Maybe you’re considering hosting your online courses on Teachable, but you’re not sure if they offer a free plan? That’s what we’re looking at today.
Does Teachable have a free plan? Yes, Teachable offers a free plan that has one of the most generous offerings of any online course platform. It includes unlimited hosting, courses, videos, and students. However, it comes with a high transaction fee. You’ll pay a $1 + 10% commission on any course you sell while using the free plan. For that reason, it often makes sense to upgrade to a paid Teachable plan if you’re selling more than a few courses per month.
In this article you’ll learn about Teachable’s free plan, what features it offers, and why upgrading to one of their paid plans could make more financial sense for you.
Teachable is an all-in-one platform that lets you create and sell your own courses online.
They take care of everything from payment processing and customer support to web hosting. That leaves you with time to focus on creating great online course content.
It’s a great platform which I highly recommend for first time course creators (you can read my full Teachable review here if you’re interested).
But starting on a new platform can be tough, and maybe you want to try Teachable out for free before you fully commit. Is that even possible?
Yes, it is! Teachable provides a free plan that lets you try out the platform without making a commitment. Then you can upgrade to their other plan tiers as you need to.
To sign up and get started on their free plan, you can register here.
All teachable plans (even the free one) include:
There’s no upfront cost to use Teachable. You’ll only pay a commission on each course sale.
Technically you could host your online course using a Teachable free plan forever. Although there are some reasons why it might not be the best idea.
Teachable’s Free plan is an awesome way to get familiar with the platform before you agree to pay a monthly fee.
If you’re still in the process of setting your course up, it you may want to stay on the free plan until everything is complete and ready for sale. You can see and use most of the features of the platform without having to pay a monthly fee.
The biggest drawback to the free plan is its high transaction fee.
If you’re on the free plan, you’ll pay $1 + 10% for every paid course you sell.
So if your course costs $100, you’ll end up giving $11 to Teachable on every sale you make.
Although this isn’t a huge amount considering online courses have very few other costs, it can add up pretty quickly.
If you’re selling more than 8 copies of a $100 course per month, it makes sense to upgrade all the way to the Professional plan.
Even though the Professional plan costs $79 per month (billed annually,) it has no additional transaction fees. Plus a bunch of other benefits.
If you’re on a budget or not selling many copies at first, you could always upgrade to just the Basic plan at $29 per month. On this plan you’ll only pay a 5% commission on sales.
Free Plan – $1 + 10%
Basic Plan – 5%
Professional Plan – 0%
So the free plan can be great while setting up your new online course, or for the first month or two just to see how many sales you make. But after that you’ll want to upgrade to a paid plan to avoid having a big commission fee taken out of your sales.
Alongside their free plan, Teachable offer a sliding scale of paid pricing options.
The free plan is really there to enable you to get your online course set up without big overheads, but to really make the most out of the platform’s features and to receive more of the money from the sales you make, you’ll want to upgrade to one of these options:
For full info and a comparison of all the features you get under the Free, Basic and Pro plans check out this page here.
So, which paid Teachable plan is best for you?
Let’s take a look at who each of the paid plans is best suited for.
I feel for most online course instructors, Teachable’s professional plan is the best way to go.
While the $79 per month price tag seems high at first, it could actually save you a bunch of money in the long run. At least if you’re looking to turn your online courses into a serious income source.
With the Professional plan you pay 0% commissions and transaction fees, which is probably the greatest benefit alongside a much wider set of features you’ll be able to utilise too.
You also qualify for instant payouts, instead of getting monthly Paypal deposits with a 30 day delay like the free plan.
You get access to live chat support if you run into any issues with the platform. As opposed to the basic plan which offers email support only.
Advanced reporting in the Professional plan can give you a better idea of how your courses are performing. You also get an unbranded website and up to 5 author/owner accounts.
The professional plan lets you bulk import students, provide graded quizzes, and more.
You can even make your refund policy optional on the Pro plan. Although I’d still recommend offering a 30 day refund policy.
Teachable’s basic plan falls somewhere between the Professional and the free plan. You get some but not all of the benefits of a Pro plan, but it also comes with a lower price tag.
The Basic plan comes with the following additional features that you don’t get on the free plan:
It might be a good option for new course creators who don’t have extra money for a higher cost plan yet.
This plan gives you a 5% commission rate instead of the $1 + 10% rate that the free plan offers. So on a $100 course you’d keep $95 instead of $89.
The 5% transaction fee saves you a little money. But after only a few sales per month I think it makes more sense to go with the Professional plan.
Just look at the math…
If you have a $100 course and sell 10 per month, you’ll pay $50 in transaction fees to Teachable. When you add in the $29 monthly fee for the basic plan, that ends up being the same amount as just paying for the $79 Professional plan outright.
If you’re selling under 10 copies of your courses per month then the Basic plan might save you a little money, but it’s important to keep an eye on your sales and make sure the math still makes sense.
Teachable offers the option to pay for your selected plan in monthly or annual installments.
If you’re paying monthly, the fees are $39 per month for the Basic plan and $99 per month for the Professional plan.
If you pay annually you get a pretty nice discount. The Basic plan is $29 per month when billed annually, or $79 per month for the Professional plan.
Going with a monthly plan might be a wise choice in the beginning if you’re starting off with a Basic plan. That way you can upgrade to a Professional plan once you start selling enough courses for it to make sense.
But once you’ve found the plan that works best for you, it’s best to lock in at annual rates. You’ll save $120 per year on the Basic plan if you pay annually, and $240 on the Professional plan!
The Teachable Business plan costs a whopping $399 per month and doesn’t make sense for most independent course creators. For that reason, I haven’t bothered to discuss it in detail in this article.
It allows for up to 100 admin-level users and only really makes sense for large organizations where you need multiple instructors to be able to upload materials.
Whilst Teachable is a really solid online course platform that I would highly recommend to anyone starting out making & selling online courses, perhaps you’re interested in what other options there are?
For a broad overview of the options, how they differ and which features to look out for, check out my guide to the best online course platforms.
You might also be interested in Kajabi, who offer a platform with more marketing and design features.
Or you could choose to create your online course on your own WordPress website. If you go down this road you’ll need to set it up and configure everything yourself (or pay a freelancer to help). See my guide to the best WordPress LMS plugins if you choose this option.
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LMS vs. Membership Plugins: Which Should You Use To Create An Online Course?
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