Teachable Vs Thinkific: Why I Slunk Back, Tail Between My Legs!
When it comes to hosting digital products online that you will sell as courses, as well as other digital products, you have several options:
Online course hosts
Please note that this post contains *affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through using one of my links, it won’t cost you anything more, but I may receive a small commission at some point – which will help me increase my fabric stash!
- Podia (formerly known as MyCoach)
Online Digital Product Hosts
- Easy Digital Download
Of all these listed, I have tried them all, and use Teachable now for my courses, membership and design blueprints, and Gumroad for digital sewing planners and patterns. It’s a system that works.
Why I Started With Teachable Vs Thinkific
When I first registered for an online course host I turned to *Teachable. I bought a one year annual plan, during a summit they ran back in early 2016. I didn’t really use it much at that point, and ended up wasting much of the $399 that I spent, because I wasn’t ready to launch anything at that point.
Fortunately, I recouped some of it, when I signed up for Blog to biz Hive from Melyssa Griffin. In that, I had a voucher for 3 months of the pro plan included in my purchase, which was worth $299, so I felt it evened out. 🙂
My First Course on Teachable
I planned out and set up my first digital product – an online sewing course – and opened the cart for sales, in December 2016. With a waitlist of a couple hundred people, I only made ONE sale and the person requested a refund shortly afterwards.
I was gutted.
I curled up in a ball, drank some red wine, read some books, and then eventually re-emerged ready to crack on having gotten over my pity party.
I surveyed my audience to find out what the problem was. Apparently, you can get a lot of sewing courses for free online. Or much cheaper.
I took that information and pondered my options.
At heart, I’m a pattern maker – and could spend all day drafting away. So, the disheartening result actually worked in my favour, because I decided to step into teaching what I love and enjoy most – pattern making!
My Epic Freebie Lead Magnet
I set it up in *ConvertKit, to drip out each day.
While my readers where working through it, I decided that I wouldn’t create another course – I would create a membership site, that would have new content each month.
Because of my bad experience with the sewing course, I decided to switch platforms. I researched Teachable vs Thinkific, and most seemed in favour of Teachable… and yet, off I went to Thinkific. 😮
Why I Didn’t Stay True To Teachable
Going back to those Teachable vs Thinkific reviews I read; I had read that Thinkific were great for setting up membership sites, and that I would get paid right away. Over on Teachable, if I use their basic or free plan, and so use their payment gateway, I had to wait up to eight weeks for payment. Yikes!
At the time, I really didn’t like this aspect. Why should I have to wait to receive my pay, when my students had been able to access the content for so many weeks?
Yet in retrospect, it makes sense. I was using Teachable’s payment gateway, and if my students were going to request a refund, Teachable would need to honour it. Which meant holding onto my money for 30 days.
But, let me backtrack a moment..
Who I Left Teachable For
I walked away from Teachable, and dallied with Thinkific. I made my membership site over on Thinkific look all pretty, with my new beautiful new course icons, and several Thinkific templates to choose from, the front end, before you click buy, really did look beautiful.
Did I mention that it was also faster to upload my videos? Yep..
Yet on the inside of Thinkific, not so great.
There were several disappointments with Thinkific.
- I found that for the features I could get for free on Teachable – subscriptions? Hello! Kind of essential for memberships right? – on Thinkific I would have to pay.
- If I wanted to hide the courses that were bundled into my membership? On Teachable, simple, just unpublished them. Thinkific? Again, I’d have to upgrade my account. This time to pro!!
- And then there is the back end. My students did not like how things looked behind the homepage on Thinkific. They had seen my free resources on Teachable (I hadn’t moved everything over thank goodness) and Thinkific was different. It didn’t look as nice, it didn’t work as well, and frankly – it just wasn’t as good for them as Teachable was.
Teachable: My First Love
So, I sidled back to Teachable, with my tail between my legs, and recreated my Membership there. I almost didn’t. It was only because I was getting more and more frustrated at the cost of Thinkific, just to have things set up for a launch system rather than evergreen…
And yet, sidle back I did… I even wrote a ‘will you take me back message’ in Teachable’s Facebook group:
Why? Because I love being on a Teachable. It’s easy to use. It’s intuitive. And the best part is the Teachable Facebook group. If you have a question, you will get answers there. If not from the Teachable peeps (Noele is AMAZING) then one of the Teachable users will help you out.
Will I Ever Change Again?
Nah. I have thought about. I still sometimes check out the costs of hosting everything on my own site. But in reality? I like having it somewhere else. Somewhere reliable. I know that if my site goes down, my students know where to go to access their courses.
I know that I can host my online courses, my membership site and in future, my sewing patterns and planners too… I completely trust Teachable, and so no, I won’t be changing again!
Do you use Teachable or Thinkific to host your online courses? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!