11 Paid and Free Teachable Alternatives for 2023
Teachable’s expensive transaction fees and limited functionality are forcing users to look for alternatives.
In this guide, we share the top contenders sorted according to use case, features, and potential limitations.
Teachable has won the hearts of over 100,000 creators, thanks to its beginner-friendly user interface, tax handling, and unlimited hosting.
However, this simple learning management system (LMS) is not for everyone.
Users looking for Teachable alternatives cite reasons such as limited features (e.g., no built-in community) and unreasonable transaction fees that can only be avoided by upgrading to the Pro and Business plans.
10 top Teachable alternatives
1. Most secure: Learnyst
Learnyst is a highly secured course platform that gives course creators peace of mind.
Enable OTP login, restrict watch time for videos, and encrypt your content from illegal downloads in a click. You also get 100% of your course sales without any additional transaction fees.
- Security features Learnyst boasts excellent security tools like OTP login and watch time and screen capture restrictions
- DRM encryption: Learnyst also stores your courses (e.g., videos, PDFs) in DRM form, preventing users from downloading them
- 100% revenue: Receive 100% of your course sales, with zero additional transaction fees, directly to your bank account via secure payment gateway integrations
- Payment options: Get paid via a variety of payment processing systems like Stripe, PayPal, Razorpay, Instamojo, CCAvenue, and HDFC
- User interface isn’t as polished as other Teachable alternatives
- Can get expensive fast if you want to unlock add-ons and premium features (e.g., you need to be a Professional user to access Categories, a feature that organizes your content)
- No free plan
- 14-day free trial
- Essentials: $49/month with custom domain, unlimited landing pages, encrypted courses, and more
- Professional: $149/month with everything in Essentials + coupon codes, advanced reports, and more
- Premium: $249/month with everything in Professional + screen recording restrictions, essay evaluation, and more
Grab the Learnyst lifetime deal on AppSumo today for $79.
2. Best for busy entrepreneurs: Terrain
Terrain is a one-of-a-kind social learning platform. It takes care of all your marketing once your course is up. The best part? You don’t need to invest a single dollar in ad spend and hosting.
- Marketing: Delegate your Facebook ads and sales emails sequences to the Terrain team while you sit back and relax
- Community: Connect with students on discussion boards and in-app messaging
- Learning tools: Students maximize their learning experience with automatic transcripts, an on-screen note-taker, and action plan builder
- Peak points: Hang out in Terrain’s Slack community and participate in conversations to earn peak points (note: peak points are cashed out through your Terrain account every month)
- User interface isn’t as polished as bigger competitors (e.g., dashboard loads slow occasionally)
Pricing: 25% of course sales
3. Ideal for WordPress: LearnDash
LearnDash is the only WordPress LMS in this list.
This exceptional plugin sets up your course for you, saving you the hassle of clicking through dozens of buttons. You can also customize just about anything on your site, thanks to its massive integration library.
- Add-ons: LearnDash’s impressive add-on library offers literally everything (e.g., integrity plugin to protect your content from spam, challenge exams to let members skip ahead a module or course)
- Customization: You can customize your site down to the last detail with its sleek integrations with Elementor and Divi
- OnBoarding Wizard: Install LearnDash with your plugins and settings within minutes
- No free plan
- Lack of free trial, though there is a 15-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind
- Pricing is based annually, not monthly
- Website may get bloated since you need to integrate LearnDash with many plugins to get the most out of it
- Basic: $159/year for 1 site license, unlimited course and users, and more
- Plus: $189/year for everything in Basic + 10 site licenses and more
- Pro: $329/year for everything in Plus + 25 site licenses and more
4. Beginner-friendly: Teachery
If complex tech makes you nervous, look no further.
Teachery is an easy-to-use course platform made for complete beginners who care about simplicity. It equips you with the essentials to get your business rolling. Highlights include a superior customer service and intuitive interface.
- Transaction fees: Teachery doesn’t charge users additional transaction fees (excluding fees from payment processors)
- Customer support: Even though Teachery doesn’t offer 24/7 support, the team tries to respond to support queries as quickly as possible according to its website
- User interface: Teachery’s UI is extremely straightforward—anyone can navigate the platform within minutes
- No free plan
- Doesn’t support PayPal
- Only two course templates available (Minimal and Sidebar)
- Very basic features (e.g., Teachery lacks course templates, though this is reportedly in the works)
- 14-day free trial (tip: message Teachery with the quote “livedemo” to unlock an extra week)
- Monthly: $49/month for unlimited courses, lessons, students, and more
- Yearly: $479/year for everything in Monthly
5. Best for large volume of students: Thinkific
No LMS comparison list is complete without Thinkific.
Its enterprise-grade offering, Thinkific Plus, offers best-in-class features like additional course hubs, service level agreement, and unlimited user access.
This platform is ideal for revenue generation, customer and employee training, and lead generation at scale.
- Transaction fees: Thinkific doesn’t take a cut off your course revenue as it operates on a zero transaction fees model
- User interface: Thinkific’s user-friendly interface is one of the most beautiful in the market
- Pricing: Start for free or choose your ideal pricing from Thinkific extensive plans
- Thinkific Plus: Launch online programs to boost activation, onboard employees, and educate large volume of students at scale
- Lack of design templates in course and website builders
- Thinkific Payments, Thinkific’s payment processing system, is available only in the USA, UK, and Canada
- Free: $0 for limited courses, unlimited students, templates, and more
- Basic: $49/month for everything in Free + unlimited courses and content, live chat support, and more
- Pro: $99/month for everything in Basic + private and hidden courses, completion certificates, and more
- Pro + Growth: $149 for everything in Pro + branding removal, advanced student segmentation, and more
- Premier: $499/month for everything in Pro + white labeling, unlimited communities, and more
- Plus: Custom for everything in Premier + dedicated sandbox site, advanced password complexity, and more
6. Revenue sharing: Udemy
If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee, then consider Udemy. This popular teaching marketplace provides you just the essentials to teach learners and get paid for each enrollment.
- Test Video: Send a two-minute video of your course for review and receive personalized feedback from Udemy
- Community: Udemy offers two main communities for new and published instructors to encourage one another, build connections, and grow their business
- Marketplace Insights: Start on your best foot by validating your course idea or topic with Udemy’s marketplace data tool
- Pricing: Udemy operates on a revenue sharing model
- Udemy pays on a monthly basis
- Only video courses are accepted (note: Udemy host other file formats under additional materials in the Course Resources tab)
- Extremely basic features (e.g., no access to students’ email address, which makes lead generation extremely difficult)
- Instructor promotions: Receive 97% of revenue when students purchase your course with your coupon or referral link
- Udemy promotions: Receive 37% of revenue when students purchase your course from an Udemy ad or browsing the Udemy marketplace (click here for more details)
7. All-in-one: Podia
Podia scores high for its creator-friendly website builder and embeddable buy button. With the latter, customers can buy your courses or memberships directly from your external sites without ever having to leave the page.
- Website builder: Drag and drop to create a beautiful and functional website with zero coding involved
- Communities: Podia offers a built-in online community for all plans
- Pricing: You can immediately start selling your content on Podia for free
- Embeddable buy button: Sell your content on any non-Podia website without requiring visitors to leave the site
- Users on free plan have to pay 8% transaction fee (excluding fees from payment processors)
- Free: $0 for 8% fees, full website, full community, email marketing, and more
- Mover: $39/month for everything in Free + zero transaction fee, unlimited downloads, and more
- Shaker: $89/month for everything in Mover + affiliates, unlimited webinars, and more
- Earthquaker: $199/month for everything in Shaker + monthly creator call, priority support, and more
8. Best marketing tools: Kajabi
Kajabi understands not all creators are marketers, so it’s created a built-in marketing suite to help you promote your business. Stand-outs include premade playbooks for your funnels and built-in email marketing tools.
- Transaction fees: Kajabi doesn’t take a cut from your revenue
- Pipelines: Kajabi offers ready-to-use playbooks (including pre-written copy developed from high sales-converting funnels) for many types of funnels, like product launches, coaching campaigns, and webinars
- Email tools: Kajabi boasts many built-in email marketing tools (e.g., validate your email subject line to promote deliverability, filter out high-risk contacts during import)
- No free plan
- One of the most expensive online course platforms in the market
- Many themes look basic
- Restrictive landing page builder that makes it difficult to customize to fit your brand
- 14-day free trial
- Basic: $149/month for 10,000 contacts, ready-to-use templates, unlimited landing pages, and more
- Growth: $199/month for 25,000 contacts, everything else in Basic + Kajabi branding removal, and more
- Pro: $399/month for 100,000 contacts, everything else in Growth + code editor, and more
9. Best for communities: Mighty Networks
Source: Mighty Networks
Mighty Networks is a community-centric course platform. It offers unlimited members at every tier, making it a no-brainer for entrepreneurs who want to create a course with a vibrant community.
- Pricing: Mighty Networks runs on a no volume based pricing
- Native Video: Record and upload your video directly to Mighty Networks without using a third-party recording tool
- Meet: You can set up categories to connect your members around a common interest, speciality, profession, and more
- Mighty Effect™: Create a unique feed for each member, ensuring that they receive relevant content
- 2-3% transaction fees (excluding payment processing fees) for online courses, groups, bundles, etc.
- Basic customization options like branding and colors
- No discount or coupon code functionality (tip: to overcome this, create a hidden plan and share the link)
- Free 14-day trial (note: once the trial ends, you can either upgrade or continue using the free plan with limited features)
- Community: $39/month for native live streaming and video, chat, and more
- Business: $119/month with everything in Community + live cohort course creation, analytics, and more
- Pro: Custom with everything in Business + app listing, branded app notifications, and more
Like Udemy, Skillshare runs on a revenue-sharing model. This popular bite-sized course platform has strict guidelines on its courses. Based on this list, you can’t go wrong with topics like photography, illustration, and graphic design.
- Programs: Skillshare offers several programs for first-time and top teachers (e.g., Teach Lab, a three-month program, provides one-on-one coaching, production guidance, and video editing support)
- User interface: Skillshare’s clean and simple interface makes it easy to publish all your learning materials
- Class topics: Skillshare often updates its in-demand topic list to point you in the right direction
- Strict with topics (e.g., Skillshare doesn’t accept topics like fitness, medicine, and passive income business strategies)
- Only video-based courses
- No discount option
- Complex payment terms (e.g., you must hit at least 75 paid minutes across all classes within a month to receive royalties for said month)
- Skillshare pays on a monthly basis
- Royalties: % of minutes watched by your students (based on Skillshare’s royalty pool)
- Referral revenue:
- Membership Payments – Refunds = Net Membership Payments
- 60% of Net Membership Payments = Your Monthly Referral Earnings
11. Ideal for teams: LearnWorlds
LearnWorlds is a massive and versatile LMS.
It offers an almost-perfect uptime guarantee and lets you collaborate with your team with clearly defined roles. But the best part is its custom services, where a team of specialists handles your course content from start to finish.
- Uptime guarantee: LearnWorlds offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee on Starter, Pro Trainer, and Learning Center plans, and 99.95% uptime guarantee on High Volume & Corporate plans
- Custom services: Outsource content development, customization, and editing to a group of specialists for a custom quote
- Custom user roles: Assign roles to each team member, grant access and permission levels, and streamline your workflow
- No free plan
- The starter plan requires a $5 fee per course sale
- Limited feedback options for quizzes and exams
- 30-day free trial
- Starter: $29/month for 3-paged site builder, built-in community, custom domain, and more
- Pro Trainer: $99/month for everything in Starter + complete site builder, unlimited courses, installments, and more
- Learning Center: $299/month for everything in Pro Trainer + bulk user actions, white label, and more
- High Volume & Corporate: Custom for everything in Learning Center + branded corporate academy, additional admins, and more
Teachable alternatives FAQs
1. What is the difference between Thinkific and Teachable?
Thinkific offers more enterprise-grade features such as service level agreement and advanced password complexity, making it a better choice for mid-sized businesses and enterprises that want to deliver an online learning experience at scale.
2. What is the difference between Udemy and Teachable?
Udemy operates on a revenue-sharing model, while Teachable operates on a subscription model.
3. Which is the best platform to sell courses?
Some of the best online course platforms include Teachable, Thinkific, Podia, Udemy, and more. But only you can decide what works best for you. Scroll back up to review these Teachable alternatives’ use cases.
Which Teachable alternatives will you try today?
It’s impossible to pick a winner, as each of these tools has its own strengths and limitations.
Go through our list and make full use of the free trials and free plans. That should help you pick your ideal course platform.
If you want to save money down the road, opt for our current lifetime deal, Learnyst. Or continue exploring 12,000+ tools on AppSumo.