Podia vs Kajabi – Which is the Best Platform for Your Online Business in 2021?

podia vs kajabi

If you’re hoping to start a profitable online course business, it’s important to make sure you have the right tools for the job.

There are tons of all-in-one platforms out there that offer everything you need to create your site and start selling online courses. In this post, we’re going to be comparing two of the best: Podia vs Kajabi.

We’re going to be sharing our first-hand experiences using each of these platforms and comparing their performance across all the main areas, including course creation, sales and marketing, ease of use, support, and more.

We’ll also be finding out what they have in common, what makes them different, and looking at some of the unique tools and features each platform has to offer.

Finally, we’ll be looking at how their pricing plans stack up, determining which course platform offers the best value for money (spoiler: there’s a clear winner), and helping you to decide which is the best choice for you based on your needs and goals.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Key Differences Between Podia and Kajabi

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s start with a high-level overview of each platform and look at the key differences between them.

online course platforms
Kajabi.com — A Leading All-In-One Platform.

Kajabi is an enterprise-level, all-in-one platform that’s been around for over a decade. It launched back in 2010 and in the decade since then has been used by over 40,000 entrepreneurs across 120 countries to serve courses to over 60 million students.

online platform
Podia.com — A Robust All-In-One Platform.

Podia is another all-in-one platform that opened up shop a little later than Kajabi in 2014. Unlike Kajabi, Podia doesn’t aim to be an enterprise-level solution. Instead, it’s built for smaller businesses, solopreneurs, and independent educators who prioritize simplicity and don’t need all the bells and whistles.

Here are the 5 most important differences between the two platforms.

Podia Is Much More Affordable Than Kajabi

The biggest difference between the two platforms is the price – Podia is much more affordable. Its entry-level plan starts at just $39 per month, which is less than a third of the cost of Kajabi’s lowest-priced plan ($149/month or $119/month billed annually).

The price difference represents the different target markets: Kajabi is an enterprise-level solution suitable for businesses with big budgets that need tons of flexibility and advanced features, whereas Podia is very much an entry-level solution built for smaller creators.

We’ll talk more about the different pricing plans and what’s included with each later.

Podia Is More Popular Worldwide, But Kajabi Is More Popular In North America

If we look at the Google Trends data, it’s clear that Podia is much more well-known than Kajabi globally. People across the world (particularly in South America and Europe) search for Podia much more often than Kajabi:

own branding
Image source: https://trends.google.com/

However, if we look at North America specifically, the data tells a different story. Kajabi is much more popular in the US and Canada than Podia:

successful online comparison

Kajabi Is More Advanced and Flexible, Whereas Podia Focuses On Simplicity

Both Kajabi and Podia are all-in-one platforms that come with built-in email marketing software, front-end landing page/website builders, course creation tools, etc. 

However, Kajabi offers a more advanced feature set with a few more bells and whistles. It’s also a little more flexible and developer-friendly, with a code editor and advanced customization options to give you more control:

course building

Podia, on the other hand, focuses on simplicity. It aims to be a lightweight solution for creators who don’t need enterprise-level tools and eliminates unnecessary bloatware. The tradeoff is that you’ll have less control and freedom over the look and feel of your online courses. 

Kajabi Has More Unique Features Than Podia

Kajabi has several unique features that Podia doesn’t currently offer, including Pipelines and automations, a blogging tool, and better website templates.

Podia also has some unique features (like integrated messaging) but not as many.  Again, we’ll talk more about the features that are exclusive to each platform later.

Podia Offers Unlimited Everything Whereas Kajabi Doesn’t

One of the biggest benefits of choosing Podia is that it’s scalable. There are no limits to the number of products, contacts, members, or sales you can have, regardless of which plan you sign up for. As such, you can grow your business without having to worry about hitting any ceilings.

Kajabi, on the other hand, caps the number of products you can sell, contacts you can have, and members you can accept. The exact limit depends on which plan you sign up for.

Now that we’ve covered some of the biggest differences, let’s compare Podia vs Kajabi in all the main areas, starting with online course creation.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Online Course Creation

Both Podia and Kajabi offer easy-to-use, flexible, visual course creators, which enable you to put together a complete online course in under an hour. Each platform supports various content formats, including video files, text, PDFs, audio, etc.

While we found Podia’s course creation interface to be a little more user-friendly, Kajabi’s range of course creation tools was undoubtedly better, all things considered.

With Kajabi, you can choose whether you want to start from a Product Blueprint (pre-designed templates) or from scratch.

blueprints is a main difference
Kajabi Gives You Blueprints to Products Quickly.

There are Blueprints for various different types of courses and digital products, including mini-courses, online courses, 12-week coaching programs, evergreen training (drip content), and more.

Once you select a Blueprint, Kajabi will automatically create a general structure for your course and populate it with sample content, which can help save you a bunch of time. 

mini course example

Related: Kajabi University comes included to help in your course success journey with Kajabi.

Podia doesn’t offer course blueprints – you have to start from scratch every time and add everything in manually. 

example of course platforms

This is okay if you’re only building a simple course, but if you’re building a complex course with dozens of modules, trying to add everything in from scratch and structure, it all can get messy.

Another difference between the two is in the course structure. Podia courses are divided into sections and lessons. Sections are higher-level categories (kind of like chapters), while lessons are individual modules within those categories.

Each Kajabi course is segmented into three ‘levels’: categories, subcategories, and posts (individual modules). Having that extra subcategory level is helpful if you’re building out a really large course and need to break it up into multiple sub-sections.

In addition to all that, Kajabi also has the advantage of letting you choose a theme for your course player (Podia only offers one course player that you can customize).

prebuilt themes
Kajabi Customizable Themes.

Kajabi also supports cloud importing from sites like Google Drive. Podia doesn’t currently support this – you can only upload files directly.

The bottom line: Podia offers an intuitive, simple course builder, which is great for beginners and suitable for simple e-courses with a straightforward structure. However, Kajabi is the better choice for creating large courses thanks to its customizable pre-designed templates, subcategories feature, and support for cloud importing. 

Podia Vs Kajabi – Memberships

If you’re planning on building a membership site, both Podia and Kajabi provide all the tools you’ll need. 

Podia allows you to create and share members-only Posts with your community, bundle up different products and offer them as part of your membership package, and more. You can also use Podia’s Community tools to connect your audience to third-party social networks like Facebook and Slack. 

You can set up Membership plans on Podia through the Community tab. It’s a pretty simple process: just choose your included products, set your pricing, and add a name and description. 

membership sites
Create Membership Sites with Podia.

You can create unlimited membership levels (with different perks for each level) and have unlimited members on all plans.

Kajabi also offers plenty of advanced membership tools. Like Kajabi, you can create various pricing plans, bundle up products, and even create a standalone community area on which members can interact with each other. You can set up memberships on Kajabi through Product Blueprints.

product offerings

Podia only supports monthly or annual membership subscriptions, whereas with Kajabi, you can charge members weekly, monthly, yearly, or at any other regular time interval. 

The bottom line: Kajabi offers more flexible pricing options and a standalone community tool. However, it’s much easier to set up membership plans on Podia.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Website Templates

One of the best things about Kajabi is its library of stunning, professionally-designed website templates and themes. 

use a premier theme

All themes are fully customizable using Kajabi’s easy-to-use theme editor. If you want to make more advanced customizations, you can use the code editor. 

To build your site with Kajabi website templates, simply navigate to Website > Design > Manage Themes > Pick a Theme. From there, choose the theme that best fits your business.

Unlike Kajabi, Podia only offers one default theme. However, it is highly customizable. You can use the integrated website builder and page editor to change background colors, text colors, and fonts and then add sections and modules.

site builder

The bottom line: Kajabi wins when it comes to website templates. It offers several stunning options to choose from, whereas Podia only offers one.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Digital Products

While both Podia and Kajabi are primarily designed to help you create and sell online courses, they can also be used to sell pretty much any other digital products you can think of.

Kajabi’s Product Blueprints support seven different types of digital products: online courses, mini-courses, drip courses, memberships, coaching, and community.

a go to platform

Podia supports five different types of digital products: online courses, digital downloads, webinar access, product bundles, and coaching sessions.

great for medium sized businesses

If you just want to sell something straightforward like an ebook, PDF, audio file, or video, the easiest way to go about it is to choose the digital download option with Podia. From there, you just upload the file, set your pricing, and hit publish.

Kajabi can be used to sell one-off digital downloads too, but it’s really built for selling more complex digital products like full online courses and coaching programs.

The bottom line: Both platforms can be used to sell a variety of digital products, but Podia is the best choice for selling simple digital downloads. Kajabi’s rich feature set means it would be overkill for this use case.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Sales & Marketing Tools

As all-in-one platforms, both Podia and Kajabi come with several built-in sales and marketing tools to make it easier to generate and nurture leads and ultimately drive more sales. 

For example, both come with powerful email marketing tools (more on this next), plus affiliate marketing tools that make it easy to create your own affiliate program, set commissions, and track sales.

closer look at affiliate dashboard

However, if we had to pick a winner in this category, it has to be Kajabi. Here’s why

First off, Kajabi enables you to build high-converting landing pages using predesigned templates and a powerful landing page builder. Podia also lets you build pages, but the page editor is very basic. Therefore, you’ll probably want to integrate it with a more robust third-party landing page builder if you want to maximize your conversions.

Kajabi also offers all sorts of powerful marketing automations plus a sales funnel builder, which takes it to the next level.

The bottom line: Both platforms offer an in-built affiliate marketing suite, but Kajabi offers more sophisticated marketing tools overall and a better landing page builder.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Email Marketing

Both platforms come with built-in email marketing tools out of the box. You can use these tools to set up email campaigns and broadcasts, create basic email automation sequences, and dig into analytics. 

On balance, Kajabi’s email marketing capabilities are much more sophisticated than Podia’s. Kajabi can completely replace specialized third-party email marketing platforms like ConvertKit, whereas Podia can’t – it can only really handle very basic email operations.

For example, with Kajabi, you get a powerful visual email builder that you can use to design stunning emails. You can start from scratch or choose from a selection of over a dozen themed templates and then customize the design. You’re not limited to just text and links – you can add countdown timers, video previews, and other preset sections.

countdown timer

On the other hand, Podia only offers one standard email template. It’s clean and professional but a little boring, and you can’t change the design much aside from basic text formatting. 

Kajabi’s email segmentation and list management tools are also much more powerful than Podia’s. By default, Kajabi splits your list up into three default segments: subscribers, inactive subscribers (those who haven’t opened your emails in the last few months), and undeliverable (email addresses to which your emails have recently bounced from).

You can also tag users yourself to create custom segments based on your specific needs. This makes it easy to create highly targeted email campaigns and offers a great deal of flexibility. For example, you might want to tag users and segment your list based on how they respond to a survey or on what pages they’ve visited on your site.

automation tools

Podia doesn’t allow you to tag users or segment your list with the same degree of freedom. All you can really do is add or remove someone from your campaign when they take certain actions, like subscribing or purchasing a product, by setting entrance and exit conditions.

Kajabi also offers a really neat email subject line validation tool, which checks your subject line for spam triggers to improve deliverability.

The bottom line: Kajabi wins when it comes to email marketing and can completely replace dedicated email marketing platforms. Podia isn’t as advanced but can still handle simple email campaigns.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Testing, Analytics & Reporting

If you want your online course or membership business to be a success, it’s important to constantly test, measure, and analyze your performance and make improvements where necessary.

Both Podia and Kajabi come with A/B testing tools that can help with this. A/B testing involves comparing two variants of a course, website page, or piece of content to see which performs best.

With Kajabi, you can use A/B testing on images, email subject lines, offers, and more. Podia currently only offers A/B testing for email headlines.

Kajabi also wins when it comes to analytics. It comes with built-in reporting features that you can use to keep track of key metrics like sales, conversions, opt-ins, and engagement. 

Podia doesn’t have in-built analytics and instead relies on integration with third-party analytics platforms like Google Analytics.

The bottom line: Kajabi has natively integrated reporting features that Podia lacks and more versatile A/B testing tools.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Integrations

Both platforms offer extensive integration with various third-party tools like MailChimp, ConvertKit, Google Analytics, Zapier, FB Pixel, and more. 

Therefore, if you find the in-built marketing and sales tools aren’t sufficient for your needs, you can easily hook Kajabi and Podia up with the rest of your marketing stack. If the platform you choose to use doesn’t offer direct integration with a tool, you should still be able to hook it up through Zapier.

The bottom line: It’s a tie. Both Podia and Kajabi offer extensive integration options with little difference between them.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Customer Support

Podia offers live chat and email support seven days a week. I tested out the live chat widget to ask a sales query, and it took around 10 minutes for me to receive a response from an agent. 

support team
Podia’s Customer Support.

The conversation doesn’t happen in real-time, so it’s tough to hold a conversation. If you have follow-up questions, you’ll have to wait a few minutes again for another response.

Kajabi offers 24/7 live chat support for Growth and Pro plan customers. The response time seems to be a lot quicker than Podia as it all happens in real-time. 

Both platforms also have extensive knowledge libraries, which come in handy if you prefer to find answers to your queries yourself without having to speak to someone.

The bottom line: Both Podia and Kajabi have helpful, knowledgeable support teams, but Kajabi’s live chat support is a little more responsive.

Podia Vs Kajabi – Ease of Use

Both Kajabi and Podia are designed to be as easy to use as possible. They both feature no-code, drag-and-drop website editors and straightforward course builders.

Overall, Podia is probably the most beginner-friendly as there’s a limited number of customizations you can make, and everything is super simplified. 

all the elements

Kajabi has a bit more of a learning curve, considering all the things you can do with it. However, once you get the hang of it, it’s arguably easier to use than Podia. 

Blueprints, pre-built course templates, and website themes mean a lot of the work involved in putting together your site is already done for you, so you don’t have to build everything from scratch as you do with Podia.

The bottom line: Podia is the most simple and beginner-friendly of the two platforms, but Kajabi is easier to use once you get the hang of it.

Exclusive to Kajabi

Before we move on to the price, let’s take a look at some of the features that are exclusive to each platform, starting with Kajabi.

Automation Pipelines

One of the best things about Kajabi is its powerful automation support. You can use the Pipelines Visual Editor and Pipeline Blueprints to build entire sales funnels without any of the usual headaches.

sales pipelines

The Pipeline Blueprints are essentially premade automations. There are various options to choose from, all of which can help you achieve different types of marketing goals.

For example, the Sales Page OVO Pipeline is designed to help you nurture leads until they’re ready to buy, then guide them through the checkout process.

Once you select it, it’ll automatically wire together an opt-in form, an email sequence with 8 automatically-triggered emails, a sales page, and a checkout process. Once all these elements are in place, you can customize them within your Pipeline.

For example, the Sales Page OVO Pipeline is designed to help you nurture leads until they’re ready to buy, then guide them through the checkout process.

Once you select it, it’ll automatically wire together an opt-in form, email sequence with 8 automatically-triggered emails, sales page, and checkout.

You can learn more about Kajabi Pipelines here.

Podia doesn’t offer anything like this. It only offers limited automation support such as the ability to build upsells, automated webinar emails, etc.

Blog Tool

Another unique feature Kajabi has that Podia doesn’t is a blogging function. 

own website
Get Website Visitors to Your Blog (Built with Kajabi and SEO-Friendly)

With Kajabi, you can create and publish blog posts to your site from your dashboard. Just navigate to the Website tab, click Blog, and then add a New Blog Post

Within the blog post editor, you can control metadata, set custom URLs, schedule content to be published on a specific date, and more. The interface is very straightforward and not dissimilar to the WordPress block editor.

Kajabi’s built-in blog capabilities can help with your SEO efforts so that you can drive more organic search traffic. You can publish blog content on topics that your target customers search for to improve your chances of ranking in the search engine results pages for different target keywords.

Unlike Kajabi, Podia doesn’t offer an official blogging tool. There are a few workarounds you can use to create blog posts on the platform, such as starting from a custom page or public community posts. However, this isn’t ideal. 

If you plan on blogging, it’s a much better idea to either create your blog separately on something like WordPress or choose a platform that offers native support for blogging, like Kajabi.

Exclusive to Podia

Next, let’s look at a couple of features that are exclusive to Podia.

Messaging

One of the coolest things about Podia is the integrated messaging system. You can add a live chat widget to your store and use it to directly communicate with your customers.

This is a huge game-changer. It can help you generate more leads, offer a more personalized, engaging experience for your customers, and provide on-the-spot answers to their questions.

My one gripe with Podia’s chat feature is that it’s only live while the user is on the page. Once they close the tab, the lead is lost. 

Unlike Podia, Kajabi doesn’t offer an in-built messaging system. It’s still possible to add a live chat widget to your Kajabi website, but you’ll need to use a third-party tool like ManyChat and integrate it by copy-pasting in the code snippet to do so. 

Embeddable Buy Buttons

Unlike Kajabi, Podia also allows you to create customized buy buttons to sell your online course or digital product. You can embed these buy buttons anywhere on the web you want to sell by copy and pasting a code snippet. 

Once clicked, it’ll load up Podia’s simple checkout form so your customer can complete the purchase without leaving the page. This comes in really useful if you have another website or blog you want to use to promote your Podia course. 

Podia Vs Kajabi Pricing Comparison

Now, let’s talk money. 

As I mentioned earlier, Podia is undoubtedly the more economical option of the two platforms. Podia recently updated their pricing and now offer three plans: Mover, Shaker, and Earthquaker.

pricing plan

Mover is their entry-level plan and starts at just $39 per month. It’s the best choice for entrepreneurs who want a low-cost solution to create and sell online courses but don’t need much else. It lacks some of the more advanced features like an affiliate marketing suite.

Shaker is the next step up and starts at $79 per month. It’s the best choice for small businesses and course sellers with a reasonable monthly sales volume who want to take things up a notch. 

It comes with everything included in the Mover plan plus affiliate marketing tools, support for paid communities, embeddable checkouts, and more. You can also remove the ‘powered by Podia’ branding in the footer on the Shaker plan.

Earthquaker is Podia’s enterprise-level plan and the most comparable to Kajabi in terms of both price and included features. It costs a lot more than the other plans at $179/month but includes 5 additional teammates, which are usually charged separately at $20 per each.

All Podia plans come with ‘unlimited everything’ (i.e. products, members, sales, messages, and files). You can see everything that’s included with each Podia plan here.

Kajabi also offers three different pricing tiers: Basic, Growth, and Pro:

pricing plans

Basic is their entry-level plan and costs $149/month ($119 if billed annually). With the Basic plan, you’re limited to 3 products, 3 Pipelines, 10k contacts, 1 website and admin user, and 1k active members. You also miss out on advanced automations and affiliate tools.

The Growth plan is their mid-tier and most popular plan. It costs $199/month ($159/month billed annually) and supports up to 15 products, 15 Pipelines, 25k contacts, 10k active members, 1 website, and 10 admin users. It also comes with affiliate tools, advanced automations, and 24/7 chat support.

Pro is their most expensive plan and costs $399/month ($319/month billed annually). It supports 100 products and Pipelines, 100k contacts, 20k members, 3 websites, and 25 admin users. It comes with everything included in the Growth plan plus a Code Editor. It’s the best choice for large brands with lots of course sales.

Check out the full list of what’s included with each Kajabi plan here.

The bottom line: Podia is undoubtedly better value for money. They offer much more affordable plans than Kajabi and offer unlimited everything where Kajabi has caps. 

Keeping the Decision Simple

That concludes our in-depth comparison of Kajabi vs Podia. There’s a lot of information to digest in this post, so if you’re still not sure which platform is the best for your needs and want to keep things simple, here’s what we’d recommend:

  • Beginners who are just starting out: go with Podia. You probably won’t need all the bells and whistles that Kajabi has to offer, and Podia is much more beginner-friendly.
  • If you’re selling digital products (not just courses), go with Podia. You won’t need all the advanced course creation features Kajabi offers. 
  • To make a fairly simple course that only has a dozen or so modules and takes a few weeks to complete, go with Podia.
  • If you plan on making a complex, curriculum-based course that takes months to complete, go with Kajabi.
  • Big businesses with high monthly sales volumes that need a lot of flexibility go with Kajabi. 
  • If you want a true all-in-one solution that unifies your marketing stack, and you don’t want to have to rely on any other third-party tools, go with Kajabi.

Note: If you’re all in with Kajabi, or just want to try it out for longer, use this 30 Day Free Trial Page.

We hope you found this helpful. Good luck!

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