As online courses grow in popularity, more people want to know about the various platforms that they can use to sell educational content.
Two popular platforms for building websites are Kajabi and SquareSpace.
Both platforms have competent website building tools and offer unlimited hosting and bandwidth.
So you have probably wondered: should I host my course on Kajabi or SquareSpace?
Main Differences Between Kajabi and SquareSpace
Here is a quick point-by-point of key differences between the two platforms. We will go more in-depth below:
- Functionality/features: Kajabi is designed for selling digital products. SquareSpace isn’t. So a SquareSpace site requires some workarounds
- Pricing: SquareSpace is less expensive than Kajabi but has add-on purchases
- Marketing: SquareSpace and Kajabi have marketing functions but Kajabi’s are superior
- Integrations: SquareSpace has more native integrations, but a more complicated integration set up.
- Website Building Tools: Both Kajabi and SquareSpace have great web building applications
The key difference between Kajabi and SquareSpace is focus and audience.
Kajabi is tailored for selling digital products (though it’s much more flexible than just that) whereas SquareSpace has a more generalist orientation. So in that sense, it’s entirely possible to sell courses using SquareSpace, but it’s a much more complicated and frustrating process than creating, marketing and selling courses with Kajabi.
Kajabi offers 3 pricing plans:
- Basic: $149/mo
- Growth: $199/mo
- Pro: $399/mo
More information on Kajabi’s pricing here.
SquareSpace offers 4 pricing plans:
- Personal: $16/mo
- Business: $26/mo
- Commerce: $30/mo
- Advanced Commerce: $46/mo
As you can see, SquareSpace is substantially cheaper than Kajabi, at least on its face. Switching to annual instead of monthly billing on your Kajabi or SquareSpace subscription will save 20% and 13% in subscription costs, respectively.
The trick is the Kajabi includes many more tools as an integrated package.
SquareSpace is also an integrated package but has fewer tools that are oriented around marketing and selling courses.
Some Squarespace integrations require an extra subscription fee as well.
Squarespace also does not have the email marketing suite or pipeline builder that sets Kajabi apart from its competitors.
Kajabi is built with marketing in mind and has several built-in marketing features, like email automations, email list segmentation, and marketing templates for campaigns. Kajabi can set up complex trigger sequences based on customer behavior and run efficient marketing campaigns.
One unique feature Kajabi has is the Pipeline builder, their take on sales funnels. Pipelines give you a visual representation of your sales funnel that you can edit by just dragging elements into the funnel. It’s a neat take on sales funnels that helps you get your head around your abstract marketing organization.
SquareSpace has a lot of good tools for eCommerce analytics and a ton of native payment options so selling things is relatively easy. But, it doesn’t include tools for serious email marketing campaigns, a necessity for an online course business. Also, SquareSpace does not have affiliate programs for any subscription plans. SquareSpace has integrations for those things, but integrations can sometimes mess with the base structure.
Website Building Comparison
As far as website building goes, SquareSpace and Kajabi can be used to make great looking sites that can uniquely represent your brand. Both platforms use a drag-and-drop editor so adding, removing, and rearranging elements and layouts are super easy. SquareSpace’s interface takes some trial and error to get used to but it can do some pretty awesome stuff.
Kajabi also nails the web design aspect. Creating products is as simple as making a blog post, and website layouts are crisp, clean, modern, and highly customizable. You can change themes based on product sections so each page can have a different look and feel. There is also the option to create membership sites.
SquareSpace has good tools, but there are some known problems, specifically with membership sites. There are reports that people have found ways to get around membership gates on SquareSpace sites to access premium content without paying.
Both platforms take a theme-based approach to website design. Designing a site on both platforms involves starting with a design template and further customizing as you go.
Kajabi recently shifted its approach to themes and is now focusing solely on developing the Premier Theme into a flexible and open-ended framework. The Premier theme has 6 layout presets that can be further customized. Each one has a clean, modern feel; perfect for an online storefront.
SquareSpace also has a large theme selection, something they updated in their most recent 7.1 launch. You can’t change themes once you select one, but the templates are highly customizable. Color changes only apply to content types, which means you can’t go around changing the color template of individual headers for instance.
Overall, both platforms have great themes/templates architecture that is easy to get a grasp on. Once you pick a base to start from, it’s easy to turn it into something unique for your brand.
Course Creation & Student Engagement Comparison
Here is one area Kajabi clearly comes out ahead. The main reason why is that Kajabi is designed for delivering course content. SquareSpace is not. Here is how it would work on SquareSpace: Your courses would be hidden behind individual password-protected pages. Each student would get the same password to access the material. If someone shares a password, then you have to change it for everyone. This is a pretty big problem for a platform designed on selling courses.
SquareSpace does not have any student engagement tools either. So unless there is some workaround to this issue, and there might be, there is no real way to do assessments or quizzes in SquareSpace. Kajabi, in contrast, has those tools built right in. Assessments are an important part of selling online courses so the fact that SquareSpace can’t do those is a big hit against it.
We should also mention that migrating a course to and from SquareSpace is a headache. So it’s best to not even start hosting courses there.
Both SquareSpace and Kajabi have built-in integrations, but SquareSpace has more. SquareSpace has a huge library of possible integrations, but some of them require extra subscription fees. That being said, SquareSpace offers integrations for some of the most popular services, including eCommerce solutions.
Kajabi only has 10 built-in integrations, which include MailChimp, ConvertKit, Google Analytics, Aweber, Clickfunnels, and Drip, among others. Kajabi has the Zapier app which opens up integrations with non-native third-party apps, but so does SquareSpace. So It’s no real advantage.
One thing about SquareSpace integrations is that they can be tough to install. Apparently not all integrations actually work with each other, so some will mess up the layout of your site. That’s one problem inherent to having a lot of integrations; there are more chances for interference.
SquareSpace offers 24/7 email support and live chat support on M-F from 4am-8pm. There is no phone support. Most of the time, support requests are quick, and the help is actually useful. The support is decent even though you won’t actually be speaking to a person by voice.
SquareSpace also has a neat option called “circles” which are basically courses that teach you how to build a website with the tools. Unfortunately, you already have to have 3 SquareSpace sites to be eligible to apply. That kind of defeats the purpose in our opinion.
Kajabi offers 24/7 chat support on the Growth plan or higher, and access to a huge catalog of resources through Kajabi University. Kajabi University has training videos, how-to articles, and guides on building a site with Kajabi and how to make the perfect course. The Kajabi team also hosts live training events and webinars.
Conclusion: Kajabi or SquareSpace
SquareSpace is a good platform for building a website, but it’s ultimately not suited for selling courses, at least not as suited as Kajabi is. The main limitation SquareSpace has is that there is no real course creation tool that can deliver content efficiently. Unless there is an issue around that, then Kajabi is the superior platform for hosting and selling online courses.
See which platform is better: