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.
Why Spend So Much Time Trying Different Course Platforms?
We’ve tested a lot of course platforms 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?
Kajabi and Teachable are both hosted solutions developed to give you the ability to build and sell online courses.
This is where the similarities end, and where the differences begin.
All-in-one vs. Dedicated 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 Basic plan also takes a 5% transaction fee.
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.
Looking for a Alternative With Fewer Restrictions?
You want full control of your content, members, and their experience on your site.
So you can spend your time doing what you do best, not struggling with frustrating platform restrictions.
With AccessAlly, you’ve got all of the power and flexibility of WordPress, without any limits on your business’ growth potential either.
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.
What AccessAlly Customers Are Saying...
"We moved them over from Kajabi to Access Ally and every single member loves the new site!
Access Ally is SO easy to use and integrates perfectly with Ontraport. We’ve had ZERO issues with it, which I don’t think I can say about any other software or tool or plugin we use. Plus the interface is beautiful.
We moved them over from Kajabi to Access Ally and every single member loves the new site. It’s extremely user friendly for our clients, and for us. AccessAlly is a brilliant, beautiful, user friendly platform that has had a direct positive impact on our bottom line.” – Heidi DeCoux, HeidiDeCoux.com
"AccessAlly is the better option, hands down
“Honestly, Teachable, Thinkific, or Kajabi would have been the *easier* option, but AccessAlly with my WordPress theme is hands down the *better* option. It’s going to grow and scale with me over time, and that’s unbeatable.
AccessAlly allows me to provide a dashboard for all members, and it also allows me to create a member-directory (great for forming that community), an editable profile, plus lots of gamification features that can help members track their progress and reward them for their achievements.
AccessAlly integrates directly with my ESP, which gives me the functionality to track progress, send reminder emails. That’s priceless.” -Eden Fried, EdenFried.com
Onboarding and 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 Email 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.
Looking for something that integrates both ways?
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.
Learning reinforcements: quizzes, progress tracking, homework, and 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.
Membership site and 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.
If you want full design flexibility, AccessAlly is for you
Because AccessAlly is a WordPress plugin, you can use any WordPress theme or builder you like.
Or start with AccessAlly’s theme, which comes with all of the progress tracking and navigation menus integrated out of the box.
Power, flexibility, and beauty all in one course platform.
Selling Bulk Courses or Group Access
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 ideal 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. This creates a kind of umbrella account.
Taking Payments and Running an Affiliate Program
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
- Create your account, choose your 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 sales Pipelines, or Course setup 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 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:
|Protected course content|
|Built-in Recurring Stripe and PayPal payments||No recurring with PayPal|
|Course builder for modules, lessons, and topics|
|Automatically creates tags, pages, and menus||No tags||No tags|
|Deep 2-Way Integration with Infusionsoft, Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and Drip|
|Multiple currencies, automated expiring coupons, and order bumps|
|Cart abandonment automation|
|Progress tracking, and progress-based unlocking content|
|Multiple types of quizzes, and auto generated certificates of completion|
|Course Licensing with Teams or Umbrella Accounts|
|Searchable member directories and editable custom fields through profiles|
|Gamification where members can earn points, and activity-based automation, login tracking|
|Media player, video bookmarks, tagging automation on quizzes|
|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.
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.
Didn’t find an answer to your question? Just reach out to us, we’re happy to help!
Do you have comparisons to other platforms and plugins?
Yes, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Here are some options to consider:
Can I see examples of AccessAlly sites?
You can find videos and case studies with screenshots and descriptions of how people are using AccessAlly on our showcase page here.
Can I talk to someone about my project?
Researching course platforms on your own is great, but if you want to talk to someone, we’re here to help!
We can help you sort out all of the different options. We’ll let you know if AccessAlly is a good fit or not, too.