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"Kajabi is Too Expensive": How It Actually Saves You Money Over Cheaper Systems

Jan 02, 2024

If Kajabi is your first choice, I want you to be able to purchase this "expensive" (not really) but superior option instead of being stuck with something that's "cheaper" (not really) but not as good.


TL;DR This blog post is going to prove that the statement "Kajabi is too expensive" is a myth. Actually, it couldn't be further from the truth. 

I'll provide an in-depth analysis (whcih you're welcome to skim; I'll make sure there are good subheadings, lol) on the cost of Kajabi vs the cost of paying for all the other apps and software you'll need to accomplish what you can do in Kajabi.

I'm determined to show you - with real, actual numbers and descriptions of features - that Kajabi is by far the best deal available when it comes to running your online business and all its moving parts :)

... more TL;DR ... skooch down to the very bottom of this post if you want a great deal on Kajabi!


Introduction - Is Kajabi Really Too Expensive?


As I hang out in business-related Facebook groups and talk to my digital business counterparts and friends, I have to take issue with a conversation I hear often. It starts with someone posting in a Facebook group or mastermind, "What's the best place to host my courses, membership, and coaching products?"

Kajabi users will be among those who pipe up to share what they've found to be the best solution for them: KAJABI!

Then inevitably, others will comment something like, "Kajabi looks great; wish I could afford it!" or "Yeah, I took a look at it but it's too expensive."

As a SUPER happy Kajabi user myself, I try to explain why it's actually a very smart buy. The bottom line is: If you get Kajabi and let go of that tech stack you're building, Kajabi will do more ... for a lot less.

But explaining all of that in a Comment is really difficult. That's why I decided to write this article instead :)


Sit Right Back and You'll Hear a Tale ... 


Please indulge me while I equate Kajabi's pricing with my own home buying escapade a couple years ago. My husband didn't think we could afford to move from our 20-year rural home to one on the coast. It would increase our mortgage by quite a bit so initially I agreed with him (sadly).


But the more I thought about it - and the more I fell in love with a particular coastal house we saw - the more I got down to business crunching the numbers.


 This is me when I was young, thin, and rich. Bwahaha, just kidding! {PC: Styled Stock Society}


As it turned out, moving homes was going to save us:

$250/mo on our electric bill (our swimming pool for the 100-degree summers was our biggest energy culprit; no pool and much milder weather at the new house; most people living on the coast don't have air conditioning, lol)

$200/mo on our cell phones and internet (moving into a more populated area gave us cheaper options, no longer beholden to using AT&T for both)

$150+/mo on gasoline and commute costs (we'd live much closer to work and shopping)

~$100/mo on maintaining our larger home/acreage, water well, unpaved private road, etc

$150/mo pool guy


I could go on but we're already at a $850/mo savings! Yes, we did end up moving!! I'm SO glad we didn't let our initial objections stop us. And isn't it lovely when you get the better, dream thing you REALLY wanted?!


So that's just one example from everyday life where sometimes we initially balk at something because we see the price tag and automatically say, "Oh no, we can't afford that. It's too expensive." But look what happens when you crunch the numbers :)


That's what this article aims to do re: Kajabi's pricing, which I hear people say - and initially said myself - that it's too expensive. But keep reading because I'm going to show you how that's actually a falsehood - when you add up all the things you can replace by using Kajabi. 


Not only will it be a similar cost to what you're using now, but you'll likely be able to SAVE money overall! Liike to the tune of $300 to $500 per month WOW!


Again, wouldn't it be lovely to get the better, dream thing you REALLY want? Instead of settling for a patchworked, duct-taped tech stack that actually costs you more? Okay, let's get started ...


What Is Kajabi (and is it too expensive?)


First off, in case you're not familiar, what is Kajabi anyway? 


It's a platform for business owners and course creators to easily sell their digital products - online courses, e-books, membership site, coaching groups, services, etc. It's not inherently meant for selling physical products, but you can. Or you can integrate Shopify Starter for only $5/mo.


Kajabi is an all-in-one solution that has everything under one roof: website builder, full-featured blog, landing and sales pages, checkout pages/cart, email marketing tools, sales funnels, webinars, one-on-one coaching, podcast hosting, and more. 


It's pretty amazing, actually. There's even a mobile app and the ability to use your own custom domain for your Kajabi website!


On the Growth and Pro pricing tiers, you also receive advanced automations and an affiliate marketing feature; with Pro (or if you add Access to Basic or Growth; more on that below), you can access the code editor. (You can also do some coding on Basic and Growth plans, just FYI).


So essentially you end up with a full-fledged business platform that includes email marketing software so you can do marketing campaigns, in addition to everything else Kajabi can host.


As you can see already, with any Kajabi plan, you get much more than just an online course platform. More good news: With any plan, you get unlimited marketing emails and unlimited landing pages as part of your monthly or annual subscription.


Note: This post was originally written in 11/2017 and has been updated in 03/2018, 10/2018, 12/2018, 09/2022, 09/2023, and 01/2024.


I'm a Kajabi Konvert


And proud of it! Heh. That was kind of obnoxious, right? But I'm totally serial. 


I discovered New Kajabi (as it was called then) in December 2016 and, after taking a walk-through with a free trial, decided pretty quickly that THIS was the best thing I'd ever seen when it came to software for my solopreneur business.


Note: The company was founded in 2010 and has gone through different brand names. It was "New Kajabi" when I joined in 2016 and is now just "Kajabi." But you may see those names used interchangeably from long-time customers like me :)




Analyzing All the Options


When I found Kajabi, I was trying to decide where to build my new website (yes, this one! ErikaFriday.com). Being the the Over-Analyzer that I am, I had to personally check out a bunch of the options before making a decision (doing a total eyeroll at myself).


I'd been a self-hosted WordPress blogger since 2007. So I knew there were various course and membership plugin options available. 


However, I didn't know if I wanted to mess with the tech logistics those would entail. (I'd heard some nightmare stories and ain't nobody got time for that, y'all). I also considered starting with a WordPress site, my cute paid theme, and paid/free courses delivered via Mailchimp. Just keep it super simple, ya' know?


But I knew that long-term I'd want a lot more functionality. Since I always believe in "starting with the end in mind" - and with the fear of potential tech nightmares getting all the themes, plugins, and integrations working together - I decided against using WordPress for this new project.


I already knew and loved Simplero, an all-in-one online biz platform, and had clients who used it. However, a few of its features were holding me back (e.g., you had to make landing pages from scratch with their basic features and I'm not a designer). Also, Simplero had raised its prices since I started working with it in 2015 with a few clients. It had surpassed Kajabi's price.


I also checked out the Rainmaker platform, Course Cats, CourseCraft*, Teachable, Thinkific, Ontraport, and more. I took notes and analyzed the pros and cons (the former program analyst in me has never died). 


I compared features and narrowed down which ones were really important to me, based on my plans for ErikaFriday.com. I decided that an all-in-one-solution was the way to go.

*All 3 of these appear to have shut down - while Kajabi continues to grow at a fast pace. Look like Kajabi was a good idea and I made the right choice!


That Time I Chose Kajabi


Backing up a little bit ... just as I was about to settle on using the all-in-one Simplero for this new site, I was discussing platform options with someone in the B-School group and she asked about Kajabi. Well, honestly, I had avoided looking at Kajabi (aka New Kajabi or NK) since first hearing about it a couple of years prior.


Not only was I trying to avoid another "shiny object" but I assumed it was similar to Rainmaker, very corporate-y looking with a "male entrepreneur" vibe to it whereas I wanted something simple and clean but with some feminine flair**. But, oh well, sure I'll check it out for my fellow B-Schooler and give her my thoughts. {I heart talking about all the different platforms}.


**Hey, are you wondering if you can make creative or feminine-looking sites and pages with Kajabi? YES, you sure can! Check out my Pinterest board of Creative and Feminine Kajabi sites for some inspiration.


Um, oops! I fell right down the Kajabi rabbit hole and spent the next 2 hours reading everything I could about Kajabi, watching YouTube videos, and starting a free trial. There were so many great things that it was love at first site 💙 (< see what I did there? Eh? Eh?).


I found Kajabi to be the perfect all-in-one solution for my needs and was SO excited! And it didn't look corporate-y or male-centric at all. I was like, "Here, take my credit card!"


"But Kajabi is Too Expensive for Someone Like Me"


However, like many people checking out Kajabi, I sucked wind at the prices, even back then before they went up a bit. Yikes! "So, if I want to get started with Kajabi, we're talking $103/month* (paid annually) or $129/month (paid monthly) to get started on the Basic Plan?" Ouch.


Given that most people can't cough up $1,200 at once for an annual paid plan, even to save 20% for the year, the reality for most of us is paying $129/month getting started.


*Note: For the first time in 3 years and after adding many, many new features, Kajabi pricing plans changed on 12-03-18, as below. However, it doesn't change the outcome because 1. Kajabi was already well below the other option bundles; 2. other platforms have also since raised their prices, e.g., Thinkific, Teachable, and Simplero; and 3. Kajabi's new plans raised limits on things like number of landing pages and emails and now have much higher limits on things than others' introductory plans, e.g., ConvertKit.


Basic Plan $149/mo or $119 if paid annually

Growth Plan $199/mo or $159 if paid annually

Pro Plan $399/mo or $319 if paid annually


These are still the current prices as I update this post in 01/2024. So pricing for the different plans has again remained the same for a nice long time, i.e., 5 years!! Even while they've piled on the additional features ...


I can't speak for Kajabi or make any promises but as a company, they've always let you keep the price you signed up with. In other words, you're "grandfathered" in at your existing/original price and only new customers pay the higher rate. In case that makes you feel more comfortable :)


*See Kajabi's current pricing chart HERE.


At first, that price tag seemed a pretty harsh reality for someone like me who, although I was making a living as a virtual assistant, didn't have much left over after bills. This is coupled with the fact that I was just starting out with the idea of earning residual income with courses or products, etc. Like, starting from scratch, yo.


Before I saw the light, lol, I thought Kajabi was "too expensive."


I had to ask myself, "How can I justify spending $129 or $149 [now $149/$199] per month on an online platform that won't be earning me any money until I get it all set up and launched?"


Is that what you're thinking too? I kinda' figured. (Picture me making the peace sign with my fingers and pointing from my eyes to yours, back and forth).


That's why I'm doing this post - because I want to share how I was able to become comfortable with the cost and therefore choose my digital soulmate, Kajabi, to build my site. 


If Kajabi is your first and best choice, I want you to be able to purchase this "expensive" but superior option instead of being stuck with something that's "cheaper" but not as good.


Note that I use the quotation marks because Kajabi, when comparing apples to apples, is actually CHEAPER than other options. Okay, now I'm going to break it all down for ya'.




How Kajabi Actually SAVES You Money Over the Other Options


Finally! We're back to the headline: If you add up the cost of individual programs that do all the things Kajabi does in one program, your final cost will likely be lower with Kajabi. Yep!


Every one of us uses different software options to run our online businesses. But here's a scenario someone might follow for their online coaching, consulting, or digital product business:


Big Scoots website hosting ($11/month)

Elementor Theme ($20/month)

Calendly ($12/month)

ConvertKit ($119 to $199/month) wowza! for 10-25K subscribers as in Kajabi Basic and Growth plans

LeadPages ($99/month) or ClickFunnels ($147/mo)

Paypal or Stripe (free to use other than transaction fees)

Thinkific ($99/month) or Teachable ($159/month); an LMS plugin may cost less but you'll pay more for your hosting; Thinkific video limit 2GB, Kajabi is 4GB

Wistia ($99/mo) but no live streaming and no live chat; w/Kajabi both are included; Kajabi comes with unlimited Wistia video hosting

WordPress.org (free)

Zapier ($30/month)

Zoom ($22/month); Kajabi's pricing includes livestreaming in HD; Teachable, Thinkific, nor Wistia have livestreaming so you have to host that elsewhere and embed it


TOTAL $511 to $699/month!! Compared to $149 to $199/month for Kajabi

This equates to a $312 to $550/month savings ... pretty damn amazing, right?!


Didn't I tell you that using "expensive" Kajabi could actually save you money? 


We're at double the amount of $149 or $199/month for the Basic or Growth plan on Kajabi, which will do all the things that combo of programs above will - website, blog, online course creation, memberships, and e-products, lead/sales/checkout pages, email automation, video hosting, and payment processing.


Guess what? Kajabi does even MORE than I included in the analysis above. Use Kajabi to also replace your public and private podcast (Hello Audio $14/month) and Heartbeat community ($49/month), and you just saved another $63/month.


In addition, a paid webinar service is going to run you an additional $40+/month yet webinars are included in all Kajabi plans.




Not Only Is It Cheaper But Kajabi Brings the Value!


When I joined Kajabi in 2016, it already had quite a robust set of features. But one of the things I love most about Kajabi is that they continually listen to their customers' needs and develop new feature after new feature, while also refining the existing ones.


In fact, since I wrote the first version of this article in 11/2017, Kajabi has added webinars, funnels, events, a community feature, and more. 


Then they added podcasts as well. As of the 01/2024 article update, Kajabi has added a more robust Communites feature, 1:1 coaching features including scheduling, live HD video within products, AI tools like Kajabi Creator Studio, their own payment processor called Kajabi Payments, and more.



How Specific Prices Were Chosen for the Cost Analysis


Please also note that the above sample scenario includes the closest-match option for each software (re: feature set). The prices given are when paid monthly vs. annually, since I assume most of us can't afford huge annual payments. 


Just to say that I didn't purposely try to find the most expensive option, lol. This is a pretty reasonable scenario of the extra cost you're likely to experience if you DON'T use Kajabi.


You can add or subtract different components based on your own tech stack but, as you can see, it's probably going to remain more expensive than the cost of Kajabi once you add everything up. 



If You Think Kajabi Is Too Expensive, You Should Check Out What it Costs to Just Host Video!


Video hosting can be very expensive yet one of Kajabi's key features is unlimited Wistia hosting - quite a value and it's often overlooked. To compare just the video hosting feature, note that Wistia does not have any unlimited plan pricing listed but the closest is their $399/mo Advanced plan. Similarly, to get unlimited videos with Vimeo requires Enterprise pricing (unknown). For $20/month, you're limited to 60 videos. 


Am I proving it to you now? Have we been myth-busting or what?


Also, keep in mind something else that might cost you even more if you DON'T use Kajabi: Paying for tech help when all the various parts and pieces need to be successfully hooked up together, and addressing problems when they go haywire (not to mention possible lost income if your site or funnel is down for any length of time). Kajabi has 99.9% overall uptime 📊


When I hear people recommending "just use a plugin on your WordPress site" as a way to host courses, a membership, etc., I notice they have one thing in common: They're usually WP developers, designers, or other super tech savvy people. 

But the fact is, for the average online business solopreneur, we just don't have the knowledge nor bandwidth to set those things up much less deal with problems as they arise. Which means there's more outgoing dollars to hire expensive tech help.

If you try to run all this complex stuff on a self-hosted WordPress site with just a plugin, you're basically on your own. Zapier doesn't care that your LMS plugin is having issues, ConvertKit doesn't care that your email Zap broke, and Thinkific can only do so much when YouTube or Zoom give you troubles. 


I talk more about this principle in my free class, "8 Ways Kajabi Simplifies Your Online Business." Check it out if you get a chance!


In contrast, all Kajabi plans include live chat support and the Kajabi Assistant in-app, e-mail support, and a ton of free courses in Kajabi University. In fact, take a gander (take a gander? what am I, 85 years old??) ... erm, check out Kajabi's Hero HQ. It's where all their free/included resources are in one place so you can easily find exactly the type of help you need. 


In addition to Kajabi's excellent support team, they have a Facebook group with 11K active members [omg, it's now up to 36K as of 9/2022!]  [now 45K members in Jan 2024] who love to help each other succeed. I'm very active in the group myself. 


In fact, as you can see on my "Kajabi resume", I've been honored to be a Kajabi Ambassador, Kajabi Community SuperHero, and to be recognized at Kajabi Hero Live in 2023 as a Community Super Star. I'm always there (and here, on my blog!) to support you, give tips, and answer questions about Kajabi features.


I hope I've convinced you that if you can afford those other "cheaper" options, you can indeed afford Kajabi :) 



As you can see, the support is there from the very beginning and Kajabi's mission "to make every customer a Hero" is quite evident. I don't know of any other all-in-one platform that includes this type of value - and the others charge more than Kajabi, whaaaaat? 




The Bottom Line on Kajabi Pricing


No matter how much Kajabi costs, you have to weigh the pros and cons, see if it's right for you, and if you believe Kajabi will ultimately MAKE you more money than it costs you, etc. 


For me, it was a no-brainer. Could I sell three $49 products per month? Could I sell one or two $99 services per month? Well, duh. Of course. Then there are higher ticket items, larger, more comprehensive courses that I'd offer down the road as well.


As it turned out, I created a great service package called a Virtual VIP Day for my virtual assistant clients (my first Kajabi product, yay!).


In fact, I surpassed the $1K in sales needed to be a #KajabiHero within 1 month of promoting my Virtual VIP Day package, woo hoo! So I could be at ease knowing the first several months of Kajabi was covered which allowed me to focus on creating more offers to sell.


If I can do it, you certainly can. The platform is there and the customer support is there. So it can boil down to how "ready" you are, how much confidence you have in yourself and your products/services, etc.


However, if you have a strong preference for other options, than I say "go for it!" Kajabi is certainly not for everyone.


But if you're like me and you fall in love with the ease and "all-in-one"-ness of Kajabi, please don't let the false thought that "Kajabi is too expensive" keep you from utilizing it to fulfill your dreams. Promise? Okay, we're good then ;)


If you've hung in there for this whole article, bravo! You must be serious about succeeding in your business.


But if it was information overload or you're still not sure if Kajabi is even for you, the best way to know for sure is to do a free trial. If you click this link to sign up, it extends your free trial from 14 days to 30 days.


That's a month to check out Kajabi and see if it's what you need, witness firsthand its ease of use, see if having everything on a single platform eases your stress level and saves you money as I've outlined, check out the Kajabi app, etc.


Hope you enjoyed my Kajabi pricing review blog post and explanation of why it's actually "cheap" (compared to other options) and not in the least "expensive."


As always, I'm here to answer your Kajabi questions. Just drop me a note: [email protected]




PS: Are you into using AI for your business? I barely mentioned it above but Kajabi has jumped on the AI bandwagon with some cool tools. You don't even have to be a Kajabi subscriber to use some of them. Check out some of Kajabi's AI tools here! 


Kajabi images courtesy of Kajabi. Other images are from one of my favorite feminine stock photo memberships, Styled Stock Society (<< get your free pack of 25 photos!)

Agree, disagree, have a question? Leave a comment👇🏼

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