GoToWebinar vs. dimdim

GotoWebinar vs. dimdim

This is just a quicky review of GotoWebinar by Citrix and dimdim, two online meeting and webinar services that I have used. I’m simply writing this post to share the experience I had with both services and explain why I ended up using the one I ended up using.

After many webinars and some bad experiences, I hope I can make the decision a bit easier for you, if you’re currently on the lookout and unsure which service to go with.


I started out using dimdim, because they offer their services at very attractive prices. At the same time, their platform is still very feature-rich and there’s the added bonus that the meetings and webinars in dimdim are browser based, so that the attendees don’t need to download and install any software to take part.

You can use dimdim for online meetings with up to 10 people, completely for free. Just $25 per month will expand that to 50 users and even the webinar option for up to 1000 attendees is still very affordable at $65 a month. When I was looking for a webinar platform, I wasn’t sure what exactly I’d do with it and I didn’t know if I’d be hosting webinars on a regular basis or not. Because of this, I was happy to find an affordable solution like this.

In total, I held one meeting and two webinars with dimdim, before I stopped using the service. The meeting, including only two other people apart from myself, went down without any issues. The first webinar was a bit more problematic. Some of the attendees couldn’t get the audio-feed to work and there were some other minor glitches along the way.

The second webinar was a catastrophe.

I had invited a guest expert for this webinar, which was being held for paying customers. We tried for about 40 minutes to get everything to work before we gave up and rescheduled the webinar… Among other things, either the audio or the video feed (or both) always went lost when we switched the presentation over to the guest presenter. We also couldn’t find a way to turn off the webcam feed, which was only burning up resources and, if anything, distracting from the actual presentation. The whole thing just felt like we were using a pre-alpha version of a program, with every action accompanied by various glitches and problems.

I was lucky. I was lucky that both the guest expert and the customers were willing to show up again a week later and no-one asked for a refund (although many were clearly frustrated with the experience).

In this age of Google Alerts, it’s not unlikely that a dimdim rep will jump in, in the comments section and let me know that this was a big exception and they’ve served thousands of webinars successfully etc. But the problem here is that there absolutely can’t be exceptions like this. Interaction between yourself and your subscribers and customers is extremely valuable and you can’t take it for granted that people actually make time to show up for a live event. It’s incredibly damaging to your reputation and your business when the attendees are “punished” with a negative experience, once they’ve decided to pay attention to you like this.


GoToWebinar is the webinar platform that pretty much everyone in Internet marketing uses. And once you’ve used them yourself, you’ll see why.

The downsides are that everyone involved needs to download the GoToWebinar software to be able to host or attend webinars and that the prices are pretty steep. The option for webinars with up to 100 attendees will cost you $99 a month, the plan for up to 500 attendees per webinar costs $399 a month and the largest plan, which allows up to 1000 attendees, costs a whopping $499 a month. If you ever wondered why so many marketers desperately pitch their products on webinars, that’s part of the reason, right there.

Having said that, you need to be aware that it takes a bigger list than you might think to even get 100 attendees into a webinar. Basically, look at the average amount of unique clicks you get from sending an e-mail and divide that by three. That’s roughly how many people will show up to a webinar, live. So, it’s not like you need the max. plan if you have a few thousand people on your list.

I’ve hosted about a dozen webinars with GoToWebinar, so far. All of them have been completely glitch-free, I’m glad to say. The GoToWebinar control panel is also very cool, offering you tons of useful features. The learning curve is minimal and I felt right at home with the platform, fairly quickly.


If you find yourself in the same situation as me, a few months ago, where you aren’t so sure about webinars and GoToWebinar just seems too expensive, here’s my advice: Take their 30 day free trial and do at least two webinars during your trial period. The only question is: Are you going to do webinars on a regular basis? If the answer is yes, then go with GoToWebinar.

Don’t worry about the price. It’s very easy to make the money back, even if you are not being pitchy and promotional in your webinars. Particularly the prices of the larger plans can be off-putting but believe me, once you have enough leverage to get 1000 people into a live webinar, a $499 a month price-tag is not going to be an issue for you, anymore.


About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • Nice review, Shane;

    Have to say I’d agree with your assessment. One tip for GTW sign-up is to 1) Get the Trial for 30 Days and GET STARTED with your first Webinar – even if nobody except a family member signs up – you’ll get your pictures, text etc. ready; 2) Make a Folder for GoToWebinar on your computer and STORE a copy of the contents for each cell in the Set-Up menu of your Webinar(s); 3) IMPORTANT! CANCEL your Membership a couple of days BEFORE the 30 Day trial is UP, then 4) WAIT about 5-7 days or so, You’ll get a notice for 20% OFF the Member ship fee (100 Attendees) and 50% OFF 500 or 1,000. It’s actually close to 30% IF you pay a year in advance. SIGN UP THEN. Good Luck and Get Crackin’,

    Dr Dan

  • Jim Hickey says:

    Hi Shane,

    Interesting post as I have always wondered about the effectiveness of Dim-Dim given the cost. I know GTW works well for most but have you had any experience with GVO or other low-cost alternatives?

    Thanks for any insight,


    • Shane says:

      Hi Jim,

      Unfortunately, I’ve only used the two solutions mentioned above.

  • Rajiv says:

    I’m a regular camper at Webinars because you really do get a lot of useful information if you are attending the right ones and yes I’ve bought a lot of products too.

    I never had an idea they cost so much though… but now it makes sense why so much pitching and selling takes place on them.

  • Rolf says:

    Interesting subject!

    I have not arranged webinars worth mentioning but I have certainly attended a lot of them.

    I never used dimdim so far so I don’t have much to say.

    I have experienced a few GoToWebinars go sour even if it is rare.

    I have also been on webinars using PalTalk which has been around for long. It has worked quite well. Now there is a version working totally online – nothing to download.

    One nice marketing aspect with PalTalk is that you can a public room and anyone can find it so it is advertising for free so to speak. Of course there are then private rooms, video and so on.

    I have also experimented a little with Adobe Connect which looks promising but it is too early to tell.

    Best wishes


    • Shane says:

      Thanks, I’ll have a look at some of those alternatives. Although I’m very happy with GTW, so far.

    • Dominik Lukes says:

      I run GoToWebinar webinars 4-5 times a month (with upto about 100 attendees) and I agree, they can go completely south on occasion (conflicting Java versions, etc.), but it is rare.

      I tried out DimDim a year ago and wasn’t impressed by reliability. I like their feature set but can’t justify switching.

      I suspect it’s partly due to Java v. Flash – I had the same audio/camera issues with AdobeConnect.

      • Dominik Lukes says:

        I also noticed an opposing view here:

        The reviewer notes the poor quality of audio on GTW recordings which is absolutely awful (even though the live audio is fine), so I have to record audio separately on all presentations I want to share publicly.

      • Shane says:

        Thanks for your input!

        I agree that the audio quality on the recordings is pretty awful. I also don’t like how I have to re-encode their standard video output, before it’s editable. However, the settings can be tweaked to improve the encoding issue.

  • Gregg says:

    Hi Shane,

    Does GTW allow you to broadcast thru your webcam. Can you present live to your audience and not just screenshare?

    • Shane says:

      Hi Gregg,

      Currently, there’s no webcam sharing feature in GotoWebinar. You could, of course, just have a webcam feed running on your desktop and have GTW share the desktop, but that would be a pretty choppy and low-quality feed for the viewers.
      Citrix (GTW creators) have announced a soon-to-be-released webcam sharing feature for GoToWebinar, though. Here’s a press release with some details.

  • taruni says:

    Hi Shane,

    I just discovered your blog and have just been happily reading all your great info. Then I came across this post and thought I’d finally make a comment because I have been using GTW for about a month and while the system works easily enough, the recording capability has been a nightmare. Not sure if you have had any problem but every time we have recorded our webinars which is essential for our company as we post them for people to access if they can’t attend live, there have been fatal errors. We have spent hours finding the right codec and converting files and even the .WMV files are unrecognisable when we’ve tried to do a simple upload to our youtube channel. Anyway, we’ll be moving to Webex. Has anyone else had similar problems.


    • Shane says:

      Hello Taruni,

      I haven’t had any terrible issues with the recordings, although the format is pretty shoddy and the audio quality suffers somewhat.
      To make the recordings “workable”, here’s what you can do: download Microsoft Expression Encoder (free) and run your GTW recordings through that. You simply take the .wmv file from GTW and encode it as a new .wmv file in Expression.
      The new file will be “clean” and can be edited with an editor such as Camtasia. I edit out the pre-roll and crop the screen to the right size in Camtasia, then render the whole thing as an MP4 file, which I use to play online.

      It’s a roundabout process, but it works.

      I’ve never used Webex. I hope it works well for you and if it does (or if it doesn’t), I’d love to hear about it. :)

  • Henning says:

    Hi Shane

    First I just wanna say I really enjoy your blog :)

    I’m using GotoWebinar, and was thinking if its possible to use your Thrive Leads to build a landing page for a Webinar?

    Pura Vida
    Henning Byø

    • Shane says:

      Hello Henning,

      We’ve recently added a GoToWebinar integration, so now the answer is yes! Check out this tutorial.

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