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In the past two decades, e-learning has evolved quite quickly and generated almost 46 billion dollars in revenue. It is because online classes are more effective and require less time to learn than traditional classes. Therefore, many students choose online platforms to learn skills, and many individuals and businesses are creating online courses to earn additional income.
An online course is not just uploading a video. It is much more than that. It requires you to make a curriculum, create assignments if need be, design a course page, student dashboard, and much more. A good course platform helps instructors in the entire process and offers quality tools to record, launch, and manage an online course.
Nowadays, many dedicated online learning platforms offer course creators the tools publish their courses. It can be difficult for you to choose the best platform to sell an online course. There are many venues and platforms for selling courses online but some venues are not suitable for your course requirements. Therefore, selecting the wrong platform can destroy your online course business.
If you are new to creating and selling online courses and looking for the best online course platforms for your business, this article is for you. Keep reading the article, and we let you know the 13 best platforms to sell online courses in 2021, along with course-specific features, pricing, pros, and cons.
Best Online Course Platforms
Here we will discuss the best online course platforms that are best for hosting your courses. So, keep reading to choose the best platform for you today!
Thinkific is a full-featured platform that empowers everyone to easily create and sell online courses on his or her branded site. It is an excellent choice for a non-technical person because of its easy interface. It also allows you to create an outstanding course with high-quality videos, rich text, images, schedule assignments, and host downloadable files easily. Further, it is very flexible and permits you to publish a sales page with your own branding to collect payments and course access options.
● Cloud Learning Management System Platform:
Thinkific is a cloud-hosted learning management system that hosts all your pages and media on their servers. If you already have a website, it will set up a learning management system on your site and transfer all your data on your domain. However, if you are at the start of your career and can’t afford to build your own website, Thinkific will create a website and manage your course.
● No technical knowledge required:
Building a website and managing courses on some online course platforms can be difficult for a non-technical person. However, Thinkific provides drag and drop features to customize sales pages, student dashboards, menus, and other settings without any previous tech knowledge.
Thinkific offers four different plans: free plan, $49/month, $99/month, and $499/month. The free program is perfect for new instructors. In comparison, the business plan is for large businesses having unlimited courses.
- Free plan available
- Customizable and Easy to use interface
- Beginner Friendly
- Separate Website and Branding option
- Cannot intermix course media
● Multi Language Support:
LearnWorlds let instructors build a course in any language across the world. It has students from all the continents and supports almost every language. Therefore, you can make your own setup or translation in any language.
● Advanced Teaching Options:
It is equipped with advanced teaching options to build a school set up with multiple teachers and a complete course catalog. It further offers advanced exam and quiz capabilities, copyright protection, and community builder for instructors. It also permits teachers to edit uploaded videos and add interactive sessions with students.
It has very beginner-friendly pricing that starts at $29/month with a $5 transaction fee for each sale. However, you can switch to a $99/month package to avoid a transaction fee.
- Interactive Design
- Powerful page builder
- Advanced teaching option
- Very inexpensive
- Complex marketing Analytics
Teachable is the largest online course platform worldwide and designed with beginners’ in mind. Many multinational brands like New York Times, John Lee Dumas, and Pat Flynn use Teachable for their courses because of its trustworthy services. It has almost 100,000+ instructors and helped them earn more than $500 Million to this day. It offers you ready-made templates to place your content and allows you customize the look and functionalities as you want.
● Multimedia Lectures and Import Content:
Teachable makes it easier for instructors to deliver knowledge to the student via multimedia lectures and straightforward content importing options. You can create courses with a combination of videos, audio, text, pdf files, and other media formats. Further, you can swiftly import contents from Dropbox, Google-drive, or One-drive for easy management.
● Certificates and Payments:
It has a very flexible payment gateway that accepts payments in more than 130 currencies globally. Once a student is enrolled, it also grants a certificate of completion at the end of a specific course.
It has a very reasonable cost, and its Basic Plan starts at $29/month that includes a custom domain, drip course content, coupon codes, and email marketing. However, there is a 5% transaction fee on every sale. It also offers a free trial for testing this platform.
- Customized domain
- Email Marketing
- Intuitive navigation and checkout process
- Affiliate marketing support
- Caching and downtime issues
Teachery offers fantastic course building and selling tools and provides you with unlimited courses and students options. Many course platforms limit the number of courses or students which can be bad for growing business. However, Teachery gives unlimited access in every package and doesn’t demand any transaction fee for sales. Further, it has a robust course editor and supports all kinds of media files for teachers’ ease.
● Multiple Sales Option:
Multiple sales option is one of the vital features of Teachery from a marketing and sales perspective. It includes payment pages, membership options, promo codes, and much more to boost sales. Additionally, it has an email capturing procedure to retarget customers with new courses. Finally, its ability to create a beautiful landing page to link from ads is another edge towards marketing.
● Instructor Training:
Teachery offers their own courses for the instructors on creating, market, and selling their course. The butter to the bread is that these courses are free for all plans and helps you make your first course without any previous knowledge of this platform.
It comes at $49/month and includes unlimited students, courses, and file uploads. Moreover, it doesn’t charge any transaction fee for sales and offers you a 14-days free trial.
- Minimal and Sidebar templates for course
- No transaction fee
- Powerful landing page builder
- Multiple payment plans
- Does not provide multiple teachers option
Podia is a great platform to create and sell online courses, which includes all the necessary features for effective learning and promotion, such as webinars, email marketing, customer messaging, live chat, and much more. It offers other eCommerce options like selling memberships, coupons, affiliates, and digital downloads to earn more income. With no transaction fee and a simple interface, it is a good choice for beginners to start an online business today.
● Advanced Editing options:
In Podia, you can totally change the look of your course or storefront, as you desire. You can add various widgets, sections, menus, and customizable blocks to make the look attractive for visitors.
● Memberships and Customer Emails:
You can create your membership portal and change a subscription fee to get more enrollment in the course. You can also set up custom payment methods, invoices, and coupons to attract visitors. Further, you can embed newsletters to collect subscribers’ emails and engage them with enrolling and completing course emails.
Podia is a bit costly and offers two different plans at $39/month and $79/month. If you are still unsure about the right plan for your needs, you can take a 14-day free trial to explore all the features and pick the right one for your business. It also offers a limited free plan.
- Digital Downloads
- Unlimited students and courses
- Email and Affiliate marketing
- No transaction fee
- No code customization
Udemy is one of the popular online course platforms with 40 Million+ users, 80,000+ courses, and 50,000 instructors worldwide. To sell at this platform, you first have to apply as an instructor for approval. Once you are selected as an instructor, you can create a course in your niche with a minimum of 30 minutes in length and five videos. It provides a lot of support for creating and marketing the courses on popular social media platforms. You are also free to add quizzes, assignments, exercises, and discussions for students on Udemy.
● Udemy Analytics:
Like Google Analytics, Udemy analytics tell instructors about the popularity of the topic, keywords, and search volume. You can also analyze existing courses on this topic, their revenue, and promotion channels for your course marketing. These insights can also help you to choose a perfect course topic to teach.
● Launch Support:
Udemy provides exceptional launch support to the instructors for creating and marketing a course. If you are unsure about video standards, you can submit a sample to Udemy, and they will give you suggestions to improve.
It does not charge any membership fee. Instead, it bills you based on your sales. If the deal is made through instructors’ coupons, Udemy will charge 3% of the price. Udemy will charge 50% revenue on organic search and Udemy promotions sales. Finally, it will set 75% on Udemy paid users acquisition channel.
- Excellent support for instructors
- Huge student community
- Great platform for hard and soft skills
- It limits the price point for your courses.
Linkedin is a refurbishing of an old learning platform called ‘Lynda’ that provides high-quality web development courses, economics, programming, and management at beginner and advanced levels. It pays high income to instructors. However, this platform is very fussy, and it is not easy to be selected as an instructor here.
● Content Quality:
Linkedin Learning is a highly professional platform that doesn’t compromise on quality. Content quality is the primary factor that forces people to join this platform. It has the best and strictest quality control in the market.
● Accredited Verification:
It provides accreditable certificates that you can display on your LinkedIn profile once you have finished the course. Most of its course contents are in affiliation with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) syllabus, and therefore, its certificates have importance in the market.
You can get a LinkedIn subscription at $29.99/month, with the first month as a trial period. Nevertheless, if you pay yearly, you will get the subscription at $19.99/month, including a one-month trial period.
- Highly professional setup
- Certificates and Badges
- Advanced learning courses
- Dedicated Linkedin App
- Difficult selection procedure
LearnDash is a well-designed WordPress learning management system (LMS) plugin primarily used by professional training organizations and higher education institutions. It is the best choice for universities, organizations, and entrepreneurs for creating their online courses with WordPress. It also authorizes you to manage online courses from a self-hosted platform. Further, it provides an exclusive modern learning experience via Focus mode.
● Easy to Set Up:
LearnDash is easier to set up than any WordPress LMS because of the “industry new” focus mode feature. The focus mode provides your lessons an instant facelift with just one click. Further, it has a drag and drop interface to create courses and classes.
● Reusable Course Content:
LearnDash dominates over other LMS because of previous course content reusability in some new courses or lectures. You can easily reuse quizzes, slides, or assignments for any course you make. For instance, if your subjects are closely related, you can reuse the lessons.
It is much more expensive compared to other platforms and charges $159 for one website. Its pro plan includes ten sites and a pro-panel at $189. At the same time, its premium package can host 25 websites at $329.
- Drip feed content
- Private and public content for students
- Multiple payment options
- Automatic Email triggering
- No free plan or trial available
Kajabi is a fully-featured platform for digital entrepreneurs and small businesses to sell digital products and content online. Additionally, it provides a built-in analytics tool to let instructors and marketers track their progress. It also provides scaling options through fully automated campaigns and funnels. Further, you can also create your own website to sell your content through this platform. Marketers can also use custom domains to rank courses on google through search engine optimization.
● Content Structuring:
Kajabi makes it easier to structure content with blueprints that are the ready-made structure of various kinds of digital products. Once you pick a blueprint for your course, it will automatically structure your course contents into different categories with posts added to it.
● User Discussion and Community:
Kajabi allows you to build a community forum on its platform. Members can access the community from the students’ dashboard and start a community homepage discussion. It also sends you notifications when any of the fellow or teacher participates in the debate.
Kajabi is expensive compared to other platforms, and its basic package starts at $119/month, where users can have three products and three pipelines along with 30 active members. The growth plan allows 15 products with 10,000 active members at $159/month. In comparison, its’ Pro plan costs $319/month with three websites and 20,000 active members.
- User friendly
- Excellent customer care
- Easy marketing of products
- Terrific email marketing
- Relatively expensive
Skillshare is a fantastic platform to teach creative skills and is a perfect platform for you if you want to teach graphic designing, web development, programming, writing, photography, or blogging. It allows instructors to divide course lessons into three different parts; video, project, and community discussion. The main goal of this website is to provide hands-on experience to students. Therefore, it is the great place to sell a creative course.
● Community and Groups:
Skillshare gives great importance to members to find inspiration from others, connect, and take a step to the next level in their creative journey. In short, collaboration is a crucial part of Skillshare. Therefore, it is the best forum for you to build a vast community and generate revenue.
● Social Media Links:
Skillshare also provides you social media links to get an audience from different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Further, you can instantly start earning from a built-in audience on this platform. Thus, it is an excellent platform to start earning from the very first day of work.
Its pricing structure is straightforward and provides you a monthly plan at $15/month. However, if you buy this plan on an annual basis, it will cost you $99 annually at the rate of $8.25/month. It also offers a team plan with $99 for each member every year.
- Very inexpensive
- Greater chances to grow
- Clean interface
- Team plan available
- A cautious affiliate program
WizIQ offers an effortless mechanism to arrange virtual classes and is a complete solution for tutors who want to teach live online courses. It allows you to set a self-paced course for your students. Its portal also includes course builder, eCommerce and analytics reports, virtual classroom, test and assessment builders, and many other unique features. You will genuinely enjoy this platform if you want live interactive sessions with your students.
● Mobile Learning App:
It has a dedicated app for mobile users that includes all tools needed to deliver and attend a live class anywhere, anytime. WizIQ app is available on both Google Play Store and Apple Store for download.
● Video Streaming:
Video streaming is the key feature that distinguishes this learning management system (LMS) from other online platforms. Using this, you can share and stream video securely. Students with access keys and customized permission will only be able to join the stream.
It offers two pricing plans. The elite plan starts at $25, giving 25 GB storage, two hours of personalized instructor training, and a learner mobile app. In comparison, its Infinite plan includes 50 GB storage, custom domain, a white-labeled Web app, custom SMTP, and a discussion forum.
- High-Quality virtual classrooms
- Synchronous and Asynchronous courses options
- Multiple instructor option
- Video streaming available
- Interface complexity
Ruzuku is another fantastic course selling solution packed with tools like Infusionsoft, MailChimp, and payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe. It has an easy management system and charges no transaction fee. It also helps the students to access their achievements in the course and prompts them to interact with other fellows for a better learning experience. It also provides teleconferencing, daily backups, and various support options. You can also arrange webinars on this platform.
● Simple Course Creator:
It has a superficial course creator to manage the dashboard and files. Further, it also aids you in configuring the different media files such as audio, video, images, texts, lists, or any other format.
● Student Engagement Features:
It provides you with multiple options to engage with the students. You can interact via teleconferences and webinars to clear the concepts and queries as much as possible.
Ruzuku offers three pricing plans that vary depending on the features like webinars, assessments, and payment gateways, etc. Its Bootstrapper plan starts at $99/month, and the Up-and-comer plan costs $149/month. In the end, the University plan costs $199/month that contains unlimited webinars and students.
- Course Scheduling
- Self-paced course
- Latest assessment techniques
- Limited integrations
13. Academy of Mine
Academy of Mine is a fantastic forum to create and sell online courses that lets you build a website to host your online courses and start selling them. It includes many powerful tools to boost engagements, such as discussion forums, Gradebook, Gamification, etc. You can also choose templates that are beneficial for building landing pages and the site front.
● Personalized Branding:
You can design a portal with your own URL, logo, and colors for branding. The portal does not refer to you as a vendor, and it ultimately introduces you as an independent course creator.
● Live Training:
You can arrange live interactive sessions using videos, audio, whiteboards, and integrated presentations. It also integrates with tools like Zoom, Vimeo Live Stream, and BigBlueButton to provide effective streaming services.
It is costly, and its package starts at $9,997 per year. This plan includes many advanced features like 5 TB storage, unlimited users and courses, integrated eCommerce, streaming apps, and 24/7 customer support.
- Multiple eCommerce and streaming Integrations
- Advanced Analytics
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited courses
- No email targeting option
Today with so many platforms available to sell online courses, you should always do thorough research to choose the best for your niche, marketing, promotion, and management features. Take a thorough look at these 13 best online course platforms above with course-specific features, pricing, pros, and cons to find the best one for yourself.
That is all for today! Comment below and let us know which online course platform you have tried or would like to try.