Kajabi vs. Podia: How do these “all-in-one” course platforms compare? [2020 update]
Kajabi and Podia both position themselves as an all-in-one platform for online businesses, eliminating the need to integrate your course platform with other tools like email marketing, website builders, page builders, and more. In this in-depth comparison, we’ll look at how Kajabi and Podia stack up as the go-to platform to build and grow a profitable online business.
In addition to course-related functionality, we’ll compare marketing capabilities of each platform. After all, people want to know who you are, what you’re about, and what you can do for them before they’ll even consider buying from you.
Every successful online marketing strategy follows a similar framework. As you compare Kajabi and Podia feature by feature, think about how each feature will support the following framework for your business:
- Identify your audience.
- Drive them to your site.
- Entice them with a solution to their problems.
- Nurture the relationship.
- Persuade them to invest their time and money.
- Get repeat sales.
We’ll compare Kajabi and Podia capabilities in these areas:
- Online course creation, structure, and delivery
- Video hosting
- Member/student progress
- Assessments, surveys, quizzes
- Digital product themes
- Website builder
- Landing pages
- Email marketing
- Sales funnels (AKA automated marketing campaigns and pipelines)
- Live events, virtual summits, webinars, livestreams
- Customer support
Let’s see how Kajabi stacks up to Podia.
Online course creation, structure, and delivery
Both Kajabi and Podia let you take any type of content you’ve created — whether it’s in the form of video, audio, digital workbooks, etc. — and turn your content into a digital product. Both offer flexibility in terms of how you’d like to structure your e-course.
These are just a few of the online course structures that Kajabi and Podia allow you to create:
- a mini course with three lessons or simply one downloadable video with workbook
- an evergreen training where the content gets dripped over time to your customers
- a membership built for evolving content, where subscribers access content on-demand
The main difference is the course creation interface. Podia has a simple, easy-to-use course creation tool. Their platform allows you to upload any type of file, deliver your content all at once or drip it, and even prelaunch e-courses. With Podia, you start by selecting your digital product (i.e., online course, digital download, webinar, bundle) and from there, you have a blank slate to build upon. You’ll create a section and add pieces of content under each section.
Kajabi offers product blueprints that are premade and fully customizable. The blueprints help take the guesswork out of creating digital products. You also still have the option of starting from scratch with Kajabi, which is great if you have an existing e-course or know exactly how you want to structure your content upfront.
Oftentimes, seeing an existing skeleton can give you new ideas or simply save the time and energy of planning logistical info. For example, one of Kajabi’s blueprints is a 12-week coaching program, where each week, the content comes with a coaching section. The outline includes a placeholder for the link to schedule the session, plus a list of common tips on how to prepare for your coaching session.
Bottom line: With Podia you’re always starting from a blank slate, whereas Kajabi gives you customizable templates to build upon.
Both Kajabi and Podia have unlimited video hosting for online courses.
For back-end video hosting, Kajabi uses Wistia, which delivers high streaming quality via adaptive streaming. Wistia automatically adjusts the quality based on your viewer’s Internet speed. So even if your student is watching your video from a smartphone going through a tunnel on 3G — as Wistia explains it — your student will still get uninterrupted playback.
Podia does not specify what video host it uses on its website, but it positions itself as “a Vimeo alternative” that lets you upload videos with no limits on file size. For faster uploading/processing, Podia recommends keeping individual videos under 1 GB. In Kajabi, the maximum file size for video uploads is 4 GB. If your video file size is larger than 4GB, we recommend using a free video file compression tool such as Handbrake.
Up-to-date progress reports about your students or members help you answer questions about your customers, such as:
- Are they going through the course and digesting the material?
- Are they getting stuck anywhere?
- Are my videos too long?
- Where do they tend to drop off?
In Kajabi, you get full access to all these details with our robust analytics. With both lesson progress and video progress, you can track exactly how people are digesting your content individually and from multiple overview perspectives.
Here’s an example that shows how much progress each student has made in one course. Kajabi also lets you segment out your students however you’d like to categorize them. If you wanted to specifically see how community members were progressing, you could create a filter for them.
Let’s say you wanted to slice the data differently by lesson. Here’s an example that shows the overall progress all of your students have made, broken down by each post or lesson of your e-course.
Podia tracks when students have watched a video on an individual basis. By clicking on a customer’s profile and the progress bar, you can see every lesson your customer has viewed or hasn't viewed. Podia does not offer the overview progress reports that Kajabi offers, which report the number of members who completed a lesson, number of members that started, as well as the average progress by post.
Assessing your students: testing, surveys, assignments
Every course creator wants their students to soak up as much knowledge as possible from the course. Building an interactive experience for your customers makes a big difference. It also sets your course apart from the slew of courses on the market. When done right, testing helps your students digest and remember your material on a deeper level.
Giving your customers opportunities to take quizzes or surveys helps you, as the course creator, understand them better. You can track how well they’re learning and how they’re feeling throughout the course. Both Kajabi and Podia platforms offer their own versions of an assessment.
Podia allows you to add multiple choice quizzes to any lesson. When students are done with a quiz, they can see their score before moving onto the next lesson.
To view your customers' quiz completion individually, you can do so by checking their course progress.
If you think multiple-choice questions are sufficient for your course, then Podia’s quiz functionality is all you need. However, some course topics need more flexibility to assess students. Let’s say you wanted to ask an open-ended question, where the answer might be a paragraph. What if you wanted to assess your student’s work by asking them to upload a photo, audio file, or pdf to answer? In those scenarios, Podia would fall short.
With Kajabi, you have plenty of flexibility in how you design assessments, including:
- multiple-choice questions
- open-ended questions
- fill-in-the-blank statements
- images as the question itself
You could even have students upload homework — PDFs, word documents, videos, images, audio files — directly into the lesson. Grading comes free with every plan.
Do you want to automatically subscribe students to an email sequence after they’ve completed the assessment? Do you want to email them with a link to test results? Do you want to email your team every time a student completes an assessment? You can do all of that in Kajabi.
You can require your students to complete an assessment with a minimum score before moving onto the next lesson. Or if it’s more important that they answer the questions rather than the grade itself, set the passing grade to 0%. They’ll be able to move on once they answer your question(s) — regardless of how they score.
Every course is unique. Picture the type of rich interaction that comes with having your students do more than click on A, B, C, or D on a multiple-choice question. That’s the only option you have with Podia. The more flexibility you have in facilitating deep, meaningful interaction with your students, the better equipped you’ll be to create top-notch courses.
With Kajabi, there’s much more you can do with assessments far beyond courses. For example, you could use them in your landing pages to segment out your leads.
Bottom line: If you want a robust functionality for testing your students, sending surveys, or simply designing a more interactive learning experience, Kajabi has everything you need.
Digital product themes: the look and feel of your course
If you’ve ever purchased an Apple product, you most likely remember the visual experience, the packaging, and the overall high-quality presentation. Powerful branding is one of the reasons consumers are willing to pay premium prices for Apple products. The look and feel of Apple products alone give the products a higher perceived value.
Customers want to be blown away by their purchases. Once they’ve made an investment, they want to feel like they’ve made the right decision. That feeling you once had unwrapping a beautiful, sleek MacBook Pro or iPhone — that’s the same feeling your customers should have the first time they log into your course.
This is where product theming comes into play — one of the most significant differences between Kajabi and Podia.
Podia product "theme"
Podia offers a default theme with a few options for customization. Aside from the default theme, you can choose from the following options:
- heading font
- body font
- background colors
- text colors
- color customization for your brand, background, and heading
Kajabi product themes: suitable for any type of digital product
Here’s what Kajabi does that no other online course creator does: it presents you with a library of beautiful, highly customizable themes that you can apply to your different products.
Got an online course with several modules and lessons?
What about a membership site?
Want to add coaching and a weekly webinar?
What about creating a paid community?
If you have any kind of digital product, Kajabi has the right theme for it.
The best part is you’re not obligated to use the same theme across all of your products. You have the option to pick a different theme for each product.
Even within each carefully crafted theme, you have the flexibility to customize each one with Kajabi’s easy-to-use theme editor and powerful code editor.
Bottom line: If you want to make a strong impression on your customers and have the flexibility to serve your audience in different ways, Kajabi is the stronger platform.
Having your course live in the same ecosystem as your website not only eliminates your tech integration headaches — it gives your website visitors a more seamless experience, guiding them to make a purchase. You eliminate that extra layer of friction that would otherwise force your visitors to bounce around different systems.
Both Kajabi and Podia position themselves as all-in-one platforms with a website builder. Blog posts are hosted on Kajabi and Podia’s higher tier plan, so you can deliver free, valuable content to potential customers. But there are huge differences in this category, so let’s dive in.
Podia website builder
The Podia website builder takes the same approach as Podia’s course creation software: you start with a blank slate and click on predesigned blocks to build your website. Podia’s predesigned blocks include:
- email newsletter signup
Podia’s definition of “prebuilt themes” is very different from Kajabi’s definition of themes. Where Kajabi’s layout presets (see below) offer different actual designs, Podia defines its themes as:
- none: a simple, white background, with dark text
- light: a light background color with dark text
- dark: a dark background with white text
Kajabi website builder
With Kajabi, you can feel confident about building a beautiful website that’s safe, secure, and stable — all without hiring expensive designers or web developers. Kajabi’s theme offers multiple layout presets that you can customize.
Just pick a layout preset you like and add your own branding and copy. From there, you’ll have your own stunning website — complete with your library of products, about page, blog, and more.
With the framework in Kajabi, you get access to all the elements successful websites use, including options to add:
- site header
- video background
- opt-in forms
- calls-to-action (CTAs)
- feature highlights
- sales pages
- blog posts
You could also add a pop-up form on your site so when visitors land on your homepage, you can start capturing their emails — all done in Kajabi.
The best part is that it’s all easily customizable with all Kajabi plans. With its user-friendly editor, you can make changes on the fly and move elements around.
No other online course creation software comes close to letting you create beautiful, professional-quality websites from scratch.
Bottom line: If you’re done with tech headaches integrating your website to your products and marketing campaigns, Kajabi is the all-in-one platform for you. Podia’s website builder is severely limited: no website themes for you to create a unique look and feel. To grow your business with a beautifully designed website that reflects your brand, you’ll need to pay for a website builder to serve as your home on the web.
Landing pages are pages aimed solely at getting visitors to take a specific action, known as the call to action (CTA). Separate from your website where visitors come to learn about you and your brand, landing pages should be simple. The goal is to remove potential barriers to conversion, whether your CTA is to download a free pdf, sign up for a newsletter, or buy a product.
You’ve seen landing pages in many different forms:
- opt-in pages
- sales pages
- thank you pages
- download pages
- video pages
- . . . and more.
Let’s compare how each platform can help you build and grow your online business.
Podia landing pages
Podia doesn’t differentiate between its website builder and landing page builder. Unlike Kajabi, Podia doesn’t have page templates with high-level designs to choose from. Podia provides a default theme that allows you to customize colors and fonts.
Podia lets you sell prelaunch products by collecting email addresses to gauge interest before launching a new product. It also provides email capture and conversion-optimized checkout.
Kajabi landing pages
With its built-in landing page functionality, Kajabi lets you choose from 20+ different templates to create any kind of landing page you need — a entirely separate set of designs from the website builder presets. These are perfect for growing your audience, delivering value, and selling your products. And they're easily tied together to build an automated marketing campaign or funnel.
Here’s an example of a landing page funnel you could create in Kajabi in less than 20 minutes: An opt-in page that promises video content in exchange for an email address. Once your visitor opts in, they reach a landing page with your video content. At the bottom of that page, you include an irresistible CTA. Your visitor clicks on the CTA, and automatically gets directed to a sales page featuring one of your introductory offers.
This simple example — which barely scrapes the surface of Kajabi’s landing page capabilities — can easily start generating sales from Day 1.
Email is the lifeblood of any online business. It converts more effectively than any other marketing medium out there. Consider these impressive stats on email marketing from HubSpot:
- For every dollar brands invest in email marketing, they receive $42 in return.
- Marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
Both Kajabi and Podia offer email marketing, so let’s compare the two and see how they stack up.
Email design templates
Podia claims to offer a “clean, professional-looking email template.” Aside from basic text formatting options (i.e., bold, italics, hyperlink, quotes, bullet lists, and numbered lists), there are no visual design elements.
Kajabi’s visual builder makes it easy to add rich design to your emails.
- 15+ themed templates
- 12 preset sections that allow you to add new content, countdown timers, images, and video previews quickly
Podia offers segmentation options based on how your contacts subscribed to your email list: your prelaunch signup, what item they purchased, what membership they subscribed to, and lastly, the lead capture form from your website.
Kajabi comes with several default segments including subscribers, inactive subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in the last 90 days, and those whose emails have hard bounced (or in other words, were undeliverable).
Beyond those default segments, Kajabi lets you create custom segments, so you can decide what categories work best for your business. For example, you can segment people based on how they respond to a survey, if they used a coupon code, if they visited a page on your site in the last two days.
Email campaigns, broadcasts, automated sequences, and email campaign analytics
Both Kajabi and Podia offer email campaigns, broadcasts, automated sequences, and email campaign analytics. By far, Kajabi’s advanced customization options and built-in capabilities overpower Podia’s email marketing features.
Here’s how the third-party review site Sell Courses Online puts it: “Podia’s email capabilities are really basic and it’s far from a stage where it can act as your email marketing platform. In fact, it’s not meant to replace your email service provider.”
Kajabi email comes with Email Subject Line Validation, which improves deliverability as you’re typing your subject line. The tool automatically checks for potential spam triggers and suggests exactly what to fix — helping you increase open rates and stay out of spam.
By having your emails natively integrate with the rest of your Kajabi site — including events, marketing automation, and digital products — you no longer have to worry about frustrating integrations and broken APIs.
If you’re wondering how you benefit from having a robust email marketing tool under one roof with the rest of your business, here’s an example of an autoresponder sequence you can build in Kajabi:
- You create a Kajabi landing page with a video about your upcoming digital product.
- Anyone who opts into that landing page, automatically gets entered on your Kajabi email sequence.
- Throughout the week, Kajabi automatically sends out an email with a new video each day. Each video is delivering value and building up excitement about your upcoming product.
- At the end of the week, you notify your prospect that you’ve opened up registration to your online course with discounted early bird pricing.
- A few days pass, and because the prospect hasn’t purchased yet, your autoresponder notifies them that the discounted pricing offer will soon expire.
- You close the cart and you’re done. Now you have a bonafide evergreen launch funnel that runs in your sleep.
You can do all of this inside Kajabi. To see Kajabi’s unveiling of our email builder earlier this year, check out the email launch live replay. You can also check out email FAQs and the Kajabi Email Deep Dive Training video.
Bottom line: Kajabi has all the email marketing and built-in automations you need to grow and develop your customer base. If you go with Podia, you’ll have to enlist the services of a third-party email marketing platform.
Sales funnels (AKA automated marketing campaigns and pipelines)
Before people will buy from you, they need to know, like, and trust you. That’s why it’s important to cultivate relationships with your audience and steer them in the right direction — whether that means purchasing a product, joining a webinar, or signing up for a freebie. A well-designed sales funnel can help you automate that process, so that you don’t have to (1) manually reach out to prospective customers multiple times or (2) reinvent the wheel every time you have a new prospect.
Sales funnels are automated marketing campaigns that tie together your opt-in forms, landing pages, and automated emails, to help you sell your digital products and online courses. Both Kajabi and Podia claim to build complete sales funnels, but the resources and capabilities of each platform are starkly different.
Podia’s version of a sales funnel is this: You design an email drip campaign that’s triggered by someone downloading a lead magnet or purchasing a product. Somewhere in the email sequence, you include links to your sales page or product page. The Podia knowledge base offers a few ideas on crafting a long email sequence versus a short email sequence, but that’s basically how Podia defines “a complete sales funnel.”
Kajabi’s sales funnel builder, called Pipelines, is much more robust with seven pipeline blueprints. Kajabi has already done the work of designing sales funnels for each type of scenario, including coaching campaigns, webinars, sales pages, freebies, product launches, and more. These are carefully crafted, proven formulas that are already set up for you in the platform. Like Kajabi’s product blueprints, Pipelines eliminates the guesswork and lets you build powerful funnels in a few clicks.
To get an idea of how specific these blueprints are, here’s an example of Kajabi’s product launch pipeline (which, btw, was designed by Brendon Burchard):
- the specific number of emails
- the theme of each email with template copy
- landing pages fully designed with a headline and video
- each video landing page incorporated in the email sequence.
You also have the option to start a pipeline from scratch and customize the existing pipeline blueprints.
The Pipelines feature in Kajabi is entirely automated, which means once you’ve created your funnel, you can set it up to run automatically, helping you build your online business while you sleep.
Bottom line: If you want to grow a profitable online business you can scale quickly marketing automation, Kajabi is the right platform for you.
Live events, virtual summits, webinars, livestreams
Everyone knows how critical it is to build an audience in a way that’s both consistent and sustainable. You need new people discovering you, telling their networks about you, and subscribing to your emails. Free live webinars can help you attract new audiences.
Both Kajabi and Podia offer webinar support and integrate with Zoom and YouTube Live. Both platforms help you get set up with advanced scheduling, automated sales pages, reminder emails, and replays.
While Podia does offer some flexibility like bundling with other product types, upsells, and affiliates, Kajabi offers many more capabilities.
Here are three examples of events you can set up in Kajabi:
- Live event. Host a live training and engage with your audience.
- Virtual summit. Host a virtual summit that runs over the course of a few days.
- Evergreen webinars. Run fully automated webinars. Just set an event to repeat however you’d like — every 10 minutes, every hour, every day. You can set your webinar to run on autopilot.
Once you’ve nailed the type of event, date and time, Kajabi makes it easy to:
- add countdowns to your landing pages and email broadcasts
- register people (for both digital and in-person events)
- send email notifications reminding people about the event
The best part? You don’t have to put much thought into what elements you need to create a marketing campaign around your event. Kajabi comes with a webinar pipeline that includes customizable templates for your:
- registration page
- confirmation page
- sales page
- 4 reminder emails
- 5 followup emails
Set up your webinar pipeline once and Kajabi takes care of the rest.
Integrations make it easy to connect third-party apps with your online platform and have them work together in powerful ways. Both Kajabi and Podia come with built-in integrations.
One thing about any software platform that you have undoubtedly learned in all walks of life: don’t overlook excellent support.
The last thing you ever want to happen when creating and selling your online course is getting stuck with no help.
Sure, you can pour over countless help articles to find an answer, but what if you were about to launch and something goes wrong the night before? Do you have a way to get help immediately?
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Kajabi’s and Podia’s customer support.
Now that you have seen the major differences between Kajabi and Podia, let’s talk about pricing so you can see where you can get the most bang for your buck.
At first glance, it looks like you might save money with Podia.
And that brings us to the question: Is Podia really an all-in-one platform?
To sell your online courses and match all the powerful capabilities of Kajabi, you can’t rely solely on the basic functionalities of Podia. You’d have to add a whole host of third-party tools, including landing page software, a CRM, an email marketing platform, etc.
All of those tools combined can easily cost hundreds of additional dollars per month, which you should factored into the cost of going with Podia. There’s nothing more frustrating than signing up for a platform, only to discover you’ll have to pay for additional tools.
That’s why you can often save money by investing in one robust platform. We’ve broken down what you’d have to spend if you picked Kajabi’s most popular plan versus Podia’s Shaker plan.
The final word on Kajabi vs. Podia
There are many more nuanced differences between Kajabi and Podia, but as you can see, the functionality, blueprints, and design themes you get with Kajabi make a huge difference to your business.
If you’re tired of duct-taping different tools together and want something that does more than deliver your products, then it’s pretty clear which platform you need to use. Kajabi has all the tools you need in place so you can build and run your entire online business selling digital products.
We hope this article has helped illuminate for you the differences between Kajabi and Podia.
And if you’re interested in experiencing a streamlined, all-in-one solution for your online business, try Kajabi for free today.