Teachable Review – Based On Actual First-Hand Experience

Before Teachable came along, the likes of Kajabi and Thinkific had already secured a foothold in the online course platform market.

However, the founders of Teachable believed there was a better way of hosting, building, and selling online courses. As such, in 2013 Teachable was born and has since helped over 100,000 instructors sell online courses worth more than $500 million.

Since then, Teachable has grown to become one of the most dominant players in the digital learning management space – alongside Hall-of-Famers like Kajabi, Thinkific, and Udemy.

You’re probably here to learn if Teachable is the right fit for you and if it trumps its competitors. Well, in this Teachable review I reveal all of the pros and cons to help you decide for yourself.

What This Teachable Review Covers

This is not one of those Teachable reviews that mention just the basics. Rather, we’ve taken the time to dive much deeper and critically evaluate even the finest details. What’s more, I’ve used the platform to build and sell various courses to students across the globe.

Therefore, I can assure you that this Teachable review is based on actual first-hand experience. And to be specific, it gives you genuine facts about the platform’s web hosting, site building, course building, course marketing, and course selling features.

As such, you can use the insights to make an informed decision on whether or not to adopt Teachable as your e-learning solution. And while you’re at it, you might also want to compare Teachable vs Thinkific, Teachable vs Kajabi.

Teachable An Overview

teachable

Pros:

  • Teachable offers non-tech-savvy users a basic layout, straightforward functionalities, plus intuitive easy-to-use editors.
  • It comes with a built-in payment gateway called Teachable Payments, which saves you the trouble of integrating third-party solutions.
  • The platform offers built-in blogging capabilities.
  • Teachable accommodates an unlimited amount of course content, an unlimited volume of online courses, and an unlimited number of students.
  • Its course player is particularly optimized for video lessons.
  • You can set up upsell offers on both Thank-You pages and course display pages.
  • Students can conveniently access their lessons while on-the-go through the Teachable mobile app.
  • The platform can be set to automatically generate personalized course completion certificates.
  • You can interact with your students through multi-threaded course discussions/comments.
  • MyTeachable Accounts allows students to use the same Teachable account credentials on different online schooling sites.
  • The Teachable online course platform costs as low as $29 per month.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t offer built-in automated marketing tools. So, you’ll be required to integrate external apps.
  • The Basic plan charges a transaction fee of 5%.
  • Teachable doesn’t offer advanced customization capabilities.
  • The built-in Teachable Payments gateway is only available to 4 regions.
  • Teachable can only capture your students’ basic contact info- just the first name, surname, and email.
  • It’s impossible to categorize your online students into groups.
  • Teachable doesn’t provide tools for building and managing sales pipelines. Instead, you’ll be forced to embed a third-party solution.

Teachable, for starters, is a full-stack online course platform- much like Thinkific, Kajabi, and Podia. It seeks to help tutors and instructors set up complete websites and manage learning systems.

The website offers not only web hosting services but also site-building and customization. That means you get to create your own branded e-learning website on a custom domain.

The learning management system, on the other hand, deals with building online courses, marketing online courses, selling online courses, plus registering and managing your e-learning students.

So, all things considered, you can think of Teachable as an all-inclusive online course platform. You’ll find all the essential tools you need to get your e-learning business started. And in case you might need additional functionalities, Teachable comes with a set of pre-built third-party integrations.

The platform itself starts at $29 per month if you choose to pay yearly, or $39 per month if you proceed with the monthly billing option. Otherwise, you could settle for Teachable’s Pro plan for $99 / $119 per month, or the Business plan for $249 / $299 per month.

Who Should Consider Using Teachable Online Course Platform?

Teachable is fundamentally built to assist online tutors- particularly beginners who are looking to start their e-learning business. Small and growing businesses can adopt the platform too, as it offers unlimited content hosting, unlimited courses, unlimited students, plus multiple admin accounts.

Most importantly, though, Teachable is capable of facilitating even non-coders. Its intuitive drag-and-drop editors are simple enough for general artists, professionals, YouTubers, teachers, authors, and bloggers.

You can use the platform to create and sell technical tutorials, video webinars, online classes, music lessons, membership-based courses, drip content, plus much more.

But, it doesn’t stop there. Teachable further gives freelancers the opportunity to sell their services through their sites. Its coaching feature, for instance, is handy in selling digital services, while the live chat tool is great for holding one-on-one meetings on your website.

So far, Teachable has served tens of thousands of online course creators across multiple fields- including big brands like the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Shopify, The New York Times, Pearson, and Intuit.

Now, with that said, here’s a detailed breakdown of the core features you should expect on the Teachable online course platform…

Teachable Features

1. Ease of use

Considering Teachable focuses its campaigns on beginners, it’s quite satisfying that its user interface is pretty simple and straightforward. Once you register and log in to your account, you’ll be greeted by a dashboard that appears neat- with a minimalistic, clutter-free layout, plus basic, understandable functions.

Web design and course building here doesn’t require any technical skills. Teachable has built its system to facilitate non-tech-savvy tutors and professionals. Designing your stuff is as simple as dragging and dropping elements across a visual canvas and then tweaking the accompanying appearance options.

Once you’re done, you should have an easy time running and managing your online courses from Teachable’s dashboard. You’ll find quick links for communicating with students, issuing refunds, monitoring payouts, tracking analytics, etc.

It’s all pretty basic and seamless.

2. Web Hosting / Website Builder / Web Design

Custom Domain

As a web host, Teachable happens to support custom domains.

But, make no mistake about it. The platform doesn’t offer domain registration services. And so, to bring in a custom domain, you’ll be required to link up with an external domain registrar like GoDaddy, Namecheap, or Bluehost. The choice is yours.

In the meantime, Teachable will give you a free subdomain based on the platform’s URL. You could, for example, proceed with yoursite.teachable.com.

Themes and Custom Branding

Through Teachable’s “Site” menu on the admin dashboard, you can access its “Theme” area, from where you get to choose a theme for your website, as well as customize its branding.

The customization options here are pretty basic but admirably straightforward. You can, for instance, set a custom font, choose a color palette, as well as upload a custom logo.

Drag and Drop Page Builder

The main editor comes in the form of a drag and drop page builder, which I found to be fairly easy to use- even without any technical knowledge.

It only takes a few clicks to add and tweak page elements like image overlays, buttons, text blocks, and images. All these are organized on the layout using what Teachable calls “content blocks”.

And the best thing is, the entire editing process is visual-based. That means you get to view every single change you make in real-time.

Custom Web Pages

Apart from content elements, Teachable allows you to add even custom pages. And get this- you can introduce as many custom pages as you want.

But it doesn’t stop there. The editing tools further give you the privilege of customizing your entire navigation, plus the corresponding page access options.

That means you could, for instance, set up different landing pages for your logged-in and logged-out users.

Built-in Blogging

It’s also possible to add a blog to your online school- all thanks to Teachable’s built-in blogging feature.

Once you enable it, get to create and publish blog posts, format their content, manage comments, as well as tweak URLs as part of your SEO strategy.

This is one of the areas where Teachable outshines rivals like Thinkific. The only other online course platform I’ve seen with built-in blogging capabilities is Kajabi.

Liquid Coding

Although Teachable prioritizes non-tech-savvy users, it doesn’t completely forget about coders. If you know your stuff, you can use Teachable’s Power Editor to customize the templates more extensively. It’ll give you access to the underlying open-source code, which runs on the Liquid programming language.

Unfortunately, though, this editing feature is not available to everyone. Advanced developer customization on Teachable is reserved for only Business plan users.

3. Online Course Creation / Course Builder

Online Course Editor

When it comes to building online courses, Teachable’s course editor can be accessed directly from the dashboard. Just go to the “Courses” section of your main menu and voila! You can then begin creating your online course by hitting the “New Course” button.

Now, with Teachable’s course builder, you can easily add or adjust your course details, edit and manage course pages, set up the entire curriculum, come up with a pricing schedule, control drip course content, enable and track comments, bundle multiple courses, create single-use or multi-use course coupons, manage course certificates, plus review the course metrics.

Course Customization

While Teachable’s course editor appears very basic and unsophisticated, it actually manages to provide all the essential customization options.

Right from the word go, you should be able to define the basic stuff like your course’s name and its accompanying instructor- as well as the finer details like the corresponding meta-description, page title, plus page URLs.

And speaking of which, Teachable’s course pages come in several forms. You could have a “Sales Page” that leads to a “Checkout Page”, and finally a “Thank You” page.

The Sales Page is particularly important, as it acts as the main landing page- from where you get to convert your leads. And to help out, Teachable gives you tools for displaying not only the course catalog, but also a thumbnail image, plus maybe a promotion video.

As for the curriculum, Teachable happens to split its online courses into sections and lectures. The sections act as course modules, while lectures deliver the corresponding module lessons.

At this point, you’ll also appreciate that Teachable is flexible enough to support all sorts of content files. You can go ahead and set up lectures with text, videos, audio files, PDF, etc.

What’s more, you could take advantage of the “Add Code” feature to integrate live webinars and video streams directly into your lessons.

Video Optimization

All in all, I couldn’t help but notice that although Teachable supports various forms of content, it’s particularly optimized for videos.

You can, for instance, expect zero restrictions on the volume of video files. Then once you upload them, your students will enjoy seamless playback across different devices. They could even vary the playback speeds depending on their preferences.

4. Online Course Marketing and Sales Promotion

I’ll be honest with you. As it turns out, Teachable isn’t exactly the best platform for marketing your online courses. While Kajabi goes above and beyond the standard expectations to provide automated email marketing and sales pipeline management, Teachable confines itself in the same league as Thinkific.

I’m talking about the league of landing pages, basic checkout pages, course bundling, sales coupons, and upsell offers. Then when it comes to marketing, the most you can do here is affiliate marketing.

Email Marketing

Unfortunately, email marketing isn’t part of the package. Teachable’s mailing tools are only meant for sending broadcast messages to your students. Nothing more.

But then again, that shouldn’t completely lock you out. It just so happens that, on the flip side, Teachable has developed integrations with specialized email marketing apps like MailChimp, ConvertKit, and ActiveCampaign.

So, the answer is yes- although Teachable doesn’t offer the feature natively, it’s possible to promote your online courses through automated email marketing. Just bring in a third-party tool and fire it up!

Affiliate Marketing

teachable affiliate program

On the other hand, at least affiliate marketing doesn’t require a supplementary integration. The default Teachable online course platform (on the Pro plan and up) comes with built-in affiliate marketing tools.

You can set up different affiliate programs for your online courses, add affiliate partners, assign affiliate links and coupons, create commissions, and track campaign performance.

As a matter of fact, Teachable even lets you add affiliates from your student list. And since there are no limits on the number of partners, you can work with as many as you want, and on any specific course you’d like.

In the meantime, your affiliate partners also get the chance to track the campaigns on their end.

Course Sales Pages

Since Teachable doesn’t provide an automated multi-channel sales pipeline, you’ll be forced to convert leads directly on the course landing pages.

That, of course, places Teachable miles behind Kajabi. But then again, I guess it must be attractive to online tutors who’d rather not deal with the complications that come with automated sales funnels.

Whatever you feel about the whole thing, the fact is, your conversion performance ultimately comes down to how well you set up your course sales pages.

Thankfully, at least Teachable has been considerate enough to provide decent customization capabilities, along with high-converting page elements.

You could, for instance, display an enroll button, the course curriculum, course instructor, course description, page closing letter, and perhaps a coupon banner.

Otherwise, you could alternatively come up with your own custom block that showcases testimonials, embedded forms, videos, and background images.

Course Coupons

The coupons here are intended to promote your courses by offering discounts to selected customers.

You can set the discount as a percentage of the overall selling price, or maybe specify a fixed amount. The choice is all yours.

Course Bundling

In addition to course coupons, Teachable happens to support even course bundling.

The point here is to help you sell multiple courses in a single transaction. You just need to identify related courses, and then offer them in a bundle at a reduced combined price.

Course Upsells

Just like Thinkific, Teachable manages to help you capitalize on your converted customers too. The trick is to get them to spend more through attractive upsell offers.

You could begin your intervention within the Thank You pages that come right after checkout. You just need to enable the upsell option while customizing the page and voila!

It’s worth noting, though, that Teachable’s upsell offers are not as dynamic as Thinkific’s. There are no fancy post-purchase funnels here. Rather, Teachable displays a static upsell offer to all the course buyers that land on the page.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Teachable further gives you the benefit of embedding upsell offers into your course sessions. And as a result, you get to sell more even as you deliver your lesson content.

5. Managing Students and Courses

Student Data

Teachable tries to help you with your student management right from the moment they start signing up.

You can count on the online course platform to lift relevant information directly from the student registrations.

There’s just one problem, though. I couldn’t get Teachable to capture custom info from the learners. The best it could do is compile only their contact data- first name, last name, email, and that’s it. So, don’t expect the same level of flexibility as Thinkific’s or Kajabi’s student fields.

And that’s not all. It gets worse. You see, on Teachable, it’s also impossible to organize your students into groups. That means it can’t really sell courses to organizations or businesses that prefer to have their trainees under one collective package.

MyTeachable Accounts

Fortunately, the student registration process on Teachable isn’t entirely rigid. At least the online course platform flexes its muscles through its “MyTeachable Accounts” feature.

By enabling this feature, you’ll be allowing students who are active in other Teachable schools to use the same account credentials in your school. That means they won’t be forced to create a new account. It only takes a single click and voila!

Lecture Comments

When the learning finally kicks off, you can make the lessons more interesting and interactive by enabling Teachable’s comments. The platform applies them on a lecture-by-lecture basis in the form of threaded discussions that involve both students and instructors

You could set your lesson comments to display multi-level threading, and perhaps even give students the option of uploading attachments. Then if you’d prefer to review and approve the students’ comments before publishing, just enable the comment moderation option.

Course Quizzes

Another feature you could use to add some flavor to the courses is Teachable’s quizzes.

Yes, that’s right. Teachable is capable of not only administering quizzes but also grading them. Then eventually, the results are displayed alongside other analytics in the platform’s reports area.

But, get this. The course quizzes here come in the form of multiple-choice questions. You can set as many questions, choices, and answers as you like. That includes even queries with multiple correct answers.

And although it’s possible to import the questions from external sources, you can’t bring in multiple at a go. Teachable restricts you to just one-at-a-time.

Course Completion Certificates

Finally, when your students successfully finish their courses, you could award them personalized course completion certificates.

This is one area where Teachable outshines Kajabi but matches up to Thinkific’s certificate tools. In fact, just like we’ve seen on Thinkific, you’ll even find customizable certificate templates on the platform.

Teachable basically gives you up to three templates to choose from. But, if you possess Liquid coding skills, you could build your own custom options from scratch.

Whichever you settle for, Teachable will eventually generate certificates that contain the relevant details- student name, school name, and the course particulars.

6. Payment Processing / Gateway Integrations

Course Pricing Structures

On the course pricing front, Teachable offers more or less the same framework you’ll find on Kajabi and Thinkific.

That means you could either sell your courses via one-time fee, subscription-based plans with recurring payments or perhaps, payment plans with multiple installments over time.

As for the promotional courses, you could set Teachable to provide access for free.

Payment Gateways

Whichever course system you prefer, Teachable gives you three payment processors to choose from.

The default gateway, to begin with, is the built-in Teachable Payments, which processes credit card transactions via Stripe Express. Now that makes Teachable the only online course platform that comes with its own native payment gateway.

However, on a rather sad note, it turns out Teachable Payments is only available to course creators based in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, plus Germany. Worse still, it charges Basic plan users a transaction fee of 5%.

Sellers from other countries, on the contrary, are left to choose between Paypal and Stripe. But then again, you’ll only get these extra options on the Professional plan or higher- which is quite unfair to Basic plan users.

Teachable Pricing Plans – How Much Does the Online Course Platform Cost?

pricing

Basic Plan – $39 per Month

The Basic plan will cost you either $39 per month with monthly billing, or an equivalent of $29 per month if you settle for annual billing.

That comes with basic quizzes, lecture comments, student management, integrated payment processing, unlimited hosting, unlimited courses, unlimited video, third-party integrations, integrated email marketing, drip course content, coupon codes, custom domain support, course creator training, product support, 2 admin-level users, instant payouts, members-only community, coaching product, course product, 5% transaction fees, and unlimited students.

Pro Plan – $119 per Month

The Pro plan, on the other hand, will cost you $119 per month when billed monthly, or $99 per month when billed annually.

It gives you all the features on the Basic plan, along with integrated affiliate marketing, course compliance, course completion certificates, unbranded website, advanced reports, graded quizzes, priority product support, 5 admin-level users, instant payouts, and zero transaction fees.

Business Plan – $299 per Month

At $299 per month when billed monthly, or $249 per month when billed annually, the Business plan is Teachable’s most superior package.

It supplements all the features on the Pro plan with group coaching calls, advanced theme customization, custom user roles, bulk student enrollments, manual student imports, priority product support, plus 20 admin-level users.

Final Thoughts

Well, the fact of the matter is, Teachable isn’t as dynamic or robust as Kajabi when it comes to building, marketing, and selling online courses. Plus, it loses out to Thinkific on the course management front.

But, on the flip side, Teachable is undoubtedly winning the simplicity war. It has proven to be one of the easiest and most intuitive online course platforms we’ve tried out so far. And, I dare say, it’s even much friendlier than Thinkific.

While Teachable admittedly loses points in the robustness contest, it manages to make up for that with exceptional user-friendliness. And, the best thing is, it achieves that without compromising its core functionalities. You can always use its basic tools to set up a website, create online courses, plus market and sell your programs.

Now, considering all that, we can safely conclude that Teachable is an ideal LMS option for beginners, solo entrepreneurs, and small businesses. If you’d like to set up everything quickly without any complications, this is the online course platform for you!

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