Platform Comparison Guide For Coaches & Course Creators

Last Updated: April 30, 2024 by Matt

In the digital age, selecting the right platform to build your online business is crucial for success.

With numerous options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which is best suited for your needs.

From Kartra to WordPress, we'll explore the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the top five platforms to help you make an informed decision.

Plus, discover why WordPress might be your go-to choice.

Top 7 Things to Consider No Guru Shares

  • Scalability options for future business growth
  • Sales funnel features such as cart abandonment recovery, order bumps, and one click purchases
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) tools and features to improve website visibility

  • Automation features for tasks like email marketing, order processing, and customer support
  • A/B testing and experimentation tools for optimizing website performance and conversion rates
  • User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design for creating a visually appealing and intuitive pages / funnels
  • Content management system (CMS) capabilities for creating and managing website content

Kartra - An All-in-One Platform

Overview

Kartra positions itself as an all-in-one platform aimed at online coaches and course creators who need a variety of tools ranging from marketing and sales to client support. It's designed to be a comprehensive solution that integrates different aspects of an online business into one dashboard.

Pros
  • All-Inclusive Platform: Kartra eliminates the need for multiple tools by offering integrated solutions for marketing, sales, and customer support. This can be particularly beneficial for coaches who prefer to manage all their operations from a single point.
  • Built-in Automation: The platform provides robust automation capabilities that allow users to create complex sequences based on user behavior, which can save time and increase efficiency.
  • Comprehensive Tool Suite: With features that support email marketing, landing pages, membership sites, video hosting, and more, Kartra can be particularly useful for users looking to offer a diverse range of services and content.
Cons
  • Higher Cost: Kartra’s pricing is on the higher side, which might be a deterrent for new coaches or those with limited budgets. This could be particularly challenging for users who are just starting out and not yet generating significant revenue.
  • Steep Learning Curve: The breadth of functionalities, while beneficial, also makes Kartra quite complex to navigate, especially for beginners. New users might find it overwhelming and time-consuming to learn how to use all available features effectively.
  • Limited Customization: While Kartra offers many tools, it doesn’t provide extensive customization options for users who need very specific features or who wish to have a unique look and feel for their sites and materials. Advanced users might find this lack of flexibility frustrating.

Ideal User Profile

Kartra is best suited for established online coaches and course creators who need an array of tools and can justify the investment with a higher budget. It is less suited for beginners or those who prefer a simple, straightforward platform.

Additional Insights

  • Integration and Compatibility: Kartra integrates with several leading software applications, but compatibility with external tools can sometimes be limited, which might require additional adjustments or compromises.
  • Support and Resources: Kartra provides customer support and extensive learning resources, which can be beneficial in overcoming the initial learning curve.
Conclusion

Kartra stands out as a robust, all-in-one platform that could greatly benefit established online coaches and course creators looking to consolidate multiple aspects of their business operations.


While its comprehensive set of tools and automation capabilities streamline workflow and enhance productivity, the platform's higher cost and complex interface may pose challenges for beginners or those on a tight budget.


Ultimately, Kartra is an excellent choice for those who can leverage its full potential to grow and manage a thriving online business, but it might be overkill for those who need simpler, more cost-effective solutions.

GoHighLevel - A Marketing Agency's Dream

Overview

GoHighLevel is a specialized platform tailored primarily for marketing agencies. It offers a suite of tools designed to handle all aspects of agency operations, including customer relationship management (CRM), sales automation, and detailed reporting.

The platform also stands out for its ability to be white-labeled, allowing agencies to brand the service as their own.

Pros
  • Specialized for Agencies: GoHighLevel is specifically built to cater to the needs of marketing agencies, providing tools and features that align well with their workflows and client management processes.
  • White-Label Capabilities: One of the unique aspects of GoHighLevel is the ability to white-label its services. Agencies can use GoHighLevel's platform under their own brand, which is excellent for maintaining brand consistency and trust with clients.
  • Advanced Automation and Funnel Building: The platform offers advanced automation tools that help agencies streamline operations, from lead capture to client retention. Its strong focus on sales funnels and conversion optimization is ideal for agencies looking to boost their client’s results.
Cons
  • Limited Versatility for Non-Agencies: Because GoHighLevel is highly specialized, it may not be as suitable for non-agency businesses or individual entrepreneurs who might find the platform overly complex or not aligned with their needs.
  • Complexity and Learning Curve: The comprehensive toolset, while powerful, can be daunting for users without prior experience in digital marketing or those unfamiliar with such extensive systems, resulting in a steeper learning curve.
  • Technical Issues: Some users have reported encountering glitches and bugs, which can be disruptive and may require time to resolve, potentially affecting service delivery and client satisfaction.

Ideal User Profile

GoHighLevel is ideal for marketing agencies looking for a comprehensive, all-in-one platform that can be branded as their own.

It is best suited for users who are familiar with digital marketing tools and strategies, and who can fully utilize its automation and reporting features to benefit their clients.

Additional Insights

  • Customer Support: GoHighLevel offers dedicated support, but the effectiveness can vary. New users particularly benefit from engaging with their training materials to minimize the impact of the learning curve.
  • Integration: The platform integrates well with other marketing tools, enhancing its utility by allowing agencies to connect and synchronize their existing tools with GoHighLevel.
Conclusion

GoHighLevel is a powerful choice for marketing agencies that need a rich feature set tailored to their complex needs, including the ability to white-label services for a seamless client experience.


While it offers significant advantages in automation and customization, the platform’s specialized nature and occasional technical issues may limit its appeal to broader business types or solo entrepreneurs looking for simpler, more intuitive solutions.

ClickFunnels - The Funnel Building Specialist

Overview

ClickFunnels is a platform founded by Russell Brunson, designed specifically for creating and optimizing sales funnels. It's renowned for its user-friendly interface that allows users to create effective, high-converting sales funnels with ease.

The platform is geared towards entrepreneurs and businesses focused on maximizing their online sales potential.

Pros
  • Sales Funnel Specialization: ClickFunnels excels in its primary offering—building sales funnels that convert visitors into customers. This focus makes it a powerful tool for users primarily interested in sales rather than full-scale website development.
  • Robust Testing and Analytics: The platform includes A/B testing capabilities and comprehensive analytics tools, enabling users to make data-driven decisions to optimize their funnels for better performance.
  • Community and Training: ClickFunnels boasts a strong, active community and offers a wealth of training resources, including webinars, detailed guides, and courses. Russell Brunson also frequently provides valuable insights, making the learning process engaging and informative.
Cons
  • Limited Website Functionality: While excellent for creating funnels, ClickFunnels does not serve well as a full website builder. It’s best used as a supplement to a main website rather than the sole online presence.
  • Pricing: The platform can be expensive, particularly when accessing more advanced features and functionalities. This cost may be prohibitive for startups or small businesses with tight budgets.
  • SEO and Mobile Optimization: Users report that they have limited control over SEO best practices and mobile optimization, which can impact the visibility and accessibility of their funnels on search engines and mobile devices.

Ideal User Profile

ClickFunnels is ideal for entrepreneurs and businesses that are focused on creating targeted, effective sales strategies online. It's particularly suitable for users who can leverage the strong community and are willing to invest in learning from the resources provided.

Additional Insights

  • Influence of Russell Brunson: As a co-founder, Russell Brunson's influence on ClickFunnels is significant. His expertise in online marketing and funnel strategy is a big draw for many users, adding an extra layer of credibility and educational value to the platform.
  • Integration Capabilities: Despite some limitations, ClickFunnels integrates with a variety of other tools, which can help extend its functionality and allow for more comprehensive marketing strategies.
Conclusion

ClickFunnels is a top choice for anyone looking to create effective sales funnels that drive results.


With Russell Brunson’s guidance and a strong emphasis on community and education, users are well-supported to succeed.


However, its limitations as a website builder and the costs associated with its advanced features should be considered by potential users.


ClickFunnels is best used by those who have a clear focus on funnel marketing and have the resources to invest in their digital marketing education and tools.

SquareSpace - Design Meets Simplicity

Overview

Squarespace is well-regarded for its sleek, design-oriented website builder that offers visually stunning templates suitable for small businesses and individuals prioritizing aesthetics.

It provides an intuitive user interface and basic functionalities that cater to users looking to establish a professional online presence without extensive technical expertise.

Pros
  • Design and Aesthetics: Squarespace stands out for its strong design focus, offering a variety of beautiful, customizable templates that make it easy to create visually appealing websites.
  • User-Friendly: The platform is known for its intuitive interface, making it accessible for users without any coding knowledge. This simplicity allows users to quickly set up and manage their sites.
  • E-commerce and Blogging: Squarespace includes basic e-commerce capabilities that are sufficient for small-scale online stores, along with a robust blogging platform that is easy to manage and customize.
Cons
  • Limited Integrations and Customization: Squarespace offers fewer integrations and customization options compared to more flexible platforms. This can be a significant limitation for businesses with complex needs or those who require specific functionalities not supported by default.
  • Not Ideal for Advanced Digital Marketing: The platform is not tailored for extensive digital marketing or complex sales funnels, which may hinder businesses looking to implement advanced marketing strategies.
  • Backend Flexibility: Users have less control over the backend, which can restrict the ability to make substantial changes to the site’s functionality. This can be a drawback for those needing deeper customization or specific performance tweaks.

Ideal User Profile

Squarespace is best suited for small business owners, artists, bloggers, and individuals who need a simple, elegant website without requiring extensive customizations or advanced digital marketing tools.

It’s ideal for those who value aesthetics and user experience over complex functionalities.

Additional Insights

  • Support and Resources: Squarespace offers a solid range of support options including 24/7 customer support, forums, and a comprehensive knowledge base that helps users overcome typical challenges.
  • Pricing Structure: While Squarespace is generally affordable, its higher-tier plans, which include more advanced features, may still be limiting compared to other platforms offering more comprehensive tools at similar price points.
Conclusion

Squarespace excels in design and simplicity, making it a fantastic choice for individuals and small businesses focused on creating beautiful, straightforward sites.

However, its limitations in customization, integration, and digital marketing tools may pose challenges for those needing more robust, flexible solutions.

Squarespace is a strong contender in the website builder market for aesthetic-focused websites but may not suffice for complex business requirements or those heavily focused on scaling their online presence.

WordPress - The Highly Recommended Platform (You Own)

Overview

WordPress is a powerful and versatile content management system (CMS) that's highly recommended for its extensive customizability and robust features.

It's suitable for a wide range of websites, from simple blogs to complex e-commerce platforms, and is favored for its scalability and flexibility.

Pros
  • High Customizability: With an immense ecosystem of themes and plugins, WordPress allows for near-limitless customization options, enabling users to tailor their sites precisely to their needs.
  • Excellent for SEO: WordPress provides full control over every aspect of the website, which is great for SEO. Users can optimize their content and structure to achieve the best possible search engine rankings.
  • Versatility: The platform is suitable for all types of websites and can be scaled as necessary, from small personal blogs to large business sites with heavy traffic.
Cons
  • Maintenance and Technical Knowledge Required: Running a WordPress site requires ongoing maintenance, including regular updates and security checks, which can demand a significant amount of technical knowledge.
  • Maintenance and Technical Knowledge Required: Running a WordPress site requires ongoing maintenance, including regular updates and security checks, which can demand a significant amount of technical knowledge.
  • Complex Initial Setup: For those without technical expertise, the initial setup of a WordPress site can be daunting. This barrier can be mitigated by using professional services, but it’s a consideration for new users.

Ideal User Profile

WordPress is ideal for users ranging from bloggers and small businesses to large corporations and e-commerce sites who require a high degree of customization and control over their web presence.

It is particularly well-suited for those who are willing to invest in learning the platform or who can hire technical help to manage more complex aspects.

Additional Insights

  • Community and Support: The WordPress community is one of the largest and most active, offering extensive resources, forums, tutorials, and third-party services that can help users navigate the complexities of the platform.
  • Cost Efficiency: While WordPress itself is free, costs can accumulate from premium themes, plugins, and hosting services. However, the ability to choose from a wide range of service providers can help manage expenses according to budget and needs.
Conclusion

WordPress is a top-tier choice for anyone looking to create a professional, highly customized website.

Its extensive plugin ecosystem and theme availability make it highly adaptable for nearly any type of project.

While the need for technical management and the complexity of initial setup could be drawbacks for some, the trade-off comes in the form of unparalleled flexibility and control.

As such, WordPress is highly recommended for users who prioritize depth and breadth in their online presence and are prepared to manage or invest in the necessary upkeep.

TL;DR Quick Recap of the 5 Platforms

Kartra (2.5 stars)
  • Best For: Established online coaches needing a comprehensive all-in-one platform.
  • Pros: Integrates marketing, sales, and support. Built-in automation.
  • Cons: Higher cost, complex for beginners, limited customization.
GoHighLevel (3 stars)
  • Best For: Marketing agencies looking for an all-in-one solution that can be white-labeled.
  • Pros: Tailored for agencies, advanced automation, white-label capabilities.
  • Cons: Not versatile for non-agencies, steep learning curve, occasional glitches.
Clickfunnels (3.5 stars)
  • Best For: Entrepreneurs focused on building high-converting sales funnels.
  • Pros: Specializes in sales funnels, strong community and training resources.
  • Cons: Limited as a full website builder, higher cost for advanced features, limited SEO control.
Squarespace (2 stars)
  • Best For: Small businesses and individuals focused on aesthetics without complex needs.
  • Pros: Beautiful templates, intuitive design, basic e-commerce and blogging.
  • Cons: Limited integrations and customization, not built for complex digital marketing.
WordPress (4.5 stars)
  • Best For: Anyone needing extensive customization and control, from blogs to e-commerce.
  • Pros: Highly customizable, excellent for SEO, adaptable to all website types.
  • Cons: Requires maintenance and technical knowledge, complex setup, performance varies with hosting/plugins.

Conclusion

Your choice of platform can make or break your online business.

While each of these platforms offers unique advantages, WordPress stands out for its flexibility, scalability, and a vast array of customization options.

Whether you're just starting or looking to grow, WordPress provides a robust solution that adapts to your changing needs.

Make the smart choice for your business's future – consider WordPress for a foundation that can support you at every stage of your business journey.

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