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Teachable, Thinkific, or Udemy? Which is the Best Platform for Online Course Creators?

My thoughts on Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy, three of the most popular online course platform for first-time online course creators in 2021.

image_credit — Thinkific

Hello guys, if you are a first-time course creator or a programmer, blogger, or teacher thinking to create online courses for a living but wondering which platform to choose for hosting and selling your first online course then you have come to the right place.

I have been researching a lot about how to create a successful online course since last year and have researched a lot about Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy, the three main platforms for creating and selling online courses.

Along the way, I have also started mentoring many readers about creating online courses and why they should create them. Why I am doing this? because I believe together we can learn better and succeed. If I have a group of passionate developers who like to teach online, there is a better chance of creating a successful online course.

Anyway, one of the common questions which keeps popping up is which platform is better for beginners, Teachable, Thinkific, or Udemy? Which has better support for creating and selling online courses? If you also have similar doubts, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll share some of my understanding and insight about Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy, two of the most popular online course platform which will help you to make a decision.

Most of the points when I say about Teachable are also true about Thinkific when compared to Udemy.

All, Teachable, Thinkific, or Udemy have tools for creating and hosting online courses and handling payments, so they are very similar, but there are a couple of points on which they differ drastically, and not understanding those differences can be the difference between success and failure of your course.

Teachable, Thinkific vs Udemy? Which is the Best Website to Create and Sell Online Courses in 2021?

Here are some of the useful points which will help you to analyze the pros and cons of Teachable, Thinkific, and Udemy, three of the most popular online course creation platform and help you to make a decision in choosing the right platform to create and sell your course.

1. Audience [Sales]

If you ask me what is the hardest thing about the online course business? I would say getting the Audience and making Sales. Yes, even if you have an online presence and authority over the subject, it’s not easy to make a sale, until you have an interested and relevant audience.

It’s easy to create online courses but its very difficult to sell courses, I am not saying this to discourage you but just sharing my experience that you need to work hard, eventually, you will succeed and by applying some learning from others you can also sell more in less time.

With Udemy, you get this Audience, and that’s the most critical reason for choosing Udemy.

It has more than 50 million students enrolled on the platform and a lot of people promoting Udemy courses on the Internet, which means once you put your session live on Udemy, it will get a lot of eye-balls.

Of course, it needs a bit of promotion from your end to kick-start what many people call Udemy’s virtuous growth cycle, but once you start sending traffic, your course will be exposed to these massive audiences.

With Teachable, you don’t have that audience; hence, you need to build it yourself. Though both Teachable and Thinkific people are very helpful, and they provide a lot of guidance, tools, and email templates to sell your course and create an audience for you.

For example, you can read the article 7 Steps To Launch Your Own Profitable Online Course to learn everything about creating a profitable course. They also have a free webinar that you join to learn about how to create online courses in 2021.

Similarly, Thinkific also allows you to create and own your online course platform but you need to bring your audience. Thinkific is a great platform, and they also have a one-month free trial which is great to start with.

2. Ownership and Control [What you call your own]

Another key difference in Audience comes from the fact that Udemy doesn’t allow you to keep your Audience, which means you don’t know their email address and you cannot communicate with them outside Udemy.

This means if tomorrow you need to move to your own course website, you cannot take the Audience you built over the years on Udemy.

On the other hand, both, Teachable or Thinkific allow you to collect email addresses, and you own your audience, which is an essential asset in the long run.

So, if you are in the online course business for the long term, which you should if you are putting efforts into creating courses then Teachable and Thinkific is a better choice than Udemy for sustainable success.

But, if you need to see the success first, I think you will see it quickly on Udemy than Teachable, especially if you don’t have an online presence and audience of your own.

In other words, for the short term, Udemy is good but for the long term, you should definitely build your school on Teachable or Thinkific, there is no excuse for it. You can also use Thinkific’s one-month free trial for that purpose, it’s a great gift to the content creator community from Thinkific.

3. Cost [Expense]

In terms of Cost, Udemy is entirely free, you don’t need to pay a single penny to host your course there, but they will take a lot of cuts from your payment when the sale happens.

For example, if Udemy brings traffic to purchase your class, they take close to 50% of the money, but if you bring traffic to sell the course, you get all cash except minimal transaction costs.

On the other hand, you need to buy a Teachable plan like Teachable Pro Plan to host your courses on Teachable. The program will not just allow you to organize the course but also give you all the help, guidance, mentoring, and tools to successfully create your course, which means it’s worth money but yes cost is involved.

Teachable also runs many free online pieces of training like Teachable Creator Challenge and Teachable Live, where they offer access to their Teachable bundle at as low as $29 a month (Teachable Basic Plan), but that’s a promotional offer and you should be lucky to get that.

So, if you don’t want to buy a plan and don’t have a built-in audience or online presence then Udemy is a better choice for you, but again, if you are here for a long run, investing a little bit of money on Teachable and creating your own online school will pay you much more in long run.

Here is a snapshot of their Teachable’s different annual plans, click on the image to learn more:

Btw, when it comes to creating your own online school, Teachable is not the only option, Thinkific is also a great platform and you can also try that. You can use their one-month free trial to check out this platform and find out if it’s a good fit for you.

4. Community [Support]

At first, creating an online course can be a daunting exercise. Apart from subject matter expertise, you also need to know technical details about filming and tools you need like which Mic to choose ( I love BlueYeti), which camera to choose, and how to create high-definition course material with crisp sound.

Though Udemy also provides a lot of useful material to get yourself familiar with the video creation process, I believe Teachable has better community support.

They often run Teachable Course Creator Challenges where you get to interact with many successful course creators and learn from their experience.

You are also challenged to create a course in a definite time frame and collaborate with other creators. It’s an enjoyable and very engaging process. You also happen to learn a lot from others. You’ll also earn rewards when you hit crucial milestones — like your first sale!.

They also offer much free online training for course creators like Teachable Live, a 3-day live event where successful course creators of Teachable will teach you everything you need to create a successful online course.

This challenge and community support is the single biggest reason I have suggested many of my followers, who are interested in creating online courses to join Teachable.

Apart from these three main reasons, there are many more technical reasons like Teachable allows you to change the look and feel of your online school(website) to match your brand, you can completely control the design of your online school, which is not possible on Udemy.

The branding and ownership is the biggest reason for choosing Teachable or Thinkific over Udemy

By the way, If you need more Teachable and Thinkfiic alternatives, then you can also checkout Podia, and Kajabi, two of my other favorite online platforms which I have shared in my post about the best Online Course Hosting platform in 2021.


That’s all about Teachable/Thnkific vs Udemy in 2021 for online course creators. The critical thing, in my opinion, between choosing Udemy or Teachable and Thinkific, comes from the fact that whether you have an online presence or not and whether you want to build it or not.

If you are happy to create a course and don’t want to spend too much time on marketing, then Udemy is the best platform because it will help you to make sales even when you are sleeping.

It will promote your course on various platforms like Google and Facebook. So, you can only focus on creating a course and making it awesome. This is the best platform for people with no audience or followers.

With Teachable and Thinkific, you need to do your own marketing, but there is a potential of earning a lot more than Udemy because you can set your own price and you don’t need to sell courses on just $9.9 which is the case with Udemy.

Teachable and Thinkific, also provides you excellent support and increases sales, and most importantly whatever you build it will be yours like Audience and your online school.

This is a big thing for the future becuase once you build an audience you can create more courses and you have an audience to sell, unlike Udemy where you don’t own your students here, you do. Hence, it suits better for those who already have an online presence like a blog or want to create an appearance in the long run.

On the flip side, you may not need sale as many courses as you will on Udemy, and you may need to wait a bit longer for success but whatever you will build will be yours, and you can leverage that when you move to another platform or create another course.

I have yet to launch my video course but I have started with some Udemy practice courses like my Spring certification practice test course on Udemy which has more than 1500+ students so far.

I chose Udemy because they have a great platform for practice tests, but I am in the process of hosting my course on platforms like Teachable and Thinkific to create an online course website that is fully owned by me

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P. S. — If you join Teachable, I suggest you take their professional plan, which costs around $99 per month. In this plan, you don’t need to pay the 5% transaction fee you have to pay for selling your courses on the basic plan, and you also get access to many more useful premium features like Course Completion Certificates and Support, which is very important for selling online courses.

P. P. S. — Btw, when it comes to creating your own online school, Teachable is not the only option, Thinkific is also a great platform and you can also try that. You can use their one-month free trial to check out this platform and find out if it’s a good fit for you.




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I am Java programmer, blogger, working on Java, J2EE, UNIX, FIX Protocol. I share Java tips on and

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