If you want to sell courses online, the first thing that comes to mind is a website that offers your training: It should accept payment, even better if can you create the classes, do email marketing, and perhaps make it a membership site. Maybe you have some more features on your wish list.
The number of options available is almost overwhelming. When you put together your needs and wants to compare them with the available options, you may gravitate to the more well-known ones including Kajabi. But Podia is up and coming all-in-one service that promises to give you all the tools so that you can
- Create, host, and sell your courses
- Create a membership programme
- Create a website
- Live chat with your students
- Market your courses via email
- Allow your students to download your classes
Sounds like you can replace
- Membership site
- Live chat
- Email marketing
All with just one tool. Sounds almost too perfect and really, it may not be the perfect tool for you.
- Pros and cons of Podia
- Who is Podia for?
- How easy is Podia to use?
- Podia website builder
- Podia design and templates
- How to manage your ecommerce store in Podia?
- Podia integrations
- What marketing and SEO tools does Podia have?
- Podia security
- Podia customer support
- Podia pricing
- Is Podia the right tool for you?
Pros and cons of Podia
Podia is an all-in-one course creation software. You get a website with a shopping cart including frontend and backend to manage memberships as well as create your digital products and to host your courses. There’s no limit to how many courses you can put on your site or how many people take your classes since there’s unlimited bandwidth.
It also comes with affiliate and email marketing tools for you to market and advertise your training. It’s cloud-based so you can make updates and create content as long you have internet access.
- Neat interface that’s incredibly easy to learn and use
- Value for money considering all the features
- Unlimited bandwidth (courses and products too)
- No forever free plan
- Limited site-building capabilities
- You need the Shaker plan or higher to remove Podia’s branding
- No blogging tool
Who is Podia for?
Are you coaching? Do you teach? Have a yoga club? Podia is an apt tool for anyone who is teaching or training online. It also works for all kinds of professions such as designers, programmers, creators, advertisers, consultants, and in general to those who want to offer downloads, subscriptions, memberships, and webcasts to expand their business.
How easy is Podia to use?
It’s always nice to see that a service doesn’t ask for your credit card details at signup, and you can make use of its 14 days free trial without pressure. That being said, after signup, your account is locked with a perplexing message.
You first have to answer
- What is your full name?
- What type of content do you plan on building here on Podia
- What type of courses do you plan on selling here?
- Do you have an external website we could check?
Then your account will be reviewed and hopefully unlocked. Once you’ve surmounted this hurdle, you’re greeted with a short onboarding video and a quick tour.
All in all, Podia is really easy to learn and use. It has a neat, almost minimalistic interface. You can build your website, create a course, or do other things with a few clicks. Everything is organised and labelled cleary, and it has clear and easy steps. The first thing you probably want to do is create your website.
Podia website builder
The website builder comes with many pre-built elements that you can add with just a click. This means you can quickly and easily add a product banner, course description, author profile, and much more without prior experience.
Podia is balancing simplicity with customisability. Even though I enjoy using its website builder, it’s not meant for people with a strong sense for design or highly branded companies.
Podia design and templates
Normally, design and templates are one of the first things to take into account for your website. Podia only offers its default template. You can change the colour – of the entire website, the background colour of a section, the colour of the text.
How to manage your ecommerce store in Podia?
Podia is slightly different from the typical shopping cart tool such as Shopify or Magento. It’s designed for you to sell digital products, that is memberships, subscriptions, one-time downloads, and courses.
You can also offer multiple pans with different content, prices, bundles, and perks. Of course, you can also add free products. The checkout process is optimised, the whole process takes place in a window. Your customers don’t even need to open an account at checkout.
Podia lets you host live webinars, although you need to integrate YouTube Live, and Zoom. But unlike Zoom for example, you can invite unlimited numbers of participants.
Third-party integration can help you streamline your work process. Maybe you want your sales and revenue figures to show up directly in your accounting, or you want to use another email provider.
Out of the gates, Podia provides you integrations to email providers, analytics, webinar tools, and more. And these days, Zapier can’t be missing.
What marketing and SEO tools does Podia have?
One of the marketing tools provided by Podia is email marketing. But it means more than just being able to send email campaigns. You can create your entire marketing and sales funnel with it, since it comes with embeddable sign-up forms.
You can either send one-off newsletters to your list (or segments) or drip campaigns. Look at drip campaigns as a series of emails (like an autoresponder). After sending, you can see the usual stats such as click rates, open rates, and unsubscribe rates.
For more advanced email marketing, you need to connect your account to a third-party email provider such as MailerLite. You’ll also get more advanced automation.
You can configure title tags and meta descriptions in the site settings, or individually per page.
Out of the box, Podia doesn’t have a blogging tool. If you’re up to it, you can also cobble together your blog in Podia. You have 3 options:
- Create a reviewable course (it should be free)
- Make use of custom pages
- Use the community feature
No matter what options you choose, it always involves manual tinkering, because there’s no automatic process that puts together an overview of all the posts, for example.
You can give your fans and evangelists the possibility to earn when they rave about you and your products. It’s simple to set up and you got control over how much commissions your fans – ahem your affiliates get.
You need to connect your account with Stripe or Paypal so that you can accept payments. Podia doesn’t slap on transaction fees, so you only need to account for what Stripe and Paypal charge. In the payment settings, you also get to enable EU VAT.
Podia is a hosted solution. This means, your subscription fee covers all the technical stuff like hosting, maintenance, or security. And with the subscription, your site gets an SSL certification.
Podia customer support
No matter how easy a service is to use when you hit a wall, you want help – fast. No matter what plan you choose, you get access to 7 days a week live chat and email support. During office hours of the live chat (09:00-18:00 ET from Mondays to Fridays and 09:00-17:00 ET on weekends), the support team usually answers within minutes.
If you’ve got questions outside of office hours, you can query its searchable knowledge base. You can also take part in Podia’s training and webinar sessions.
Podia has paid 3 plans and as you’d expect, the more features you want, the higher your plan needs to be. Compared to other all-in-one teaching platforms such as Kajabi /kajabi-review-all-in-one-website-builder-for-consultants, it eats less into your pockets.
Is Podia the right tool for you?
With Podia, you can sell
- online courses
- downloadable content
all on your site. You also get some marketing tools to promote your digital products and all this with a simple user interface. This makes it a convenient tool for small business owners. Say, if you’re already earning about $1000 per month through a service like Patreon, do the maths. The numbers will tell you that you’re most likely going to have more in your pockets with Podia at the end of the month.
Keep in mind though, since Podia makes things simple, you’re not going to get a big degree of customisation. Its’s site-building capabilities are pretty limited. It’s a tool meant for users who don’t need advanced features.
But if you want a simple course builder, come membership site that’s also affordable, Podia is a good place to start.