Navigating the world of online course platforms can feel like a daunting task, as you grapple with the challenge of choosing the best online course platforms. Whether you’re a coach, educator, or involved in corporate training, selecting the right platform is essential to your success.
Selling online courses can be tough if you go with the wrong solution. In this in-depth comparison guide, we’ll help you cut through the noise and zero in on the platform that best meets your needs.
We’ll take a look at some of the best online course platforms currently available, including Teachable, Podia, Thinkific, Kajabi and Mighty Networks.
With a plethora of online course platforms on the market, each boasting unique features like learning management systems (LMS), eCommerce capabilities, and content storage and distribution, it’s crucial to consider several factors in your decision-making process. From pricing and customer reviews to the level of support you require, this guide aims to empower you with the knowledge you need to make the right choice.
As we explore the best online course platforms available, we’ll delve into the diverse range of options, showcasing tools that can help you sell online courses. These tools will help you design course pages, create sales funnels and checkouts, and promote your courses to reach a wider audience.
Drawing from extensive research and testing, we’ll present our top picks to help you make an informed decision that elevates your eLearning experience and paves the way for your success.
Online course platforms provide a comprehensive solution for crafting, marketing and managing digital lessons effectively. They offer educators and businesses the necessary tools to create course content, monitor financials and sales, as well as manage their customer database.
Kajabi is an all-in-one online course platform that not only allows you to create online courses but also integrates marketing tools with community features. This all-in-one platform enables you to build your brand while offering a seamless experience for your students.
Kajabi is my preferred all-in-one platform for creating, marketing and selling online courses and digital products. It's been a game-changer for my online business because it includes absolutely everything I need. Saves me money too with 0% transaction fees, video hosting included, and no limits or extra fees for subscribers.
With Kajabi, you can design customized landing pages, automate email campaigns, track analytics, and more – all within one platform.
The best thing about Kajabi is that it provides you with pre-built funnels that are designed to help you generate leads effortlessly and ultimately sell courses and other digital products with proven methods.
Video hosting is also included, which means that you can upload all your videos directly onto the platform. Kajabi also has incredibly powerful coaching tools that enable you to create interactive coaching sessions with your students. Not only that, but it offers built-in email marketing tools, so you can reach out to your students and nurture relationships easily.
Overall, Kajabi’s comprehensive set of features, including pre-built funnels, video hosting, built-in email marketing, and powerful coaching tools, makes it my number 1 recommended platform for creating and selling your online courses.
Check out my full Kajabi review here
Teachable is one of the most popular online course platforms available today. Teachable’s straightforward design makes it simple for anyone, even those without technical know-how, to construct their own courses from the ground up or import existing materials. With Teachable’s drag-and-drop builder, creating visually appealing lessons has never been easier.
I launched my online course with Teachable and couldn't be happier! User-friendly tools, amazing support, and seamless payment options made my experience unforgettable. If you're looking to share your knowledge, Teachable is the way to go. Try it today
Ideal for creators who want to offer more than just courses, Podia allows you not only to sell digital products but also memberships that provide access to exclusive content. This platform stands out due to its ease of use as well as its all-in-one approach in helping creators monetize their work through various channels.
I found success with Podia, an all-in-one platform for online courses, memberships, and digital downloads. It's incredibly user-friendly and allows me to interact with my audience in a meaningful way. If you're looking to grow your online business, try Podia
Thinkific takes customization to the next level, allowing you to create a truly unique learning experience for your students. With advanced design capabilities and options for course structure, Thinkific is perfect for those who want complete control over their online courses.
In choosing the right comprehensive online course platform, consider factors such as ease of use, customization options, pricing plans, and available integrations. By selecting a platform that best suits your needs, you’ll be well on your way towards creating successful online courses that engage learners while generating revenue.
Comprehensive online course platforms offer an array of features to help users create, manage and deliver courses. Community-oriented platforms offer creators the ability to expand their reach and create a dedicated audience with their material.
LearnDash is a popular learning management system (LMS) plugin for WordPress that is widely used by universities and professional training organizations.
LearnDash is a web-based learning management system that enables various organizations to design personalized courses and market them online through their WordPress websites. This platform facilitates the creation of training materials, including quizzes, assessments, and other educational content that can be delivered to learners directly on their WordPress website.
Create a professional, engaging course on your WordPress website in just a few clicks.
The plugin offers various features such as the ability to create unlimited courses with an unlimited number of lessons and topics. It also includes built-in tools for charging one-time or recurring access fees along with advanced options like content dripping, course prerequisites, etc.
If you’re looking for a reliable LMS solution on WordPress then LearnDash is definitely worth considering.
LearnWorlds is an online course creation platform that was established in 2014 and has gained a loyal user base over the years. This platform stands out for its rich features, which allow you to create content, host courses, publish mobile apps, and more. One of LearnWorlds’ key strengths is its ability to create courses.
Although it may take some time to locate this functionality on the platform, it’s worth noting that there are many “learning activities” available for use. With LearnWorlds, setting up your own online school with a complete website is easy thanks to their academy full of tips and tricks on how to set up your school, create online courses and sell them.
If you need additional assistance beyond what’s provided by their academy resources or if you encounter any issues while using the platform such as (sub)domains problems), customer service representatives are always willing to help quickly.
LearnWorlds offers various features beyond the basics, such as:
While LearnWorlds claims to be an all-in-one solution for course creators but keep in mind that external email software will still be required in order to have access to all necessary tools needed for selling and marketing purposes.
Overall, LearnWorlds is a great choice for those who prioritize students’ experience and learning outcomes!
For those aiming to craft an interactive and captivating educational experience, community-oriented platforms may be the ideal choice. These online learning platforms prioritize building communities around the learning process, encouraging networking among learners, and fostering collaboration through features like forums or group chats.
Skool is a platform for hosting courses and building communities that was established in 2019 by Sam Ovens, a well-known online entrepreneur. The platform has experienced rapid growth due to its founder’s large following and addresses some of the gaps in the market for online course platforms.
Skool focuses on placing community at the heart of students’ experiences, making it simple to encourage interaction and enhance client outcomes. It offers unique features tailored to community-centered programs, an exceptional user experience, and easy-to-learn functionality.
While Skool may not provide a full tech stack for course creators with extensive requirements, it excels as a community platform with course capabilities. Its active and fast-growing community adds value to this already impressive offering.
Mighty Networks, on the other hand, combines online courses with social networking elements to foster connections between learners. It offers an innovative approach by enabling creators to build their own niche-based networks where members can participate in discussions related to specific topics or interests.
Incorporating community-focused platforms like Kajabi or Mighty Networks into your online course strategy can significantly enhance the online learning experience for your students. By fostering connections and collaboration, you’ll create a more engaging environment that keeps learners coming back for more.
Community-focused platforms such as Kajabi and Mighty Networks are great for entrepreneurs looking to create a vibrant community around their online courses. For those who prefer marketplace-based solutions, Udemy and Skillshare offer diverse topics with different levels of complexity.
TrainerCentral is an excellent choice for beginners looking to create their first online course. The platform has been crafted with simplicity as a priority, so that even those who are new to course creation can get up and running swiftly.
What we like:
In addition to these features, TrainerCentral also offers excellent customer support and a wealth of resources to help you succeed in your online course business. With its user-friendly interface and budget-conscious pricing plans, it’s an ideal choice for beginners looking to enter the world of online education.
For beginners, TrainerCentral provides a clean and intuitive interface with budget-friendly upgrades.
If you’re aiming to get your message out there and access a pre-existing pool of consumers, then marketplace-based platforms could be the ideal solution.
These platforms host your courses alongside thousands of others, making it easier for potential students to discover your content. However, keep in mind that competition is fierce on these sites, so standing out may require additional marketing efforts.
Udemy is one of the most popular online course marketplaces with over 130,000 courses available across various topics such as business, technology, personal development, and more.
As an instructor on Udemy, you can create and sell your courses without any upfront costs or monthly fees. Instead, they take a percentage of each sale made through their platform.
Skillshare, another popular marketplace-based platform, focuses primarily on creative skills such as design, photography, writing, and illustration. Instructors can create short classes (typically under 60 minutes) that are project-based, allowing students to apply what they’ve learned immediately.
When choosing a marketplace-based platform, it’s essential to weigh the benefits of increased exposure against the potential drawbacks such as lower revenue share or limited control over your course pricing. Additionally, consider how well your target audience aligns with the users on each platform before making a decision.
Marketplace-Based Platforms are a great way to get started in online courses, offering a wide range of topics and options.
For those just starting out in the world of online course creation and sales, you need an intuitive platform with budget-friendly upgrades that lets you get up and running fast. One such solution is Payhip, which provides everything you might need to get started in one package.
Payhip is a great option for those who want to start selling their digital products online without any hassle. The platform is user-friendly and offers various features that make the process of selling your products simple. You can even get started for free, which is a bonus.
Payhip allows you to sell different types of products, including physical items, and comes with an easy-to-use website builder or integration options if you already have a website. However, Payhip’s payment options are limited as they only offer PayPal and Stripe at the moment.
Some of our favorite features:
Although there is the ability to create a blog, there aren’t many SEO tools available on the platform, so it may be challenging to attract organic traffic to your Payhip site. Overall though, we found Payhip impressive and recommend it to anyone looking for an uncomplicated way to sell digital goods online.
Pensight is an all-in-one platform designed to assist you in managing your online business. It allows you to quickly and easily set up a storefront, offer meetings and Q&As for a price of your choice, manage scheduling, accept payments, and host video consultations within the same platform.
Pensight’s goal is to support independent online creators (such as podcasters, teachers, coaches, experts) by enabling them to make a living while engaging with their communities through decentralised education.
The application saves time and money by facilitating efficient meeting creation and scheduling while also providing reminders for acceptance. The UI is user-friendly and beautifully designed; new users will have no difficulty navigating it. Additionally, the earning money feature is fantastic.
Pensight serves as an alternative website tool that can be used instead of creating a full site for brand building or selling products/services or scheduling coaching sessions. Competitors include companies such as Beacons, Linktree, Stan etc., but Pensight offers more features like turning your link in bio into a digital store.
It’s ideal if you’re active on social media or other online platforms where you need space to showcase information such as coaching links or contact details. You can share your Pensight link with others so they can access this information conveniently.
Here are some ways you can use Pensight:
I utilized my Pensight link to post referral links for brand deals/affiliate programs along with my website and my email address if anyone needs assistance contacting me – I even included a Substack email newsletter link!
For beginners in the world of online course creation and sales, two platforms that stand out are Payhip and Pensight. While Payhip offers a user-friendly experience with a free basic plan and intuitive features, Pensight caters to independent online creators with an all-in-one platform that facilitates efficient meeting creation, scheduling, and more. Both platforms offer unique features that are ideal for anyone just starting out in selling their digital products or services online.
Automation Tools for Online Course Platforms
As you build and manage your online courses, it’s essential to streamline processes and save time. This is where automation tools come into play.
One of the most popular and versatile automation tools available today is Zapier. It connects various apps, automates workflows, and can be easily integrated with many online course platforms.
Zapier allows you to create automated connections between different applications without any coding knowledge required. By setting up “zaps,” you can automate tasks such as enrolling students in a course when they make a purchase or sending out welcome emails upon successful registration.
Here are some ways you can use Zapier:
The possibilities are endless when it comes to automating tasks with Zapier. Integrating this powerful tool into your chosen online course platform will help improve efficiency, save time, and ensure a seamless experience for both you and your students.
The best platform for online classes depends on your specific needs and goals. Some popular options include Kajabi, Podia, and Thinkific. Consider factors such as customization, ease of use, pricing, and available features when choosing a platform.
An effective online learning platform should offer a user-friendly interface, diverse content delivery methods (e.g., video, text), assessment tools (quizzes or tests), community-building features (forums or chat rooms), analytics to track student progress, secure payment processing options, and seamless integration with other tools you may be using.
To choose the right online course platform for your needs:
To make the most of online learning platforms, consider the following recommendations:
When it comes to finding the best online course platforms out there, there are a variety of options available, but it really depends on your needs. For those looking for comprehensive platforms with user-friendly interfaces, Kajabi and Podia are great choices, while Thinkific offers extensive customization options.
Community-focused platforms like Skool and Mighty Networks integrate marketing tools with community features, making them ideal for building engaged audiences.
If you’re interested in marketplace-based platforms, Udemy is the largest marketplace featuring diverse topics, while Skillshare focuses on creative skills development.
For beginners looking for budget-friendly upgrades, PayHip is a great option. And if you’re looking to automate workflows between apps, Zapier can help streamline your processes.
These online learning platforms offer unlimited courses, allowing you to create online courses and sell them to unlimited learners. The platforms offer learning management systems that provide a self-paced learning experience with video lessons and learning resources.
Some platforms offer a free trial, while others have premium instructor options. You can build courses with powerful platforms that offer completion certificates and landing pages to promote your courses. You can even set up an online store to sell digital downloads and other digital products.
Once you have a better understanding of the available online course platforms, it’s time to start creating your own courses! Whether you’re an entrepreneur or blogger looking to monetize your expertise or simply want to share knowledge about a topic you love, these creation platforms offer all the tools necessary to create engaging courses that students will love.
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