Kajabi vs Teachable: A Comparison
When it comes to membership and LMS software, the marketplace can be overwhelming.
It's hard to find a membership site solution that is going to flex and work with you and your business and not limit your functionality.
We've tested so many course software solutions for our business over the years.
When we couldn't find a solution that would do what we needed,
we dusted off our Software Engineering chops and developed AccessAlly.
And to this day, we continue to test and review the options
on the market so we can share that knowledge.
How do Kajabi and Teachable differ?
ALL-IN-ONE VS. DEDICATED ONLINE COURSE BUILDER
Kajabi and Teachable each have a unique software philosophy.
Teachable focuses purely on online course creation and education, whereas Kajabi is designed to power multiple areas of your business, from website hosting and email marketing to taking payments and delivering membership and course content.
Teachable is a course creation platform that can deliver a powerful learning experience for your users. This can be a great solution when you want to offer online courses as a part of your business model, but don’t want to spend a lot of time designing and setting up a learning environment on your existing website.
Kajabi is designed to be an “all-in-one” solution for your online business. For many entrepreneurs who are just getting started with their business, this is an attractive way to keep startup costs low. After all, what’s not exciting about the ability to create courses and membership programs all in the same location?
PRICING LIMITS ON MEMBERS, COURSES, AND PRODUCTS
Teachable really pulls ahead in this area, since they offer a free plan in addition to three paid tiers. Every plan (including the free option) lets you create unlimited courses (with an unlimited number of students). The free plan, however, includes a hefty 10% + $1 processing fee, which can seriously cut into your profits and incentivize you to move into a higher paid tier as you start seeing growth. The more expensive tiers also give you access to additional features such as graded quizzes, course completion certificates, and an unbranded Teachable website.
Kajabi’s pricing tiers limit the number of products, courses, and active members you can have. It makes sense from their business perspective, but it limits your own business growth.
If you want to offer a free course to someone when they opt-in to your email list as your lead magnet (also known as a Login Optin™), you’d be limited to 1000 sign ups on the $129/month plan, or 10,000 sign ups on the $389/month plan.
In short: you might run into issues with Kajabi’s signup limits in the early days of business when cashflow is tight.
EXTENSIBILITY AND OWNERSHIP
Both Kajabi and Teachable are hosted Software-as-a-Service solutions. This means that you essentially “rent” space on their platforms for your courses and memberships.
On the pro side, this means that a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff like website hosting, choosing a theme or page builder, video hosting, and platform maintenance is taken care of by the platform owner.
On the flipside, this means that you play by their rules: if you want more features or flexibility, you’re left with no easy way to take your content with you when you cancel or decide to move on.
Granted, both platforms are well-designed and easy to use.
However, once your business starts gaining momentum and scaling, you will lack flexibility to turn a course or two, for example, into a full-fledged membership program.
Both Teachable and Kajabi have closed systems that are not easily extended by installing add-ons and plugins. So if you want an integrated forum, advanced gamification, or other features, you’re stuck waiting for their developers to create the feature.
If you’re looking at long-term growth, you might consider an open-source solution like AccessAlly. What does that mean for you? Anyone can see and read the code, and it’s easy to back-up and export your content, so if you ever decide to migrate, you won’t lose all of your work.
ONBOARDING & CUSTOMER SUPPORT
One of the biggest factors that can determine your success in setting up an online course or membership site is the level of support provided by your platform or plugin developer. When you’re using a piece of software for the first (or hundredth) time, you’re bound to have setup questions so having access to a world-class customer support system is imperative.
In addition to a robust knowledge base and the Teachable U online course library, Teachable offers customer support to all users, including a live chat support M-F for their professional and business level account holders. They also onboard new users quickly with a webinar designed to get you up and running fast.
Kajabi offers 24/7 support for their clients, via email and chat. Annual plan subscribers also gain access to two separate 1:1 sessions with Kajabi team members, so you can get live answers to your unique setup questions. Apart from team support, you’ll also find additional resources in Kajabi’s knowledge base and in-app training.
INTEGRATION WITH YOUR MARKETING AUTOMATION PLATFORM
Kajabi built-in e-mail marketing features are intended to replace marketing automation systems and CRMs such as ConvertKit, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, and so on. If you’re already using an email marketing tool, and plan to integrate it with Kajabi be aware that you might have to rely on a 3rd party tool like Zapier to connect the two systems.
If you’re using Kajabi’s built-in marketing automation functionality, you have a lot more control over the communications you send and when from within the platform, including emails that are based on a user’s actions in a course or membership program.
Teachable also includes basic built-in email automation functionality, which allows you to send triggered emails from within the platform based on your students’ actions. Just like with Kajabi, you’ll have to use something like Zapier to connect with any other marketing automation tool in your business’ tech stack.
Pro tip: Marketing automation tools are here to stay. Use your marketing automation tool to power your course and membership program by taking advantage of AccessAlly’s deep 2-way street integration. It’s built to help you sell more, teach better, and engage with your students longer.
Marketing automation tools are here to stay. Use your marketing automation tool to power your course and membership program by taking advantage of AccessAlly’s deep 2-way street integration. It’s built to help you sell more, teach better, and engage with your students longer.
Membership Site & Course Design Flexibility
Although pre-built designs can certainly speed up your membership site and online course build, there is a trade-off when it comes to customization: you are limited to pre-designed layouts and templates for your content.
However, since there are some fundamental strategies for course building and presentation, you might not mind this limitation with Kajabi and Teachable.
With Kajabi, you can pick a look and feel from a handful of legacy themes (and further customize from there) or simply use the Premier framework for more design flexibility. Each site is limited to 8 fonts (more than enough for most scenarios), unless you care to make direct edits to the templates yourself with some custom coding.
Teachable’s basic plan is the most limited in terms of course layout and design customization, but while it is more bare-bones in terms of design, it is a professionally designed layout that will present your content in an organized format.
It’s a great tool for beginners who aren’t very specific about the look and feel of their sites or are testing concepts, but is not ideal for those who want full design flexibility.
Teachable’s Business and Professional level plans provide you with more design flexibility and customization options, and you can also dig into the Liquid programming language to edit templates by hand if you need more advanced customization.
An organized, professional design is a must for your online courses, but for more advanced interactions, a pre-designed layout may not be the right solution. Consider a flexible WordPress page builder paired with a full-featured course + membership plugin instead. Get inspired and see what’s possible.
LEARNING REINFORCEMENTS: QUIZZES, PROGRESS-TRACKING, HOMEWORK, & CERTIFICATES
Looking for LMS-style learning reinforcements like quizzes, progress tracking, and certificates?
Neither Teachable or Kajabi have robust LMS features. If you’re looking for a full-fledged LMS, there are more advanced alternatives on the market.
However, both platforms offer built-in quiz functionality for testing your members and students retention and competency of your lessons.
Although Kajabi and Teachable only offer two types of quizzes each: multiple choice, multiple selection, and true/false responses for Teachable, and multiple choice or multiple selection questions on Kajabi, you can utilize homework submissions to enhance your student assessment process.
Up until recently, progress tracking for courses was not possible for Kajabi users. However, at the time of this review, progress tracking is currently in beta for a small group of Kajabi users so you can expect to see this rolled out to all users in the near future.
Bulk Course Enrollment & Umbrella Accounts
Bulk course enrollment is a powerful opportunity for you to sell your courses to larger groups like corporate team training and family accounts. With this setup, a single person purchases a group of licenses with one click, then divvies out the individual licenses as needed.
Kajabi does not currently offer this functionality on any level.
With Teachable, the process isn’t fully automated or idea for most people, but it is possible. You can sell courses in bulk by creating an offer for the number of people the buyer is purchasing for, then providing each person with an individual coupon code to redeem for access to the course.
If bulk course enrollment is a high priority for you, make life easier and choose a solution like AccessAlly so you can offer Team management without any additional add-ons, or complicated work-arounds - it comes standard for all AccessAlly users.
AccessAlly gives you the power to sell a “package” of licenses to your courses and content, and to have a team leader assign sub-accounts.
It also allows you to design a "member management" dashboard, with custom operations to kick off automations directly by group administrators.
E-Commerce & Affiliate Functionality
Both Kajabi and Teachable integrate with Stripe and PayPal. Both platforms also include coupon discount capabilities and an affiliate marketing program.
With Kajabi, there’s a caveat: you cannot accept recurring subscription payments or run payment plans with PayPal.
If you’re interested in growing an affiliate program, you’ll be glad to know that Kajabi does offer affiliate tracking functionality in their mid and high-level plans. However, it does not allow you to add swipe copy and advertising banners for your affiliates to access in your members area, so you might have to get imaginative about how you’re going to provide these resources to your affiliate community.
Teachable’s integrated affiliate marketing functionality comes with all of their plans. Their affiliate setup is more advanced when compared to Kajabi and affiliates have access to an affiliate dashboard to review their referral reports and retrieve their unique links.
Your workflow on TEACHABLE vs. Kajabi:
- Name your Teachable school
- Create your first course structure
- Directly upload your videos, text, and course information to Teachable
- Edit the very basic look and feel (change colors and fonts)
- Figure out how to use your own domain (to brand your school)
- Set up payments and the terms of purchase
- Set up Zapier zaps to integrate with the other systems you'll need to achieve the functionality
- Or, wait for Teachable to release the features you want to add to your courses
- Choose your New Kajabi theme and make minor edits
- Set up a custom domain with a CloudFlare account for SSL
- Sign up for a Zapier account to get data out of Kajabi into your CRM
- Set up your marketing automation system
- Run through the Pipelines, or Course set up wizards
- Upload your videos and content directly into Kajabi
- Set up payments and the terms of purchase
- Set up more Zapier zaps to integrate with other systems for added functionality
- Or, wait for New Kajabi to release the features you want to add to your courses
See how Kajabi and Teachable Features Compare:
We’re a digital marketing software company built by marketers and software engineers. With our particular background and expertise, we’ve designed our membership and LMS plugin AccessAlly, to give you everything you need in an easy to use, powerful package. Here you’ll see where Kajabi and Teachable fall short or shine in comparison:
|Full membership functionality|
|Built-in Stripe and PayPal payments for one-time and recurring subscriptions|
|Course builder for modules, lessons, and topics|
|Automatically creates tags, pages, and menus|
|Unlimited members with unlimited courses and products|
|Deep 2-Way Integration with Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and Drip|
|Flexible progress tracking, video bookmarks, and progress-based unlocking content|
|Multiple quiz types and autogenerated certificates of completion|
|Course Licensing with Teams or Umbrella Accounts|
|Multiple currencies, automated expiring coupons, and order bumps|
|Searchable member directories and editable custom fields through profiles|
|Gamification where members can earn points, and activity-based automation, login tracking|
|Extensible with additional plugins|
|SCORM/Tin Can add-ons|
|Full design flexibility for developers and marketers with themes|
|Open Source, Staging and Production site settings for developers|
|Cross-selling dashboards, with 1-click upsells|
|Built-in affiliate tracking with multiple tiers, links, and reporting.||Not all|
The True Cost of Kajabi vs Teachable
These pricing models will give you an idea of what you can expect, when comparing the cost of Kajabi vs. Teachable. but it's not the whole picture.
If you plan to use Kajabi to handle your email marketing automation and website, then it may be more advantageous to go with this option.
However, if you've already got an email marketing automation platform and a website, it doesn't make sense to pay more for Kajabi - especially because your monthly costs will increase steeply as you add more free or paid members, and courses.
With Teachable, you’re likely to need additional tools for marketing automation and a company website, so make sure to figure in the whole cost of your tech stack when deciding which option you want to go with.
THE REAL QUESTION: SHOULD I USE KAJABI OR TEACHABLE?
Kajabi might be right for you if…
- You need a bare-bones course website, with no plans for added functionality down the line
- You want to have your site up and running quickly, so you can test your ideas without worrying about design
- You don’t use a CRM like Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, or Drip to do your email marketing automation
- You don’t mind giving up full control to have a website, email marketing, and course platform that handles everything in one place
Teachable might be right for you if…
- You already have a website
- You want to have your courses up and running quickly, so you can test your ideas without worrying about design
- You are looking for a simple, easy way to create a few courses and sell them to your clients.
- You don’t want to deal with behind-the-scenes setup like theme design, hosting, and other site maintenance
- You don’t mind giving up full control to have your courses hosted for you on a 3rd party platform
- You don’t have plans of scaling your course project into a full, interactive site.
Schedule a live demo to see how AccessAlly
Hi, I'm Kimberly
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