Kartra vs Podia: Which Platform Should You Create Products or Host Communities on?

Ultimate Guide Table of Contents

Are you looking to turn your expertise and experience into a paying business? Or, perhaps you’ve already started creating courses, digital downloads, or hosting communities - but your current platform leaves you wanting more

You’ve probably come across two popular solutions as you ponder your next move: Kartra vs Podia. What’s the difference between these platforms, and which is right for you? You’re just a few moments away from complete clarity on where you should start building.

As creators ourselves, we’ve experienced firsthand the common pitfalls of most solutions. These leave you frustrated and force you to leave money on the table - neither of which is acceptable. 

That’s why today, we’re going to take a deep look at the Podia vs Kartra debate to help you choose the right platform - no matter what it is you’re hoping to create. 

While Podia claims to be a more affordable Kartra alternative with a shorter learning curve, some creators may find that it feels a bit restrictive in terms of customization capabilities. But any stress or uncertainty you feel about where you should start creating will start to melt away as we get into this comparison post. Let’s not waste any time. 

What are the Differences Between Kartra vs Podia?

Before we compare Kartra vs Podia side by side, we want to fully explain what each of these solutions is to help you gain a more clear understanding of the pros and cons each has to offer. Then, we’ll show you how each platform stacks up against the other by comparing key criteria that matter most to creators.

Introducing Kartra: Everything You Need to Make or Grow an Online Business

Kartra claims to be the greatest all-in-one platform for online businesses - ever. A bold claim, no doubt. But we must admit that the solution is quite impressive in terms of customization capabilities. And as you’ll discover below, that’s really the key difference between these two platforms. One keeps things simple, while the other is far more complex.

While Kartra is definitely a less popular solution than Podia, that’s not because it lacks features or falls short of creator expectations. On the contrary - the sheer number of features you gain access to with a Kartra subscription is astounding. But, which features you can take advantage of depends on your plan:

  • Starter ($99/month): the entry-level plan grants you up to 2,500 leads for 1 custom domain. You can host 100 pages, 50 videos, and 20 products - while hosting 2 separate membership sites. You also get 50 GB bandwidth, 15,000 marketing emails/month, and access to the intuitive funnel mapper for page creation.
  • Silver ($199/month): a step-up unlocks 12,500 leads and a total of 3 custom domains. And at this point, everything becomes unlimited - emails,  bandwidth, pages, videos, products, membership sites, team members, and help desks. You also unlock Kartra Agency - perfect for managing your clients’ sites. Plus, you get the funnel simulator at this tier.
  • Gold ($299/month): Everything mentioned above but with 25,000 leads and 5 custom domains. 
  • Platinum ($499/month): Everything mentioned above but with 50,000 leads and 10 custom domains.

Across all these different plans you can enjoy peace of mind with a 30-day money-back guarantee. But trust us - you’re going to be impressed with the capabilities of Kartra. We’ll talk more about what makes this solution so incredible in just a moment. First - let’s introduce the other side of the equation.

Introducing Podia: A Simple, Affordable Way to Sell Your Expertise, Passion, and Experience

We’ve written a lot about Podia as a course creation, digital product, and community hosting solution. In fact, this is one of the most popular platforms the industry has to offer. It’s trusted by creators from all walks of life: solopreneurs, professional educators, and more. The company was born in 2002, meaning it brings 15 more years of experience to the table than Kartra (founded in 2017).

Regardless of which plan you’re on, you get a free website, unlimited community members, unlimited online courses/digital products, and the tools you need to market those offerings.

As we mentioned earlier, though, you’ll find that Podia is a far more simplified solution than Kartra - which can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you ask. While some will love how much shorter the learning curve is with Podia, others will feel as if they’re being limited in terms of customization.

To give you a glimpse at just how much simpler Podia is than Kartra, let’s take a look at the two paid plans they offer - the Mover vs Shaker.

  • Mover ($33/month): You get a full website with the ability to build a community and sell digital downloads, courses, and coaching programs - with zero transaction fees. Plus, you gain access to email marketing, draft webinars, and chat support.
  • Shaker ($75/month): By upgrading to the top tier plan, you get everything listed above with unlimited webinars, affiliate marketing capabilities, and third-party code to really customize your business.

As we’ll discuss below, Podia also offers a free plan - one area where it really shines over Kartra. But that’s not the only edge Podia has over Kartra. Let’s get into what you really came here for - a side-by-side comparison of Kartra vs Podia.

Comparing Kartra vs Podia Side by Side

Let’s make one thing clear - you can start or grow a thriving online business on either Kartra or Podia. However, your specific goals and preferences will dictate which of these two solutions is ideal for you. 

It can really be as simple as asking yourself this: would you rather get up and running faster with fewer headaches, or would you rather take the time to learn the ins and outs of the software and have more capabilities at your fingertips? 

To help drive this point home, we’ll compare Podia vs Kartra based on 3 key criteria below.

Pricing & Plans

This is where Podia has a clear edge over Kartra - pricing and plans. Podia offers a free plan while Kartra does not. However, Kartra does offer a free trial so you can get a taste of the platform’s capabilities and see its full value before paying.

But that’s not all. In looking at the two platforms’ paid tiers side by side, Podia is still the most affordable solution. Podia’s most expensive tier (the Shaker plan) is $20 cheaper per month than Kartra’s cheapest plan (the Starter plan). 

So if you’re focused on profitability and want to find the cheapest solution possible - and that’s all that matters to you - the answer is clear, stick with Podia. With that said, shopping on price alone is never a good idea. And when it comes to starting or growing a business, being “cheap” typically ends up costing you more in the long run. 

Think about it like this - while you’ll pay less for a Podia subscription, you may end up paying more for the total suite of tools you’ll need to round out your business. For example, you’ll need to pay for a separate funnel builder. 

Product Creation 

Another important consideration as to whether you should create on Podia vs Kartra? Well, what you plan on creating of course! Both platforms are versatile in that you can build a multitude of offerings, including:

  • Online courses
  • Digital downloads
  • Online communities
  • Online coaching

Now - one thing that you can create on Podia that you cannot create on Kartra is digital webinars. This is a huge advantage to Podia, as it means you’d need to integrate your own webinar hosting solution with Kartra.

Other than that, though, we’d say it’s a wash in terms of product creation between Kartra vs Podia. No matter what you want to create and sell, you can do so with either solution.

Customization Capabilities

This is where you start to see a big advantage for users creating on Kartra as opposed to Podia. But before we show you what’s possible on Kartra that you can’t do on Podia, let’s give credit where it’s due. Podia has simple buy buttons for your offers that can be placed on other landing pages or websites, helping you grow your business. 

However, that’s really where the customization advantages start and end for Podia. It’s clear that Kartra unlocks far more possibilities for creators. A few of the most noteworthy include:

  • A/B split testing
  • Funnel builder with landing page templates
  • Share funnels
  • Custom webhooks
  • Behavioral Adaptive Marketing
  • Calendar scheduling tool

And if you’re an agency managing multiple online businesses for your clients, then you’ll love the Agency Portal that Kartra has developed. This keeps things neat and tidy so you can operate smoothly.

In terms of integrations, Kartra supports SMS software, bot software, calendar tools, and many other custom integrations / API solutions that Podia does not. While Podia does take the cake in terms of email marketing integrations, Kartra already has an email marketing solution integrated - which is why they don’t support MailChimp, Aweber, ConvertKit, and other integrations.

The key takeaway from this section should be this: with Podia, you’re given the essentials. But with Kartra, you’re empowered with far more capabilities to build and grow your business.

Other Considerations

Before we bring this comparison to a close, we want to highlight a few other important considerations in the Podia vs Kartra debate. 

One of these is in terms of migrations - which only applies to creators who are considering bringing an existing business or community over. With Podia, you’ll enjoy free migrations to make the process as seamless as possible. This is a huge weight off your shoulders and a legitimate reason to consider choosing Podia over Kartra.

Plus, Podia has the highest Creator Friendliness Index in the industry at 90.91 - which just speaks to how simple and straightforward creating and managing your products on the platform is. In contrast, Kartra doesn’t even have a creator friendliness score. But if it did, we have to imagine it would be dramatically lower than Podia.

So, Which is Right For You as a Creator: Podia vs Kartra?

By now, you should start to see which of these platforms is better for your unique preferences. But we’ll summarize a few of the more important points to help drive the point home.

Simple put, Kartra is bigger and better - it does everything Podia does and then some. We consider it to be among the best platforms for landing pages/sales funnels. 

On the other hand, if you aren’t interested in bells and whistles and don’t need a custom page builder - you want to keep things simple - you’ll be better suited with Podia.

Other Solutions Worth Considering

Chances are, one of these two platforms will empower you to start or grow your business as a creator. With that said, you shouldn’t feel shackled to either Podia or Kartra. Neither of these solutions is perfect. 

For example - they both lack a mobile app solution, blogging features, and product templates that streamline the creation process. There are other solutions that do offer these capabilities. In fact, there are a seemingly endless number of other platforms you can consider along this journey.

We have spent countless hours comparing and contrasting these various platforms. As creators ourselves, we know what you need in a course creation, digital download, or community hosting solution. So - we’ve worked tirelessly to vet your options and consolidate the key takeaways to help you get the most out of your efforts.

Before you start building on either Kartra or Podia, explore some of our other comparison posts. If you want to see how Podia stacks up against other options, check out our resources on Podia vs Teachable, Podia vs Kajabi, Podia vs Thinkific, or Learnworlds vs Podia.

Or, take a look at other solutions altogether - such as Circle vs Mighty Networks, Circle vs Tribe, Mighty Networks vs Kajabi, or Thinkific vs Kajabi.

Wrapping Up Our Conversation on Podia vs Kartra

Hopefully, this discussion provided you with clarity as to whether you should create on Podia vs Kartra. While each platform has its pros and cons - and they share a wide array of similarities - only one of these is the ideal choice for your business.

Remember - Podia is a quick and intuitive way to get your business off the ground in minutes. You’re given everything you need to start and grow your business. On the other hand, Kartra takes things a step further with a more intuitive funnel and landing page builder. And, it empowers you with more tools to grow your business.

So, at this point, it’s time to choose between Kartra vs Podia based on your unique preferences and goals as a creator. Whichever solution you land on, all that matters is you take action and start creating!

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