When it comes to taking creative courses online, the two best options are clear: Skillshare and Domestika.
Both services offer tons of great courses to learn everything from UX design to macrame, but in the head-to-head competition of Skillshare vs Domestika, which platform comes out on top?
After spending months using with both, I put together this comparison to help you choose which one is right for you. If you want to get started right away click the buttons below to create an account and start your free trials.
Special offer: Grab two weeks of Skillshare for free at this promotional link. Normally it’s just a 7-day free trial, so don’t miss out!
October 2020 update: This guide has been updated to reflect changes in the Skillshare Premium free trial.
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Skillshare vs Domestika: Overview
- One subscription fee ($19/mo) for access to all classes
- Lose access to classes when subscription ends
- Offers two week free trial
- Some classes available for free
- Nearly all courses are in English with closed captions
- Classes are typically short and focused on a single skill
- Teachers produce classes, which can be hit or miss
- Some social elements
- Courses purchased individually ($10-40)
- Unlimited access to purchased courses
- Domestika Pro subscription offers discounts and free courses
- Very few free courses
- Most courses in Spanish with English subtitles
- Growing list of English-language courses
- Courses are in-depth and run 3-10 hours long (in segments)
- Teachers assisted by Domestika’s professional production team
- Strong social elements and jobs board
Before we get into the nitty gritty, I wanted to give a brief overview of what both services offer. Both have a number of great courses to learn creative skills, but they differ in key areas that may make one or the other a better choice for you.
In general, Domestika specializes in highly produced courses that give you a more complete understanding of a task or topic. They can run anywhere from three to ten hours, and you pay for them individually.
Read more about what Domestika is all about here: What is Domestika? Is it worth it? Review, best courses, and more.
Skillshare, on the other hand, is focused on specific tasks with much shorter courses that are (mostly) uploaded by individual teachers. This means that the quality might be lower, but the quantity is much higher.
Learn everything you need to know about Skillshare here: What is Skillshare? Is it worth it? Cost, free trial, best classes, and more.
Some Skillshare courses can be accessed with a free account, while others require a monthly subscription. This single subscription unlocks literally thousands of courses, so it’s great if you like to hop around.
With that groundwork out of the way, let’s dive a bit deeper into our comparison of Skillshare and Domestika, starting with courses.
Skillshare vs Domestika: Courses
When comparing Skillshare and Domestika based on the courses they both offer, the story ultimately comes down to quantity vs quality.
Since Skillshare makes it so easy for anyone to create and upload courses, there are far more courses on offer. It boasts nearly 30,000 courses, so no matter what you’re looking for odds are good that there’s a course for you.
The downside is that there isn’t as much control for quality. In recent years Skillshare has been much more active in removing courses that don’t meet its standards, but you’re still likely to encounter some duds.
To combat this, Skillshare also offers Skillshare Originals, which are produced by Skillshare itself. All of these are locked behind a paywall, and although they’re a small minority of the classes offered, they’re among the best on the platform.
That said, what usually happens is that you find a teacher you like, then check out the rest of their courses. You’ll quickly build a list of teachers whose courses you know are good.
Domestika takes the opposite approach by producing all of its courses with an in-house team. The teachers will be professionals in their field, but they have a big helping hand in creating a quality course.
This leads fewer courses overall, but they are consistently good and leave you satisfied with what you learned. You also pay for them individually, so if you’re not happy you can request a refund.
One big caveat is that although there are a growing number of English-language courses, most Domestika courses are mostly in Spanish with English subtitles.
These subtitles are auto-generated so they can be hit or miss, although in my experience I was able to follow everything the instructors said. Subtitles are offered in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and German, which may be a plus for international users.
If you’re someone who is monolingual and can’t stand watching movies with subtitles, you might want to opt for Skillshare’s English-language courses. If not, the quality of Domestika courses is simply unbeatable.
While standalone courses and classes are the bulk of what’s on offer at Skillshare and Domestika, there are a few other types of content available, as well.
Several years ago Skillshare added Workshops, which are essentially timed events that include several hand-picked classes in a specific order.
The idea is that you take them alongside other students and, with the guidance of the workshop host, improve your skills further than you could on your own.
However, if one of the classes in the workshop is premium, you will need Skillshare Premium to participate. Check out the full list of upcoming workshops here (and grab your free two weeks to try them out!).
Domestika also has a different type of content in the form of Domestika Live. This is a new program started as part of the #StayAtHome movement, and they’re essentially free hour-long lessons from reputable Domestika teachers.
These tutorials are shorter and less in-depth than standard courses, but it’s a fun (and free!) way to learn new skills and try out new teachers.
Domestika Live classes are hosted on Facebook, but you can stream all previous iterations here. Be aware that they are in Spanish, English, or Portuguese and do not have subtitles, so pick on that you’ll understand!
Skillshare vs Domestika: Pricing and value
Skillshare and Domestika have very different pricing structures, so it’s difficult to say which one offers a better value.
With Skillshare, most courses are locked behind a single Premium subscription fee. There are some free courses, but the best ones are on the other side of a paywall.
A Skillshare Premium membership costs $19 per month, or $99 per year (which comes out to just over $8 per month). Normally you can get a 7-day free trial, but you can grab twice that for free with this special promotional link.
The downside of this model is that once you stop paying for your subscription, you lose access to all of your courses.
Benefits of Skillshare Premium:
- Unlimited access to all classes: Nearly 30,000 classes are available for one subscription fee.
- No ads: Free courses include ads, which are removed with a Premium subscription.
- Enhanced community access: Get feedback and support on your projects from Skillshare’s community of creatives.
- Offline access: Download classes on your phone or tablet via the app for offline viewing while on the go.
- Support your favorite teachers: Membership fees go towards paying your favorite teachers based on how many people watch their classes.
- Other perks: Discounts on other services like Squarespace Adobe Creative Cloud, Todoist, and others (annual membership only).
On Domestika, you buy each and every course individually. Once you purchase them they’re yours for good, and you will never have to worry about losing access.
Courses generally cost about $40 each, but frequent special offers lower that to about $10. This might sound significantly more expensive than Skillshare, but you have to keep in mind that these courses are much more in-depth, generally running 3-10 hours long.
Like Skillshare, Domestika does have a subscription called Domestika Pro, but it works very differently. You do get access to a few free courses (one per week), but the main benefits are 20% off all courses, unlimited messaging, and certificates of completion for courses.
Benefits of Domestika Pro:
- 20% off all courses: Courses can be further discounted with coupon codes and special offers.
- Open courses: Gain full access to a list of courses that changes every month for no extra charge. Typically there are 2-5 open courses per month.
- Completion certificates: Downloadable certificates for courses that you have successfully completed.
- Pro badge: A small Pro badge will be featured next to your profile image.
- Unlimited messaging: Domestika is also a social media platform for creatives, so messaging is a great way to search for jobs or collaborations.
- Direct support: A direct helpline with Domestika consultants for questions or troubleshooting.
- News: Receive updates directly from Domestika with the latest happenings on the platform.
It’s also significantly cheaper, with a standard price of $59 per year. However, right now there’s a special offer that brings that down to about $20 per year, which is an incredible value.
Domestika doesn’t typically offer a free trial or any free courses, but to promote the #StayAtHome movement the company has made a handful of its courses free for a limited time.
Skillshare vs Domestika: Platform
One great aspect of both Domestika and Skillshare is that they double as social media platforms for creatives.
As you complete courses you can upload your projects and share them with other members. This way you can build a portfolio of your work and follow other creators that you like.
Domestika actually started its run nearly 15 years ago as a social media platform for creatives, and only added courses years later. There are many social features baked into the platform, like following creatives, sharing projects, and messaging other users.
There’s even a section of the website for creative job listings, and although most of them are based in Spain, many can be done remotely. You can also list yourself as open to freelance projects in your profile.
Skillshare also allows you to set up a basic profile and post your finished projects, but the social aspect is much less complete. It’s still there, just not quite as full-featured and relevant to the experience as it is on Domestika.
Skillshare vs Domestika: For teachers
Before I wrap this up I want to take a moment to talk about what the teacher experience is like on both platforms.
Essentially, which is better for teachers: Skillshare or Domestika?
The short answer is that both are a decent pathway to passive income for dedicated teachers. The long answer is that the experience is completely different on each platform.
On Skillshare, teachers are essentially responsible for every part of course creation: planning, recording, and updating. This might seem like a big burden, but the good news is that it’s easy to get accepted onto the platform.
Sure, there are minimum requirements, but as long as you actually teach a skill and don’t actively promote another service, it’s basically as easy as uploading videos to YouTube.
Creating courses on Domestika, on the other hand, is much more of a process. You have to first pitch your course idea (you can do that here), then get it accepted onto the platform.
The company will send production specialists free of charge to help you film your course so it’s always studio quality. You, of course, will still need to come up with the content itself.
As for payouts, Skillshare pays based on the amount of time subscribers spend watching your courses. Domestika pays based on the number of people who purchase your course.
One important thing to note is that Skillshare recently added the ability to change playback speed, which will decrease the number of hours users spend watching your courses. This can and will have a direct impact on how much you make as a teacher.
And yes, both Skillshare and Domestika are legitimate businesses that pay teachers what they’re owed in a timely manner.
So who comes out on top in the battle of Skillshare vs Domestika? Honestly, you should try both because they each have something unique to offer.
In terms of raw value, a Skillshare Premium subscription is great. For $19 bucks a month (or free for two weeks), you get access to tens of thousands of courses. This makes it a great choice for people who like to explore new skills.
However, if what you’re after is a few really high quality courses that teach a specific subject or skill in-depth, Domestika is a better option. Just be sure to check the audio language before you buy and be open to the idea of reading subtitles.
Get started with either service by clicking the buttons below!
I hope this comparison of two of the top creative elearning platforms has been helpful for you! Let me know your experience and recommendations in the comments below.