Udacity vs Treehouse – Which One is Suitable for You?

It’s usually a good idea for new course creators to publish their first course on an established platform rather than hosting it on their own website. 

That being said, it can get confusing due to the sheer number of options available out there. 

In this post, we’ll compare Udacity and Treehouse in terms of their strengths and weaknesses to determine which one suits new course creators more. 

Potential Income4 stars4 stars
Time CommitmentHighHigh
Marketing EffortsLowLow
Eligibility CriteriaHighHigh

Now that you’ve had a brief look at both platforms, let’s delve deeper to find out more about what each one has to offer. 

Udacity Review – Flexible and Reliable

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Udacity is distinct from most of its competitors in the fact that it doesn’t follow the model that most online course platforms use. 

Instead, it takes a more traditional university-style approach when it comes to the compensation of its course instructors. 

Essentially, you are not compensated based on how many course sales you make, you are compensated based on your authority and expertise in your respective field. 

This can be highly beneficial since you’re not dependent on your course being popular in order to earn revenue. 

As long as you get accepted onto the platform, you’re guaranteed to earn revenue through it. 

You can have free courses as well as paid courses on Udacity. You can utilize this in a very effective way: 

Make small courses that offer value and provide them to students for free. Then, offer in-depth courses that are paid and related to the same topic(s). 

Since students will have already gone through your free courses, they will be familiar with your content and know that you have value to offer. This will make them much more willing to buy your paid Udacity courses. 

Pros Cons
Marketing of your courses is handled by Udacity

Udacity’s content team helps you refine your course(s)

Great customer support

Reliable source of income

Large number of tools to make course creation easier
High eligibility criteria 

You can lose out on potential revenue if your courses become very popular

Benefits of Udacity

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Since Udacity is much more curated and polished compared to other online course platforms, this means that you won’t have a ton of competition on the platform. 

As long as you provide unique value in your field, you’re almost guaranteed that your courses will become popular. 

In addition to that, Udacity is extremely easy to use. It features a neat dashboard that lets you upload and organize different assets of your online course in a neat manner. 

Furthermore, Udacity’s content team also helps you out to make changes to your online course that can make it better and more engaging. 

Speaking of Udacity’s team, they also handle the marketing aspect of your online courses. You don’t need to worry at all about the promotion of your online course once you publish it as Udacity does it for you. 

This is highly beneficial since marketing is extremely important to the success of your online course and if you don’t do it right, it can result in low sales for your course. 

Once you publish your online course, you’ll also be assisted by Udacity Mentors which will help assist your students with your course. Since Udacity requires you to assist students who take your courses, Udacity mentors take some of the load off of you. 

Lastly, you’ll get to network with tons of Udacity instructors within your field. 

This can be highly beneficial as you can collaborate with them to increase your prominence, relevance and influence within your respective niche. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Udacity

Potential Income

When it comes to potential income, Udacity’s model can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the number of sales your online course makes. 

This is because you’re compensated based on your expertise and skillset; Not on the number of course sales you make. 

So, this means it’s great if you don’t sell a ton of courses since you’ll still be compensated well regardless. 

On other hand, it can be a bad thing if your online course becomes popular because no matter how high your course sales are, you’ll still be paid the same by Udacity. 

Time Commitment

Udacity is not viable as a source of passive income. 

Udacity requires course instructors to actively participate and spend at least 7 to 10 hours each week maintaining their online courses. 

Maintenance could mean removing and updating outdated content as well as assisting students with queries and issues. 

Thus, if you got into the online course business because you want to set up streams of passive income, then Udacity may not be the best choice for you.

Marketing Efforts

Marketing is essential if you want your online courses to succeed and be sold. 

It doesn’t matter how great your online course is if you don’t market it properly. 

This is because if it’s not promoted properly, no one will find out about it. Hence, it won’t matter how much value it provides or how engaging it is. 

Mediocre promotion and marketing of online courses are often the reasons why many new course creators fail. 

The great thing about Udacity is that the Udacity team handles the marketing of your online course. You don’t have to worry about it at all. 

This is extremely beneficial as it takes out a big chunk of online course selling out of the equation. 

This leaves you to focus entirely on course refinement and the development of more online courses. 

Eligibility Criteria

We mentioned how Udacity is much more curated than other online learning platforms and that’s mainly because it has much higher eligibility criteria than most of its competitors. 

Not only do you have to be an authoritative figure in your respective field but you also have to prove that authority and expertise. 

This is normally done by providing proof of: 

  • Publications you may have written 
  • Successful businesses you may have started
  • Any other achievements or accolades you may have 

Thus, it’s definitely relatively difficult to get accepted into Udacity than most other online learning platforms. 

What Do the Customers Think?

People love Udacity mainly for two things: its reliability and its ease of use. 

Course creators don’t have to worry about the popularity of their courses. As long as they’re accepted into Udacity, they’re guaranteed a source of income. This is something that many online learning platforms don’t offer. 

Here are some reviews we came across online:

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Best Reliable Online Learning Platform

The best reliable online learning platform is Udacity because of the way it pays course instructors. You’re compensated based on your expertise and not on-course sales. This guarantees you a reliable source of income as long as you get accepted.

Treehouse Review – Robust with Tons of Benefits

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Treehouse was established back in 2011 and mainly focuses on technology-related courses. To be more specific, it’s mainly a hub for courses related to coding and web development. 

If you’re someone who’s interested in teaching coding and/or front-end web development, then you can definitely look towards Treehouse. 

It’s a host to smaller, beginner-friendly courses as well as large, in-depth courses too. 

Hence, you’ll have the option to create courses at both levels. 

If you get accepted as an instructor, you’ll get a ton of benefits such as a 4-day work week, full medical, and 18-days PTO). 

It’s important to note that Treehouse will not facilitate a passive source of income. 

It’s a full-time job and you’ll have to treat it as such. 

Hence, if that’s not something you’re into, you may want to look towards other platforms such as Udemy. 

Pros Cons
Access to tools that make course creation easier

Reliable source of income

Don’t have to worry about marketing

Flexible work-week

Tons of benefits
It’s a full-time job 

Will require you to relocate to either Portland, Oregon or Orlando, Florida

Benefits of Treehouse

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To understand the benefits of Treehouse, you first have to understand that it does not follow the same model as most online learning platforms. 

It’s not a platform where anyone can just post courses and expect to make money off of them. 

Instructors on Treehouse are strictly screened before they are employed to create and publish courses on the platform. 

While it’s difficult to get accepted into Treehouse, if you do, you’ll enjoy many benefits similar to that of a full-time job such as: 

  • Full medical insurance 
  • 18 days of paid time off 

Unlike a full-time job, however, you’ll only have a 4-day workweek. 

Treehouse gives you a fair amount of freedom when it comes to course content. You can choose to develop small, beginner courses or bigger in-depth courses. 

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about the marketing of your online courses either as that aspect is handled by Treehouse itself.

Lastly, since working at Treehouse is more of a full-time job, that means you’ll have a reliable source of income too. 

You won’t need to depend on your course sales for your livelihood. Instead, you will be paid for your services as a full-time instructor on the platform based on your expertise and skill set. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Treehouse

Potential Income

When it comes to income, Treehouse pretty much works the same as Udacity in that it compensates you based on your expertise and not on how many sales your courses make. 

This can be a double-edged sword depending on the number of sales your courses make. 

Remember that you’ll be paid a static salary as a Treehouse instructor. 

This means that if your courses do amazing and sell a lot, you’ll still receive that same salary. You won’t receive more money just because your courses are popular. 

On the other hand, it can be a good thing too if your courses don’t sell well. Even though they’re not doing great, you’ll still be paid a reliable salary that you can live off of.

Time Commitment

You cannot hope to turn a Treehouse instructor into a passive source of income since it’s a full-time position. 

This means you have to work 4 days a week in order to maintain your position as a Treehouse instructor. 

Thus, the time commitment required for it is definitely high and if you want to turn your online course selling into a passive stream of income, then it’s not the right choice for you.

Marketing Efforts

Marketing is a huge part of selling courses online and luckily for you, if you go for Treehouse then this is something you won’t have to think about at all. 

This is because the marketing and promotion of your online courses are handled completely by the platform itself. 

Eligibility Criteria

Unlike platforms such as Udemy which let pretty much anyone publish courses on the platform, Treehouse is highly curated and vets its instructors strictly before they are accepted. 

In order to become a Treehouse instructor, you need to have substantial credentials to your name.

You need to be an authoritative figure in your field with past accomplishments that prove your expertise. 

A university degree is required and in addition to that, you need proof of your expertise in other forms as well. 

These could be in the form of publications as well as other achievements you may have amassed over the years in your respective field. 

What Do the Customers Think?

Unfortunately, we were unable to find any reviews of Treehouse online that was written by instructors. 

That being said, we found a ton of student reviews which were all overwhelmingly positive. If that’s anything to go by, then we can somewhat safely say that the platform treats its instructors the same way too. 

Here are some of the student reviews we found: 

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Best Tech-Focused Online Course Platform 

The best tech-focused online course platform is Treehouse since it mainly consists of courses related to web development, coding, machine learning, and other technical courses. You can choose to create small courses and also, in-depth, larger courses. 

Choosing the right e-learning platform depends on your needs as an online course creator. However, some of the platforms worth mentioning are Datacamp, Codeacademy, Udemy, and Coursera.

udacity vs treehouse

Udacity vs Treehouse – Buyers’ Guide

Choosing the best online course platform for yourself can oftentimes be daunting due to the sheer number of them available. 

Many of them have similar features while others have vague pricing models and it can often become difficult for new course creators to tell which one would suit them best. 

However, there are some important factors you can think about which can help you make a somewhat informed decision. 

These factors are: 

Potential Income

The first thing you need to think about is what you want your revenue and profit margins to look like. 

What is the target you wish to achieve that will enable you to call your online course business successful? 

And will the online course platform you’re about to choose to help you achieve it? 

It’s a good idea to look at how you will be compensated for your online course sales and what the pricing of certain platforms looks like. 

Some online course platforms charge subscription fees but let you keep 100% of the revenue you make from course sales. 
Others let you join and publish courses for free but take a percentage from all course sales you make.

In most cases, the former option is better because you’ll pay a static fee no matter how popular your courses become. 

The second option can be preferable if you intend to host a large number of courses that cater to a small but dedicated customer base.

Time Commitment

Most online course creators set up online courses to become a passive source of income. 

This requires a certain level of time commitment but that time commitment is temporary. 

This is because once you’re done with publishing and marketing, you don’t have to spend any more time on it. 

From that point, your course ratings, testimonials, and reviews do the job for you. 

However, there are definitely some course platforms that require course instructors to actively participate as long as the course is available on their platform.

If you intend to sell online courses as a source of passive income, then be sure that you don’t opt for a platform that requires active participation from you. 

Marketing Efforts

As we’ve mentioned time and time again in several posts on our website, marketing is perhaps the most important aspect of selling courses online. 

It doesn’t matter how great your course is if no one finds out about it. 

Hence, you’ll have to spend a ton of time and effort to develop marketing campaigns for it so that your course reaches the right audience. 

If you feel that you won’t be able to market your course effectively or just don’t want to spend time and effort marketing it, then you can opt for an online course platform that does it for you.

Eligibility Criteria

There are many online course platforms out there that let anyone publish courses on it (e.g., Udemy). 

On the other side of the spectrum are highly curated course platforms like Udacity which require you to have substantial credentials before your course is accepted. 

Be sure to check out the eligibility criteria of the online course platform you intend to choose before you start the process of uploading aspects of your course onto it. 

You don’t want to spend days perfectly uploading and organizing assets of your online course only for it to be rejected. 

CLICK HERE to learn how to start your online course business without getting overwhelmed.

Treehouse vs Udacity – Final Verdict

With that, we’re at the conclusion of our comparison post between Treehouse and Udacity. 

In the end, we have to go with Udacity mainly due to the fact that it’s more of an online course platform than Treehouse is. 

Udacity lets you become an instructor remotely whereas, in order to become an instructor for Treehouse, you will need to relocate to either Portland, Oregon, or Orlando, Florida. 

This is something that may not be possible for most people, especially individuals who live outside the United States. 

Which platform do you think is better? Let us know in the comments below.