses in bundles, provide multiple course membership levels, course shopping cart, coupon support, affiliate programs, plus one-time purchasing.
Managing Online Students: Dynamic user profiles, automatic email notifications, student certificates based on quiz performance, award points for completing courses, LearnDash Gradebook, course-specific forums, custom messages, question banks, quiz timers, expire content access, indefinite content access, assignment management, detailed reporting, and group management tools.
Online Course Management: Selling and Marketing Online Courses:
LearnDash Online Course Platform Pricing
- Basic: For a one-off fee of $159, the Basic plan gives you the license to run the LearnDash online course platform on one WordPress site. The solution itself comes with all the features, accompanied by technical support for 1 year.
- Plus Package: For a one-off fee of $189, the Plus plan provides enough licenses to roll out the LearnDash learning management system on up to 10 WordPress sites.
- Pro Package: For a one-off fee of $329, LearnDash gives you the right to implement its online course platform on up to 25 WordPress sites.
Who Should Consider Using LearnDash?
Unlike the four Kajabi alternatives we’ve reviewed so far, LearnDash is not an all-inclusive online course platform. More specifically, it won’t give you tools for setting up and hosting an online course website.
Instead, it hands existing WordPress sites supplementary features for establishing and managing online course businesses. Therefore, in short, you can only consider purchasing LearnDash if you intend to sell online courses from your WordPress site.
Why You May Want a Kajabi Alternative
While Kajabi is exceptionally good at automated online course marketing and customer relationship management, the platform is not all good news.
Its sales funnel builder, for instance, is not entirely friendly to beginners.
Although you’re bound to enjoy leveraging its unlimited email sends and omnichannel marketing capabilities, online course tutors are not exactly the type of people you’d expect to figure out the ins and outs of automated sales pipelines. It’ll probably take you some time to learn how to properly customize the whole thing.
And speaking of which, another problem here is Kajabi’s limited customization capabilities when it comes to course assessments. While you can use the platform to set up various course assessments, your gauging options will be limited by the platform’s inflexible tools.
And as if that’s not enough, Kajabi tends to restrict even your online course selling capabilities. It just so happens that Kajabi users can only accept payments via two gateways- PayPal and Stripe.
Well, I must admit that’s not a bad combination. But then again, although each of these two payment gateways boasts a wide global footprint, their transaction fees are unfavorably high in some countries.
However, with that said, the one thing that might eventually push you towards Kajabi’s alternatives is the platform’s pricing.
With subscription plans that start at $149 per month, Kajabi is not exactly the cheapest online course platform. In fact, it’s nowhere close.
The fact of the matter is, there are many low-priced learning management systems out there. For a much cheaper rate, you can purchase a platform with all the essentials for setting up a website; as well as building, managing, marketing, and selling online courses.
And that’s not all. A few notable solutions are even generous enough to provide some of the features at no cost at all. They give you the option of getting started on a free online course platform plan, after which you could progressively scale up the features as your business grows.
Now that’s not something you’d ever find on Kajabi, even on a good day.
Based on the features we’ve identified on the 5 online course platforms, it’s pretty evident that Kajabi is facing stiff competition from all possible directions.
In particular, I’d say that Thinkific is the most outstanding of all. It’s the one online course platform that ultimately gives Kajabi a good run for its money.
Well, the reasons are rather obvious by now. Although Kajabi boasts the best-in-class marketing capabilities, Thinkific outshines it on the value front. The platform has packaged its learning management system features to favorably accommodate all the standard user levels.
When it comes to WordPress, though, I’d go for LearnDash. I particularly like its one-off purchase system, as it translates to huge savings over the long haul.