Teachable was one of the course platforms I have signed up and used over the years for professional development courses I have taken. This time, I needed to choose one for the services I want to offer:
- Online and blended workshops
- Consultation bookings
- Downloadable files
If I want to create a subscription-based membership in the future and coaching, I can do that too.
After comparing different platforms, I was left with two options: Thinkific and Teachable. Here is why I chose Teachable:
Teachable makes payment, payout, and tax easy
Most people looking for a course platform might first look at the course design options. My main concern when choosing a platform was the payout options. I know that these platforms are comparable in their functions. But I found out that only Teachable deals automatically with VAT and sales tax for different countries:
…we not only accept the payment, but also handle when and how much sales tax needs to be charged, collected, and remitted.
Not only that, but should you have authors and affiliate marketers, they automatically calculate and handle these payouts too. I know you might be thinking I’m a solopreneur, or that you might never start an affiliate program, but it can happen faster than you think. I was thinking that too, but am already considering co-creating a course with a colleague.
Finally, for me it was also important that I can receive payments into my Turkish bank account. This is a unique problem because neither PayPal nor Stripe operate directly in Turkey for different reasons. Again, teachable is the only one that does this and very easily because they have their own proprietary payment gateway: teachable:pay.
Teachable takes away the tax admin headache and allows me to receive payments without going through the trouble of using third-party payment providers.
Simple user interface and design tools
Getting started on Teachable is very easy. You are guided step-by-step to give your school and courses a name, write the course summary for the sales page, design the sales page, etc.
Your school’s name becomes the subdomain in the link: for example mine is:
All your courses, workshops, coaching, and downloadables will be listed here, each with its own landing page.
If you want, you can use your own domain address (Basic paid plan) and remove the Teachable branding (Pro plan) [on the payment page, it does still show Teachable]. This allows you to use your own brand colours and design. When I do this this eventually, the link might look something like these:
New participant onboarding is also very easy. I experienced this when I signed up for a course as a learner. Buying the course, creating an account and then working through the course was very intuitive. As an online learning specialist, I know how crucial this is for learner success. It’s why setting up the system and learner access is the first of five necessary steps in the Five Stage Model by Gilly Salmon. Besides setting up learners for success, it means less work in answering questions and troubleshooting for us facilitators.
Teachable has a no-frills approach but provides options for extending functionality
I don’t have a need for a platform with all the bells and whistles an instructional designer might be looking for. My workshops are communicative and reflective. There isn’t a lot of content that I teach either. So, I can do without different types of the usual ordering, matching, gap-fill or similar activities.
You can directly upload different file types, such as video, audio, pdfs, and images and directly embed these in your course pages. You can also upload non-supported files for download.
You can break up content into sections and lessons, with a comments section on each page.
Teachable only has one type of multiple-choice quiz type integrated and threadable comments for forum discussions. But if you do need more functionality, it provides the option to embed any external application that allows you to generate and add code snippets, for example:
- Forms (e.g. Typeform, Google, SurveyMonkey)
- Video and audio
- Webinar live streams
- and others
If I wanted to offer content-heavy self-access courses and wanted to test understanding more thoroughly, I would want more quiz options. So if this is you and you are not limited by the payment options like I am, you might be better off with a different course platform. For my needs, Teachable looks like the best option. I am just starting with it. Once I have more experience, I will write another blog post about it.
In the meantime, if you want to try it out yourself, you can use my Teachable referral link to receive $25 credit instantly when you sign up that you can use for any paid plan.