Podia Review: Is It Worth Buying?
By: Ahfaz Ahmed
In this article, I’ll be sharing my in-depth Podia review and talk about my experience using this online course selling platform.
I started using Podia when I wanted to launch a new course for GridRule. I fell in love with the platform from the moment I started using Podia.
But unfortunately, I ended up using another platform which I’ll talk about later in the article. First, let me give you a quick overview of what I liked and didn’t like about Podia.
Then, I’ll go into detail about each feature of Podia one by one. So, let’s jump in.
My Podia Review
If you’re short on time, here’s my quick review of Podia:
What I Like About Podia
What I Don’t Like About Podia
A Closer Look At Podia Features
Now, let me talk about the features of Podia in more detail to help you decide if it’s the right tool for you to sell online courses.
Course Creation & Platform
Having previously used WordPress LMS platforms, Podia’s ease of use and simplicity was a breath of fresh air.
The platform is designed very thoughtfully and the course creation process is very seamless. I never thought it would be this simple to create an online course.
Once you log in, you’ll see a very clean dashboard giving you a quick glance at your courses, students, sales, and other information.
From this dashboard, you can instantly create courses, products, email campaigns, and more.
The process is very simple and fast. You have to give a name to your course and then start adding content.
You can create sections and add lessons to those sections. What I really loved about Podia is how seamlessly you can create lessons.
Whether you want to add a video, PDF, or anything else, you can do it easily by dragging and dropping it to your lesson.
Podia also gives you advanced options on how your course content gets delivered. You can set up drip lessons, pre-launch your course, and even delay certain sections of the course.
This is perfect for you if you don’t want your students to access all the content at once.
Overall, I really liked the course creation features offered by Podia. It has everything you’d need to create and deliver your courses to students in the right way.
Podia lets you manage your students by selling memberships. You can create a membership and add different plans or tiers depending on how much content you plan to offer in each tier.
You have to option to choose from monthly or yearly subscriptions for memberships. Moreover, you can choose the products you want to include in each plan.
This way, you can offer your existing products and courses in the memberships as well. I didn’t use this feature much because I had no use for it.
But if you consistently create courses, memberships can help you keep your students stick for a long time.
Podia also lets you create a sales page for your memberships using the Podia editor. But I’ll get into that later in the article.
This is one of my favorite features of Podia as it helps in getting rid of email marketing software which can be very costly.
With Podia, you don’t have to use a tool like SendFox, Aweber, MailChimp, or ConvertKit for sending email campaigns.
In Podia, you can either send an email broadcast which is a single email sent to your subscribers, or an email campaign which is a series of emails based on conditions. Think of it as marketing automation emails.
Do keep in mind though that the email editor is text-based only so you won’t be able to send HTML emails with a flashy design.
I think it won’t be a big deal as course creators usually only need to send simple emails to their subscribers.
Anyways, the email editor is quite basic but it does let you send attachments in your email. Once your email is ready, you can either send it instantly or schedule it.
The email campaigns in Podia are very advanced allowing you to send emails based on certain conditions as given below:
What I really love is that you can even set exit conditions. So, if a subscriber purchases a product or subscribes to a plan, you can automatically remove them from the automation campaign.
Podia gives you a very clean and simplified overview of your campaigns showing your email sends, opens, clicks, and more.
Using email campaigns and broadcasts helps you get rid of any email marketing tool you’re currently using.
But if you need the advanced functionality and want to create even advanced automation campaigns, then Podia lets you integrate your email marketing tool. So far, here are the following email marketing tools Podia integrates with:
Besides the above tools, Podia also integrates with Zapier allowing you to connect it with other email marketing tools as well.
Webinars become a crucial part of anyone selling online courses. Thankfully, Podia also takes care of this and lets you create webinars with ease.
You can create a webinar, set start and end dates, and even send reminders to your customers and subscribers.
Podia lets you send multiple reminder emails to your customers helping you make the most out of your websites. Reminder emails can be sent:
Webinars in Podia can be hosted on YouTube and Zoom. The live recording of the webinar also gets saved which you can either give away for free or sell to your customers.
Lastly, webinars you create in Podia can be both free and paid. This will help you immensely to build your audience.
Digital Downloads are another benefit of using Podia. Similar to courses, you can create digital products and offer them to your audience.
You can sell a PDF, workbook, checklist, template, or anything else. Podia supports different file types allowing you to upload any kind of file for your digital download.
For a creator like myself, I find this feature very helpful as it allows me to sell worksheets, checklists, and templates individually.
But I do also have the option to bundle them together as a part of my courses and upsell them to the customer.
Podia makes it very easy to start a conversation with your customers using their messaging feature.
With this, customers can message you directly to ask questions or get any help. This immediate form of communication can help you connect with your audience in a more personal and better way.
I really love the fact that the customer doesn’t have to leave the page or use any other format such as email or a website contact form to reach out to you.
All communication with the course instructor and the customer happens within Podia.
Design & Customization
As mentioned above, Podia offers its own drag and drop editor that can be used to create landing and sales pages for your products.
The site editor in itself is pretty basic but it does have the essential elements you’d need. I personally found the editor to be lacking in features since I’m used to advanced page-building tools.
However, you can still create pretty decent landing pages like this one using the Podia editor.
I wish Podia works on improving their editor a bit more as landing pages are an important part of selling an online course.
And with a powerful editor in Podia, you’d be able to get rid of any other third-party tools for designing landing pages.
Podia has a pretty responsive and helpful support team that actively responds to all the queries and questions.
Personally, I didn’t have enough interaction with their support team because everything in Podia works flawlessly.
The only interaction I had was in regards to getting my domain connected and approved by Podia. Connecting my own domain allows a user to send emails from their custom email address.
Podia recommends sending the domain details to their support team while connecting your domain. They also mention that this process could take around 24 hours but to my surprise, the support team responded within an hour and successfully helped me connect the domain.
If that’s how responsive they are to other support queries, then I’m pretty impressed. The support agent I was in contact with was very friendly, helpful, and professional.
I would like to stress the friendliness part here a bit because it’s very rare to see this when dealing with customer support.
It actually felt like there was a human on the other side who genuinely wants to help me and not someone who sends out generic robotic responses.
Podia offers three pricing plans with varying features in each one. Here are the pricing plans of Podia in detail:
The Mover plan is their first plan which I would recommend to anyone who is just starting out with selling online courses.
It has all the essential features you’d need for selling your course. The only important feature it doesn’t include is the memberships and course certificates.
The subsequent Shaker and Earthquaker plans are perfect for people who want to scale their online course business.
Features such as affiliate marketing, white-labeled website, course certificates, and memberships are available in these plans.
If you want to try out Podia without making a commitment, you should definitely try out their 14-day free trial.
I signed up for the free trial as well and it was more than enough time for me to get used to the platform and decide if it’s worth the money for me.
My Experience With Podia
At the beginning of the article, I mentioned that I didn’t end up choosing Podia. Let me share my experience in detail.
While creating the first course for GridRule, I checked out so many LMS plugins and platforms. I tested several of them and then gave Podia a shot.
After using so many complex platforms, I came across Podia and was instantly surprised at how easy it was to create a course and add lessons.
The previous platforms I used weren’t as simple, clean, or user-friendly as Podia. I signed up for the free Podia trial to check the platform.
But I did feel a few limitations which I’ll mention below:
I’ve been using page builders for years to design landing pages and websites. So, using the Podia editor felt like a huge downgrade since it lacked some basic yet necessary features.
You cannot create complex layouts with their editor which I really wanted to do.
Eventually, I decided to design the landing page on my WordPress site for getting enrollments to my course. This brought up a new problem which was embedded checkouts.
Since the basic Mover plan doesn’t have the embedded checkout, the user first had to visit the landing page and then from there go to another landing page built on Podia and then proceed to checkout.
The extra step in the middle is unnecessary and would affect the user experience by increasing the steps for the user.
And I wasn’t ready to pay extra just for the embedded checkout feature.
Currently, Podia supports PayPal and Stripe for payments which cover almost every user. But I wanted to offer UPI payment methods as well since most of the course audience is in India.
And there was no way to integrate this unless I’m uninformed about it. So, this was another deal-breaker for me.
Extra Charges For Additional Users:
I plan to invite more instructors over at GridRule for future courses and Podia charges an additional $20/month for every new user.
This means that my costs could skyrocket soon if I add more and more teammates or instructors to the platform. This was also something I had to consider before finally betting my money on Podia.
In conclusion, I ended up choosing LearnDash LMS instead of Podia because of the above limitations.
Although LearnDash gave me much flexibility, it’s still such a pain to use it. It’s very complex when compared to Podia.
Podia vs The Competition
Let’s talk a bit about other course selling platforms and plugins that could be considered as an alternative to Podia:
Podia vs Teachable
Teachable is the first alternative I considered and many do because of how big and great it is. But the truth is, Teachable only excels at course selling and doesn’t come with features such as email marketing, memberships, webinars, etc.
On top of that, it’s a bit expensive compared to Podia and also has a 5% transaction fee in its lowest plan. I’d rather choose Podia over Teachable because it doesn’t make sense to pay a transaction fee when you’re already paying for the software.
Podia vs Thinkific
Thinkific is an awesome Podia alternative as it not only has a free plan but also doesn’t have any transaction fee like Teachable. It also has features similar to Podia such as memberships, live lessons, certificates, etc.
However, it’s still not an all-in-one platform like Podia and the paid plans still cost higher than Podia.
Podia vs Kajabi
I see people recommend Kajabi over Podia but personally, I feel that’s ridiculous. Not only Kajabi costs more than 5 times what Podia costs, but it’s also limited in terms of features even at such a high price.
You should only consider Kajabi if you already have a successful online course business and want to move to a new platform. For people who are starting out, Podia is a way better and affordable option.
Podia vs WordPress LMS Plugins
Another alternative to Podia is to use LMS (Learning Management System) plugins on your WordPress site. Plugins such as LearnDash, LiferLMS, Tutor LMS, etc are some options in this category.
Compared to Podia, they are definitely cheaper but it comes at another cost that is the management overhead.
With an LMS plugin, you’ll have to do everything yourself such as setting up drip lessons, creating certificates, etc. Not to mention that LMS plugins are so much complex to use. The interface isn’t as clean, minimal, or user-friendly.
Plus, you’ll also have to rely on many other plugins to get things working. For example, I’m using over 10 separate WordPress plugins just to get the courses on GridRule to work properly. If one plugin faces an issue, all hell is gonna break loose.
With Podia, you won’t have to worry about these problems as the platform does all this work for you.
You should only go for an LMS plugin if you want to save money AND have the technical know-how of managing and setting up your course without any issues.
Should You Purchase Podia?
My short answer is yes. Yes, you should definitely purchase Podia as it’s the best online course selling platform. Not just courses, it’s the best platform for managing your online course business.
From courses to memberships, you can manage everything without worrying about anything. But if you have specific needs and requirements, it’s important that you know about them ahead of your purchase.
In my case, I knew exactly what I wanted so it helped me figure out quickly whether Podia is the right tool for the job.
So, the next step for you is to sign up for the free trial of Podia and start using it. Once you start using the free trial, you’ll understand the platform more and it’ll help you make an informed decision.
And, if you have any more questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.
Ease Of Use
No other online course creation comes close to Podia in terms of ease of use and interface. It’s the best.
Podia is an all-in-one course platform with so many features that will help you replace many other tools.
I was surprised by how quick and helpful their support team is. Definitely an awesome experience.
For an independent course creator, the pricing is pretty affordable considering all the features you get.