Creating your own online courses can be a great way to help others out by sharing your expertise on a topic with them. Additionally, by selling the course you create, you can help increase your income.
If you’ve already explored the idea of selling courses online, you’ve likely realized that there are a lot of online course platforms to choose from. This can make trying to choose one platform to use very overwhelmingly. We understand this challenge and created this article to help you simplify your decision.
We put together a list of 13 of the best online course platforms. For each platform, we’ll share the important information you’ll want to know to decide whether it is the right fit for you, including pricing, features, pros, and cons.
What is an Online Course Platform?
An online course platform is designed to provide electronic access to virtual courses and training.
Different companies and individuals can create and share their own e-learning courses through these platforms and users can sign up for topics or subjects that are of interest or importance to them.
The benefit of using an online platform is that much of the organization will be done for you. You can upload your materials and lessons, set your price, and most of the backend programming will be taken care of by the platform.
Plus, when you use a well-known and trusted platform, people will have more confidence in signing up for your course.
Why Should I Sell Courses Online?
The market for online courses and other e-learning opportunities is only continuing to grow.
More and more, especially during these times, people are choosing online classes over in-person ones.
The growth in this industry provides you with the opportunity to increase your presence online, gain additional followers or subscribers, and, of course, make some money.
What Should I Look for in an Online Course Platform?
While there are many different online platforms to choose from, it is important to note that every course platform is different.
Before signing up with one, you will want to take some time to carefully consider all of your options and think about what you are looking to get out of the course platform you select. Below, we’ve put together a list of a few of the features you’ll want to consider before making your decision.
One of the first things you’ll likely want to decide is the type of platform that you want to use. Different platform types will be better suited for different purposes, so think about your needs, how you want to create and market your courses, and the types of courses you’ll be offering. There are a few different types of platforms to consider. Here are a few options you’ll find:
- All-in-one platforms: An all-in-one course platform will run both your website and the course site.
- Standalone platforms: Standalone learning platforms are typically a better option for small businesses or independent entrepreneurs.
- Marketplace platforms: If you choose a marketplace platform, you’ll be able to offer your courses to an existing market.
- Video platforms: If you are looking to sell video courses (as opposed to ones with more slides or text), then a video platform may be best for you.
Tools and Features
One very important thing to consider before choosing an online platform is the different tools and features offered by the platform. Finding an online teaching platform that offers tools that will make it easier for you to set up your courses and share them with your students is important.
You will also want to look for other features, such as the ability to create assessments, keep track of student progress, provide the opportunity for students to share their thoughts with one another, and the ability to send a certificate of completion to students.
Additionally, with how dependent everyone is on their cellphones, you may also want to look for a course platform that is mobile friendly.
Next, you should look for whether each of the course platforms you’re considering offers third-party integrations. Think about the other online service tools or providers you use and would like to integrate into the platform you choose.
Availability of Training and Customer Support
When making your decision, you should look for information about the training that will be available to you. Maximizing the tools and features offered by the platform you choose will help you get the most out your investment and will allow you to create quality content to share with your students. Course platforms that offer training videos, FAQs, or other resources can help you achieve this goal.
If you encounter any issues, you’ll want to be able to contact someone who can help you. For this reason, you should also look up information about the customer service team. What are their hours? How can you get in touch with them? How long should you expect to wait for an answer or resolution?
Finally, be sure to take the cost of each course software into account.
Your current financial position and budget can help guide your decision. If you are an individual who is just getting started with selling online courses, your budget will likely look very different from an established company that is looking to branch out into selling content online.
Best Online Course Platforms
Thinkific was created as a way to help entrepreneurs develop a successful and profitable business that also benefits others by delivering a service.
They also have the goal to change the online learning experience for students.
- Free Plan: $0
- Basic Plan: $39/month (if billed annually), $49/month (if billed monthly)
- Pro Plan: $79/month (if billed annually), $99/month (if billed monthly)
- Premier Plan: $399/month (if billed annually), $499/month (if billed monthly)
You’ll find creating your courses and getting them ready to share with students is easy with Thinkific.
The course software allows you to drag and drop your content to personalize the learning experience. You can add videos, text, and surveys to your course content.
Additionally, Thinkific allows you to upload documents for students to download and is compatible with Google Docs. You can create quizzes to share with students to assess their understanding of the content throughout your course as well.
You can easily customize each course using the options offered by Thinkific. You can make courses hidden or private, set up prerequisites that must be completed before students can enroll in a course, create cohorts of students, assign multiple instructors to the same course, and much more.
In addition to how easy Thinkific makes it to create your courses, they also offer tools to help you design the site where you’ll sell your courses and offer tools, such as membership sites and payment plans, to help you market and sell courses to students
- The drag and drop features make it simple to set up your courses.
- The marketing tools, like subscriptions, free trials, and payment plans, can help make your course more appealing to students.
- Thinkific can be integrated with more than 1,500 apps.
- If you want to be able to issues certificates to your students or create private courses, you will need to upgrade to the Pro Plan.
Thinkific is a great platform to consider if you’re looking for an all-in-one course creation platform that will help you create your courses, design a webpage to sell them, and market courses to potential customers. Over $500 million has been earned by individuals with Thinkific. Will you be the next income earner with this site?
Teachable is another online course platform you may want to consider. It was created to offer individuals a way to share their knowledge and expertise with others.
- Basic Plan: $29/month (if billed annually), $39/month (if billed monthly)
- Pro Plan: $99/month (if billed annually), $119/month (if billed monthly)
- Business Plan: $249/month (if billed annually), $299/month (if billed monthly)
Teachable’s plans are reasonably priced, and they offer numerous tools to help you get your online courses created and shared with students. They strive to make everything easily customizable. You’ll be able to customize your presentations and course pages to share content the way you want with your students.
If you have an existing website, you can create a custom domain to link it to Teachable.
Teachable also developed a dashboard to help you keep track of our sales and earnings. They also offer a page editor to allow you to create sales pages to encourage visitors to sign up for one of your courses.
With this platform, you won’t need to feel restricted. All of the paid plans include unlimited video bandwidth, unlimited courses, unlimited students, and unlimited coaching services.
To keep your students engaged and participating in the course, you can assign quizzes, set compliance controls to move to future sections of the course, and issue completion certificates.
- Reasonably priced plans.
- There are no limits on bandwidth, the number of courses you can create, or the number of students who can enroll in your courses.
- They offer affiliate marketing tools to help you gain new business.
- They don’t offer as many website building options as some other course platforms do.
More than 100,000 individuals have used Teachable to share their content with others. Their user-friendly online course platform can help you be one of their next success stories.
Kajabi provides online business with an easy way to offer their digital products, including online courses, to its customers. This platform can also be used to help you create sales and marketing funnels to help you increase the number of individuals who visit your website and sign up for your courses.
- Basic Plan: $119/month (if billed annually), $149/month (if billed monthly)
- Growth Plan: $159/month (if billed annually), $199/month (if billed monthly)
- Pro Plan: $319/month (if billed annually), $399/month (if billed monthly)
Kajabi’s plans are all designed to help you find success. With all of the plans, you will be able to create your course page, customize your course content, and set your own pricing for customers. They offer a variety of one-click templates that will make creating a course fast and easy. However, if you prefer, you will still be able to upload your own content and materials.
When you use Kajabi, the website you build will be connected to everything you sell. This can help you stay organized and ensure that everything you’re offering to your customers will work well together.
Kajabi offers integrations with both PayPal and Stripe to simplify the payment process. Your students will also have the option to sign up for a payment plan or to make a one-time payment for a course. You can also add one-click upsells to your checkout pages to help you increase the money you make by selling your courses.
You’ll find that Kajabi’s analytics can help you learn more about your customers and the overall operations of your business. You can run reports, track the progress of students in your courses, and monitor how individuals are interacting with the different components of your courses.
- You can also use Kajabi to build a website and send customized emails to your customers.
- Kajabi integrates with Stripe and PayPal for simple payment processing.
- Your course page and course content can be easily customized to meet your needs.
- The basic plan only provides administrative access for one account.
If you’re looking for a service that can help you build websites and drive traffic to your site, consider Kajabi. You’ll also find that Kajabi is a good option if you are looking to create a membership site.
Udemy works a little differently than the other online course platforms we’ve reviewed. Anyone can teach on Udemy for free, but a portion of the sales from your courses will go to Udemy.
Pricing: Free for instructors (but they take 50% of course sales they make and 3% of course sales you make).
When you use Udemy, you’ll be using the most well-known online course platforms. This can help potential students have more confidence in the quality of the courses you’re offering and will also expose you to a large pool of prospective customers.
The courses you offer through Udemy need to be at least 30 minutes long and need to be broken down into five or more lectures. You’ll find that Udemy’s tools will make it easy to upload your content and get everything organized in a logical fashion for students to access.
Udemy offers different marketing features to help you sell your courses. For example, they frequently offer site-wide discounts, and you can choose to have your course included in these promotions to help more users find it. Udemy also sends out regular emails to their subscribers, and you can pay to have information about your courses included in these newsletters.
Another benefit of using Udemy is that their online course platform is very reliable. Since they are such an established company, you won’t need to worry about your students encountering technical difficulties when they try to access your content.
- Udemy is a very well-known online course platform.
- You can take advantage of their marketing features to reach more potential customers.
- The platform is reliable and you won’t need to worry about technical difficulties.
- Udemy takes 50% of the sales from the courses they sell for you.
Udemy can help you increase your following and expose you to new customers that you wouldn’t find without it. Since they are so well-established and trusted, it can help give your course more authority and increase the chances that students will sign up.
Podia was created to help individuals put their time and effort into the online courses or webinars they offer instead of needing to worry about the technology behind offering these items to their customers.
- Mover Plan: $39/month or $390/year
- Shaker Plan: $79/month or $790/year
Podia is designed to be a one-stop-shop with everything you’ll need for selling online courses, memberships, or digital downloads. They simplify the process to get started into five easy steps.
First, you’ll need to create your online store. If you already have a website or existing course content, Podia can help migrate it for free. They offer numerous integrations including Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics.
Next, it will be time to customize your pages using branding, images, videos, or anything else you’d like to add. Once your storefront is set up designed, it will be time for you to add the products you’ve already made. You can also easily create your own online courses or digital downloads to offer through your storefront.
Podia allows you the option to presell your courses, set up payment plans, or create pre-launch events. You can choose whether to allow students to access the entire course at once more to drip content and limit what they can access.
Once your courses and any other products or services you’ll be offering are set up, you can also use Podia to help you market your products.
- In addition to selling online courses, you can also offer memberships and digital downloads.
- They offer email marketing, messaging, and sales pages to help you increase the number of people who sign up for your courses.
- You won’t be able to grade quizzes or issue certificates.
Podia is a good option to consider if you’re also looking for support with building sales pages or funnels to help you sell your courses and attract new customers.
With LearnWorlds, you’ll find what you need to not only create and share online courses with your students but also to market them to potential students to increase enrollment.
- Start Plan: $29/month or $288/year
- Pro Trainer Plan: $99/month or $948/year
- Learning Center Plan: $299/month or $2,988/year
- High Volume and Corporate Plans: Custom pricing available
LearnWorlds’ tools are designed to make course creation a breeze. You’ll be able to create a profession-looking online course with all your content in no time at all. When you upload a video, LearnWorlds can automatically make a transcript that can be played alongside the video, making it more accessible for students.
LearnWorlds put a lot of thought into their course player. It is designed to be easy to use to help you and students. You can choose whether you want course content to be drip fed to students, or whether you want them to have access to all materials at ones. They also offer numerous options that students can use when taking notes or highlighting the information in the course.
You can create a variety of task types for your students. These included graded quizzes, ungraded questions, and open or closed questionnaires. You will also be able to award digital certificates to your students after they complete a course.
- LearnWorlds courses include an integrated social network to allow your students to stay connected and share ideas.
- If you want to run an online school, you can use LearnWorlds to set up a school website.
- After you have created your courses, LearnWorlds can also be used to help you market and sell them.
- The reporting and analytics tools aren’t as advanced as what is offered by some other sites.
LearnWorlds’ features work well together to help you create quality courses and share them with your students.
7. Academy of Mine
Academy of Mine operates based on the mindset that an online course platform should conform to the needs of its users, not the other way around. They created their platform to help you customize your content and materials to meet your specific needs.
Pricing: Starting at $9,997/year
With Academy of Mine, you’ll be able to upload videos, documents, and other content types in just about any format. You can also set up your videos so that users won’t be able to skip ahead, which is a good feature if you want to make sure students watch an entire presentation.
You can create all different types of quizzes to assess students’ understanding of the course content. You can choose from multiple-choice questions, fill in the blanks, short answer questions and more.
Academy of Mine also allows you to set up discussion forums within the courses, create assignments that should be submitted by your students, and create and issue certificates for students.
When setting up your courses, you can set an expiration date, designate a set amount of time that students must spend on the course of different sections, and choose whether to drip content or offer it all at once.
Additionally, Academy of Mine offers a course design service. You just need to provide them the content for the course and share your vision for your course. Then, a member of the team will use the information you provided to design your course for you.
- You can create and grade different types of quizzes.
- If you are worried about students clicking through a course too quickly, you can set a minimum amount of time that they must be in the course looking at the content.
- If you want professional help designing a course, a member of the Academy of Mine team can help you.
- Since they offer so many customization options, you may need to spend more time getting your courses and sites set up.
Academy of Mine’s offers a wide array of features that are designed to help you create quality courses and share them with your students.
Click4Course’s online course software is user-friendly and can help you create your courses and manage student learning.
Pricing: $65/month (if billed annually), $79/month (if billed monthly)
Click4Course offers features designed to help you create courses, manage learners, create initiate tests and surveys, generate reports about your courses and students, and manage communication with students.
You will be able to create an unlimited number of courses and organize courses into different categories to make them easy to find for your potential students. You can add students your courses, or they can register for them on their own. You can also create learner groups and send messages inviting them to enroll in a course.
To help you assess student learning you can create and assign tests and set a minimum score in order for students to pass. You can use a variety of question types for the tests and quizzes you create and will be able to send certificates to students when they complete your course.
Click4Course also allows you to run a variety of different reports to help you view the progress of your students, see their test results, and recent activity on your courses. You can send customizable messages and set up automated notifications for the students in your courses.
- The quizzes you create can be graded, and you can assign a minimum score for passing.
- There are numerous reports you will be able to run to help you keep track of student progress in enrollment.
- You confuse use your own videos, PowerPoint presentations, and other content to share with your students.
- This online course platform does not offer as many options and settings as some other platforms.
If you’re looking for a more basic platform that will help you create and manage your courses, you should consider Click4Course.
DigitalChalk recently merged with Selleration and is now known as Sciolytix. This online course platform is designed to help you so courses or train employees.
- Essential Plan: $35/month
- Professional Plan: $79/month
- Premier Plan: $189/month
Sciolytix aims to make it as easy as possible for you to earn money based on your courses online. You will always have access to their dedicated support team if you encounter any problems or have any questions.
Sciolytix has designed their course builder to provide you with all the tools and resources you will need to set up your courses. You’ll find that setting up your courses is straightforward and should not take you very long.
You can offer both live sessions or on-demand courses that are ready to be viewed by students whenever they are ready. This flexibility can help you attract more potential students and can allow you to offer the course type that works best for a given subject area.
With this platform, you will be able to set up your courses in a way that’s engaging for your students. Sciolytix strives to help you create content that will make students will learn.
- If you already have courses that are created, one of the specialists can help you migrate your data.
- The reporting system can help you view information about your students’ progress and the number of courses you have sold.
- The online course platform is designed to make it easy for the instructor to connect and chat with students.
- If you want to be able to bundle your courses or offer customers the option to gift a course to another person, you will need to pay for the Premier Plan.
With Sciolytix, you will need to feel like you are alone. You will always have access to the customer support team talking through any challenges you may face.
10. Zippy Courses
If you’re looking for an all-in-one course management platform that can help you create and sell your online courses, you should consider Zippy Courses.
- Standard Plan: $99/month
- Professional Plan: $199/month
Zippy Courses features have been optimized for both selling and teaching your online courses. This is in comparison to many other sites that seem to specialize in just one of these components.
This online course platform offers a drag-and-drop course builder that will drastically simplify the process of setting your content up for students to access. You always be able to go back in and edit your course or modify the order of topics.
To help increase the amount of money you can make from selling your courses, Zippy Courses also offers you the ability to offer different versions of your course, such as a premium version, for a higher price.
You can allow students have access to all the content at the beginning of the course, or you can decide to slowly release content based on a set schedule. Zippy Courses also allows you to send automated follow-up emails to stay connected with your students and increase the chances that the purchase a second course from you.
Zippy Courses integrates with Constant Contact, PayPal, Stripe, AWeber, GetResponse, MailChimp, and other providers that you may already be using.
- The drag-and-drop course builder will make setting up your courses quick and easy.
- You can offer different versions of each course to increase your earnings.
- You will have control over how content is released and available to students.
- The Standard Plan does not allow you to customize the theme options.
Zippy Courses’ user-friendly tools are designed to help you effectively create and monetize your online courses.
PathWright as another excellent option to consider if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform that can help you design courses and sell them to students.
- Starter Plan: $99/month
- Essentials Plan: $199/month
- Complete Plan: $499/month
The features offered by PathWright will help you design courses for students, create an ideal learning environment, keep track of student progress, an increase the number of people following you as well as the number of courses you sell. When setting up your courses you will be able to insert videos, audio instructions or lectures, and written documents to help your students. You can assign projects, discussions, and assessments (both for practice and for grades). You’ll also be able to provide students with a certificate of completion.
PathWright’s online course platform is easily customizable and can even be accessed from your mobile device. You can create your own URL or course catalog for your page.
PathWright lets you set due dates and reminders. It also allows you to view data related to each student’s progress towards completing the course. You can also receive email notifications if one of your students reaches out to you through the online course platform.
You will be able to create a learning community to keep your students involved and encourage them to sign up for future courses. You’ll also be able to set up a storefront where current or new students can enroll in your courses.
- Students will be able to access your courses for many of their screens.
- You can set course assignments to be either optional or required.
- Adding attachments or embedding videos and other resources into your courses is simple.
- You can only send course certificates with the Complete Plan.
PathWright offers many tools and features that can help you create quality courses that will value for your students.
12. Course Cats
In addition to helping you sell your online courses, Course Cats can also help you build websites and increase the number of contacts on your email list.
Pricing: $59/month or $497/year
In addition to offering a user-friendly experience for your students, Course Cats also strives to offer instructors easy-to-use tools and features. You can use this platform to set up a website that will help you attract potential new students to increase earnings. They also offer a concierge service to provide you with assistance with getting your website up and running.
When you have your ideas ready for your course, you’ll be able to use the tools offered by this platform to set your course up quickly and without hassle. It will be ready to offer to students in no time.
The lessons you create through this online course platform will be video-based. You can upload videos or add embed codes from YouTube, Vimeo, in other sites. Course Cats also lets you upload PDFs, sites from PowerPoint, and other resources for your students.
- They offer WordPress templates to help you create attractive courses.
- You can host courses on your WordPress website.
- They offer a lot of technical support and can help you get your site set up.
- this is a better option for people who are looking to create video courses, but it may not be as good if you want to offer your students lots of quizzes and other assignments.
Even if you’ve never created an online course before, you’ll be impressed with how professional-looking your courses will be when you use Course Cats.
Offering virtual courses through an online course platform can help you share your knowledge with others, increase the number of individuals who follow you online, and help you increase your earnings. We hope our reviews of the 13 online platforms above has helped make it easier for you to decide which option is best for you.