Welcome to a side-by-side review of two popular online course hosting sites, Podia and Patreon.
As we already know, online lessons today is made easy and more accessible with the availability of the internet.
What that entails is that a creator can stay in the USA and create a course while students from all over the world connect and enroll using the same platform.
If you are a content or course creator, then the good news is that this is your season because online learning is at its peak. Here is it.
According to eslauthority, over a third of higher education students have taken an online class. That is to say, the number of students learning online has increased each year, with figures from last year (2020) indicating that 35.3% of students took at least one online education course.
To back this up, based on findings from a pair of Pew Research Center surveys conducted in spring 2011, nearly two-thirds of college presidents (62%) anticipate that 10 years from now, more than half of the textbooks used by their undergraduate students will be entirely digital.
What a great time to be a content creator…
Therefore, with such opportunity abound, today we will review 2 of the popular online course platforms creators can use anytime to create and host their premium content for students/members.
Disclosure: Kindly note that this page has affiliate links, and thanks for your support.
Podia vs Patreon Definition
Podia and Patreon are online content hosting platforms for creators who want to both monetize and manage their content exclusively.
Also, Podia and Patreon allow you to create subscription-based membership sites, although you can give out some sections for free if you want to.
With this ability to create exclusive content for a particular set of people, creators earn money from their fans/audiences and off their efforts.
Lastly, you can make recurring income by upselling to students on Podia, and also weekly or a monthly subscriptions on Patreon.
Podia vs Patreon summary
Patreon only offers a subscription platform that allows fans to support creators while Podia offers all-round facilities where creators get paid by members, online course sales, webinars, and digital downloads.
While you can start all for free on Patreon, they do charge high transaction fees via revenue sharing, but on Podia, there are no transaction fees and no free plans plus instant chat support.
On Podia, you can issue quizzes, assessments, and certificates to students after course completion, but this is not available on Patreon.
Podia Features and Pros
Let’s see the top features to look at with Podia’s online platform.
Podia works as an online course platform, webinar host, selling digital downloads, and creating membership sites.
They offer instant chat support for creators.
The platform is intuitive and beginner-friendly for new users.
Course migration from another platform is free (optional).
Ability to add unlimited students, courses, and video hosting.
They do not charge transaction fees.
Free blogging platform to educate and updates your students.
Availability of advanced facilities to create bundles and upsell courses for more money.
Inbuilt and free email tool for easy marketing.
Podia offers limited payment options which is mainly stripe where students can use a credit card and enroll in your course. Should you want more than Stripe, you can use Zapier to add more payout options.
Does not offer a free plan.
Let’s check out Patreon.
Patreon Features and Pros
They offer a simple platform to build a community with your audiences.
They offer advanced integrations to build your membership site.
They offer multiple payment options.
Patreon allows free usage (content creation) until you get fans.
You can make recurring income by charging your fans on a weekly or monthly basis.
Being a popular platform, fans can easily search and find content creators.
High fees – fees charged are directly proportional to the growth of the creator. More cuts with a larger audience.
They charge high transaction fees (5-12%), takes a percentage from the creator’s funds.
They do not offer instant chat support for creators.
They do not offer complete online course building facilities for digital downloads, selling courses, and more
Limited or no facilities for educational instructors and institutions.
1. Podia vs Patreon membership – which offers a free plan?
Getting started for free?
As a content creator, Patreon allows you to create content for free while at zero users/subscribers. Here is what it means.
You can get started for free on Patreon as far as you do not have fans, but as soon as you start getting paid on a subscription basis, you get charged.
So, yes, you can start for free, but it’s without a fee.
Podia does not offer a free plan for users nor does it charge anything on any of their hosting packages. What you get with Podia is a 14 day FREE trial where you are allowed to use the platform to test and customize your online school to standard.
2. Creator page and the Site editor (Editors)
The creator page or site editor gives you complete control over the look and feel of your site. With it, you control the creation of different section types on Podia, adding New Sections, branding, billing settings, and more. And on Patreon, it helps you create posts, tiers, edits, general account settings, and more.
The big question now is, how intuitive and structured are the individual creators/site editors? Let’s see.
You can access your creator page after being signed up at patreon.com/edit. In here you can create posts, tiers, edits, branding, general account settings and more are made possible.
To create a new post, all you need to do is select “New” in the Posts section of your left-hand navigation bar.
On the right-hand side of your post editor, you’ll find the option to make your post public, visible to all patrons (including patrons not in a tier), or Select Tiers.
What happens if you want to update your price tiers? Unfortunately, you cannot edit the price of a tier with active patrons but you can change just about everything else.
To reprice – or add new prices – you will have to give new tiers access to your posts, unpublished, and delete the former tiers for the new one.
The good thing is that when you add a new tier, your new tier will not automatically have access to old posts that were published for ‘Select Tiers’.
Also, should you want to grant new tiers access to old posts, go ahead and visit the Published page of your Posts section? Click the Edit link next to the posts you want to grant access to, and select your new tiers before saving.
For the branding part, you can do that via “page settings”.
In the Page settings section, you’ll find a Custom Brand Color setting which allows you to customize the color of your Patreon page.
For all edits, remember to click on “Save”.
You can access Podia’s site editor via the link https://app.podia.com/editor after sign up or click on your site name in the top right, then choose “Edit site”.
Going on, you can click on the edit site and start adding New Sections, editing, and creating different section types.
For instance, to add new sections, all you need to do is click on the “+” symbol to start adding and editing your online course.
And what if you want to add Text? Check your left-hand side and click on “Text”.
From there, you start adding words.
Also, from the site editor, you can brand your course with options to change fonts and add logos, Newsletter capture form, Columns, categories, favicon, Testimonials, FAQ, Bio, and other advanced options and settings you deem fit for your online course.
In all of these, when done, click on “Publish”
Verdict on page/site editors: for site editors, I think Podia is more intuitive with a modern interface and options for customizations. Or what do you think?
3. Course migrations on Podia or Patreon
What if you wanted to move your online course from another Podia or Patreon alternative like LearnWorlds or Thinkific to either of the online platforms? Where is the process most easy? Let’s see.
Patreon does not offer the option for content creators to move their online course to and from another platform while Podia does allow you to do this.
Even if you are subscribed to the lowest pricing package on Podia you get free course migration from another online platform.
So, no worries if you want to move your course from Patreon or Teachable to Podia – get it done for you all for free.
4. Podia vs Patreon Payment options/Check out pages
What’s the essence of being on Patreon or Podia if not to get paid? Now, which payment methods are used on either platform? What of PayPal? Can you get paid via it? Let’s see.
Patreon offers multiple (3) payment options for your audiences/students. Creators can accept payment via PayPal, Credit Card, and Apple Pay.
With Credit card, patrons can add it to their Patreon account as a payment method. The same with PayPal and Apple pay, although the latter is device-specific.
Students – Making Payments: for anyone to make payment, they must be signed up – which qualifies to be a Patreon.
Creators – For withdrawal: you have the option to choose your preferred currency and the same will be sent to your bank account via Stripe, or to PayPal, and Payoneer as an option.
Podia offers fewer (1) payment options for your audiences/students with more options for withdrawal. As a creator, you can only accept direct payment via Stripe – Credit Card. And through PayPal, if they have linked their cards.
The reason they do not offer PayPal payment is that their Payment API does not offer this functionality.
Nonetheless, as a creator, you have the option to use a third-party tool like Zapier to receive payment via Samcart or manually – by inviting the customer.
Students – Making Payments: for anyone to make payment, they must sign up with an email address.
Creators – For withdrawal: Podia will send your earnings directly to your bank account via Stripe or to your PayPal account.
5. Podia vs Patreon – where to build an Online Course?
Do you plan to build an online course and you’re confused about which is the perfect match? See here.
Patreon does not offer core facilities to build an online course where you have options to create bundles for students, upsell and Pre-sell courses, set up quizzes, issues educational course completion certificates, and lots more.
On Patreon, you can host video content via YouTube or Vimeo which can also be used as a webinar tool. But if you plan to use zoom then this is not available. However, they have more streaming options. More on this below.
To summarize, Patreon is for creators who have exclusive content they want real fans to subscribe to get. AKA, Patreon offers only a membership site.
Podia is an all-inclusive Platform for creators who want to monetize their content with advanced infrastructures to build it to perfection.
Apart from a membership site that matches what Patreon offers, with Podia, you have the freedom to run a fully online course school, as in, issue your students course completion certificates, track student progress with reports, upsell courses, and make more money.
On top of that, you can sell digital downloads, host webinars, host a full-running affiliate site with advanced facilities to aid you plus instant customer support.
6. Analytics and Tracking on Patreon vs Podia
How about being concerned about how to measure your growth/success? Can you do this, and which of the platforms offers the best options? Let’s check out.
Patreon allows you to track your progress called Goals. What this does is to encourage your community to pledge to you – allowing your patrons to be involved on your journey as a creator, helping you reach new milestones!
To set up “Goals”, all you need to do is go to your page > Edit page > Goals, and define your terms, and finally, click on “Save”.
Apart from Goals settings, you can also make use of Google Analytics to see the report, traffic, and other changes.
Also, you can monitor email broadcast progress with an email marketing third party tool like MailChimp for instance.
Kindly note using the “Goals facility” is for Pro and Premium creators.
Podia offers up to 4 reporting facilities. To start with, they allow both advanced analytics and conversion tracking to monitor the growth of your online course.
Also, you have the option to use Facebook Pixel to monitor visits from Facebook (both paid ads and organic visits).
Interestingly, Podia allows you to see your email marketing broadcast analytics to measure success.
Going forward, you can integrate a 3rd-party reporting tool. How it works is that, when once you have your snippet, all you need to do is to go to Analytics and scroll down to the section and add the Custom code.
Lastly, Podia allows you to install advanced analytics where you can smoothly track course “thank-you” pages, or sometimes called “success” pages, Products & Courses, and Memberships when someone subscribes.
7. Streaming Abilities
On Patreon, you can Livestream post with Crowdcast, Streamlabs, and YouTube Live, with an option to share private videos with Vimeo.
On Podia, you can Livestream and share private videos with YouTube Live and Vimeo.
8. Course Integration Abilities
Patreon offers multiple integration options such as with WordPress, Discord, Streamlabs, and email tool integrations, plus API for customization.
Podia also offers multifaceted integration options. Some of them include ThriveCart, Zoom, GetResponse & AWeber, Unsplash, email tool Integrations with Zapier, and other over 1,000s of integrations from Zapier you can select to design your course to taste.
For blogging platform integration, Podia works flawlessly with WordPress (using the Gutenberg editor), Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, or any other blogging platform you are working with.
9. Podia vs Patreon Dashboard
Which of the 2 platforms has the best or the most intuitive creator’s dashboard? Here we see.
Patreon offers a beginner-friendly and intuitive dashboard.
Text editor: What if you want to write? See what you get.
Seeing your activities? Just select your preferred section and move to the next item.
What do you think of Patreon? Let’s see Podia.
Like Patreon, Podia offers a beginner-friendly and intuitive dashboard.
Text editor: What if you want to write? See what you get.
Seeing your activities? Just select your preferred section on top and move to the next item.
Verdict: (This might be a bit biased, but I think I prefer Podia anytime over Patreon), or what do you think?
10. Messaging with your audiences on Podia vs Patreon
As a creator, a fan or member might want to message/chat with you. If you were to choose, which of them offers the best option to connect with your audiences? Check it out.
Messaging or communicating with your fans on Patreon is possible. First off, to do this, a fan must be a paying subscriber and he or she currently has an active membership with – you – the creator on Patreon. If not, they will have to contact – you – the creator outside of Patreon.
Inbox messaging: When the above 2 conditions are fulfilled, you Click the Messages link in the upper-right corner of your page to type up your message and click the Send button to communicate.
On-Page messaging: If a fan has an active membership with a creator, he or she can send you a private message directly on your page on Patreon. For a fan to message – you – a creator from your page, all they need to do is to click on “message”.
Like Patreon, Podia also allows you to send in-app messages directly to your audiences on your Podia site using its built-in messaging facility.
To access and start a conversation with your audiences, log in and go to the Messaging page on Podia, click on Messaging in the top navigation bar, and start a conversation.
11. Affiliate program management on Patreon or Podia
Would you want to create product-specific commission rates for affiliate members or your fans to share your page and online course to get paid? If yes, then which of the 2 platforms delivers this best? Let’s check it out.
Patreon does not offer creators the ability to integrate affiliate programs while Podia does. With Podia, you can do this even if you are on the “Shaker” – lowest pricing plan.
12. podia vs Patreon Mobile app – which platform offers?
Would you prefer your audiences to have an option of accessing your course via an app than a browser? If yes, then which of the online course platforms offers this facility? Let’s see.
Patreon does have a mobile app that works and integrates for both Android and iOS users.
While fans will have the freedom to access your page, as a creator, there are a lot of things you cannot do with the app. For instance, Patronage report, Refunds list, Declines report, Payouts page, User profile settings, and more are not available.
On the other hand, Podia does not have a mobile app, that is, everything can be accessed using the Mobile web.
13. Podia vs Patreon – Processing Fees and Pricing
When it comes to fees, how large is the cut that Podia and Patreon take from the money you make? Let’s see.
When you use Patreon in the US, you have two (2) fees to pay, but if outside, you have three (3) – PayPal fees.
The first processing fee is called “Flexible rate” which is a standard rate of 2.9% + $0.30 which applies to all payments that are more than $3.
The second processing fee is called “Micropayment rate” which is a standard rate of 5% + $0.10 which applies to all payments of $3 or less.
The third processing fee applies to all payments from patrons outside the US using PayPal which attracts an additional 1% surcharge.
On top of the payment processing fees, there are service fees, which depend on your pricing plan. See the pricing fees per plan.
Lite Plan: Patreon takes 5% of the monthly income you earn while you have basic facilities to build your subscription page.
Pro plan: Patreon takes 8% of the monthly income you earn with viable facilities to customize and build a rewarding subscription site for your fans.
Premium plan: Patreon takes 12% of the monthly income you earn with advanced facilities such as dedicated coaching and support to build your subscription business.
First off, Podia does not charge processing/transaction fees on any of their plans. Meaning, when you subscribe to a plan, you are done with all micro or unwanted charges. For the pricing, Podia offers 3 plans which are as follows:
Mover: with zero transaction fees, the plan pricing is at $39/mo with Basic and modern facilities to sell your course, build a membership site, host webinars and offer digital downloads.
Shaker:the plan pricing is at $79/mo with advanced facilities to sell your course, build a membership site, host webinars, and offer digital downloads.
Earthquaker:the plan pricing is at $179/mo with advanced facilities and flexible extras such as dedicated coaching, personalized support, multiple creators, and marketing strategies to build your online business.
Final Verdict on transaction fees and pricing: the side effect of processing fees on Patreon is that, if you succeed to promote your membership page and let’s say YOU bring in 500 paying fans, Patreon will take a cut per head/fan of your income. Do the calculation if you charged $17 or more.
But on Podia, whether you are subscribed to the Mover or EarthQuaker plan and you bring in 500 paying students, your one-time monthly or yearly plan covers it all. I mean, your subscription and membership income is yours.
14. Best plan to use on Patreon or Podia
On Patreon, the Pro plan offers the most flexible options to build your subscription page. And on Podia, the “Shaker plan” is popular with lots of options to build your course.
How responsive are the supports you get from these online course platforms?
First off, Patreon does not offer onsite instant chat for creators, however, you can contact them via email, community, and Twitter.
Add-on: having stated that they do not offer phone support, the thing is, there is a general company’s phone support line you can call for assistance – if appropriate.
Podia offers onsite instant support for creators and an email support channel where you can talk to real people. While this is true, the drawback is that the instant support chat is available on weekdays from 9 AM — 6 PM ET, and on weekends, from 9 AM — 5 PM ET.
Also, based on research, Podia has a great customer support history due to prompt attainment to emails and instant chat.
16. Podia vs Patreon Site and Page Examples
Having concluded this side-by-side review, with all the facilities available for creators to create an amazing online business, let’s see what a Patreon page looks like in real life and the same for Podia.
Patreon Course Samples
Podia Course Samples
Similarities and Differences Summary
Best for creators who are already popular and who want a simple membership/subscription platform without many customizations.
Best for solo creators and educational institutions who care about selling online courses, membership, and webinar hosting, digital downloads, education facilities with strategic marketing options.
💡 Compared to Podia, LearnWorlds is more sophisticated if you are looking for core advanced options with lots of customizations. Also, it offers instant chat support for teachers + excellent user support history.
💡 LearnWorlds or Podia? LearnWorlds still trumps Podia with more advanced options, although Podia is hot and popular for its 4 major purposes: selling online courses, webinars, members’ sites, and digital downloads.
💡 LearnWorlds or Patreon? Still, LearnWorlds offers more advanced builder infrastructures as compared to Patreon plus instant support for all plans unlike on Patreon where you get no instant chat.
All in all, if you are cool with taking some time to figure out all the advanced customization offers with LearnWorlds, then I prefer it (personally – LearnWorlds) to Podia and Patreon since they are the top alternatives in terms of advanced options.
The decision here is solely based on what you want as a creator.
I mean, as we already know. Patreon is a popular and simple/intuitive subscription-based online platform where “mostly” creators with a following or fan base use to monetize their exclusive content.
Going with Patreon means that a creator does not care much about advanced course building and educational facilities, does not care about the 5-8% revenue share and processing fees plus core online course infrastructures he or she wouldn’t get.
On the other hand, if you are a blogger/Vlogger, teacher/tutor, freelancer, or an influencer with a following or not, and you want to monetize exclusive content via an online course, membership, webinar, and digital downloads, then Podia looks like the perfect solution.
💡 If you also consider getting advanced facilities to Pre-sell and Pre-launch your courses, Customizable branding, Upsells for more money from audiences, and also education facilities for quizzes, grading, certificates issuance, and more if you are a teacher/tutor, then Podia is for you.
💡 Again, I prefer Podia since I am not a rock star – with a fan base. With my email list or community-built, I am good to sell my courses for profit.
💡 Lastly, with Podia, I get instant chat support, no transaction fees (just my one-time of the yearly flat fee-free), free migrations of your content and customers, a free SEO-ENABLED blog section to promote your courses, and a high-converting checkout that guarantees more sales and less drop-off, and amongst others things.
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