Teachable is one of the largest course platforms on the market, and for good reason. It’s easy to use, offers a clean user interface, and makes it possible for anyone to start an online course quickly.
However, as you grow your course or coaching business, you may find that the platform is limited.
Here are just a few of the top complaints we’ve heard from Teachable users:
- It’s a platform for your course but not an all-in-one solution (you’ll likely need to use marketing integrations)
- It doesn’t offer any student engagement features like habit tracking and accountability
- The basic plan charges a 5% transaction fee
- There is no landing page builder
- Payouts are often delayed
- Website customization options are limited
- Overall, it’s designed for beginner course creators
Therefore, if you’re looking for an alternative to scale your coaching business, here are a few options.
1) upcoach – Best For Coaches Focused on Improving Student Results
Co-founder David Henzel was disappointed to see his first course have a 7% completion rate, though he soon realized this was pretty normal, with the average completion rate hovering around 12%.
He believed the key to increasing course completion rates was accountability through community and positive peer pressure.
He was right.
He built upcoach, a platform designed to inspire students to take action on the material through group accountability and habit tracking. As a result, his own course completion rate shot up to 93%.
So rather than existing as a platform that hosts videos for students to access, upcoach offers accountability features, habit tracking, to-do tracking, and a robust student CRM that provides insight into an individual engagement.
While Teachable is similar to a university lecture class, upcoach is similar to a hands-on internship where students take action and interact weekly/daily with their coach.
If you are a beginner course creator and need a platform that will help you sell your courses, or if community engagement isn’t something you value, skip down to the other options.
Automated To-Dos and Smart Documents
In most courses, you can attach to-dos and action items to the bottom of your lessons. Unfortunately, most students never fill them out, the to-dos pile up quickly, and before long, the student quits the course altogether.
Instead, upcoach will automatically add a to-do when the student has completed a lesson. Once it’s added, you as the coach can track their progress and give them a nudge if it isn’t completed.
In addition, rather than just seeing if the student has downloaded the document, upcoach’s smart documents allow you to see how much they have completed. Therefore, if you see they are stuck on a certain item, you or an assistant coach can reach out and offer to help them.
Habit Tracking and Accountability
Once the student has completed a lesson, either the student or the coach can add a habit they want to track. The habit tracker, which is structured as a weekly calendar, allows the student to either check off the box or write in a number.
Coaches can also form subgroups of students, which creates community and improves the accountability within the group.
Rather than just showing a student’s name, email, and whether or not they completed the course, the upcoach CRM provides a detailed analysis of each student’s engagement history. Specifically, you’ll be able to see:
- Completed To-dos
- Tracked Habits
- Attended Meetings
- Completed Course Lessons
- Geographic info and bio
Rather than setting up a Calendly or secondary scheduling tool, upcoach allows your students to sign up for coaching sessions or calls directly within the platform. You can just set the times you’re available, and then you and your team can see the full meeting schedule.
Your lessons are displayed in drip release modules, and you can upload videos, add to-dos, and more. When students finish a lesson, they can mark it as complete, and you’ll also be able to see how much of the homework they have completed thanks to the smart documents.
If you want to edit the interface, you can use the simple Elementor-style editor. There is also a drive folder for students to upload assignments.
One Unified Platform
Up until now, most group coaches use a combination of Google Docs, a collaboration tool (like Trello or Basecamp), and an online course platform.
Upcoach solved this problem by making everything available in one place. Now, your students need just one login instead of three, and you can track their progress, view messages, and set your schedule in just one dashboard.
- An all-in-one platform – you no longer need a collaboration tool, a course platform, Google docs, and Calendly to run your course
- Designed to improve student engagement with habit tracking, accountability features, and automated to-dos
- Smart documents show how much students have completed of each assignment
- Detailed CRM that includes detailed engagement data such as completed to-dos, tracked habits, attended meetings, and completed course lessons
- Schedule meetings directly inside the platform
- Excellent for larger coaching programs as your coaches can see who has responded to each student
- Easy, Elementor-style editor to add your own branding and design as you see fit
- Not designed for one-on-one coaching
- It might not be best for beginners as it isn’t designed to help you sell more – it’s designed to create a better user experience (even though the interface is user friendly)
- It isn’t designed to be a hands-off video course. While it offers automation (such as automated to-dos and even habit tracking) the accountability and habits are designed to facilitate student and coach interaction
Pricing starts at just $29 per month (billed yearly) or $39 per month (billed monthly). While the platform is straightforward and user-friendly, you can also schedule a call with one of our team members to help you get up to speed.
Kajabi is another Teachable alternative that is beginner-friendly yet more robust than Teachable. With Kajabi, you can create, host and market your courses online.
Therefore, while Teachable users typically have to build out a separate website to market the course, Kajabi is robust enough that you can make the platform your entire website. In fact, while course platforms like Teachable only offer one theme out of the box that requires coding knowledge to adjust, there is plenty of premium Kajabi themes that you can easily purchase.
In addition, you can design your own sales funnels, sales pages, and create email marketing campaigns directly inside the platform.
Therefore, Kajabi is often called an all in one platform because it offers:
- A course/membership area (rather than Teachable or Podia)
- A website builder (rather than WordPress or Squarespace)
- Email marketing capabilities (rather than using ConvertKit or MailChimp)
- Ecommerce capabilities (rather than Shopify or WooCommerce)
- Sales funnels and landing page capabilities (rather than Leadpages or Unbounce)
However, while Kajabi is excellent for coaches that want to sell more courses, it falls short in engagement capabilities.
For example, it doesn’t offer habit tracking, to-dos, or accountability tracking. Therefore, you’ll probably still have to invest in the following tools:
- Collaboration tools like Trello or Basecamp
- Accountability tracking tools like Stickk
- Manually look through Google docs to view to-do progress
In addition, while students can comment in the course, there isn’t a discussion forum. This makes it very difficult for students to collaborate with one another and discourages community engagement.
- It enables you to build a website, host your course, create email marketing campaigns and landing pages inside just one platform
- The video streaming uses Wistia, which is baked into the platform (you don’t have to purchase a Wistia subscription)
- Plenty of templates for mini courses, full online courses, and drip courses
- If you don’t like the website out of the box, you can purchase a premium theme rather than having to recode it yourself
- Accept online payments and choose between different pricing models (one-time purchase, additional fees, multiple payments, and subscriptions)
- It doesn’t offer habit tracking, automated to-dos, or accountability features
- There is a comments section, but no forum, which makes it difficult to build a community
- Affiliate capabilities are limited to top pricing tiers
- It’s definitely one of the most expensive platforms available and may be too much for beginners
Kajabi is definitely one of the most expensive platforms and pricing starts at $119 per month (billed annually). It offers a 14-day free trial to test it out.
Thinkific primarily targets beginner course creators who need a quality solution to host their courses and create a landing page. However, Thinkific is also a competitive option for more advanced course creators that prioritize a high-quality back end.
While it doesn’t offer many marketing tools (a Mailchimp integration yet no native email automation and no affiliate marketing options), you can integrate it with other marketing tools.
However, it does offer a site builder that is sufficient for first-time course creators. However, larger course creators usually prefer to integrate it with their existing website as it is fairly minimal. Nonetheless, whether you plan to make Thinkific your landing page or your entire website, it’s easy to customize.
Creating the course is also straightforward for beginners with no technical expertise. To help you get started they offer a few templates you can choose from, including mini-courses, flagship courses, webinar replays, and more.
You can also add quizzes to the ends of all of your lessons and insert explanations for incorrect answers. If you are paying for one of their premium plans, you’ll have the option to require students to complete the quizzes prior to moving onward.
To improve sales, you can also gate content in your course. For example, you can create a funnel so that anyone entering the platform can access some free content, though to access more advanced content, they have to pay to access the content.
Perhaps the biggest downfall of Thinkific’s course creation tool is that it doesn’t offer a robust community feature. While they have a basic community option akin to a Facebook group, it doesn’t enable habit tracking, accountability, or structured groups.
In addition, while many platforms like Teachable charge a transaction fee, Thinkific has zero transaction fees on all plans.
Finally, Thinkific also enables you to secure your content. By default, Thinkific does not allow users to copy and paste the content (though you can turn this off if you wish).
- It’s very beginner friendly
- Plenty of templates for new course creators to get started (mini course, flagship course, webinar replay, digital download, pre-sell, etc)
- Insert quizzes into your course and offer incorrect question explanations and gate your lessons until the student completes the task
- Offer live lessons
- An integration with Accredible allow students to earn certificates
- The site builder makes it easy to customize and design a high converting landing page
- Accept coupons, monthly payments, or subscriptions
- Very minimal marketing tools are included
- You’ll probably want a WordPress site to integrate with the Thinkific platform
- They don’t offer live customer support chat
- They offer a basic community platform, but it isn’t set up for cohort based coaching and doesn’t enable habit tracking and accountability
One of the best things about Thinkific is that they offer a basic free plan for those that just want to get their feet wet in the online course business. However, if you’re a professional course creator, their paid plans start at $39.
Podia is another learning management system that enables users to create and host courses, membership sites, and digital downloads. Therefore, you can bundle digital downloads and/or a membership site with your course.
Diving into the platform, the first thing you’ll see is the website editor. Podia’s editor is designed for non-technical people, so the customization options are modest yet sufficient for beginners. To edit any particular section, just click on it, and the editor for that section will automatically pop up.
It also offers a built-in email autoresponder to help course creators design a more efficient funnel and sell more. If you’d like to start a newsletter or create a new drip campaign, you can do that as well. To see how your emails are performing, head over to the analytics dashboard where you’ll see your email marketing statistics, including clicks, open rates, and unsubscribe rates.
Podia also doesn’t charge transaction fees and is easy for customers to use.
Unfortunately, it does have some shortcomings as well.
For one, it offers only minimal community engagement features. This is a major issue for group coaches as the course turns into nothing more than a group of videos with some comments and likes. While it seems that you can build a forum, it doesn’t offer any kind of accountability tracking, masterminds, or habit tracking.
In addition, Podia doesn’t allow you to create comprehension quizzes and doesn’t offer any kind of certification.
Finally, the website and course templates offer minimal customization, so your course will probably look similar to other Podia courses.
- 24/7 customer support (live chat and email)
- Host your digital courses and downloads in one, secure place
- Bundle your course with digital downloads and/or memberships
- The updated site editor makes it easy for non-technical people to design and customize
- Excellent affiliate marketing options
- Basic, yet effective email marketing campaign options
- No transaction fees for any sales
- Live chat and email support
- Limited community building features (no accountability or habit tracking – just commenting and a general forum)
- No comprehension quizzes to ensure students fully understand the material
- No smart documents to view action steps students have taken
Podia offers a free trial and their first paid plan starts at $39 per month.
LearnDash is a WordPress plugin rather than a standalone platform like Teachable. Therefore, it’s often used by course creators that already have an established website or organizations that need a place to house employee training. So if you already have a WordPress website and want a cheaper option to host your course, LearnDash might be a great solution.
After purchasing LearnDash on their website (you can’t purchase it through WordPress), you can install it and use it like any other plugin.
Inside the backend, you’ll see that you can upload images, documents, audio, and video, though you might need a third-party tool like Wistia or Vimeo to host your videos as they can take up a lot of space and slow down your course.
As you start creating your course, you can drip feed your content to ensure that students aren’t overwhelmed, and you can also use the Gradebook feature to see how well students are progressing.
Another cool feature is the Learning Paths feature which enables you to provide students with a more personalized experience based on their goals and current knowledge.
The quizzes LearnDash offers are also a step up from most other LMS platforms, as you can choose between multiple-choice questions, sorting questions, matrix questions, and more. They even offer a Gamification feature that allows “players” to compete for points and badges to further enhance engagement.
The biggest drawback of LearnDash is that it isn’t an out-of-the-box platform. First, you have to have a WordPress website to use it. In addition, you’ll have to pay for a lot of third-party tools such as email marketing, video hosting, and more. You’ll also probably have to have some technical expertise when designing your course and its appearance.
LearnDash doesn’t offer many community features. While there is a forum, it isn’t possible for coaches to form group sessions, track habits, track accountability, or other tactics that really make the knowledge actionable.
- Integrates seamlessly with WordPress
- Flexible quiz questions (not just multiple choice)
- The learning paths feature makes it easier to personalize each student’s experience
- Gamification allows players to compete with other students for points and badges
- Gradebook makes it easy to track student progress
- Focus mode that blocks out other online distractions while learning
- You have to have a wordpress website to use it
- It requires some technical knowledge to design and customize
- You’ll have to pay for third party tools like email marketing, video hosting, and more
- There aren’t many great community features
LearnDash does not offer a free trial, though there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. It is also significantly cheaper than other options with the basic option starting at just $159 per month. However, you will have to budget for third-party tools as it isn’t an out-of-the-box solution.
Teachery is another option for beginner course creators that want a simple platform to house and sell their courses. It also has a unique pricing model in that you can create unlimited courses with an unlimited number of students at every pricing tier.
As you jump into the editor, you’ll see that designing your course area is super easy with a drag and drop editor. It also offers several templates to help you get started.
One drawback with Teachery is that it doesn’t actually host any of your content, and you’ll have to embed it. Therefore, you’ll have to use another tool like Wistia or YouTube for videos, and Google Slides or Slideshare for presentations.
Teachery does offer a drip feature to unlock content after a specific time period or after completing the previous lesson.
Once you’ve set up your course, Teachery makes it easy to design a simple landing page with the same drag and drop editor, replacing the need for a tool like Unbounce or Leadpages. However, it isn’t really sufficient as a standalone website, so you’ll probably still need to build a WordPress site.
In addition, while it allows you to connect with an email service provider, it only offers integrations with ConvertKit and Mailchimp.
However, a plus for Teachery is that it does help you sell your course through its affiliate management tools. To do so, just enter the affiliate’s PayPal and fee, and it will automate the process for you.
To further increase sales, you can offer students different payment plan structures.
Unfortunately, Teachery doesn’t offer any community or engagement features, so you’ll have to use a third-party tool for habit tracking, accountability, cohort meetings, and more.
- Basic and beginner friendly
- Unlimited students and unlimited courses at every pricing tier
- Easy drag and drop editor for the course section and clean UX
- Drip feature that can be set by a specific time or once a lesson is completed
- Easy drag and drop landing page builder
- Connect to your email server and integrate with Mailchimp or ConvertKit
- Affiliate management section
- Various different course payment options to improve conversions
- No transaction fee
- Insufficient for more advanced course creators that need more features
- Advanced course creators will still need to build their own website
- You’ll have to purchase your own video hosting
- You’ll have to integrate with Mailchimp or ConvertKit to perform email automation
- No community features
- Lacks quizzes, certificates, and overall student progress insight
Teachery’s pricing starts at $47 per month and offers a 14-day free trial.
While Teachable and many other platforms on this list are mainly designed for beginners and those looking for a simple solution, LearnWorlds is the premium choice for course creators looking to take their business to the next level.
As you log into the dashboard, you might be a little overwhelmed by the initial layout and design. However, this is the price you pay for the rich features it offers.
The first item that sets LearnWorlds apart from other LMS systems is its robust analytics of both the business’s success and student engagement.
From a business perspective, you can see revenue and sales from specific time periods. On the student engagement side, you can analyze user progress to see which users completed the course, where users gave up in the course, and average student quiz scores.
Jumping into the course builder, it’s fairly easy to use with a host of beautiful templates, and LearnWorlds offers unlimited video hosting for everyone. The website builder is relatively lite, though it can exist as a standalone solution for beginners. Editing it is fairly easy for beginners, though it still offers technical people options for further customizations. However, I was surprised that they lack any kind of email automation features or affiliate program automation. Therefore, you’ll have to get a Mailchimp or ConvertKit account if you want to do email marketing.
Nevertheless, once your course material is set up, you’ll see that LearnWorlds offers plenty of interactive features such as live online classes, interactive ebooks (students can highlight and annotate key concepts), and interactive video players (you can embed questionnaires, text popups, and feedback sections).
You can also quiz your students in each lesson and award certificates for those that complete your course.
Community is another feature that LearnWorlds is exploring with a networking hub, though it’s still in its infancy and doesn’t offer anything to support cohort-based learning. There also aren’t any accountability or habit tracking features.
One final thing worth mentioning is that LearnWorlds enables you to create a mobile app for your course.
Unfortunately, the basic plan does charge a transaction fee and gates many features, though it’s still a great option for premium course creators.
- Premium course for more advanced creators
- Lite website option and excellent course design options
- Host your videos directly inside the platform
- Robust business analytics with revenue by timeframe
- Student engagement analytics (completion rate, visibility into where they stopped, etc.)
- Interactive videos and ebooks
- Advanced quiz options
- You can create a mobile app for your course
- Slightly more complex than the beginner friendly options
- Lacks community engagement features like habit tracking and accountability
- Transaction fee at the basic level
- No email automation features
- No affiliate marketing automation features
Pricing starts at just $24 per month and they offer a 30-day free trial.
Choosing The Best Teachable Alternative For You
If you’re using Teachable right now and need a solution that enables more community and improves student engagement through accountability and habit tracking, consider using upcoach.
While LearnWorlds or Kajabi might be a better option if you just want to sell more and automate your entire course. However, if you want to increase student engagement, care about changing the lives of your students, and want to deliver a premium course, consider upcoach.
We offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, so get started today and see for yourself how upcoach can elevate your course’s experience.