Podia might be considered the “new kid on the block” when it comes to online course platforms, but it is a powerful new kid.
It used to be that Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi were the main choices, but with new options coming on the market there are now many more to choose from.
Since I work with a lot of course creators as clients, I’ve seen the functionality and backend of many online course platforms. There are pros and cons to each, but I get asked a lot about my favorites, so I wanted to put together a review of Podia.
Podia claims to replace 5 tools with their platforms: courses, downloads, membership, email marketing, and live chat.
Podia Pricing and Plans
Podia has 2 main plans you can sign up for:
Mover Plan ($39/mo)
This plan includes creating your own website, using Podia to host your online courses, sell digital downloads, sell access to webinars/videos, and use their email marketing platform.
This plan does not include memberships, Zoom integration, your own blog, offsite buy buttons (that you host on your site), affiliate marketing, and access to add third-party code (like a Facebook pixel, Sumo, Olark chat, and more).
Shaker Plan ($79/mo)
Includes all features and functionality you see in this review.
Podia charges no transaction fees on all of their plans, which is great when you compare that to Teachable and others that charge pretty hefty fees (5%+) every time you make a sale.
Pros to Podia
- Intuitive to use
- Modern design
- Great onboarding help
- Free migration to Podia (up to 2,000 customers)
- Great customer support
- Ability to add payment plans
- Ability to add recurring subscriptions so you can use Podia for a membership site as well
- Embeddable buy buttons for your website
- Custom domains for your courses
- Built-in email marketing so you can email students when they reach certain milestones
- Affordable Plans
- No transaction fees
Cons to Podia
- No standalone community options
- Lacks some customization options
- While their support team is great via email and chat, there is no phone support
- Doesn’t have the ability to add certificates, assignments, etc.
- There is no free plan
Podia has built-in integrations but way more functionality when you combine it with Zapier.
You can connect Podia to other platforms using Zapier. When you make a sale, get a new email subscriber, have a new membership subscription, and when someone cancels a membership subscription, you can send all of that data to other platforms like:
This list doesn’t include everything, just some of the more popular ones. These integrations help you add people to other email platforms and lists, subscribe customers to membership plans, and enroll a customer in a product.
Creating coupon codes is a good way to incentivize people to buy your course or product. But sometimes they get forgotten about if you don’t set end dates, or remember to turn them off when a sale is over.
Podia offers some nice functionality when it comes to coupon codes for your products:
- Custom or Auto-Generated Coupon Codes – You can set specific coupon codes (code: BLACKFRIDAYSALE), or have them automatically generate codes (code: PODIAREVIEW567).
- Product Specific Coupons – You can choose which products the code applies to, if it only applies to a membership, or if the coupon is good for everything in your store.
- Expiration or End Dates – you can tell Podia to set a code to expire on a specific date and time, or to be able to be used until you manually go in and turn it off.
- % or Value – Coupons can be setup to be a % off (20% off everything), or a specific value to be taken off (Save $5).
- Coupon Limits – You can Limit the number of times a coupon is used as well – or you can set it to be able to be used an infinite number of times.
Coupons in Podia are pretty easy to use. The only real downside I see to these is being able to edit them after creating them. I imagine they did this so it wouldn’t impact how they perform, but if you make a mistake and want to change it, you’ll have to archive the old one and create a new one.
This isn’t a huge deal but I wanted to call it out anyway.
Certificates of Completion
Podia does not have built-in certificates of completion for you to offer when your students complete a course.
But, they do offer in-depth instructions and a free template to help you create your own.
Selling Products With Podia
Within Podia, a product can be a course, digital download, webinar/video, or a bundle of those.
Membership Site Capability
You can create posts that include images and videos that you can post for people who have access. This seems to be similar to a Patreon type platform in the sense that you can have people pay for certain levels of access to you and your content.
Webinars & Live Streaming
You can also use Podia to sell access to live and pre-recorded webinars or videos you’ve created.
You can even earn passive income from replays of the webinar or video. So while you can sell the live version, you can also make sales of your past webinars so that video doesn’t go into the content graveyard.
You can even sell digital downloads with Podia? Yes, you heard that right.
No more cobbling together Gumroad, SendOwl, or Shopify Lite with your website to sell one-off products. So if you’re using any of those, you can also get rid of those if you end up using Podia.
And these digital downloads aren’t as simplified as the other platforms offer. You can create sections within your digital downloads as well. So, if you wanted to create a mini course that includes simply PDFs, you can do that here.
You can also set start or enrollment dates, integrate with your own email service providers, and even use payment plans.
You can bundle multiple products and courses together to create bundles that you can sell on Podia. So if you have a “basic” version of your course, but also a more advanced version, you can sell those separately without having to create 2 different courses and re-upload all of the same content.
If you’re building out a membership site, you can also give away free trials so people can test it out before they buy. While this feature might not be for everyone, when you need it, it’s nice to have!
You can also setup payment plans for customers to purchase using Stripe. I love this feature because once your courses gets to be a certain price, it’s a lot harder to sell as a one-time fee than it would be if you could split that payment up into 3 or 6 month installments.
Using Podia’s upsell feature, you can also add other products or courses to upsell after someone has purchased one of your products.
Increasing customer value is important when you’re a digital product creator, and you can usually find an easy way to add value for your customers.
You can setup one-time or automated email sequences to go out to people who have purchased your products as well.
While Podia does have their own affiliate program, what I’m talking about here is allowing your students to refer other students to your course. When they do this, you can offer to give them a slice of the pie.
Custom Domains & Subdomains
You can change the subdomain for your Podia site to something other than your username as well.
But the real power here comes with custom domains.
It’s a little technical, but instead of your products living on conversionowl.podia.com, you can have them live on courses.conversionowl.com
It provides a much more seamless experience for the user, and looks way more professional from an outsiders perspective.
Messaging allows you to chat in real-time with customers on your website. You can decide to reach out to someone on a specific page, or message a specific student!
So you don’t get overwhelmed, you can also change the messaging feature to only be for logged in customers – otherwise it’s on for everyone or you can turn it off.
Podia’s Customer Support
There have been rave reviews of the support Podia offers. They’re very responsive and I’ve never had or heard of a bad experience with them.
Heck, they’ll even migrate your entire course and students for free from another online course platform.
Overall, Podia is a great tool that seems to be a little faster to get new features out. It seems that their awesome customer support is actually keeping track of what customers are having issues with and what they want to see next, and taking that into consideration when building their roadmap. What a concept! 🙂
Sign up for Podia and get a free 14-day trial!