Teachable Review (2020): The Best Online Course Platform?

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In this Teachable review, I will explain what you get with the online course platform and give you my personal opinion. I hope this review will help you decide if Teachable if the right option for you.

What is Teachable?

Teachable is one of the largest online course platforms around.

Creating an online course is challenging. You have to create the content, provide a paywall to collect revenue and market your course. Teachable makes this process a heck of a lot easier.

There are over 80,000 instructors (including me 😊!) using the Teachable platform to create their online course. Collectively, these instructors have sold courses to over 20 million students and earned a whopping $555 million!

Teachable statistics

Teachable pricing

So you are probably wondering how much does Teachable cost, right?

Well, there are four different pricing options for Teachable.

  • Free
  • Basic ($29 per month annual billing; $39 per month monthly billing)
  • Professional ($99 per month annual billing; $119 per month monthly billing)
  • Business ($249 per month annual billing; $299 per month monthly billing)
Teachable pricing plans 2020

The great news is that Teachable has a Free plan! The other three premium plans range from $29 to $299 per month (annual billing).

I’m currently using their Basic plan, but, I started out with their Free plan.

Teachable features

Okay, so, what do you actually get with Teachable?

Well, the answer to this will vary depending on what price plan you pick.

The core features, which are those that are included in all of their plans including the Free plan, are:

  • No restrictions on hosting (including content and video)
  • Create unlimited courses
  • Add basic quizzes
  • Integrated payment processing
  • Allow student comments on lectures
  • Ability to add value-added tax (VAT)

If you want additional features, then you will need to upgrade to one of their premium plans.

I have highlighted below some of the standout features for their paid plans.

Note, each plan also contains the features from the plan before it. For example, the Professional plan includes all of the features in the Basic plan, plus more.

Basic

  • Unlimited students
  • Ability to add a custom domain
  • Ability to create coupon codes
  • Integrated email marketing

Professional

  • Integrated affiliate marketing
  • Give out course certificates
  • Advanced developer customization
  • Remove the Teachable branding from your school
  • Additional support (live chat with the Teachable team)

Business

  • Bulk import students
  • Have up to 20 admin user levels

Teachable transaction fees

Another important feature you should consider when looking to get an online course platform is its transaction fees.

The transaction fee is the cut the platform takes for their services.

Teachable has different transaction fees depending on the price plan you pick.

Note, only paid courses will have a transaction fee applied; Teachable does not charge a transaction fee for the sale of free courses.

PlanTransaction fee
Free$1 + 10%
Basic5%
Professional0%
Business0%

As well as transaction fees, there will also be processing fees depending on what payment gateway is used, such as Stripe and PayPal.

Teachable course builder

Now you have an overview of how much Teachable will cost you and what is included.

Next up in this Teachable review, let’s look at the backend of the platform and see what it’s like to build an online course using Teachable.

Curriculum editor

On the course curriculum editor, you can easily create new course sections and lectures. The builder is completely dynamic, so you can click and drag to rearrange the order of lectures.

Teachable course curriculum overview

Each lecture can be marked as downloadable to enable students to download any content that is included, such as PDFs, videos etc.

Also, you have the ability to make certain lectures into free previews, meaning students do not need to create an account for them to view the lecture. This is useful to encourage more people to enrol on your course.

Lecture editor

Creating lectures is super easy with Teachable.

You start by adding some content. There are 5 main content areas that you can add:

  • Files (eg, videos to embed, audio and PDFs)
  • Text
  • Multiple-choice quiz
  • Code example
  • Custom code (eg, CSS, HTML, Java)
Teachable lecture editor

Each piece of content is added into a new block. These blocks can be easily rearranged in the course builder.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing your course, there are 4 pricing options available in Teachable:

  • Free
  • Subscription (annual or monthly)
  • One-time purchase
  • Payment plan (fixed number of payments)

Most people will only really use a one-time purchase option. But, it is nice to see subscription and payment plan options for further flexibility.

Teachable pricing plans

Also, there can be more than one payment option assigned to a course. For example, you may want to sell a course for a one-time fee of $99, but also give the option for the customer to take out a payment plan instead (3 x $33 payments). With Teachable, you can do this.

Coupons

With the Basic plan and upwards, you get the option to create coupon codes for your courses.

A coupon code is a useful tool when selling an online course.

These coupon codes can be course-specific or be generic to apply to any course within the school.

Creating coupon codes with Teachable

When creating coupons, there is the ability to decide if the promotion is money off or a percentage off the course price. Then, you can set your own coupon code, expiry date and the number of coupons available.

Certificate of completion

If you choose the Professional or Business plan, then you also have the option to create course completion certificates for students. These certificates are given to students once they complete the course.

There are three default certificate templates to choose from. These templates can be further modified by using the certificate builder.

Teachable course certificate builder

Within the builder, there is the option to edit the…

  • Logo
  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Graduating from label
  • Date label

Each student’s certificate will also contain a unique serial number to confirm that it is authentic.

Alternatively, there is the option to create a completely custom HTML/Liquid course certificate – if you are able to do a little bit of coding.

Teachable’s page builder

After setting up the course curriculum, it’s time to create a sales (landing), checkout and thank you page.

Sales page

What’s great about Teachable is that you can have up to 10 sales pages!

So, what is so useful about creating multiple sales pages? Well, you can use them to test and define your sales page, or you could create a flash sale for a targeted audience.

Teachable sales page builder

The sale page builder again works in blocks that makes the process very user-friendly. Simply add blocks and drag them around to rearrange them – easy.

Blocks that you can include on the sales page include banners, pricing options and the course curriculum.

Checkout page

Teachable also lets you customize the checkout page for your course.

Here you can add up to two customer testimonials (including a picture), up to five bullet points and a course guarantee image.

Teachable add a course guarantee

The bullet points are a nice touch to summarize what you get when you purchase the course.

With the course guarantee image, there are some ready-made 30-day money-back guarantee images to choose from, or you can upload your own.

Thank you page

Once a customer purchases a course, you have the option to forward them onto a thank you page (or a custom domain if you so wish).

Here you can include an upsell offer to encourage further sales.

A student’s view

So, you have seen an overview of what it looks like to create courses in the back end of Teachable. Let me now show you what it looks like from a student’s perspective.

Payment options

There are four different payment options students can use to pay for their course.

  • Credit/debit card (via Stripe)
  • PayPal
  • Google Pay (only shown on mobile devices)
  • Apple Pay (only shown on mobile devices)

Note, the ability to add PayPal as a checkout option is only available to those who have priced their course in USD and have opted into the Teachable BackOffice. Enabling the Teachable BackOffice costs an additional 2% fee-per-transaction.

The payment options are nicely presented on the checkout page, so there are no multipage checkouts.

Teachable payment options

The payment system is secured with a 128-bit SSL encrypted process to ensure added security over transactions.

Lectures

The course layout is minimalist, yet feels rather premium.

I really like the navigation sidebar on the left that shows you the sections and lectures. Once a lecture is complete, it is marked with a tick. There is also a percent completion bar at the top to see the overall progress.

Teachable course view

The whole lecture set up is fully responsive and so it will accommodate different screen and device sizes.

Video player

Embedded videos inside course also work very well.

There are options for students to adjust the volume, speed and quality of the video. Videos can also be played full screen.

Teachable course video player

In the lecture editor, there is also the option to attach a subtitle (srt) file to the video. If this is applied, then a subtitles option will appear for students to view.

Comments

Another feature I really like about the course view in Teachble is the comments section under the lecture material. The comments section is visible to all students on the course.

This works like most comments sections on websites where you can include a piece of text to reply to students. There is also the option to upload a figure, which I found useful to include screenshots to help answer questions.

Teachable course comments

Each comment also has its own hyperlink, meaning you can forward links to students to refer them directly to a certain comment thread. This is handy when you don’t want to repeat the same answer to different students.

Email contact

Students also have the option to send emails to you directly within the Teachable school.

This process resembles a simple contact form where the students fill out the subject and main message. An email will then be sent directly to you to respond.

Teachable school contact form

I’ve found the email contact process works very efficiently. It looks more professional than simply handing out an email address. This way, students don’t have to leave your online school to contact you.

Payouts

The next thing I will go over in this Teachable review is the payouts. In other words, how and when will you receive your money?

There are three ways that you can receive your money: Teachable Payments, the Monthly Payment Gateway or the Custom Payment Gateway.

Teachable Payments

Teachable Payments is only available to those in the US and Canada.

These payouts are processed through Stripe Express and you can specify the schedule of payments. The options are:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

Monthly Payment Gateway

For those outside of the US and Canada, you can use the Monthly Payment Gateway.

Card/debit transactions processed with the Monthly Payment Gateway will be paid out every 30 days via PayPal.

Payments are made in USD on the first first day of every month.

Custom Payment Gateway

For those on the Professional plan or above, there is the option to use the Custom Payment Gateway.

With this option, you can connect to your own Stripe or PayPal account. Payouts are then made instantly once the transaction takes place – so no waiting around for your money!

Affiliates

If you’re on the Professional plan or above, then you get access to the affiliate feature.

Affiliates are those that promote your course for you. They get given a special (affiliate) link that can track when other people click and purchase a course. Affiliates are then given a commission of the sale.

To make a person an affiliate, they need to have created an account with your Teachable school.

It’s then easy to change their role to an affiliate.

The unique affiliate link is created automatically and you can decide on the affiliate commission (in percentage) the user will receive.

Teachable affiliate system

There is also the option to change the length of the cookie period (between 1-365 days) for the affiliate links. By default, this is set at 365 days.

Support

An important aspect to consider when deciding on an online course platform to use is the amount of support available to you – the school owner.

Fortunately, Teachable has a rich selection of support available, including:

  • TeachableU (premium feature)
  • Knowledge Base
  • Support ticket
  • Live chat (premium feature)

TeachableU

TeachableU is available to all course creators on a paid plan. It is an online training school for course creators.

These mini-courses will help you to choose a course topic, create your course, build your audience and launch your course.

TeachableU

Knowledge Base

The Knowledge Base is a collection of helpful how-to guides and troubleshooting articles on using Teachable.

If you have a query, there is a good chance you will find the answer on the Knowledge Base.

I’ve used the Knowledge Base quite a lot during my time and found the guides incredibly easy to follow.

Teachable knowledge base

Support ticket

If the Knowledge Base does not help you, then there is also the option to raise a support ticket.

This process works like most support ticket options, where you type in the issue you have and a Teachable member will respond to it via email.

The support hours for Teachable are 7 days a week (10 am – 6 pm); with reduced availability during the weekends and bank holidays.

Live chat

For those on the Professional plan and above, there is also the live chat feature.

The live chat gives you instant contact with a member of the Teachable team.

Note, the live chat is only available Monday to Friday (10 am – 5 pm).

3 things I like about Teachable

So this would not be a Teachable review if I didn’t give you my likes and dislikes on the platform. Below, you will find the three pros and cons I have when using Teachable.

Overall course presentation

I’ve had a lot of feedback from students who have been impressed with the way the course looks and feels.

This all comes down to the clean and professional setup Teachable give to school owners.

Simple but effective sales page builder

Online marketing is very tricky to do right. This is all about how you’re going to sell your online course.

With Teachable’s sales page builder, this makes creating a highly-converting landing page a heck of a lot easier.

The block structure means that anyone can create awesome sales pages.

The huge support

I’ve only had a few situations where I needed to contact the Teachable guys. When I did, their responses usually came back within 24 hours.

Apart from email contact, Teachable also have their TeachableU mini-course series for school owners on a paid plan. Admittedly, I haven’t used TeachableU much, but it looks very useful for beginners.

There is, however, a ton of helpful guides on the Teachable Knowledge Base that I have used quite a lot.

3 things I don’t like about Teachable

There is not much I don’t like about Teachable. However, if I am being really pushy, then here are three things I dislike about the platform.

PayPal payment options are not free

If you want to give potential customers the choice of using PayPal as a payment option to purchase your course, then you’re going to have to join the Teachable BackOffice.

Joining the Teachable BackOffice costs an additional 2% of the transaction fee.

This 2% fee may seem small, but those on lower plans (Free and Basic) are already contributing transaction fees (10% and 5%, respectively).

This essentially means lower returns for you if PayPal is used.

Lack of integrated course review system

Another little nag I have about Teachable is their lack of an integrated course review system. This means that it is harder to collect students reviews and thoughts on the course.

I would like to see a similar course review system to that of Thinkific. Not only can you collect course reviews inside the platform, but you can also easily add these to your sales page as social proof.

In the meantime, to get around this issue, I simply embed a short survey created using SurveyMonkey at the end of my online courses. This acts as a means of collecting feedback from my course.

Quizzes are basic

I’m not a massive fan of the quizzes in Teachable.

Basically, quizzes are multiple-choice answers with no feedback given when an incorrect answer is selected.

I would love to see a feature where you can add an explanation for incorrect answers. Otherwise, students don’t know why they got the answer wrong.

Teachable alternatives

If, after reading this Teachable review, you don’t believe Teachable is the right online course platform for you, then maybe check out these Teachable alternatives.

Wrapping up

I hope you found this Teachable review useful.

In my honest opinion, Teachable is one of the best online course platforms to create and sell your course.

There is a price plan to suit everyone and you can even get started for FREE!

So, if you’re still wondering if Teachable is right for you, then I suggest to sign up for a Free account and take a look yourself.

You have nothing to lose.

Further reading on SideHustleTeach.com

If you do give Teachable a go, be sure to check out my step-by-step guide on how to create an online course. You’ll also be interested in my list of best online course platforms to create and sell your own online course; have a guess where I rank Teachable.

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