Table of Contents
Online Course Platform: Teachable Review
Online Course Creation Made Simple
- Simple to get started with
- Has most features you will need
- Comprehensive knowledge base articles
- Active blog with useful tips & advice for creating & selling an online course
- Flexible & low cost pricing options
- Limited choice of design & ability to change how your school looks
- Has suffered problems keeping up with support requests during periods of fast growth
Review Summary: Teachable is probably the most popular online course hosting platform currently out there. Their entry-level pricing and wide range of features make it an excellent choice for anyone just getting started. You can have your school online within a couple of hours and you'll have access to plenty of tutorials & tips to help you on your journey.
When I first made an online course back in 2014 there were hardly any options out there to simplify the technology behind hosting and selling your course.
I spent hours researching different WordPress LMS plugins and in the end had to pay a developer to help us get it all working.
Thankfully, alongside the boom in people selling online courses, things have improved massively in the last couple of years. There are now lots of options for creating an online course and getting it all set up online without touching a single bit of code.
The trouble is choosing which platform to use - which can be a major headache in itself!
For some guidance in understanding all the different options and working out what is going to be right for, check out my in-depth guide to choosing an online course platform.
All the options claim to be the best and it can be hard to know which is best for you. This
As with any option in this area, the proper choice for you will depend on your individual circumstances. This article is intended to help you make the best choice of platform to create and sell online courses. By evaluating these pros and cons, you can compare them to your individual needs, and see whether
Teachable Made For?
In a nutshell,
Check out their sales video to see how they explain what they're all about and who they are pitching their online course platform at:
As you can tell from the video,
In essence, it allows you to create and sell online courses without having to worry about all the technical details involved in coding and web development.
You can get your course all set up and selling easily using their simple dashboard and features - which would take longer with your own WordPress system.
You can also choose the prices you want to charge and have direct control over your communication and marketing with students (which you can't do with an online course marketplace like Udemy, for example).
So, if you want to just get up and running and focus on creating and sell online courses (a wise use of your time),
The platform is built with this focus in mind - to reduce the tech headaches and leave you to focus on creating and selling your course instead.
It is intended to be a very simple platform for people who aren’t wanting to worry about complicated coding. Next up, we’ll take a look at the best features of
Let's take a look at the best features of
Easy to use
This is a big one! The main dashboard which you use to create and run your course(s) is really intuitive and easy to use. It's a huge benefit of
It saves a lot of time which you can focus on creating and selling your course instead.
The actual content for each course is organised within
These easy organization and customization features make this course a winner if you are not especially tech savvy but still crave customization features and want to organize and sell your course your own way.
Teachable is great so you can create and customize the offer your own way without the complicated tech aspect.
Drag and drop functionality allows you to shift things around and re-organize without fuss. The interface is clean and uncluttered, making it easy to see what is where, but as you'll see further below, the look and feel of the area your students see is fairly basic at the moment.
Image and branding
How your online course looks is important, not just in terms of how usable it is for the student, but also in terms of the brand and positioning you wish to portray.
Whether you’re working as a business or an individual, you need a professional looking design that is clearly identifiable as yours.
Teachable understands your needs and provides a nice looking theme for your school and course landing pages out of the box. You just have to upload your logos, images, text and choose colour schemes to get something that looks like this:
You can also host your course on a custom domain (e.g. www.courses.yourdomain.com) on all plans from Basic upwards and you can remove the
These marketing integrations are all highly useful to help you create and market your course as you see fit.
Teachable also offers the ability to customise the look of your course homepage and landing page using it's Power Editor, although it requires an understanding of HTML or CSS code and is not very user friendly (this is one of my main criticisms of
You could pay someone to do this for you, but it sort of defeats the point of using
Teachable tries to strike a balance between simplicity and complexity, so if you are looking for advanced design features, you may find that the ones on offer are not quite what you need.
Easy & efficient uploading
When creating your course, you’re likely to have a lot of files to upload - videos, pdf's, document or spreadsheets for example.
This should be as quick and intuitive as possible.
It links up nicely with cloud storage, Google Drive and Dropbox and there’s also a bulk upload facility, which saves a lot of time. Uploading can be a headache for course creators, and
Good file handling
Teachable can handle all the main file types, including images and films. There’s no need for additional coding, embedding or manual linkage as there would be if built on your own website. Once your files are in there, they’re ready to use.
Video is well optimized and supports high-quality playback across a range of devices, including iPads and other tablets. It can cope with different bandwidths and video content can also be played at different speeds.
Once again, this intuitiveness eliminates the stress of dealing with multiple file types for providing your digital products, and contributes to
Monitoring & Analytics
Creating a course and publishing it online is only part of the story. Once it’s gone live, it’s important to be able to keep track of how it’s progressing, how many students have enrolled and how engaged they are with your course.
Teachable makes this easy with at-a-glance access to data on student numbers, revenue figures and keeping track of a student’s progress so you can see how far they've got through your course.
You can then use this student progress data to engage students who may be struggling or asking for testimonials from your most committed students for example.
You can also integrate Google Analytics and conversion pixels to track where traffic comes to your courses from and which bits of content are working well at converting interest into students.
By monitoring these sales funnels, you can identify which areas of your site you can best optimize and where to focus your marketing efforts for maximizing your conversions.
Communication with students
Although online courses are great for independent learning, communication with students is still important, either to give feedback or just to ensure they’re happy and on track. Student e-mail comes as standard with all
You can communicate with students within the
The platform also contains integrations with some popular e-mail software, like Mail chimp (with Mailchimp Google Analytics), ConvertKit (see why I recommend Convertkit for online course creators here) and Infusionsoft but to connect with other email clients you'll likely to need to use Zapier.
E-mail marketing is an extremely valuable tool to market and sell online courses. It allows you to maintain direct communication with your current and target customers, and is proven to be one of the most successful tools for digital marketing overall.
When you put all your faith in a third party platform to create and sell your course on, it's important to know there's good and reliable customer support on hand for any questions or problems that rise.
Teachable has a good set of pre-written customer support articles covering all the most likely questions you may have and then a ticket system for anything more specific.
On the whole, this seems to work well for people and I found my query dealt with quickly when I tested it, but I have also heard others complaining about tickets not being answering quickly (read more about this below in the section on What's Lacking).
So while it is likely that your customer support problems will be readily resolved by the prewritten articles, it is possible that you will have more trouble should your problem be more complex.
Marketing & Sales
Teachable gives you plenty of tools for marketing and selling your online course. The actual process of collecting payments is simple, and you can make use of coupons to create limited time offers or offer subscription and payment plan options.
These are great tools whether you are looking for a passive income or looking to grow this into a full-time pursuit.
You can also set up your own affiliate marketing program or bundle different courses together and sell them as a package.
The Teachable Blog includes lots of marketing tips and is a really valuable resource with weekly posts looking in depth at different ways to reach out and acquire new students.
Be sure to keep up to date with current digital marketing trends and advancements. Often, marketing your course effectively can be the most decisive part of your success.
There are also case studies and insights from the successes of other
Teachable is free to sign up to and there’s also no transaction fees for running free courses (read more about what's included in their free plan here).
However, if you really want to make use of the main features you will need one of the paid plans.
Teachable has four pricing plans to suit the stage you’re at:
For full info about what's included at each level, check out the page this screenshot was taken from, or read my guide to the Teachable pricing plans to understand the differences between them in more detail.
1) Free Plan (no monthly cost, but $1 + 10% of any sales)
Maybe you’re completely new to developing an online course and want to see what it’s all about.
You get most of
You will find that the marketing features are one of the most important tools in growing your course, so you may want to invest in one of the higher priced plans below.
2) Basic ($39/month + 5% of sales)
With the basic plan, you get all the key
You do have to wait to receive any money you've earned though, which happens through a PayPal deposit once a month and with a 30 day delay - be aware that this can be nearly 2 months in some instances!
3) Professional ($99, no sales fees)
Teachable's most popular plan. On top of everything you get with the basic plan, and you have additional functionality like advanced theme customisation, advanced analytics and, importantly - instant access to any funds you've earnt.
You also get higher priority for support requests (6 hours vs 12 with Basic plan). This is a complete plan, and you may find that it satisfies all your needs if you are looking to take this pursuit very seriously.
4) High volume ($299/month, no sales fees)
You also have the ability to bulk import and bulk enrol students. You can also have up to twenty-five separate authors.
So far, so good.
Poor student interface
I like good design, so this is a big downside to
Of course, it is completely functional - it has everything your students need to navigate and interact with your course, but it's just not very visual. It doesn't look as good as it could if the use of images were possible to link to each module for example.
Contrast it with the course homepage I made for my other business using WordPress and you'll see what I mean:
It's almost as if the mission for
Design can be a major factor in marketing and growing your course. The visual appeal can be very important to students of your course. So if you are looking for a platform with more design options,
I am pretty sure this will get better before long as it is a relatively simple issue to resolve and would add a lot of additional value to the platform.
Limited custom design ability
Teachable comes with just a couple of template options for your course homepage and landing page out of the box.
Thankfully they don't look half bad- check out these examples to see what I mean. You can alter colour schemes, add your own text, logo and images, and make something look consistent with the rest of your brand.
However, if you have a particular look you want to create or wish to add custom features in precise places you can't do this very easily. So if the default designs don’t match your tastes, you may find yourself out of luck.
If you are comfortable with html, CSSor liquid code then you can customise the design of your course and landing pages with the Professional plan mentioned above, or pay a developer to do this for you, but for me I'd like to see more of a drag and drop style editor which would give you much greater control and enable you to make it look exactly as you want.
Have to wait to receive payments (on Basic plan)
If you use
Depending on the timing of a course purchase this could equate to nearly 2 months that you would have to wait to receive the funds from that sale. This is quite a significant delay.
This can cause difficulties for your cash flow when you're just starting out, and also just feels a bit like you're not really in control of your own hard earned money.
Support has struggled to keep up with growth at times
I've been hanging out in the Facebook group for
This has seemed to coincide with times of peak growth for the company as thousands of new teachers have come on board in the last year alone.
I read somewhere that an average day saw 200 new instructors sign up to use the platform! In theory this problem should sort itself out pretty quick as more users bring more revenue which can be spent on better support.
Each time that complaints have rolled in about poor support,
Examples of Successful
Teachable is used by a wide range of people, including individual trainers, coaches, subject experts and even small businesses who want to train their own staff.
Check out my online course examples page to see the sheer diversity of people out there teaching online courses these days.
Get some inspiration from these real-life Teachable Course Examples.
Some of the most successful
Here's a couple of successful
1) Angela Fehr, Watercolour Artist
Angela has her range of courses hosted on Teachable where she teaches watercolour painting techniques; from beginner to advanced. She initially built a big following with her free YouTube videos and then created courses on
2) Lee Wasilenko, Virtual Reality Software Develop Training
Lee teaches aspiring developers how to make virtual reality (VR) games. He started by offering a few simple free courses to build an audience and demonstrate his expertise and when it came to launching his first paid course he earnt more than $35,000 in the space of a couple of weeks! Read more about his story here.
Teachable Review Conclusion
Hopefully this in depth review of
If you are just venturing into the world of creating online courses,
Which is good news, because there is plenty of other stuff you should be focussed on - like creating great course content, engaging with your students and promoting and selling your online course instead.
As a creator, it can be tough to do it all on your own, and
At the end of the day the platform you choose to build your course on is nowhere near as important as any of these things, and ultimately you should probably stop wasting your time trying to decide between all the different options and just pick one to get started.
With that in mind, the question is: is
Put this way: if any of the following apply to you:
- You are just getting started with online courses
- You are on a relatively tight budget
- You are not a tech wizard already familiar with customising WordPress plugins & design
.......then I think
And if you're still unsure, check out my guide to the 7 best Teachable alternatives.
Other Online Course Platform Options...
- Better design options with a library of templates to choose from
- More expensive (it's $103/month on their cheapest plan)
- Similar to
Teachable+ you get instant access to funds with all plans
- Landing & course page design worse than
- Better design options & complete flexibility to create it as you want
- More fiddly to set up & can be expensive if you have to pay a developer
Further Reading & Resources
I have researched and tested a whole range of different online course options.
If you're not sure that
- You can read my full review of Kajabi here
- My full review of Thinkific here
- An in-depth comparison between Teachable vs Thinkific here
- A comparison of the differences between hosting your course on Teachable vs WordPress, Podia vs. Teachable or Learnworlds vs. Teachable
- A review of the best WordPress LMS Plugins
- An overview and complete guide to all online course platforms
- Learn more about 7 Best Teachable Alternatives