In this honest review of Teachery, I gave the platform a try and I’m going to tell you how I feel about all the features as well as give my opinion on the platform as a whole.
Teachery bills themself as “the simplest course platform to start earning money with your talents” and they are in fact simple in many ways.
They only offer one affordable plan where you get everything they have to offer. You don’t have to worry about transaction fees because there aren’t any and the course builder is easy to use.
But simple also means there are features that aren’t native and you have to use integrations. Video hosting, for example, isn’t present but you can embed YouTube, Vimeo, and Wistia videos in your course.
As a matter of preference, this may work for some and it wouldn’t for others. In this blog post, we’ll see what else is at play here, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of Teachery and then you can make your decision.
If you want to check it out yourself, there is a two-week free trial with no credit card required. You can sign up, poke around and see if it’s the course platform for you.
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What Is Teachery?
Teachery is a course platform that was made for course creators by course creators. The platform is simple and doesn’t have all the features of most of the top-tier platforms but it works for anyone who just wants to focus on creating and selling their courses.
The most interesting thing about Teachery is that you can easily create courses and sell them in one account for two types of customers:
- People who want to learn about what you’re teaching
- Other course creators
Teachery gives you some of the essential stuff for selling courses and provides integrations for the features they don’t have.
Features include an easy-to-use course builder that you could use to not only build your courses but also add code and customization to create a unique visual design, sales pages, landing pages and email capture pages, coupon creator and other sales tools and affiliate program management to reward others for spreading the word about your course.
The platform provides a simple solution for creators to get their courses online and make money in a number of ways.
Who Is Teachery For?
Small independent course creators benefit the most from selling their courses on Teachery. The platform only costs $49/month or $470 annually which is great if you don’t have a big budget.
Because Teachery allows you to create and design courses that you can sell to other creators as done-for-you courses, this presents an opportunity that other platforms don’t have. Themes as they are known in Teachery, allow you to sell a fully designed course with sales pages and more.
Bloggers, stay-at-home moms, YouTubers and others with expert knowledge can all use Teachery to earn money teaching about what they know best.
The Teachery interface is minimal, with lots of white space mixed with gradients for a clean modern look. The main focus is put on creating courses with a large “create” button at the top of your dashboard so you can get to the task quickly. You’ll also see any courses that you’ve created right at the top so you can edit or manage them or see at a glance how much you’re earning.
Scrolling down, there’s a form to add customers to any of your courses or themes, a course analytics section and right at the end you’ll find any courses that you’ve added to your account from Teachery.
The top navigation takes you to where you can manage both your affiliate program for your courses and the Teachery affiliate program where you can refer other creators to try the platform.
You can manage your account by clicking on the “Accounts” link and finding help via the “help docs” link.
The course interface has sidebar navigation which allows you to do key actions quickly such as:
- go back to the dashboard
- preview your course/theme
- access your theme links
- add or edit your landing pages
- view and edit individual course pages
- add lessons and sub-lessons
- access payment pages and login pages
You will also be able to access the course styler, course settings and course emails at the bottom of the sidebar.
Students get a clean interface as well and will view your courses in whatever templates and styling you used to create the course. Large buttons for skipping to the next lesson and for marking lessons as completed help them to navigate the course.
Teachery provides the most essential features you’ll need to get your course up and running. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles and some components are purposefully left out.
In this section, I’ll be going through the key features of Teachery and how they work.
1. Course Builder
The course builder is the most important feature of Teachery and consists of several parts. You have:
- the course and lessons editor
- the course styler
- course settings
During the signup process, Teachery gives a small walk-through of building a course and by the end, you should have a course with three draft lessons.
The actual course-building process once you’re inside Teachery is a bit different but with the same outcome.
To get started using the course builder, you can click on the big create button at the top of your dashboard under the “your courses and themes” section.
Themes aren’t immediately obvious but the difference between a theme and a regular course is the customers they’re intended for. If you’re going to be teaching a course based on your expertise then this is a regular course. Themes are also courses but they’re meant to be sold to other creators as done-for-you courses that they could sell to their students.
After you click on the create button, you should get a form that lets you input the basic course information and choose a template for displaying your course.
In the form, you’ll add the course name (which can be edited after) and you’ll choose a course template.
There are two options for course templates – minimal and sidebar. The minimal template is the default layout for Teachery courses and you can see how it looks by viewing the demo course which you can find in the “Demo” tab when viewing the Teachery website.
The sidebar template is actually the first layout used by Teachery and is more conventional looking with sidebar navigation. There isn’t much difference between the two templates but the sidebar template looks more like what you’d see on other course platforms.
You can use either template to create your courses and achieve even more visually with the course styler. Additionally, you can switch between templates even if you started with a different one.
After submitting the course creation form, you’re taken to the course editor where you can add your course header image or logo, add lessons and customize your course pages among other things.
This is what the course editor looks like. In the above image, I’ve added a course header image which is bigger than the recommended size but it still works. You can edit the image, remove the course progress bar (not recommended), edit or remove the get started section and more.
All the lessons you’re added so far are displayed as drafts and you may edit them here. You can also use the sidebar and add lessons and sub-lessons.
In the lesson editor, you can edit all the fields including the title, and sub-title, and add your lesson content. There is no way to upload video so you can add a content block and embed a video hosted on YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia. You can also embed audio from Soundcloud and presentations from Slideshare and a few other services.
Teachery also lets you add comments via Disqus so that you can build a community on your course pages. And if you have lesson resources, there is a section to add those as well.
As you add content and edit stuff, your work is automatically saved so you wouldn’t lose anything. To preview your lesson, just scroll back up to the top above the header image and you’ll see the preview button next to the “Actions” button.
The “Actions” button lets you do a few things such as edit the lesson name/URL, edit the lesson drip schedule, duplicate the lesson or delete it.
You can hit publish when you’re done adding lesson content and everything looks ready to go.
Sub-lessons fit under lessons. You could make the parent lesson a module and add sub-lessons to give your course a better hierarchy and organization.
To create a sub-lesson, just click on add sub-lesson from the sidebar, add your title and select the parent lesson it will fall under. Click create and add content just like a regular lesson.
With this sub-lesson feature, I made all the top-level lessons into modules and created lessons under them. I replaced all the buttons that said sub-lessons with lessons instead.
By default, your students can access all the lessons in your course from the time they signup. Teachery’s lesson drip options allow you to schedule when your students receive lessons if you want to control course access.
In your course editor, you’ll find the Lesson Drip Options settings where you can manage the unlocking of course content and individual lessons.
You can allow your students to access the course right after they purchase it or on a date that you specify.
There are three options for unlocking lessons. By default, all lessons are unlocked so that your students can take all the lessons whenever they want.
You can also choose to set manually when you would like the next lesson to be unlocked for your students. Or they can unlock the next lesson by clicking on the complete button.
There is also an option to expire a course. You have to toggle this on as it’s not enabled by default. The feature is useful if you want to offer a preview course or incentivize students to finish your course material.
The course styler is a feature that I love. You can customize the colors of your course to make it look unique and fit your brand colors.
You can change the colors of the buttons, backgrounds of various elements and more using the styler to give you something drastically different from the default look.
You can also use the styler to change the colors on the sales page, payment pages and login pages.
If you want to change the font used in your course, this can be done in the settings which is another way to make your course completely different in look and feel.
In the course settings, you can change elements of your course such as the title, URL and template type as well as change from a course to a theme or vice versa. When you’re setting up your course, these are some of the things that they mentioned can be changed later and this is where you can change them.
The course settings are also where you can add your Disqus shortname to use comments in your course and also where you can add your Google Analytics ID for tracking.
You can also set a custom domain for your course and choose the default page a customer lands on when they go to your course URL.
Themes are like regular courses with the only difference being that they’re offered for sale to other creators as done-for-you courses. You can build them out using the same process with landing pages, sales pages and customization.
Themes are marked “Theme” on your courses dashboard. Customers can purchase your theme and modify it in their account then offer it for sale to their customers.
This is another great feature that is unique to Teachery and presents an opportunity for creators to earn more from their efforts.
2. Landing Page Builder
All of the top course platforms offer a sales page or website builder so that you can promote your courses to the audiences that need it.
Teachery is no different. They do not offer a full website builder which I would prefer but instead offer landing pages you can use to sell your course or capture leads.
I’m not a big fan of this landing page builder though. At first glance, it looks complicated and this first glance might be all this builder gets from most users.
However, the landing page builder works the same way the course builder does. You can remove stuff and edit the different parts, change the colors and more. When you first open it up, the entire page feels like you got rick-rolled because it’s filled with placeholder text of the lyrics from Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”. Told you these people were funny.
You’ll have to come up with the content for the page but at least they guide you on what to put where.
If you want to collect leads, you can switch the default sales template to an email capture page and connect your email marketing service. MailChimp and ConvertKit are the two services that Teachery integrates with so if you have those it’s easier for you.
You can build as many landing pages and email capture pages as you like for any course so it’s not like you can have one or the other – you can have both and more if you like.
3. Sales & Marketing
Teachery offers a few tools to increase sales of your course. Besides affiliate marketing which I’ll touch on in the next section, they also let you create:
- promo codes
To create promo codes, you can open any course and click on “Payment pages” then select “promo codes”.
You can then add a promo code as a percentage or amount off the full price of the course. There are options to discount the first payment or all payments in a recurring subscription.
If you want to set maximum redemptions or an expiry date then you can just fill in the fields for these options as well.
Upsells are another sales tool available in “Payments pages”. With upsells, you can add another course or bundle to show on your checkout page. Your customer can add this course while checking out thus increasing the order value.
You can even add a product that isn’t on Teachery such as a physical book or coaching. There’s a link to the help doc while you’re setting this up if this is something you might want to do .
To add an upsell, you’ll first need to connect your Stripe account. The settings require that you name the upsell, pick your course or bundle and set a price.
You can also use the upsell feature to make a bundle. It’s the same process and you can add this bundle as an upsell to other courses.
4. Affiliate Marketing
Having the ability to reward your students for spreading the word about your awesome course is a great benefit to creators. You can extend your reach and make more course sales this way.
Teachery has a built-in affiliate program to do just that. You can find it in the “Affiliates” tab in your dashboard.
The program is pretty easy to use. You can just add the email address for your affiliate, the percentage commission you want to pay them and the course or theme you want them to promote. The system will email them their affiliate link.
This affiliate program setup is pretty bare-bones and there is no analytics or any way to track clicks. You just get a report on how much you owe your affiliates and how much you’ve paid them.
It’s great that the affiliate program management is available but Teachery needs to work on improving this system. They could add analytics to show click data and more.
Since Teachery doesn’t have every feature you may need for your course business, they need to at least have integrations for third-party solutions. They offer a handful that are very useful and some are built into the platform.
For payments, they offer Stripe but PayPal is missing.
Email marketing is another feature that isn’t built into Teachery so having email marketing integrations is a must. They offer ConvertKit and MailChimp connections.
For any other third-party software, you’ll need to use Zapier. You’ll find your API key inside your “Account” settings by going to “Integrations”.
Other integrations include:
- YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia – for video hosting
- Disqus – for commenting and community
- Soundcloud – for audio
- Prezi, Canva, Google Slides & Slideshare – for presentations
Teachery supports these services in the form of embeds within your course content.
There are more than a couple of features missing from Teachery. The site’s founder has said that some of these omissions were purposeful so that you can have the flexibility to choose your own tools from providers who do what they do best. This way, they could focus on giving you a solid course builder and sales tools for a low monthly cost.
So for what you would normally get at some all-in-one course platforms, you have to rely on external tools though integrations or otherwise rather than native availability. In some cases, you’re given suggestions on how to fill the void externally.
Here are some of the most important features not available in Teachery.
- Native video hosting – you have to use Vimeo, Wistia or YouTube to embed video content in your courses.
- Completion certificates – it is suggested in the help files that you create certificates using Canva or another external document design app.
- Community – to some extent community is available through the use of Disqus comments in your courses but it’s not as great as having a dedicated space where your students can connect and where you can offer help socially.
- Full website with a blog – they do offer a landing page builder where you can build unlimited landing pages for your courses.
- Native email marketing – There is no native email marketing tool available in Teachery so you’ll have to use one of the two integrations they offer or Zapier.
Teachery still does offer a very good platform despite not having every possible feature a course platform should have. They’re doing a great job offering their course builder at such a small monthly and yearly fee. Also consider that they could offer any of these features in the future and possibly even more than I could mention right now.
Teachery Help & Support
When using any course platform, it’s very important that you’re able to get quick help and support when you need it.
You may find yourself stuck on how to use a feature effectively or it might be a problem that is out of your control like a system malfunction. Getting help at Teachery is easy and there are a few ways you can go about finding support when you need it.
1. Email support
Teachery’s office hours are from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday – Friday and this is when you can generally get a quick response via email support. They do monitor email support during the weekend and you can get a response within 24 hours of submitting a ticket.
To get email support, you can find the support icon on the bottom right-hand side of your dashboard. Clicking on it opens the chat interface although there is no live chat. You can type your message and send it or optionally search the help docs right inside the chat screen.
It is recommended that you check the help documentation first as you could get your problem solved faster and possibly wouldn’t need human support.
2. Help Documents
The help documents are Teachery’s knowledge-base collections filled with helpful articles and tutorials on how to use features and the platform in general.
They’re referenced throughout the dashboard where necessary and in emails from Teachery support. You can also open the chat interface and start searching.
When you go to the help center, you’ll see that there are even more than just the help docs available. For example, there is General Teachery Articles which is more like a blog from founder Jason Zook about new feature announcements and stuff that don’t really fit under “help” or “commonly asked questions”.
Almost every course platform has a course repository or “academy” where you can learn about the platform you’re using and how to create and earn from online courses.
Teachery has a couple of courses that you can go through to get help. The first one can be found on the homepage of your dashboard right at the bottom called Demo Teachery Course.
This demo course covers what features you get with Teachery and also demonstrates how your course will look using their minimal template.
Another more useful course available is their “A Course About Building Online Courses” and you can probably guess what that’s about. You wouldn’t find this course readily available in your dashboard but you’ll get a link to it in an email during your first week on the free trial. You will need to add it to your account after which you can access it from the bottom of your dashboard just like the demo course.
“A Course About Building Online Courses” uses the minimal course template and walks you through the process of building and selling your online course. There are only 5 lessons so its easy to go through.
- Your course outline
- Creating course content
- Using presentations
- Creating your lesson videos
- Putting everything together to create your course with Teachery
The course was created by Jason Zook who offers a helping hand if you need it.
At the time of this writing, I couldn’t find a Facebook community for Teachery but this could change in the future as the platform is still very young and developing.
Teachery Plans & Pricing
Teachery plans aren’t complicated. There are no caps that force you to upgrade your plan. There is only one plan with which you get all the features.
You have a choice of paying either annually or monthly and both choices allow you to start with a 14-day free trial.
The monthly plan is just $49/month. Considering that there isn’t any video hosting (which can drive up costs), this monthly fee is very reasonable. The yearly plan is $470 which is a lot cheaper than the yearly plans for some of these other course platforms.
One thing to keep in mind though is that you may have to spend more than $49 since you’ll need external software. For example, if you need to use a different email provider than what’s integrated then you’ll have to pay for that cost. Maybe, you’ll also need to pay for Zapier. If you choose a paid video hosting solution then there’s that cost also.
Only you will know what you need to run your business so the monthly cost will vary from creator to creator.
Teachery Pros & Cons
As with any platform, there are some good things to love about Teachery and there are some things you probably would deem deal-breakers.
In this section, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using the Teachery course platform.
The strongest reasons to try Teachery are for it’s simplicity, where the focus is on the course building and the ability to sell done-for-you courses. These are my top 2 reasons why I would recommend giving Teachery a try.
Of course, there are other reasons such as the low pricing, the unlimited-ness of resources and the affiliate program.
While not a deal-breaker, the lack of native video hosting isn’t my preference. I’d much rather a platform where I can access everything. But I’d settle for the embedding when you consider the good things about Teacher.
The downside of Teachery is that you may have to pay for lots of external things like an email marketing automation provider, video hosting. Or you can just use all the free resources you can to get the job done.
Teachery’s simplified setup may not be for everyone especially if you’re looking for an all-in-one course solution with everything in one place.
There are countless course platforms out there with different attributes that work for some and don’t for others. It all depends on your needs as a course creator.
Below are 5 great alternatives to Teachery that I picked out after looking at platforms with similar features.
When it comes to course platforms, Thinkific is one of the best options you can go with. It’s a great alternative to Teachery as they offer courses and a compelling community product.
Thinkific comes with everything creators need in one place to run a successful online course business. This includes video hosting, email marketing and a host of other tools not present in Teachery.
They also have lots of integrations via their app store that you can use to add even more features not on their official feature list. You can integrate with apps you already use and third-party apps that allow you to offer more to your students.
Not only does Thinkific offer a free plan, but they also offer a full 30-day free trial on their mid-tier plan, the Start plan. Like Teachery, there are no transaction fees on any of their plans.
While Thinkific has a number of plans to satisfy different budgets and needs, Teachery only has one plan with everything included. However, this “everything” is limited in comparison to Thinkific which also has a $49/month Basic plan. Both platforms offer annual billing options.
Thinkific is a great choice when you’re looking for perhaps a more powerful alternative to Teachery.
Ruzuku is another platform with simple pricing and a very easy-to-use course builder. In fact, the course builder may be the easiest one I’ve seen so far.
The platform offers almost everything you need to run a course business including hosted video, webinars and teleconferences with native streaming, unlimited courses and students and more. They also offer done-for-you courses if you want a solution like that to get started.
Unlike Teachery, Ruzuku does not have affiliate marketing management for course creators and there aren’t any native email marketing integrations. However, you can use their messaging system to connect with students.
Ruzuku has some features that Teachery does not but also lacks some that they do have. It’s up to you to decide which one works for you. Ruzuku does not have a free trial but their free plan is basically their Core plan with one limitation – you can only sell to a maximum of 5 students.
You can stay on the free plan for as long as you like. After that, their Core plan is $99/month and comes with unlimited courses and students and no transaction fees which is quite similar to what Teachery offers.
Ruzuku is definitely a good alternative to Teachery depending on what features are most important to you.
Podia is another great option that lets you offer unlimited courses. They don’t have a free trial anymore but you can sign up for a free account to test drive and get started.
As an all-in-one platform, you can also sell courses, downloads, webinars, coaching and memberships. They also do not have transaction fees on any paid plan. The only thing you can sell on the free plan are downloads and this comes at a cost in the form of 8% transaction fees on sales.
This platform has three paid plans which appear to be much more suited for creators on a budget. Their most affordable plan is $39/month and you can have a lot more than what Teachery offers including community, video hosting, native email marketing and a full-featured website.
I would definitely recommend Podia as a worthy alternative due to its focus on creator-friendliness.
Teachable is a very popular choice for many creators and a good alternative to Teachery if you ignore the transaction fees on the free plan and their Basic plan. There are no fees on the higher plans which is where you should probably start. This makes Teachery a better option but only if you’re just looking at pricing.
On Teachable, you can sell courses, coaching and downloads and access a host of very advanced features including course certificates and integration with Circle for community. Teachable also handles your tax for you while most other platforms leave it up to you to do your own.
You can start using Teachable with a free account with quite a bit of limitation. This is your only way of trying Teachable as there are no trials for any of the paid plans.
5. Heights Platform
Heights Platform is a course platform that shines with its gamification features. You can award students with points and badges as they go through your courses with motivates them to complete and stick around for more.
In Heights, badges are automatically awarded to students for completing different tasks (such as completing their first lesson in a course). Creators can make it even more exciting by creating their own custom badges and requirements.
Heights Platform also has all the essential features for running a course business including sales checkout and checkout features, as well as video hosting and many other course features. They also have one of the easiest course builders I’ve used.
While Teachery only has one plan ($49/month) for everything, Heights has about four plans for different budgets and needs including a $49/month Basic plan with comparable features to Teachery. However, you can do much more in Heights Platform even on the Basic plan. This includes having a community and adding a blog to your marketing pages.
Heights offer a 30-day free trial for anyone who wants to try out their platform and you don’t need to enter any credit card details during their one-step start process. This is a great alternative to Teachery if you’re looking for something with more advanced features and gamification.
Teachery may not be for everyone who is looking for a good course platform with everything you need to effectively publish and sell their course. It lacks some features that many top-tier course platforms have built-in.
However, the low cost along with the easy-to-use course builder and the ability to create and sell done-for-you courses right in your account make it one worth trying.
Many of the features that aren’t present have integrations or do-able work-arounds that work well with Teachery so it’s just a matter of knowing what you want to do and implementing it. The platform was created by people who have experience with creating and selling courses so they know exactly the needs of course creators like you.
You can give Teachery a try for the next two weeks to see if it’s a course platform you can work with for the price. The free trial doesn’t require a credit card so there’s really nothing to lose.