Kartra or Wordpress

Kartra or WordPress: Is WordPress really the cheaper option for building an Online Business in 2022 (The hidden costs revealed)

If you are looking to create even more online Income today then creating your own digital course is going to be the first step. But should you use Kartra or Wordpress to build and host your online course? Let's find out!

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Should you use Kartra or WordPress for your online business in 2022?

Which one is really better? Which one is really cheaper?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links
This is the big question that so many online business owners and Teacherpreneurs face when they want to start creating their first online course, digital product, blog, website or e-business. But which one is better Kartra or WordPress? How much do they cost and what perks does each one, truly have that are worthwhile having? Let’s find out by counting up the hidden costs and dispelling the common myth that WordPress is the cheaper option!

WordPress came out a massive $329.19 per month MORE expensive than Kartra, which by comparison costs just $99 per month. Kartra also includes the Free Kartra University and Free 24 hour Tech support for troubleshooting. 

If you have been looking to create some extra income online then the chances are, you have thought about creating your own digital products such as courses, Workbooks, membership sites etc. You would be wise to do so as Forbes has estimated that the online education industry is going to be worth 325 billion by 2025. Imagine just a small part of that! 

But should use Kartra or WordPress to bring your dream business to light?

Kartra Versus WordPress

But building an online course today can actually be so much more than passive income and that is why creating your own online course or program continues to grow in popularity, as time goes on. Notice that Google trends shows that online courses shows a constant and steady growth for the last five years and Optin Monster, state that over 77% of Americans use online learning as their main staple. So if you wanted to create your own online course aspart of your online business portfolio, let’s look at the real costs and the benefits of two of the current, most popular platforms in 2021 – Kartra and WordPress for your online course: Which one is better?

online course


If you are starting your online business solo or your budget is a little limited to start with, the chances are you have come to the conclusion that WordPress is going to be your best option.

No doubt you think WordPress is the cheaper option for building a blog, online course and website but what are the real costs of building an online business with WordPress.

Over the years, WordPress has built a name for itself as being the ‘open source’ platform, selling the dream of being able to create an online business easily and cheaply, swapping in and out your plug-ins of choice to build your truly custom-built business. But in reality, is this now true in 2022? To look at this further we have calculated the costs of building the same online business with WordPress with the cheapest plugins available and then we have looked at the cost of building the same on Kartra – an all-in-one digital platform. 

To build an online business today with WordPress you are going to need the following digital tools to execute your business professionally online.

Building your Online Business with WordPress: 20 Hidden costs to consider

  1. Purchase your domain.
  2. Purchase your website hosting. This is an additional cost to the domain name.
  3. Purchase your WordPress theme. A WordPress theme is a digital tool that you buy to change the layout and design of your website. This allows you to customize the appearance, layout, colour, typography and other elements.
  4.  Customize your theme or get a developer to do it for you.
  5. Purchase your email marketing plugin, set up.
  6. Purchase your Course Builder Plugin.
  7. Add your 3rd party payment processor.
  8. Add an e-commerce bridge payment processor. (Woocommerce)
  9. Purchase the Woocommerce recurring payment processor plugin.
  10. Purchase the upsell / down sell plugin.
  11. Purchase your 3rd party video storage.
  12. Purchase your WordPress Funnel builder plugin like Cartflows.
  13. Purchase your form builder plugin.
  14. Purchase your online appointment plugin.
  15. Purchase an online calendar plugin.
  16. Purchase your Quiz builder plugin.
  17. Purchase your 24-hour help desk plugin.
  18. Allocate Registration fees to sell your course online.
  19.  Assess your capability to install your WordPress theme, customize it and the associated plugins.
  20. Hire a developer to install and maintain your site if your skillset is limited in this area.

The disadvantages of building your Online business with WordPress in 2022

In thinking more about should you choose Kartra or WordPress to build your online business. For more online educational businesses that would require lesson booking as an individual or a group class we found that WordPress plugins are just not suited to businesses with online classes and professional consultations. They appear, clunky, very amateur, and slow to process. In addition they often require a huge amount of paid plugins to harness the full functionality of the additional plugins. Their overall aesthetic look to the client is very ‘mid school’ and not at all that of a professional online business. 

Many plugins bundle loads of other not really needed functions into a plugin to validate the price of the plugin. The question is, do you really need all those bells and whistles to make your business work online OR are they more of a distraction?

If one plugin goes down, needs updating or has a glitch with another plugin – which is pretty common. Your entire set can go down or simply not function or just look plain odd with everything being out of size and place, until you remedy the plugin. Unless you have developer looking after your site, the chances are that the way you will find out about this, is when someone visiting your site tells you! Not the best advertisement.

Notably when building an online course with WordPress, it is a maze or should I say mountain of hidden costs. Learndash is one of the most popular course creator softwares for WordPress – apparently! However to use and implement it,  not only is it a steep and continuous learning curve but it is also has a hefty amount of hidden costs. Those hidden costs are made up of even more paid plugins.

Here is a list of features that the LearnDash Plugin (and most WordPress ones) do not have with the initial paid plugin requiring an additional paid plugin from Uncanny Owl. Who offer a Learn Dash plugin Toolkit for a mere $199 a year.

kartra or WordPress

20 More Hidden costs when building your Online business on WordPress

  1. A nice password Login page to stop it defaulting to the ugly WordPress one.
  2. Course Dashboard.
  3. Duplicate pages and posts.
  4. Email course certificate.
  5. Enhanced course grid.
  6. Enhanced Lesson / Topics grid.
  7. Enhanced Learndash CSV reports.
  8. Group registration.
  9. Group redirect.
  10. Group logo / List.
  11. Simple course timer.
  12. Group forums.
  13. Reset progress button.
  14. Sample lesson label.
  15. Single page courses.
  16. Autocomplete lessons and Topics when Quiz is graded.
  17. Days until course expiry.
  18. Drip lessons by group.
  19. Restrict page access.
  20. $199 a year for just one site.

With Kartra You can try before you buy.

Now We are going to compare the functions of Kartra to WordPress but before we do, let’s look at the monthly price comparison of both Kartra and WordPress, using the same tools. These tools are the standard for running an online business. So we are talking basic, digital business tools for an online business – not fancy pants style!

What was staggering to learn, is that WordPress came out a massive $329.19 per month MORE expensive than Kartra, which by comparison costs just $99.

Digital functionKartra all in one $99WordPress
WordPress Theme9.999.99
Kartra: Over 100 different page building themes - drag and drop templatesIncluded
WordPress: Installation and developper fees, tech support100100
Kartra: Installation, deveopper fees, Tech supportIncluded
Email - Active Campaign - Up to email 500 subscribers1515
Kartra Mail - Up to email 2500 subscribersIncluded
Email - Active Campaign - Up to email 500 subscribers1515
Kartra Email campaigns - up to 2500 subcriners. Unlimited lists. Split automationIncluded
WordPress - Active Campaign up to 500 subscibers. No split automation7.997.99
Kartra - All-in-one website hostingIncluded
WordPress Hosting 14.9914.99
Kartra - All in one course builderIncluded
WordPress - Course Builder: Learndash basic course builder19.9919.99
Kartra - Couse Builder: Equivalent ESSENTIAL add ons pack 1Included
WordPress - Course builder: Learndash ESSENTIAL add ons pack39.639.6
kartra - Course builder: More Equivalent ESSNETIAL add on pack 2 Included
WordPress - Additional required add ons pack 2 (Uncanny Owl)19.9919.99
Kartra - Recurring payment processorIncluded
WordPress: Recurring payment processor: Woocommerce plugin19.9919.99
Kartra Upsell / Downsell ProcessorIncluded
WordPress: Upsell / Downsell Processor : Upsell plugin14.714.7
Kartra - Video StorageIncluded
WordPress: Video Storage - 3rd party, Wistia $9999
Kartra: Funnels and Campaigns Included
WordPress Funnel Builder: Cartflows19.9919.99
Kartra: Form builderIncluded
WordPress form builder7.997.99
Kartra: Multiple formats Booking calander and Appointment schedulerIncluded
WordPress online appointment booker: Bookly 8.998.99
Kartra: Quiz builder IncludedIncluded
WordPress Quiz Builder: 19.9919.99
Kartra marketplaceIncluded
WordPress - no equivalentn/a
Kartra affiliatesIncluded
WordPress - no quivalentn/a
Kartra - 24 hour client helpdesk - Unlimted ConversationsIncluded
WordPress - 24 hour helpdesk - Up to 350 conversations 9.999.99


If you didn’t know what Kartra is, it is a digital marketing platform. This means that you build your course on it’s platform and you can choose to host  that course on your own website, blog or funnel for example that you can also build with Kartra. But as Kartra is an all-in-one platform, it also provides you with a host of other online tools to help you build and manage your business effectively. 

Disadvantages of using Kartra

It has been really hard to find the disadvantages of using Kartra because it’s affordable price point, multiple digital tools and online 24 hour tech team outweigh most other hosting platforms, website builders and digital marketing platforms.

However if there was one, it would be that certain templates are not that easy to customise. But that is only some and with the drag and drop builder, you can always put your creative talent to work a little more.

15 reasons why Kartra is a keen competitor for Online Course creators and Teacherpreneurs

  1. Kartra pages – The easy-to-use drag and drop page builder to help you build your website, funnels, and lead pages, easily and quickly. Templates are also provided.
  2. Kartra Funnels and Campaigns – Build expert funnels from the many predesigned templates and campaigns. (Save yourself over $270 a month with this alone by using Kartra compared to Clickfunnels).
  3. Kartra Leads – Build and manage your email list and campaigns easily with the intuitive and intelligent Kartra Lead system. Kartra lead system also has a handy tagging system which means you can send out targeted emails in minutes and set up email sequences and campaigns with even more ease than ever.
  4. Kartra Checkouts – The biggest fail of many businesses is their glitchy and complicated checkout process. Not with Kartra. Their international, zip lighting speed checkout process is a blessing for anyone wanting to sell anything online. Kartra checkouts also don’t charge extra (like Woocommerce does if using WordPress) for recurring payments or multi-priced products if upselling or down selling.
  5. Kartra Mail – If the thought of setting up email campaigns as a direct response to actions people take when interacting with you online fills you with despair – fear not. Kartra mail makes this a five-minute process to set up and more importantly, to automate!
  6. Kartra Videos – Forget paying even more to third-party platforms like Vimeo for storing your videos. Kartra has inbuilt storage, meaning all your videos are easier to use in your lead pages, funnels or online course and they don’t charge you extra for it.
  7. Kartra Bookings – Create online schedules classes and consultations with Kartra bookings and take payment at the time of booking with Kartra International online booking system. (Save yourself hundreds here too!)
  8. Kartra forms – Again forget having to pay a third-party fee just to add forms to your website. Kartra includes their easy form builder in their all-in-one price and what’s more you can build direct automation with the forms, improving your marketing reach whilst providing a better and more professional level of service to your clients.
  9. Kartra Helpdesk – Build confidence with any new or potential client with the 24-hour Kartra help desk. YOU can add a help desk to any of your pages, funnels or courses. What’s more Kartra offers YOU a 24-hour help desk too, so any tech problems and they are there to sort it out – again all included in the price saving you $ on developer fees.
  10. Kartra Marketplace – Once you have created your own course or other expert services you can sell them via the Kartra Marketplace to other Kartra users.
  11. Kartra Surveys and Quizzes – Use lead segmentation and easy-to-understand analytics (unlike so many other platforms) to actually understand what information your Kartra surveys and quizzes have identified.
  12. Kartra Affiliates – Grow your online business with Kartra affiliates, who will professionally help you to promote your products.
  13. Kartra Integrations – If you want even more to any of the Kartra features and your code-savvy, the Karta API will allow you to easily customize and add-ons till your code heart is content.
  14. Kartra Agency – Manage other people’s online business through the Kartra Agency – ideal for the Agency business model.
  15. Kartra Membership – Saving the best till last! The Kartra membership. Saving you thousands per year with this amazing drag and drop course builder. It really is as simple as adding your videos, PDF’s and more to create the best online course ever. The best part is that with Kartra membership you can choose to sell your course as a stand online one-time price, in instalments or as a membership!

What could be better! The price?

Unbelievably you can still get all this for just $99 a month on the Starter package. Which should be more than enough for some considerable time. How many other businesses cost as little as $99 a month with unlimited income potential? If you are still on the fence after this in depth price comparison to help you decide should you go with Kartra or WordPress, we invite you to take a $1 trial of Kartra for 14 days by completing the Kartra form that we embedded in one click into this website!  

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