10 Paid and Free Teachable Alternatives Every Course Creator Should Consider

The e-learning market is bigger than ever, and its growth shows no signs of slowing down.

There has never been a better time for content providers to create and market online courses because of the migration of in-person classes to online and the easier accessibility of knowledge from experts in almost every sector.

For creators who wish to share what they love online, there are numerous methods at their disposal. Teachable, a platform that enables producers to sell online courses and coaching is one of the most well-liked choices.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of Teachable for course developers and online creators, plus ten Teachable alternatives to help you start selling your work.

Note: All pricing is accurate at the time of writing, but this is subject to change over time.

Teachable pros and cons

Teachable Homepage

Teachable is a platform dedicated to selling online courses and coaching. Creators can sell ebooks and services as course add-ons and set up workshops and conferences.

The biggest benefit of using Teachable is how easy it is to get started with course creation on the free plan. You can set up your first course without coding knowledge, and the platform takes care of all of the technical pieces.

That said, Teachable is very limited in the product types and customization options it offers creators.

Most of the successful course creators on Teachable use third-party tools for email marketing, landing page builders, building a community, or selling memberships. You also can’t sell standalone digital products with Teachable.


Teachable makes it easy to move swiftly from conception to implementation. It's really simple to set up and doesn't call for any advanced programming knowledge to set up your course content. Additionally, it offers payment processing that you can set up in a variety of ways to package your courses or provide ongoing access for a monthly price.

Setting up membership site on Teachable

Teachable also has an intriguing price structure that enables authors to launch for free. Build your online course and enroll students, and you only pay when your course sells. There are fees with each transaction that are based on a flat fee and a percentage of your course price. This is convenient if you’re experimenting, but it can start to feel steep once your course is selling well.

Teachable has the extra distinctive quality of being designed to complement more formal education and training. They have resources to verify that members comply with standards, such as compliance inspections to confirm that students have finished the necessary portions of the courses. Additionally, they provide certificates of completion.


The three most common complaints about Teachable are:

1. No community options

Course creators on Teachable either start a Facebook Group (which is noisy, distracting, and has a habit of cheapening the value of your online course offering) or go without a community altogether (which means many people won’t stick with their courses).

Without any kind of community feature, members miss the opportunity to take the course with other people. What does a community add to an online course? It turns out, a lot. For any given student, fellow classmates keep them engaged and focused via sharing stories, experiences, inspiration, challenges, and wins.

This has never been more true than it is now as tens of thousands of people launch new online courses every week. It is this living, breathing, an immensely dynamic asset that makes the difference between a successful online course and one that is "dead on arrival.”

2. Missing apps

For Teachable, a native mobile app experience was not the priority. It’s been built well for the web and has a very light app, but it’s only available on iOS and both course creators and learners find it glitchy. The fact that Android users don’t have an app at all means that 2.5 billion people can't access your course from their devices.

3. Limited delivery options & high pricing

With so many different ways to deliver a course, from live streaming a cohort-based course to running interactive, virtual sessions, Teachable is limited in terms of what you can actually do with it. There’s no native live streaming for example. It works best for an old-school asynchronous course that you don’t need much flexibility from.

Teachable’s pricing and transaction fees can also get complicated.

  • Free plan: ($1 + 10% of every sale transaction fee on paid products)
  • Basic: $29/month (5% transaction fee)
  • Pro: $99/month
  • Business: $249/month

On Teachable’s Basic plan, transaction fees would add an additional $100+ in expenses per month for the average creator.

Teachable Pricing

Overall, Teachable may not be the right fit for you if you want to:

  1. Avoid transaction fees without having to pay $99/month.
  2. Do more than just sell courses and coaching, including building a community or building out a custom website.

Here are eight alternatives you can try instead.

10 top Teachable alternatives

1. Pensil

Pensil - Teachable alternative for Course creator

Pensil is an integrable and easy-to-use community platform designed for creators who want to gather their community members around their content, engage them in discussions and turn them into paying members. In addition to discussions, members can communicate via direct messaging, too.

With Pensil, creators have a chance to build different types of online communities. These include membership, course, product, and coaching communities. The platform also allows for newsletter and podcast communities.

When it comes to discussions, it is possible to organize them in public or private space groups, depending on their nature.

Best Features:

  • Integration with your own website Do you already have a website? If so, you’ll find it convenient to simply integrate your community into your existing site. The Pensil platform makes this possible.
  • Integration with online course platforms Are you using online course platforms such as Kajabi or Teachable? Pensil makes it possible to share your content created on other community platforms with your Pensil community. And only with a single sign-on.
  • Integration with multiple tools Besides integration with web pages and different community platforms, Pensil allows you to integrate multiple handy tools with your community through a single sign-on, and track important analytics, such as the most active members, number of new members, trends, and many more.
  • Connect with your members through live streams, chats, and events Pensil allows you to host live streams and reach hundreds of coaching clients at once. Furthermore, you can invite a co-host, or your members to join you in live group coaching, lessons, and discussions.
  • Multiple monetization options Different types of online communities require different subscriptions. With Pensil, you can set up monthly, quarterly, and yearly payments, depending on the content you are creating and selling.


  • 14-day free trial
  • Start :$45/month with a custom domain, unlimited members, payment gateway, and more
  • Grow : $85/month with everything in start + 1000 hrs live sessions, 500 GB Storage, and more
  • Enterprise : For large businesses or those in regulated industries. everything in grow + Unlimited live sessions, 5 TB Storage, and more

Contact us at founders@pensil.in

2. Learnyst

Learnyst - Course creator platform

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.

Best features:

  • 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)


  • 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

3. 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.

Best features:

  • 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

4. 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.

Best features:

  • 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

5. Thinkific


No LMS comparison list is complete without Thinkific.

It's enterprise-grade offering, Thinkific Plus, offers best-in-class features like additional course hubs, service level agreements, and unlimited user access.

This platform is ideal for revenue generation, customer and employee training, and lead generation at scale.

Best features:

  • 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. 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.

Best features:

  • 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

7. Mighty Networks

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.

Best features:

  • 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

8. 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.

Best features:

  • 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

9. 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.

Best features:

  • 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)

10. 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.

Best features:

  • 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

Which Teachable alternatives will you try today?

Each and every one of these solutions are viable Teachable alternatives. Your choice largely comes down to your budget and the number of features you want access to. If you're struggling to make a decision, we encourage you to make the most of solutions that come with free trials. That way, you can get to grips with the software before parting with your precious cash.

Have you got any experience with the above Teachable alternatives? If so, we'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments box below!

Interested in exploring our product and services on a demo, getting a quote or do you just want to send an email?

Contact us at founders@pensil.in

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