If you want to increase sales, selecting the right online course platform is critical. The best online course platforms can assist you with everything from creating a course website and accepting payments to uploading videos and interacting with students. We ranked and reviewed the 5+ best online course platforms, as well as our top 5 picks, in this guide so you can choose the best one for you.
Due to the rapid growth of online learning as a result of social distancing, online course platforms are exploding.
By 2025, the market for e-learning and online courses will be worth $325 billion.
Are you ready to sell online courses and tap into this market?
You require the most effective online course platform.
What Are the Best Online Course Platforms?
Thinkific is the best platform for selling online courses in general.
It's my top pick because the price is comparable to the other low-cost options on this list and it can provide a high-quality course experience.
- You'd never guess they were Thinkific course websites because they can be customised.
- The sales pages are well-designed and optimised.
- The student dashboards are attractive and customizable (you can add videos, text, and any downloadable file type to the same page).
- You have the option of sending your entire course all at once or drip-feeding it over time.
- Wistia is a video hosting service that is completely free (a huge value).
That's really all you need for a course website that's optimised.
In fact, despite the fact that Thinkific plans start at just $49 per month, major companies such as Fiverr use the platform to sell online courses.
Until their team told me, I would have never guessed that this massive learning database was a Thinkific site:
LearnWorlds is a powerful online course creation tool that includes a variety of interactive features to help you sell courses. The platform's interactive video player and E-Book reader, for example, provide a unique experience when compared to other platforms.
The course sales pages and payment process have been tweaked to increase conversions and sales. Anyone can easily create a course on this platform thanks to the simple drag-and-drop editor. It is not necessary to have any prior experience.
From your user-friendly dashboard, you get everything you need to create high-quality courses and sales pages to boost your course sales, including responsive templates, interactive video functionality, and marketing automation. This software includes all of the tools required to meet the needs of any digital information publisher.
This platform's standout feature is the ability to let your students interact with the content you create through an interactive video player and reader.
Powerful Page Builder: Quick-start templates that are fully customizable to assist you in creating fantastic pages.
LearnWorlds provides excellent multilingual customer service in a variety of languages.
Advanced quizzes, exams, assignments, and more are available through the Assessment Engine.
Built-in Social Media Network: You and your students will be able to easily connect and communicate.
Customize your logo and style with ease.
Ability to create a blog from scratch
It is possible to offer free courses with copyright protection.
There is a ready-to-use course catalogue available.
Instructors can get help with affiliate marketing.
Allows for interactive video content. All paid plans have no transaction fees.
LearnWorlds offers a free plan to get you started. Plans start at $24 per month if you decide this is the platform for you. Many features, such as drip-feeding courses, are included in the plans, and you can easily upgrade as your business grows.
Podia is a user-friendly programme that includes everything a digital publisher requires to create and sell online courses.
Podia enables you to host a webinar, create downloadable content, create a membership community, and even provide live chat for easy communication with your students, all of which will help you increase student engagement. Everything you need is right at your fingertips with Podia, and their live chat widget is a standout feature.
Combine Courses: This software allows you to combine courses that are similar.
Digital Downloads: PDFs, checklists, ebooks, and other documents can be downloaded quickly.
Locked Content: In your course management system, you can grant or remove access to content for specific students.
Email List Marketing: Podia comes with a number of useful features, including email marketing automation.
Multimedia Courses: Incorporate video, audio, PDF, images, text, and other multimedia elements into your courses.
It's simple to change the colours to match your company's identity.
Course previews in real time
To increase student engagement, create individual ‘posts' for each student.
Connect to a variety of tools and services
Free migration from other course platforms
The ‘Mover' package from Podia starts at $39 per month. The ‘Shaker' option, which allows you to scale your business, costs $79 per month. A 14-day free trial of the platform is available.
Teachable is a cloud-based course builder with a user-friendly interface designed with beginners in mind.
This is the most popular platform for creating online courses on the market (statistically). On the platform, they have over 100,000 instructors who have helped people just like you and me earn over $500 million. Teachable is used by big names like the New York Times, Pat Flynn, and John Lee Dumas, and if they trust it, you can too.
All you have to do is fill in the blanks with your content, which you can then customise to look and function exactly how you want.
Everything, including payments, course sales pages, and your affiliate centre, can be easily set up through the dashboard. You can also use an in-house payment processor to take care of payments.
Teachable has also recently added “Discover,” which is a storefront for online courses on their platform. They're putting a lot of effort into it right now, so I expect it to grow in the future. I can only imagine that getting your course featured would be a fantastic way to boost course sales.
Import content from Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox into your learning management system quickly and easily.
Create a Program for Online Certification: Students who successfully complete your course will receive certificates.
Multi-Media Lectures: Use video, text, audio, and PDF files to create engaging courses.
Google Forms integration: To get feedback from your students, use Google Forms.
Payment at Your Convenience: Accept student payments in over 130 different currencies.
It comes with a custom domain that you can personalise.
Checkout with just one click
Navigational functions that are simple to use
Technical and customer support that is dependable, as well as powerful tracking and reporting
Instructors can get help with affiliate marketing.
Teachable plans are priced differently depending on which features you use, which is great because you only pay for the features you use. Plans start at no cost and go down to $29. Each has an unlimited number of students and courses, but you can try a free trial if you want to get started quickly and easily.
Kartra is one of the best online course platforms because it is more than just a course platform. Kartra provides a wealth of features, including checkouts, the ability to create a membership site, and the ability to host your own affiliate programme. This is why it is the best online course platform for those looking to build a genuine community.
This platform, in my opinion, is beneficial for those who want to grow a business beyond the simplicity of a course platform, rather than just create courses. You'll be able to use advanced tools and functionality for marketing your course, as well as be an administrator, if you use this platform.
Kartra is best for people who want to build an online community around their course and use advanced functionality to expand their business in the future.
Internal Checkout Platform: Kartra's internal checkout platform allows users to check out using their own software, eliminating the need for a third-party integration.
Kartra Pages: This feature allows users to quickly create high-converting landing pages, which should help you collect emails and encourage visitors to take action.
Funnels and Campaigns: Running different funnels and campaigns is extremely valuable because it allows you to control the path users take to become students.
Memberships: You can go far beyond one or two courses with this all-in-one platform. You can use them to make a membership site.
Helpdesk: Assisting students with technological difficulties is more common than you might think. To help with this, the platform includes a helpdesk as part of its core offering.
Additional Integrations and APIs: While Kartra has many unique features, they recognise that you may prefer to work with other platforms. As a result, they provide integrations with hundreds of different platforms.
Everything works together on an all-in-one platform.
Less technology and less stress is a great way to keep things simple.
Can scale as your course demand and community grows 100% in the cloud, so you don't have to worry about losing your work.
It is less expensive than combining all platforms to achieve the same functionality.
Kartra is $99 per month on the most basic plan. They base their pricing options on the actions of visitors on your platform, which is convenient because you only pay for what you get. They offer a 25% discount if you sign up for an annual plan, and while they don't have a free plan, they do offer a $1 14-day trial. Though the one-dollar fee is inconvenient, the trial version of this platform is well worth it.
Teachery is one of the newest platforms on my list, and it's deserving of mention. Teachery is an excellent choice for beginners because it intentionally limits some confusing design and function aspects in order to provide users with exactly what they require. Furthermore, they have no transaction fees, which is always a plus.
They set themselves apart by providing a guided tutorial to assist new instructors in getting up and running quickly. Their primary distinction from other platforms is that they are extremely user-friendly, allowing even inexperienced course creators to quickly set up and begin selling online courses to their target audience.
Teachery has a number of advantages, including no monthly fees, a simple and intuitive platform, and the ability to upload unlimited files to your courses.
Teachery is ideal for instructors who are brand new to the online business world and want to get up and running quickly without having to worry about transaction fees.
Simple Templates: They provide you with two different templates to use when creating a course. This is to keep you from becoming overwhelmed and to provide you with a simple solution.
Easy to Use Course Editor: They have a user-friendly course editor that allows you to quickly make the changes you need without having to deal with any technical issues.
Payment Plans and Membership: This feature allows you to quickly enter a payment plan for your students or create a private membership site for them.
Sales and Landing Pages: This feature allows you to quickly create new sales or landing pages to help you sell more courses.
Beginners are the focus of this course.
There are no additional transaction fees.
Everything is unlimited.
Simplicity takes precedence over advanced functionality.
Email drip campaigns
There are numerous integrations.
Teachery plans start at $49 per month and include unlimited uploads and courses. They have a two-week trial you can take for free before making any payments.
How to Choose an Online Course Platform
While all of the online course creation software mentioned in this article can be extremely beneficial to those looking to start an online school, it can be difficult to know what to look for when trying to find the best fit. The list below can assist you in determining which features you should prioritise when selecting a platform.
Choose established online course creation platforms with a positive reputation and a large number of positive reviews from real users.
Consider your own and your students' skill levels when choosing a tool. Choose course creation platforms that are simple to use for both you and your students.
Appearance: You want a service that offers a wide range of original and professional-looking themes and templates, as well as complete customization options.
3rd-Party Integrations: To improve your student experience, choose a platform that has many 3rd-party integrations to other software and services, such as student information systems, payment gateways, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and other platforms.
Marketing Automation: Some platforms include tools like email autoresponders that can help you automate various aspects of your course marketing, such as hosting webinars to sell courses, email marketing, and so on.
Technical assistance is critical for both you and your students. Choose a platform with a knowledgeable and responsive technical support team.
Is the online course platform affordable, or does it require a large upfront or monthly investment?
What other unique features does the course creation website/software offer that set it apart from the competition? Working with Zapier or having discussion forums come to mind as examples.
Ready-made Market: If you don't have your own audience to market your course to, this is something to think about, and it will help you choose between course creation software and a course marketplace.
Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for online course creation software or creating the best online course, knowing what to look for can help you avoid the confusion and frustration of making the wrong decision.
Now that you've read an in-depth explanation of the best online course platforms for starting your own online school, I hope you can better determine which one will best suit your teaching style.
Before committing to a single platform, make sure you understand its course creation capabilities, how it helps you market and sell courses, how it supports instructors, and what student management features it offers.
While these factors by themselves will not sell your courses for you, they are critical to your success as an online course instructor.