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The world of online learning is a fast-growing sector. But don’t just take our word for it.
Evidence shows that more and more people are turning to e-courses to broaden their horizons. In fact, reports indicate that by 2022 the ‘learning online’ sector will be worth a whopping $243 billion! By comparison, just four years ago (2016), the e-learning market amounted to only $46.67 billion. That’s a huge leap!
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The main differences between Podia vs Kajabi are:
So, it’s a small wonder that floods of course creators and educators are looking for the best software to help them cash in on the trend.
Luckily, there are loads of online platforms out there to help you build, market, and sell your course — each promising something slightly different from the last. But, unsurprisingly, some are more reputable than others. Given the breadth of choice, finding the right platform can seem like a cumbersome and time-consuming task.
Just a quick Google search generates an overwhelming choice of online course builders, all offering extensive suites brimming with features and enticing discounts.
So, to help narrow your search, we’re going to provide you with top features and key differences to consider.
Does that sound good to you? Fab! So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of this review, it’s worth mentioning that both Podia and Kajabi, are ‘hosted’ platforms.
‘Well, what does that mean?’ We hear you cry.
In short, a ‘hosted course platform‘ already has the tools and infrastructure you need to create and sell a digital course via your own website. Consequently, you don’t have to use lots of different plugins or be especially tech-savvy when it comes to building your online course.
You also don’t need to worry about things like software updates, security, maintenance, and so on, as a hosted platform should take care of all that for you.
The key benefit of running your course via a platform like this is that you can focus your energies on getting your course content just right and generating sales. Rather than wasting your precious time learning and perfecting the technical side of things.
Now we’ve clarified that, let’s take a look at both Podia and Kajabi in greater detail…
From the horse’s mouth, Podia tells potential subscribers they can:
“Replace 5+ tools and keep all your products, content, customers, email subscribers, payments, and data in one place.”
Podia also says they offer:
“Everything you need to sell online courses, downloads, and memberships without worrying about the tech.”
Founded in 2014 by Spencer Fry, it’s the newer kid on the block and a smaller operation than Kajabi. It used to be known as Coach. After a seed funding campaign, it rebranded in 2017 and re-emerged on the market as Podia.
Podia also says it’s:
“Committed to building the most creator-friendly tools to help you sell online courses, digital downloads, membership subscriptions, and more to your audience.”
You can read case studies about real clients who have created online courses and sold them successfully. At the time of writing, it Podia boasts over 25,000 subscribers…they can’t all be wrong, right?
Founded by Kenny Rueter and Travis Rosser in 2010, Kajabi describes itself as:
“An all-in-one platform that makes it easy to create online courses, launch marketing campaigns, building landing pages, and design the perfect website.”
It also promises to provide: “all the tools you need to build a successful online business.”
This is a pretty big claim, but from what we can tell…they seem to live up to the hype (as you’ll see for yourself as we delve deeper into this review).
Kajabi’s stats are pretty impressive:
If you’re keen to subscribe to a company whose vision you share, you’ll want to know what their goals are. Kajabi’s are as follows:
“We believe everyone has a passion for sharing. And so we created the world’s only Knowledge Commerce platform to help people get their knowledge out there and find success. Today, our platform empowers thousands of users everyday [sic] to build life-changing businesses and create an online presence that reflects them.”
Its website showcases plenty of stories about real-life “Kajabians” boasting impressive success stories using the platform. From the food entrepreneur who paid off his debt selling online courses to the retired fire chief who now runs his company while living life on the road. These testimonies are nothing short of inspiring.
Now you have a bit of an overview of both platforms, let’s look at some of the finer details, including their features, prices, their pros, and more importantly, their cons.
Podia says you can be up and running with them in just five simple steps. Its website walks you through each step with a breakdown of all the features you’ll experience at each level. If we follow their lead, you’ll get access to the following:
You set up your online store, irrespective of whether you have content to migrate from elsewhere or you’re starting from scratch. At this stage, you’ll benefit from the following features:
Podia allows you to customize the look of your site, so you can ensure it reflects your brand. Here you can add your own photos, videos, testimonials, logo, etc. You’ll also enjoy the following benefits:
Now it’s time to add products. This either means migrating existing content or adding fresh content. The most notable of Podia’s hallmarks impacting this stage include:
Build your email list and start marketing to customers. This is where the below features come in handy:
Start selling. You have full control over how you sell your courses to customers.
Podia’s key selling features include:
Kajabi splits its features slightly differently to Podia, as it divides them into the following categories:
So, let’s take a look at each of these classifications:
Podia offers a free 14-day trial, but there’s no free plan.
During the trial period, you’ll get access to all of Podia’s features. Once that’s over, there are two pricing options to choose from, one’s called “Mover” and the other, “Shaker.”
Mover costs $39 per month, and if you pay annually, you save $78.
For that you get:
If you opt for the Shaker package, it’ll cost you $79 per month, or if you pay annually, you’ll save $158.
For that you’ll get all the above, as well as:
Kajabi has three pricing plans, Basic, Growth, or Pro. All come with a 14-day free trial, but it isn’t clear whether you can try each of the three packages for free, thereby providing a six-week freebie.
If you opt for the Basic plan, it currently costs you a (discounted) rate of $119 a month (down from $149 a month), billed annually.
For that, you can:
Or, if you go for the Growth plan, currently, it’ll cost you a discounted $159 a month, down from $199 a month (billed annually).
For that, you get everything in the ‘Basic’ plan, as well as:
To upgrade to the Pro plan, it’ll set you back $319 a month (currently discounted from $399 a month), and again it’s billed annually.
You’ll get everything included with the previous two plans, as well as:
It’s worth noting: Yes, there’s a 0% transaction fee when you sell products via Kajabi’s built-in payment processor, but there’s still a Stripe merchant processing fee. This is 2.9% and 30 cents for every transaction.
Podia offers support in the form of live chat, email, or video regardless of which plan you’re on. Its website tells us that their average response time is 2 minutes.
You can access live chat support from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm. If you need assistance outside these hours, the rest of the time, Podia says they’ll still “respond to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” when you an email or message via their contact form.
There’s also a Resource Centre you can access via Podia’s website. Here you’ll find tons of informative articles, including titles like: “4 surefire ways to find the best social media platform for your business,” and “The 5-step guide for building an online business that runs without you.”
There are also “How To” guides on a wide range of titles including: “How to create an amazing membership website,” How to create, sell and profit from an online course in 2020” and a range of other guides covering topics such as entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and sales.
Podia also provides customers with toolkits. For example, if writing sales orientated copy isn’t your bag, they’ve created a free kit that does it for you. Just answer a few questions about your business, and they’ll do the rest.
Kajabi offers 24/7 live chat support unless you’re on the Basic plan. For subscribers of the Basic package, live chat support is available for fewer hours.
There’s also a Help Center where you can type in a question or subject matter, and articles and tips pop up. Featured topics include billing, pipelines, website design, and payment methods. A ubiquitous pop-up chat box is available on the site, or you can click through to the Kajabi Gmail account and send a more detailed question(s) that way.
The ‘Quick Answers’ section inside the Help Center has topics sorted by categories, like website, marketing, settings, products, people, partners, liquid documentation, mobile, billing, FAQ, and Kajabi news.
Alternatively, you can head over to the Kajabi blog. Over there, they cover titles like: “Fireside Chat: All About Pricing,” How to Increase Customer Engagement & Retention Using The Kajabi Mobile App,” and “How It Works: Blazing Fast Animation Inside Kajabi Pages.”
We mentioned Kajabi University earlier on, and this is basically where you’ll find all of Kajabi’s step-by-step help guides. For subscribers of the Pro plan, there’s also the Expert Academy, which is led by Brendan Burchard, an author, speaker, coach, online trader, and social media influencer.
Podia’s most notable advantages are as follows:
But, it’s not without its drawbacks:
We love that Kajbi has:
But the main drawback is that there’s:
A quick Google scan tells us the chief complaint surrounding Kajabi is its cost. Elsewhere, there are many positive reviews to be found. People comment on its ease of use, that they can host their own website via the platform, and Kajabi’s excellent customer service… just to name a few.
Overall, the platform boasts terrific reviews, and its own website tells the stories of many an entrepreneur who love what they have to offer. Its website tells us they’ve been featured in the likes of Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, CNBC, Time, Success, HuffPost, Engadget, and Business Insider. Impressive, right?
Kajabi’s site has its fair share of happy customers who they describe as “thought leaders.” The six they feature on their homepage have careers in the following areas: fitness, personal development, marketing, social media, and video content. Although you can see who they are, there are no links that take you to their individual success stories, which is a shame. There are more success stories further down the home page where you can watch short video interviews with each case study.
There’s little in the way of bad reviews for Podia either. Users like its pricing, design, and membership features. Podia’s users are readily apparent on its website and happy to sing its praises. For example, user Becky Mollenkamp says: “Podia solves all of my selling needs by letting me house courses, memberships and downloads all in one place. Plus, the customer service is second to none.”
There are links to satisfied customers’ own websites. Although yes, these take you away from Podia, it’s clear they really want you to see how their platform is helping real-life people.
Instead of household name press reviews, Podia actually reviews itself on its site. Some readers may find this a cynical means of clearly comparing itself favourably with its competitors. However, we thought it’s a nice touch and aimed at greater transparency for its customers.
Podia compares itself to Kajabi, saying it’s a Kajabi “alternative that’s actually affordable.” It also distinguishes itself from ClickFunnels, Teachable, Thinkific, and Gumroad. We like that they say: “we want you to choose the best platform for you, even if it’s not us.”
Kajabi is a web-based, “all-in-one” software that gives you the tools needed to make money from selling your knowledge all within one app. Kajabi includes: Website building tools and email marketing tools.
Yes, lots of people use Podia to manage and run their entire business. You can add additional pages like and ‘About’ page, FAQ’s, landing pages, social media links, and any other information that you would like to include on your primary website.
Kajabi only allows the selling of digital products as they provide a platform for people to sell their knowledge and expertise.
So, now you have all the information, which should you go for? Kajabi is much more expensive, but there’s an apparent reason for that. It’s because it offers so many more features. If you want to run your entire business through it, you can.
Podia is cheaper and more limited in that regard. If you’re leaning towards Kajabi, you can test it first to really see if you want to risk the expense. The good news is, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you cancel your Kajabi subscription within 30 days of the first payment.
We found Podia’s website easier to navigate and full of intuitive content. It was easy to find answers to simple questions about things like customer support, and we liked how they break down the features step-by-step. It doesn’t assume you have a vast knowledge base, and the content is well-written.
Overall, Kajabi does have more to offer. Still, Podia may be a more natural choice for people on a lower income who are just starting out. It’s up to you.
Kajabi seems to be aiming itself towards medium-sized businesses. So if that’s you or you intend it to be you, it’s a platform you can certainly grow into. Podia may not have been around as long and be a smaller proposition, but that doesn’t mean it won’t give you what you need.
Before you make your choice, you have to have a clear vision of what you plan to do (in both the short and longer-term) and choose accordingly. Over to you!
Have you ever used either Podia or Kajabi? If so, how did you find these platforms? We would love to hear how you got on with them in the comments box below. Speak soon!
I blog about the tools I use every day because everyone hates hype-mongers. Don't be a hype-monger. I build web assets every day and I know the struggle with choosing the right tools. From SEO to website creation, to sales funnels tools, I've used them all and now I'm here to tell you about them.