Podia and Kajabi are two juggernauts in the online course industry. If you’re planning to enter it, then you must be wondering which one is the better fit for you. In today’s Podia vs Kajabi comparison, I’m going to do my best to help you make that decision.
[Note: if you want to skip right to it, I decided to go with Podia for my business].
Ok, but let’s carry on…
I get why you want to get into the online course industry.
People are increasingly resorting to e-courses to extend their knowledge.
According to projections, the online learning business will be valued at a whopping $243 billion this year.
In comparison, the e-learning market was only $46.67 billion four years ago.
That’s a significant step forward for the online course industry!
Now that we’re all excited about those figures let’s take a look under Podia’s and Kajabi’s hoods.
The Primary Contrasts Between Podia and Kajabi
Here’s a quick rundown of the two platforms’ differences:
- Podia is more affordable. However, its offerings are pretty limited. Many folks consider Kajabi to be pricey, but it’s packed with tons of features.
- Podia’s website is straightforward, and navigation is breezy. Kajabi’s website has a bit of a learning curve to it.
- Beginners typically opt for Podia because they don’t have to shell out a lot of money to try it out. Kajabi is intended for medium-sized businesses.
Related Reading: Kajabi vs. Teachable – Read The Full Comparison Here
What Are Hosted Course Creator Platforms Anyway?
Before we get into extensive detail, it’s worth noting that Podia and Kajabi are both online course platforms.
Some folks might not know what that is.
A ‘hosted course platform’ includes all the tools you’ll need to produce and sell a digital course on your site.
You won’t need to employ a lot of different plugins or be particularly tech-savvy to create your online course.
You also won’t have to worry about software upgrades, security, or maintenance.
A hosted platform should take care of everything and have a solid infrastructure in place.
The primary advantage of using a platform like this is that you can concentrate your efforts on perfecting your content.
Such platforms also help users generate sales through their sales funnel.
You don’t have to squander valuable time learning and honing the technical aspects of things.
Now that we’ve established that let’s take a closer look at both Podia and Kajabi.
With Podia, users can replace 5+ tools and maintain all of their course content.
Podia makes it possible to manage customers, email subscribers, payments, and data in one location.
Podia also claims that they provide all you need to sell online courses and memberships without having to bother about technicalities.
It’s still relatively new and a smaller operation than Kajabi, having been founded in 2014 by Spencer Fry.
It was previously known as Coach.
After a seed funding campaign, it rebranded and re-emerged on the scene as Podia in 2017 after a seed funding campaign.
Podia is devoted to providing the most creator-friendly tools to help you sell online courses, digital downloads, and membership subscriptions.
You can read case studies about customers who have successfully built and marketed online courses.
Podia has around 25,000 subscribers at the time of this writing.
Kajabi was established in 2010 by Travis Rosser and Kenny Reuter as an all-in-one platform for creating online courses.
With it, you can launch a marketing campaign, create landing pages, and design the perfect website.
It also offers to equip you with all of the tools you’ll need to start and run an internet business.
This is a huge boast, but from what I’ve seen, they appear to live up to it.
The following are some of Kajabi’s impressive stats:
- Kajabi has processed over $1,000,000,000 worth of transactions.
- More than 20,000 businesses worldwide use Kajabi.
- Kajabi services over 41,000,000 users.
Its website features numerous anecdotes about real-life “Kajabians” who have had great success using the platform.
Check them out if you’re looking for some inspiration.
Related Reading: The Best Online Course Platforms Of The Year – Click Here To Learn More.
Podia vs Kajabi: A Close-up Comparison
To be thorough, I’m going to compare Podia and Kajabi by sections.
Each section should cover most of your concerns going into this business.
According to Podia, you can get started with them in only five simple steps.
Its website leads you through each step and lists all of the features you’ll get at each level.
You’ll have access to the following once you go through these steps:
Whether you’re migrating content from another source or starting from scratch, you’ll set up your online store.
You’ll benefit from the following features at this point:
- Unlimited hosting
- A build-your-own website with custom URL through WordPress
- Google Analytics, Zapier, Facebook Pixel integrations
- Costless migration
- Online customer support
- 22 currencies and 11 languages to choose from
You may adjust the look of your site with Podia to make sure it suits your brand.
You can upload your own images, videos, testimonials, logos, and other content here.
You’ll also get the following advantages:
- Live previews where you can check how your students progress through your courses
- Customizable layout
- Optimizations for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices
It’s now time to start adding products.
This can be accomplished by either transferring existing material or creating new content.
The following are some of Podia’s most significant hallmarks that have an impact on this stage:
- You can migrate content from your other spaces on the web.
- Membership options
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited products (cheat sheets, e-books, audio and video files, PDFs, etc.)
- Bundle downloads
Create an email list and begin marketing to your customers.
This is where the capabilities listed below come in handy:
- You can create new marketing lists from scratch.
- Fully customizable sales page
- Setup newsletter
- Valuable metrics to track your performance (open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, etc.)
- You can migrate existing student lists.
- Live chat support
- An integrated real-time chat option to communicate with your students and potential students
It’s time to sell, sell, sell. You have absolute control over how your courses are sold to customers with the following capabilities:
- One-click upsells
- Affiliate management tools
- The ability to pre-launch, cross-sell and bundle your products
- Payment plan customization
- Embeddable elements
- Coupon offering
Kajabi separates its features into the following categories, which are slightly different from Podia’s:
You’ll have access to the following features when you’re setting up your website:
- A log-in for your students
- Add a logo and images
- Unlimited number of static pages
- Custom site navigation
- You can migrate existing content.
- Custom URL
- Built-in blog
- Analytics reports per day, week, and month (including stats on promotional offers)
As you create and upload products, you may take advantage of the following:
- Video content uploads that Wistia automatically encodes
- Multiple content upload options (Google Drive, Dropbox, custom URL, etc.)
- Customizable themes (all optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices)
- Drip feed content
- Customer comment integration
Once you’re set up, you’ll need to manage your customer base with the following features:
- Add new members in bulk
- Post and email announcements to members
- Track your students’ progress through your courses
- Member dashboard for monitoring member activity
- Organized customer list
- Comment moderation
- Secure multi-step checkout page
- Tagging and customer segmentation based on their behavior
Now it’s time to get the word out. You can promote your courses with the following features:
- Landing page builder
- Premade templates
- Lead captures
- Assessments on your students’ quizzes and homework
- Sales pipelines
- Pipeline blueprints
- Editable opt-in forms
- Analytics and email broadcasting
- Live and pre-recorded webinars
Podia offers a 14-day free trial but no free plan.
During the trial time, you’ll have access to all of Podia’s features, including those on the paid price plans.
After that, you can pick between two pricing options: “Mover Plan” and “Shaker Plan.”
The Mover Plan is $39 per month, and paying annually saves you $78 in annual billing.
For Podia’s starter plan, you’ll get to enjoy the following features:
- Online courses
- Email marketing tools
- No transaction fees
- Support throughout the week
- Personal storefront
- Digital downloads for your customers
- Live messaging feature (unlimited contacts)
- Unlimited products, emails, customers, sales, and hosted files
- Free migration (if you decide to pay annually)
Choosing the Shaker Plan plan will cost you $89 per month or $75 per month if paid annually.
Albeit pretty pricey, the Shaker Plan includes the following features:
- Built-in blog
- Affiliate marketing tools
- Membership tools to manage your customers’ subscriptions
- Embeddable “buy” button that your customers can use to purchase your products without being directed elsewhere
- Add elements from Olark, Facebook, Pixel, etc.
Kajabi offers three different price options: Basic, Growth, and Pro.
All tiers come with a 14-day free trial, but it’s unclear whether you can test all three for free.
However, you do get a six-week freebie.
All of Kajabi’s pricing plans include the following marketing features:
- Unlimited marketing emails
- Events and webinars
- Surveys and assessments
- Unlimited landing pages
- 0% transaction fees
- Premade templates
- Entry to the Kajabi University
If you decide to go for the Basic plan, its current discounted rate is $119 per month, previously $149. With this tier, you get:
- Three pipelines
- 1,000 member limit
- 10,000 contact limit
- Supports one admin user
- Three digital products
- One website
- Live chat support
If it proves to be inadequate, you could go for the Growth plan.
Its current discounted rate is $159 per month, previously $199.
With this tier, you get everything from the Basic plan, plus:
- 15 pipelines
- 10,000 member limit
- 25,000 contact limit
- Live chat support
- Freedom to remove Kajabi branding
- 15 digital products
- Supports ten admin users
- Affiliate program access
If you’re planning to build a full-blown online course enterprise, Kajabi has a Pro plan.
Its current discounted rate is $319 per month, previously $399.
You’ll get everything from the two previous tiers, plus:
- 100 pipelines
- 2,000,000 marketing emails
- Three websites
- Entry to the Expert Academy
- 100 digital products
- 100,000 contact limit
- 20,000 member limit
- Supports 25 admin users
- Code editor
There is no transaction cost when you sell stuff with Kajabi’s built-in payment processor.
However, there is still a Stripe merchant processing fee.
Every transaction will cost you 2.9%+$0.30.
Podia provides live chat, email, or video support regardless of which plan you’re on.
According to their website, their average response time is 2 minutes.
Live chat support is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you require assistance outside of these hours, Podia claims that they will respond to your message via their contact form.
Podia’s website also has a Resource Center that you can access.
You’ll find a wealth of helpful information here.
“How To” instructions are also available for a variety of titles, including:
- “How To Create, Sell, and Profit From An Online Course”
- “How To Create An Amazing Membership Site”
- Titles encompassing digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and sales
Customers can also get toolkits from Podia.
If writing sales copy isn’t your thing, they’ve put together a free kit that will do it for you.
Simply answer a few questions about your company, and they’ll take care of the rest.
Unless you’re on the Basic plan, Kajabi provides live chat support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Live chat help is accessible for fewer hours for Basic active members.
There’s a Help Center where you may search a topic and find articles and tips in response.
Billing, pipelines, website design, and payment methods are among the subjects covered.
You can use the site’s prominent pop-up chat box or email the Kajabi team if you prefer.
You can also go to the Kajabi blog for further information.
There, they cover topics such as:
- Customer engagement and retention
- Using the Kajabi mobile app
- Animations in web pages
Kajabi University is where you’ll find all of Kajabi’s step-by-step help tutorials.
The Expert Academy, headed by Brendan Burchard, an online author, coach, trader, and social media influencer, is available to Pro plan customers.
Related Reading: Thinkific VS Teachable – Read The Ultimate Comparison Here.
Pros and Cons
- Affordable payment plans
- An end-to-end sales funnels builder
- Premade templates
- Custom posts
- Unlimited storage
- Excellent UX
- Zero transaction fees
- Topnotch customer support (including guides and online training)
- Embeddable checkout button
- Self-paced courses
- Includes a “course player” (allows you to upload videos, text, audio, and PDFs)
- No space for community building
- Free plan not available
- Mobile app not available
- Pricing options aren’t as flexible as Kajabi’s
- No quizzes and assessments
- Round-the-clock support
- Encourages you to build a community
- Has an iOS and Android app
- Kajabi University is an excellent resource.
- Beautiful premade themes
- Fully customizable personal site and blog posts
- Flexible subscription options
- Custom domain
- High transaction fees
- You have to deal with EU VAT yourself.
- No free plan
- Limited storage
- Website usage has a steep learning curve
What People Say About These Platforms
A cursory Google search reveals that the most common complaint about Kajabi is its pricing.
Aside from that, there are a lot of good things to say about it.
People praise the platform’s ease of use.
They also like the fact that it allows them to host their own website.
Plus, Kajabi’s exceptional customer service is truly something they can brag about.
Overall, the platform has received rave reviews.
Its own website features testimonials from a variety of entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic about what they have to offer.
Kajabi’s site boasts a number of satisfied clients who they refer to as “thought leaders.”
These folks have careers in fitness, personal development, marketing, social media, and video content, among the six featured on their homepage.
Despite the fact that you can see who they are, there are no links to their individual success stories.
There aren’t many negative reviews for Podia either. Its pricing, design, marketing, and membership features are well-liked by users.
Podia’s users may be seen on its website, and they are happy to laud its praises.
There are references to the websites of delighted customers.
It’s evident that they want you to see how their platform is benefitting actual people.
Instead of relying on reviews from well-known publications, Podia conducts its own self-reviews on its website.
Some readers might see this as a superficial way of clearly contrasting itself with its competitors.
However, I think it’s a good addition that aims to provide greater openness to the company’s customers.
They claim to be a Kajabi “alternative that’s truly affordable.”
I, for one, appreciate that they encourage folks to go for the platform that best suits their needs.
It shows real transparency.
Which Platform Is Better For You?
You can sell online courses, digital downloads, webinars, and subscriptions on both platforms.
Both offer advanced email marketing, a website builder, affiliate marketing, and other features.
What determines the ideal platform for you is what is essential to you.
Podia is specifically designed as an all-in-one platform that makes running your online business straightforward.
It’s the economical choice whether you’re just starting out – it’s the one I went with, as I am just getting going with creating course content.
But overall, Kajabi has more to offer, especially if webinars are your primary marketing channel.
Either way, it depends on the pace of your business’ growth and what your plans look like.
Related Reading: Thinkific vs. Kajabi – Read The Full Comparison Here
Are you now leaning towards one platform, or are you still on the fence?
Think about your desired goals for your business and consider what you can afford right now.
Either will be better than neither 😉
I’m pumped that you’re looking into starting an online course business.